All About Savage Classical Guitar

First things first…

Savage Classical Guitar & Our Mission

  • Finding and Offering for sale the finest guitars in the world whether Classical Guitars – Flamenco Guitar or Acoustic Steel String Guitars
  • Be the Best at what I do and how me and Dan serve you in all ways. Dan Bouza is my trusted assistant and a very talented young man, knowing my methodology, setups, and sales procedures. He is my right hand. We put the personal touch on what we do, how we communicate, how we do business.
  • Be the best classical guitar store on the planet, hands down!
  • Offering the finest because I actually know what makes a fine guitar. Some classical guitar shops pretend to know what’s up, offering a lot of “not so worthy” guitars. Ask yourself, “how many not so great guitars did I see at the last shop I was at”? Welcome to my shop – it’s been called the “candy store” and for good reason. Come over and find out for yourself LOL … It’s awesome here!
  • Offer our true expertise of 30+ years of restoration and knowledge as a performing studio and classical guitarist and professional. There are no pretenders here. We know our business. I do this FULL TIME and have restored a hundred classical guitars in the last 35 years. What other dealer can say that?
  • Deal honestly and fairly with you, whether you are a luthier, buyer or seller. You are my customer and I take that seriously. Easy to say. Easier to do from my point of view.
  • Always be generous on both sides of the guitar, meaning the luthier and the client. That includes a Full Accessory Package with all Concert Guitars AND free shipping on all guitars to the US and a discount on International Shipping…see tab “FREE Shipping” below.
  • I will always try to find the best price for you. Call me after you call everyone else.
  • Make it a fun experience, one where you smile along the way, and most certainly, when it’s all said and done. My classical guitar shop and business has grown on the back of my reputation as one of the nicest, fairest and openly honest people in the business. I’ve been told “priceless”, but I’ll let you be the judge.
  • By Appointment with Rich Sayage – 631-335-5447 – OK, now I’ll speak at length about my general philosophy and my business perspective below.  I believe it to be important to have a better understanding of the kind of man that you will be dealing with in the very important adventure you are undertaking.

Hi, this is Richard F. Sayage, Rich to all who know me.  I built Savage Classical Guitar from the ground up to be one of the largest private dealers in the world buying and selling, marketing and representing the finest handmade classical guitars and flamenco guitars from all over the world.  I am also a large scale dealer of high end tuning machines by Gotoh and Alessi Tuning Machines, which are among the finest machines in the world.  I am fortunate, in that I built this business and now, the best in the business seek me out, offering their concert guitars thru my shop.

I managed this by being fair and honest with everyone I deal with in this business.  I always say that I am generous on both sides of the guitar, you the buyer, or you the private seller who needs to move their gorgeous guitar into someone else’s hands, or you the luthier.  Simply, this means, where my suppliers and luthiers are concerned, I pay my bills on time.  I run zero credit here.  No distractions detracting from my attention to the details.

Where my customers are concerned, every guitar is priced and or negotiated to the best I can do for them.  Then, free of charge, I always provide a high quality Hard Shell Case, TKL type, Guardian, Humicase, BAM, etc.  I always include Shipping, from Ground Services for less expensive guitars to Express One Day for guitars over $4K.  I always include an appropriate accessory package with each guitar, including at a minimum, extra strings and a polishing cloth.  The more expensive the guitar, the more complete the package, including a Humidifier, a HeadStock Tuner, Additional Sets and a variety of strings from D’Addario, Savarez, Oasis, Augustine, arm sleeve, nail buffer, polish and so on.

In my eyes, given the beautiful and sometimes expensive instruments that I offer and sell to the nicest people, I find it is a really nice thing to not nickel and dime anyone.  I don’t haggle with the luthier, I don’t cheap out on my customers.  It just seems silly to me to be otherwise.

No other shop does what I do for the customer.  I will do what I can to put the guitar in your hand, I will make sure that you can protect it, I insure it, I ship it free, I give you an accessory package with each guitar so you can properly care for it, and I’m here when you need further support for the guitar.

Some guys just sell guitars.  I offer a relationship, the full classical guitar experience and can support you and your guitar as long as you wish me to do so.

Everything is paid for and I never argue with or push a luthier or a supplier.  I don’t tell them what to build or how to build it.  In other words, I don’t tell people how to run their lives or their business.  Either I can work with them or I cannot.  I usually can work with them, so, nice on that!  LOL  I try my best, and succeed, in being a positive and supporting influence in everyone’s life that I touch.  Why would it be different with luthiers?

