Mike Curtis is the sole proprietor of Max Guitar Care. Mike got his first guitar as a 16th birthday present in 1965, just as Beatlemania was starting to take off. Right away, Mike began to change his own guitar strings and experiment with string height and other adjustments, even though he had no training. Mike gigged for the first time in 1968, with a Fender Mustang he had worked all summer long to purchase.
Mike took on the stage name Max Doubt in 2003, when he was gigging in a band where all the members had a stage-name. His musician pals and guitar care customers continue to call him Max. You can call him either Mike or Max; he answers to both.
When on a summer vacation in 2005, Max and his wife and soul-mate Bev were discussing retirement ideas, with Max planning to retire from his professional occupation in research and development management in 2010. Bev suggested that Max might want to open a guitar care and repair business and that was it.
Max recognized that he would need some formal training to become qualified to operate the business he envisaged. After checking out a school in Calgary, in early 2006 Max enrolled in a guitar building course with expert luthier Main Mahd of Zeryab Guitars in Edmonton. Main had convinced Max that the best way to learn how to care and repair guitars was to build one or more from scratch.
Under Main Mahd’s supervision and teaching, Max earned a level 1 certificate in guitar building from Zeryab Guitars in late 2006. Following the completion of that project, Max apprenticed under Mr. Mahd in guitar repairs over the winter of 2006/07. Following that training, Max earned a level 2 certificate in guitar building from Zeryab Guitars in early 2008.
Max is grateful to Main Mahd for his expert training and continued mentorship in the craft. As Max says:
“Main taught me to be patient and work in the moment. When Main is performing his craft, he is totally unconcerned and unaware of the passage of time. With my prior training in Chemistry and my long management work history of multi-tasking and hurtling toward results, I had a very steep learning curve as a student under Main’s direction. At the beginning, I know I drove him crazy with my questions about what comes next, and so forth. Main taught me – and continues to teach me – to concentrate with a single point of focus on the task before me at this particular moment. I hold him in the highest respect.”
Max began to take on clients at Max Guitar Care in 2008, bringing to bear 40 years of practical experience plus 3 years of formal training. With his retirement from employment in 2009, Max now devotes his full attention to his Max Guitar Care business.