My son's favourite song is George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" ... I too love this song and would listen to it on my parents' stereo with the headset on when I was in my teens ;)
My son Kevin is turning 19 next month. He's been playing guitar since he was eight years old. He still plays with the same instructor, John, except now his lessons have become more of a jam session on Friday evenings. It's a nice friendship that has built up between them, and John has shared and encouraged my son's love of music. I doubt the guitar playing will lead to anything career wise, but when I walk past Kevin's room and hear him quietly playing guitar along with something on youtube, it lifts my heart.
Kevin has collected a few guitars over the years. His first guitar was tiny ... and blue. It fell apart a year or so after we bought it, but it really was just a toy. We then bought him a three-quarter size acoustic guitar when he was still small. He then bought himself an electric guitar with money earned from his paper route. A couple of years ago we bought him a full-sized acoustic guitar ... something he could play around the campfire.
In a woodworking class Kevin took in grade 11, he decided he was going to make an electric guitar. His dad was all over that since he enjoys woodworking himself. The plans quickly started to take shape with Kevin doing all the work, and my husband helping him use the woodworking tools here at home when the shop tools at school weren't adequate. He decided to have a veneer of "tiger maple" or as my son prefers to call it "flame maple". This refers to the grain of the wood. He knew what colours he wanted the guitar, and with this vision in his head he got to work.
This is what he finally finished for the woodworking class (above). I know. It didn't get finished before school ended that summer. You can sort of see the ripples in the flame maple that are skinny lines from side to side of the wood. It's a veneer glued onto the solid wood backing, and it was all cut out and sanded and sanded and sanded. The shape is modeled after a Fender telecaster, but with a slightly different shape.
What with one excuse and another, the guitar was left in this state for quite a while. Finally, Kevin and my husband picked up working on it again. It has been the most agonizing thing Kevin has worked on with respect to the finishing details. He decided it would be dyed (not stained) black. Many a youtube video was watched to figure out all these details. He dyed the guitar, sanded it, dyed it again, wasn't happy with the finish, sanded it right back to bare wood, dyed it again and again! He was so particular about it and it was driving me crazy to see him come upstairs after working on it and explain to me all the agonizing details. Then the hardware had to be purchased ... another drawn out process to get exactly what he wanted at a reasonable price. He purchased the neck too since he'd read they are really tricky to make and he didn't feel he wanted to get into that with his "first" guitar.
Happily though, the guitar is now finished ... and it looks spectacular!
The flames in the maple showed up so well with the dye. Kevin was thrilled with the final results. There are so many coats of varnish on this thing that I lost count. He even had a plastic tent set up in the basement to keep any tiny bits of dust from falling onto it between coats.
The pick guard isn't exactly what he wanted, but these are interchangeable, and he may find something that he likes better later on. He really wanted a bright red pick guard, but I personally like this reddish wood look myself.
He took it in to show John last week, and between them they got it all strung and tuned to perfection. I think they both enjoyed the process as John had a few little trade secrets to share.
|three favourite guitars|
I was going to take photos of all the different stages as Kevin worked on this, but I was afraid of dropping dust on any of the finishes, so I just took that one and left it alone.
Now Kevin is talking about what he's going to do with his next guitar ... oh boy!
Thanks for stopping by today!