I do NOT commission guitars.  I simply ask the luthier to build for me and Savage Classical Guitar, that which inspires them, that which represents their best work.  How could it not be fantastic?  Uh, yeah, it turns out that it always is fantastic.

Every luthier and or supplier that I’ve ever worked with can only say good things.  I am here to work with them, to work for them, to work for you, to connect you and them together.  Bringing the finest luthiers and players together.

My studio and workshop are open to my clientele by appointment.  With my customers, I do my best to get the guitar in their hands, never worry the cost, never pressure, listen carefully, try to find the right guitar, and when I do, I always give a full accessory package with all my concert guitars.  Polishes, strings, humidifiers, HSC, polishing cloth, headstock tuners, etc. (I know, I repeat myself, but it’s important, so, what the hey 🙂

Same for my web based and phone based clients.  I will do what I can, from video to recording and additional photos, skype, and anything else I can manage to make their decision process an easier and certainly a safe one.

I always have and always will offer a 3 day approval period for all guitars shipped out of my studio in New York.

My job is to make people happy in a worry free and stress free environment.  I do this by putting you and your needs first, whether you are a student looking for your first guitar, a virutuoso seeking a  concert instrument, a private seller who needs me to sell your concert classical guitar or a luthier, established or up and coming to the business.  Give me a call and see the difference a true gentleman and a serious pro in the business can make for you.

This is my life, my business, my art, my passion.  I eat and sleep this business and I love it thoroughly.  When you and I connect, you will see, hear and feel that almost immediately.  You should be able to get a good sense of this just by visiting and reading thru my site.  There is no one better at what I do and I prove this every day.

Now for some continuing thoughts….

Some days, when I have a moment, I reflect on what has been done, where we are, and where I’m trying to take this incredible business.

We are a family driven business, where I do most of the work. Actually, all the work.  My family is useless in this regard, except for bothering me at the worst possible time.   LOL…I have to hire people to do other work for me, while I focus on the guitars.  Saying that, my kids are great, my wife takes care of the home, and my cats offer endless entertainment.  I have a great family, and I have great friends.  The best of both worlds.

Mission – My mission here is simple.  Offer the best guitars, be the best at what I do, do it fairly, do it honestly, do it with absolute expertise, and make people smile during the process and when it’s all said and done.

Everyone of those above points carries much depth to its individual answer as to how I accomplish this.  I try to explain below.  You’ll probably laugh a bit, perhaps be horrified a little bit, too, but in the end, I’ll tell you the truth as I know it, you’ll know more about me, how I operate, and hopefully, you will feel good about calling me.

How I do it – So how do I do this and what is it that I do around here anyway?  As one of  the largest and certainly the finest classical guitar shop and classical guitar dealer in the country, my work day is usually just plain crazy, starting so very early in the morning, and sometime going thru until 10PM at night or later.  Photography, recording, video work, marketing, ad creation, language, PR work in general, talking, writing, phones, email, Skype, and so on.  There are days it seems endless.  But, my day goes fast, time is precious, and so much gets done.  It is truly remarkable how much we accomplish here in the shop and the studio.

My work consists of classical guitars, acoustic guitars, flamenco guitars, offering sheet music that I have created over the years, offering useful and excellent guitar accessories, guitar repair and setup, and in general, consulting, buying and selling of usually great guitars, and sometimes not so great that I have to send back to luthiers and private sellers.  This is actually an important aspect of what I do here, regarding my selection of guitars.

I’m a straight shooter, when I do business, when I talk, in everything I do.   I pull no punches.  Saying that, I keep it clean and positive below.  I’ll write a different blog post somewhere on the site for the stuff that I really want to say.  Uh oh  LOL

Selective – I am very picky.  Extremely so.  I spend a lot of cash sending guitars back to people.  I have to be gentle with some aspiring luthiers when I have to return their instrument to them.  It’s a very delicate balance of encouragement layered with reality.  Sometimes, you’re just not ready for prime time.

Same with consignment or what I purchase from private owners.  I am very selective for my own sake and the sake of my clients.  I try not to waste your time or mine in any way.

Everything I have here is most definitely ready for prime time, even at the student and conservatory level.  Notice that I don’t just carry names, whether in guitars or accessories.  It’s all highly selective.  If I would play it, you would probably play it too.  Same with accessories.  Heck, I could just carry everything.  But I don’t.  I only offer that which I use myself.

Possession – This brings me to a very fine and delicate point or series of points.  First, everything I list here on my site actually lives here in my studio.  This implies that some dealers do not have possession of the guitars, and yet, they make you think they do.  Unfortunately, this is true.

