Tips for Choosing the Right Luthier

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With the internet and social media these days, there is a never-ending supply of information out there. Whether you need to find a cooking recipe, learn how to hang a door, change your guitar strings, or even learn how to play guitar; you can find it.

Now, go to your internet browser, type in “Guitar Luthier,” and see what pops up. I’m sure you will find a never-ending list of small luthiers worldwide. So, how do you know which luthier/company you can trust to build you the guitar of your dreams? The answer: You don’t. You will need to conduct some highly in-depth research on the luthier/company. Search their name on online forums, or ask about them on Facebook pages & groups. After you have conducted your research, you should now contact the luthier. Here are a couple quick key points to keep in mind when contacting them:

1) Be a fanatic about response time. If the luthier/company has poor response time, then forget about it.

As the customer, you should be their primary agenda. It doesn’t mean they should have all of your answers in the initial email, but a simple “Thanks for contacting (insert name), we will be in touch regarding your inquiries within 24hrs.” At least this will give you a time-frame, which is what is really important, and also show their assertiveness.

2) Ask questions that matter.

Of course they will want to build whatever you bring to the table; you’re essentially throwing money at them! So why waste time asking if they’ll accept your money?!

Conversation and establishing a relationship is crucial during the communication process, and if they take the time to thoroughly discuss your build and the options available, chances are they take pride in their work and will be a reputable builder.

So, in a millennium where guitarists change their own pickups, re-finish a guitar, or simply just assemble an online purchased guitar kit and call themselves a luthier, we are becoming oversaturated with that term. In this article, I interviewed two luthiers who I have personally worked with, network with on a consistent basis, or have second-hand experience with, and ask them questions about being a luthier.

Click the ‘next’ button below to switch to the first interview. [ed.]

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