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I started building guitars as a way to give back to the music and the musicians that have had a tremendous impact on my life.
When I was 16 years old my friends dad introduced me to the music of the Beatles. I was struck with the strength and the power of a song and my life was forever changed. From that introduction I started learning how to play the guitar and my adventure into music began. A few years after that my good friend and I decided we wanted to journey as musicians, so we hitchhiked across Canada twice and all the way down to Mississippi. We were able to trade songs for food and a place to stay. It was so amazing to be playing everyday witnessing the power of music in action, and it will always be one of the greatest times of my life.
When I returned home I knew I needed to plant some roots. As I was thinking about what I could do next with my love for music and my passion for the guitar, a broken banjo in need of a new neck came into my life. I had grown up around my dads woodworking shop, and my passion in building and repairing stringed instruments was ignited.
Close to my home in Vernon BC was local luthier Ted Thompson. I was fortunate at this point to be able to spend some time working in Teds shop absorbing the culture and some of the skills involved in having a guitar building business. It did not take long for me to know that being a luthier is what I wanted to do professionally. With the skills I had acquired in Teds shop I took the leap and opened Kronbauer Guitars in a small shop in my back yard in 2001. Building my first guitar, like all new endeavors had a lot of learning curves, and it felt like I was climbing Mt Everest. However my passion for music and the guitars kept me going and like climbing that mountain I knew the view at the top would be worth it.
Since building that first guitar, I have built many more and I am grateful to still be working in a craft I am passionate about. I am continually striving to improve the tone and workmanship of every Kronbauer Guitar that is built. It is a craft that is ever changing, which is something I love about it.
In 2016 a fire swept through my shop and much was lost. My partner Michelle and I knew that no matter what we would start again. We had amazing community support that we will be forever grateful for, as it enabled us to replace much of what was lost. At this point Michelle became a huge driving force behind Kronbauer Guitars. With her skill set she has improved the organization and running of the shop, and is always working on our marketing, social media, photography, and the list goes on. Michelle is very much an artist herself and with learning more of the luthier craft she has been able to add some of her own influence to the look and finish of the guitars we are completing now.
With new innovations and our feet firmly planted in the steel string guitar tradition,we are excited for what the future may hold for Kronbauer Guitars. We are very happy with the guitars that are being created now and we feel they are truly worthy of the guitar heroes that have and continue to inspire us.