Terry Usher

Terry Usher –
Jazz, Classical Guitarist & Tutor



Terry Usher on Epiphone with Roy Plummer

Playing on the left is Terry Usher Tutor to  ‘Jack’ Duarte, later John W Duarte.  Roy Plummer (Right) – who could be the 3rd Guitarist – Curly Clayton? or Jack Duarte?
This picture was taken in the late 40s or very early 50s.
The Guitar is an Epiphone but the Frequensator Tailpiece has been opposed to place the Treble strings to the longest reach.
Frequensator: allows for a longer string length on the 3 bass strings, shorter string length on the 3 treble strings, sometimes reversed by players to accommodate short strings, high-end models: 1939-1970

Terence (Terry) Usher, Tutor of the guitar at the Royal Manchester College of Music, Recitalist & Broadcaster, Composer & Arranger of works for the Guitar, and author of many articles on playing the Guitar, recently compiled a paper for The Galpin Society in which he paid tribute to the genius of Luthier Marco Roccia. He wrote:
TerryUsherAcousticTerryUsherArchtop“Most of the modern Luthiers have been content to copy the designs (fan strutting) of Torres, Enrique Garcia, Ramirez and other earlier makers whose designs are accepted as standard.  One British Luthier, however, Marco Roccia recommenced making Guitars after WW2 by casting aside all pre­conceived ideas except those of body size & shape and, calling upon his experience in repairing 1000s of old Guitars by all the world’s Makers, began again on new lines. The experiments included double cruciform and other unorthodox barrings, barring found beneath the Soundboards of early square Pianos; barrings without uniformity of structure placed empirically where the soundbox was proved to be under stress and variations of wood thickness for treble & bass sides of the belly & sides.”

A few of us went backstage one morning after rehearsals to meet Django Reinhardt in person at the Manchester Ardwick Hippodrome 1938 (I recall the faces of Terry Usher, John (then) – Jack Duarte, Peter Sloan and other Manchester early Guitar stalwarts). Django spoke no English and we but a little, bad schoolboy French. Stephane Grappelli did the honours and conveyed our congratulations, enthusiasms and questions.

MGCManchester Jazz & Classical Guitarist – Terry Usher.
LenWillamsGuitaristThe words of Terry Usher (Front Right) who said: “with the opening of the Spanish Guitar Centre in 1952, Len Williams established not only a legitimate School for Classic Guitar Tuition, but a Mecca for all London and visiting Guitarists as well”. and so it proves to be – there is always something going on at the Centre – Guitar enthusiasts from around the world dropping in on their way through London. Players like David Russell, Hucky Eichelmann, Ben VerderyJohn Mills are often to be seen. It is a great tribute to Len Williams whose foresight in creating the Centre 50 years ago has been thoroughly justified;

The Manchester Guitar Circle was founded in 1946 by Terry Usher & John Duarte with the stated aim of “increasing interest in the Classical Guitar”.

Banjo Mandolin & Guitar MagazineBMG Back Issue – 1943 – 05. Terry Usher

TerryUsherGuitaristAcousticCare of the Guitarists Fingernails
Daily maintenance after achieving the ideal length/shape is less hassle than a longer once-a-week session. For many years I have carried a pebble in my pocket for the purpose – millions of them available on beaches, pathways etc and by trial & error you will find the ideal abrasive quality.  I got the idea from an article by the late Terry Usher (Friend & Associate of John W Duarte).

The Spanish Guitar in the 19th & 20thC – Terence Usher
The Galpin Society Journal, Vol. 9, (June 1956), pp. 5-36 – (article consists of 34 pages)

The Question of Good Taste by Terry Usher