About Me – And Why I’m Doing This

1990: I Buy my First “Real” Guitar

When I was 16, I worked extra hours for many months at my Dairy Queen job so that I could finally afford my first “real” electric guitar: a blue Ibanez RG550. I loved that axe, but hadn’t a clue how to change the strings or even tune it, because it had a floating Floyd Rose tremolo. So, when I wanted to lower the action, I had to take it to a local music store.

I was pretty naive back then, so when I went to pick it up a week later I was so excited that I paid the guitar tech without even opening the case and hurried home to play my “professionally setup” guitar.

Tragedy Strikes

When I got home and finally opened the case, my mouth went dry, my heart sank, and I got a sick feeling in my stomach.

There were two huge chips in the beautiful blue paint of the body–one so deep it was all the way down to the wood.

I immediately called the guitar store. Not only did the guitar tech deny all responsibility, he had the audacity to say “it was like that when you bought it in kid.” As such, they refused to fix the damage (not for free, anyway).

That’s the day I realized that I needed to to learn to do as much of my own guitar work as possible, and only give my guitar to someone else when absolutely necessary.

A Mentor Steps In

I told another local luthier about this incident, and he was so appalled that he began giving me setup and maintenance tips, and eventually became a mentor of sorts. I’d go to visit his shop and he’d let me work on my guitar using his tools, giving me guidance here and there so I didn’t screw things up.

He also recommended books and videos that I could study on my own, and I discovered I really enjoyed tinkering and working on guitars. Over the following years I continued learning–way more than the average guitar owner needs to know.

My 1990 Ibanez RG550 (circa 1994)

Circa 1994. This is my RG550, 4 years after the “accident.” By this time I’d installed a new bridge pickup, phase switch, and had expertly drop-filled the chips left by the music store.

Paying it Forward

Now, I want to help you the same way that I was helped in those early years. I want to pass on my knowledge to you, so you only have to leave your precious axe with someone else when absolutely necessary.

You can contact me anytime with your guitar questions and concerns. I usually respond within 48 hours.

More About Me

I began playing guitar in 1987, and over the years I’ve given private guitar lessons, studied Jazz guitar in college, and ran my own “guitar tech” business for 2 years. I’m an Air Force veteran who now lives with two very lovely ladies: my girlfriend Abigail and our rescued ex-racing greyhound Truly.

Curious about what guitars, gear, and accessories I use? I’ve begun compiling all that information on my Guitars & Gear page. It’s a work-in-progress, so be patient as I slowly add to it over time.

What Others Are Saying

Teaching and helping people is something I love. It’s in my blood. There are a lot of guitar websites and blogs out there, but I try to go above-and-beyond by personally replying to anyone who reaches out to me for help. Here are just a few of the awesome comments people have sent to me over the years…

Thanks a ton. You really know your stuff!

Mandy

I started reading your blog posts and Tweets and can’t stop.

Don

You have been of immense help. I’ll update you on my progress. Thank you so much.

Dorian

You’re very cool to talk to, I might add. Thanks for the advice on how to change nylon strings!

Liv

I listen to your segment on the weekly Guitcast podcast! Thanks for the great work and advice 🙂

Jonathan

This is great info. You rock. Thanks!!!!

Twitter follower

Thanks a lot, you saved my day!

Lore

Really appreciate your guitar advice this past year! Sending you much love…

Austin & Amanda

Thanks so much! You are an immense help!! Appreciate all you do!

G Mac

“Bobby, thanks for taking the time to compose and send an answer to my question. I really appreciate it.”

Pat

Thank you so much, dude! I honestly didn’t know where to turn, guitar forums can be overwhelming.

Dave