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Paul Adams Art

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Paul composes much of his music as heard on the previous pages using these instruments and others he builds himself. Although he focuses on his albums and doesn't seek commissions, he has built instruments for music clients like Daryl Hall. Members of Stevie Wonders Band, and The Pointer Sisters.

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Ahhh!!! This is my version of a Swedish Humel. I saw Mark Nelson's on his album cover and was really inspired!! Daryl Hall saw a photo of it and ordered one for himself. I inlayed his name in the peghead to make it really impressive! When I delivered it to him (at a Farm Aid Concert ) he walked into the room naked!! Hmmm.... To cut the tension I felt, I said to him humorously," I was going to inlay Daryl Oats on the peghead." He replied that THAT joke would not have lasted long. Ooops!!! My attempt at easing the tension failed.

This one still hangs on my wall. I used this and another dulcimer to add texture to the acoustic albums A VIEW FROM THE PLAIN and THIS CHRISTMAS. I was very pleased with the blend and drone it provided.

This is a 5 string Bluegrass Banjo I made in the early 80s. Entire instrument made of a walnut ( with rock maple rim ). The neck has beautiful Walnut/Maple laminations running through the center for added strength. It has a five star Stewart macDonald flathead bell bronze tone ring and all the metal appointments have been engraved. I have no idea where it is now. I made one for myself exactly like this one and used it on both WONDERDANCING ON GLOBAL BOP (A Jazz Bluegrass tune The Great Prairie Backstep.),as well as A VIEW FROM THE PLAIN (A meditative tune called At Prairies Edge. Banjo and meditation go together like Martha Stewart and Mother Teresa, BUT, it seemed to work.)

This Dulcimer was designed in the 70s. A real modern design and robust tone and volume. The body was constructed of Rosewood with a cedar top. I made these in a six string confinguation as well. I had a dulcimer similar to this one that I built in 1976 come back to me in about 5 pieces. The owner sat on it. I put it back together w/ great success, but the owner didn't pick it up. So, I used it on A View From The Plain and This Christmas

An exotic dulcimer. The body is constructed of walnut with a spruce top. Dove and peace sound holes. This is one of my favorite instruments. I just love the lines and was very fortunate to find a piece of spruce that has a very interesting flame pattern (Note waves on the top.). This is another one I wish I had back. Dick Applegate, a very rotund and well respected banjo player bought this for his wife many years ago. Dick was known for very naughty jokes. He just couldn't help himself. I wonder if she has divorced him yet?

This dulcimer was made of African Zebrawood and the top is wormy chestnut. I really love the combination of design simplicity and exotic wood. The contrast is striking to me. I would love to find the person I sold it to. I'd love to see it again.

I made a Dulcimer similar to this out of curley Oak. When our town knocked down the 125 year old Jefferson Hotel to make way for the civic center I found enough wood to build it and an electric guitar. I donated the Dulcimer to the Local PBS station for their auction.

Mary Chapin Carpenter has one much like this made from Cherry - a vastly underrated wood for instruments.

This is one of my Koa Wood Basses. The 5 piece curley maple neck runs through the body for added sustain. The fretboard is ebony with fancy Mother of Pearl inlays. On a number of my instruments I also included a piezo pick-up run through a parametric EQ to get that upright sound. The circutry was designed by Jim Williams electronics in Los Angeles ( Jim is now semi-retired as am I. I met him from an article he wrote in GUITAR PLAYER Magazine many years ago. He mostly designs fancy circutry and other brainy electronic things for recording studios . ). This instrument went to Paul Morin when he was with THE POINTER SISTERS.

This in one of my acoustic guitars. The body is mahogany and the top sitka spruce. The neck was also mahogany with an adjustable truss rod and an ebony fretboard. The pickguard was made of burl maple that had been stained to a dark walnut. MY guitars always sounded harpy. They had the volume of the Martin but not the note to note specificity. I took a bit of a gamble and made my tops a bit thinner and thats probably how the harpy sound was achieved. Braces were traditional and scalloped. I used this on just about all of my albums.

This Koa Wood Bass is of a more modern design. Same configuration as the other Koa Bass. This instrument uses Bartolini pick-ups. It is still on my wall at the home studio.



This is a Psaltry made from Walnut with a simple Mother of Pearl and Abalone flower vine inlaid on the top. They are played and tuned diatonically (Do re - mi ...), usually in the key of D or C. Years ago when I met Lyle Mays and Pat Metheny, I was fascinated to hear that Lyle has a keen interest in These little instruments. He and Pat are two of my avorite musicians.


This is the newest addition. I don't make many instruments these days, but I did recently finish this Electric Dulcimer. It replaces a walnut hourglass body instrument I built many years ago. This one is also Walnut with Ebony fret board and peghead overlay. It is a 6 stringed instrument with nicely sealed geared tuners. The pick up is a Bartolini (I scavenged it from the previous instrument.). I have the string holder behind the bridge lengthened back a bit so I can reach back, grab a string, and bend it getting 1/2 and 1/4 steps I can't normally get with the Dulcimers diatonic fret board. I wish everyone had a fast computer connection so I could add finer res to these photos but this page is getting heavy at this point.



  An article on how to buy your first or student guitar CLICK HERE