”AJ builds all his guitars himself, without any emplyees. He has built almost the same amount of guitars as the Selmer factory made Model Jazz during the whole of their existence! Think about the knowledge he has gained! ,-He knows those guitars. He plays them on stage, He truly stands out from all gypsyguitarbuilders of today, period…. in my opinion!!…- Per-Erik Jansson - a guitar afficianado ”

Early years

I was never going to be a Luthier, as such. I just built guitars that I wanted to play, first one at twelve years old. At that time I played Hard Rock, of course... later on, more roots stuff, Blues, Country, Jazz, so I made Strats, Dobros, Archtops, etc. It was twenty-five years ago when I saw the documentary "Django's Legacy" -the music caught me. I wanted to know everything about it. I made my first gypsy guitar that very same year. I was teaching guitar-building then. There was no internet yet. I tried to find books and gather information everywhere I could. Not that much was available back then.

Reserch Selmer

I went to Paris. I wanted to turn over every stone, met Francois Charle, Jacques Mazzoleni, Maurice DuPont, and many other important people then. I had the opportunity to inspect many vintage Selmers. I made one guitar after another. Things got a bit out of hand for a while. I wanted to have everything exactly right, just the way they were at Selmer. I copied all their tools and jigs.

” AJL is known for his meticulous attention to detail, deep knowledge of traditional building techniques, and replica hardware which is second to none., -Michael Horowitz”

Hot club de Finlande

The band was formed in 1994. Later on we got a jump-start when Andreas Öberg became an endorser. We played festivals and concerts in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, with the likes of Andreas, Gary Potter, Robin Nolan, Ritary Gaguenetti, Joscho Stephan, Olli Soikkeli & Paulus Schäfer, and various violinists, and vocalists. Since then I have produced a number of albums, and concerts with the band. I owe a lot to all the great musicians I have played with. They taught me to play and love this music. You really learn what to expect from a gypsy guitar when you have the appropriate mileage.

Big band & Swing stuff

I was excited when I was invited to play Count Basie, and old swing stuff with a Big-Band, Ostrobothnian Jazz Orchestra. That's when I had to study Freddie Green stuff, and got hooked on Stromberg guitars.

Later on there were collaborations with Hot Club De Finlande & Ostrobrothian Jazz Orchestra. We held Django Retrospective concerts -Django with Big-Band arrangements.

Why do I do this ?

Sometimes guitar shows are like art exhibitions, -"Do not touch! No playing allowed!", because it makes noise. Of course I want my guitars to be very beautiful to look at, but most of all I want to bring my guitars to people so they can be played. This comes first... always. I have developed them in a band context, and want to hear how they sound when people play together that way. What the rhythm sounds like, -if you can hear the high strings from the soloist, etc.

Perfect tone ?

Even if I hold the highest Degree in guitar-building obtainable, it's still important to be humble, have keen ears, and keep listening to the players. Sometimes the perfect piece of wood, or solution to create "perfect tone", is not musically any good. As you know, an A-class tube amplifier doesn't always make for the best choice, and sometimes a drum-skin has to be dampened with duct tape, or the trebles have to be cut. So, there is no "perfect" tone, though there may be the right tone for a particular use.

Master Degree

Luthier should create his vision by listening to players - To form an instrument, I should research luthiery.


I'm happy that I am able to spend my time doing what I love. Luthiery is not just science, or engineering, though some understanding of both is required. It requires more than craftsmanship. You have to be able to do anything out of everything. It's not just the creation of art, though an eye for aesthetics does help. I don't need to be the greatest musician, but I could not do this if I were unable to play, and perform with these guitars. It's not psychology, but one does need to listen... I like all of this.

I'm also happy to have the opportunity to work with people whom are dedicated, skilled, and passionate in what they do; talented musicians, skilled craftsmen in metal work, CNC-work, graphic designers... 

AJL-Guitar is a result of contribution of many passions