Jeremy Sheppard — The Guitar Hunter
I love guitars and what they do to people and to communities.
I worked at a guitar store from 2005 until 2013.
I teach people how to buy and sell guitars and gear and document my buying and selling journeys on Youtube.
I was born in Charlottesville, VA in 1987 and moved to the Shenandoah Valley when I was 4.
I am one of 4 boys and grew up playing baseball and wrestling. When I was 12, I was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. That means that my septum of my heart is too thick and can cause serious problems. When I was diagnosed, the bottom fell out of my life. I was lost and depressed. Losing my identity and losing a future almost proved to be too difficult.
My brother had started learning to play guitar, but didn’t enjoy it too much. He left it around the living room one day and I picked it up and began playing around with it. Quickly I learned to love it and began to pick out melodies from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Vanilla Ice.
That’s what began my love of guitars. I learned to play in punk rock and hardcore bands, but also learned to play acoustic guitar in the style of Neil Young. I played music in the church, mostly strummy worship music, long before I came to faith in Jesus.
I began working at a Guitar Store called the Guitar and Amp Center in Harrisonburg, VA when I was 18. I quickly gave as much time as I could to be at the guitar store. Warren Dovel, who owned the shop and has been a wise teacher throughout the years, taught me to not be afraid in repairing guitars and to trust my abilities. He also lead in a quiet and thoughtful manner that I still revere and try to emulate. My favorite parts of working for Warren were seeing our customers light up when they found great guitars that inspired them to play more and new styles.
I worked full-time from 2005 until 2010 when I went back to school at James Madision University, where I studied Special Education. I worked part time from 2011 through the beginning of 2013 when Warren decided to close his store and retire.
Warren used to say, “The last great American guitar was made in 1968 and we’ve just been reissuing them ever since.” I’m still not totally sure which guitar he thinks was the “last great” but he loved Martins, Fenders and older Gibsons. He also was an avid ukelele collector and spent time teaching me about Kamaka and Martin Ukes.