FAQ

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 offer several Guitar Making Course packages, and Guitar Technical Training Packages that teach courses in a logical sequence. For those who taking classes ala-carte we highly recommend the Guitar & Bass Setup and Maintenance Course as a primer. Student will benefit students greatly with this foundation 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?

Students are encouraged to bring their own instruments and as many instruments as they can to deepen their experience in the hands on portion of class. With advance notice, the school can provide anyone with a guitar to work on for certain ala-carte repair classes.

Do you have locations outside of Chicago?
No, Chicago is our only location.

Do you offer gift certificates?
Yes, gift certificates are available as a Gift Card redeemable for all our classes.

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. We offer both day and evening classes Sept-May. Summer courses are on a day schedule only, June-August. Most classes are scheduled 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 contract a few alumni.

How do I find out when you open new classes?
You can sign up to receive our Newsletter for all of our new class announcements here. The entire class schedule is updated six months in advance and is viewable on our online CALENDAR.  Our newsletter emails provide our news and links to our entire course list and our calendar. Subscribers also receive exclusive discounts and advance announcements. To see the current schedule for a particular class see the CLASS LIST and click on the class title to see all the details.

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. We are not affiliated with any federal assistance programs.

Can I get a discount if I take more than one class?
No, sorry.

How long would it take me to complete all of your classes?
Depending on their scheduling limitations, it could take a student as little as 6 weeks or up to 12 months to complete all the classes we offer.