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Starting in the Luthiery Business

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by GregBreshears, Jun 7, 2002.


  1. GregBreshears

    GregBreshears Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2002
    Independence, MO
    Owner: Greg Breshears Guitarworks
    I was just wondering if some of the established luthiers could give me some advice. I went to and completed a Certificate Luthiery program at the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery in Arizona:), and I was wondering if you could give me pointers on the best way to open up a business makeing custom instruments or Highend Instruments.

    I would like to thank everyone ahead of time for ANY advice they could give me.

    Greg Breshears

    Here is a picture of a bass that I am working on (I am new here I hope it is okay to post a picture.)
     
  2. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Im not a luthier (Technically I guess I could be considered one since Im working on my first bass), but I do have some advice as a consumer who might buy one of your products.

    Offer me something that will make me buy from you.

    That picture was nice, and the design is atractive, but it seems that many makers are doing somthing similar these days.

    I want to know what you plan on doing that would make people want to buy from you rather than Fodera or Elrick? (Both Makers of similar designs.)

    They make basses of a similar design with exotic woods and tops, not to mention the reputation and experience they have. I think that unless you have very atractive prices, most playes looking for a custom bass are going to go to them.

    This is not meant to discourage you, but rather to inspire you to do something great.

    Im sure you will offer great products, but when there are others who also offer great products, but have the added benefit of reputation, you will not survive in a market competing against them.

    Offer people something that other makers dont.

    Attached is an early sketch of my design for the bass I am just begining work on.

    I am putting 3 magnetic pickups on and a piezo pickup in the bridge. I also have recently revised the design to be hollow body with a f-hole. This should help make this slightly larger than usual bass to a reasonable wieght, and aid to give a better resonant charachter. I believe that the combination of the humbucker against the fretboard (fretboard overhangs to allow a resonable amouny of wood to remain for the body neck join integrity) and piezo pickup in the bridge will compliment each other to give a good acoustic quality.

    Although this bass will be 34" 4 string, I plan on experimenting with narrow spaced 5 strings, and scale legnths up to 38" and fretless designs.


    The point is, I dont know what you have to offer, but I believe you should have something unique to offer if you want to suceed.

    Peace
    Nick
     
  3. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I just realized now that my attachment didnt work.

    That kinda makes my whole post a little pointless since no one can see what Im offerening.

    Peace
    Nick
     
  4. Greg: interested in drumming up some new business? I am a huge fan of young/up-and-coming luthiers, as my avatar shows. That looks like a really sweet bass.
     
  5. That bass looks awesome man!! Be sure to show us a pic when it's done;)
     
  6. GregBreshears

    GregBreshears Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2002
    Independence, MO
    Owner: Greg Breshears Guitarworks
    Thank you all very much for your advice so far. This bass is one that I was making because I like the fodera and elrick designs, back when I started making it ( a year and a half ago) those were the only two that I had seen, but like you said it seems like everyone is makeing a single cutaway.

    Greg
     
  7. Greg - looks like a sweet bass. If you come in at an attractive price point, and you offer a good product there's no reason why there won't be decent demand. Do you have other designs right now that you are considering offering?
     
  8. Another thing that would get you customers (at least by word of mouth) is a VERY helpful sales department (meaning you)

    If you go out of your way to be friendly and concerned with any problems that arise you will come off as a great guy, one where people say "You want to buy from Breshears. He's very helpful. And he makes sure that what he gives you is the best he can possibly give."

    Good luck. I wish I had the wood working skills to be a luthier.

    Rock on
    Eric
     
  9. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Of course people also like when you tell them to feel free to request custom options.

    Woods, PU's, Hardware.

    People like being able to choose what they get.

    Its all just offering them as much as you can.

    Peace
    Nick
     
  10. GregBreshears

    GregBreshears Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2002
    Independence, MO
    Owner: Greg Breshears Guitarworks
    Thank you all again for some very great advice. About the Custom Options that is really what I want to do, I don't want to have someone say ok make me a 4 string bass...and leave it at that, I want to work though it with them so we can get a bass that fits them and their style. Also I am working on some other designs but not quite sure what I want to do. (prob. no more single cutaways for a while at least not neck through it has been too many headaches). On the post that said you wish you had wood working skills to be a luthier, when I went down to Roberto-Venn to Study Luthierie I had NONE I hadn't done any wood work except use a wood burner in cub scouts. You just have to know what you want, ask lots of questions, and plan everything out before you start making dust. If you make the bass in your head first it will be lots easier when you start on the wood.

    again thanks everyone.

    Greg