Dave Matthews Custom 12 String Acoustic Guitar

Downloading Dave Matthews’ 12 String Guitar from the Internet



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Dave Matthews needs a guitar well beyond the average because it is his tool for making a living, and not a bad one at that. I too dreamed of owning a guitar that would knock a few ceiling tiles from Carnegie Hall with it’s room-filling sound, but now that I am a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines and my weekly living allowance is equivalent to what some might spend on a Buffy the Vampire Slayer dvd box set I realize I must be more resourceful. This is the story of how I downloaded Dave Matthews’ guitar from the internet. And you’d be surprised that I didn’t need DSL, I did it with a crackling dial up connection and an amazing guitar maker named Jun Reputana in the province of Bohol. If you want to hear what the guitars sound like, just click the playlist below:

[hmp_player playlist=’12 _String _Music’]

  • Dave Matthews Band Live in Charlottesville, Virginia

    Dave Matthews Band Live in Charlottesville, Virginia
    If you're gonna be a real musician, you're gonna need a proper guitar. In this grainy cell phone photo, Dave Matthews rocks the hometown crowd in Charlottesville, Virginia. When I left Virginia in January 2004, I knew I needed to find a way to keep playing music while I was a volunteer in the Peace Corps Philippines program. It took a few weeks to find the answer, and as it turned out the search for a legendary Filipino guitar maker would be one of the first of many amazing experiences I had in the Philippines.

  • Jun Reputana, Bohol, Philippines

    Jun Reputana, Bohol, Philippines
    Meet Jun Reputana, one of the finest guitar makers in the Philippines. I was introduced to him by John, his high school buddy (and Peace Corps staff member). I asked Jun if he could build me a guitar like the one Dave Matthews plays. At the time, Jun hadn't heard of Dave Matthews, but he told me if I could make a pattern of half of the guitar body he could build anything using only his hand tools and a lifetime of guitar making experience. The guitar would be made entirely from locally available materials from the island of Bohol. The only wood from the Philippines that's suitable for building guitars is from the jackfruit tree. With a smile and a handshake Jun agreed to give it a shot. On that day we began the process that would build the first guitar to be downloaded from the internet that I've ever heard of.

  • Jackfruit at the Dumaguete Public Market

    Jackfruit at the Dumaguete Public Market
    Can you play a 'C' chord with this thing? The fruit from the jackfruit tree is huge, spiky, and pretty tasty. The wood is the best option for building instruments in the Philippines. In terms of taste thouh, I'd have my next guitar made from a mango tree! Photo by Kristin Gilliss.

  • First Guitar Jam for Tommy

    First Guitar Jam for Tommy
    I think I must have always wanted to play the guitar--that's why it was so difficult to imagine going two years without an instrument while I was in the Philippines...

  • Guitar Pattern for Taylor W65 12 String Jumbo

    Guitar Pattern for Taylor W65 12 String Jumbo
    To make the pattern Jun would need, I found a nice photo of the guitar on the internet and used Adobe Illustrator to trace a pattern over the shape. Once the pattern was created I enlarged it to life size in Photoshop and printed it out on three sheets of ordinary 8.5 x 11 inch paper. It was then I realized how large this guitar really was going to be if this worked.

  • Sunset at Jun's Guitar Shop

    Sunset at Jun's Guitar Shop
    Jun's guitar workshop can be a little tough to find. Located at the end of a dirt road which winds through mangrove flats just outside Tagbilaran City, most of Jun's neighbors are fishermen, not musicians. This photo was taken at sunset just a short walk from Jun's guitar shop on the island of Bohol.

  • Jun's Guitar Shop

    Jun's Guitar Shop
    When you walk into Jun's guitar shop, you'll find instruments everywhere, all in different stages of completion. The cheerful light in the afternoons must be inspiring for Jun when he's creating his instruments.

  • Taylor W65 Jumbo Guitar Pattern

    Taylor W65 Jumbo Guitar Pattern
    Here's the paper pattern printed out for Jun. You can see the three pieces of printer paper it took to fit the whole thing in.

  • Handmade Taylor W65 12 String Jumbo Pattern

    Handmade Taylor W65 12 String Jumbo Pattern
    Jun took the paper cutout I had made from the downloaded guitar picture and used it to make a wooden pattern that would become the body of the developing guitar.

