Why Choose a Sola? 

sola, custom guitar, handbuilt guitar, UK luthier

Why choose a Sola? Who is it for?  How was it designed? 

So with so many choices, what is it that makes the Sola a great guitar? 

As I mentioned in the article Why Choose a Kanto, players often gravitate to a guitar played by their heroes, if not the exact model down to the same pickups, electrics and finish. But if you want a guitar that inspires you to think away from the obvious influences of a guitar that has been around for several decades, a custom made guitar is best option.  


In designing a ‘new’ guitar, it’s important to realise that it’s not a reinvention. The solid body electric guitar is now over seventy years old, and there are many aspects of it that players are familiar with. Some things need to stay the same to avoid having to relearn the instrument. However, there are many aspects that are available to be changed for either improved functionality or aesthetics, which are both actually the same thing. If something is aesthetically pleasing, you are more likely to use it and enjoy using it. 

When designing the Sola, I was considering other single cutaway guitars. “Leo got it right the first time” is what you hear from people who like a straight ahead, no-frills instrument that is versatile and sturdy. That was the same idea behind the Sola.

The idea was to create a single cutaway, simple design, but with modern refining like a flowing arm bevel and easy access to the output jack. The body shape had to be somewhat familiar with a unique essence that tells you that this is something special. Something not seen or heard before. 

The bevels are for comfort and playability. The carving on the lower curve, near the neck joint, allows access to all the frets. The top edge of the body curves at an angle to make it more comfortable against your forearm, and the back carve makes it feel right against your body as you hold it. These three features make it easier to not think about the guitar because it’s so comfortable to play. 

Design-wise, i decided to accentuate the flat top and the top edge curves with finishes on just the top. Sometimes it’s a stained maple top, sometimes it’s a solid matte colour. 


The headstock needed to be recognisable and functional. By modernising the outline a little, it has become identifiable and even reflects the bevelled styling of the body. I thought six-a-side tuners would be perfect – as Leo said, it makes it easier to tune without reaching around. 

With all these design considerations, I’m looking to make a guitar that the modern player will enjoy, without too many ties to the history of legacy designs. I love a vintage guitar as much as the next player, but those have already been built and are made by many other guitar builders to very high specs. I’m looking to make something a little … different. 

See for yourself

If you get a chance to try out a Sola at a guitar show, you’ll be able to feel and hear exactly how different it is. On the other hand, if you want to visit my workshop, drop me a line and setup a time. 

Hopefully Sola will inspire you to make music the world hasn’t yet heard!

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