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Thread: Tipping a Luthier

  1. #76
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tipping a Luthier

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Hildreth View Post
    Why not a Collings oval hole.?
    Jeff, I hope to try a Collings as well as a few others.

  2. #77
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tipping a Luthier

    As a younger man, I lived and traveled in about 40 different countries and learned how tremendously valuable a simple tip can be. I've literally had passports stamped when they were expired, been allowed into and out of countries with an armed escort, fled imminent danger, escaped very close to being killed on several occasions, and been able to filter through endless social and political red tape all for $10 or less applied at the right moment.

    I was always amazed at how far a little "backsheesh" went when traveling in India & Nepal- a socially acceptable tip or bribe that in simple terms recognizes that life is hard & money is cheap so sharing a little unexpected will grant you far more wishes than you ever expected. In a world where, in many places, simple economics tends to be the dominant philosophy, a fiver recognizing and validating someone's humanity can make all the difference.

    Thanks for bringing up the original conversation. Because of this thread, I've been tipping people all week who did not expect it, making us both smile and have a little bit more hope after a difficult year.

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  4. #78
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    Default Re: Tipping a Luthier

    Quote Originally Posted by j. condino View Post
    As a younger man, I lived and traveled in about 40 different countries and learned how tremendously valuable a simple tip can be. I've literally had passports stamped when they were expired, been allowed into and out of countries with an armed escort, fled imminent danger, escaped very close to being killed on several occasions, and been able to filter through endless social and political red tape all for $10 or less applied at the right moment.

    I was always amazed at how far a little "backsheesh" went when traveling in India & Nepal- a socially acceptable tip or bribe that in simple terms recognizes that life is hard & money is cheap so sharing a little unexpected will grant you far more wishes than you ever expected. In a world where, in many places, simple economics tends to be the dominant philosophy, a fiver recognizing and validating someone's humanity can make all the difference.

    Thanks for bringing up the original conversation. Because of this thread, I've been tipping people all week who did not expect it, making us both smile and have a little bit more hope after a difficult year.
    I think you’ll find that that is called bribery.

    As I said in my first post, the tipping “rules” depend where about in the world the service is provided but, personally, the expectation of a tip always leaves a bad taste with me.

    I neither look up to or down upon anyone. They may be doing sometheing either I don’t want to do or can’t do and all of them have a place in society and I expect to pay an appropriate amount for their services.

    If a job is going to take more effort than originally thought, I expect this to be discussed and the appropriate fee adjusted.

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  6. #79
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tipping a Luthier

    Sherry, how's the Gibson playing and sounding now that the luthier looked at it?
    2018 Girouard Concert oval A
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  7. #80

    Default Re: Tipping a Luthier

    I have friends in the tree business. I tipped my luthier with rosewood.Attachment 192027

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  9. #81
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tipping a Luthier

    Quote Originally Posted by Jill McAuley View Post
    Sherry, how's the Gibson playing and sounding now that the luthier looked at it?
    Jill, thanks for asking. It definitely sounds better. I have a lesson scheduled for this Thursday and had planned to take it with me for the teacher's opinion. The weather here is bad and getting worse, so I doubt I'll make that trip this week. Maybe I'll post a video here when I practice this afternoon.

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  11. #82
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tipping a Luthier

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherry Cadenhead View Post
    Yes! Please do see him, Caleb! He's usually there from 12 - 5. The pictures don't do those beautiful instruments justice.
    Brian Hall

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  13. #83
    Registered User Jon Hall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tipping a Luthier

    Sherry, the Gibson you’re playing, is a younger sibling to my 1918 A2.

  14. #84

    Default Re: Tipping a Luthier

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherry Cadenhead View Post
    I like it, but don't love it. I have my heart set on an oval hole A and this is the first one I've tried. I may end up buying this one, but I plan to try more. I have a budget of up to $3000.

    Thanks for the info on the Gibson.
    $3k buys a lot of vintage Gibson. I'd wait until you find something you like a lot. Remember, they are easier to buy than sell.
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

  15. #85
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tipping a Luthier

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Hall View Post
    Sherry, the Gibson you’re playing, is a younger sibling to my 1918 A2.
    Who knew! I want to love this one and maybe I will after I've played other ovals and this one grows on me. I believe you know I don't want to upgrade just to upgrade.

