Guitar Making Tip No. 93 is about doing things a certain way. Don’t get caught up in having to do something a certain way because it’s believed to be the only way. I have made a living showing people that there is more than one way to do something. Here is how.
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There is More Than One Way to do Something
For just about any process, there is more than one way. There will be purists that think a certain part or step has to be done a certain way, but many times there are alternatives. If someone ever tells you “it’s either my way or it’s wrong,” you should keep on looking for other solutions.
A lot of times with instruments in particular, there is more rigidity in what is considered an acceptable practice.
For example, many guitar makers swear that unless you split your braces they will not be any good. This is not the case, as many well known guitar makers and factories saw their braces from larger pieces.
If it were a horrible practice that caused your guitar to fall apart, the big factories would not do it. Of all the reasons to keep an open mind when making your guitar, here is the most important…
Doubt Can Paralyze You
Doubt and worry are like rust on a moving machine. They add nothing to the function, and only serve to cause friction and failure. If you worry too much about doing something a certain way because it’s supposedly the only way, you may never actually finish your build.
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Don’t worry about how the guitar is made, just make it. If you worry too much about the way that something needs to be done, it can stop your progress. The most important thing about making guitars is really the most simple thing.
I explain more about this idea in The Secret to Making a Guitar, but in essence its more about getting the small things right than getting any one big thing right.
Look for Your Own Alternatives
There are many ways to do just about any process on the guitar. If you are making a neck, you can make it from a solid piece, use a scarf joint, make a stacked neck, or make a laminated neck. All of these are great ways to make a neck, and none of them are the only way.
When you run into a problem, search for the answer online or by asking someone. If you have a friend that does woodworking or guitar making, they can be a huge help. Woodworkers are notorious for coming up with creative jigs and solutions to problems, and guitar making is just another form of woodworking.
Once you know what you need to do, complete the process. Don’t worry about tradition, just complete the step. Keep moving forward, and in the end you will have a guitar that makes you happy.
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