My eyes and my hands are on every guitar listed here on my site.  I photograph it.  I record it.  I measure it.  I list it.  I sell it from my studio. I can discuss the guitar intimately because I know it.

All guitars here and in transport to clients are fully insured because they reside here.  Consigned guitars, guitars that I own (most of them I actually own), guitars that are out for approval, etc.

As a dealer and professional, you must be able to see the guitar, examine it, play it, record it, photograph it, measure it, clean it, polish it, adjust and set her up, restring her, discuss it with expertise, etc.  Anything else is unacceptable.

Professionalism – Another fine, but indelicate point.  I am not a hobbyist who has to sell his “personal” inventory of instruments.  Look, it’s all well and good if you are a hobbyist who got caught with their underwears down around their ankles (reads I gots too many guitars) and now your wife needs you to sell what you have or you’re out.

I am not that guy.  My wife can leave if she doesn’t like what I do.

From recording to photography, from measurement to video, from knowledge of the luthier to the construction of the guitar,  to knowing how to talk to people, from setting up your guitar to refinishing it, I am a pro through and through.  Everything is done here, in-house.  I do not trust anyone else with the guitars, whether yours or mine.  How many shops can say that?

Career – Another excellent point….I do this full – time.  Let me repeat this …. FULL  TIME

To do this correctly and to do it well at this level, it needs to be done full-time and it needs to be done like a pro.

This is my livelihood.  This and only this, is what I do.  I don’t have another job.  I don’t teach, walk dogs, have a reality show, work at a university, (not that those things are a waste of time, just my time), I’m not retired with nothing better to do, and so on.  Stating things simply, as a matter of fact, I don’t waste my time on anything that would take my attention away from my core business.

Heck, I got so busy, I turned over all my students.  I don’t even teach anymore.  In other words, I don’t have anything to distract me from what I do or what you need to know from me.  You want my full attention.  You got it.

Expertise & Pride – I have had my hands on guitars since 1966 at the age of 5.  Guitars of all kinds, but mostly flamenco and classical guitars.  Anyone can read thru this site and slowly realize that I am the real deal when it comes to this business.

I know your guitars.  I know how they are built to the exacting detail.  I know the time, the effort, the training and the knowledge of all that went into building the guitar.  I know the painstaking time and efforts that went into the finishing.  I have restored and sold a hundred of these guitars before I ever became an official dealer.  I know their value, I know their worth.  I have the training, the resources, good people around me, and a business that people would kill for on any given day.

I built this baby from scratch and I take the ultimate pride in my name, reputation, what I do, what I offer for sale, and how I take care of both sides of the guitar, the builder and the buyer.  You can see it just by perusing my site, seeing the attention to detail.

Why so serious?  Because this is a serious business, for serious and honest people who know their business.  It is not a business for someone who is anything less.  I have more thoughts on this, but will write about this in a separate article.

Honesty – I buy guitars all the time.  First thing I tell all my clientele, existing or potential, when they wish to sell a guitar to me….”Sell it yourself”.   Sounds weird, no?  Why wouldn’t I do everything possible to get that guitar?  Because it’s not about me.  It’s about me helping you, in whatever way I can do so.  I have talked many people out of selling their precious guitar.  They are so difficult to replace, especially one that you know you love.  Money can be replaced.  A great guitar cannot.

If you do choose to sell it, I don’t try to hammer anyone.  I tell you exactly how it is and what I need to pay for the guitar.  No secrets, no nonsense.

In order of what’s best for your wallet, and worst for your time and patience.  1.  Sell her yourself.  2. Consign the guitar with me.  3.  Sell the guitar outright to me.  Because of the time, patience and the additional risk factor, I have to pay a significant discount for the guitar, if I purchase it from you.

This is an example of my no nonsense policy, dealing with every one fairly and honestly.  I work hard, time is precious, and go figure, it’s the same for you.  No nonsense means we don’t waste time.  After all, time is the most precious commodity we have at our disposal.

Insurance – I insure my shop, my guitars, my life, and your investment.  Flood, fire, theft, earthquake, you name it.  I had a devastating flood because of Sandy in 2012.  I had over 3 dozen instruments destroyed or damaged.  17 of those were consigned.  Upwards of $100K to my clients.  Not one of my clients lost a single dollar.  They lost some time, as it took 5 months to resolve, but not one dollar.  In fact, they received more than they would have from a sale, and I made damn certain of their resolution, keeping in touch with them the whole time, updating them on the status of their claim and the overall situation.

