I don?t know if this has been done before or if this would go here so im sorry if i put it in the wrong place?but I was carious ?what dose it take to be a luthier?is it an Apprenticeship? or is it something you can go to school for? To start out do you need a huge knowledge of the guitar or any stringed insterment for that matter?
Last edited by GsKoRn1 at Jun 17, 2006,
Mad skillz.

There are schools for luthierie but there isn't standard acreditation like being a electrician. It isn't needed. Most schools are just like a spring board, they won't give you all the skills needed. But they are a great start.

Apprenticeships aren't to common, if you can find a builder willing to take you on it's great. But many can't as they would have to pay extra insurance to have you around, and most can afford/justify that. Having apprentice around would slow them down, and they wouldn't recieve the same ensentives as a cabientmaker would for taking on a apprentice.

You can start building with as much knowledge or as little as you want, but you can't really charge for your work untill your guitars compare with high end guitars.
Many have a different day job and build guitars as a hobby untill they can afford to do it fulltime.

Learning how to build guitars can be done by researching on the internet, buying books and old fashioned trial and error.
most peopel start out building some wood wokring projects, then eventually a guitar. They learn from their mistakes and make more until htey start selling htem as a living. But there are peple whomay apprentice you, and There are schols that teach luthery, but they dont' run cheap.
The guitar as we know it today has only been around for about 85 years. When you look at the history of some instruments that dates back hundreds and even thousands of years, the 85 year history of steel strings guitars seems pretty insegnificant. The violin was invented in the 9th century and it took another 6 or 7 hundread years before we ended up with the violins that we have been trying to recreate for the last 3 or 4 hundred years. By comparison the guitar is still just a baby and it's safe to say that the "best" guitars have not been created yet so when you go to a school that teaches you the "traditional" way of building guitars and they teach you to become dependant on jigs, molds, and fancy tools they are really restricting your crativity and slowing down the progress the guitar could be making. Don't get me wrong, these schools can be great for those people that want to just build a couple guitars but if you want to be a luthier I think it's best to learn on your own 1st. Then if you feel like it go to the luthier school and integrate their teachings into the style that you have already developed.
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^Yes and no. I read a lot, and I build a lot. Most of my learning came from building my experimental guitar. After I had built several guitar I also had the oppertunity to start talking with other big shot luthiers and bouncing ideas off them. I have also relied on them to answer my questions. It was when they said I was ready that I started refering to myself as a luthier.
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I have basic carpenter?s skills most from helping my dad and a shop class I took my freshmen year; would that be enough for me to start? And could you recommend some books for me to look at for now?nothing to fancy I have no job so no money?yet?

O and p.s. do you have to get licensed for it?
Any woodworking skills are going to help you.
For books are you looking into electric or acoustic? for electrics "make your own electric guitar" by melvyn hiscock, is a great book. For acoustics "Guitarmaking: Tradition and technology" by william cumpiano and Jonathon Natelson is widely regarded as the best book on the subject. Another book i'd get would be Understanding Wood : A Craftsman's Guide to Wood Technology by R. Bruce Hoadley, i don't have it yet but it's on my next to buy list.

There is no lisence, anyone can call themselves a luthier, it's kind of self regulated.
^all very good books. Understanding wood is something that can wait untill later on tho.

As for the lisence thing... Part of that depends on the country you live in. Some countries do have them.
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PATIENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! dont rush things learn how they work and why they work. and u need to know how to use the tools and create jigs to use the tools in certain ways... just thought id add this on top of the schools and books etc.
All being a luthier is,in a nut shell, is trial and error. And making the right thing for the right person at the right time.
Hm....ok lots of help here thx guys...or gals...(not sarcasm)

O one more thing is being a Luthier more of a hobby or a job...I mean if i get to be good at it...would it still be just a hobby?
Last edited by GsKoRn1 at Jun 18, 2006,
that completely depends on you... can you sell your guitars to people for enough profit to not only continue the business but to also pay the bills/buy food etc? If so then I suppose luthier can be a full time job. But untill then having a 'real' job would be beneficial.

and by real job I in no way consider luthiers underclass, i just couldnt think of a more proper term to call jobs.
A SPECIALIST IS: someone who knows more and more about less and less,
until he gets to the point where he knows absolutely everything about next to
the guitar tech/luthier at the guitar store my bro works at works 11-5, 5 days a week and makes enough to pay for a family with 2 kids...but a lot of people struggle though
I have no experience with wood-working whatsoever, but i really love guitars, and would like nothing better than to start building on my own once my try at a career in a band fails. Is it possible for me to become a luthier?
Pick up one of those book i guess...I found a DIY Guitar kit after i googled them would those be any help
The DIY kits are great for a 1st time builder to get an idea of what is involved. They really help when you don't have all the tools you need too. A lot of these kits have horrible pickups and tuners and stuff, others have great ones but the really cheap kits still end up being a good price for the neck, body and bridge... even if you have to replace everything else.
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