  16. #86
    Registered User Tom Haywood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tipping a Luthier

    Something I started to post in your other thread about knowing whether it is the one. Play it (and any others you can try) in as many settings as possible. Most importantly, play it with the other instruments you intend to play with. It may sound and play wonderfully by itself, but it may or may not have the sound and the projection you need in your jam sessions and other group settings. I have a 1920 Gibson A in the shop right now for repair. It plays and sounds wonderful, but when I play fiddle tunes and bluegrass songs on it with Martin guitars and modern mandolins it is not quite the sound or power I look for. I had the pleasure several years ago to play a 1915 Gibson oval hole model for several hours at a jam session. I really liked that mandolin, but it didn't cut through very well in that setting. YMMV.
    Tom

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    Default Re: Tipping a Luthier

    It has been my experience that the oval hole Gibsons can vary quite a bit in tone, power, and general character. If you have the opportunity to play some other Gibson A's, you will have a better idea of whether or not the one you are looking at might suit you.

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  19. #88
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tipping a Luthier

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Haywood View Post
    Something I started to post in your other thread about knowing whether it is the one. Play it (and any others you can try) in as many settings as possible. Most importantly, play it with the other instruments you intend to play with. It may sound and play wonderfully by itself, but it may or may not have the sound and the projection you need in your jam sessions and other group settings. I have a 1920 Gibson A in the shop right now for repair. It plays and sounds wonderful, but when I play fiddle tunes and bluegrass songs on it with Martin guitars and modern mandolins it is not quite the sound or power I look for. I had the pleasure several years ago to play a 1915 Gibson oval hole model for several hours at a jam session. I really liked that mandolin, but it didn't cut through very well in that setting. YMMV.
    I'm glad you chimed in, Tom. I rarely have the opportunity to play with others, so I doubt I'll be able to do as you suggested. However, a guy I sometimes take lessons from has considered starting a mandolin orchestra in Dallas. Based on my almost 6 years of lessons from (mostly) a professional violinist, a mandolin orchestra would be right up my alley. I plan to start a new thread on choosing an oval hole for orchestra playing. So, thanks for planting that seed.

  20. #89

    Default Re: Tipping a Luthier

    Quote Originally Posted by j. condino View Post
    As a younger man, I lived and traveled in about 40 different countries and learned how tremendously valuable a simple tip can be. I've literally had passports stamped when they were expired, been allowed into and out of countries with an armed escort, fled imminent danger, escaped very close to being killed on several occasions, and been able to filter through endless social and political red tape all for $10 or less applied at the right moment.

    I was always amazed at how far a little "backsheesh" went when traveling in India & Nepal- a socially acceptable tip or bribe that in simple terms recognizes that life is hard & money is cheap so sharing a little unexpected will grant you far more wishes than you ever expected. In a world where, in many places, simple economics tends to be the dominant philosophy, a fiver recognizing and validating someone's humanity can make all the difference.

    Thanks for bringing up the original conversation. Because of this thread, I've been tipping people all week who did not expect it, making us both smile and have a little bit more hope after a difficult year.
    Totally agree! I have had similar experiences touring with an American band throughout Europe. Once crossing from Croatia into Serbia we were stopped at the border by armed guards who asked what we were doing. We had a show that night in Zagreb. They were being difficult despite the fact we had proper paperwork, passports, etc, not sure why, but I think we probably represented capitalism more than we represented art in their eyes. Anyway, we were detained for an hour, the van was searched, but short of removing all the instruments and the merchandise (which we feared they were going to confiscate, in other words, our income!) our tour guide/translator came back from talking to them and said, "we're good, let's go!" I said what did you do? He said, I could tell from his speech that the main guard was from (former) Yugoslavia, which I am from, we got talking and I bribed him. How much? I asked. He said, "I bought him a Coca-cola! This was almost impossible for me to understand as a Western person that someone could legally detain someone for hours, just to be a d*ck, and then bought off for so little. I'm sure they felt the same about us. But shows how money/bribes/tips work to grease the wheels, even tiny amounts of money -- the price of a Coke!

