Adelaide, SA

Don Morrison has been making resonators - from guitars to mandolins and ukuleles - in Adelaide, South Australia for 20 years, having sold over 500 instruments.

Music became the dominating influence in my life from then on and as time went by I leaned more toward playing acoustic music which lead to my search for a metal bodied resonator guitar. They just weren’t available here in Adelaide in the days before Ebay and Asian mass production so I decided to try to make one.  I’d always been handy with tools and my last hobby - grinding telescope mirrors and lenses - gave me confidence that I could make almost anything! There are no books, videos or classes on metal body guitar making so I had to start from scratch. 

 My first efforts involved the steel from the door of an old Volvo car but I soon realised it was way too heavy. I would lay awake at night thinking of ways to overcome difficulties and eventually got one guitar made well enough to string it up.

 I made another, better, one and then one for a friend and now, 20 years later, I don’t have time to do very much else. In 2018 I sold my 500th instrument and so far I have made 388 guitars, 65 or so mandolins and more than 80 ukuleles. There is at least one Donmo instrument on every continent now (except, maybe, Antarctica!)

 Because I use my own guitars in many different situations – solo, duo, band, amplified, acoustic, for recording, for busking – I get a chance to see how they perform in all conditions. (Some customers may be disturbed to hear that their guitar has been road tested at the local markets!)

© 2019 Strings Attached Guitar Festival

Images © David Dare Parker & Martine Perret

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