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©Terry Docherty Guitars 2013

BARRIE TEMPLE reviews his new Terry Docherty guitar – the “Tempest” – a  cutaway model in Indian rosewood and red cedar made between February and April 2011:

First of all a confession!!  ...  “I already have a Docherty guitar!” I have been the proud owner of one of Terry’s hand-made, custom built guitars for the past 16 years!  It is a small bodied model known as ‘The Doctor’. It was made back in 1995 and can be viewed in all it’s splendour on Terry’s Guitar page

When I decided I needed a new guitar and principally a ‘cutaway’ model as I use a lot of the top-end of the fret-board, I immediately thought to myself,  “I know who can give me what I want”. So I arranged to meet up with Terry at his workshop and we discussed the details. In a very short space of time and early in our discussions, I was absolutely sure Terry was going to deliver what I wanted. I had specific ideas re, shape and size of guitar and with Terry’s expert advice re, what would look better and play better ... the deal was done! It was as easy as that!  

No haggling, no need to try and explain myself and the reasons why I wanted what I wanted. When you’re dealing with an instrument maker and craftsman like Terry, whose love of his work is obvious, then you know in an instant that you are in very safe hands!

If you are like me and have been around a bit, ( playing guitar for 40 years to be precise!), then you’ll have seen and played or maybe even owned one of the mass-produced, ‘named - higher-end of  the market” guitars of which there are many. Fine guitars they are BUT the one thing they all lack is that ‘hand-made’ ingredient. Say it slowly ... “hand-made” ... most guitars are now so massed produced they only see a pair of hands when you play it in the music shop!

With guitar makers like Terry and to be fair, a growing number of equally fine instrument makers  turning out individual ‘custom- made’ guitars, we are getting back to the basics, where the maker, the  instrument and the musician are all brought together as one and their basic needs are fully satisfied.

“Hand- made ‘custom-built’ guitars are not cheap!”   ...  Having said that, what price can you put on the hours and hours of shaping and marrying lovely pieces of wood into something that is both unique and totally exquisite. The wealth of knowledge and skill that goes into making something which in lots of cases has not been made before and only comes to life through the hands and brain of a true craftsman - how do you put a price on that? ...  Someone once said if you divided the total cost of such a guitar, into the man hours spent in making it, then, they’d probably be doing all that work for less than the minimum wage!  Just remember that fact, when you order your new guitar from a man who works like that!

Such a man is Terry Docherty, a true craftsman and instrument maker. A fine guitar player himself, he understands the needs of his fellow musicians and he has an uncanny knack of making you feel ‘special’ and that you can rest assured that he will deliver not only what he says, but more importantly what YOU want.

My new guitar is brilliant! From the minute I pick it up to the moment I put it back in the case, it’s there in my hands and it feels just right. When I play it, I can hear and feel everything that went into its’ making. I made a really good choice in both guitar and maker  ...  I hope you do too!!!

Barrie Temple April 2011

(Barrie Temple and his wife Ingrid are one of the most sought after duos on the festival and club circuits in the UK and abroad)

The Tempest review by Barrie Temple

Handmade Tempest Guitar by Terry Docherty UK

Barrie Temple (right) with his
new guitar meets Dave Wilson
in his Haltwhistle finishing workshop.
And below, awaiting the finish!

Handmade Tempest Guitar by Terry Docherty UK Handmade Tempest Guitar by Terry Docherty UK