A Father's Dream...

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Blog entry by gbarteck posted 02-10-2010 05:19 AM 1953 reads 1 time favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Anyone who’s looked my profile may have seen a mention of how my long-term goal in woodworking is to learn how to be a luthier—to build guitars in particular. That’s quite a ways off in the future for me.

I actually have had an interest in stringed instruments for a long time. I don’t know how to play any of them, though I would like to someday.

My two oldest children and my youngest play musical instruments… a talent that certainly got from their mother, not me.

My particular interest in guitars nowadays comes from my oldest son. He’s actually very talented. Here is a link to one of his compositions that he’s currently entrering into a contest (If you have a few minutes, give it a view):

I say in all honesty that I’m proud of all of my children. They all will be wonderful contributors to our world [okay, so I’m biased… sue me :-) ]

But it’s this one that has me wanting to build guitars—maybe he’ll play one of mine one day.

(That being said…his older sister has me wanting to build violins.)

-- "A day without sunshine is like...night."

25 comments so far

View Luke's profile


546 posts in 4378 days

#1 posted 02-10-2010 05:39 AM

Very cool. He’s got that Andy Mckee feel. I like it. Thanks for sharing. My brother is a luthier we hang out almost every day. It is not a very hard thing to get into. Selling them for what they are worth, however, is a whole nother story.

-- LAS,

View zlatanv's profile


691 posts in 4318 days

#2 posted 02-10-2010 05:56 AM

Wow! Amazing, better than allot of people I have paid to see on stage. Watching some one play like that truely amazes me.

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View gbarteck's profile


22 posts in 4138 days

#3 posted 02-10-2010 06:12 AM

@skywalker01: Yeah, Andy Mckee is one of his favorites. We went to see him, Antoine Dufour(another favorite), and Craig D’Andrea a year ago—what a great show. Got to talk to all of them afterwards. They’re all very easygoing and willing to talk to everyone. If you have a change to see him live, I recommend it.

-- "A day without sunshine is like...night."

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4661 days

#4 posted 02-10-2010 06:22 AM

Great job
We are all proud of our kids. I’m really pleased to see a talent like your son.


View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4392 days

#5 posted 02-10-2010 06:27 AM

Excellent talent. Some musicians can play all their life and just be mediocre and some have a great natural talent. Your son has that great ability.
Who Dat

View charlton's profile


88 posts in 4492 days

#6 posted 02-10-2010 08:22 AM

Very nice. It’s funny, my goal is to eventually work up the skills to be a hobby luthier. When I was young, violin was my life and I wanted to build them but was too young and too poor to be able realize that dream. University was the end of my violin-playing and when I graduated, I actually started playing the guitar instead and have since desired to build steel-string acoustics much like the Taylor your son is playing. :)

I’m not nearly as accomplished as your son in playing (or anyone in general). So I figure if I can’t play the darn thing, I’ll either go back to the violin or start building them instead. :) Andy Mckee and Antoine Dufour are all great players. Same with Don Ross. I believe they’re all part of the Candy Rat crew. That said, parts of this song sound sort of like Justin King’s “Knock on Wood.” If your son is really into tapping, there’s a piece by Erik Mongrain called “Air Tap” that I find to be an absolutely fantastic piece (though he plays it in similar fashion to Jeff Healey).

Anyway, keep the dream alive and maybe you and I will cross paths one day at NAMM or something. :)

View Skylark53's profile


2863 posts in 4144 days

#7 posted 02-10-2010 11:29 AM

Your son is an exceptionally tallented individual; I see why you are so proud. You should be, thank you for sharing this amazing video. I don’t play, but have always been fascinated by guitar play. I am not familiar with the style he uses. I’m gonna recommend this youtube site to friends. Best of luck to your son and may God bless you all.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4418 days

#8 posted 02-10-2010 12:50 PM

I don’t know much about music, but even I can see what a wonderfully talented lad your son is! I loved the music and the way he played it. I sincerely hope he makes a go of it. You have every reason to be proud of him. I too have wanted to make a guitar with my son who plays well, but nowhere near as well as your son. The thing stopping me is the cost of the materials and customs duties here in Norway which would double the cost of such a project. Maybe some day.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3861 posts in 4521 days

#9 posted 02-10-2010 03:56 PM

I play guitar and have made a few acoustic ones from scratch. Like any woodworking, making panel doors, inlays, etc. Once the mystery of how it’s done is seen and experienced, it’s not really one of the great mysteries of the universe. And, done right, it’s not like with violins. The sound box is very forgiving. A good guitar is always produces. And sometimes a great instrument comes forth. Do it by the book and rarely does a lemon come out.

Superior playing btw. I see Berkley on his shirt. Is that the school of music?

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View gbarteck's profile


22 posts in 4138 days

#10 posted 02-10-2010 04:58 PM

@craftsman: Berklee is my soin’s dream school. He auditioned there last year and was accepted—even was awarded some scholarship money—but after all was said and done it’s just too expensive. So, he’s taking classes locally to build up transfer credits to Berklee (and building up a tuition war chest, as it were).

This contest he’s entering with this piece has a top prize of a full tuition scholarship to Berklee, so he’s highly motivated to do well here. The competition will be intense. If he gets picked as the top person in his category, he goes to L.A. for the finals.

I’ve got my fingers crossed.

-- "A day without sunshine is like...night."

View CaptainSkully's profile


1615 posts in 4642 days

#11 posted 02-10-2010 05:46 PM

Having sacrificed my guitar playing on the tablesaw, building a guitar has kinda fallen off my short list. However, watching the guitar-making series on has made it look a bit more doable. Check it out. It would make an unbelievable gift…

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3861 posts in 4521 days

#12 posted 02-10-2010 05:51 PM

I hope your son sent this video in as part of his portfolio. He’s really very good. Good luck with that stuff. my daughter went to an ivy league school in Boston and filled out all those FAFSA forms. She got enough so that we could take up the slack but those schools are EXPENSIVE. These days you’ve got to look at the cost and return after to make the decision. Good luck with all of that.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 4370 days

#13 posted 02-10-2010 07:14 PM

I loved the video. I can see why you’re proud. You have every reason to be. I wish I could play like that.

I hope you fulfill your dream of building guitars. Sure, it’s a learning curve, but all it takes is the dedication to develop your skills. That only comes from working at it. Craftsman is right, it’s not so difficult once you begin to break it down.

Good luck with all you do


View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

732 posts in 4702 days

#14 posted 02-10-2010 07:18 PM

It appears as though the strings aren’t the only way to make music on a guitar, that boy used the WHOLE guitar! Thanks for sharing and good luck.

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View ShannonRogers's profile


540 posts in 4872 days

#15 posted 02-10-2010 07:18 PM

Proud does not cover what you must feel watching this. I was a music major and Berklee is one of the best. He should be very proud to have even been accepted. Good luck to him in the competition and achieving his dream. I’m going to subscribe to his channel cause I want his first album when it comes out

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at

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