I took care of this while I rebuilt my home and my property.  Over $400K worth of total damage, and I was done and back on my feet by March 2013, where you couldn’t even tell that anything happened, to the business or to my home.  In case you’re wondering, yeah, I’m damned proud of how I handled the whole situation.

That’s how I am, that is how I operate.  My way, the right way.  You can take that to the bank.

Other boutique shops do not insure.  If they burn down or flood, trust me, you’re going to have a problem. Shipping to and from you? Sure, they tell you to insure it with FedEx and the USPS.  Go ahead.  File a claim with them.  I’ll see you a  year from now, where you’ll be fortunate to get a successful resolution or anywhere near what you insured her for.  Look, once the shipper ships the guitar, their responsibility is done.  That guitar is now NOT insured with the customer.  The guitar is not always covered, and when it is, it is merely inadequate.

Not me.  Not my shop. Not Savage Classical Guitar.

I self-insure all my guitars for FULL retail value for shipping and transport, and everything else, all the time, 100% of the time, where every possible contingency is covered.

I insure all my guitars when they are in the hands of a customer.  They are insured when they are sitting in the house of a customer.  They are insured when they are shipped back to me.

As a consignment customer or a luthier, you send me a guitar for inspection.  It is insured.  In other words, any and every guitar sent to me, that I send out, that is in your hands when trying it, in my shop or in my car, is fully insured, for appraised and market value, with me, under all casualty possibilities, 100% of the time that I am responsible for said guitar.  Period…….

No other shop does that.

Trust – Look, I write the way I talk.  Straight up, to you, not at you.  I make myself laugh, probably more than I make others laugh, but at the end of the day, getting all this off my chest, publicly, lets me sleep better at night.  I’ve made myself known.  I sleep easy at night because I do the right thing every day.  If something goes wrong, I’ll bend over backwards to make it right.  I want you to be happy.  I want everything as right as it can be for you.  You work hard for your money.  You are trusting me to get it right for you.  I take this very seriously.

I don’t give a rat’s ass if that comes off as over the top or sappy or whatever.  It’s the truth, it’s what I feel, it is exactly how I am towards everyone of my customers.  Period.

Trust this…if I say a luthier built the guitar, they built the guitar.  Not an outside agency or “other” builder.  This implies that this is done.  Unfortunately, the answer is yes, this is done, and by luthiers you wouldn’t expect it from and sold by dealers knowingly.   Guitars for $10K, $15K …jeezus, $25K.  Seriously?

Not here, not in my shop.  This practice infuriates me to no end.  I have one guitar that is tuned up, adjusted and sold by Tom Blackshear, built by Manuel Adalid’s team of best luthiers.  Full disclosure, all the time, priced accordingly.  My way, the right way.  All the time.  Call me if you wish to discuss particulars.

 

Music & Choices – I’m a player, and was a performer and a studio musician for the better part of 20 years.  My level of play is nowhere near what it once was, but, when I can manage a few days of consecutive work and practice, some of the old magic makes itself evident.

On the music side, I’ve always been a composer, arranger and conductor, focused mainly on orchestral work and of course, classical guitar.  My publications are sold around the world.  My own music seems to be very compelling to a large audience.  This is a very humbling thing for me.  I’ve always written as a private therapy.  Once convinced to publish my work, I felt very exposed.  I literally get embarrassed when someone compliments me on the music.

The point is that I know exactly what you, as the beginner or the virtuoso, are looking for in a guitar.  Once I hear you, talk to you, and put a few guitars in your hands, I can really start to hone in on what you are looking for in a classical guitar.  My access to a huge library of instruments almost guarantees that we will find something for you that fits your budget as well as your ear.

Luthiers – Bottom line, is that I have carefully selected the finest luthiers, offering only their best work and their authenticated work.  The finer point is that I actually know how to assess a fine guitar and the work done to it.

Those fine ladies and gentlemen that choose to work with me, honor me with their trust and confidence.  I take this all very seriously, as I do the relationship with my clients.  This is why I personally communicate with everyone, answer my own phones, and personally sign off on every deal I make with everyone.  Old school, the good school, the right school, baby!  LOL

Prices – Hands down, I can usually get the best price available on a guitar for you.  You should always give me a call to see what I can do price wise.  From Kenny Hill to Adalids and every other luthier I have here.  Bear in mind that I include everything to begin with, from shipping to HSC to accessories.  If I can do something on the price, I will.  Ask…the worst I can do is say no.  🙂

Last Thought – I make no apologies for talking straight, telling the truth and or exposing liars and cheats.  I don’t like people that gravitate to that side of human nature.  I never have and I never will.  It always comes around and it stops on my doorstep, it stops right here in my shop.

