Paul Heumiller - Owner of Dream Guitars
Paul Heumiller, accomplished guitarist and owner of Dream Guitars, sees himself as an advocate of custom guitar makers, whose long hours at the workbench make it difficult for them to market themselves effectively. Like many of his generation, Paul spent his 20s pursuing dreams of rock stardom. He sang and played electric guitar in clubs along the Jersey Shore, including Asbury Park’s Stone Pony, the club where the Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen, has jammed since his earliest days.
In 1999, he attended the first IGS (International Guitar Seminar) at Columbia University in New York City, led by Bob Brozman and Woody Mann, where he also encountered Martin Simpson for the first time. Heumiller says, “I heard Martin play a few notes and instantly felt that was the sound I was trying to make my whole life. We began working together; I built him a website, and he in turn mentored me on guitar.” As their friendship evolved, Heumiller traveled with Simpson as an assistant to master classes around the United States and in Europe. More than a few attendees had beautiful custom instruments, and this is where the seeds for Dream Guitars were planted.
In 2002, Heumiller started Dream Guitars, selling custom guitars, mostly acoustic, on the Internet. After Simpson’s North Carolinian friend Al Petteway, the Grammy-winning guitarist and National Geographic photographer, showed Heumiller around Asheville, he was sold. The Asheville area was the only spot on the entire Coast that felt right.
A decade later, with a staff of eight, Heumiller, now 50, sells about 400 guitars per year at Dream Guitars. Most of the sales are still done online—the shop, part of his residence, is open only by appointment. Dream Guitars’ entire inventory—usually more than 200 instruments—fills seven rooms of Heumiller’s home and sits on stands, waiting to be played. The offerings run the gamut. Heumiller says, “We sell guitars from pioneering guitar makers like Ervin Somogyi, who many credit with lighten- ing up the bracing of the steel-string for modern fingerstyle playing, and from younger luthiers like Jordan McConnell, a Canadian maker whose guitars are off the charts in terms of their expressiveness.”
The shop also includes a full video recording studio, where Heumiller, Petteway, and other guitarists record demos of all of the shop’s instruments, and where a series of lessons is produced. Dream Guitars also hosts (and records) concerts and workshops on the premises; recent guests have included Alex de Grassi and the duo of Tony McManus and Beppe Gambetta. “I created Dream Guitars out of love for music and guitar,” says Heumiller. “Since the beginning, we’ve strived to be much more then a guitar shop; we want to be a community.”
ROOKIES: Jim will revisit the classic 1-4-5 chord progression. We will cover two classic tunes to demonstrate the format: Leaving on a Jet Plane and Kansas City. Click below to download lyrics and chords. We may attempt changing keys with bar chords.
Leaving on a Jet Plane
MINORS: Minors will explore techniques to adding color between chords. Alternate chord options will be explored as well.
MAJORS: Majors tend to hang out with the Main Presenter or assemble in their own mini-groups to jam, etc.