Bruce Sexauer, the Bio:
photo by Thom HookeBorn on March 17, 1947 in Oakland, California, and playing the guitar since he was 17, Bruce Sexauer began his lutherie career in 1967 in order to have a better instrument than he could otherwise afford. In his first few years experience, Sexauer moved from solid-bodies, through dulcimers, and on to flat-top acoustic guitars, always working with his own designs. In the next decade Sexauer’s work produced psalteries, mandolins, a tiple’, a Guitarone, and 2 full size harps in addition to a steady stream of individually built flat-top guitars. While being in fact a highly social person, Sexauer prefers to work as a one man shop, and believes the instruments are better for it.
In the following decade, while still creating a number of exceptional flat-tops, Sexauer discovered a passion for arch-top guitars. After carving several instruments, Sexauer noticed that many customers are asking for the clarity of the carved guitar, but being accustomed to flat-tops, require more sensitivity and volume than seems to be available in carved guitars. Influenced by Selmer/Macaferri type guitars (such as those made by Michael Dunn, a shop cohort in the 60’s), and certain Larson Brothers models from the ‘30’s, Sexauer created the “Coo’stic Dominator” to fill this niche.
A fourth decade found many in the guitar world thinking of Sexauer Guitars as the ultimate in Vintage Martin reproduction due to Bruce Sexauer being the primary maker of Eric Schoenberg Guitars starting in 1999, but Sexauer has at the same time continued to explore the cutting edge of concept and design with his JB series instruments, which are not only multi-scale, but actually fully asymmetrical. This not only enhances the performance potential of longer bass/shorter treble strings, but also lends itself to much more attractive ergonomics from the players point of view.
A veteran of many years of Art and Craft festivals, as well as an active member of the San Francisco Bay Area’s NCAL (Northern California Association of Luthiers), Sexauer is also working on a writing project which should soon culminate in a book giving a comprehensive overview of the current Golden Era of American Lutherie as well as Sexauer’s unique and practical approach to the art of the craft.
Bruce Sexauer is currently continuing his cutting edge tradition in his purpose built workshop behind his home in Petaluma, California, USA.
photo by Roger Minkow