I go back to my own motivation, my own mission.  Be the best, offer the best, be knowledgeable, be generous, be fair, be honest, be cool.  You do that, you’re good to go.  Call me anytime.  I love to talk guitar and I will be happy to explain anything further.

Everything Else – The other grinding work that I do around here entails book creation, engraving, editing, guitar engineering, formatting, compiling, writings concerning notes, editorial content, layouts, graphic creation, manufacturing, supply ordering, binding, marketing, order fulfillment, shipping, packing, email contact, web administration and management, and just about anything else you can think of regarding a business of this sort.  As of 2012, we are 6 employees and 3 cats.  The cats are the most useful.  They provide entertainment among other value.  Beauty Cat (grey) and Crazy Cat (white), who sadly passed in 2007, and now Shadow Cat a Russian Blue (man is she pretty).  We now have Gandalf…a Norwegian Forest Cat (gorgeous and gentle) and our last baby cat is Rico Cat, black with a white tuft on his chest. Man, this cat makes me laugh.  Everything he does is hysterical.

shadow_100_2112

Shadow Cat

My story below, at least in part, is a running tally of various things we’ve accomplished in the last 12 years, since opening officially in November of 2002.  The creation of the music publishing house and the guitars, is partly due to various incidents, some tragic, that, once I left the confines of Wall Street in late 2003, I threw myself into this business wholeheartedly and have not looked back since.  So, again, this is not a once written account, but a compilation of various years thrown together and slightly edited along the way.  Thanks for your attention.  Rich

***

Notes concerning the unique books & collections
Always one to get right to it, there are some common themes associated with Bach’s Complete 15 Two Part Keyboard Inventions for Solo Classical Guitar:

1. First of all, all of the music is very faithful to the original scores. The most astounding aspect of the pieces is that once you begin to play them you are immediately struck with how much they are pieces of music for the guitar. They were specifically written and arranged to be played fluidly on the guitar. They are NOT simple keyboard or piano transcriptions. Every possible thought was given to the solo performance of the music.

2. I did this without making them impossible to play by using plain common & musical sense, born of decades of playing the classical and flamenco guitar, studying, teaching, & applying music, theory and its practical applications. I trust that you will appreciate the commonsensical suggestions regarding the detailed work with respect to the markings, fingering and positions. They simply play wonderfully.

Crazy Cat & Beauty Cat inside their first year

Crazy Cat & Beauty Cat inside their first year

3. Lastly, I could not be nervous about changing the original keys of a few of the pieces to enhance their playability on the Guitar. This might go back to the common sense part of it all; regardless, the guitar does have certain limitations and these key changes allow the pieces to be played flawlessly. It is an amazing experience to play or hear these pieces on the guitar. I must add that this collection makes for an awesome recital and/or performance. This entire discussion certainly applies to the Well Tempered Clavier Solo Guitar collection as well.

In all, your own playing abilities will bring these pieces to life. Your perseverance, practice and hard work will ultimately be rewarded with some of the most beautiful, unusual, and rarest pieces of music you will ever find for the classical/baroque guitar.

The books are printed using the identical paper I was using earlier, which is the heavy Hammermill© 67 lb. cover stock. I am eventually switching to a white paper for the printed music. The bindings of the books are being done in comb (GBC-type Cerlox) binding, which will allow for easy opening and staying immediately flat on your music stand. The covers of the books are very straightforward, much like you will see on the attached web pages and will be printed using a 90 or 110 lb. cover stock also by Hammermill and the covers are laminated, front and back. In all, these books should withstand the test of time as will the pages within, and this was always the point.

Dee Dee and Sam Sam - my babies at 3 and 2

Dee Dee and Sam Sam – my babies at 3 and 2

I am grateful that I was able to find solutions to these pieces for guitar. All of the music that I transcribe for guitar is given every thought to the actual performance. They all play wonderfully and I am certain that you will absolutely love these pieces. Hopefully you will experience a bit of discovery, and also be a bit amazed at Bach’s enduring genius along the way ( by the way, I do not use this word frequently, except to describe my friend Rich Fernandez, who is of course, a “super genius”, a la Wiley Coyote :-).

