Guitar Making Tip No. 23 – The Guitar Making Notebook

Guitar Making Tip No. 23 is about The Guitar Making Notebook. As you build, it’s beneficial to keep a notebook. This is a place to record the important measurements, data points, plate thicknesses, and anything else important to the build. Here is why this is important.

The Guitar Making Notebook

guitar making tip number 23Building a guitar is a huge undertaking, but something that anyone with some patience can accomplish. Over the course of the build, you will end up doing so many different processes that you will find it hard to remember them.

In the end, you may end up wanting to make something the same way, or repeat a process that you think added to the sound of your guitar. If you can’t remember what you did, you can’t repeat the process.

A notebook is a great way to catalog your build, and each successive build. Over time, it will become a great resource to you. It can even be a way of gathering a lot of information that you can then boil down to what really makes your guitars sound the best. From there, you can take that information and design the best guitar you can make…

Guitar Making Notebook and Your Brain

It’s hard to remember what you ate for breakfast, let alone some random measurement like a top thickness or a brace height. Our minds are not designed to be warehouses of information, they are designed to be factories that churn out ideas.

Any time that you can take something out of your head and get it into a form that you do not need to remember, you are doing yourself a huge favor. You are also allowing yourself to be more creative, and use more of your brain for expansion and creation.

The guitar making notebook is just that. This is one place that you can record all of the things you need to remember. In fact, once you have everything written inside, the only thing you have to actually remember is where you put the book. It’s going to be much easier to remember one thing than the hundreds you will write inside the pages.

Related: Taking Good Pictures of Your Work

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Notebook Timeline

One of the most interesting and fun things about the guitar making notebook is that you will have a timeline of the build in the end. It’s a lot of fun to look back in your notebook and almost re-live the build.

Since you will be adding things in order, you will easily see structure and order when you visit your notebook in the future. The processes will unfold logically, and you will move from pierce to piece in the same order as when you made the instrument.

Finding things will be easy too, because you can use that timeline structure to know where to turn when searching. For example, I sometimes make my necks last, so if I was looking through my notebook, I would know to look hear the end of the build for information on the neck.

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What to Put in Your Notebook

Your guitar making notebook is going to be very different than a note book kept by someone else. What is important to you might not be important to anyone else, and some people just naturally write more than others.

In the beginning, I recommend that you write down anything that you think was important, and branch out from there. Some people really like to write a small entry at the end of every building session. This can be a good way to get into keeping notes if you are unfamiliar.

Someone that does not take a lot of notes tends to struggle with a notebook. An easy way to get over that is to force yourself to write at least one paragraph about each shop session. If you do this, you will eventually find out the things that you like to record. Over time your style will evolve into how you will take notes for a long time.

Guitar Making Tip No. 23 – The Guitar Making Notebook Wrap-Up

Keeping a notebook on your guitar is a good practice. It does not have to be very elaborate, but it will help you remember important aspects of the build. Buy a nice notebook too, that way you care for it more than a super cheap pad of paper.

Record important details inside the notebook as you build. If you have trouble taking notes, force yourself to write a little after each building session. Over time, you will naturally enjoy adding to your notebook.

If you have any questions on Guitar Making Tip No. 23 – The Guitar Making Notebook, please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Happy building.

1,001 Acoustic Guitar Making Tips for Beginners

Tip No. 23 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.

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