Guitar Making Tip No. 103 is about spending time in the shop. I love guitar making tips, but you need to put them to use. Reading and study are worth nothing without practice. Here is how you maximize what you are learning about guitar making.
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Taking Your Learning to the Next Level
There are a lot of people that “plan” their guitar forever. They do a ton of research, read a ton of books, and then never actually do anything with the information.
This is like training for a marathon and never actually running in one. Not only does it waste your time, but you are obviously prepared for the real thing, so why not take it on?
Tips and reading about guitar making is very similar. There is no reason to plan your build forever. There is also no reason to read constantly without actually going into the shop. Here is how you take that new knowledge and make it stick…
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Read About the Step You Are Working On
If you are working on the top, spend time reading tips and studying the top. If you are working on the neck, do the same for the neck. This way, you are learning about the piece that you are currently working with.
Since you are studying what you are making, the tips and ideas will mean more. They will also have a much higher chance of preventing a mistake, because you are deep in the same process you are learning about.
Also, when you take a tip or idea into the shop and put it into practice, it adds another element of learning to your memory. Now, you have read something, did something, and understood something. This is three times more effective than just reading something.
Some Things Don’t Exactly Translate
Some tips are the kind of knowledge that you can’t just take into the shop and try out. They are meant to prevent things, or teach you about an idea. You want to remember these things as best you can, and refresh yourself as needed throughout the build.
For example, binding the neck is a great tip for adding some flair to your build without adding too much more difficulty. You can’t just go into the shop and bind a neck to learn that it adds flair. You just have to remember it when you want to dress up a fretboard in the future.
Also, knowing that the soundhole size is important will prevent you from cutting a really small or really large hole just because you like the way it looks. You learn this by remembering, not by destroying a guitar top.
However, making a stacked neck instead of cutting a solid neck from a large piece of wood is something you can practice right away. You will also save money if you do it that way.
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