Saying this, I must clearly state that it is my task, and that of my company, to continually attempt to offer exclusive pieces of classical guitar music that are previously unpublished. This is and will continue to be our trademark. Our other and vitally important signature shall be to do honor to Bach’s musical talent and to his memory. Frankly, I am unconcerned with how trite that may sound. My vast experience with the great man’s work does greater justice to the former statement than I could elicit in the few words I have at my disposal. When I do publish other works that have been seen before, it is because I believe that there is room for improvement. There will be very little of this simply because I am choosing to focus on the former. I must add that I find it an incredible and fulfilling personal experience to offer classical guitarists all over the world the opportunity to play these never-seen-before transcriptions. The emails and letters I have received are overwhelming and motivate me to further my already extensive library of Bach classical guitar music.

My lovely wife Valerie and my girls

My lovely wife Valerie and my girls

I have also chosen to publish my versions of Bach’s Complete Cello Suites for Classical Guitar and the Cello Suite Preludes. This goes to the earlier discussion. It is also because I adore these pieces of music and wish to honor Bach with my time on his work for Cello. Cello Suite #1 and Cello Suite #2 are complete and are now available via our website. Simply, they are the best sounding versions I think you will ever find. It is my feeling that these are or will become the definitive versions of the Cello Suites. The feedback, from classical guitarists around the world, regarding these pieces is quickly affirming the former statement. They are the only previously published pieces that I will publish, at least in the foreseeable future. I have other pieces from the assorted Suites 3 thru 6 but am only offering the Preludes. You might ask, why not Prelude #5. Well, I fixed that little (big?) hole in the book just recently. Truth is, one of my former teachers, Jerry Willard, has done a highly regarded version of the Lute Suites of Bach, of which Cello Suite #5 is part. His transcriptions left very little room for improvement, if any, as a whole regarding the entire Suite. This is the version that John Williams plays on his famous Bach Lute Suite recordings. As you might guess, I highly recommend Mr. Willard’s Lute Suites, considering them the definitive source. And not because of anything else other than that is the blatant truth. My interpretation of Cello Suite V is very different, especially the Prelude, which is why, after a new look at the piece, I decided to add it, completing the Cello Suite Prelude collection. In doing so, I catered to the rhythmic and harmonic essence of Bach’s treatment, utilizing his own standards within my harmonic additions. I am very happy with the end result, which is very easy to play and sounds absolutely terrific. Then again, I’m a good player and I got a lot of really cool guitars! haha…me so funny 🙂

Now that I have also formally published my company’s exclusive Collections of Bach’s Two Part Inventions for Solo Guitar, I have also begun to publish and copyright solo selections from the Well Tempered Clavier. These are unbelievable pieces of transformed guitar music. Book 1A, which comprises Prelude and Fugues #1 through 8 is now complete and available. Fugues #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, and #8 and #13, as well as all of the Preludes from the First Book are simply astounding. If and when you play them, I am absolutely certain that you will concur. It continually amazes me that they are completed, and that they play so well. It is a humble statement because it is true. There are days that I am simply astounded at what has been accomplished. Please do not misunderstand me, these are representative of some of the most difficult transcriptions work I have ever done, along with the Invention works. They are also advanced pieces, requiring studious effort and practice, but mark my word, they play. There are more pieces from the Book coming, and very soon.

Me and John playing some golf. I'm on the left

Me and John playing some golf. I’m on the left

I had forgotten about my transcriptions of Bach’s Violin Concertos. Luckily I found them. I am processing them a little bit at a time. Right now, I’m working on solo works regarding the Andante from the A Minor & the Adagio from the E Major, which can be found in my Bach Transcriptions Volume 1. This one, well really all of them, are unbelievable scores. I mean the originals and the transcriptions. The music is extraordinary. I put the Concertos on in the background and flail away at the fret board and strings with zero inhibition. I have to tell you, this is exhilarating, a lot of fun, and an extremely self-satisfying experience. Heck of a warm-up, too, if I say so myself. I guarantee you, this will be the most fun you’ve had on your guitar in a long time. I have every intention of publishing the Double Concerto in D Minor. A very difficult transcription, attempting one guitar to play the main thematic ideas behind the dual roles of the solo violins. The transcription for the two violins is comparatively easier and will also be published.

