#1
i dunno if this should go here, but oh well, i'll shoot anyways.

i've always wanted to do something with guitars after high school, whether it be playing in a band, working at a shop, etc., and since that day is rapidly approaching, i think i've finally decided upon something that would make me happy and pay the bills; luthiering, or however it's spelled. i fix my own guitars and my friend's axes all the time for fun, and i almost enjoy it as much as playing, and i've just recently started refinishing and reshaping a strat body i've had for quite some time.

the only thing is, how do you get educated for something like this? are there schools or programs for this? i'm really interested in pursuing this as a career, so any information would be extremely apreciated.

thanks!
i play noisy hardcore in the vein of coalesce interrupted by lots of isis-esque riffage and ambience, with a healthy dose of screamo dynamics ala funeral diner. it even sounds good sometimes!
#3
i'm quite sure there are some programs like this.. like woodwork programs or something..
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#4
Quote by lp_std
have fun being poor



Yep you'll have to be darn good and innovative to get anywhere i reckon. Even if it's to live off.


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#5
I've heard of like 6 or 7 schools in the U.S. that are supposed to be pretty good. I heard about one in Georgia that was supposed to be pretty good, that's the only one I remember the location of though. I can't remember it's name.

He wouldn't be poor if he was good. Chances are he'd be able to find a job with a company that makes guitars if he made custom guitars that were very good.
#6
I borrowed this guitar building book from the library a few years ago. It had this big list of famous guitar crafting schools in the back. Maybe you should look for a similar book or google guitar lutherie (or whatever form of the word luthier that is) school.
Got Bass?
#7
Quote by lp_std
have fun being poor


You my friend are a legend. You just killed this thread and this poor guys career aspirations.

I'm sending you an invite to join a group right now!

EDIT: I'm a ****ing sped, you're already a member of the 'NSW FTW!' Group.

Feel free to give me a virtual face palm.
Last edited by Lrn2shrd69 at Jul 21, 2008,
#8
Too bad you don't live in California. Musician's Instittute has a great guitar building program. As well as other schools in the area or nearby sorta
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#9
Theres a local luthier that lives near me, he owns his own shop, sells guitars, amps, accessories, does repair jobs and builds his own guitars. He does alright, some of his guitars go for ₤1000+ ($2000). But I think the shop side of it brings in the most money.
#10
Quote by Newdawn
Too bad you don't live in California. Musician's Instittute has a great guitar building program. As well as other schools in the area or nearby sorta


Guess who might be making a 'guest appearance' at MI in a few weeks

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Perry Ormsby

Pevious builds:
HERE!
#11
Quote by ormsby guitars
Guess who might be making a 'guest appearance' at MI in a few weeks

This could be really funny, and I did not succeed.
Owner of the Murder, She Wrote club
Quote by LP Addict
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Oh, finish the guitar, then spill whiskey and coffee on it. Lock in dank basement for several years, enjoy.

don't forget feces. i always get that on my axe somehow.
#12
Ask ormsby about the fortunes to be made building guitars. You might be able to get a job with the few places in the states still building guitars. But its not like they are super high paying jobs most are just factory line grunt work. And making a living building guitars while trying to compete with the chinese wont work to well. It will take quite a while of making little or losing money making guitars to get your rep going. Not to rain on your parade but there are many others on this site that want to do this to. I have worked on guitars locally and built a few. Get the same response thats a really, really nice guitar BUT I can get one cheaper from MF or GC. Many want work done on their guitars most just dont want to pay for it.
#13
if you live in an area where its you vs guitar center then more experienced guitarists would go to you at the drop of a hat and you would make a fair living.
#14
dont go to a guitar building institute/ byog thing. its all bull****, nothing is better than experience, i wasted my money big time. you will live a poor life, Always having a side job. considering you live in the united states, you will not become any more famous than the "local legend" deal, unless you build some nice guitars, outsource to the overseas, and get lucky as **** like Michael Kelly did, hell hes not even a luthier. get yourself some wood and some templates and go to town on 3 or 4 guitars, you will save alot of money not going to those schools, theres not that much too building a guitar, if you are an experienced woodworker, you would laugh at the idea of an electric guitar, ill get to that point someday, i learn something new everyday at work.
#15
Quote by Tackleberry
Many want work done on their guitars most just dont want to pay for it.


That's true for just about anything you can do working for yourself - i.e. my job is IT - everyone wants their PC fixed, but no one wants to pay for the 15+ years of experience that I bring along (except businesses). I even had a kid knock on my door on Christmas Day because the PC his parents bought from PC World didn't work, they didn't want to pay the price for a custom built PC.

As with anything, you need to be consistently good at what you do, reputations are hard won and easily lost - you also need to provide a product people want.

You aren't going to be an overnight success - that's the message people who have tried are giving you. Being different, but not so different that no one but you likes your work, and providing quality that a cheap chinese import can't is key - If your customers can't buy something like your product cheaper from a big retailer, or the internet then they might just buy from you - but the truth is you are never going to compete on price - so you need to provide something unique.
#16
Being a luthier is not really something you can just decide to do at school and say thats going to be my career how do I get into it, its not like joining the army or working for mc donalds, obviously you can try and put all your time money and effort into it and may be you'll get lucky but I doubt it will be as simple as just leaving school and building guitars.

I am considering getting a job at a wood workers near where I live, all though personally I'm not really interested in carpentry, but it might be good for the experience.




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#19
well, thanks for the advice (where it was given).
i'm not too concern about being poor, money isn't important as long as i'm doing something i love.

but i'm gonna try and get some information on it, and the like, thanks!
i play noisy hardcore in the vein of coalesce interrupted by lots of isis-esque riffage and ambience, with a healthy dose of screamo dynamics ala funeral diner. it even sounds good sometimes!
#20
I'm going to have to agree with LP and Perry, PRS hires people but it's all sanding and grunt work. I'm visiting a customer in Glen Burnie, MD which is 30 minutes from Stevensville, MD - where PRS is located. I'm going there tomorrow, actually. The company i'm at now lost a skilled CNC lathe programmer to PRS and all he does is sand bodies all day and hates it.

As far as getting into building as a career, I'm sure it's hard. We'd all love to have our own shop some day. I've started by selling guitar pickups but i'm not going to make a fortune selling them for what i'm selling them for right now ($60usd bare/$75 with covers). The guitar player in my band loves the pickups I sold him and wants me to make him a firebird and the bass player wants a custom bass... I still need to finish my own builds, though LoL. we all have to start somewhere... good luck in your quest
Support your local luthier!

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I make guitars and pickups. I also make sh*t that'll blow you the f*k up as well as things that will rebuild you - I have the technology
#21
I would like to get into this career too. What I plan on doing is trying several things (rebuilding cars, luthiering, programming, etc...) and see where I come out most successful. Whatever you do, you will have to take a chance. Get good, buy a few energy drinks and get prepared for some hard work.
#22
^ indeed.

anything you do, you have to be really good at to make any kind of name for youself. it's a lot of work it's not just wake up one day and instantly you're PRS, Fender or Gibson.
Support your local luthier!

Timpson Guitars and TDM Pickups rock ;D

I make guitars and pickups. I also make sh*t that'll blow you the f*k up as well as things that will rebuild you - I have the technology