About the Luthier: David Schramm is the son of a college business professor and an artist. At an early age he began musical studies of the violin, piano, trumpet, trombone, and baritone horn. Growing up he built his own toys out of wood and had a fascination with wood carving.
Here are some photos of his early wood carvings when he was 10 years old.
From the mid 1970's to the early 1980's Mr. Schramm had a strong interest in making radio controlled gliders, World War II model aircraft, skateboarding, bicycle motocross, ice hockey, and hiking.
It wasn't until his second year of college that he picked up the guitar. He excelled quickly on the instrument and was encouraged to pursue serious studies. In the mid 1980's he moved to southern California to study classical guitar under Professor Ronald Purcell at California State University Northridge. It was there that he established relationships with some of the world's finest guitarist.
My first semester of college at CSUN. To my left is my roommate, Keith Calmes, who went on to get a masters at Juilliard and phd from USC.
In Mr. Schramm's final year of study he began to build guitars out of his dorm room on 9500 Zelzah Avenue. "I was very secretive about my activities so that I would not get kicked out!", says Mr. Schramm. Just look at this photo and you'll see why!
Below is a photo of Prof. Ron Purcell, the first "Schramm" guitar, and David Schramm.
"I received a lot of encouragement from artist who played those first guitars." Those artist include Ron Purcell, Ron Borczon, Greg Newton, Paul McGuffin, Ted Owens, Ruben Delgado, Scott Montgomery, Jordan Charnofsky, Keith Calmes, Trevin Pinto,Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Oscar Ghiglia, Scott Tennant, Bill Kanengiser, Nikita Koshkin, Rico Stover, David Russell, Anatoliy Olshanskiy, Vladimir Ustinov, and Michael Chapdelaine. It was Mr. Chapdelaine's comment that helped me to make the decision to go from hobby builder to professional. He said, "David, I think you found your niche!" From that day on I have been making my living building classical and flamenco guitars.
"I am basically self taught. In the early days I spent countless hours reading and studying everything I could find about instrument making. I've designed and built hundreds of guitars on my cerebral drawing board. That type of mental preplay is very important. I've been fortunate to have developed friendships with such notable luthiers as John and William Gilbert and Jose Oribe who have been very helpful and supportive of my work."
Mr. Schramm now lives in Clovis, California with his wife and two daughters. Besides building guitars he teaches beginning guitar part time at Fresno City College, gives lectures on guitarmaking, and is an active member of the Fresno Central Seventh Day Adventist Church Men's Chourus. He welcomes visitors to his shop Sunday through Friday. Sunset Friday to sunset Saturday (the Lord's Sabbath) is set aside for family worship.
In December 2005 David Schramm completed his M.A in Music Performance with a 4.0 GPA at CSUF while working as an adjunct guitar instructor at Fresno City College and full-time luthier. In 2003 Mr.Schramm formed the San Joaquin Valley Guitar Society, Inc. and has served as its president since his first semester of graduate school. The SJVGS, Inc. has been active in community outreach via master classes, scholarships, education, and concerts given by guest artists in the Fresno area. Schramm’s graduate work was honored by having his research paper, “The Definitive Elements of the Hermann Hauser Spanish Guitar,” reviewed by the Hauser family. Hermann Hauser III published the scholarly work on their prestigious web site. Schramm at the 2004 Fresno Guitar Panorama presented this research paper in lecture form. Schramm authored a self-published CD-rom entitled, “How to Make a Hauser Guitar,” that includes his Hauser research paper, and has sold over 500 copies worldwide. Schramm made it a priority to write, arrange, and perform ensemble music as he participated in the CSUF guitar ensemble each semester. In 2005 Dr. Ron Purcell of CSU Northridge, world-renowned guitar historian and pedagogue, selected Schramm to oversee the historic guitar display at the celebration of the International Guitar Research Archive, the world research center for classical guitar. Due to his outstanding efforts as a graduate student he was nominated by the music faculty for the department of Arts and Humanities Dean's Medal at CSUF.
Master of Arts Fall 2005, 4.0 gpa California State University, Fresno.
Bachelor of Music—1998 California State University, Northridge.
