Guitar Making Tip No. 290 is about older instruments. A long time ago, instruments were heavily inlaid and carved by artisans who excelled in their craft. For that reason, they were treasures that only wealthy families could afford. Look to older instruments as examples of craftsmanship…and something else that’s important to guitar making. Here is how.
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Older Instruments are Inspiring
More amazing than the instruments themselves is that they were made without any power tools and by candle light.
The old masters spent time working on their pieces, heavily adorning them with inlays and aesthetic features that made the instruments a prized family possession.
So, whats the difference between the instrument makers from 300-400 years ago and those of today? With all of the modern advancements in tools, there is still one thing that makes the difference between making something well and making something great…
The Old Masters Had Patience
I’m sure there were some instrument makers from long ago that suffered from lack of patience, but they were far and few in between. It takes patience to make an instrument by hand, and without any power. Being patient makers, they were able to produce good work.
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I have said this before, but it’s important. Patience is the number one thing any guitar maker needs to be successful. If you can be patient enough to stop when you need to learn more, you will be successful at making a guitar.
The people that can’t hold back and just take chances end up with poor builds or incomplete builds. If you don’t know or understand something, don’t guess. Search online, send an email, and do something to find the answer. Once you know, proceed as normal.
You Can Decide How Detailed You Want to Be
This is your guitar, and you can decide how detailed you want to be. I recommend avoiding anything over the top on the first couple builds, because you already have a lot to learn about the basic process. However, later on you can absolutely up your game.
Study some of the older instruments that are out there and see how they look. Many old parlor guitars are fine examples of craftsmanship. They are inlaid heavily, and look amazing.
If you find something that you want to do on a guitar, practice the technique while you are making your first instrument. By the time you are ready to build it into one of your guitars, you will already have more practice. This will mean an easier time doing the process.
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