    My capitalism continued to disserve me crossing into Serbia when I noticed the exchange rate was something like 20:1 in my favor, this was before the Euro, I believe we were carrying Dutch money at the time. So, like an idiot, I went to the nearest bank and turned $200 into $4000 of their money, thinking in a city of 2 million people I could buy a couple used Les Pauls and sell them back in the USA for a tidy profit.....WRONG! There were used music stores, but none had any vintage USA inventory -- they were lucky to have a couple bottom-shelf Epiphones! To add insult to injury as the tour looped back through Rome, I went in a huge bank to exchange my Serbian money and noticed it wasn't listed on the exchange board, the teller informed me it was worthless, the country was not sovereign.......nice crash course in world trade/politics! (I should add the tour guide bailed me out and bought my Serbian money from me before I left, saying he would use it on his next tour -- relief!)

    So, SHORT ANSWER -- call it a tip, a bribe, greasing the wheels, etc., doesn't matter -- by ALL MEANS do it! You will get better, quicker, preferred service and at the same time make somebody's day BETTER!!!

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  22. #90
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    Default Re: Tipping a Luthier

    Equating bribery to tipping just about proves my point.

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    Default Re: Tipping a Luthier

    Tipping (where appropriate) is legal and honorable.
    I'll keep some of these posts in mind when and If, I ever break the law
    (not likely) and need to tip the cops, the jury and judge and attorneys knowing this is ok.
    I am certain there will be a positive outcome which will be assured and admired.

  25. #92
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Cool. I find these personal tales of foreign travel and border crossings utterly fascinating, and terrific reading! That said, I think folks are confounding, at least to some extent, the meanings of the words "tipping" and "bribery." This is made all-the-more difficult with the use of other, more colorful words like "baksheesh," (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baksheesh) which can mean either a tip or a bribe, depending upon the context. It's a slippery slope.

    When money or goods are given voluntarily, and beyond the normal obligation, in appreciation of some service, then that's a tip. Tipping is done as a tangible expression of appreciation of a job well done. In principle, a tip should never be expected as a matter-of-course! Unfortunately, and especially here in the U.S. (but much less so in other countries, esp. in Europe), we have established tipping as mandate in certain service industries, notably in restaurant service, hotel service, taxi service, etc. We have established a tipping culture to such a degree that the employees in these industries would be destitute were it not for tipping: their base salaries are kept low, in fact, in the expectation that the remainder of their income will be made up with quasi-mandatory tips. This is an unhealthy state of affairs, in my opinion, from a strictly economic perspective. Be that as it may, tipping is still considered optional, and a tip is almost never given in advance of receiving the service.

    When money or goods are given to someone in authority (or otherwise in control of a situation) for the purpose of influencing their behavior on the job, that's really a bribe -- not a tip. In contrast to a tip, a bribe is usually given in advance of receiving the service, and not in afterwards. It is therefore a form of "pay to play," and it reflects a type of corruption. Most forms of bribery are considered illegal; most forms of tipping are not. Many of the anecdotes we've read in this thread are better characterized as bribes than as tips, in my opinion. They are corrupt practices. The end results may have been "good", but the practices aren't.

    When I lived in Italy as a child, it could take up to two or three years to get new telephone service established in a home or apartment. However, the local ufficio could be bribed, in which case you'd find yourself near the head of the queue, and the new telephone service would take just days or weeks, and not years. On the one hand, I suppose it was good for all those underpaid officials to earn a bit of side income. On the other hand, this practice undermined any degree of fairness in a system with limited resources. Those who could afford it -- like my own family! -- got their telephone service first; those who could not were ignored for up to years. In a sense, you might argue that this represents a form of "folk capitalism" spontaneously emerging from a weakly motivated, socialist bureaucracy. In another sense, you might argue that it represents a corrupt practice that has no business existing in a democratic, fair, society. Maybe it's a little of both?

    In my opinion, we should never have to be placed in an awkward situation where we are compelled to offer a bribe. But we do bribe, because many societies are corrupt (including our own). Likewise, we should never be placed in a situation where we feel compelled to tip, either. But we often feel the pressure to tip, especially for certain service industries, which are set up to require -- or to anticipate -- tips as a matter-of-course. These are unfortunate, in my opinion.

