Why I started Artist Guitars by Ian Bush

Author: Artist Guitars  

Artist Guitars


When I was just a younger man I desperately wanted to be a rock star, I wanted it so much I would spend every weekend rehearsing with my band. I saved up every dollar that I earned to buy gear.  

But there was just one problem at the time, this was the early 90's and rock music was in pretty serious decline (everyone was going to nightclubs) we were also having the recession we "had to have". So I thought to myself, did I really want to live on the dole to be able to be a musician? (At the time even great musicians were struggling to pay the rent - with people like Jimmy Barnes being declared bankrupt at the time). So I started thinking up a backup plan.  Apart from music my other great passion was inventing things. It often came out of necessity, how can I get all the musical gadgets I want (I was a kid so I didn't have a lot of money). I would sit in my room and design endless versions of tools and gadgets. It pains me to say (because I didn't develop it) but I had an early design for what would become computer recording, if only I had a bit more experience at the time. 

So I had a new plan, my idea was that I would work for a while, then join one of the Japanese companies developing products for them. 

I got my first job as an Apprentice Electronics technician, it was working for one of Australia's Largest Distributors and it was my dream job. To get the job I had to move house about 2 hours from my family's home, so I moved from the family home to live on my own in less than a week. My job there was to fix amps and guitars and unload containers, it was a stepping stone, and I still had the dream in my sights of making my own products.

So I worked hard, put the hours in and I got a series of promotions, I starting looking after a number of great brands, but still my real love was to make my own. It frustrated me that I couldn't make the changes and improvements that people wanted. 

Then fate turned my way, the company that I was working for started to buy their own range of products and I could see this was my chance, in 1998 I took my first trip overseas and in 2000 I took my first trip to a factory that was making products for us and I had the chance to make improvements, changes and designs.

I got a chance to learn from some old masters of the industry and I spent a smuch time as I could working out how things worked. One of Australia's great custome builders - Craig Upfold became my mentor during that time. I would try and get as much informartion from him as I could to learn more about how we could make the guitars, amps better.

Over the following years I spent more time in factories than I did at home (I went through 2 passports!). Then in 2005 I got the chance to move overseas to help oversee the set-up of a new factory, this was a great opportunity and a bit of an adventure, the 12 month trip turned into 3 years during which I learnt all the ins and outs of what really makes the factories tick (even learning how to speak a foreign language), how to work on the processes to get better guitars.

But there was one thing making my life difficult!

I got to a point where the pressures of retailers getting high margins and the price increases of materials meant it was getting harder and harder to make improvements.

So I thought one day, if I sold guitars exclusively on the Internet, with better value and features would people be prepared to buy them? (The answer is yes by the way).

In the upcoming emails I’m going to show you 20 years worth of industry tips and tricks to help you 

* Choose the correct instrument for you for now and for your next guitar
* Help you to learn quicker (or get better if you can already play)
* Make your guitar work better than it ever has before (these tips are really easy but most people don't know them)

Thanks for reading my story, if you have any suggestions on what we can do to improve it please let us know.

Ian Bush - Owner at Artist Guitars

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