Guitar Making Tip No. 51

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Guitar Making Tip No. 51 is about design and execution. It is much better to execute a simple design extremely well than to butcher a complex design. Especially in the beginning, don’t overload the build with unnecessary weight. Here is why.

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Making a Guitar Takes Time

guitar making tip number 51Making a guitar takes a long time. For some it can be a matter of weeks. Others months, and others even years.

There is already enough to do in order to create an instrument without adding more complexity to the build.

Every custom element, every design addition, and every detail you add to the build, you are extending the time that it takes to make the guitar.

Adding a few small things is ok at first, but it can be really easy to get carried away.

I wrote an article about the 25 Simple Ways to Customize Your Guitar Without Altering the Tone, I stress in that article NOT to try more than a few of the techniques on the same guitar.

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I do that because you could literally add years to the build if you pack as much custom stuff as you can into the plan. Other than taking more time, the number one danger in adding too many custom layers to the first build is…

Don’t Risk Quitting Your First Build

Sometimes people have a huge head of steam for a new hobby in the beginning, and then it runs out as time passes. This can happen with making a guitar too. It might stick with you, like it does for most, but yours could run out too.

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The people that make it to the end of their first build tend to make more guitars. The people that never finish the first…well they tend to never make a guitar again. A lot of the success in guitar making really depends on the first guitar.

Anyone that has played their first guitar knows what I am talking about. That huge rush of relief hearing your instrument play for the first time is life changing. Once you hear it, you want to run back to the shop and create it again.

This is where the hook in guitar making actually happens. It’s after the first build is complete and you hear what your efforts sound like.

Keeping Your Design Simple

Follow a good book, and look for ways to make things easier. You can have just as much fun with a simple fretboard inlay as you do with a complex tribal dragon inlay. Especially if you are new to inlay work, that tribal dragon is not really worth the frustration on a first instrument.

The same goes for the binding and the rosette. There is nothing wrong with buying a well made rosette and inlaying it as one piece. Later down the road you can experiment with making rosettes yourself, but don’t give yourself that burden on the first guitar.

Also, don’t feel like you are not a guitar maker because you bought a rosette or bought a fretboard. You didn’t grow the tree, you didn’t cut the tree, and you didn’t mill the wood either, but you are still a guitar maker.

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Allowing yourself some room to soak up the basic process without giving yourself roadblocks is really what the beginner needs to focus on.

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brian forbes westfarthing woodworks llc owner

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