  • Hand Tools in Jun's Guitar Workshop

    Hand Tools in Jun's Guitar Workshop
    The handsaw that Jun uses to cut the planks that will form the resonating back and front of the guitar so crucial to the finished sound of the instrument.

  • Jackfruit Planks in Jun's Guitar Workshop

    Jackfruit Planks in Jun's Guitar Workshop
    You can see the aged jackfruit planks that Jun uses to build his instruments beside the guitar that Kris is picking up in this photo. The natural color of the wood is very yellow, so a walnut colored stain was used to approximate the claro walnut wood that Dave Matthews' Taylor W65 Jumbo is made from.

  • Handmade Guitars in Jun's Workshop

    Handmade Guitars in Jun's Workshop
    One of the many cool things about visiting Jun's guitar workshop is seeing how everything is totally handmade. Here you can see how a finished guitar is bound with cords while it dries.

  • Planks of Jackfruit Wood for Instruments

    Planks of Jackfruit Wood for Instruments
    More instrument wood waiting to for its chance to be on the world stage.

  • Wooden Planks for a New Guitar

    Wooden Planks for a New Guitar
    Here you can see how Jun glues the handcut planks of jackfruit wood together to form the backs and fronts of his guitars.

  • Sunny Afternoon in Jun's Guitar Workshop

    Sunny Afternoon in Jun's Guitar Workshop
    A sunny afternoon in Jun's guitar workshop in the Manga district outside Tagbilaran, Bohol.

  • Acoustic Guitar Close-up at Jun's Workshop

    Acoustic Guitar Close-up at Jun's Workshop
    Here's another view of Jun's guitar-making skeels.

  • Wooden Guitar Necks at Jun's Shop

    Wooden Guitar Necks at Jun's Shop
    Roughly formed guitar necks await the tedious hand carving that will prepare them to be played for years to come.

  • The Foundation of Tommy's 12-String Jumbo Guitar

    The Foundation of Tommy's 12-String Jumbo Guitar
    It may take some imagination, but this is the back of my guitar at its earliest phase. The precisely cut planks of jackfruit wood are glued together and then the pattern is used to trace out the final curves of the guitar. At this point, I really knew this was going to be a huge instrument.

  • Handmade Guitar Frame Coming Together

    Handmade Guitar Frame Coming Together
    Once the front and back of the guitar were cut out from the jackfruit planks, the braces that control the resonance and tone of the finished instrument are set in a precise 'X' shaped pattern. The small splints of wood keep steady pressure on the frame as it cures. Note the outline of the sound hole before it has been cut out of the wood. Jun uses a regular geometry compass to trace the sound hole pattern.

  • Drying Guitar Braces

    Drying Guitar Braces
    Here's another angle on the drying guitar braces at Jun's workshop.

  • The Finished Jumbo 12-String Acoustic Guitar

    The Finished Jumbo 12-String Acoustic Guitar
    The next time I stopped by to see the guitar, it was basically done. And by done I mean Jun had done it! I was amazed that he was able to take that simple paper pattern and turn it into something approximating the sound of a pipe organ with the beauty and craftsmanship of antique furniture.

  • Waiting for a Set of Strings

    Waiting for a Set of Strings
    Another angle on the Taylor W65 jumbo acoustic built by Filipino guitar maker Jun Reputana. Pretty sweet, huh?

  • Black Pearl Inlay on a Taylor W65 Acoustic Guitar Replica

    Black Pearl Inlay on a Taylor W65 Acoustic Guitar Replica
    Jun painstakingly inlaid the entire edge of the guitar and the sound hole with handcut pieces of black pearl.

  • Black Pearl Guitar Inlay

    Black Pearl Guitar Inlay
    Each little piece of black pearl that lines the edge of the 12 string was hand cut from indigenous shells and inlaid into the wood. Jun combed the tidal flat across the dirt road from his guitar workshop to find the shells.

  • Playing Jun's Acoustic 12 String

    Playing Jun's Acoustic 12 String
    Enough talk, it's time to actually play the guitar. Photo by Daniel Bowman Simon.

  • Acoustic Jam at Jun's Guitar Workshop

    Acoustic Jam at Jun's Guitar Workshop
    ...And that turned into a regular jam session in Jun's workshop. Photo by Daniel Bowman Simon.

