Last Friday, I took advantage of a day off to take my daughter, who's an avid and aspiring guitar player, to Talylor Guitars in San Diego. They offer a daily tour, and I thought it would be fun for the two of us to spend some time together, and see a cool factory that would be fun for her and interesting to me.
Along the way, we stopped at Buffalo Brothers Guitar Shop in Carlsbad and met up with my friend, mentor and great guitar player, Roy Cochran. He lives around the corner so to say they know him there is an understatement. He was able to give both Robyn and I a real education of various guitars and their sounds. Like mics, there is no one "best" guitar. It all comes down to finding the one that suits you and your playing style the best. However, that $8,000 Collings he played sounded pretty darn nice, no matter what the playing style!
After a quick stop at In-n-Out for lunch, we headed down to Taylor. We arrived early, whcih gave Robyn a chance to play some guitars. They have several dozen out for anyone to pick up and play, which was really fun for her. Finally, we set off.
I've not been to any other guitar makers factories, so I can't compare Taylor to anyone, but I will say they run a tight ship. The place was immaculately clean and they use a lot of cutting edge technology in the making of their instruments. Rather than remain a slave to the "way we've always done it," they constantly evaluate and improve their processes.
I found many parallels to what we do as TDs at Taylor, the constant re-evaluation thing being one of them. As TDs, we can't afford to get stuck in a rut, doing things the same old way just because we always have. Taylor has come up with some pretty inventing ways of doing things because they thought differently. I think we can take that as a good lesson.
Well, it's hard to describe what we saw on the tour. Thankfully, our tour guide gave us three rules when we started off. First, take as many pictures as we want (I did). Second, don't take many pictures of him (I didn't). Third, don't touch the wood (I didn't). So, with that in mind, take a look at these pictures; you'll almost feel like you were there (minus the sawdust in your eyes).