Welcome to Beyond the Trees

Imagine a world full of wondrous guitars, singing songs of the trees to the sky and the stars

Instrument Gallery

A Visit With Fred


Purchasing An Instrument     







 Study Guitar Building With Fred

Instruments Available for Sale


(updated November 2018)

(click to find out more)

New pages for:

Frog Banjo #2

Frog Banjo #3

EEEEK! Fred has a Facebook page! (clicking here may take you there!)

The Fretboard Journal #40 features an article about Fred by Guild of American Luthiers director Tim Olsen

with beautiful photos of instruments by my friend, Alan Porter, and my partner Suzy

New Photo pages up for:

Tibetan Tiger Harpobanjitar #2

The Tibetan Tiger Harpobanjitar

The Sympathetic Drone Cello

The Humanitar


Frog Banjo # 1

and not new but still of interest:

Fred has a "children's" book out-"A Luthier's Alphabet of Imaginary Instruments"


Two videos on youtube feature Jeff Titus on The Oracle Harp-Sympitar:

Chava's Song (Michael Hedges)/Silent Return and Wood Dragon (with Gregg Miner on guzheng!!)

Album from Harp Guitar Music features Alex de Grassi on The New Dream, Jeff Titus on Oracle

and this one is wonderful.....

Video on youtube features Alex de Grassi playing The New Dream Harp-Sympitar

Amazing instruments by Fred Carlson

Fred Carlson, co-founder of Beyond the Trees, has been hand-building original and traditional guitars and other stringed instruments for over 40 years. If you like beautiful, unusual instruments and you're not familiar with Fred's work, you're in for a treat. A unique combination of discipline, skill, whimsy and innovation, along with an intuition finely honed by years of experimenting, makes Fred's work stand apart from that of other luthiers.

Rather than viewing an instrument as a collection of separate components, i.e. body, neck, bridge etc., each of Fred's instruments is conceived of, from the design stage on, as a coherent piece of sculpture. This attention to how details combine to make the whole is carried through in the sculpting of the instrument's voice as well.

An important focus for Fred is that of insuring that the unusual design features add to, rather than detract from, the instrument's function. In the end, all these factors- tone, playability, visual and tactile effect- are intertwined in the creation one of Fred's instruments.

In the case of custom orders, Fred enjoys working closely with the customer to help them realize their instrument dream. And he's a nice guy to work with, to boot!

Click here to send Fred an email