Colin Warling - Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery
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Colin Warling


By his early 20s, Colin had built four guitars before finding out about Roberto-Venn, and hasn’t stopped building since. Upon graduating from the Spring 2008 session, he returned home to Los Angeles and learned how to make guitar shops as well.

Ultimately, he ‘cut his teeth’ repairing nearly eight-thousand stringed instruments at the Fretted Frog Guitar Shop in Los Angeles, from 2010-2017. Improving as a repairman drove him toward perfecting his own builds, which always favor unique features and woods. Adverse to the uniformity of mass-produced guitars, each of his builds has distinctive characteristics, while borrowing specifications that make them feel and play like their classic ancestors. He frequently bends the rules of scale/string lengths, and body thickness/weight.

Initially landing as a repair technician at Fred Walecki’s Westwood Music in 2008, he has also worked for Luthier, Jim Ellsberry (Lomita, CA), and at The Blueridge Pickin’ Parlor (Granada Hills, CA). In 2010 he was hired to help build-out and open two successive locations of the Fretted Frog Guitar Shop in Echo Park, and later Pasadena (2014). He remained the store’s luthier for seven years, gaining experience with instruments of all cultural variety, and working for many high-profile customers.

In 2017, he and his wife decided to move to Portland, OR, where they opened Taborella Music, offering repair, and curating a selection of handmade guitars from local luthiers, including his own. In 2020 the store closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Warling continues to build and sell guitars, basses, and other less-available oddities while constantly testing the boundaries of industry specs.

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