  • Jun's Vintage Band Photo

    Jun's Vintage Band Photo
    Jun used to be in a band back in the day, so we asked him to perform for our Peace Corps group swearing in ceremony. He said he would only do it if his son and a few of us from our Peace Corps group would play with him. We agreed.

  • Performing at the Peace Corps Batch 263 Swearing-In Ceremony

    Performing at the Peace Corps Batch 263 Swearing-In Ceremony
    Jun played his latest 12 string masterpiece for the Peace Corps Group 263 swearing in ceremony performance. We played two songs; one of them a traditional song in tagalog (the national language of the Philippines), the other a Styx cover song called 'Boat On The River' that most people thought Jun had written. I had never heard the song until I learned it from Jun, but he rocked the house with it. Photo by Daniel Bowman Simon.

  • The Peace Corps Village People

    The Peace Corps Village People
    The first time I got to play the 12 string on stage I was wearing a grass skirt from a traditional Visayan dance performance and we played one of the silliest songs I've ever written--'The Dugong Song'. I taught the band how to play it before the show, and they really made it work. The song had became an anthem during our training, so lots of people got up on stage for the first 'full band' performance. The lyrics pretty simple, you just repeat 'Dugong, Dugong, Dugong, Dugong' over a 'F, G, C' chord progression. There's a few rhythm changes, but otherwise that's all there is to it. The acting ambassador from the U.S. Embassy in Manila was in the audience and probably wondering what the hell was happening onstage. Photo by Daniel Bowman Simon.

  • Peace Corps Village People

    Peace Corps Village People
    Ahem, not sure how to describe what's happening in this shot except to say that the Village People called and they want their outfits back.

  • Dugong Song Encore

    Dugong Song Encore
    Since one performance of the Dugong Song is never enough, we played an encore with the band at the end of the night. In this photo we're playing the 'Dirty Dugong Song' which is a standard blues progression with off-color lyrics (sorry can't print 'em here!). The house was really rocking at this point, but they didn't have a mike stand so this band member in the Iverson jersey kindly volunteered to hold the mike for me. He would have probably preferred some hip hop covers by Eminem or Fitty Cent, but he was a good sport. By the way, I'm not really angry here, just getting into the tune.Photo by Daniel Bowman Simon.

  • Live at Kilum Kilum

    Live at Kilum Kilum
    Apparently word got out about the Dugong song performance at our swearing in ceremony because two nights later we were onstage again and teaching another band how to play it. This shot is from Kilum Kilum, the favorite night spot for Peace Corps Batch 263. I missed playing Jun's guitar, but it is always fun to be on stage playing for people so we had to do it. Photo by Daniel Bowman Simon (by the way Daniel used to do concert photos for bands like David Bowie, Jane's Addiction, and oddly Britney Spears, so he made us all look like we knew what we were doing on stage.

  • Peace Corps Volunteers Onstage at Kilum Kilum in Tagbilaran

    Peace Corps Volunteers Onstage at Kilum Kilum in Tagbilaran
    Like I said, the song became an unofficial anthem that we all would sing. It really didn't work very well when it's just me singing 'Dugong, Dugong, Dugong, Dugong', so luckily there were a few more mikes on stage. Photo by Daniel Bowman Simon.

  • Kilum Kilum Encore

    Kilum Kilum Encore
    Everyone at the club put up with the Dugong Song so we encored again with the blues-inspired 'Dirty Dugong Song'. The band seemed to have fun with it too. Photo by Daniel Bowman Simon.

  • Well, we didn't get booed                             off the stage, so we took a quick bow and went back                             to being spectators. <em>Photo by <a href=

    Well, we didn't get booed off the stage, so we took a quick bow and went back to being spectators. Photo by Well, we didn't get booed off the stage, so we took a quick bow and went back to being spectators. Photo by Daniel Bowman Simon.

  • Difference between Six string and Twelve String Guitar

    Difference between Six string and Twelve String Guitar
    Just in case you were wondering what the difference between a 12 string guitar and a 6 string guitar is, a 12 string is tuned the same as the six string E-A-D-G-B-E (from left to right) but there are two strings for each note. On the four heaviest strings (E-A-D-G) the second string is of a lesser diameter so that the smaller string harmonizes at a different pitch to the larger string. The effect is that the guitar has a very full tone--like a chorus effect. Click the links above to hear some samples of what the guitar sounds like.

