Hello, I'm Barrett Culpepper.
I am the head instructor of Southeast Guitar Repair Academy. I am also the Master Luthier and Owner of Southeast Guitar Repair in Georgia. I look forward to sharing my techniques I have crafted and perfected over the last 16 years of my career as a luthier to all the student members here at Southeast Guitar Repair Academy.
I am a graduate of Luthiers International. I went to school to building guitars. From there, I got the amazing opportunity to Apprentice under Mike Marshall at Southeast Guitar Repair. Years later I bought the shop from him & have grown the business tremendously.
Check out my guitar shop at www.southeastguitarrepair.com
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I've always had a love for music & guitars but I never thought I would make a career in the repair side. I can honestly say that I love the field I am in. I get to play some amazing instruments & bring so many back to life. I love hearing about the history of family heirlooms and the shows some of the instruments have played.
In my twenties I attended a local guitar building school. The school focused on building more than the repair side of lutherie. I learned so much about building and it was a great education. However in a 12 week course, there is only so much time & how many setups & refrets can 1 person do while also building a couple guitars? Not enough to learn how to work in a guitar repair shop! Months later I finally lucked up and got my shot to apprentice under Mike Marshall. It was a hard gig to get into. I remember the older guys at the shop telling me I had won the lottery of jobs. Later I realized I really did!
As I started my apprenticeship, Mikey told me to forget everything I had learned in Luthier school. It was then I learned the real magic to getting the full potential of a guitar was from the maintenance side of lutherie. From an apprentice I worked my way up to luthier and then to master luthier and then I bought the shop from Mike Marshall when he decided to retire. From 2011 to now, I have grown Southeast Guitar Repair to an International Guitar Repair Shop. We have people driving from states over & shipping their instruments from all over the world.
Is Southeast Guitar Repair Academy the right school for you?
We want you to make the best decision for you. If you are looking to learn to build guitars, this is not the best school for you. I would recommend an in class option for guitar building. We focus on the repair side of Lutherie at Southeast Guitar Repair Academy. We created Southeast Guitar Repair Academy to fill a need we have been struggling with for the past 10 years. In the past, our shop, Southeast Guitar Repair struggled with finding quality repair technicians. We were only hiring graduates of luthier schools. But 100 % of those graduates lacked the guitar repair skills. They could build, but we didn't need them to build for us. They knew so little about doing a proper setup and the bigger jobs- forget about it! And these graduates were not only from Georgia Luthier schools, but even as far away as Arizona and Ohio. We would have to spend months training them. Only for them to realize the $8,000 - $10,000 they paid on Luthier School, skipped a big part of Lutherie. So we built our own training program! We tested it on novice guitar players. Guys that had never even spent an hour in a Luthier class. These first students work at our guitar shop! And these guys are good! You can see them on our shop website & our Instagram stories every day!
Our school is here for the person that wants to pursue a career in guitar repair or wants to learn how to maintain their own guitars. Even Barrett had dreams of creating the next big line of famous guitars when he paid for Luthier School many years ago. And then he realized the repair side was more lucrative and he could make a nice consistent living rather than spending a month building a guitar, hoping it sells, only to be cutting the price down to cover expenses just to cover your next rent payment.
Another thing you will want to consider- Barrett will be teaching most of the course so I encourage you to watch the free "Acoustic Restring" video and be sure you like his teaching style. You will be spending hours and hours listening to his voice, better make sure its not annoying to you now :) before you register.
You are making an investment into your education and you need to make sure whichever school you decide is the right choice for you.
* Also, if you are skeptical if the course is a right fit for you, we encourage you to visit our Facebook & Instagram pages. We do a lot of stories & videos there. It will give you the chance to see the reputation of our school & our repair shop-Southeast Guitar Repair. You can research our company history and see that we have 25 years of quality repairs, happy clients & we are trusted by the guitar manufacturers. Our techs were trained by Barrett with these same techniques & they are amazing luthiers and well respected in our field.