This 45-minute tour outfits you with safety goggles and takes you on the factory floor, where craftspeople called luthiers make Gibson guitars almost entirely by hand. Over the din of various tools, your tour guide will explain each step of the process, from the wood being cut, glued, and sanded to the neck being attached to the final product being strung, painted, buffed, and tuned. Appropriately, all this takes place right across the street from the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum.
Be aware that the factory does tend to be a bit hot, because warm conditions are best for the wood. Weekday tours are more interesting than weekend tours because there are more workers present and so more to see. Part of the fun is being able to play a finished guitar or two in the showroom either before or after the tour. Reservations are not required but are highly recommended. (Note: Kids must be at least 5 years old to take the tour.)