So the question has been bantered about the Solo Guitar office in the past few weeks….why DIY? What is making the DIY Guitar scene so popular? Why are people opting to build their own guitar rather than buy one off the shelf? I think the answer to this is more complex than what you might think.
I personally have always been a do it myself kind of guy, whether it was working on my own car, or building something for me or someone else. Of course I come from a long line of woodworkers, so part of this came naturally… watching my father build our furniture at home or building our first cottage. But then, I’m not really a kit guy….I’m a do it from scratch guy…..so what makes all of you different from me?
Well if we look at the general DIY market in N America, it has increased approximately 37.5% between 2013 and 2018, from about $32 billion to $44 billion in just five years. This of course includes primarily home improvements and repairs. You need only look at how many big box stores you have within a certain distance from your home. But these numbers also include making your own crafts, furniture etc. If we look at the worlds number one idea factory; now referred to as Pinterest, the numbers are absolutely astonishing. Pinterest has over 200 million users that will initiate 600 million searches each month and create $300 million in revenue. Forty percent of Pinterest users are male and 60 percent are female. Well….according to the internet anyway.
So it’s safe to assume from these numbers, that DIY is or has become a lifestyle choice by a rather large sector of the population. It doesn’t seem to be really clear why people are choosing to make their own stuff, or fix their own houses…or at least, there doesn’t seem to be any conclusive statistics on the matter. I can only assume that a big part of this movement is self-satisfaction, the search for knowledge and skills and the feeling that these two things are worth more than $$$$$.
Of course to some degree, I am preaching to the choir…. all of you folks who have been buying and building Solo Guitar/Bass kits know all about the satisfaction part. Sure we can all go to the local music store and buy an electric guitar for probably $100 and up. But the feeling is completely different when you buy a kit, spend the time assembling, finishing and setting it up and then the magic moment when you plug it in and play it for the first time. ‘I MADE THAT!’ I know that feeling as well….ostensibly, my first guitar build was a kit…I assembled all the parts, bought a neck and made a body, finished and assembled it, set it up and wow….what a feeling. My son still has that guitar. I moved on to building from scratch, and many of you might as well (remember there is a reason that we at Solo Guitars are carrying all those parts…). The bottom line remains the same for us though, the skills we learn, the knowledge we gain and the satisfaction we experience when we play that first build, and every build after that….there really is nothing quite like it, is there?