Musician, filmmaker, entrepreneur, and friend of the family Rob Chapman just recently dropped by the Ernie Ball Music Man factory for a quick and friendly visit! Everyone ended up having such a great time that Rob ended up making a complete documentary showing off the process, philosophy, and care that goes into every single Music Man instrument. Along the way we’re treated to candid conversations with the Ball Family, interviews with EBMM’s engineering team, delving into The Music Man Vault for hidden gems, and even creating custom guitars! There’s practically too many moments from Rob’s documentary to list completely, so let’s take a look at some of the myriad highlights from the documentary:
Rob and his companion Dave Hollingworth made a lengthy voyage from The UK to come and soak in the Music Man Experience, and were greeted immediately by an energetic and effusive Sterling Ball. Check out Rob’s documentary, as we dive deep into the video and have selected some of the most memorable moments.
Kicking things off at the 1:48 mark Sterling ushers Rob and company into the woodworking area of the factory while regaling him with an anecdote that sums up the DIY mentality of Music Man. Moving along, the doc shows off some of the processes of wood treatment and EBMM’s sustainably harvested lumber.
Down the line at 8:17 is Sterling and Rob’s wax poetic about the relative aspects of cooking and musicality, and how they share a surprising relationship: both are outlets for creativity, both can be done either collaboratively or solo, and when at their best, both are meant for the enjoyment of others.
Next at 14:45 Rob Chapman speaks to Scott Ball and we get to see Rob choose specifications for his own custom Ernie Ball Music Man Armada guitar. Rob begins designing an outstanding example of an Armada, trans-black finish replete with Ash wood top and appointments on the headstock, and no “V” binding across the body of the guitar. We get to touch base on this throughout the documentary at the 26:45 mark and the 33:05 mark.
One of the real treats for EBMM fans will be the nice chunk of footage devoted to the fabled Music Man Vault that begins at 20:15, and again at 29:05. Though there are many treasures here, one of the true stand outs is indeed the Mr. Horsepower. A signature guitar like none other for a guitarist not quite like any other, the Mr. Horsepower was developed as a signature instrument for Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap fame.
At 23:00 a very open discourse between Rob and Sterling begins and they discuss a diverse range of topics from historic moments in guitar, the pitfalls and pride of a family business, and how to appreciate good rhythm playing.