Binnewies CA builds guitars in free-time

Aidan Swift, Reporter

South Dakota State University student Noah Heezen has the COVID-19 pandemic to thank for getting him started on his hobby. 

The second-year community assistant in Binnewies Hall picked up the hobby of guitar building about two years ago. He has finished one guitar and is now working on a second. 

Heezen, a junior from Plankinton, South Dakota, began building guitars in spring 2020 during the COVID-19 quarantine. He said he had always wanted to complete a project that included his love for music.  

“I really wanted a project, and music has always interested me,” Heezen said. “I saw a few videos on YouTube and I didn’t think it looked that hard, so I decided to give it a shot.” 

Heezen credits a lot of the new skills he’s picked up to the YouTube channel “Crimson Common Guitars.” He also mentioned that he took inspiration from music artists like Motorhead, Eric Clapton and Jimmie Henricks.

Heezen added that he wanted his guitars to show the kind of music he listens to. 

“I really wanted a cowboy southern vibe and I used really old, stained wood that was weathered to give it that look,” he said. “And I put the aces and eights on the back because Wild Bill (Hickok) had them on his (card) hand (when he was gunned down).”  

Building a guitar takes a while, but not for the reasons you may think. Heezen said the hardest part of the project is doing all the research that goes into it. 

“Most of the time I spent working on it was the learning curve,” Heezen said. “Messing up really sets you back a lot of times.” 

In total, Heezen said his first guitar build took him five months to complete and cost him somewhere between $150 and $200. Working on a guitar while also being a CA might sound like a unique combination, but Heezen loves being a CA. 

“I get to meet a lot of really cool people and make good friends,” he said. “A lot of people know that my door is open and I can always talk.” 

One of Heezen’s residents, Colin Simonson of Brandon, South Dakota, enjoys having Heezen as a CA and said he loves talking to him about anything. 

“I like Noah, and every time I see him he is super nice,” said Simonson. “Noah and I talked about our plans for spring break and we talked about the Suicide Squad movie. He’s just easy to talk to.” 

Megan Hollingsworth, an aeronautical science and aviation Management major from Grinnell, Iowa, also plays the guitar now and then. She has talked to Heezen about his music preferences. 

“I’ve only talked briefly with Noah down in the lobby, and he was really nice,” Hollingsworth said. “I asked him if he was going to see the Koe Wetzel concert because he was listening to his music and I’m a big fan. His personality definitely makes me think ‘guitar player.’”

Heezen is now working on his second guitar and plans to continue this hobby.