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Starting Out

Rating: 1 votes, 5.00 average.
I am currently finishing my first violin at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. I love what I do and I am interested in pursuing this career. I would eventually like to branch out and make guitars/banjos/mandolins etc. I'm not sure where to begin.

How did folks start out? Do you have any tips for someone new to this community? I'm currently employed, but would like to do this on the side until I can get my footing.

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  1. Marty Jacobson's Avatar
    Many mandolin builders begin with a kit, or a scratch build based on one of the available mandolin building texts. Siminoff's book got a lot of us started, but will lead you down the garden path when it comes to tap tuning. Wish I could get those months of my life back. Still, he got me started, and a lot of others, as well. Graham MacDonald's book, the Mandolin Project, is excellent, too, and the approach is more conducive to experimentation and developing your own approach to building an instrument.
    If I were starting today, I'd get one of Chris Baird's Arches kits. A lot of innovative approaches that you can then incorporate into your own scratch build, once you get there. Best of luck.
  2. lorrainehornig's Avatar
    I don't know if this helps because this is not something I have ever done, but a guy I know who builds violins started out doing repairs and restorations after taking a class. He gradually progressed to the point where he was building from scratch. Good luck...this is an admirable ambition.