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Review: Assembling a Solidbody Electric Guitar by Dan Erlewine

Review: Assembling a Solidbody Electric Guitar by Dan Erlewine

Reviewed by John Calkin

Originally published in American Lutherie #60, 1999 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume Five, 2008

Video: Assembling a Solidbody Electric Guitar
Dan Erlewine
Stewart-MacDonald, 1999

Though Dan Erlewine and I are contemporaries, I can’t resist thinking of him as Uncle Dan. Through his writing, videos, and convention appearances he has spread his wide knowledge and undying enthusiasm for guitars across the entire population of luthiers and players, making him a sort of good uncle to our entire clan.

Assembling a Solidbody is one of Erlewine’s more basic video lessons. In the first half he builds a guitar around a raw Strat-style body, and in the second, a finished Tele body hits the operating table to become a guitar. All emphasis is placed on doing clean work that anyone might be proud of, though a difference is made between how a pro might build a guitar from parts and how a kitchen-table luthier might be forced to handle the same job. Using this tape, the rookie ought to turn in as creditable a job as a seasoned guitar man. The raw body is left unfinished, as lacquer work is the subject of other Stew-Mac references. The Strat is assembled according to Fender specs, which is a useful touch, and there must be a hundred tips to help your work come out cleaner and more precise.

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