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The Stages of Life
Author
Post
bestillduck

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 10
Hi everyone- i have lurking on here for a couple weeks, reading everyday. I found out about this site and the others when I stumbled upon Bill's article in Acoustic Guitar Mag. I read the whole thing in a Barnes and Noble, and decided right then, I'm gonna build a guitar! I had never even considered it before, but now i can't imagine spending so much money on a guitar i didnt create. Buying a guitar with martin's name on it, or even Eric Claton's name graffitied all over it is like adopting someone else's kid! Why would you do that when you can have your own.

Anyways, I admire everyone on this board, and am just soaking up all the wisdom that gets tossed around here. However, I get the feeling that I might not completely fit in around here because I am 21 years old. I am interested to find out the life stage that most of you are in... my concern is that since I am a college student with little life experience, patience etc... I'm not sure this is the right time in my life to be spend 100 hours in a shop by myself. I'm not retired... and I am not exactly looking for a new hobby to spice up a monotonous life... should I wait a few decades before i commit!?!?!?

be still.

(ps - adopting a real child in real life is a beautiful thing -- I don't mean to put it down)

Aug 15, 07 | 9:20 am
davidmor

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 567
Well, as a 44 year old dad of one high schooler and one college freshman, and of course the husband of my bride of 20 years, I can say I wish I had stumbled across the opportunity you are thinking about at the age of 21. I can tell you right now, if I had, I wouldn't be dragging wires through 130 degree attics or spider infested basements for a living now. What I am trying to say is that you should try everything that even is of moderate interest to you now while you don't have all the obligations that a family with children entail. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about the missed opportunities that I had before 'life' took over. One of the biggest things that I am trying to impress on my daughters is to open your eyes and try everything... now.. while you can! I am very seriously looking to change careers in the near future, and believe me it is a lot harder to do when you have a kid in college, a mortgage, a car payment, taxes, insurance..... etc to pay for each month.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't give up my family and all that goes with it for anything in the world, I am just saying that I never realized all the opportunities that were in front of me when I was your age. It is easy to get busy and so focused on your future career, and of course finding a mate, that you miss the opportunities that are right in front of you.

I say, go for it! Who knows, you might just find a hobby that grabs you now, and might turn you into one of the worlds great luthiers in 30 years. Even if it doesn't turn into a career or even a lifelong hobby, you will still have a great guitar that you will always be able to tell your friends and family you built with your own two hands. There aren't too many people out there who can say that!

[www.davidsguitar.blogspot.com] My Blog [/url]

Aug 15, 07 | 10:47 am
billm

Total Topics: 32
Total Posts: 145
Welcome!

I'm 37 years old, have a family (including 6-year-old twins) and a career as an engineer.

I guess I can relate to your concern - a few years back I tried writing short stories for publication (which never happened) and I concluded that spending hours by myself, in my head, wasn't really what I wanted out of life.

Guitar-building, for me, is a little different, I do it in the little snippits of spare time that I have, which works just fine for me - I put as much time into it as I want to. It just goes more slowly sometimes which is OK.

I spent my 20's trying all sort of hobbies and activities, actually - so my guess is you'll find yourself in the same boat. I admire (and am a little envious of) people who have found that passion for something early in life and become experts. I guess I'd say, try it out, it may be something you love, it may not - but go ahead and find out. Time better spent than playing computer games (which I did some of in my 20's).

Aug 15, 07 | 11:24 am


Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Quote from the movie Groundhog Day:

Phil: What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?
Ralph: That about sums it up for me.


Here's a novel idea. Learn to spend time with yourself now, while it might still make a difference. Ever wonder why old men do what they do? It might be worth considering. It doesn't take much effort or imagination to find a job, secure a mate, impregnate her, and bury yourself in resonsibilities and debt. What DOES take a lot of imagination and effort is finding one thing. If you find that one thing and can get a handle on what it is you want from yourself and life, then I contend knowing that might make you into a better friend, husband, and father. Many of us tend to do everything backwards which is why they say youth is wasted on the young. If you have time to do a little casual reading go to Taylorguitars.com and read Bob Taylor's life history. Quite a story. Good luck.

