Classes – Guitar Design & Blueprint

The student’s main goal in the Guitar Design & Theory Seminar is to produce a functional blueprint of an original instrument design. This blueprint will contain all the relevant design parameters needed to construct the instrument in its entirety. This class is a pre-requisite to our Electric Guitar Building Workshop.


This seminar is formatted to be part lecture, part demonstration and part hands-on work. In addition to providing a demonstration of drawing a full-scale blueprint, this seminar also includes in-depth lectures intending to educate the student to expertly manipulate every required variable of stringed instrument design. In this seminar students create their own functional blueprint on pre-formatted blanks. The drafting techniques explored use traditional pencil and paper on a drafting board. No particular drawing skills are required. Enrollment will be limited to 8 students per seminar.

Lecture topics include:

  • design tradition and historic examples
  • originality
  • aesthetics
  • proportion and balance
  • ergonomics
  • neck pitch, attachment and geometry
  • headstock and body design
  • truss rod systems and installation
  • selecting appropriate materials and hardware
  • electronic circuits and control layouts
  • carving
  • finishing

Completing this seminar will prepare the student for the exciting prospect of starting the actual construction of an instrument. Those who are ready to move forward can then enroll in our Electric Guitar Building Workshops and begin building their instrument using their blueprint.

This seminar welcomes both the traditionalist and the experimentalist. Whether the student chooses to design a reproduction of a traditional/classic instrument or chart new territory, the emphasis will be on designing a supremely-functional and long-lasting instrument of beauty.


See photos from previous sessions of our guitar building workshop and our Student Gallery showcasing students with their finished masterpieces.

Workshop Materials and Supplies

A variety of blueprint blanks with different scale lengths will be available for maximum diversity. Blueprints are pre-formatted with various scale lengths for guitar, bass, mandolin, ukulele or other types of stringed instruments. Each student will receive full-scale blueprint blanks to work with and drafting tools/materials to use in class. Students will enjoy working at specially-designed drafting workbenches. Useful handout materials will also be provided.

Recommended Pre-requisites

Previous experience is not mandatory, however we strongly recommended that students have completed our Guitar & Bass Setup & Maintenance Course prior to enrollment in this seminar.