I first became fascinated with resonator guitars when I was18 years old, about the same time I started repairing stringed instruments.
The job market dried up just about the time I was fresh out of school with degrees in Aviation Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering. Supported by family and friends, my musical career was launched as a teacher, stringed instrument technician and performer.
As a road musician I became dissatisfied with the quality of available resonator guitars and focused my skills on design and construction of a next generation instrument, a guitar that would take advantage of new technologies and techniques while honoring the tradition of the Dopyera family.
The first Beard resonator guitar was delivered to a customer in 1985. I’m pleased that the company has continued to innovate since that first guitar was delivered. Here are a few milestones of which I am particularly proud:
- First Beard resonator guitar 1985
- Open soundwell construction designed in 1986
First "E" large body resophonic guitar
The first “R” body, derived from Mike Auldridge’s pre-war Regal, 1987
The Josh Graves model delivered in 1992
The open body E model delivered in 2000
Beard spun cones shipped in 2003
The Mike Auldridge signature guitar delivered in 2004
Custom coverplates designed in 2004
Jerry Douglas signed in 2008
Jerry Douglas Signature Series guitars delivered in 2008First "E" large body guitar
Today Beard Guitars, LLC hand crafts fourteen square neck and round neck models. My guitars are enjoyed by fans, serious amateurs and touring professionals. I’ve been honored that players like Mike Auldridge, LeRoy Mack, Tim Graves, Jerry Douglas, and many other friends choose Beard guitars to play.
I’m eagerly anticipating the next twenty years.