  • Dave Matthews 12 String Guitar built in the Philippines - Acoustic Guitar Magazine April 2005

    Dave Matthews 12 String Guitar built in the Philippines - Acoustic Guitar Magazine April 2005
    The whole experience of learning about Filipino culture and working on the guitar with Jun had turned out to be a pretty nice story so I pitched it to the editors of Acoustic Guitar magazine back in America and they decided to print it.

  • Jun's Workshop Gets Busy

    Jun's Workshop Gets Busy
    After the article came out, it brought a lot of attention to Jun's amazing guitar making skills and he got tons of orders from people all over the world (as well as a lot of Peace Corps volunteers).

  • Vintage Jackfruit Plank

    Vintage Jackfruit Plank
    When I went back to Jun's workshop to bring him a copy of the magazine article, he showed me this vintage plank of jackfruit wood that he'd been saving for a very special instrument. It's actually one of the foundation supports of his family's ancestral home which was built in the late 1800's. This meant that this jackfruit had aged for more than 100 years! And when it comes to instruments, it's best to build with wood that's had time to age for a long time. Jun and I talked about building a new guitar with this heirloom wood. Jun was about to do an encore on his masterful 12-string performance!

  • Antique Jackfruit Acoustic 12-string Guitar

    Antique Jackfruit Acoustic 12-string Guitar
    I wasn't able to make it over to Jun's shop while he was working on the new 12-string with the vinage jackfruit wood, but a few weeks after we agreed to do another guitar, he called me up to let me know it was finished. Here you can see the finished masterpiece as well as a double-neck 6-string / 12-string combo that Jun built for one of his new customers in America who heard about him through the article in Acoustic Guitar.

  • Vintage Taylor W-65 12-String Acoustic Replica Guitar

    Vintage Taylor W-65 12-String Acoustic Replica Guitar
    Because of the exquisite beauty of Jun's antique jackfruit plank, we both decided it would be best to let the natural color of the wood shine through so Jun used only a clear-coat varnish to finish the instrument.

  • Jun's 12 String Masterpiece

    Jun's 12 String Masterpiece
    The first guitar Jun made for me what amazing, but with this one he really outdid himself. This instrument is like a piece of antique furniture with every handmade detail shining through with exquisite beauty.

  • 12 String Acoustic Guitar Close-up

    12 String Acoustic Guitar Close-up
    Close-up view of Jun Reputana's custom acoustic 12-String guitar replica of Dave Matthews' Taylor W65 Jumbo guitar.

  • 12 String Acoustic Guitar Close-up

    12 String Acoustic Guitar Close-up
    Close-up view of Jun Reputana's custom acoustic 12-String guitar replica of Dave Matthews' Taylor W65 Jumbo guitar.

  • 12 String Acoustic Guitar Close-up

    12 String Acoustic Guitar Close-up
    Close-up view of Jun Reputana's custom acoustic 12-String guitar replica of Dave Matthews' Taylor W65 Jumbo guitar built with vintage jackfruit wood.

  • 12 String Acoustic Guitar Close-up

    12 String Acoustic Guitar Close-up
    Close-up view of Jun Reputana's custom acoustic 12-String guitar replica of Dave Matthews' Taylor W65 Jumbo guitar.

  • 12 String Acoustic Guitar Close-up

    12 String Acoustic Guitar Close-up
    Close-up view of Jun Reputana's custom acoustic 12-String guitar replica of Dave Matthews' Taylor W65 Jumbo guitar.

  • Jam at Jun's House

    Jam at Jun's House
    After dinner with Jun's family, it's always time to play some music at Casa Reputana.

  • Jun's Son on the Drums

    Jun's Son on the Drums
    Jun's family are very musically talented with access to so many amazing instruments around them. Here's Jun's youngest laying down a solid beat on the drums.

  • Jun's Family Jam

    Jun's Family Jam
    We played a few songs to cap off the night at Jun's house.

  • Jun's Neighborhood Jam

    Jun's Neighborhood Jam
    The neighbors heard us rocking out at Jun's house, so a few stopped by to check out what was going on.


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