Lucky as I am, my son gave me the excellent Christmas present of an electric guitar building kit. He seems to be developing into a very thoughtful gift giver: this is an interest of mine as a cruddy amateur player; an education on the what and how of the workings of the instrument and it’s a project. As well as a gratifying and time absorbing pastime (and the absorption of time in January 2021 is something to embrace) I am learning. I am learning about how an electric guitar works and what the bits inside actually do and how they fit together.
I have kind of been interested in this stuff in a vague way for years, but now I need to learn it to make the project work. And I want to. Finally, I want to. And so, I learn.
The kit has some instructions in a short pamphlet, which are on the very basic end of what is required at my novice level. As is my reflex, I supplemented them with YouTube videos and found certain channels that fit my needs and the approach I prefer. (A side note: as Goeorge Orwell remarked about writing, YT channels are there for the host as much as the audience. Some hosts are scratching a performance itch. I prefer those who genuinely want to pass on what they have learned.) I like channel hosts who are on my side, or at least on our side.
The YouTube videos helped me to see what goes where and what to look out for when attempting to put it there. The best of them helped to understand why and what to look out for. My favourites shared the mistakes they have made and guided me away from the same. What I found most useful, as a newbie guitar maker, was the confidence instilled from viewing and researching. From a position of minimal understanding and maximum nervousness, I browsed around until I felt that I could give it a go. A slow go. A one small step at a time slow go. Which is all I needed to get started.
I am now preparing for the next stage of the journey. From things that have to be done one way, or they don’t work, to things that are a matter of taste and preference. For the guitar nerds out there…adjusting the action will be a life’s work I suspect, a change of pickups is on the list (the ceramic bridge pickup sounds pretty bad (Alnico 2 or 5?)) and maybe the bridge plate itself at some point…
The great thing about the gift is the impetus it has given me to take on an endless project. I also have a fourth guitar now and obviously need to add a Les Paul to round out the set…
3 responses to “Building confidence from YouTube instructors”
I can highly recommend Sam Deeks’ channel. There are lots of guitar repair videos and a few on building from a kit.
Always happy for a recommendation – thanks Barry.
[…] anticipated later in the year. Next is the “soldering and electrics” hole to fit them when the confidence levels are right. If only I could play the instrument […]