Guitar Making Tip No. 16 – Building a Custom Guitar

Guitar Making Tip No. 16 is about building a custom guitar. When you make a guitar yourself, you get to create exactly the guitar you want to own. This is a rare luxury that most guitar players cannot afford. As the builder, you are in control. Here is why that’s awesome.

Building a Custom Guitar

guitar making tip number 16If you were to go to someone to build a custom guitar, the price from any well known maker would be in the thousands, or the tens of thousands. The price keeps most people out of the market, and prevents them from owning the instrument of their dreams.

Ordering a guitar from a well known large manufacturer like Martin can set you back even more, because you can customize the instrument to a level that you might never believe. It’s amazing what you can get from such a talented group of guitar makers.

I had fun one day just messing around with the custom guitar ordering options from the Martin Guitars website. By the time I was done my guitar, was something like $60,000-$80,000. I did go nuts on the options, and it was fun to dream for a while. I could never afford something like that, but it was a lot of fun and I recommend you do the same thing.

Making Your Dream Guitar

The best thing about being  guitar maker is that you can make your own decisions. Most people buy something that they like from a store. They make selections, make sacrifices, and get something that resembles what they wanted.

As a guitar maker, you can do the same thing, but with none of the bad stuff. You get to chose all the things you want, and not have to suffer through the things you don’t. The choices are all in your hands, and you can make your dream guitar.

For most people, the price drives them into a certain type of instrument. This is not the case for the custom maker. You can overcome price by making things yourself, and by making things over time.

1001 acoustic guitar making tips book tips for making an acoustic guitar

Custom Guitar Making in the Beginning

As a new maker, you will most likely want to throw everything you can at your guitar to make your dream instrument right from the start. While having lofty goals is an admirable thing, a little bit of caution will help.

Being new to anything means that you may not know what making certain changes will do to the sound of the instrument. In a case like this, you can actually cause a lot of harm if you radically change something that should not be changed.

Look at my 25 Simple Ways to Customize Your Guitar Without Altering the Tone for some great ideas. These are safer places that you can customize without taking too many chances on the final sound of the guitar.

Select a few of these that you like, and make your dream guitar. You will get to make modifications, but you will also know that you are not doing anything that will make the guitar turn out poorly in the end.

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Few Guitar Players Will Ever Experience What You Can Do

There are only a few guitar makers that will ever really know what it’s like to have a completely custom guitar. Few is a relative term, but when compared to the number of manufactured guitars, custom guitars are a very slim portion of the mix.

As a guitar maker, you get to experience something that very few do. You are going to have to put in the effort, but your reward will be amazing. It will be so incredible that you may never ever buy a guitar again.

After making guitars for a while, just about every maker stops buying them. It becomes a less satisfying experience in the guitar store, because you have to settle. Making the guitar yourself, you know you can get more sound for a lot less money.

Guitar Making Tip No. 16 Wrap-Up

One of the greatest things about being a guitar maker is that you can make the guitar of your dreams. In the beginning you will have to make a few guitars and learn the process, but after a while you will be able to make just about anything you want.

Building a custom guitar is a pleasure, and something that only a few players ever really experience. Being a guitar maker, you have the advantage that you can spend a little less and make it yourself. No more compromise, just the best guitar you have ever owned.

Related: Nothing Will Ever Sound as Sweet

If you have any questions on Guitar Making Tip No. 16 – Building a Custom Guitar, please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Happy building.

1,001 Acoustic Guitar Making Tips for Beginners

Tip No. 16 is from my book, 1,001 Acoustic Guitar Making Tips for Beginners, which has a thousand more great tips to get your first few builds on the right track. There is no secret to guitar making, just a lot of small things that you need to get right. These tips will help you.

While I publish the overwhelming majority of my woodworking content for free, I also have several books available as well. You can see them on my Available Books Page, and they cover several different woodworking disciplines.

You can also Join the Community, and receive updates from me about new articles, upcoming books, and when I release new books. It’s completely free, and full of great tutorials, freebies, and great content.


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