Aug 15, 07 | 2:34 pm
jhowell

Total Topics: 37
Total Posts: 676
I'm now 56 going on 19. Just ask my wife!! A little bit of alone time is not a bad thing. I've very envious of those can are starting out at your age. This is a craft where the learning never really ends. I'd really love to have had the headstart. Jump in and experience it. Even if you only make one, you will have made your own musical instrument!

Aug 15, 07 | 2:40 pm
HosD18

Total Topics: 12
Total Posts: 96
I have to weigh in here. this sounds great. I turn 40 2 weeks ago and I have a 3 yr old son.

Dude....Build a guitar!!!! I wish I had had the vision to build one at your age. When it hit me to build one a few months ago, it was like it was something I was supposed to do all along and it, for some reason took that long to realize it. I couldn't believe it took me that long to realize it.

you have a great advantage, you have time. I don't think any of us at the forum have time. if you thought, these old guys have time to do this stuff, you are sadly mistaken. I am lucky to get 1 hr from 11 pm to 12 pm - 2 nights a week to work on it.

also, when i was your age, I was exposed to lasers, and thought, that is my calling. I stuck with it and have been in the high powered laser business for 20 yrs. it does pay to start early. a laser is just a guitar with light waves.

so dude, build a guitar!! right now today.

Aug 15, 07 | 3:25 pm
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
I suggest you just do it --- I started repairing guitars when I was 18 years old, started collecting stuff so I could build one shortly after that ---- no one wanted to offer help back then, 1964!!! No Bill Corys in the 1960's. So here I am after a 25 year career in autmotive making a living doing something that is great fun! I think you get it ---- this is a life time adventure

Welcome aboard!

Ken

www.kennethmichaelguitars.com

Aug 15, 07 | 4:11 pm
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Do it Duck! Definitely, absolutely do it! See, here's the thing. You won't build one. You will build lots if all goes well, or at least if you can see how all can go well after the first. Most of us would kill for the chance to have 20 more years or so of guitar time than we have right now.

Personally, I am in a transition mode right now. I am 36, happily married, and have 3 boys, 4, 2, and 11 weeks old. I am a Senior Sales Engineer for a division of Emerson Electric, and will quite possibly retire in the next 6 months. I just started a Real Estate investment company, and earn more in one month than I usually do in an entire year. The problem is, my building time (and playing time) are substantially reduced. My family is asleep by 8 pm. I never sleep until about 2:30 -3 AM, and I don't even use caffiene. There is just too much to do, too much to get interested in for me, and I still don't have time for it all. I have 4 Custom electric guitars that I have started, and just can't seem to finish. For me, that is dangerous. I spend a litte time on them, and rush because I know it will be awhile before I can do it again. Then, I make mistakes,, get frustrated, and then run out of time anyway. Do this project, get this in your blood while you can choose what takes up your time. You need not do it alone either. Any friends that play? Have them come over while you build. If they are not interested in doing it, maybe they can jam while you work, or at least have a beer and shoot the, uh, breeze. I used to have my buddies do that when I brewed beer. Damn, gotta get that stuff out and do it again, been too long. Anyway, get the picture? Get the kit, get the tools, and get going.

Aug 16, 07 | 6:32 am
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
I am 54 and started this about 10 years ago, Then there wasn't as much info on the web like there is today. We old timers had to learn the hard way and each mistake brought us closer to the craftsmen we became today.
I love building and repair .
john

Aug 16, 07 | 8:37 am
Herman

Total Topics: 38
Total Posts: 480
heey bestill,

If your 21 and you're able to ask yourself these kind of questions, then I think you're half way becoming a wise man. You will find the apropiate answers yourself. So don't don't depend on older men.

