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Let’s Get Busy

Let’s Get Busy

Chris Brandt Says You Can’t Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

by Jonathon Peterson

Originally published in American Lutherie #26, 1991 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume Three, 2004

When he was eleven, Chris Brandt converted a $13 guitar into a 12-string by installing autoharp pins. He now owns a successful repair shop in the Portland area. I visited him there to find out how he makes it work.

Chris, you have almost always worked with other luthiers, either as an employee, in a cooperative shop, or as an employer of several repairmen. You seem to prefer working with others. Why is that?

There are a lot of benefits to working in a shop with other repairmen. It’s a rich learning situation. You are exposed to so many more instruments. It enables you to specialize more, and conversely, to not specialize where you don’t need to. There are a lot of jobs which I don’t do anymore simply because I don’t need to and they’re not my preferred jobs.

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