Tiernan McKinney didn’t care much about music until seventh grade, when he was required to take a music class in school. After he was assigned to play a brass instrument, he quickly realized what instrument he’d much rather be playing — bass. A few years later, a senior project at his Cincinnati, Ohio, high school showed McKinney the path toward a career in luthiery.

For the project, he wrote a 52-page paper about modifying an off-brand bass that he bought at a pawn shop for $50. He got some tips and assistance from a Guitar Craft Academy graduate working at a local Guitar Center, who told him about our school here in Nashville.

Now a student in our electric craft course, McKinney says he’s excited about completing his first guitar: “It’s going to be very pointy, metal, shreddy type of guitar,” he says. He hopes to use his knowledge to build a business doing custom work for clients.

“One of my favorite parts of building is making something different every time,” said McKinney.