#1
I'm very interested in building guitars for a living, however, I don't know how good the job market is, and if I would be able to make a decent living. I'd prefer to hear from those who are luthiers, or really know what they're talking about, thanks for the help.
#2
well it's not difficult to make money on a guitar, if you are really good ppl might pay $1000 for a guitar you spent $300-500 building. I think you might want to build a few "test guitars" b4 building to sell tho. You should break even (from all the tool costs etc...) just by selling half a doesen or so guitars if you are good. the problem really is getting noticed. What you should do is build a couple of guitars, take them to shows (rock gigs or guitar shows.) Then if someone in a band decides to buy it that will be great for publicity.
Set up a website and advertise it as much as possible. You could put something like "i build guitars, PM me for details or visit my website..." in your sig aswell. You should also get a "proper" job to fall back on if it isn't paying the bills.
You won't get rich or anything but if you can earn a living doing what you want, that's all that matters really isn't it?
EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
Last edited by eddiehimself at Aug 30, 2007,
#3
Paul Reed Smith started out as a hobbyist. His big break came when Santana started playing one of his models. Of course the guitar was probably impeccable, but it helps to have a noticeable client.
'59 Bassman Reissue
Custom Strat
Custom McCarty
Custom OM
Big Muff Pi
Dunlop Wah
#4
in the classical guitar luthier relm, most people say you don't really get good at what you do until about guitar #50 give or take. that's usually when all the construction and tone ideas come together.
Quote by allislost
I would say that aetherspear speaks nothing but the truth.
UG Blues Group
UG Reggae & Dub Group
Need Professional Mixing for cheap? Need Vinyl to Digital Transfers? PM Me.
#5
Quote by eddiehimself
well it's not difficult to make money on a guitar, if you are really good ppl might pay $1000 for a guitar you spent $300-500 building. I think you might want to build a few "test guitars" b4 building to sell tho. You should break even (from all the tool costs etc...) just by selling half a doesen or so guitars if you are good. the problem really is getting noticed. What you should do is build a couple of guitars, take them to shows (rock gigs or guitar shows.) Then if someone in a band decides to buy it that will be great for publicity.
Set up a website and advertise it as much as possible. You could put something like "i build guitars, PM me for details or visit my website..." in your sig aswell. You should also get a "proper" job to fall back on if it isn't paying the bills.
You won't get rich or anything but if you can earn a living doing what you want, that's all that matters really isn't it?

Great, as long as I have enough money for strings I'll be fine. I guess my second question would be how do I become a luthier? I've researched a bit, and the only school I found was in Georgia, which is down and to the right, and i'm up and to the left geographically speaking.
EDIT: scratch that last part, did some more research, and found a school near my town, but is that all I have to do? Do I just get lessons for a year, and then bam i'm a luthier? (that'd be sweet)
Last edited by si! at Aug 30, 2007,
#6
i'd suggest finding luthiers in your town and asking about possible apprenticeships. if that doesnt work, read as many books about guitar building and practice as much as possible, then ask about apprenticeships, or just continue on your own if you feel comfortable.
Quote by allislost
I would say that aetherspear speaks nothing but the truth.
UG Blues Group
UG Reggae & Dub Group
Need Professional Mixing for cheap? Need Vinyl to Digital Transfers? PM Me.
#7
I'm thinking of looking for an apprenticeship with a luthier once I head out to school. Something like the Fender custom shop would be perfect if I were anywhere near it.
Last.FM

Quote by Applehead
There are some things in life that are universally "good":

Sex, pizza, the smell of fresh washing and slap bass.
#8
Quote by aetherspear
in the classical guitar luthier relm, most people say you don't really get good at what you do until about guitar #50 give or take. that's usually when all the construction and tone ideas come together.


electric guitars are a lot easier to build. When gibson released the Les Paul, sum1 rang them up and said "now anyone with a bandsaw can build a guitar" obvoiusly it's not THAT easy but the point is that unlike acoustic guitars, you don't really have to worry about the acoustics of a solid body guitar. Just the pickups which to be fair it's not too easy finding a great match between guitar and pickup.

As for the luthier school, if you are prepaired to put in the work and you do the full course then you won't be a master luthier but you will certainly be able to make a high quality guitar that will probably sell for a good few hundred dollars if you find a buyer.
EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
#9
Honestly, it's harder than getting a job at band instrument repair (my trade). But, it all depends on your location.
Sincerely, Chad.
Quote by LP Addict
LP doesnt have to stand for les paul.. it can stand for.... lesbian porn.
#10
Quote by gazaa
Paul Reed Smith started out as a hobbyist. His big break came when Santana started playing one of his models. Of course the guitar was probably impeccable, but it helps to have a noticeable client.


Did PRS do some designs for Gibson? Someone was telling me he had a hand in the doublecut les paul.
Quote by The devil at the crossroads
E|-------------------------------------------1--
B|-----------------------------------1--4--
G|-------------------------1-3-4--
D|------------------1-3----
A|--------1-2-3----
E|-1-4-----

Just move it around the fretboard
#12
Quote by Cosimo_Zaretti
Did PRS do some designs for Gibson? Someone was telling me he had a hand in the doublecut les paul.


one of our guitarrists owns a DC les paul, a very nice guitar and you are right it does look a lot like a PRS, it has the same kind of cutaway like perpendicular to the neck.





i think the les paul is a bit fatter and it has the controls in a different place but apart from that they are pretty much identical.
EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
Last edited by eddiehimself at Aug 31, 2007,
#13
I Think many of the big names did it as a hobby as was said before, then had let musicians try out their instruments, if they like them then word spread, or a lot of them probably worked for a bigger company then built some of their own and went off on their own (IE neil moser used to work for bc. rich)
Quote by Sir-Shoelace
manliest string guage? barbed wire.

Founder Of the UG Slide Player's Guild, PM me If You're Really Feelin' Dem Blues

THE PIT
"better than your average psychiatrist"
#14
Most luthiers have a day job too. Making a living at something like this is 2 luck, 1 part talent, and 2 parts marketing skill. Actually being a successful luthier as a full time job is pretty hard. The problem is that people don't want to order from somebody that works in a spare room of their house because they are afraid they will get ripped off. Actually getting people to beleave that you have a quality product is very hard. One you get off and rolling (most people don't) then it gets a lot easier.
Not taking any online orders.
#15
It's pretty hard to sell anything when you don't have any way to get it out to the market. I think that to be selling anything you make yourself you either have to have a pre-existing shop, or have friends who do.

Maybe get a job in an independent guitar shop as a tech (or open one), and then see if you can put a few of your own designs on the shelf. It's no loss to your boss to let you sell a couple of your own.
Quote by The devil at the crossroads
E|-------------------------------------------1--
B|-----------------------------------1--4--
G|-------------------------1-3-4--
D|------------------1-3----
A|--------1-2-3----
E|-1-4-----

Just move it around the fretboard