Mike Nedd grew up in Oak Ridge North listening to classic rock, riding dirt bikes and learning carpentry and construction. Today Nedd owns Nedd Guitars, where for 10 years he has built and repaired guitars and basses for local musicians.
Nedd moved back to Oak Ridge North from Houston 10 years ago to open Nedd Guitars, where he offers full-service repairs, custom guitar and bass sales and modifications for electric and acoustic guitars. He grew up in Oak Ridge North after moving to the area in 1972 as a child, he said.
Nedd said there are many talented musicians throughout the greater Houston area, with many guitarists favoring a variety of musical styles, he said.
"It is not just rock guys [who are customers], I have a lot of guys that play country," Nedd said. "A lot of them are youngsters, there is a lot of talent in Houston. Houston has some of the most amazing guitar players on the planet."
Nedd started in the industry about 17 years ago when he worked in Houston for Rockin' Robbin Guitars & Music and followed up with a four-year stint at Mars Music until the company closed in 2002. He then went to work for Allparts, a distributor of guitar, bass and amp parts. Now he purchases all his supplies for his business through Allparts, he said.
Nedd said he was first inspired to learn to play guitar in 1980 by hard rock bands like Van Halen, Black Sabbath and KISS. Not long after, Nedd was inspired to combine his interest in guitar and his affinity for carpentry, which he picked up from his grandfather, to learn to repair his own instruments.
"For most of my life I was in construction, and I wanted to learn how to build guitars," he said. "When I started playing guitar, there weren't a lot of repair guys around. I was always intrigued by how things are put together. My [grandfather] was a carpenter, and that is where I ended up getting the bug from. I have always been building with my hands ever since I was in grade school."
After seven years in the business Nedd opened his own storefront in Oak Ridge North and has since maintained the business within the community.
He then decided to expand his childhood hobby into a career, adding that a career riding dirt bikes was likely more dangerous.
"When I was a kid [my hobbies were] dirt bikes and guitars, so I went the way of the guitar," Nedd said. "I figured it was a little bit safer."
Cigar box guitars
For about 1 1/2 years, owner Mike Nedd has also built and sold cigar box guitars, which are made with a cigar box, three to five strings tuned to a G note, and scrap material that is not big enough to be used in a regular guitar, Nedd said.
"It is a primitive instrument, so it's supposed to sound pretty rugged," Nedd said. "Before there were normal guitars that is what people did. Each one of them is unique because the box is unique."
For those about to rock
Repairs: Costs vary
Custom guitars: $2,250-$5,000
Cigar box guitars: $250-$400
Fret Dress and refretting
26781 Hanna Road, Ste. A
Hours: Tue.-Fri. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–3 p.m., closed Sunday