He built his first guitar at age 14 in his high school woodshop, joined a cabinet shop right out of high school and, after a stint at a small Southern California guitar maker, enrolled at the acclaimed Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery in Phoenix, from which he graduated in spring of 2000.
Paul joined Fender in 2003. He spent two years working closely with master arch-top craftsman Bob Benedetto, and became steeped in the many facets of building techniques from all the Custom Shop’s Master Builders. After an extensive seven-year apprenticeship, Waller became a Master Builder in 2010.
His Fender Custom Shop work includes bass guitars for U2’s Adam Clayton, a custom Thinline Telecaster for U2 vocalist Bono, Telecaster guitars for the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards and co-work on a Stratocaster for fellow Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, Stratocaster guitars for Buddy Guy, the Nile Rodgers “Hitmaker” Stratocaster, a custom double-neck Jazzmaster for Queens Of The Stone Age guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen, the George Harrison Tribute Rosewood Telecaster, and the 2019 Jimmy Page Telecasters.
I knew before I went to school that I wanted to do this for a living, that’s why I went to Roberto-Venn.
– Paul Waller – Master Builder/Fender Custom Shop – Corona, CA