When we launched our previous site, there was a plan for a blog – newsy bits about what was going on in the shop.  Instead, it turned into a collection  of longer articles, the first of which was Frogs in the Studio –  Scott Ainslie’s  interview with then Imaginary Road Studios engineer Corin Nelsen on how Froggy Bottom Guitars behave in the studio. That conversation took place as he was preparing an extensive article on Froggy Bottom Guitars, published in the Fall issue of The Fretboard Journal (2010). Space considerations kept this material out of the Journal’s pages, so we thought we’d provide it here.

We hope to build up a body of information that is useful and interesting for Froggy Bottom owners and others. Your contributions will be gratefully received.   While not technically a blog, we will present them in an archive on this page with new material appearing at the top.

Jack MacKay - FBG Model M

Player Profile: Jack MacKay

In 1975, in high school, Jack bought his first guitar sight unseen through the mail:  an Ovation Legend for $329.

“I thought it was a good thing when it came. It seemed like a nice guitar until I touched a Martin D-28 in a store in Syracuse. I went: ‘Oh…..wood…’

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dog waiting in car

Hot Cars and Guitars

Summer Temperatures in Cars

Heat in vehicles kills kids, dogs, and destroys cherished instruments every summer. Because of the human deaths, a variety of studies have been done that are instructive.

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Cleaning Your Guitar

The Care & Feeding of Froggy Bottom Guitars
Part III: Cleaning and Protecting Fingerboards and Bridges

Given an intact finish, the outside of the guitar is reasonably well protected and, with a sound hole cover humidifier in dry environments, will stabilize the interior raw surfaces of the instruments.

But, humidifying the inside of the body of the guitar, however, isn’t going to help protect the fingerboard or the bridge, which are unfinished.

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Humidity Basics

The Care & Feeding of Froggy Bottom Guitars
Part II: Humidity Basics: Protecting the Instrument Body

These are not fragile instruments; they are responsive. There are a lot of Froggy Bottom Guitars out there in the world. They move around and respond to their environments as they respond to your touch. We can’t limit their environmental responsiveness without sacrificing their musical responsiveness.

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froggy bottom guitar and little girl

Care and Feeding

Once placed in your hands, the care and maintenance of these fine instruments will be a part of the continuing joy and responsibility that comes with owning, playing and passing them on into the hands of the next generation of owners and players.

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Every Froggy Bottom guitar neck is hand carved

Neck Carving Workshop

In mid-April, Froggy Bottom Guitar founder Michael Millard presented a one-day workshop with a dozen budding guitar builders at Brattleboro’s new Whetstone School of Lutherie. Michael brought five roughed out guitar necks and spent the day hand-shaping them – teaching, musing, puzzling, and chatting over the philosophy and techniques involved in shaping and finishing necks at Froggy Bottom Guitars.

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launching Tethys at the boatyard

Wooden boats

In preparation for an article for the Fretboard Journal, Scott Ainslie interviewed 14 people associated with Froggy Bottom Guitars: builders, repairmen, regular players, recording engineers and artists.

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Hans Anderson with his Froggy Bottom H12

Player Profile: Hans Andersson

A medical doctor and director of a clinical genetic center in New Orleans, Hans Andersson fell in love with a Froggy Bottom in Michael’s shop in 2000. He took delivery of his Froggy Bottom H-12 grand concert guitar in December of that year. Hans was stranded in Vermont with us at Michael’s when Katrina hit and the levees failed in New Orleans in August, 2005. After five or six days, his wife and son were finally air-lifted off the Tulane Medical Center roof and bussed to Texas. We worried through those days with him. We’re friends.

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corin nelsen

Frogs in the Studio

Scott Ainslie speaks with Imaginary Road Studios engineer Corin Nelsen (shown here) about recording Froggy Bottom Guitars.

When engineer Corin Nelsen and I were mixing my latest CD at Imaginary Road Studios here in Vermont, Corin pulled up my first track, solo-ed the guitar tracks and listened intently. He made one or two minor EQ adjustments and turned to me:

“What guitar is that?”

“That’s the Froggy Bottom,” I said.

 “I knew it,” Corin replied.

This seemed to be more than just a lucky guess. And I wanted to know exactly how he knew that? Here’s what he said:

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Player Profile: Will Ackerman

Will is well known as the founder of Windham Hill Records, a producer for more than 70 artists – among them George Winston and Michael Hedges – with multiple platinum and gold records to his credit, and a Grammy award winning instrumentalist, recording artist and composer.

Will has a considerable stable of Froggy Bottoms, including a full sized F-14 (koa / German spruce), two Model Ks (Madagascar rosewood / Adirondack spruce), two jumbo East Indian rosewood model B Baritones (one Sitka topped, one Adirondack topped), and a grand concert H-12 (Brazilian rosewood / German spruce).

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