    Ideally, tips are gratuities -- monetary expressions of gratitude for service that's above-and-beyond the normal level. Tipping should provide an incentive, not an expectation. And it should never become a substitute for sup-par wages in our wealthy society! That's my take.

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  27. #93

    Default Re: Tipping a Luthier

    I think some of us are overthinking this. Obviously, you have to follow your own moral compass as to legalities, but keep in mind we are human and money talks. Don't sweat the definitions. Next time you need your luthier for a repair/tuneup/touchup and he sees your number -- you want him to say to himself, oh great, there's that nice person who tipped me last time -- and he takes your call or maybe fits you in quickly to make an upcoming gig.........OTOH, you don't want him to say, oh no, there's that cheapskate whiner who......

    And, the majority of us probably fall somewhere inbetween where he takes the call because he needs the work!

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  29. #94
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    Default Re: Tipping a Luthier

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherry Cadenhead View Post
    I'm glad you chimed in, Tom. I rarely have the opportunity to play with others, so I doubt I'll be able to do as you suggested. However, a guy I sometimes take lessons from has considered starting a mandolin orchestra in Dallas. Based on my almost 6 years of lessons from (mostly) a professional violinist, a mandolin orchestra would be right up my alley. I plan to start a new thread on choosing an oval hole for orchestra playing. So, thanks for planting that seed.
    If your friend indeed does start that orchestra, would you keep me in mind and send me the info when it happens?
    "If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility." -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  30. #95
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    There is a veiled implication of hostility in several of the posts in this thread towards people who work with their hands and their feet, and that makes me sad.
    Last edited by rcc56; Feb-14-2021 at 8:19pm.

  31. #96

    Default Re: Tipping a Luthier

    Geez, how hard is it to get up in the morning and say, today I am going to do something nice for someone else?
    There's nothing better than first-hand experience.

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    Default Re: Tipping a Luthier

    A gratuity or tip is given to someone after they have performed a service as a token of one's appreciation for the service. If you do it because it's in the bill already it's not a tip, it's part of the price of whatever you just had done. For example, some restaurants include the gratuity on the bill automatically if the number of people in the party is above a certain number.

    A bribe would have to be paid before the service was performed in order to get the service performed. One doesn't offer the bribe after the service is performed. Don't ask me how I am so certain about this just understand I have done business in the New York Metropolitan area for decades.

    They are not remotely connected.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  35. #98
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tipping a Luthier

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb View Post
    If your friend indeed does start that orchestra, would you keep me in mind and send me the info when it happens?
    Of course!

  36. #99
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    Default Re: Tipping a Luthier

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    There is a veiled implication of hostility in several of the posts in this thread towards people who work with their hands and their feet, and that makes me sad.
    Huh?!? Gee, I didn't pick up on any "veiled implication of hostility" towards folks who work with their hands -- or their feet, for that matter. I am not sure where you're getting that from. Luthiery, in particular, strikes me as being a truly noble profession. Luthiers are not mere workers in wood; they are skilled artisans. The best luthiers have, through the instruments they make or repair, helped to create the highest levels of art that humankind has yet achieved, namely, great music! It takes genuine skill, and lots of practice, to be a good luthier. It can be a lifetime pursuit, and for comparatively little monetary reward, despite the level of knowledge and effort required. Luthiers, at least in my experience -- in addition to being extraordinarily talented -- also tend (as a group) to be intelligent, kind and thoughtful human beings. Let's hear it for luthiers, I say!

    So, I wouldn't be sad if I were you. I think you may be misreading some of what has been said in this thread. The idea of tipping your luthier, or not, can be discussed rationally here without casting aspersions on the profession. Regardless about how one feels about tipping regularly for normal service in instrument repair, I have not read a single person here suggest that offering a gratuity is unmerited when rendered a service that's extraordinary -- regardless of the profession.

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  38. #100
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    Default Re: Tipping a Luthier

    Tipping is tipping no matter whether the recipient is a luthier, a waiter or the person who comes to empty your septic tank. My worry is that tipping simply perpetuates a culture of “I’m paying the bill so I’m better than you.”.

    In my (late) professional life, the receipt of any form of gratuity, even after the event, was treated in much the same way as a “bribe”; i.e. anything substantial was refused and anything minor declared.

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