Wednesday, May 10, 2006

So you want to be a Luthier?

We got an email recently, asking what it takes to become a Luthier. We get this question quite often, so we thought it would be a good idea to address it here.

I'm a guitar enthusiast, just started about 3 years ago. You can say it's something I truly enjoy on a daily basis. You can also say that I'm a "do it yourself" kind of guy so I've been really interested in learning how do my own setups for my own personal taste. As I delved deeper into that and I got interested into making guitars.

So my basic question is this: What does it take to become a luthier? What would I have to do?

Luthiery is still very much a traditional trade. The way trades used to work is that if you wanted to become a blacksmith, dentist, doctor, carpenter, or even lawyer, you would become an apprentice to someone experienced in the trade. Now, people mostly go to school to learn their trade or profession. Luthiery, for the most part, still works in the traditional way. There are schools around the country that teach luthiery, so you could certainly check some of those out. I was actually very surprised when doing a google search to find a large number of luthiery schools. You can also become an apprentice to a master luthier. Find a guitar shop, and be willing to do anything they need you to (mopping floors, dusting guitars, etc.). Respect the person you learn under, and be flexible to adapt to that shop's way of doing things. It takes years to learn the trade, but if you are dedicated, you can make it happen.


At 8:09 PM, Blogger Denny said...

Here I am, a 60 yr old man and played the guitar since I was 13, more off than on. Recently decided to start teaching and practicing myself back into it. I have always wanted to be a luthier, which I should have done and thought more of when I was young. Raising a family and working for the man had forced me to work to survive and pay the bills. Now I wished i would have become a luthier in my mid life crisis. Do it when your young and agile.

At 12:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thank you for your comment. I have been wondering lately if it would be wise for me choose luthiery as a career "move" at 28. You have inspired me. Thank you.


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