Building Electric Guitars

So I got a new book on building guitars called “Building Electric Guitars”, believe it or not. The book, by Martin Koch, is self published, just like another book I have on the subject by Melvyn Hiscock – “Make Your Own Electric Guitar”. It’s interesting, really, that two of the three books I have on the subject are both self published. I wonder, and suspect, that it’s an indicator of the size of the market, especially considering that the book by Hiscock is the one I see recommended most on forums.

I’m not even half way through yet, so I can’t give a thorough review, but I can make a few comments. First, and I suspect this is more due to the self published nature of the book and an effort to save on cost, the pictures and diagrams are tiny and not very detailed. Second, it’s translated from the original German, and it doesn’t seem to be a terribly poor job, but there are some places that seem a little off, making me wonder if the translator knows the subject or not. The book could also have used a better copy editor – but hey – it’s self published, and it’s really hard to get all that work done yourself, especially if it’s translated. No idea if the author knows enough english to be able to verify the translation or not.

Beyond the technical quibbling, the book seems to be pretty well done, and it certainly covers ground that the other two books I have gloss over. None of the three books are what I would call comprehensive, but this one spends a large portion of the book on available hardware, seven pages on how to build your own pickups, ten pages on tools, and doesn’t get to actually building the guitar until page 105.

And when you get there, it’s pretty complete, it seems, at least in comparison with the other books I have. There’s still no substitute for getting in and working on your own guitar, but he’s got lots of tips and tricks for doing the various tasks, including things like how to clamp up an angled headstock, how to make the transition on a single piece neck from neck to headstock, and others.

Which is where I’m at right now. I’ll update this as I work through the rest of the book. So far, I think it was worth the money, if just as a secondary resource. With the few books available on the subject, there’s no reason you shouldn’t own most or all of them, really, unless the book is a complete mess, which this one doesn’t seem to be.