Uğur Elcik, who has left behind nine years of classical guitar, bass guitar, and electric guitar production, is especially focused on electric guitar production.
Elcik, who designs electric guitars with double necks (fretted-fretless), says that the first step in the construction of an electric guitar is to choose the wood that will produce the right sound. He highlights that the right workmanship, the right combination, the right angles, and accurate math calculations and accurate finish follow this process. Elcik, who has also realized different R & D activities in pickups attract attention with his musician-friendly, ergonomic, light, and high-quality electric guitars.
Performing the job he is in love with
After studying physics for 2 years at Eskişehir Osmangazi University, Uğur Elcik studied at the Department of Mining Engineering at İstanbul University and began working as an apprentice in the second year of the university in Galata with one of the most experienced guitar producers in İstanbul, Ekrem Özkarpat. Observing Özkarpat for a very long time, slowly learning all the intricacies of guitar making, Elcik said, “At first I was dealing with the technical work like sanding, installing strings and frets. I have observed each process because many jobs are done at the same time in the workshop environment. After working with Özkarpat for 7 years, I decided to open my own workshop. I have been serving in my studio in Kadıköy, İstanbul for 2 years. I’m really in love with this job. I love to touch the wood and work in a free environment in my workshop. Besides classical guitar and bass guitar, I specialize in electric guitar. I design double-neck (fretted-fretless) electric guitars. We also have different guitar projects with my colleague Arda Algan in the workshop. We have a CNC machine. We make 3D vector drawings of all guitar projects and materialize these works in the CNC. I can make up to two electric guitars a month. Guitar designs can be made parallel to each other. Since I have been working in Galata for a long time, I have clients coming on advice as well as clients coming through our social media accounts.”
Selecting raw materials is very important
Stating the local demand in the past two years as well as the demand from abroad, Uğur Elcik is in touch with his clients in London, Greece, Jordan, and Qatar. We asked Elcik which raw materials he prefers especially for electric guitar production and received the following answer: “As a raw material, I prefer alder, ash tree, maple, and exotic trees which are suitable for electric guitar production. I make a collage work by selecting the trees suitable to capture the sound I want. The kind of a sound the person who is going to play the guitar desires to capture comes into play at this point. After choosing the trees, I start to make the body and the neck of the electric guitar. Then the process of polishing comes. Some of my clients prefer colors that are very much in the foreground. This process is followed by the construction of the electric guitar’s bridge, pegs, and pickups. Electronic work such as pickups and pots is extremely important. The importance of pickups and pots are paramount if it is a passive guitar. In terms of correct positioning, I try to calculate the string distance and bridge path distance to get maximum efficiency. After the completion of the electronic work, installing strings are next in line. After the electric guitar is completed, I make the appropriate tuning and deliver it to the customer. I am importing 90% of the electronic components used in electric guitar production, including bridge and peg.”
Requires a number of different expertise
Highlighting that the different fields’ involvement in the making of electric guitar, Uğur Elcik says, “Need to know how to use the machine. Very good brazing is a must. You must have an understanding of wood as well as a carpenter does. You should be able to polish as well as a car painter working in any mechanic shop.” The biggest dream of Elcik, who is also a musician and who has been playing electric guitar for a long time, is to design musician-friendly, ergonomic, and light guitars with high-sound quality that the musician can relax while playing music. Accelerating his R & D efforts particularly in pickups, Elcik designs for the leading Turkish musicians by adopting this perspective in his double-neck electric guitars. Elcik stated that mostly the musicians who perform often on stage prefer the double-neck electric guitars and said, “Western music is made on the fretted neck. On the fretless neck, the sounds with commas used in Turkish music are played. The name who showed how to play fretless guitar in Turkey is Erkan Oğur. By the way, there is definitely a fretless guitar in every good musician’s house.”