If you have questions about our school, the curriculum, our facility, etc., that are not answered below, please feel free to call us or contact us through the web site. We also welcome visitors to tour the school any time during our shop’s business hours: Monday through Friday 12pm – 7 pm & Saturday 12pm – 5pm.
Do I need previous experience to take classes?
Our classes do not require students have any previous experience in guitar or amplifier building or electronics, however a few of our classes do require prerequisites. For those interested in taking our acoustic or electric guitar building classes, we recommend familiarity with hand tools and wood working procedures.
Do I receive a diploma or certificate after I complete a class?
We offer all students who complete any of our classes a signed Certificate of Completion.
Is there a recommended order to what classes I take?
Really, it’s up to you and what interests you most. We feel the Guitar & Bass Setup and Maintenance Course first is a great primer and will benefit students greatly as they advance through the curriculum.
Do I need my own tools?
No, we provide all the tools you need. Also, all alumni of our school receive a 10% discount from Stewart Macdonald and Luthiers Mercantile.
Do I need to bring a guitar with me to work on?
No, the school can provide anyone with a guitar to work on during the class.
Do you have locations outside of Chicago?
No, Chicago is our only location.
Do you offer gift certificates?
Yes, gift certificates are available in any amount and redeemable for all our classes. Visit our Gift Certificate page for more information.
What age must I be to take classes?
We request students be 16 years or older to attend our classes.
What kind of guitar should I bring to the Setup & Maintenance Course?
Any kind of stringed instrument is recommended in our Setup class. The curriculum applies to all kinds of instruments: acoustic, electric, banjos, ukuleles, tenor guitars, mandolins, bass guitars, etc.
Can I cancel my registration and/or get a refund?
No, all registrations are final and non-refundable. Once the class is full, we close registration. However, if we are notified with enough time to fill your space, we are happy to move you into a future session of that class.
How often do you offer your classes?
We offer classes all year round. Most of our classes are offered at least once a quarter and many of our most popular ones are offered two to three times a quarter.
Can you help me find a job as a guitar technician?
We always try to notify all of our alumni whenever we are contacted by other guitar shops and companies about possible job opportunities. We are also happy to provide a signed Certificate of Completion to all students who complete any of our classes. And, Specimen has been known to hire a few alumni!
How do I find out when you open new classes?
The web site is updated when new classes are opened. We also send a newsletter via email about every 6 weeks which includes the most current class schedule, listings of any new classes offered, and other general news about the shop and school. You can sign up for this email newsletter by providing your email address in the form found in the upper right corner of our web site.
Can I enroll in more than one class at a time?
Yes. Many people like to dive right in!
Do you offer any financial aid?
No, sorry, we do not provide any financial assistance or are affiliated with any federal assistance programs.
Can I get a discount if I take more than one class?
How long would it take me to complete all of your classes?
Due to the limited frequency of our class offerings, it would probably take a student 6 – 12 months to complete all the classes we offer.