Guitars have been around for centuries and have grown to become one of the most popular instruments in the world. While larger name guitar brands manufacture their instruments in factories, building guitars by hand is an art form that requires skill, craftsmanship and patience.
Steve Rozitis, owner of R Guitars in Calgary, has been building and repairing guitars since 2013. He says at first glance, acoustic guitars may all look very similar, but there’s a reason that some guitars sound better and last longer than others.
“Out of these hundred guitars, two of them will make you cry. They’ll give you goosebumps. At one strum you’ll just know it. The whole guitar will shake, the whole room will feel like it’s vibrating.
That’s our goal. We want to make all of our guitars have that profound sound.”
Making a guitar is an extensive process that only a few highly-skilled people know how to do. Though more expensive than those produced in a factory, handmade guitars possess a quality that can’t be found anywhere else. Produced by Andrea Wong
Rozitis adds that there are a number of reasons why a handmade guitar is better than a manufactured one. The most common repairs Rozitis deals with have to do with wood that hasn’t been properly dried or cut. While factories are pushing out guitars to meet a quota, Rozitis only makes three a year and says a guitar should last forever if they have been carefully made.
“It takes time to do it the right way, the old way, the way they used to do it.”
Because of the time and cost of materials, a custom-made guitar will usually cost more than the ones in stores. But Rozitis’ business partner Tom Kilroe says the investment is worth it.
“You’ll get a better quality sounding guitar and a better playing guitar. You’ll just get all around more enjoyment out of a guitar that you can play for the rest of your life, and it’ll blossom and grow with you.”
- By Andrea Wong