I'm 48, married, one daughter. I like drinking with friends, fast motorcycles, loud rockconcerts and building guitars. Not too many dull moments.
For me the building is a creative activity, and not only woodworking. I cannot see any relationship with age. Don't drown in doubts. Follow your heart.
Herman

Aug 16, 07 | 9:31 am
bestillduck

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 10
Man, what a great response. I really appreciate ya'll sharing your stories. I forwarded this thread to my dad (whom i am trying to get to build with me) and he was thrilled by all the good thoughts.

Aug 16, 07 | 3:10 pm
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
Where are you from ? If you are close enough drag your pop up here . I can show you what you may need to know so you don't make any serious mistakes.
john hall
blues creek guitars

Aug 16, 07 | 8:02 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Be Still ... Don't be still. Try as many things as you can. Damn the torpedoes -- full speed ahead.

I'm about to turn 60 in November, but I don't intend to go any farther. I'm going to turn around and go backwards for awhile, like ol' Father Guido Sarducci talked about on Sat Night Live.

I dropped out of college and joined a rock group, and that was fun for awhile, but it got old very quickly, and so did I ... In only a few minutes, it will seem, you will have sired offspring, locked yourself into a job you might or might not enjoy, etc., etc. I'm with Doc Brichy up above ... go for it and don't look back. If you spend 100 hours of your life, and 1000 dollars of your savings on a guitar, you will either have a great guitar, a great story, or both -- and the guitar wil last a long time.

Just go for it. We will all lend our support--that's why we're here.

Bill

THE MAN WHO THINKS HE CAN by Waler D. Wintle
IF YOU THINK YOU ARE BEATEN, YOU ARE

IF YOU THINK YOU DARE NOT, YOU DON’T

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO WIN BUT YOU THINK
YOU CAN’T,

IT’S ALMOST A CINCH YOU WON’T


IF YOU THINK YOU’LL LOSE ,YOU’RE LOST

FOR OUT IN THE WORLD WE FIND,

SUCCESS BEGINS WITH A FELLOW’S WILL,

ITS ALL IN THE STATE OF MIND


IF YOU THINK YOUR OUTCLASSED, YOU ARE

YOU’VE GOT TO THINK HIGH TO RISE

YOU’VE GOT TO BE SURE OF YOURSELF

BEFORE YOU CAN EVER WIN A PRIZE.

LIFE’S BATTLES DON’T ALWAYS GO TO THE 

STRONGER OR THE FASTER MAN,

BUT SOONER OR LATER,
THE MAN WHO WINS
IS THE MAN WHO THINKS HE CAN.

Worth pasting on a wall somewhere.



Aug 17, 07 | 6:45 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Was it Henry Ford that said: If you think you can, or you think you can't, you're probably right.

Aug 17, 07 | 8:26 am
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Mark-- I just noticed your email address: Are you in SLO?

Bill

Aug 17, 07 | 9:21 am
Freeman

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
Well, I'm 62 and refuse to grow up. Bought my first guitar in 1969 and still have (and play) it - still trying to learn to play. Love to tinker and build things - in college it was racing boats, in my mid life it was racing bicycles, now its guitars.

Your comment about adoption hits home - as a teen the girl I was dating gave her baby up for adoption. A couple of years ago he found his mother (my wife of 42 years) and me. He lives a few miles from where his mother did, he has almost the same profession as I do, he plays guitars, he a woodworker, he has built guitars. We have grown very close in the two years since he found his birth parents. My second build was a classical that I presented to him.

http://www.kitguitarsforum.com/forum/threads.php?id=186_0_6_120_C

Maybe you could build your second for your dad.

