We see our approach to instrument building as our way of practicing good energy. Because we think good energy is what it’s all about, from the thud of a knuckle against rough plank to the vibration of fingers on strings. Our goal is to see our customers carry this good energy forward… igniting themselves, lighting up stages and warming up hearths. 

Goldbeard Guitars is a guitar building school, manufacture and repair company based in Wellington’s Lyall Bay. We offer short guitar-making and ukulele-building courses, build guitars to commission using customer-selected designs, components and timbers, and bring old and damaged instruments back to life. 

The company was founded in 2011 and has welcomed customers from as near as next-door to as far away as Europe, South America, Africa, Japan and the US. 

Built on a foundation of precision science, our values are based around business integrity and loyalty to our community. We practice fair, sustainable trade, and once you’ve joined the Goldbeard family you will always be well looked after.  

 

Head-tinkerer

dave likes home baking and strong coffee. he dislikes being beaten at table tennis.

dave likes home baking and strong coffee.
he dislikes being beaten at table tennis.

As a qualified aircraft mechanic, a high-tech recycling engineer, occasional classic car fixer-upperer and total '90's motorbike fanboy, Dave Gilberd has spent a life time working with fine machinery. However, after taking an instrument-building course in 2003, the inaugural strum of his first hand-built guitar was the moment that first got him thinking about doing this for life. After further training at the Totnes School of Guitar-Making (UK) the stage was set, and 2011 saw Goldbeard founded and moving forward.

From electric/acoustic, classical, blues and the downright brazen (!) Dave has since brought countless creations into the world, taught over 60 students how to build their own instruments and revived numerous old and damaged pieces. 
Dave lives in Brooklyn, Wellington, with his wife Natalie, young sons Karsiah and Ethan, an oh-so-nearly refurbished '71 Peugeot and a very large cat called Jack. 

Sideburn

Phil likes to take 1 hour to drink a single cup of coffee. he dislikes hearing yet another new rattle in his car

Phil likes to take 1 hour to drink a single cup of coffee.
he dislikes hearing yet another new rattle in his car

Phil Fahey is Goldbeard’s electric guitar specialist. His roots are in professional photography and design but his heart is firmly stuck on guitars.
He made his first guitar as a response to a particularly ugly electric guitar he owned - he made a new body for that one, then decided to go the whole hog and build a completely new guitar from scratch.

A Christmas present for his brother in 2012 soon followed and Phil has been turning them out ever since, fine-tuning his style through practice, practice, practice.

His involvement in Goldbeard has brought a stunning collection of electric gats into the Goldbeard mix that merge both the look and feel of traditional styles with Goldbeard’s unique identity.
Phil lives in Island Bay, Wellington when he is 'living' among the dust and wood shavings at the workshop.

Hair Guitarist

Natalie likes to pretend she can play the guitar. She dislikes Dave always winning at table tennis.

Natalie likes to pretend she can play the guitar.
She dislikes Dave always winning at table tennis.

Natalie Gilberd is our strategy gem. What she lacks in guitar-playing prowess she makes up for in marketing muscle, hijacking Dave's reverie on wood-seeking road trips to discuss strategy, budgets and all of the practical businessy things that bore most normal people.

While she may turn a good drive into a bad idea, her solid background in marketing, communication and design makes her well placed to fill the driving seat when it comes to our brand. Natalie is also Dave's wife, full time Mum to sons Karsiah and Ethan and Goldbeard founding business partner.