DeGennaro Guitars is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan and is a complete custom guitar & mandolin shop. I make acoustic and electric guitars, basses and mandolins.
DeGennaro Guitars is also a band.


The sound quality and playability are incredibly important to my creations and the unique aged woods that I use and the way I design and construct them all come together to make a handmade instrument of the highest caliber for the professional who relies on that for their music.
I choose all of the wood and do all the design, construction, fretting, carving, inlay work and finishing on my guitars so you have an instrument who's fit and finish has been seen from beginning to end by myself and not sent down some assembly line with untold numbers of people working on it resulting in a questionable instrument.
I have some techinques, ideas and secrets that I incorporate into my instruments which may not be apparent and that others in the field are not doing.
I have several models of guitars and mandolins of my own design that play and sound awesome which you can custom configure to your needs and taste, or I can make an instrument off of your design.
Some guitars that I have already built and are available will be listed on this site for purchase if you don't want to wait for one to be made to your specs.
If you need a body or a neck made (my necks have been mistaken for high-end manufactured brands), want an instrument refinished, repaired or to have inlay work done I'd be happy to discuss it with you. I am also quite skilled at repairing those old and super valuable vintage instruments that most people are afraid to touch. I have taken many a blown-out guitar, restored it and made it sound and play better than it ever did.

Let me make you an instrument that will sound and record exceptional, last beyond your lifetime and become more valuable as the years go by...it's the handmade difference.


I've been around music all my life. My family is full of musicians. Our great grandmother played everything from piano to stringed instruments. My mother has been a singer most of her life and my father was a harmonica player. Louie, my oldest brother played the Sax as did my third oldest brother, Jim, who played in the army band and professionally in studios and opened for big name acts. Fred, my second oldest brother is a great jazz guitar player performing in the West Michigan area professionally. My youngest brother, Tom, plays bass guitar and is a teacher like my oldest sister, Rita who was a dancer.

My interest in stringed instruments started back in the 70's when I saw a potatoback mandolin that my friend found in his attic. After trading him 2 Eisenhower dollars for it my brother Fred had a music store fix it and I learned how to play. Along the way I would take apart instruments to see how they were built and began inlaying them in high school.
Muggs McGuiness was a vintage instrument store owner who moved here from Tennessee, he fed my habit for instruments and gave me good advice on the repairs that I would do on mandolins.
Since I had been singing all my life I found that playing the guitar was a great accompaniment instrument for me and began working with guitars after high school and have continued that until today (hear me sing and play on my CD).
Soon after this I started making my own mandolins (over 20 years ago) and continued to refine my own designs and experiment with strange combinations. This brought everything together for me as a perfect artistic statement where I could make and decorate the instruments that I made my music with.
During the 90's I began to create my guitar designs and put together my own small woodworking shop. At this time I had been working in a furniture shop as a restoration specialist and finisher since the mid 80's. Before that I worked as a sample and pattern maker in various furniture factories. Even before that I was hired to do artwork and repair work on furniture. And all along the way I applied what I learned to the instruments that I would make on my own at night.
Several years ago I decided to start building a guitar business and offer my work to anyone looking for a unique and exceptional sounding instrument.
Over the years I've owned, adjusted, repaired and refinished hundreds of vintage and modern factory guitars of all brands, shapes and sizes. This sort of real world knowledge that you can't get from taking a class is invaluable and goes into all the work I do on instruments.


DeGennaro Guitars records and plays songs written by Bill and John. There is a full length CD available for purchase on this site and through most online stores.
We mainly play gigs in the West Michigan area from time to time at local bars, showcases, parties, weddings, etc. For some of these gigs we mix in a bunch of oldies and classic rock songs to go along with our originals.
We also use DeGennaro instruments so if you catch us live it's a good chance to see, hear and even test out what we make.


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