Damn the Torpedos!
Welp, after much rending of garments, decision trees and debates here at the ways and means committee of my life (aka my kitchen), I’ve launched this site! My mission is to talk to you- oh dear guitarist and budding guitar kit purchaser. I’ve been a guitar player for 30+ years. I’ve been in bands that have enabled me to buy some pretty sweet digs. I’ve been in those phases where life happens and I don’t so much as pick up a guitar for years on end. I’ve reached those eras of life that all men must eventually reach where they must build a thing. For me, that was somewhere between my wedding date, my brother’s wedding date and the knowledge that my wife was with child. This required me to find some things to do while she went to bed much earlier than we normally would. Fortunately I had a garage and I also lacked a bass (sidenote: I was neck deep in a sick-ass Rush/Primus phase- you get the idea). Now I COULD have just wandered down to the guitar center and bought myself a bass and this conversation would have never taken place. I know– freaky right?!! But as luck would have it, I saw a video series on YouTube (this video to be precise) that got me all “Hey! I could do that! I could totally do that!” and then was all “tell me more about this guitar kit thing!”.
You see, I wasn’t a luthier- I didn’t have the equipment it would take to do things like lay frets, join some rosewood with maple, let alone sculpt a neck. But how cool was this?! A kit for making guitars (or basses!) For a couple hundred bucks, somebody would take all that hard work out of it and leave me to figuring out finishes, configurations and that fun stuff. So I did that. I learned a few things about finishing, sanding, grounding electronics and what not. Then I decided that was so much fun I’d build another guitar kit. And another. And another. It really became my little release in the garage when I just needed some ‘guy thinking about shit and playing Dust in the Wind’. In that experience I learned a LOT about customizing kits, addressing their (many but not insurmountable) shortcomings, weeding out the good manufacturers from the bad etc. Now I do much of my work from scratch even if I start with a blank kit body. This may or may not be the journey you endeavor to take but if you’re here, and you’re interested, I think I can impart some valuable information to you. I can assure you that if you go into building a guitar with your eyes wide open, avoid some of the common rookie mistakes one makes, you’ll build something you love and you’ll be onto your next one, and one after that and 4 after that in no time (I mean really now-you’re a musician- you know how this is going to go right? Look I didn’t invent this mindset, I just live in it).