Norfolk guitar maker creating custom instruments during COVID-19 pandemic

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Posted at 10:18 PM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 23:29:32-05

NORFOLK, Va. - The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted a lot of local businesses across Hampton Roads, as well as the local music industry. But one local guitar shop is committed to keep going, repairing and making custom instruments.

Sam Haga of Haga Guitars has been set up on Colley Avenue in Norfolk’s Ghent neighborhood for the past few years, creating custom acoustic and electric guitars from scratch.

“There's a lot of power in music,” Haga said. “It's become kind of everything.”

While business started slow for him, he said it started picking up last winter.

But Haga said the pandemic put a hit on his shop.

“Musicians across the board are hurting. The music industry is hurting,” he said. “There's not a whole lot of people that are rushing to buy new instruments when there's no shows to play.”

But a few months ago, Haga banded together with music repairman Brandon Frisky of Brough Guitar Engineering and Repair.

“We thank each other all of the time,” Frisky said. “I was going on a path this one way, and he was going on a path this other way, and the universe kind of paired us up.”

“It would've been pretty hard for me to justify being in here if I didn't have someone else,” Haga said.

Frisky’s passion is helping breathe new life into instruments.

“It brings me immense joy - almost as much as playing,” Frisky said. “I add a little bit of myself into it, but I give it life again - the ability to make music, and that is extremely powerful.”

“Music, to me, has never left my life, even into going into play for the United States Army,” Frisky added.

In the meantime, the duo is looking ahead on a high note.

“I feel like we're going to come out of this so strong,” Frisky said. “We'll be there to offer our service or build them their dream acoustic instrument. Whatever they need.”

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