Aug 17, 07 | 9:42 am
bestillduck

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 10
I sure am! One more year of engineering and then who knows what.

you'll notice i messed up my email at first, so i had to fix that -- you might need to resend any email so far.

anyways, I love all the encouragement you guys give, and i know i am going to build guitars soon... its just a question of time and timing.

dontbestillduck

Aug 17, 07 | 11:31 am
HosD18

Total Topics: 12
Total Posts: 96
"One more year of Engineering"...what type..?


Aug 17, 07 | 12:14 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Mark -- the reason I asked -- I'm out there a couple of times a year: I publish a magazine in SLO Co. and North SB Co, title "Wedding & Party" Magazine. I started it 18 years ago while I was a wedding photographer there, then moved to Colorado and still publish the magazine from here; I have a sales rep there. Both my kids were born there; my wife graduated from Cal Poly and I used to do a lot of commercial photography work for them; they're still using my photos of the bronze Mustang.

Small world! I'd love to see the guitar we're encouraging you to build next time I'm out there -- maybe in January.

Bill


Aug 17, 07 | 1:58 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Architecture? That's my guess; that's CalPoly's strongest suit.

Aug 17, 07 | 1:59 pm
bestillduck

Total Topics: 3
Total Posts: 10
Biomedical Engineering. It became its own major only about 3 years ago. Fascinating stuff for sure.

Thats awesome you have so many ties to slo, Bill. Its such a great town, there is no other place in the world i would rather live. I'll have to look for your mag this year.

Have you checked out Linnea's Cafe on Garden St.? It's my favorite coffee shop, and every thursday night (after Farmers) they have a blue grass group made up of all professors. Its a kick. Everyone in it plays some old D-28.

anyways, back everyone elses life stories and advice...

Aug 17, 07 | 3:35 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
We used to go to Linnea's many years ago; it's an institution sort of like the Gum Wall.

If you can make the grade in Biomedical Engineering, you can probably build a guitar kit ... :-)

Aug 17, 07 | 5:14 pm
mishmannah

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 67
Bestillduck,

I am a 34 year old female (with husband and young kids) from the UK. If I can fit in, anyone can!!!

How I got into guitar building? Well, I am an artist, and after spending most of my life painting, and persuing many other crafts, I gave into the desire for guitar building that had seeded in my heart eight years ago when a friend of my husband's spent a long time living without any direction.

Seeing him change from being unmotivated to extremely fulfiled really made an impression on me. Also, when another friend showed me a guitar that this guy had made, I asked whether the chap could make one for me to which came the reply, "You'd NEVER be able to afford one of HIS guitars!!"

Indignant, I quietly promised myself that I'd look into guitar building one day!!

The move from being an "artist" to "guitar builder" is simple. I make an instrument, put my creativity into it, and when it's complete, further creativity can come from it in the form of music, whether by myself (a guitarist for 18 years) or another person.

To me, that is an amazing concept. No painting can do the same thing.

Aug 17, 07 | 11:28 pm
Ted

Total Topics: 22
Total Posts: 158
Bestillduck,

Being 32 with two kids (8 and 5) I am going to side with all of the comments above, with one added point. You build one now and you will possibly get a result that many of us will not... you will get to hear what YOUR guitar sounds like in 50, 60, 70 years...

All of us want to know if our first build will survive the next half a centry, only some of us will find out...

Guitar building is just like your studies, you have to find the balance of where it fits into your life and how much time you dedicate to it... some weeks you will not be able to go near it, others you will have oodles of time... The beauty of guitar building is that you can start/stop at any time.

Aug 18, 07 | 6:08 am
davidmor

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 567
Wow Ted, that is a great point. I never even thought of that.

Aug 18, 07 | 8:50 am
John S.

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 94
I built a dulcimer from a kit as a pleasant diversion when in graduate school years ago-- I won't say how long that was, but suffice it to say that disco was all the rage. I've played guitar for 40 years, and always wanted to build one, but access to the technical/instruction stuff seemed out of my reach. The urge was rekindled with reading "Clapton's Guitar," and Bill's recent article in AG pushed me into full immersion. My only regret is that I didn't find out about the renaissance in kit guitars sooner.

