together the piece develops allure. It’s what makes a scratchy blues song on a mistreated record get played over and over again. It’s what makes that one horn riff give you goose-bumps. It’s the attribute that makes player and listener drawn to the instrument. Friend and master luthier Jeff Elliot described allure as “what keeps the audience engaged, it is what sells recordings, and it will keep people buying your guitars. It will keep you happy as a builder, because it is at the heart of your endeavor.”

We can’t measure or quantify allure, nor should we try. We should listen to our instincts as players, listeners, and handlers of fine instruments. Once you’ve played enough, listened enough, cut enough 5 minute dovetails, and submitted to your instincts, you’re drawn to the good ones.