Kenneth Lawrence Instruments

Q: Builder name?
A: Kenneth Lawrence.

Q: Business name?
A: Kenneth Lawrence Instruments.

Q: Age?
A: 56 years old.

Q: Where were you born?
A: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Q: Where is your shop?
A: Arcata, California (Northern California, amongst the Redwoods).

Q: When did you start building?
A: In 1978, I started a bass when I was apprenticing as a Cabinet and Furniture maker but I had too many things out of whack so it never made it. I moved to California in 1980 and in 1981, started working at Moonstone Guitars. It was there that I built my first bass and later, in that shop, I started my own business.

Q: When did you officially go into business?
A: 1986

Q: How many instruments have you made to date?
A: Approximately 400 (basses and guitars).

Q: How many did you make in 2012?
A: 18 (basses and guitars).

Q: Do you play any instruments?
A: Yes, fretless and fretted bass (42 years experience – professionally and semi-professionally).

Q: Why / when should a player consider a custom bass?
A: I think, after a player has developed and had a chance to experience some other instruments and feels limitations in what he/she has experienced so far, then that may be the time to consider a custom build. If that person can try one by the builder they are considering, that would be the best scenario but advise from a trusted player can be valuable as well.

Q: What should players know about your basses? What sets your basses apart from the other builders?
What I have striven for and what I hear as feedback from player of my instruments are that they feel and sound like “player’s” instruments. I feel that my experience as a (I like to think: very discerning) player has helped me to develop my instruments to a degree that I feel would be difficult if I were not a player. Sound, response, ergonomics, balance (both sonically and physically), feel…..  all these are very, very important to me and factors I have worked for years to satisfy the player in myself. The artist in myself is responsible for the beauty of the designs of which I am very proud.

Q: What would you like to tell players about yourself or your basses?
A: I feel I have created an identity and reputation of integrity with my basses that I hope to continue to evolve and grow. My work is the result of a true (and somewhat obsessive), “labor of love” and I am truly proud to share it with other players.