Now I’ve begun serious work on the Lute Music of Silvius Leopold Weiss. This is some of the most enjoyable and accessible music for the Classical Guitar. Yes, the music is originally for Lute, and I make no comparison of the two instruments. All I’m saying is that on their own ground, regarding their slight transformation to the guitar, they sound and play fantastic. We’ve just released Lute Sonata IV from the London MS as well as Lute Sonata II from the same. I also enjoyed Sonata XVII from the Dresden, and I’ve laid out a few months of work focusing on further complete Weiss Sonatas. I’m going to take a slight break from my Bach work for the time being, except for recording. As of 2007, we have 12 Weiss publications. Weiss is nice! 🙂

I am also working on myriad “student” editions, focusing on duet and trio classical guitar work based on the music of Bach. These are editions that should be in everyone’s library, whether at school or home. The first of these editions will be Bach’s Three Part Inventions or Sinfonia. This book should be ready by Christmas of 2004.

Well, as an added footnote to the above discussion, it took me an additional year to finish the above versions for Duet and Trio. They have been available since late 2005. It was that difficult.

Rich Sayage - Savage Classical Guitar

Me and my girls doing what we love

As of 2007, I’ve begun work on a Book of Selections from Bach’s Violin Sonatas and Partitas. This will be an extremely entertaining edition, as it will contain what I believe to be the most playable and “fun to play” pieces from the 6 collections. Please note that this work is completed as of 09-11-2008

I’ve also begun work on a Celtic Classical Guitar publication, featuring my favorite pieces from a beautiful repertoire.

In the meantime, as a promise to myself and others, I have released my first book of Solo Guitar Works Volume 1, this as of October 11, 2008. I am in the process of recording all of my guitar works to date, including acoustic guitar pieces. The CD will be called Heart of the Savage – Original Classical Guitar and Acoustic Guitar by Richard F. Sayage – it will probably be released on my own label, as I don’t have the patience to deal with record company executives.

As I said earlier, I am extremely pleased to offer all of these extraordinary pieces and collections to you. As a result of the completed work behind me, I am able to spend more time re-working and formally publishing my other pieces and collections from Bach. In the meantime, there were 6 publishing houses that were in the process of reviewing their offers for the Book of Two Part Inventions for mass publication. Regardless of the high acceptance rate by these houses, I have finally made a decision on which one will exclusively offer this collection. CF Peters, one of the most respected publishers in the industry will have the opportunity to publish the rest of my work and those upcoming. I am very excited by this prospect as I believe they are too. This will allow me further time to continue working the music, editing, engraving, etc. and the further collections I hope to offer all of you in the very near future.

Dhiana Girl - one of my 2 darling babies

Dhiana Girl – one of my 2 darling babies

Of course, I have been fortunate enough to have been playing all of these pieces and the 200+ others from Bach that I’ve transcribed for the last 15 or so years. May you have more time than that with which to enjoy them.

I also want to point out that I transcribed the majority of this work in the 1980’s and 1990’s by hand. My task, now and of late, is to edit them further (I like to think that I’m better at it now than before), formally engrave and print them so that you can read them. There are 300+ pieces to go, and it is a daunting endeavor. My work also continues on further collections by the master. I trust he is smiling upon me (at least I hope so) for doing all of this work? There are days, though, when I play so poorly, that I feel as if the last thing he’s doing is smiling. My buddy jokes, “My muuuussssicccc, what are you doing to my muuuusssssiiiiiiccccc” (use a real bad German accent when saying this). Comical. We’ve all had those days. May they be few and far between for you.

In early 2008, we officially started a classical guitar dealership, focusing on mid to high end instruments, equipment and now classical guitar repair and servicing.  I have been doing this for many years, since early 1980, but it is now official.  I didn’t want to just to start selling instruments until I could be sure that I would do it correctly.  Resultantly, and quite quickly, we are now one of the largest private dealers in the country, maybe in the entire globe.

The focus is on working easily with people, taking care of their needs, being generous on both sides of the guitar and making them happy.  That simple business model has allowed us to grow into what we are today, and what we will be tomorrow.  It is an awesome thing we’ve done here and I could not be more grateful to the numerous people who have helped me and all of my incredibly wonderful and educated customers.

My many thanks to Richard Fernandez for his help and his counsel on many related issues to the business of and the transcriptions of Bach’s music that I offer to all of you as well as his help in my photography.  He is a good friend.

I also wish to acknowledge the talented webmaster of www.froogles.com , Richard Wolfe, for his incredible help with web design, pc and network setups, and his good common sense. These are both very close friends and I love them dearly.

My buddy, Steven Schram, an absolutely great guitarist on many levels, has also been extremely helpful to me over these last few years, educating me further on quality guitars and fine tuning my eyes to the guitar side and the business side of this difficult but rewarding endeavor. He has also been quite helpful in web design and in helping to develop one of our newest logos.  He’s a great guy and I miss him since he moved to PA.

