Nick Burman


I've been playing piano since I was this high [holds out hand at waist height], violin since a little taller and guitar a bit after that. Since then I added bass, drum machines and other stuff to the list so that I can record and play the sounds in my head. 

As part of the musical journey/trip, I have built five guitars (yes, from scratch, not kits - that would be assembling, not building!) and built (again, from scratch) a number of pickups. That is, until my sanity ran out. I'm rather happy to use Axesrus pickups now.

Lately I've been rehearsing with my Boss RC-300 Loop Station and hope to get it out of the house later this year.

Watch the videos, listen to the music, then write to me for bookings, or if you just feel the urge.

Nick Burman, music


Nick Burman, Bury St Edmunds Graphic Design


By Any Means

Music video released in 2010. Created using public-domain clips.


My Number 5 Guitar

Hear how my guitar actually sounds.

Handbuilt guitars - 12345

Guitar number 5

My guitars are objects, not people, so I give them numbers instead of names. I don't think they mind. If they did I would probably have to go back to giving them names. No, that would still be silly.

No. 5 was designed to cover as many sounds as possible, from big, thick humbucker tones to Stratocaster-like single coil tones, in particular the 'in-between' sounds. I think I achieved that. I also wanted to try a 24" scale, which I've found to be very comfortable. The through-neck construction was a first for me too. I originally wanted cedar for the top, but when I saw this piece of yellowheart, I quickly changed my mind.

Lots of shooting-in-foot went into building this, and after much trial and error it will probably be my last guitar. I don't mind, as it sounds and plays beautifully.

The photos need updating, but the details are correct!

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  • Chambered yellowheart top / walnut back
  • Maple through-neck
  • Birdseye maple headstock
  • Cocobolo fingerboard
  • Wilkinson WV-50 MkII bridge
  • Schaller machine heads
  • 24" scale
  • Hand built humbucker in neck, comprising two single coils with AlNiCo V polepieces to sound like a single coil when split
  • Axesrus TT-73 dual blade single coil size humbucker in the middle
  • Axesrus 'The Purist' bridge humbucker
  • Volume, tone, single coil switch
  • 5 way selector - neck / neck split + middle split / neck + bridge / middle split + bridge split / bridge


Guitar number 4

Each of my guitars was built for a purpose or sound. I didn't want to copy anyone else's work, but number 4 was my take on the Telecaster with a 25" scale.

To chamber the ash body, I used four pieces, two for the top and two for the back. The neck is maple and birdseye maple.

I handbuilt both pickups; the neck is neodymium (since replaced with an Axesrus lipstick) and the bridge AlNiCo V. The 5-way switch gives you the usual bridge/both/neck combinations, plus series (lovely warm and full) and out of phase (lovely nasal and thin) sounds.

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Guitar number 3

My third design was meant to incorporate a few ideas I had been thinking about for a while. The most notable one is that it is electric and acoustic, thanks to the LR Baggs X-bridge wired to its own volume control and stereo output. I also wanted to hide the controls on the top of the body, similar to an acoustic.

The body has a hollowed alder back and bookmatched walnut top. The neck is curly maple with a cocobolo fingerboard.

I handbuilt both pickups; the neck is an AlNiCo II humbucker and the bridge an AlNiCo V mini humbucker, wired to a concentric volume tone. The 5-way switch is wired for neck/neck split/both/neck split and bridge/bridge.

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Guitar number 2

This is my design for a lighter, hollow strat-style guitar.

The alder body is chambered from the back, with maple panels covering the chambers. The neck is two piece curly maple and birdseye maple. I thought I'd go with a standard 25 ½" scale.

Pickups are from Irongear - Pigirons in the neck and middle positions and a Platinum 90 in the bridge. Together they sound found fantastic. Having bought and played Seymour Duncans for years, I can highly recommend Irongears.

Controls are volume (with push/pull to wire the bridge in series), 6 way selector (the usual five plus neck and bridge) and Greasebucket tone.

Weighing about 2.5kg it is fantastically light and easy to play.

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Guitar number 1

In 1993, I was a broke art student who couldn't afford a real guitar. So I made one.

The body is solid mahogany and the neck is two-piece maple. To keep things simple - at that time I never used a tone control - I went with a single volume, a capacitor switch and coil split switch. The locking tuners and floating vibrato are both Gotoh, but I replaced the original saddles with Graphtec Stringsavers.

I originally put in two Seymour Duncan pickups - Custom in the bridge and Jazz in the neck, but have since replaced the Jazz with a handbuilt P90, and swapped the ceramic magnet in the Custom for an AlNiCo 8. What a huge difference that made! The pickup now sounds fantastic! It sounds like a real single coil when split and nice and jangly when combined with the P90.

Weight is a hefty 4kg but the strategically placed strap makes it reasonably comfortable to play.

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For bookings or anything else you have on your mind.

If you're in the Bury St Edmunds area, let me know and I'll buy you a coffee. I hope you like Costa.

text me too.