Jon Liebman

FBPO Review

Jerzy Drozd, Bass Guitar Designer's Toolkit

Bass Guitar Designer’s Toolkit
Jerzy Drozd
Instructional DVD

Want to design your own bass?  No experience?  No problem!  At least that’s what Jerzy Drozd says.  The acclaimed bass designer and builder recently released his Bass Guitar Designer’s Tooklit, a step-by-step DVD tutorial for turning concept into reality.  Never having broached the subject of bass design myself, I decided to take a look at BGDT to see how a “non-tech” guy like me would fare.

Bass Guitar Designer’s Tooklit includes a combination of video and PDF tutorials, providing all the tools and guidance necessary to begin the intricate process of bass design -- even if you’re a total beginner!  The DVD opens with a video of Jerzy recounting his background and the trial-and-error ordeals that inspired him to develop this instructional guide. While Drozd acknowledges that his English is less than grammatically perfect (“My English sucks” is how he so eloquently states it!), he invites the viewer to have a laugh at his expense.  Truthfully, you’ll have no trouble understanding any of the points he makes.  In fact, I admire him for having the guts to put himself in the spotlight.  

Since designing basses is unfamiliar territory for me, I can’t attest with any authority that BGDT includes everything you’ll need to take your idea from start to finish. But it looks awfully thorough to me!  Drozd strikes me as someone who speaks from experience, giving heads-ups and warnings where needed. He comes across as being genuinely interested in the success of his bass-designing students.  Acting as mentor, Jerzy frequently inserts words of encouragement, congratulations and “atta-boys” along the way.

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In addition to the video tutorials, BGDT includes a 122-page workbook PDF, covering everything from choosing the body shape of the bass to getting the most precise measurements for the nut, bridge, headstock and truss rods.  The workbook includes information on string gauges, pickup selection, control placement and style design. It’s also chock full of photos, graphs and diagrams.

With impeccable attention to detail, BGDT includes tutorials on working with imperial units (inches) as well as metric units (millimeters).  It also provides specifics for 4-, 5-, 6- and 7-string basses. Perhaps one of the biggest bonuses is the inclusion of the B-Calc software package and access to free CAD software, which, according to Drozd, is valued at just under $1,000. Installation instructions for both Mac and PC are included, so you will have no trouble working from your home computer or laptop. The package also contains lessons on how to print and make PDFs of the plans, as well as valuable information on automation and mass production.

BGDT is very well laid out and organized.  It’s also replete with resources for additional information, including Drozd’s own website, an FAQ section, e-mail support, an “Extra Stuff” link and client support forums.  The appendix includes still more information on books, videos and DVDs.

Still not sure if BGDT is for you?  Jerzy is!  In fact, he’s so confident you’ll like his product he offers a money-back guarantee.  So take a chance, if you’re so inclined.  It looks like you have nothing to lose.

Review by Jon Liebman

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