George Sakellariou 2004-Present
Corey Whitehead 2003-2005
Juan Serrano 1987, 2003-2004
Scott Tennant 1990-1991
Ron Purcell 1987-1993
Eric Jones 1986-1987
Scott Montgomery 1983-1986
2005-Benjamin Verdery, Daniel Boring, Lito and Celino Romero, Steve Thachuk
2004- William Kanengiser, George Sakellariou, Stephen Robinson, Michael Chapdelaine, Nicholas Goluses
1992- David Starobin, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, & Roberto Aussel.
1991-Ricardo Cobo, & Stephen Robinson
1990-Pepe Romero, David Tanenbaum, Michael Chapdelaine & Adam Holzman
1989-Carlos Barbosa-Lima, John Duarte & Arne Brattland
1987-David Leisner, Adam Holzman, & Jeffrey Van
1986-Michael Lorimer, & George Sakellariou
1985- George Sakellariou
2006 Awarded Dean's Scholarship for CSU Summer Arts
2005 Awarded Dean’s Scholarship for CSU Summer Arts Solo Guitar Playing course.
2004 CSU Summer Arts Scholarship for Solo Guitar Playing course.
2005 Built and donated a guitar to the American Guitar Society in honor of their 80th anniversary.
2005 Assisted curators for the display of rare guitars along with donated AGS guitar and guitar parts to be viewed at CSU, Northridge Oviatt Library gallery feature titled, “Historic Vibrations: The Oviatt Library Celebrates the Guitar.” September 12- November 11, 2005.
2005 Performed the “Romancero Gitano” for guitar and Choir by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco with the CSUF Concert Choir.
2005 Performed the “Romancero Gitano” for guitar and Choir by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco with the CSUF Concert Choir for recruitment tour.
2004 Member of the CSUF New Music Ensemble that debuted new works by graduate and undergraduate student composers at CSUF under the guidance of Dr.Robert Stizich.
2004 Graduate research paper on “The Definitive Elements of the Hermann Hauser Spanish Guitar” published by the Hauser family.
2004 Co-Director for the Fresno Guitar Panorama.
2004 Guest lecturer at the Fresno Guitar Panorama, “The Definitive Elements of the Hermann Hauser Spanish Guitar.”
2004 Performed excerpts from the “Romancero Gitano” for guitar and Choir by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco with Clovis West High school Concert Choir, Concert Hall CSU, Fresno.
2003 to 2005 Graduate studies at CSU, Fresno. 4.00 gpa. Honored as top graduate in the music department.
2002 to present President of San Joaquin Valley Guitar Society, Inc. 501c3
2002 Co-Founder of the San Joaquin Valley Guitar Society, Inc. 501c3
2002 to present Founded “Online Apprentice” Internet guitar making school. Instructor and web master.
1998 to present- Adjunct guitar instructor at Fresno City College.
2002 Performed the “Romancero Gitano”for guitar and Choir by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco with the Fresno City Singers, Wahlberg Hall CSU, Fresno.
2001 Featured luthier for the November issue of Mel Bay’s Guitar Sessions web magazine.
2000 Contributor to the book “Custom Guitars”, page 64
2000 Opening performer for the Fresno Guitar Festival held at CSU, Fresno.
1999 Completed John and William Gilbert’s class on guitarmaking at the American School of Lutherie in Healdsburg, Ca
1998 Featured lecturer for the Northern California Association of Luthiers on rosette making
1996-1997 Member of the South Bay Guitar Society Board of Directors.
1995 Organized Luthier’s Workshops for the GFA Festival featuring John Gilbert and Rick Turner
1993 First authorized American luthier to build the G.R.A.N. guitar
(Guitar Russian Acoustically New)
1990-1991 Assisted Dr.Ron Purcell with cataloging music for the International Guitar Research Archive.
President and Co-founder—2002-Present. San Joaquin Valley Guitar Society, Inc., 501c3
Board Member—1996-1997. South Bay Guitar Society
School Board Member—2002-2004. Fresno Adventist Academy
Worship and Music Committee Chairman—2002-2008.Fresno Central Seventh-day Adventist Church
Video Ministry Committee Co-Chairman—2003-2004. Fresno Central Seventh-day Adventist Church
Certificates and Memberships
Certificate of completion for "Guitarmaking" with John and William Gilbert (54K)
Membership in The Guild of American Luthiers since 1993 (72K)
Sound the luthier is seeking: I have found that one of the most difficult things to do in this business is to discribe the sound of a guitar. In fact, I feel it is impossible to do so. Guitars sound and play differently from person to person. I try to avoid the "Salon" style advertising hype. So, with that in mind, I will outline some of my goals.