Schroeder Guitars is a true custom guitar shop that emerged on to the boutique guitar scene in 2005. By 2009, the Schroeder Radio Lane had won Premier Guitar Magazine’s “Premier Gear Award” then went on to earn the “Artisan Award” in the December 2009 year end issue. According to Premier, “The Artisan Award is bestowed upon the pieces of gear that embody elegance, beauty and craftsmanship. We’d hang them on our wall if they didn’t sound so damn good.” Other Artisan Award winners were legendary builders Paul Reed Smith, Bill Collings and Michael Tobias. Jason’s creations grabbed the attention of Fleetwood Mac guitarist Neale Heywood and eventually Lindsey Buckingham. The Mac’s 2009/2010 “Unleashed” tour included two Schroeder Guitars in the set. Another noted Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band, Blondie also included several Schroeder guitars on their “Panic of Girls” tour with New York prodigy Tommy Kessler (Blue Man Group, Broadway’s Rock of Ages). By 2010, Schroeder Guitars was becoming a buzz-worthy brand in the high-end guitar market known for creative designs, exceptional handmade quality, best-of-the-best tonewoods, and superior sound.
Schroeder Guitars was invited into the Premier Builders Guild (PBG) in late 2009 and officially joined in 2010. PBG is a guild of some of the best luthiers and amp builders on the planet including Roger Giffin, Gene Baker, Saul Koll, Johan Gustavsson, Dennis Fano, Bob Gjika, Mark Bartel (Tone King), and Two Rock Amplifiers. As the youngest member, Jason is considered one of the up and comers in the Guild. The interaction with these builders has not only been a huge inspiration but has also acted as a catalyst for exponential growth in the consistency and quality of Schroeder Guitars.
Jason is not a hobbyist. Since building his first guitar in his parents’ garage in 1988, he has been passionate about guitar building. His persistent quest to build the best guitar possible left him dissatisfied with the current selection of hardware that he could use on his guitars. So in 2007, Jason began researching and designing his own wraparound bridge, including discussing materials and design improvements with senior builders. Due to the demand from other builders, Schroeder Guitars now offers these bridges to the public directly and through the Stewart MacDonald catalog. Schroeder Guitars has recently added the Stopbar for Tune-o-matic bridges as well as the innovative Top-Adustable locking studs.
Jason and Elizabeth Schroeder have harnessed the company’s notoriety to draw attention to, and raise money for, worthy causes. Since 2006, through the donation of guitars they have raised tens of thousands of dollars for cancer research (American Cancer Society, Relay for Life). See the Josie Guitar and the Julianne Guitar in the Guitar Gallery. Schroeder Guitars has also donated guitars to raise money for two guitar builders, one who lost his shop in an explosion (see Zerofret) and another who was assaulted over a parking space (see Suckerpunch).
The 2005 Schroeder Guitar Tour made a wave in the high-end guitar community and helped establish Jason’s reputation as a legitimate builder. Faced with skepticism from potential buyers who had never experienced his work, Jason built a demo guitar specifically to tour the world. The concept was simple, try the guitar and ship it to the next interested guitar player. The “Tour Guitar” started in California, made its way to the East Coast of the United States and back on its first leg, eventually going through Europe twice and then back again. By the time the guitar was retired to the Schroeder Vault, it had made its way to the Fleetwood Mac rehearsal space at Sony Studios for several weeks. Along the way, Jason asked guitar players from all over the world to brutally critique his work. This input gave Jason a unique insight that only years of building could have otherwise provided.
Jason grew up a son of the musical director at his family’s church. He played in bands since the age of 12. A multi-instrumentalist, he played bass and guitar in jazz band throughout junior high and high school. He was also the resident accompanist for singers in talent shows, playing guitar and piano. After graduating college with a Master of Science in Hydrogeology and obtaining his Professional Geologist registration, he joined Clear Cut. Clear Cut was voted Northern California’s Best Band by Enjoy Magazine in 2010. Their CD California has been featured regularly on Yahoo Music’s online radio. Jason is involved with several bands and is now guitarist for Madside, a hard rock band whose song Enemy reached #24 on the Mediabase/R&R (Radio and Records) Active Rock charts in 2005. Jason has recorded with Bruce Turgon, former bassist for Foreigner and has opened for Ratt with Clear Cut and for Great White with Madside.
Schroeder Guitars will be featured in an upcoming book (2011) by Robert Shaw (author of Hand Made, Hand Played: The Art & Craft of Contemporary Guitars).
Schroeder Guitars and Schroeder Guitar Parts are made exclusively in the United States of America.
Elizabeth Schroeder is Jason’s wife and business partner. She handles the communication for the business so that Jason can stay in the shop, making dust and building guitars. Elizabeth's contribution to the build process is limited to inlay and color schemes. She can be found more often behind the camera lens then working with power tools.
Elizabeth's first book, "The Fine Handmade Guitars of Jason Z. Schroeder" is a pictorial review of over 50 of Jason's guitars, each with testimonials from the owners. Elizabeth enjoyed touching base with early clients to learn about their experiences playing their Schroeders. She is looking forward to follow up books to document guitars built since the first was completed. She also offers clients a book to go with their custom builds, a story in pictures of the build process.
Elizabeth is passionate about music also, but, unlike Jason, she is not a musician. She attends Jason's shows as often as possible, and loves watching Jason playing guitars that he poured his heart into.