If You Build It

Last week, I read *this* article and was amazed.

It’s about a blind Liberian man named Wesseh Freeman. To raise money, he built a guitar out of an old oil can, taught himself how to play it, then started playing it on the street.

People took interest, one person shot some video and uploaded it.

Upon first glance, the oil can guitar might not look all that impressive, but considering that he’s blind and couldn’t see what he was doing, I thought he did an outstanding job. All of the elements of a guitar are there; it works.

After reading about this and seeing a video of him singing and playing his homemade guitar, I felt inspired. If he can do it, why can’t I?

I started jotting down ideas for guitars that I could build and while I was doing that, I thought back to a guitar concept that I came up with a couple of years back. It was based on a Northwest Coast Native design that I made and the concept image I put together looked like this:

Beaver Shield Guitar Left Side View

Originally, it was just a fanciful dream and I envisioned having someone else build the guitar for me. I never really expected it to happen, it would just be nice. But now I’m thinking, why don’t I try building it myself?

So that’s what I’m going to try and do. Except, instead of building it out of wood, I’ll construct it out of copper. Maybe I’ll stick on a pre-made guitar neck, maybe I’ll make it acoustic, maybe I’ll make it electric, maybe I’ll make a bass version, who knows?

I have so many ideas for guitars that I could build, the thing is to find materials. Building a guitar out of copper might be too advanced for a beginner so maybe I’ll start small, get the process down, then expand from there.

Getting back to Wesseh Freeman: after his videos were posted online, someone bought a brand new guitar for him. That’s a very generous gesture, though it’s a right-handed guitar and Wesseh plays left-handed (that’s something I identify with, I play left-handed too). Regardless, he plays his new guitar well and loves it.

Hearing about this truly inspired me. I have a dream, and I will build it.


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