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Acoustic Guitar Making 5 Day Summer Course


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$300 off this 2019 Summer Workshop – through Dec 31, 2018.   Give our Gift Card!


This 5 day, 35 hour immersion course offers the student the opportunity to build their own Martin-style 000 guitar with instruction from luthier and CSGM founder Ian Schneller. The workshop is structured to guide the student through every essential phase of acoustic guitar making. Taking advantage of specially designed luthiery workbenches, luthiery tools and fixtures, and the expertise of CSGM luthiers is a special opportunity.

Please note: While it is possible for a student to complete a first acoustic guitar build within 40 hours, it is highly unlikely. Each student will work and develop their skills at their own pace.  Students may continue their work at home, or at the school in either our Guitar Making Workshops and Open Workshops,  which offer access to further instruction and the fully equipped workspace at CSGM.


  • Fee

    $2,080 plus kit cost
    5 Day Session: Mon-Fri, 35 hours

    Tuition includes lectures, demonstrations and personal guidance, the use of an individual guitar workbench with specialized tools and all of the shop supplies and tooling necessary to complete the project.

  • Materials

    - Rosewood, back and sides, Sitka spruce top, dovetail neck joint

    - Mahogany, back and sides, Sitka spruce top, dovetail neck joint

  • Instructors

    Ian Schneller read bio

  • Refund Policy

    Registrations are non refundable. A tuition fee may only be applied to other CSGM classes with written notice of cancellation prior to class.

  • Location

    All workshops are held at Specimen located at 1240 N. Homan Ave. in Chicago, Illinois. view map

  • Registration

    Register online or call 773.489.4830 to enroll with a credit card.  You are also welcome to come by the shop and enroll using cash, credit card or a personal check.  Please note that all registrations are final and non-refundable. In the event that a student cannot attend a class, written notice must be given in advance to receive a credit to be used on another tuition.  Valid credit may be transferred to another course date, or to another student, if so desired.

Students will be introduced to the unique process of luthiery while effectively establishing a skillful approach to woodworking.

Lectures, demonstrations and guided instruction in this hands on workshop will offer the student an understanding of fundamental and specialized woodworking techniques, while building a high quality musical instrument that will likely become a cherished heirloom.

This workshop is structured to inform the student about every essential phase of their acoustic guitar build. However, students will work at their own pace and will likely require additional time outside of this workshop to complete the project. This class will get most students off to a very good start on their journey toward making an acoustic guitar of high quality.

Students will make a Rosewood or Mahogany Martin 000 style acoustic guitar from an excellent kit.

Working with a group of partially serviced components, this course is designed both for students with little to no experience and also those with intermediate experience. This class is formatted with lectures and hands on work. In depth demonstrations of each step will precede students working on their instruments.

The procedure starts with a sequence of specific steps, alternating between the guitar neck and body work. Once these take shape, the workshop structure accommodates students work at different paces.

No drawing skills or shop experience required.


Workshop Materials and Supplies
Everything needed for building the guitars will be included in the kit and the necessary supplies and tooling is provided by the school. 

All kits contain AAA-grade tone-woods. Roughly carved mahogany neck. Pre-bent bent sides. Book matched and joined back. Book matched and joined spruce top with pre cut sound hole and rosette channel pre cut. Kits include a full-size blueprint modeled after a vintage Martin.

Each student will be given occupancy of one luthiers guitar workbench, as well as storage for materials for the duration of the course. 

We will go over the tools necessary to create a home shop throughout the course for those interested in taking the art form to a private space. 

Applying the finish and instrument finishing techniques will be discussed but not covered in this course.

Students will have the option to have their guitar finished for them by a Specimen/CSGM professional, apply a finish on their own outside the school, or receive instruction in guitar finishing from CSGM faculty in  Open Workshops or Guitar Building Sessions at the school.