Lutherie: the craft of making stringed instruments.
BB King ran into a burning building to save his “Lucille.” Brian May built his Red Special with his father out of an old fireplace mantle. Guitars are more than just instruments to almost anybody who owns one. Whether it was that week in college you wanted to learn Wonderwall to get laid, or that year you spent holed up in your room learning albums note for note, or an entire lifetime with a guitar you got on your 11th birthday, guitars have stories. To be a part of those stories, though, seems even more special. To create something that somebody connects with on a deep level, hopefully for the rest of their life, is amazing to me. That’s a big part of why I’m taking this next step in my life.
I’ve decided to study under Jeremy Nicks at the Canadian School of Lutherie. You should definitely look at their website and see what they’re about.
The reason I’m writing this blog is to show you, day by day, exactly what it’s like learning the craft. There’s no shortage of people posting videos of their work on guitars. The thing is, though, those people all know what they’re doing. I’m flying in blind – I’ve got no woodworking experience, and I’ve only done small work on my own guitars with probably none of the right tools. I just know guitars and what I love about them.
For anybody who has a passion for the way instruments work, this will be a great vessel for knowing exactly what goes into a handmade guitar. For anybody considering an education in instrument construction and repair, I’ll do my best to give you a real look at what you need to put into it to get the most out of it. For everybody else, I’ll occasionally tell knock-knock jokes. …no. No, I won’t. That would be bad. But there will be some pretty pictures and I hope my colour commentary and colourful language on the path to success will be entertaining.
So, now you know the plan. I’m starting my education under very capable leadership, and I’m incredibly excited to come out with a new set of skills. Building an acoustic guitar will be my first project, and I’ll be posting on instagram under the handle @learninglutherie. I’ll document my learning and progress here, along with photos of my progress, and I hope you enjoy following my journey!
Chapter 1 – coming soon