Songbird Stringed Instruments is the work of banjo luthier Jamie Ryan
Throughout most of my life I've played music. Mostly guitar, then banjo but when I found fingerstyle on the tenor ukulele it was special, and I was in love.
After playing a few years, I had the strong urge to start building ukuleles. Having a background in carpentry, building furniture and even working as a machinist, my skills all seemed to focus towards this work. With a lifelong hobby of fine woodworking and a complete obsession with all things music related, I should have always known this is where I'd end up. Back then, I studied everything I could get my hands on. I tend to be a little bit obsessive in that way. Additionally, I sought out a local master luthier William A. Petersen for advice. Bill kindly took me under his wing and had me come to his shop weekly for over two years to learn every aspect of this highly specialized and technical process.
Sadly, Bill has recently passed away, but it is my hope to honor his memory with the instruments that I build.
Much of the focus of my training was on building hollow-body instruments and I am currently still building some high-end fingerstyle-oriented ukuleles. However, I also really wanted to bring a new style of banjo hybrid to market. The ukulele banjo hybrid (m17) is the culmination of countless hours designing and revising to get it exactly right. This instrument provides a different platform than your traditional banjolele. Additionally, my newest guitar-banjo hybrid model (m20) really takes the banjitar in a whole new direction too.
My hope is that one of these instruments would inspire you as an artist to venture into new styles and create beautiful music. As your builder, I will strive to accommodate any special requests while giving you everything I have as an artist and craftsman. God has truly blessed me to be able to do the work that I love, and I would cherish the opportunity to build something special for you.
Jamie Ryan is a proud member of the Guild of American Luthiers as well as the Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans.