Custom Handmade Acoustic Guitar for Shohei Toyoda
Working with talented musicians to design their dream guitar is the very best part of being a custom guitar builder. We are proud to announce that Jay will be building a custom handmade acoustic guitar for Shohei Toyoda. That Shohei will be showcasing Lichty Guitars each time he performs on stage, each time he sits one-on-one with his students playing his custom Lichty Guitar is a true honor. Shohei is building an international fan base, enchanting audiences both in the States and in Japan,with his amazing guitar skills.
Shohei is one of those people that you can’t help but like. He is kind, passionate, sincere and his music is a direct reflection of those traits. When I was first introduced to Shohei’s music I was really impressed. Then, after spending a couple of days with him as he sampled and recorded about a dozen of our guitars my admiration grew. Each time I listen to those recordings I hear just how articulate and intricate his playing is…though he makes it look and feel so simple. We think Shohei is someone to really pay attention to. With his personality, dedication and his ability with the guitar he has what it takes to be one of those great guitarists that inspire millions. I am really excited to be building him his first custom guitar and we look forward to seeing where his music takes him. – Jay Lichty Jan, 2012
“i’ve always thought that it’s up to the player’s ability and technique to let the music speak from the guitar. that idea totally changed when i went into Jay’s studio and played his handmade guitars. all of them had unique colors to their sound and i totally forgot time when i was trying to mix and match those colors to the tunes in my repertoire. it sure was fun too!!! Jay’s guitars are so special because they add richness to the “sound-scape” that the player is trying to create and communicate to the audience.” – shohei toyoda
A sample of Shohei’s magic on Lichty Guitars
Tree Lights played on a Cocobolo Alchemist
Twilight (by Kotaro Oshio) played on an Indian Rosewood Crossover Guitar
It's OK played on an Ancient Kauri Guitar - Shohei Toyoda
Eric Clapton's Tears in Heaven played on Jay's Mahogany Spanish Cedar Guitar
About Shohei …
Shohei’s original compositions touch heart and soul, his renditions of classics delight.
Born in Japan and raised in Ohio, music has been a part of Shohei’s life from a very early age. He is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and is winning awards and gaining international recognition. In 2010 he was chosen as one of the top 16 guitarists to compete in Japan’s National Finger Picking Contest and he followed this with a two month / 30 show tour in Japan. In 2011 he landed two prestigious awards: Placement in the top five at the 2011 International Finger-style Championship in Kansas and Grand Champion at the International Thumb Picking Contest in Central City, Kentucky.
* In 2012 Shohei was the winner of Japan’s National Finger Picking Competition. *
* The latest win … third place at Walnut Valley for the 2013 International Finger Style Guitar Championship in September 2013. *
Shohei now resides in Japan where he performs and teaches private lessons for all skill levels, from beginner to advanced.
Further bio in Japanese …
幼少時代をオハイオ州コロンバス市で過ごす。Jポップにあこがれ、中学生の頃に父のギターを弾き始める。Something ELseがリリースしたシングル、ラストチャンスのカップリングに収録されていた「ラストチャンス acoustic ver」に衝撃をうけ、以後アコースティックギターの虜になる。
大学中、ボストンでGuy Van Duser氏に師事。カントリー、アメリカンルーツミュージックの原型、thumb-picking styleを学ぶ。卒業後はカフェやライブハウスなどでの演奏活動や、カンザスで行われる『International Finger-style Championship』、横浜の『全国フィンガーピッキングデイ コンテスト』などのコンテストに積極的に参加。
２０１０年、オハイオ州でAdam Rafferty, Muriel Andersonの前座としてステージをつとめる。
２０１０年１２月１０日、ファーストアルバム 『The Hills Have Ears』をリリース
２０１１年９月、Walnut Valley Festival にてINTERNATIONAL FINGER-STYLE CONTESTでトップ５に入賞。その年の正式パフォーマー、第３９回大会の初日本人チャンピオン田中彬博とステージを共にする。
さらに２０１１年９月、INTERNATIONAL THUMB PICKING CHAMPIONSHIPにて、日本人として初めて、３部門の総合優勝者、GRAND CHAMPIONに選ばれる。
A Custom Handmade Acoustic Guitar …
To hear his music is a true gift. To experience what happens when he picks up and plays a Lichty Guitar is jaw-dropping. So, put Shohei and Jay together to design a dream guitar and it’s powerful stuff!
The custom process is different for everyone. For some folks it all happens virtually via our website and brainstorming calls with Jay. For others, coming to the shop allows for a hands-on experience. Shohei moved mountains to get here from Ohio (literally braving snow storms) in order to get his custom guitar underway. He wanted to play all the guitars we had on hand, paying careful attention to how each neck felt, to the tone of each, to the feel and vibe. To our great fortune we were able to shoot video and record audio much of the day. (We’ll be sharing much of this soon.)
At the end of the day, Shohei and Jay discussed all the different design aspects and then went to the shop to sort through the wood pile, finding the perfect set of figured mahogany, of spruce, of rosette material and on for Shohei’s custom guitar.
Click here to see pictures of this guitar being built every step of the way.
Learn more about Shohei and purchase his latest CD
“The Hills Have Ears, Songs from a Finger Picker’s Heart”
Learn more about stellar professional musicians who play custom Lichty guitars.