Guitar House Workshop began primarily as a Repair/Restoration and Custom Building Shop.
John Bolzenius spent one year rehabbing the old house prior to opening the shop in May 2009. Friend and Instructor Jim Scarff suggested lesson studios as part of the plan and was the first to teach here at the shop. The lesson program has grown steadily to include a fine group of professionals who offer weekly private lessons in guitar, bass, banjo, uke, mandolin, piano, voice, uke, dobro, and slide guitar. Guest instructors provide additional opportunities for musical enrichment. Artist Linda Langhorst began painting here as part of an exhibition series "Making Music" and eventually stayed on as Artist in Residence. Linda assists with color matching and design projects in the repair shop, coordinates the lesson program, and continues to paint in the open showroom. Some of Linda's work is almost always on display at Guitar House Workshop. Josh Wydick's first day at the shop was as an 8th grade shadowing experience. Like Linda, Josh found a sense of home in the growing musical community at the old house. First as an intern, and then as an apprentice, Josh studied under John for several years before becoming a full time luthier. John and Josh work as a team. Their custom designed workbench allows for free exchange of ideas, experience, and tools as they take advantage of their combined skill sets. Our newest employee Evan Perrot is learning the luthier trade as he works beside John and Josh. You will find Aron Tomasi helping us out most Sundays. And our new puppy Elvis (from “Pets Without Parents” in Clintonville) is the greeter in training. He is working hard to fill the very big paws of our beloved Louie the beagle, who after many years at the shop passed away in the Fall of 2018. Elvie loves everyone, and by the looks of it, he’s bound to be a very big pile of love indeed when he is done growing.
Our Retail offerings have grown with the business as well.
Our showroom has evolved too. Over the years, we have made changes to allow for growing numbers of instruments and accessories. We proudly sell fine new and used fretted instruments to fit a variety of budgets and customer experience levels. We purchase and consign instruments for sale and actively seek unusual and quality vintage guitars. We pride ourselves on specialty hand made and fair trade straps not found in most larger stores. And while we carry more sophisticated guitars, we continue to provide a solid selection of economically priced entry level instruments, perfect for our beginning student customers. We strive to listen to our customers before "selling" anything, so that we can suggest products that make sense for each individual. In keeping with our goal of providing superior assistance to our customers, every shop owned new instrument receives a set up with purchase. Our entire staff is dedicated to helping others have the best possible music making experience.
On any given day you may find customers or teachers (or customers and teachers) jamming in the showroom, out-of-town bands stopping in for a repair and a song or two, a jam class filling the showroom, or Elvis trotting around for a pat on the head. You will also find our luthiers working in full view, interesting instruments and accessories to try, and an oil painting or two in progress. It is a place that encourages creative energy to flow from customers as well as from those who work here. If you need a musical "home", stop in to visit us. You will find a welcoming community where a sense of belonging is the norm.
Our connection to the SSCM food pantry
Guitar House Workshop hosts concerts and other programs throughout the year to benefit the SSCM Food pantry on the south side of Columbus. Through benefit events, volunteer work and contributions, support of the pantry has grown to include many GHW customers. We are extremely fortunate to be surrounded by a caring and generous creative community. As a side note,because cash and checks save the shop in credit card fees, we donate $1 to the pantry for every monthly lesson tuition payment made by check or cash. One dollar provides about eight dollars of groceries to local families in need.
As a Side Note:
Linda and John were married July 02, 2016 on Linda's family farm in western NY. We were surrounded by friends and family, a whole bunch of music and an even bigger pile of love. We believe that music and art are essential to the health and happiness of the human family. It is a great joy to be on a musical path with so many friends.
New Basics Brass Band leading a Second Line Parade after Linda's and John's wedding at Kateland Farm