Our core values:

We are known for our workmanship; it doesn't come easy and it doesn't come cheap.
We build up to a standard, not down to a price. To us, though we feel "machine
perfection" to be soulless and boring, we pride ourselves on our fit and finish and 
attention to detail. Any less would not do justice to our gifts or this opportunity.

All Birdsongs are crafted to be simple, durable tools of creation with warm passive 
pickups and natural, hand rubbed oil blend finishes. We live simple lives and make 
simple instruments. That's what we do, mildest to wildest. No paint, no circuit boards
or batteries, no flashing lights. We build tone machines, not computers.

We do what we do out of a love for the craft, a reverence for music, and a desire to 
help put more of it into the world. We bring our best to every build. This is not
our job, it is our good work. To build one of the best basses on the planet has
not come easy or cheaply, but American craftsmanship is alive and well here.

It means a lot to me that you are taking this time with us. A Birdsong is not for everybody
and that's fine, since we can only build so many the way we do. If it feels like a match, it will 
be our honor to build you a Birdsong. Thank you for your interest in what we do... 

...and who we are.

"We do what we do how we do it because it works so well. A Birdsong is a complete design already, right down to the strings. These aren't clones or copies ~ they were designed from a blank page to do what they do, look as they look, and sound like they sound. That horn? It's for balance... the pickups? They worked the best. 2 volumes? The pickups liked different value pots. Tone and ergonomics always take precedence here over anything else. And we live simple lives, so we build simple instruments... like playing music or writing a song, you bring to it what you are and speak of  what you know. Otherwise you're an actor, an entertainer playing a role. Nothing wrong with that, but it's not what we do. The art comes out so much better when you can put your essence and your truth into it, when it's honest & real."
~Scott Beckwith

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Scott Beckwith, Captain of the ship
Jamie Hornbuckle, Co-pilot Emeritus

Birdsong was first a name of an early guitar I built in the late '90s in the back of a little music shop in Melrose, MA. By late 2000 it was the name I built under in a corner of friend "Uncle Johnny" Kirtland's home workshop in Wimberley, TX. I taught guitar lessons in town and Jamie was one of my adult students. We all kind of tied our dreams together. 

The Birdsong Hand Built Guitar Co. (and this site) was launched July 4, 2004 by us. Jamie & I were living in the woods in a school bus and hatched the dream on a road trip in an old Dodge van, where a stranger came up to us at our restaurant table and basically told me
I was the "man who worked with the wood" I had been searching for since the creepy mystic on Cape Cod years earlier had told me I'd find. (I'm not kidding - even I couldn't make this up.) 

Starting with nothing but the Birdsong name, a great idea for a bass and some borrowed tools, we set up shop in what had been a Harley repair shop and started filling the world with Cortobasses. Slowly. In the early days we lived at the workshop to get the company off the ground and worked endless hours before we could buy our own tools and have some help around the shop.

Word spread and we grew... more models, more diverse builds, and even seeing our little basses on TV, in concert video, and in the book Hand Made, Hand Played . In 2008 an intentional community circle we helped form helped us build 
workshops and we moved back out to the homestead. One of these buildings is built from pieces of our late friend Johnny's workshop. The other is 14x20 and green.

Along the way we were helped out both in the shop and behind the scenes by some truly good hearted souls, including my right hand man luthier Jake Goede. As more and more hear about the Birdsong "experience" our phone and email 
continue to bring us into connection with people from all over the world and of every walk. There comes a time you either allow a good garden to grow or you cut it back.

In the Summer of 2010 a larger workshop in San Marcos, TX was set up ~ partly to accommodate Birdsong's growth but also to resurrect one of my favorite basses, the SD Curlee, and to serve as a place for the hands that help make Birdsongs to do their own thing as well. 

Jamie went back to school and got her Master's Degree in Sociology, and was hired as a counselor by the college she attended. I shifted Birdsong into third gear. Just one time in life I figured we aughta "see what it'll do." Growth used right is a gift, and I'm on for the ride. The official company name these days with so much going on is Wingfeather Enterprises LLC... and the workshop is the Wingfeather Workshop.

Out of this shop in San Marcos, TX come the Birdsongs, SD Curlees, D'Aquila guitars, and more. But before you picture this huge enterprise, picture this... Jamie and I still live in the cabin we built; all of these instruments are still built with the same tools (some still of Johnny's), by hand in our own shop; you call on the phone and still get me, and I update this site from the little rebuilt workshop of our mentor with the music playing, listening to the birdsong, looking out at the trees... and an old bus. 

And another workshop, one 14x20 and green, all ready to settle back into and carve away the hours when the fifteen minutes is up. For now, I'm busy, I'm blessed and I'm grateful. There's so much more to the story I'm starting to write it; watch for snippets sometimes in the Friday updates

All of this goes into everything we do, and we're happy to do it for you. 

Scott Beckwith
February, 2012
Texas, USA

Jake Goede, Head Luthier
Jake came to us a few years back for advice, then to show us the instruments he built at Luthier's school. Now I ask him questions and he runs the dusty side of the workshop! Man or machine? Both, and then some. None of this would be happening at this level without him. Also builds Guitars by Jake... check 'em out!

Brady Muckelroy (left)

Brady also helps us out and also builds truly world class full scale basses. This one was presented to Mike Huckabee by the TMEA as a gift for his support of music education in schools. Brady is also a world class bassist, drummer, teaches lessons, and does most of the repairs that come through our shop.

Search online about our reputation and instruments. 
Ask anyone who actually owns a Birdsong what they think.
And know anyone you see playing one bought it and talks highly
of it by their own choice - that's real "endorsement." Anything else
is bought & paid for advertising. Don't confuse the two!

Behind the scenes there are always those helping anything to 
happen... they're not the faces or the names, and often they like to 
stay behind the scenes. To us they have been helpers and advisors, 
teachers and angels. You know who you are and we thank you... 

...especially those now gone:

John C. "Uncle Johnny" Kirtland
Picker, wood artist, woodshop mentor and friend; his tools still craft.
His spirit will live on in all I do, all anyone I have mentored will do,
and forever onward out into the world wherever woodcraft is loved.

"Doc" Seebeck
His generosity helped our growth in 2010. It is his old construction 
building we now occupy as our workshop. The deal he cut me out of
the kindness of his heart was the last piece of the puzzle and the
first domino over of so much that is happening now.

And our thanks to you!

We are honored to serve you.

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