I make guitars in order to write books about building them.
My very first attempt in guitar building.
Hi. My name is Martin Koch. I'm a selftaught amateur guitarbuilder and author of several books on guitar building. Having a family and being busy with my publishing activities I currently have no time for building instruments other than those needed for my books. In short: I make guitars in order to write books about building them.
The desire to build my first electric bass guitar started 1983 after reading several articles about British bass builders in a German music magazine. I always loved to work with wood and I loved to play music and the interviews inspired me to do something I never thought of before - building a bass guitar. It was fretless simply because I couldn't figure out the mystery of fret spacings by myself. The headless design simplified building. The hardware is selfmade, only the pickup was bought quite expensive at a local music store.
My next project was an acoustic steelstring guitar. I went to bookstores looking for guitarbuilding literature but at that time there wasn't anything available in Europe. Then one day I noticed an ad in the American magazine "Acoustic Guitar". A book called "Guitarmaking - Tradition and Technology" was offered. I tried my luck since it also could have been a book full of guitar pictures, history and so on. And how lucky I was. This book was exactly what I needed: Clear and thorough step by step instructions and a lot of photos and drawings. My acoustic guitar project was saved. The instrument turned out playable but not so good in terms of appearance (that's not the fault of the authors!).
The very good experiences with the book mentioned above made me write my own. I started writing a German book about building electric guitars. When the manuscript was finished I sent it to a German publisher. "Too especial", "no market" was the answer and the start of my self publishing carreer. Things have changed in the meantime and although I think it would be possible to find a publisher I'm lucky to have complete control over my books. I love beeing guitar builder, author, editor, photographer, camera man and publisher. It's a challenge and I'm constantly learning and trying to improve my work.