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Mule Resonator Guitar Homepage

Mule Resonator Guitars

Custom handmade resonator guitars

My name is Matt Eich and I,  along with my brother Phil and Adam Smith, build handmade steel and brass bodied single cone and tricone resonator guitars.  After witnessing Kelly Joe Phelps play his resonator at a  show here in Michigan I left wondering if I could use my guitar making skills I learned at Huss and Dalton Guitars to make metal bodied resonators.  They are just so much guitar: volume, range of tone, look- and potential. I wanted to do them differently.  I wanted them to sound more guitar like, meaning more warmth and low end. I also wanted them to look the materials they were made from- the raw steel and brass, with a patina I've developed over the years.  I'm so excited to be able to offer them to players. Options like a P90 pickup, a tricone in a single cone body like the very first National guitars... I'm having the time of my life building these instruments and hearing what players like Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, Kelly Joe, Charlie Parr, Jeffrey Foucault, Jason Dennie, Jay Lapp and so many more players I've had the pleasure to get to know during the building process.   When you send an e-mail, you get me. My brother Phil will send build pictures as your guitar goes through the work.  That's part of the experience and story. I'm happy you're here and if you have any questions please e-mail me at muleresonators@gmail.com

For pictures of our resonator guitars, click here.

For sound samples of our resonator guitar options, click here.

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The Mule Blog

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13 Sep 2017

Strength/weakness

Your strengths got you where you are but they are not what’s keeping you from where you want to be. Working alongside them is rewarding work and it comes naturally. That work shows you where you want to go. Give priority for a time to working on your weaknesses. That’s the real bang-for-your-buck labor. It’s courageous work- there are feelings of ineptitude and failure there. It’s where there’s the most to learn. Maybe waking up early and working long comes naturally, but you’re bad at making efficient decisions, don’t know the questions to ask, or afraid of risk involved with trying to get past the grind. Maybe creativity comes naturally so you hole up in your shop with endless drawings and genuinely great new ideas, but nothing gets finished or is tested by the people that support you in your work. What’s hardest? Do that first.

11 Sep 2017

Build a bigger pool

One of the benefits of building resonators from the “make a living” sense is that the pool of competition is much smaller. The group of builders in the world doing metal bodied resonators is small indeed, I can count them on one hand. The disadvantage that goes along with it of course is that the pool of prospective buyers is much smaller. Most guitar players know what a resonator is but haven’t even seen one in person. The warning I received, from credible and non credible sources, in the beginning said that I may soon outgrow the demand. With the wait list hanging around at 100 guitars that does not seem to be the case. We have talked about that and I believe that part of the reason is that we are building a bigger pool. I get frequent emails that “this will be my first resonator guitar”. That’s exciting-the whole idea of Mule was to expand the tonal range of the resonator so that players beyond its traditional use saw its inspirational value. When the players are as varied as Charley Hicks, Joey Landreth, Jeffrey Foucault, Tom Van Der Kuil (Adele), and Dan Auerbach , you can see why people are giving resonators a second glance. If you are a maker you can find your market and be subject to it, or you can do things that grow the market itself. Find things that might do that-fail at some and succeed at others and you’ll find valuable work.

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muleresonators@gmail.com

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