After my 12-string guitar died, there was nothing else I could do but throw it away. Not long after, I chanced upon a video by the legendary Dan Erlewine explaining something about instrument repair. The deeper I went, the more I learned from the likes of Randy Schartiger, Jerry Rosa, John Hall and Robert O’Brien, respected luthiers and repairmen all. This was in the late 2000s.
As I grasped the whys and wherefores of parts and their functioning, my knowledge grew and continues to grow with each repair successfully undertaken. Even today, I watch every video that these gentlemen post, and try and learn whatever I can from them.
While dealing with customers, I really like to get to know them and their playing style: understand how they would like their instrument to speak to them: soft and mellow or loud and authoritative. This really helps how I set-up their instrument.
My customers are everyone from schoolchildren to people teaching them, to professionals and all else in between, and I have worked on cheap as well as very expensive guitars. But I really earn from experienced players for they understand the value of a professional set-up or a specialised repair.
I started accepting instruments for repair a good eight years after I thought I knew enough.