A good question to ask yourself and my answer is YES! I have my own views and below is what my customers have told me in the order most told to me.
1. I don’t want a commercial guitar everybody has one, I want something different.
2. I want a particular concept and it’s not on the market.
2. Leo and Les are gone and the guitars are not the same.
3. Commercial guitars are over priced and made by the evil empire.
4. I cannot find what I want on the market.
5. I have some parts and want to use them.
6. I love to build things and want to build my own guitar.
7. I want to make music on my own guitar so I can truly be an individual.
Most people build Fender style guitars and when a customer tells me they want to build a Fender knock off I tell them first that if you want a Fender then you should go buy a Fender! Get that out of your system before you start to build. Fender makes nice guitars and whatever you build will not be a “Fender” if that is important to you. What you build can be be as nice and most times will be nicer if done right. But it won’t be a Fender. Whenever you pick it up you will wish it was a Fender or you will have that fleeting thought that it is not a Fender. A fake decal will not make it a Fender and if you sell it you will have to admit to that. Your whole endeavor of building a guitar is a lost cause with that mindset. So buy a Fender now and when you are ready, build something unique of your own. Or even better, just build something unique to start with. That is what it is all about. The same holds true for Gibson type guitars but that is a different animal because of the tenon neck.
Building a guitar is for those who have passed the mainstream of commercial guitars and really want to do something of their own. It is exactly like writing a song. Most people are in music to express themselves with their own material and so it is with guitars. I advise guitar players to look into Brian May of Queen for inspiration into building their own guitar! Here is a link
I have a Fender and I like it . I got it a long time ago when I was a newbie but now I build my own and like them as much and some even better. And they are my expression.
If you do want to build something you might find you fall into one or all of the categories above. Building a guitar from scratch is going to cost as much and maybe more than just buying a commercial guitar. But you will have what you want physically and emotionally. If done right you will love what you built because it is a reflection of yourself. It will become an heirloom. You will feel a real connection to it when you pick it up. You will never get those feelings from a commercial guitar. Don’t skimp on the price of parts and outside skills if they are needed. None of us know everything and good advice is a treasure. You should build a guitar with the mindset that you intend to keep it for life. That will help you to do your best. First time around you might build something you are not happy with but you will know you did your best at the time and have good memories of the guitar and experience. You might try again with what you learned. Again it’s just like writing a song. It takes work, effort and sometimes a few tries before you get it right! Ultimately you might find you get what you want.
Don’t build a guitar from parts with the idea that you are going to make money off of it. You will not make a profit on a guitar you make with a few exceptions. You might break even and maybe some beer money. People always buy big names whether they are good or bad. They will pay big bucks for big names. If you don’t have a big name no one is going to pay you big bucks. To make money at it you need to establish yourself as a builder, a manufacturer, a player or some sort of guru. If you become famous people will buy your guitar! Music, from songwriting to manufacturing is a business and it takes commitment and investment to be successful. Be honest with yourself.
If you have any comments drop me an email.