to my website
father was a carpenter. No-one could have known my father and not seen
his regard for craftsmanship skills and striving for
as a grammar school boy, I was expected to be something 'better' so
I took a BSc. Botany degree at London
University in 1968 and went, through
a post-graduate year, into biology teaching in 1969.
through the years, woodwork became a very useful hobby ~ sometimes
a paying hobby ~ and led me into writing about
woodwork. I submitted
articles to magazines and found this rewarding and lucrative. Writing
about my projects had the effect of urging
me on to always be pushing
myself and trying something new. So,
over a number of years I have had experience of many aspects of
woodworking... then I tried guitarmaking...
That was over twenty years ago now ~ I found it! ~ I don’t need to
from illness allowed me some time to concentrate on building my first
classical guitar as a piece of therapy.
I was surprised at how well it
worked out; so I made two more and entered them into a competition.
chief judge was a well known instrument maker so I wasn’t expecting
much more than constructive criticism.
What I got was a silver medal and
a gold medal and a great deal of congratulations.
this evidence of some talent I gave up teaching and became a full time
Luthier at the end of 1994.
I suppose I might tell you of the master builders
I have studied under but the fact is that I am completely self-taught.
Never mind that, I am hidebound by no master's prejudices, the instruments
speak for me.
News ~ May 2016
So, after a fair few years, it's farewell to the old website banner heading.
I've aged a bit and technology has moved on a fair bit. The old banner was designed for slow modem downloads
but now that everyone is on broadband, it was time to jazz it up a bit ~ and show how I've aged at the same time!
Due to continuing problems with my email, I have acquired a Gmail account. The address for this is:
and this should be the one you always use, from now on.
Response to a recent commission for a player in Australia:
Rik Middleton has come to Oz in the guise of an elegantly crafted classical guitar
specially made for a Western Australian friend who commented as follows:
“Rik is a very fine luthier and this particular hand-crafted guitar displays his many gifts. The Instrument is constructed
of flamed maple with a spruce top and a rosette of circular rings in the manner of some of Torres’ early guitars. The
recipient specifically requested a Torres style guitar and Rik has produced the goods. The instrument is easy to play
and has Rik’s subtly arced finger-board which makes barring a breeze. The intonation is spot on and the tone is very
refined. This much-loved guitar will be my preferred instrument for many years to come.”
I am now also selling completed guitars
From time to time, I shall also be offering finished guitars for
immediate purchase. Hand built to the same
exacting standards used for
my custom made guitars, these are ideal for the player who needs a
instrument but who is unable to wait for one to be built to
order. This can happen when a treasured
instrument is lost, stolen or damaged and an immediate replacement is required. Watch this space!
I am pleased to announce that
two timbers have now aged sufficiently for me to offer them alongside my
existing options. These are Flamed Mango and Macassar Ebony. If you
are not familiar with the grain
pattern on these, either try Google images or, if you can't visit, ask me for a picture.
I also have some
African and Andaman Island Padauk, which is brightly coloured and is
far as fingerboards go, I shall soon be offering Bog Oak, which is as
black as the best Ebony but adds an Oak medullary ray figure.
from my (all too) rare holidays, I always reply promptly to all e-mail
So, if you do not receive a prompt reply, please feel free to 'phone me
(on the number below).
For existing owners
you use the MENU bar on the left to visit the 'adjustments' page, I
deal with some of the issues you may encounter while playing
one of my
guitars in your own personal style.
This page also carries a guide to fret dressing and information on
cleaning your guitar and some comments on the strings I use ~
and why ~
which may help those of you who do not have a strong, personal preference but enjoyed the original sound of the guitar.
Whilst the information may help you on its own, owners of my guitars
(or prospective owners) should always feel that they can
contact me to
discuss any issues.
Additionally, if you own
one of my guitars, you might like to register your address and serial
number with me as a security back-up.
The contact information is at the bottom of this page.
Over to you ...
better than a quarter century, I was a secondary school biology
teacher, so I spoke to some 150 people a day, shouted at
some of them
and had intellectual conversations with others.
Now, I work alone in my
own workshop. It's a bit like being a hermit. So, not surprisingly, I'm
pleased when people get in touch.
Imagine my delight at getting e-mails
out of the blue, like the unsolicited testimonials at the end of the 'my approach' page.
So please feel free to e-mail me with your thoughts on my guitars,
guitars in general, music, art, politics, religion ~ the Cosmos!
"Rik's guitar is a dream to play!
Made from Spruce and Rosewood I happened upon it by chance.
and stormy afternoon in January 2007 I took refuge in the Spanish Guitar
I decided to play a few concert guitars.
I picked up Rik's guitar never having heard of him.
About three bars
into Una Limosna (by Barrios) it struck me that this was an exceptional
I decided to pay Rik a visit.
He showed me a variety of guitars.
Some were made of very exotic
woods and there certainly was a characteristic 'feel' to his
instruments for the left hand.
The attractive appearance
was a bonus because that aspect means little if the sound won't
work for you!"
His < website > enables you to hear
him play and hear the sound of his Middleton guitar.
Also see: https://youtu.be/Bv5Ej9Mtxxg
I constructed a guitar to order for Colin Chettle who, in addition to
other requirements, needed a left-handed guitar.
Colin visited me on a
number of occasions during the construction of the guitar and took
I felt that it would be interesting to hear what it feels
like to witness a guitar being made especially for you.
So I asked him
to write an article to go with those pictures and the result is < here >
Rik Middleton guitar is my main guitar and has been since I was
introduced to the Middleton range in 2002.
The ease of play is superb
and the guitar helps me attain the kind of expression I need when
The subtlety of tone is rich and warm and the dynamic range
I am proud to be associated with Rik Middleton
Visit Matthew's website < here >
Listen to 'S.L Weiss - Fantasie in C minor' played on a Middleton guitar < here >
If you follow the links from Roger's website < Guitar Now
> you will see him playing three of his own compositions on his
acquired Middleton guitar.
Please remember that the sound you
hear is somewhat limited by this method of presentation and the often
of a computer's sound system.
to contact me
me on: 02477 677964 (UK)
International: +44 2477 677964