Music, My Stories

Making Guitars

I made a pencil box and a coffee table back in high school so how cool is it that kids are getting taught how to make guitars these days.

I need to go back to school, the same way Rodney Dangerfield did.

And by building guitars, the kids suddenly become interested in science, technology, engineering and math subjects, others known as STEM.

I tried to make a guitar once, by using the wood of an old wardrobe, sort of like how Brian May did. My Dad said he would help, then he proceeded to take over the project, we argued and when he pulled out a hand saw to start cutting the wood, I was done. We didn’t really have the tools for the job and knowing how my dad cuts wood, I had a feeling it wasn’t going to look appealing at all.

Plus I was an angry one back then, who wasn’t going to take it.

And this whole guitar making is in response to the demand from employers for workers with technical skills.

School to me was always about opening up my mind to possibilities and by making guitars, the kids get to see the possibilities of how those boring maths topics like algebra fit into the real world, because if you don’t know algebra, you cannot put a fret on the guitar and the pick-ups work by electromagnetic induction and they didn’t teach me that in physics classes. Or maybe they did, but I zoned out hard in Physics.

Who knew that by dipping guitar bodies in paint floating on water coats them with a swirling pattern?

And the kids leave with their own guitars.

From school.

God damn, I had to come first in three subjects for my Dad to even part with his money to buy me a guitar. After he purchased it, I came home and I had no amp. I was like, “Dad I need an amp”. He smiled and goes to me, “you never negotiated an amp”.


It wasn’t until a few years later that I saved enough money from being a concrete labourer that I took the train and purchased a 5150 combo amp. I was so happy I had it. And it was heavy and I had a train trip home which involved walking to the train station, catching the train and then walking home from the train station.

With the heavy amp in my hands.

Rock and fucking roll. I would do it again if given the chance.


5 thoughts on “Making Guitars

  1. You never negotiated an amp! Classic stuff. A great story especially the building of a guitar with your dad and better it you hauling around the 5150 amp!

    • The 5150 was a difficult carry. From memory i think the specs said 40kg… and man I had some hills to walk..

      My dads cutting skills would have given me a very warped V or X or W guitar or some bastard explorer shape. I couldn’t go forward with it. Lol.

  2. Cool personal story, Destroyer. I think kids making guitars in school is brilliant for connecting design and planning and all the technical and practical skills. Rewarding.

    I also tried to make a x shape style guitar last year. I felt the need to make my own musical instrument drawn and shaped to something other than store bought form. I thought it would be a purer form of self expression. I’ve been playing an Axl Badwater for several years. “Form” just itched my brain as an existential challenge. Brian May’s guitar building is inspirational and so many others from Van Halen’s Frankenstrats to Ron Jarzombek’s current guitars to Youtube builders. I like the ideal that one can forge their power. Anyway, I shaped the neck accidentally too thin and the fretboard isn’t flat enough to intonate properly but I learned a bunch and may redo down the road. Back to the Badwater for me.

    • Thanks for sharing as well. Making guitars sounds easy until you get to actual tones.. as you said, do it wrong and it sounds out.

      Nice mention of Ron Jarzombek. A forgotten guitar hero who apart from heaving impressive chops and technical songwriting, he also builds his own guitars.

      Ive never heard of Axl Badwater guitars. I googled em and saw a few videos. They look nice and the specs are cool. How are they play?

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