The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here.
Front and Center: Guitar Tech Christina Hudson
When you hear “guitar tech,” it’s not likely for a woman to pop up in your mind. But female guitar techs do, in fact, exist. Allow us to introduce you to a rare breed and one of the few female guitar techs out there, Christina Hudson.
A formidable guitar shredder and a graduate of the University of Miami with a degree in Music Business and Sound Recording, Hudson owns and runs AxeFixia Guitar Repair, where she’s repaired guitars for a wide array of high-end clients, including Dweezil Zappa and the venerable Slash.
But don’t take it from us, take it from Hudson herself who took the time to answer our questions below.
WiMN: You’re a guitar tech. Tell us in a nutshell what you do.
CH: I run an independent, freelance guitar repair and customization business. I work with a high-end niche clientele including international recording and touring artists and bands, recording studios, instrument manufacturers and retail stores. My work is primarily focused on electric and acoustic guitars and basses, but not limited to any stringed instrument you can think of!
WiMN: Where did you learn your skills?
CH: I started by taking apart my own guitars around the age of 14. I just dove right in. Along the way, I latched on to as many professional techs and builders I could find, picking their brains and working on projects together.
After a couple years, I took on some freelance projects of my own and started my business while I attended college for Music Business and Sound Recording at the University of Miami.
I stared working at Guitar Center in sales when I was 18, and at 21 landed a full time tech position with Mars Music. I gained tons of experience and contacts working in a fast pace, music retail environment. I returned to Guitar Center as a contracting tech for a couple years while I finished school. I won several educational awards including the U of M Rothschild Small Business Plan Entrepreneurship competition for a guitar manufacturing business, and the NAMM scholarship award in 2004.
After graduating, I moved to Hollywood and started the first ever employed guitar tech position with Guitar Center. The company now houses an employed tech in every store across the chain. Eventually I was recruited by Fender Musical Instruments as a Product Specialist for the West Coast, and also worked as the Regional Sales Manager for Cordoba classical guitars. My love for being hands-on with the instruments never died and I continue today with my own business working in partnership with the major companies.
WiMN: How do you keep up with learning new things?
CH: I never stop learning. I am always working with other techs and builders, sharing ideas and techniques. I attend the NAMM show every year to network and keep up with new products and ideas. Currently, I am very excited to have the rare opportunity of apprenticing with Jackson Guitars Master Builder, Mike Shannon.
WiMN: Who are some of the people you’ve repaired guitars for?
CH: I have had the privilege of working with an immense clientele including Slash, Dweezil Zappa, Randy Jackson, Tim Armstrong from Rancid, Ola Lindgren of Grave, and countless other professional artists from all genres from all over the world.
WiMN: What instruments do you work on?
CH: If it’s made of wood and has strings, I’ve worked on it!
WiMN: How long have you been doing this for?
CH: 15 years professionally.
WiMN: What’s the biggest challenge about being a woman in a man’s world? How did you overcome it?
CH: The biggest challenge perhaps is not being taken seriously up front. However, as soon as I start speaking about what I do, that dynamic turns around immediately. My work speaks for itself. There are always people that feel threatened by a woman doing a “mans job,” but I honestly pay no mind and forge ahead. The majority are more impressed than not, and it allows me to stand out to be an example to other women and men in the industry.
WiMN: Where are you based out of?
CH: I’m am based out of Los Angeles, but my clientele is international.
WiMN: Any other memorable things you’d like to share?
CH: I have so many unbelievable experiences and memories in this field. I think my favorite was meeting Delores Rhoads, Randy Rhoads’ s mom. He is my biggest influence in guitar, and meeting her directly and hearing her share personal stories about Randy was something I will never forget.
Visit Hudson’s Facebook page here, and check her out playing below!