Jean Larrivée first became interested in the guitar as a teenager, trying to play Duane Eddy licks on an $18 guitar. At twenty, with no other musical training in his background, he made the decision to take up a serious study of classic guitar. Four years into this study, he was introduced to German classical guitar builder Edgar Mönch, who was then working in Toronto. Jean expressed interest in learning how to build, Mönch invited him to visit his shop, and so began an apprenticeship.

Today, a Larrivée guitar is recognized as a quality instrument, with exceptional tonal quality and playability.