Jesse Peery

Jesse Peery has been building things his entire life, first while growing up on his family’s East Tennessee farm and later as a mechanical engineer. But there’s always more to learn about what makes things work, which is what led him to Guitar Craft Academy.

“I enjoy making stuff, period. You look around, and who actually makes things anymore?” he says.

After attending Guitar Craft Academy’s one-week Summer Shot class, Jesse decided to take the plunge as a full-time student — putting his regular job as a military contractor on hold. He recently completed our acoustic craft class, and has previously graduated our electric craft class as well, making the two-hour drive every day to Nashville from his home in Manchester, Tennessee.

Peery says he never considered himself much of a “guitar guy” until he started playing in college as a way of building grip strength in his fingers. Unlike many of his fellow students, he doesn’t plan to work full-time as a luthier now that he’s graduated. But he does plan to continue building guitars and hopes to pass along some of his new skills through a nonprofit that he’s helping to create.

“I spent all that time getting my (engineering) degree — why stop?” he says. “There’s no one saying I can’t do both.”