Music is a part of our life and people from all over the world enjoy it but not so many of them know how much hard work needs to be applied for making music, making a good musical instrument. For example, it is impossible to think that making a guitar requires some simple activities. Creation of a new musical instrument is very serious it is like giving life to a new soul. The person who decides to dedicate their life to the art of lutherie has to be ready for long and hard work. It is very important to have a good start at the beginning because there is saying “A good beginning makes a good ending” and this phrase is very true for the art of lutherie. Inconsistency - is the main enemy of those who try to work on creation of a musical instrument. There are a lot of resources that provide the beginners with some good advice and hints on the best possible ways to avoid the enemies of a good lutherie master like time wasting and absence of attention. Nevertheless, learning is best to start from the simple to the complex. The amateur lutherie can start learning process from the simplest steps like choosing the materials and working on the design of the future musical instrument and continue learning the theory of acoustics, strength of materials and materials science.
Luthier – is a specialization within the profession, the experienced master of making guitars is not only doing some part of the process of guitar-making but he can create it totally on his own.
Creating of a guitar can be serial or exclusive. Of course, when a certain person makes a musical instrument it is undoubtedly exclusive by terminology but there is a production of the instruments that do not differ from others. Though even with mass production almost all technological operations are carried out manually. But it is a process where each participant is responsible for their part only: some dry wood, some glues case, someone is preparing a bar, some paints and varnishes, connecting parts, pulls the strings, tunes. And for many people around the world the word "luthier" still means a person who creates the full guitar - from choosing and cutting wood to the setting. Profession of guitar master is the crossroads of technology and art. It does not tolerate a formal relationship to work it needs a master’s soul and passion to work.
Many musicians prefer to play the guitar, made by private masters. In particular, the instruments made according to the order. Working on the instrument, the master listens to the musician, his style of play. As a result, the guitar is meant to become not only lyrical and beautiful, but comfortable for the hands of concrete musician. The perspective of earnings of professional lutherie can vary from 500$ for the ordinary and simple style model to 25000$ for the specially designed guitars with a lot of hard handy work. Working on an acoustic guitar, master carefully selects wood materials, strings and other guitar parts for the future, ensuring the best possible sound. Guitars are made of different wood species: ash, linden, maple, rosewood, mahogany, walnut, alder, pine, etc. The quality of the wood depends on many things: a good sound to be produced, not to crack or take a lot of humidity with time.
Moreover, if, from some ash it is possible to make a wonderful guitar, it does not mean that other guitars from the same tree are obtained to be good. A lot depends also on the quality of dried wood it is possible that a whole piece of wood is dried differently in various places. The acoustic properties are also affected by so many little things: twists and turns in the direction of the fibers, their density, etc. Therefore, the master holds a very careful selection of each wood piece. In addition to quality saw cut, the wood structure has a value and quality of drying. Many artists prefer the natural drying, although it takes longer than the artificial, which is carried out in special chambers. They explain this by saying that natural drying is better preserves the structure of pores and fibers of wood, on which the resonance characteristics of the material depend a lot. However, some people do not agree with this statement. According to them and artificial drying yields good results, if done correctly. Also, each artist has his favorite shape, designs, assembly technology. All this determines its unique style. In other words, it is personal preference of each guitar maker and it proves once again that the process of lutherie art is not that simple and easy as it may look from the first sight. The master seeks not only a good sound, but also is eager to create a good looking and attractive instrument that would catch an eye from the first sight. Therefore, the master uses a variety of decorative techniques. For example, the inlay. When the guitar is made, the master pulls the strings and sets up their sound. In an electric guitar body is flat, and the sound quality depends not only on the properties of the body and neck, but also on the quality of an electric pickup and amplifier. Therefore, the master of electric guitar should be acknowledged in these matters too. Most masters specialize in one thing - either acoustic or electric guitars.
But even within the same direction there are many types of guitars. For example, if you add an electric acoustic guitar pickup, it will be called semi-acoustic. And if the body of the acoustic guitar contains metal resonators, it is called a resonator. Luthier deals not only with the creation of new instruments he also works on their repairs, restoring, and of course an actual guitar production. Revision and modernization of musical instruments is very important and it is also known as tuning. Repair or guitar tuning requires no less skill than the creation of an instrument from scratch.
The guitar has a very ancient history. The center of its development was Spain, which has inherited a guitar from ancient Rome. This classical version became known as the Spanish guitar. But over time it became more familiar to us six-string guitar. Classical guitar has appeared in the late XIX century. Its creator - Spanish luthier Antonio Torres. He gave the modern guitar its shape and size.
Master of the manufacture and repair of guitars can work in the workshop of musical instruments. In addition, he can open his own guitar repair shop. Profession of guitar wizard suggests a desire and ability to work with his hands, the ability for a long laborious work. It is not a usual coincidence that masters usually do their own guitar playing. It is important that the master had an ear for music, but that he also could appreciate the sound quality and usability of the musical instrument that he created. It is also a necessary tendency to continuous learning, continuous building up of their technical arsenal.
Obstacles to the development of this profession may be the disease of the musculoskeletal system, poor coordination of movements, especially at the level of fine motor skills, severe hearing and vision if they cannot compensate with glasses or hearing aids.
The master must be skilled in carpentry, technology, manufacturing, upgrading and repairing guitars, know the specifics of materials and equipment configuration.
One of the most necessary skills is to evaluate the quality of wood.
Often, this profession gives guitar playing. It starts with the fact that the guitarist is trying to make a guitar for himself, it develops into a real passion, and then - and in the profession. Professionally master carpentry specialization can be studied in college.
But all this can only be seen as a preliminary stage of training. Professional lutheries can continue their education at the musical workshops, working in the studio under the severe supervision of their teachers and masters. Special education can also be obtained in some production plants of musical instruments.
In general, the profession of lutherie is very interesting hard and has a lot of special features that are unique and highly evaluated by those people who understand the importance of such work and those who decide to take up the profession of lutherie as their future.
Art of lutherie is very tender especially for musical instruments. When the musical instrument gets into person’s hands, especially into the hands of the experienced professional and guitar creator it seems as if there is a chance to talk with its creator, because there is a part of his soul embodied in the given musical instrument. In order to make a musical instrument, it is necessary to abstract from all world things, which is very hard to do for the people of young age and for the people of all ages actually. Masters are not everything but the things they create can show their whole inner world and open it to the listeners of the music produced by their creation. The profession of the master of lutherie is very rare but at the same time is very valuable because from the point of view of the musical critics the sound of the string musical instruments is the most approximate to the human voice, imitating the modulations of speech and sound. They can express passion or fun, give marks or chirp incessantly violinist or cellist, his manner to extract sounds from the strings can conjure up the listener’s emotions associated with aggression and tenderness, humility, or showiness. That is why the career of professional lutherie is necessary, important beautiful and creative and at the same time is very rare nowadays that is why the paying for it is also revealing.
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