Summary

The inside story of the founding and growth of Taylor Guitars, one of the world's most successful guitar manufacturers. Bob Taylor mixes the details of his experience as a tradesman and cofounder of Taylor Guitars, a world-famous acoustic and electric guitar manufacturer, with philosophical life lessons that have practical application for building a business.
From the "a-ha" moment in junior high school that inspired his very first guitar, Taylor has been living the American dream, crafting quality products with his own hands and building a successful, sustainable business. In Guitar Lessons, he shares the values that he lives by and that have provided the foundation for the company's success.
Be inspired by a story of guts and gumption, an unwavering commitment to quality, and the hard lessons that made Taylor Guitars the company it is today.
©2011 Bob Taylor (P)2012 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Malcolm Gregory on 13-04-13

Worth a listen

As a guitarist and business owner I found this interesting. It is a good mix of the history of the brand and how they developed the business model. If you like guitars it's worth listening to, but if not you might find this a little dry.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By David Reid on 11-11-12

Great for anyone starting a manufacturing business

Would you consider the audio edition of Guitar Lessons to be better than the print version?

I purchased the Kindle version which was good. There were a number of things I went back to review easily on my Kindle. I also recently started adding notes to the audiobook in the Audible app (Android) because they sync with my Kindle. The new Whispersync for Voice feature, where you switch between reading on Kindle and listening on the Audible app without losing your place, has increased my listening.

What other book might you compare Guitar Lessons to and why?

Taylor shares his personal journey in detail, but leaves some of the business aspects to more vague generalizations. As someone who's starting an instrument business I would've appreciated his insight on managing cost, sourcing and importing materials, and managing dealer relationships. On the other hand, as a fan of Taylor Guitars and a life long student of guitar, I was impressed with Bob's commitment and passion to the art of guitar making. He's found a balance between hi-quality mass production and exceptional craftsmanship. I suppose a book from one of the popular celebrity chefs (Bobby Flay, Mario Battali) may be of some comparison.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I liked the pace and tone. Some narrators can be too dramatic and focus on performing more than simple clarity and timing. Anthony did I nice job.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Time permitting, I could have listened in one sitting. I was very eager to hear the details of the business. When that seemed less of a priority in the story my reading slowed.

Any additional comments?

I'd like to see Audible publish more titles related to the music business. I know there are a number of biographies currently available on Kindle that are not on Audible.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jonathan Wilson on 10-02-18

Essential reading; chapter 8 could be textbook!

If you could sum up Guitar Lessons in three words, what would they be?

Essential Luthier Listening

What did you like best about this story?

I am familiar with Bob's story as I have followed his career and even sold his guitars and hosted Taylor workshops for a season in my career. (Full disclosure, I am a professional instrument builder). In my experience, even those who are not fans of his guitars have great respect for the man, what he pulled off in one of the toughest industries to make a profit (I know of), his dogged perseverance, and willingness to improve every step of the way. Beside that, he is genuinely a good guy! My take away is chapter 8 where he gets an aha moment about batching: "Would you rather have one finished guitar or 10 unfinished guitars?" (tying up cash flow, the bane of many serial builders).

Would you listen to another book narrated by Anthony Gettig?

Narration was good, not great. Pronouncing La Jolla as "La-joe-la". (There were a few more that were annoying). Anthony's voice over voice is good and upbeat though! Here is a case where I wish the Author did the actual narration. Bob is a soft spoken shy person, but that may have worked much better here. Too bad! Hope he takes a crack at it for a later "Bob himself" edition!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

"Figuring it out" "One guitar at a time" but I propose that he does an expanded textbook seminar of chapter 8 of the same title (Audible chapter 9). In that chapter, he touches on workflow concepts that plague many a guitar builder and even other businesses could learn from it too. (The fallacies of "Batching") If Bob did a workshop/seminar expanding on that chapter, I know I would go!

Any additional comments?

I have always found the story of Taylor guitars inspiring. People know them as one of the great American guitar manufacturers. What they don't know is the backstory of how they survived, indeed, overcame the trails and vicissitudes most would have quit at. Anybody entering this brutally difficult to profit from business (or any, for that matter) would do well to check this book out!

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