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can one make a living of of making basses?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by cvledder, Sep 6, 2008.


  1. cvledder

    cvledder

    Sep 6, 2008
    Netherlands
    Like the title says.

    I'm really interested in making basses after seeing all the basses being made here, and i whas wondering if there can be made a living of of it?

    if so...... HELLO WOOD WORKING SCHOOL ;)
     
  2. timmbass

    timmbass

    Oct 4, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    How old are you? What do you do now? Do you have an opportunity to go to a "regular school" and earn a "regular degree"?

    Like, for example, are you 17 years old and your parents would pay for you to get degree in engineering? That is a pretty important question.

    I would recommend spending the time and money earning a "regular degree" and doing the building as a hobby. Then you would not be under pressure to make it go full time right away.

    If you get a good software or medical or technical degree, you should be able to get a good job at any time or any place, while building your bass building business up. And you can always fall back on that job when the economy falls off, or when you get married, or when you have kids...or when you need to earn some cash to buy woodworking tools.

    I have really no business answering this thread, other than the fact that lots of my friends make a good living during the day and still have time to fool around with expensive hobbies in the evenings, and then some of my other friends spend long hours working in coffee shops because their dream of making it big in some competitive, narrow venture never paid off.
     
  3. cvledder

    cvledder

    Sep 6, 2008
    Netherlands
    I'm 16 now but since the woodworking school lasts for 2 years i'm 18 when finished.

    i'm in highschool now already got a diploma from a lower education(i live in the netherlands btw) so now i am getting a diploma 1 lvl higher then i was.

    yes i am able to go to a regular school and get a normal degree.

    but i whas just thinking if it would be a good idea to think about making a bass building business or if its better to start somewhere else.
     
  4. If you like other aspects of carpentry, or could at least deal with another woodwork based profession, then you'll be fine even if it doesn't work out like you want it to.

    After all, your only 18 when you finish, your never too young to learn - but you can get old enough to get too miserable and pessimistic to want to it would seem sometimes...

    I really wanted to do a guitar building course full-time at college, but they stopped running it the year that I wanted to do it so had to do music tech instead, which ended up being full of alot of elements I intensely disliked unfortunately.
     
  5. timmbass

    timmbass

    Oct 4, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    It sounds like a pretty exciting time for you. You have lots of options. Don't let me discourage you, because the people who make it are the one's who are determined to go all the way.

    One side of the coin is my previous advice on getting a regular degree, but the other side of the coin is that some people hear about an opportunity for one person, and hear that 500 people are applying, and get discouraged, but to make it in life, sometimes you have to be the type of person who believes that YOU will be that one person.

    Good luck.
     
  6. scottyd

    scottyd Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2006
    Waco Tx
    Builder/owner Redeemer Basses
    If you are single, childless, have free rent, food and utilities than yes you can easily make a living building basses.


    I look at building as more of a retirement program. Currently I work a day job and build part time. Hopefully by the time I'm ready to retire from my dayjob I will have built the bass business up to a level that combined with my jobs retirement will allow me to live very comfortably.
     
  7. Thunderthumbs73

    Thunderthumbs73

    May 5, 2008
    I would say that it would be better to focus on whether or not you would love to make basses and be a luthier. If that is an honest desire, then you should go for it, or investigate.

    I generally regard your question as the same as "I'm interested in being a musician, but I want to know if I can make a living at it."

    I would err on the side of doing something for the love of doing it, and allowing the pleasant surprise that you may in fact be able to do it for a living, than to start something you think you may like but loaded with the expectation that you will make a living at it.

    I don't think most of those who make instruments today and are successful at it as a "business" started out with the expectation that they would in fact make a living from it. But I could be wrong.

    Love the art, not the commerce.
     
  8. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    "If you are single, childless, have free rent, food and utilities than yes you can easily make a living building basses."

    :D
     
  9. scootron

    scootron Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2007
    Moved to Texas
    I often wondered if it is possible to get an apprenticeship under some of the great bass builders, like people used to do under the great violin builders in the old days. If you could do that for a few years, learn the craft thoroughly, it would give you a huge advantage if you later wanted to go out on your own.
     
  10. Scottgun

    Scottgun

    Jan 24, 2004
    South Carolina
    It's pretty simple: do you love working with wood? If you thrive in a wood shop or working on carpentry projects and normally spend much of your free time doing it, then you ought to. If not, I think you will burn out fast.
     
  11. hoytbasses

    hoytbasses

    Mar 30, 2003
    Cape Cod
    I build stringed instruments.......
    You can make it as a musician, you can make it as a luthier, you can make it as anything IF:

    1. you have some talent to start with.....
    2. you have the drive to make your dreams come true...
    3 You get training as an apprentice with an extablished guitar/bass building company/luthier.
    4. start small!

    back at the end of the 90's I was ready to go full time and had enough work to do it BUT....

    I also have good skills as an instrument repair technician (good cash flow here if you like repairs)

    I play in working bands.

    I have a licence to practice mental health counseling.. so I had some fall back sources of income

    Ultimately, I chose (or it chose me) to teach woodworking to high school kids... and this , I believe, is my true calling.

    The really nice thing about being a part-timer is that you build things because you love to, NOT because you HAVE to...... same reason why I walked away from being a full time musician... I didn't want to play Bar Mitzvah's and supermarket openings just to pay the rent........ so when I have gigs, it's always FUN!, just as going down into my shop on a Saturday Morning is pure joy!

    it's an exciting time for you... think long and hard about what you want and go for it!
     
  12. Buy the best tools you can afford... even if you cannot afford them. hehe
    Good luck! Woodworking is a blast!
     
  13. eleonn

    eleonn

    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - PerĂº
    There have been at least 4 o 5 threats of the in the last year and a half. Look for them. Pretty darn good advices youll find there.
     
  14. cvledder

    cvledder

    Sep 6, 2008
    Netherlands
    Thanks all for the advise.
    I am more of a worker of hands(building things) loved it in school couldnt choose it as a class past 2nd grade :( so i lost all my woodworking knowledge i had. i'm probobly gonna start off small(if my parents allow me.)just build and learn in my spare time.(i have plenty of spare time anyways ;))
     

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