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Thread: Getting in the game

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Wales, UK
    Posts
    5,426

    Default Getting in the game

    This is a copy of a partial posting I put up in UU Facebook Group.

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    Like all craft/hand skill based occupations, instrument building does require an initial investment of 10,000  hours. This prepares you from a practical advantage point of being able to 'handle anything that comes your way'. It is also the road to building your 'reputation' and that can only be defined by you. For instance, I get regularly roasted for my stance on comissioning. Having spent nearly 22 years being the tail of the dog and after a dignosis for PD caused me to reset the clock I no longer 'make for the client'. For some reason people take an aggressive stance against builder who do what I do to the way I do it. But hey, I make payroll every week. Sadly, this is a competitive business - we are all friendly but, in many cases we are also all after the same slice of pie. If you love inlay work you will be up against some formidable players like Chuck Moore. If it's bespoke you are after then... well it's a very long list and there are few places at the table. I vacated mine last year when I got out of the commissioning game.
    A ray of hope. There are a few ukulele builders in your neck of the woods. It's a shallow pool with no sharks which is great for you. Embed yourself in that community, use local woods, do fine work and marry someone who is on a salary. It was many years before I could contribute to the family budget and I am eternally grateful for Helen, my wife, who has supported my creative explorations my entire life.
    You may agree or disagree but there is a reason that 10 years ago a growing number of guitar makers started to eye the ukulele market. And let's not forget, despite how awful these times are, I have never been busier and it is a great time to be a builder. When I think back to when I started over 26 years ago, I opened and closed my business 4 times in the first 16 years. Boy was it hard! Thanks to places like this and people like you if you find your niche, you can just about scrape by on a little more than minimum wage.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    central CA
    Posts
    721

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    Like we say in the cattle business
    "Marry a gal that has a good job in town"
    My Real name is Terry Harris

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Little River, California
    Posts
    2,673

    Default

    Hey Pete, thanks for the shout out to Chuck Moore:

    If you love inlay work you will be up against some formidable players like Chuck Moore.

    A musician friend of mine has this bumper sticker on his truck: Real musicians have day jobs. He is a hellava a good musician, but carpentry puts the bread (and Tequila) on his table.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Wales, UK
    Posts
    5,426

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    I always shout out Chuck - what an inspiration. We have disagreed on many things but that does not and has not altered my opinion of his importance in our community. He is a National Treasure in Hawaii just as Ken Timms is in the UK. Both of thes giants are friends and mentors.

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