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©Terry Docherty Guitars 2013

Handmade Cittern UK by Terry Docherty Handmade Guitar Cittern by Terry Docherty UK Handmade Guitar Bouzouki by Terry Docherty UK Handmade Cittern by Terry Docherty UK Handmade Guitar Cittern by Terry Docherty UK Handmade Cittern by Terry Docherty UK

Handmade Citterns & Bouzoukis by Terry Docherty

On this page you can see examples of my carved, arch-top cittern and guitar-bodied variants of both cittern and bouzouki.

My cittern tops can be constructed from either German spruce, Sitka spruce, Adirondack Spruce or Western Red Cedar with a choice for backs and sides of either Indian Rosewood, Cocobolo or Brazilian Rosewood. Prices vary accordingly.

The Guitar-cittern shown was made for Ken Tonge of Washington, Tyne & Wear


Handmade Cittern by Terry Docherty UK Handmade Guitar Cittern by Terry Docherty UK

This Guitar-Bouzouki was made for
Richard Ridley


Handmade Guitar Bouzouki by Terry Docherty UK Handmade Guitar Bouzouki by Terry Docherty UK

Today I had the pleasure of playing a new Terry Docherty archtop cittern.  The instrument has a beautifully straight-grained sitka spruce top, about 6mm thick in the middle, tapering down to about 3mm. The back and sides are of rosewood, the neck maple. The bridge is ebony with a bone saddle set into it; the tailpiece is brass and accepts ball-end strings.

This is Terry's first archtop and he's done a splendid job.  The woodworking is of the highest quality with nice attention to detail.  The sound is well-balanced and strong -  the trebles ring out and the bass is full, but I was especially struck by how balanced the sound is.  The tone has a very pleasant nasal quality, rich in overtones, with a long sustain.  I've never been a fan of archtop citterns, so this instrument was a very pleasant surprise and has helped me to understand why so many players prefer them.

The string length is just short of  60cm - longer than I'm used to for a 5-course instrument, but still quite comfortable for melody playing while still being long enough to give full chordal support to a soloist or band.  Terry had it tuned E B E B E, which I changed to  E B F# B E - just one semitone lower than my usual tuning.  The set up was very good - a little higher and higher tension than I'm used to, but the action was very good for being non-personalized.  The fingerboard is flat, and given that I'm used to (and prefer) a curved fingerboard, I found the instrument quite comfortable and natural to play.

Each player has his or her preferences - I, for example, like a thin, narrow neck, and a curved fingerboard, all of which Terry would gladly do.  My only general suggestion was to try some different bridges. The bridge as it is now is about half an inch thick, and being of ebony, absorbs a lot of sound - or at least I think it does; I could be wrong.  My feeling was that the instrument had even more to offer that a thinner and/or less dense bridge might help bring out.

Doc Rossi     www.cittern.ning.com

Handmade archtop cittern by Terry Docherty UK Handmade archtop cittern by Terry Docherty UK

“I have been fond of arch-top instruments ever since I became aware of their particular sound and I especially like the sound of cedar-topped instruments. I researched a lot of makers on the internet and then decided to place an order with Terry for a 5 course cittern.

I collected my new instrument from Terry in October 2012 and can confirm that it had been built perfectly to my requirements in every respect. It has an incomparable sound which is both loud and subtle at the same time and can be described as warm, clear and distinctive. Bass“I have been fond of arch-top instruments ever since I became aware of their particular sound and I especially like the sound of cedar-topped instruments. I researched a lot of makers on the internet and then decided to place an order with Terry for a 5 course cittern.

I collected my new instrument from Terry in October 2012 and can confirm that it had been built perfectly to my requirements in every respect. It has an incomparable sound which is both loud and subtle at the same time and can be described as warm, clear and distinctive. Bass and treble tones are well balanced and the strong sustain lets the tones ring for a long time.

I am very happy with my choice which proves Terry to be a maker of fine and high quality stringed instruments. I can also recommend his guitars too, which I had the pleasure to play during my visit."

Klaus Stehr - Luneburg, Germany and treble tones are well balanced and the strong sustain lets the tones ring for a long time.

I am very happy with my choice which proves Terry to be a maker of fine and high quality stringed instruments. I can also recommend his guitars too, which I had the pleasure to play during my visit."

Klaus Stehr - Luneburg, Germany

Handmade archtop cittern by Terry Docherty UK Handmade archtop cittern by Terry Docherty UK Handmade archtop cittern by Terry Docherty UK Handmade archtop cittern by Terry Docherty UK

Doc Rossi reviews the new Archtop Cittern
handmade by Terry Docherty

REVIEW  Klaus Stehr - Luneburg, Germany

Handmade Citterns
& Bouzoukis
by Terry Docherty
Handcrafted in the UK

Steve Tilston Terry Docherty GuitternSteve Tilston Terry Docherty Guittern

“Wonderful is the best word I can think of to describe the Guittern/10 string Guitar that Terry Docherty has made for me. For a couple of years I’ve enjoyed playing an 8 string Guitar/bouzouki, but I missed having something more in the bass register and this is something that the Guittern delivers” in spades.” I tune it D G D A D, pairs with the lower 3 strings in octaves and the sound is enormous. The extra lower D course has opened up a world of wonders and possibilities both for fingerstyle and flatpick. The craftsmanship is of the highest order,the table being of Spruce and the back and sides Rosewood.I favour a 12 fret to the body neck and the balance between treble and bass is very even indeed. In fact I can’t wait to get back to playing it, so all that remains to be said is: Thanks a million Terry!”


Steve Tilston


Keith Pollard

Keith Pollard’s Mistral

“I have several quality acoustic guitars in my collection including a Martin, a vintage Fylde and a Guild but the guitar that I love the best is my Terry Docherty Mistral. It's a quality instrument with a beautiful clear tone and volume. This is the instrument I take to gigs. When I decided that I needed a Cittern I chose a hand crafted Docherty. It's performance and build is unsurpassed and compares favourably with citterns costing up to three times as much. Sounds nice too!!”