Identity Crisis!

Guitar Headstock Design

Besides the body shape of a guitar I think a key part of any guitars identity is it’s headstock design. Perhaps more so than any other musical instrument.

I’ve been so caught up in the construction of the neckstick for my wood bodied resonator guitar project that I kept putting this detail off. I just cut the headstock strait across and started carving the neck leaving room to work with later. The shape would come to me… Well the “aha moment” hasn’t arrived so the headstock “design” on this guitar is relatively dull at the moment – or is it? As I look around and there are so many different ways to address this design feature that I’ve developed a bit of “builders block” on this one…


As my headstock sits now with it’s flat-top hairdo it’s got kind of a classic look ala vintage guitars you run into from time to time of some odd brand or none that you can find at all. Martin has used a “flat-top” style even on current models. Maybe that’s ok? Or should I go with the curvier lines of some of the other major guitar brands like Gibson, Fender, or Taylor guitar? Or how about examples from well known wood bodied resonator guitar builders: Dobro, Beard, or Gretsch? Not straight across, not wavy – more of a simple curve. National? National Guitars are all over the place with their headstock shapes covering the gamut from simple lines to complex curves and slotted headstocks. Slotted headstocks are also a very cool guitar headstock treatment that will be used on another project that’s also in the works.

One of the guitars I have in my corral I think is an early Kay model. An archtop acoustic guitar that with a subtle headstock shape that I like. Similar to what I’ve seen from the resonator guitar builders noted above. I also have a Seagull acoustic with a unique design being narrow and straighter – that would require a design change further upstream so not this time.

dheadD’Angelico headstocks are VERY ornate and while cool looking they are definitely not my style.



Think I need to apply a little Hijinx mojo with this one… what’s a little off and looks like fun?! Time for a beer and my sketchbook!

Please follow me on Twitter to get progress updates on the Hijinx Guitars Wood Bodied Resonator Guitar Project, Artist Spotlights, How-To’s and who know’s what else!


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