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How Did You Get Started As A Guitar Tech?

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I'm really keen on repair, maintenance, and modification of guitars, and would like to explore the possibilty of doing it as a full time job.

However, I am relatively inexperienced, and wondering how to get started. Would I be best to try and find someone who would take me on as an apprentice of sorts? I've been doing work on el-cheapo guitars from Cash Converters and the like, and this has been great, but I feel that I would learn better from somebody else rather than from books/trial and error/the internet. Also I don't have a access to much in the way of tools and supplies, so my experience is limited at the moment.

Basically, my questions are:

- If you are a guitar tech, how did you get started?

- Do you have any advice or recommendations for me?

Thanks very much :D

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Im not a techy my self BUT i was in the same "type" of situation as you... ICT Techy but no where to go...

Firstly get proof of what you have done, Photos and the like... Examples are always a great way to proove if your up for the job...

Find a music store near you who sells guitars... offer them your services on weekends just to get your name in... after a while suggest the idea of full time employment... you never know...

Recommendations...: Dont rush into anything... because you are Inexpierienced as a full time techy, Employers will find it hard to accept you, mainly because they dont want to put there name on the line... Discuss apprenticeships with them, that way...you get the expierience taught to you properly whilst they get them selves a future employee!

Hope this helps

~~ Slain Angel ~~

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I am what is known as a guitar tech, firstly you dont need too many tools to get going, just enough stuff to be able to take guitars to pieces and be able to put them back together. The best way to get into it is to take all your guitars and other thing to bits and find out how the work, use mates guitar if they let you! I wouldnt say being a tech is a job you are likely to make alot of money with, its difficult to make money because you need to fix a lot of guitars per week to make anything, People seem generally shocked at the prices of some repairs and don't realise how much time goes into a fret dressing or big rewire job. Buy a couple of El cheapo guitars and make them play as good as possible, forget about learn things like refinishing and building to start with most of your time will be taken up by new pickups installs and general setups, get good at all that stuff first. There is a few Dan Erlewine books that you also buy too.

Good Luck

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Thanks for the advice so far guys :D The next guitar I fix up I will be putting together a list of photos for, basically a before and after for all of the stuff that will need fixing.

I've ordered some books off Amazon, and they are in the pipeline, but they take ages to get here! Amongst them are the two Dan Erlewine ones, and Hideo Kamimoto's book as well.

Does anyone else have any tips or advice?

Anyone in Melbourne Australia looking for an apprentice guitar tech? :D haha

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Kamimoto's "Complete Guitar Repair" is an excellent book. I also have "Complete Banjo Repair" by Larry Sandberg. Books are fine but putting everything into practice is an entirely different matter. You need to be able to use all the tools with efficiency. That means using them with economy and with CARE. You have to develop meticulous work habits. A lot of thought goes into repairing someone's expensive guitar and a good shop owner WILL NOT even let an apprentice go near those instruments until he has proven to him that he will get it right the first time.

So think back on all those guitars you've had to "redo" because of mistakes, carelessness and the old "thats good enough" attitude. We've all been there. (hmmmm..seemed like a good idea at the time :D ).

If you are serious about trying to establish yourself a career in this field I recommend getting some formal training under your belt.

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Melbourne has a thriving live and recorded music scene. Maybe you could seek out some musicians, recording studios or music shops and find out where people get their guitars setup or repaired and contact those shops for leads. I don't know if any local TAFEs have this type of training available, but may have.

Good luck :D

By the way, who do you barrack for in the footie?

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Actually, I don't know if I can consider myself a tech. I do run my own shop though. So far, I just show people my guitar, which isn't fully done yet, as an example of what I can do. I'm actually gonna do a line of guitars influenced by anime/anime characters and game/game characters to show people what I can really do. I just need to find an artist willing to work with me, and money for a few more supplies.

But of course, opening up your own shop is much much much harder than finding a job at a store^^

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Thanks for the replies :D

I am a bit of a perfectionist, so I shouldn't have a problem with getting things right the first time! In terms of formal training, as far as I know there is nothing really in Australia. There are a few guitar building courses run by luthiers, but nothing on repair really.

I think I will just ring around the local guitar shops and ask their repairmen how they got started and stuff like that.

I'm not big into the footy johnsilver, but I'd say Essendon if I was asked.

Thanks guys

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If you can get a job you should tell me how, im finding it pretty hard myself.

Im a saints supporter by the way, yes i know we haven't won a grand final since the sixties

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