As of 2015, the guitar that comes to mind most often is the Gibson ES-335. Other popular sellers include: Fender Jazzmaster (2 million sold), Gibson Les Paul (2.1 million), Gibson Lightning (1.4 million), and Rickenbacker Roadrunner (1 million).
What made you start to sell guitars?
The initial idea was born in 1997 after seeing the success of Ibanez’s guitars. I wasn’t impressed with the cost, lack of customization, or lack of customer service – I wanted a guitar that I could build and that could actually sound good.
I had no idea how to do such a thing, and the only tool I had was a pocket screwdriver, so I tried to sell my own guitars using other people’s money without telling them. Over the years, I sold almost 2,000 guitars. Some guitar companies were interested, but I simply wasn’t a good enough marketer for any of them. And at about this time, the original guitar I designed with my father and my business partner turned into a very successful brand.
What made you decide to start your own company?
I saw that there was something missing in the market that a very popular guitar player was using. I knew that I had to design a guitar that could replace the Gibson ES-335.
I also needed to build a brand that people could identify with. What better way to identify my company than to give it a name that was familiar, easily recognizable to people, and recognizable to people? I named my new company “The Guitar Company.”
How did you approach the design process for your first production guitar?
The first guitar I designed had many problems – it was too expensive, too expensive for the average consumer, too inexpensive to play on a beginner player, and it didn’t have good enough parts. I had done the initial designs with my father, but no one could afford to buy the components. It just went bad – after years of production, it was in rough shape.
I got a chance to work on making some improvements. I thought a little bit about how to make the neck a little tighter, and then I realized the necks of most guitars have a certain profile that can help a beginner’s progress by making the neck easier to play on a guitar with an under-the-nose profile. The neck would be stiffer against a beginner’s neck, improving the way the fingers feel in comparison the longer fingers of
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