My wife Valerie, has not always understood me, but what man could not say that to some degree. Regardless, she has dealt with me and my ever-present manic state, and has supported these efforts with her care for me, our home and our children. I wouldn’t even know where or how to start thank her for giving me the room, time, space and leeway to make all of this happen. I am indebted to her for all of the above and for assisting me in our business efforts. She keeps it all together and she’s way cool! 🙂

Florence Jones requires my deepest thanks for her tireless ear and her thoughtful assistance with so many issues related to music and otherwise. She is a great friend and a lovely woman in all respects. I must highlight Sy Shaffer among many professors over the decades. He taught me everything he knew about music, theory, orchestration & conducting, including the teachings of Bela Bartok, Pierre Montieux, and Tibor Serly, among others. Mr. Jerry Willard requires my regards for his definitive Bach Lute Works and his always-present kindness when I was a student. The Lute Works told me that there was more to Bach where the guitar was concerned while he displayed to me a higher level of playing. They are both always in my thoughts at some part of my day. I am indebted to them both for their work, guidance, patience and superior instruction.

In the last year or two, since early 2012, Dan Bouza, a former student of mine and incredibly intelligent and resourceful young man, has helped me in numerous ways, from social networking, photography, audio engineering (his real specialty), web design and production, and in general, being an incredibly valuable executive assistant.

Over the years I have become friends with many fine people, who have assisted me in numerous ways, including Chris Gotzen-Berg and Gerry Saulter.

Thank you across the board to many people, whom, over time, have provided me with valuable assistance and guidance, in one or many ways while I have learned the myriad aspects of this business, including El McMeen, Jim Ivler, John Martin, William Jennings (Doc), Sarn Dyer, Arthur Ness, Alain Reiher, Jeff Carter, Dan McIntee, Matanya Ophee, and Angelo Gilardino.

Continued thanks to Manuel Adalid of Spain, a man whom I’ve come to admire and respect for his ever present need to learn and improve, all while building some of the finest guitars in the world, from the conservatory level to the guitars that represent the highest level of guitar mastery.

A very big thank you as well to Kenny Hill who has provided guidance and his time, and a thank you to his sons and his entire staff for supporting and creating such wonderful guitars.

The very many talented and fine luthiers who have graced me with their work and honored me and my studio with their fine creations also have my gratitude and thanks.

Of course, great thanks go to both Masters, Bach and Weiss. Without them and their incredible musical insight, I could not offer you anything except my advice: Play often and play well. Buy a superior guitar. Money is not always the definition of superior. Breathe. Don’t press too hard. Position is everything. Knowing and feeling the music, intimacy with its inherent expression, is everything else.

With my sincerest regards and deepest thanks for your attention. Your letters of appreciation and your kind feedback have been most gratifying.

Richard F. Sayage – Long Island, NY – March 31, 2013

Savage Classical Guitar – Editions, Guitars, and Luthier Services – Classical Guitar Dealer – Classical Guitar Shop

  • I am always looking for the finest classical guitars and flamenco guitars to offer to my ever growing list of international clientele.  Guitars by Daniel Friedrich – Dominique Field – Robert Bouchet – Hermann Hauser I – Fransisco Simplicio – Santos Hernandez – Ignacio Fleta – Domingo Esteso – Arcangel Fernandez – Marcelo Barbero – Manuel Reyes – Andrea Tacchi – Enrico Botelli – Hernandez y Aguado – Hermann Hauser II – Gary Southwell – David Jose Rubio – Enrique Garcia – Greg Byers – Robert Ruck – Geza Burghardt – Daniele Chiesa – Olivier Fanton D’Andon – Eric Monrad – Dake Traphagen – Gernot Wagner – Woodley White – Paulino Bernabe Sr. – Jim Redgate – Greg Smallman – Dominique Delarue – Stephen Connor – Miguel Rodriguez and the list goes on, no?  LOL   I will purchase outright, I’m happy to consign, and I will always help to facilitate a great guitar moving into the hands of the player and or the collector.  Call me anytime or write.  Thank you kindly.

All the best, Richard F. Sayage

Savage Classical Guitar

631-335-5447 – Mobile Work Phone (best way to contact me, it’s always on my hip)

631-647-4572 – Studio/Workshop Phone

My address for the new gallery is:

385 Central Ave
Suite E
Bohemia, NY 11716

Email me directly if you would like to drop me a line: [email protected]