A few weeks ago, I started to build my first guitar. It’s pretty hard right? Isn’t it super difficult to put electronics together?. It takes a brain surgeon to make sure that the instrument itself is all dialed in and lined up properly, right? Wrong. That’s what I thought for the last 25 years. Until I met Andrew Leverone, from Rockaudio.com. And all that changed.
I met Andrew through Red 13 media. He’s a friend of the company and a good friend of Jim Foster and Anthony Lewis. They turned me on to the Rockaudio.com startup. At which time I got to meet Andrew. Within five minutes of meeting Andrew I felt confident that I could build my own guitar exactly the way I would want it to be. He assured me that there were plenty of stereotypes in the industry, and that none of them were true. He explained me that putting together your own guitar is as easy as putting together a bicycle. Now, I’m a guy who has built a couple cars, builds his own fly rods, ties his own flies, customizes his own bikes and motorcycles, builds his own skateboard ramps… So, building a guitar from scratch didn’t seem like it was that much of a challenge. But yet I had been brainwashed into thinking that it was to be left to the pro’s. One thing was certain, in order to know how hard it was, I had to do it for myself. I got to work right away.
I choose to start the build with a Vintage Series body. It is made of ash. I chose a maple neck and black attributes. A couple of things that one cannot noticed from the photographs is that there is a Micro humbug or for a neck pick up. And for tuning pegs, Andrew hooked me up with the locking nut tuning pegs that makes stringing your guitar incredibly fast easy and efficient.
The neck was an unfinished uncut rosewood model. The cut for the headstock is my own design. I feel that this truly puts the “custom” feel on my Vintage Series. I spent a few hours drawing outlines until something came out that i liked. The cut was made with a simple jigsaw and a wood clamp. Not the Gibson factory at my place, but it still looks good, and you would never know.
The build took me about five hours total, with some minimal tweaking. There was nothing about this build that one could not perform at their house with minimal equipment. The soldering was the most difficult part. Well, besides trying to put the pick-up assembly together. That was tricky!
At the end of the build, the anticipation of plugging in a guitar was incredible. It was a feeling that only could come from a musician who has build their first instrument. I have experienced nothing like it ever. And I will continue to build more. And I can honestly say that I will build them myself for the rest of my life.
Thank You to Rockaudio and their employees for helping me to overcome my fear of building my own guitar. They changed my life.