I recently purchased Electric Guitar and Bass Making and Marketing by Leo Lospennato.  I haven’t read the entire book yet, so what gives me the right to review it?  Simple – I’ve seen enough.  This is a great book.  If you have any interest in building your own guitar either now or at some point, this is a must-have resource.  Well-written, straightforward, and logical, this book takes you through everything you need to know.  It answers every question and includes every possible detail.

No, it doesn’t.

But as someone who writes and knows a little bit about how guitars are made, I understand what a crazy huge task it is to try to write a book on this topic.  This book by default can’t be much more than an overview.  But it’s a very good summary of each of the areas that you need to know.  The chapter on wood is the most concise description/explanation I’ve seen yet.  Each section of the book is like that – no frills, no extra dialog to show the reader how clever and witty the writer is, no extra space-filler graphics.  It’s a very concise and logical approach and I am very much enjoying reading it.

After reading several chapters and scanning a few others, I decided to do what I was supposed to do and start at the beginning.  And at the beginning of the book we learn that English is not Leo’s first language.  Seriously?  I was floored.  He writes better than most writers I know.  We learn in the book that Leo is also a computer engineer, which did not surprise me, because of his logical and concise approach to writing.

What I Liked

This is THE book you need if you think you might ever possibly maybe kinda consider maybe one day building your own guitar.  It’s an interesting read even if you aren’t a builder.  You’ll learn a lot, and most importantly, you’ll learn exactly what’s involved with building.  Even though the writing is logical and concise, there are still funny quotes and little wry amusing statements.  The pictures are very good, and the illustrations are mostly good.  There’s NO fluff.  No filler.  This is the stuff you need to know.

What I Didn’t Like

I have two criticisms for this book.  First, it’s a little light in the “for further reading” department.  There are links for more info, but I would have liked to have seen a few more of them.  But major, major props for using shortened URL’s where URL’s are used.  That’s a thoughtful decision and much appreciated.  And two, I think the author should have spent a teeny bit more time on purchasing advice for the tools you need.  On one hand, this book is supposedly for everyone including beginners, but you’ll find advice on how to use a band saw without any real explanation of what a band saw is and what kind would work best for a small shop.  I think the book needs an additional chapter with buying advice for some of the tools you’ll need.


Buy this book.  TIP – If you are serious about getting into this stuff, pay a $39 yearly shipping subscription for stewmac.com.  If you do, you’ll save 50% on the books you buy, and they carry this book.  Plus you’ll be ordering a lot of stuff from stewmac.  Despite the high prices.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to email the author to thank him, as well as to leave a 5 star review on stewmac.com.