The upshot is that you can make more money, but you can't buy more time here on earth. Life is not a dress rehearsal.

Do it.

Sep 04, 07 | 1:38 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Amen to that, John!

Sep 04, 07 | 3:27 pm
HosD18

Total Topics: 12
Total Posts: 96
Hey I built a Mtn. dulcimer in grad school too! It only took about a week, so it was a nice diversion before exams.


oh yeah, Bestillduck, if you are planning on staying in engineering, you have to go to grad school. every position in a company or lab that will allow you to be an "engineer" will require a grad degree.

I waited 4 yrs after undergrad before grad and that was almost too late.
I was short on time in grad school, hence the dulcimer!


Sep 04, 07 | 6:23 pm
billm

Total Topics: 32
Total Posts: 145
Hmm - I'm not sure you can make that generalization - I've been in engineering 15 years with a BSEE. We hire both bachelors and masters candidates - the only real difference being starting pay. Biomed is a different field, though, I have no basis of judgement to comment there.

Sep 04, 07 | 8:04 pm


Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
"The upshot is that you can make more money, but you can't buy more time here on earth. Life is not a dress rehearsal."

I'm sure I heard this when I was in my twenties, but it would've had no meaning for me then. There are some people who "get it" while they are still young. Not me. I have always had to learn lessons the hard way.

Sep 04, 07 | 11:21 pm
Bill Cory

Total Topics: 158
Total Posts: 3584
Doc -- That is so completely true of me. I'm almost 60, and sometimes I still don't get it. Some would call that an adventurous spirit; not me. Some adventures are merely tangents and spin you away from your intended course never to return.

My son has the same personality as I have, and I'm constantly counseling him to stay the course. He's 21 this month, been to three universities in two years, and keeps wanting the "greener grass on the other side." It's like holding back a wild stallion to counsel him to stay where he is for two years, get the degree, THEN start the big adventures. He has no overall goal, so you (bestillduck) are fortunate to know where you're going. My fingers are crossed for my son to discover a vision of his own.

I tell him about my brother-in-law, Greg, who wanted to drop out of college, decided not to, and now 25+ years later is a successful design engineer for Boeing, designed the Apache helicopter rotor and others, has patents shared with Boeing, is now being made a VP there ... and all along he's had plenty of adventure.

Sep 05, 07 | 5:29 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
Your son sounds like me. I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up. I have 3 kids under 5, I better figure it out soon.

Actually think I did.....just started a Real Estate Investment company...I'll keep ya posted.

Sep 05, 07 | 6:34 am
Goobie

Total Topics: 13
Total Posts: 132
bestillduck,
I'll throw my 2 cents in... I'm 28, finished university about 6 years ago and have been working an IT job since I graduated. Guitar making is always something that has intrigued me and been in the back of my mind since I first picked up a guitar (age 6 I think) and realized that someone somewhere transformed raw wood into a finished instrument. In my teens I got into building and flying R/C Aircraft. Building those kits and repairing (several times!!) a crashed plane, I feel gave me a good foundation of patience, skill and confidence when working with wood.

Having just entered the world of guitar building myself (My first is almost complete!) I'm very happy to have taken the plunge to get building at this stage of life. Since I have been playing for over 20 years and enjoy wood working, building guitars fits me like a glove. I would very much like to make guitar building a large part of my life, in fact I'm not ruling out enrolling in a training program to really get a good grasp on the building, repair and the industry in general. But finding the time to do that is not easy when working a full time job...

That's the stage I'm at and I'm not a whole lot older than yourself. If you really have a desire to make a guitar and are the type of person who has to see a project through to completion then go for it! I think once you start and see the progress you make each day, you'll be hooked! And like the others have said, starting early is bonus! I'm happy I got started relatively early.

Cheers!
Chad

Sep 05, 07 | 6:51 am



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