Tag Archives: Sarah Benton

Sarah Benton From the Marines to Making Guitars Interview

By Andrew Catania

From enlisting in the United States Marine Corp to being a Luthier. Sarah Benton has made quite a jump for a career.  Talking with Sarah, you can tell she’s passionate about what she does.  Her style stems from its own core, and this is precisely what accentuates her bringing excellence to her craft of being a Luthier.  Her natural discontentment towards the ordinary trends and humdrum techniques compels her to experiment and build her magic.  With her list of clients that make it out to be a who’s who in the Guitar world, Sarah has mastered her craft in a male dominated business.   I recently spoke with her and talked about her career..

Tell me your background. You were in the US Marine Corp, when did you decide you wanted to be Luthier?

I was born and raised in Southern California. I joined the marines straight out of high school and was in for four years. I deployed to Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012. I got out and had no idea what I wanted to do. I was in and out of community colleges and I was constantly changing my major. I started to going to a special FX makeup school in Burbank. After a year of training I realized it was more of a hobby then a career. I always knew I wanted to do something in the music industry but I thought it was too late for me to be a musician (I know total wrong mindset). I came across an ad for the guitar craft program at mi and thought it was right up my alley! My father is a hobby drummer, and my step father is a Grammy winning symphony conductor/ composer, so I grew up around music my whole life. I figured, if I couldn’t play guitar, I’ll build them!

What school did you go to?

Musicians institute

The Guitar Craft program

 

Did you have an apprenticeship while you’re in school? If so, with whom?

I didn’t but I was offered a job at McCabe’s (Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, California) while I was still in school

 

What do you find fascinating about building stringed instruments?

 

Well, when I got out of the marine corps I struggled with PTSD and panic disorder so building guitars, basses, etc. was therapeutic for me.

Plus, I love the instruments

sarahbenton

 

 

When you graduated school, what was your first job? Is that the same job you’re presently in?

I never fully graduated. I started working at McCabe’s full time when I was still in school so I ended up quitting. I figured I was going to learn everything I needed to know in the repair shop 🙂 I currently still work there

 

How did you build your clientele?

Nili Brosh and I became best friends after meeting at an aristocrat show a little over a year ago, she has introduced me to some of the greatest guitar players in the world. After that, social media was my gold mine

 

Do you feel that your experiences in the Marines helped your attention to detail building guitars?

Absolutely!

 

You’re on tour with some big-name musicians such as Tony McAlpine. How did this come about?

It’s all about who you know. I was offered the job by a good friend of mine who works directly with tony. It ended up being the perfect fit!

 

Do you play guitar? If someone wanted to go to school to be a Luthier, what advice could you offer them?

I dabble…I’m not a “guitar player” I’m more of a strum some chords badly in my room by myself kind of person. My advice, go to school for it! Being a luthier is one of those jobs that you learn as you excel. The great part of going to school is you can make mistakes and learn from them before you drill through a headstock of a client’s guitar (which I’ve done!)

Last question, how is your Jason Becker guitar coming along?

The Jason Becker guitar is almost finished! It was put on hold when I was on tour so the date was pushed back a little more then I wanted. I plan to have it done before the end of the year.

 

You can check Sarah out at:

McCabes Guitar Shop

3101 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

(310) 828-4497

Sarah Benton Makes Jason Becker Guitar

By Andrew Catania

Sarah Benton, guitar builder extraordinaire, used her creative talent and built a Jason Becker guitar based on a painting by Gary Becker, Jason’s father.  Here’s what Sara said:

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Alright, guys, I can’t keep it a secret anymore…..as you all know (if you are familiar with the Jason Becker story), JB’s father, Gary Becker, is an artist. For about a year, I was trying to come up with a concept for a guitar to capture my appreciation for what JB stands for, along with the amazing family/friends he has supporting him. I found this piece by Gary, and thought to myself “this is it!” I started building with the help of Rafael Barajas@thornguitars and Werner Goertz. I’ve been watching my dream come true over the course of a year, and as I put the neck on the body yesterday, I realized….secret or no secret, I have to share this with the world. (Don’t be mad at me Werner?) Now, the plan is, I am going to present the guitar to Jason around the beginning of next month with this option: he can either keep it for himself, or we can auction it off, and all of the proceeds go to Jason and his family. This has been such an honor and a privilege…..thank you to all the people who have been supporting me through the beginning of my career. More to come in the future! Love you all!Jason Becker #luthier #luthiery #guitar #guitarporn#guitarcraft #woodwork #handpainted#custominlays #art #garybecker #garybeckerart#jasonbecker #iloveyouall #thankyou #me 

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Jason Becker and his family are super people.  Thank you, Sarah, for building such a nice guitar!