I have been playing the bass guitar for several years in various bands here in Florida. I played an old ’66 Fender Jazz fretted bass for a long time, but I always wanted a fretless bass for those lovely slides and warm, singing notes. As wood working was a hobby of mine for some time, too, I figured I wanted to build my own fretless bass. The first couple of basses were based on standard Fender designs. I realized that I enjoyed the process of building very much. So I decided to build a few more and put them up on eBay. I must have done a few things right, because I soon started receiving nice e-mails from the people who had bought them. That was maybe the best part of the whole process!
Since then I’ve built quite a few basses (as we’re speaking, bass #332 will be the next project started!), and have added several original Clement designs to my list of available body shapes. Most of these basses were fretless basses, like the first I built for myself. But loyal customers soon wanted me to build fretted basses for them, and I build a lot of them now, as well. And I have even built a couple of electric guitars as well, which is a nice variation and a different challenge.
I truly love the process of shaping timber into beautiful musical instruments, and I love stringing them up and hearing them sing for the first time. I also enjoy very much the feedback from my players, and hope that my contribution helps them bring out there music in the best way. Seeing my basses on stage or hearing them in recordings makes me very proud!
These days, most of the basses I build are custom orders, but I still occassionally build instruments that I offer directly on eBay for sale. The “eBay basses” allow me to compose instruments from my own imagination. Building custom orders, however, is the projects I enjoy the most. The close interaction with my customers throughout the building process, sending photos as the instrument “grows” and discussing the fine details as we go along is really what makes this job special.
At the end of the day, receiving the first email after delivery of my bass is the finest moment of them all: The moment of truth!
It’s always exciting to see if the instrument that I have spent weeks and months building, will fulfill the dreams that the customer had about the instrument when contacting me in the first place!
Based on the feedback I have gotten so far, and the fact that several of my customers have come back and bought a second (or even a third!) bass from me, I guess I have mostly managed to achieve that with my basses!
I have had an incredible amount of help with my business. I owe a lot to people that I have never met and who have helped me out of the kindness of their hearts and because they believe in my product.
Several of my bass designs as well as my logo were created by Ryan a local graphic design artist that worked together with me on a bass building project he had designed. His assistance over the years has been great.
My first web site was done by Hans, a customer and friend that still owns three of my earliest basses. He wanted to see me keep building them, and knew it would help me a lot if there was a place on the web where people that were interested in my basses could look at them, instead of having me e-mail them photos of them.
My second web site was built by Rich, a buddy from my former job. He wanted to expand what Hans had started and add sound clips and links. With this site, custom orders started coming in and I started getting busy!
The current web site is designed and run by one of my newest customers, and now friend, Jon. Even though he has a full time job and family, he, like the others before him, has enjoyed my work and has worked to help me.
All three of these guys have helped me out for free. I am truly blessed to have run into such kind people!