I put my first working guitar together when I was about 13 yrs old out of an old neck and a bass body that was in a fire. It worked! A stroke of luck as I had no idea about intonation or even how a truss rod worked! It wasn’t long after that I had repainted the guitar my Dad bought me. This was the early 80′s and it HAD to have a wammy bar. So out came the router. Boy did I mess that thing up! (And Pops wasn’t very happy.) I spent more time farting around with pickups and paint than practicing. Who would have never known then that years later I would be making guitars for a living in my own guitar shop; in LA! I guess you could say I’m self-taught however I still learn something new every day and life experience is the best teacher.
I got my start in the “biz” around 1990 at Studio Instrument Rentals (S.I.R.) in Hollywood. Here is where I learned about gear, driving in L.A. and how to move pianos. I also learned how to deal with upset artists and all that goes along with it. I eventually worked my way into the repair shop and started honing my chops on the rental guitars. I had a little closet on the roof of the building which my brother and I lived which became my first shop. I dove into my new “hobby”head first and didn’t look back. In 1993 I left S.I.R. to worked the Gibson A&R office (North Hollywood) doing set-ups part time. I made my first guitar there. Still spending a lot of time at the “shop on the roof”. I also went on tour with a few bands doing the guitar tech thing. Love/ Hate, The Go-Go’s, W.A.S.P. to name a few. It was around this time I made my first
I started working at Hoshino U.S.A. (Ibanez Custom Shop) full time in late 1994 to late 1999. Here we made prototypes, and all the endorsee’s custom guitars from scratch, as well as repair, R&D, paint, inlay, you name it! It was about as hands on as you can get. During my tenure, I was alone in the shop for almost two of the five years while looking for help. I’ve worked with some very respected guitarists, developing my skills and communication with them. This was almost like five years of guitar college, over two hundred custom guitars, hundreds of fret jobs, gallons of paint on the floor. I have much respect for Hoshino as this was the platform for me to have the confidence to move on and make “The Shop” a reality. I finally opened Baratto Guitars on 01-01- 2000. I guess it was in the stars!
Baratto Guitars U.S.A
By Appointment Only
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