Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs)

Where did the name “Froggy Bottom” come from?

Not an anatomical reference, the “froggy bottom” refers to the river bottom land which flooded predictably every spring and was relegated to former slaves and sharecroppers. It was where the earliest juke joints sprang up and where the Blues were born.

Do you have guitars in stock?

Sometimes but rarely. Virtually everything we build is made-to-order, and we seldom have finished instruments waiting to be shipped. We do build special instruments to sell from the shop.  These are our featured guitars.  When available, these will be posted to this site.

What type of warranty do you offer?

Our guitars come with a limited lifetime warranty to the original owner. This warranty covers defects in materials or original workmanship, as well as things like neck resets when they don’t result from obvious extreme neglect.

Our warranty does NOT cover repairs or service required by normal use or wear, accident, abuse, neglect, lacquer checking, or damages due to exposure to extremes of temperature or humidity. Our warranty also does not cover repairs performed by anyone other than Froggy Bottom Guitars personnel.

How shall I ship my guitar?

Shipping is always the responsibility of the owner. We recommend insuring shipped instruments for their full replacement value. After shipping many hundreds of guitars, we recommend that you ship your instruments with FedEx. We do NOT recommend shipping instruments with UPS under any circumstances.

Another note on shipping: should your instrument have a battery in the body of the guitar, we strongly recommend that you remove it and safely package it well-away from the instrument. A lose battery crashing around on the inside the soundbox of a finely crafted guitar as it’s tossed around in shipment or by airport baggage personnel can cause  a death of a thousand cuts for the instrument. We’ve seen it. It ain’t pretty. Take the batteries and any other accessories (the things that live in your case pocket) out before shipping.

Strings should always be completely slacked and the headstock should be immobilized with firmly packed balled-up newspaper for shipping. Use a good quality cardboard carton and fill all space in the carton with either foam peanuts, balled-up newspaper, or the like.

Can you build a custom neck for me?

All Froggy Bottom Guitar necks are hand-carved to the owner’s specifications. Variations in nut width or string spacing at the bridge can be made at no extra charge on any of our guitars. We are also happy to accommodate a wide range of preferences for neck profile on custom ordered guitars.

What gauge strings should I use?

All of our smaller guitars (up to and including Grand Concert, ie. H-12 or M) are braced for light gauge (.012 – .054) strings.  Use of heavier gauges can damage these guitars and does void the warranty.

Our full-sized models and jumbo guitars are built to accommodate either light or medium gauge strings. With these larger models, the choice is yours.

What type of strings do you recommend?

In the shop, we currently string all our guitars with John Pearse strings. We love them. You may like other strings, and different instruments sometimes “prefer” one string brand over another. A little experimenting with string brands will quickly confirm if you or your guitar have a favorite.

What are your recommendations for amplifying my guitar?

There is little that can be said on this topic that will hold across every player, instrument, or performance situation. Given that, there is really nothing that compares to a good microphone (or two) in front of a great guitar. Nothing.

But for some players and performance settings, an on board pick up may be part of the best solution.

In these matters, we err on the side of simplicity and quality: we favor systems that require the least permanent modification of the instrument. We recommend both Headway or K&K pickups. Either performs well. The “right” choice for amplification is often arrived at through a process that entirely depends on having the player and instrument together. We do try to keep batteries out of guitars (see our comments on shipping instruments above).

What finish do you use on Froggy Bottom Guitars?

Our guitars are finished with a catalyzed urethane finish. We switched to this material in 2007 after over thirty-five years of using nitrocellulose laquer. We find the modern finish superior in essentially all ways.

How should I clean my guitar?

Gently. Avoid polishes containing silicone, abrasives, or wax. A small amount of moisture is okay for removing grime, but moisture should never be used in areas where the lacquer is cracked or damaged in any way. Always use a soft, clean cloth.