Beginning at a very young age, Andy Danser was introduced to the delights of wood working as he spent countless hours in his father’s studio. For 25 years George Danser, Andy’s father, owned a stained glass business with an adjoining woodshop where Andy, his twin brother Matt, and their father built futon frames, wooden go carts, canoes, bows and arrows, and other small projects.
Andy received his first guitar at 8 years of age and was completely seduced by it’s beauty and sound. After studying and playing the instrument religiously over the next decade, Andy decided he wanted a more intimate knowledge of this wonderful instrument and the principles and theory that went into it’s construction.
Having bought every book he could on the history, players, and fabrication of the guitar, Andy decided to travel to Oshawa, Canada to study classical guitar making with the renowned Luthier Sergei DeJonge. During this month-long course, Andy completed his first instrument with fantastic results. From the moment Andy heard the first few notes on that guitar his life’s path was revealed.
Soon after returning from Canada, Andy moved to New England where he spent six months working as an assistant at Leed’s Guitar Makers School in Northampton, MA. During this time, Andy decided that he wanted the credentials of an actual degree on the subject of guitar making so he enrolled in the two year Post-Graduate course in guitar building at Newark and Sherwood College in Newark, England. Andy was able to complete all the course work in a year and built four guitars earning his ASET Level 2 and 3 Certificates in guitar construction.
Upon returning stateside, Andy moved to the Big Apple and took a part time job working as a repairman at First Flight Music in the lower east side of Manhattan. On the days that he was not working at the shop, Andy was lucky enough to be accepted as apprentice to one of NYC’s top Luthiers: Robert M. Jones. While under the tutelage of Mr. Jones, Andy was afforded the opportunity to meet and work on the guitars of many of America’s most talented guitarists and session players. Thanks to these folks’ exacting and precise requirements in their instruments’ playability, Andy learned how to determine the optimum set-up for each artist’s style, method of string attack, and ultimate feel. During this apprenticeship Andy also learned the fundamentals and methods of most fretted instrument repairs.
Given the demand and need of quality repair work, Andy moved back to his hometown of Durham, NC in October of 2006 to open Danser Guitar Works. Soon after Andy’s move south, his twin brother Matthew took a job building guitars for Collings Guitar Company in Austin, TX. After working for Bill Collings for over 4 years Matthew now has established himself as an independent luthier of fine Steel Stringed guitars and can be found at www.danserguitars.com.