Acoustic Guitar Making Classes


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Discounts are Subject to Expiration.   Class Size is Limited.   Enroll now.


Our Acoustic Guitar Making Camps offer the student an intensive schedule of guitar making for the beginner or intermediate guitar builder. Students will embark upon making their own high quality Martin style acoustic guitar. 

This course is the perfect initiation into the craft of luthiery. Classes are taught by an experienced luthier and offer an immersive learning and making experience in a professional guitar shop.

No drawing skills or work shop experience required.

Perfect for a beginner. No experience necessary.

The student will learn fundamental workshop and luthiery skills as the instructor carefully guides them through each construction phase of their guitar.

Students will work at their own pace. Most students require 100 hours to complete their first guitar. Students with already well developed shop skills can indeed complete their instrument in less time.

With the option to take 30, 60 or 90 hours of instruction, the student can choose to continue work on their guitar on their own at home, or with further instruction and access to tools at the school.

Student who wish to continue working on their guitar on their own schedule at the school, may register for our Open Workshops.

After completing an acoustic guitar the student will be ready to make an original design of an instrument from scratch.

Get your acoustic guitar started in an upcoming short course: Acoustic Guitar Making Fast-Track

CSGM curriculum is designed and taught by luthier and CSGM founder Ian Schneller.

  • Fee

    Fee includes tuition and the kit cost, tax and shipping to the school.

    Tuition includes instruction, use of an individual luthiery workbench equipped with specialized tools and all the shop supplies necessary for use in this course.

  • Terms

    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.

  • Classroom

    Class size is limited to 8 students.

    Course is taught in a professional guitar service shop equipped with 8 individual workbenches stocked with specialized tools necessary for the course work.

  • Kit Options

    OM Style Rosewood
    Dovetail Neck, Sitka Top, Indian Rosewood Back & Sides

    Dreadnought Style Rosewood
    Dovetail Neck, Sitka Top, Indian Rosewood Back & Sides

    Triple 0 style Rosewood
    Dovetail Neck, Sitka top, Indian Rosewood Back & Sides

    Triple 0 style Mahogany
    Dovetail Neck, Sitka top, Mahogany back and sides

  • Schedules

    Courses offered with varying number of completion hours.

    Longer courses offer more hands-on bench time and instruction, giving students the opportunity to continue working on their project with guidance from the instructor.

    Shorter courses are perfect for those who prefer to set their own work schedule in our OPEN WORKSHOPS or plan to finish this project on their own.

  • Project Completion

    Students will require additional time outside of this class to complete their guitar. Students may continue working on this project at home or at the school with guidance from the instructor at the school in our Open Workshops. 

  • Workshop Safety

    While we make every effort to keep the CSGM workshop clean it can be dusty and at times noisy. We recommend hearing, respiratory, and eye protection be used when working in the shop. We have this safety equipment available for use or purchase when in class and it is the students responsibility to exercise diligent use of these safety measures.

Please Note:

Continued work will be required to complete the instrument outside of this course. Students will work at their own pace. Most students will complete their first instrument within 100-125 hours. While completing a guitar in under 100 hours is possible, it is unlikely for the beginner.  Those who come to class with already well developed shop skills may find their work goes very quickly. Upon completion of this course the student may choose to finish their guitar at home or continue working with instructor supervision at the school in our Open Workshops.

Course Description

Our Acoustic Guitar Making courses are formatted as a series of lectures and demonstrations with lots of hands on work. Working from a kit of roughly formed components and pre bent sides, this course is designed both for students with little to no experience and also those with intermediate experience.

Some of the many tooling and skill demonstrations include:

  • Clamping and gluing
  • Caul making
  • Sanding and scraping
  • Chisels and knives
  • Rasps and files
  • Handsaws
  • Routers and router bits
  • Band saw
  • Table saw
  • Drill Press
  • Belt sander/spindle sander
  • Fretting tools


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 sound hole and rosette channel pre cut. A full-size blueprint modeled after a vintage Martin is also included.

The kits we construct have a dovetail neck/body joint. This is traditional, authentic and correct. These kits come stock with a two way adjustable truss rod. I believe this is a poor choice and a needless compromise. I prefer to modify the neck/ truss route to fit an authentic steel, non-adjustable truss rod, like all Martin instruments had up until about 1980. This is also the way I have built all of my instruments since about 1996. They are sonically superior (surprisingly so), infinitely more stable, and give the instrument the longevity old Martins are known for. However, some people like the new fangled adjustable truss rods and that is Ok. Unless otherwise instructed, I will prepare the kit for the non-adjustable steel truss rod. The kits come with plastic binding but I often use wooden binding. You may do so as well if you so desire. One is not better than the other. This topic can be discussed during the initial sessions.


Students may choose to receive additional instruction in guitar finishing either in Open Workshops at the school, or have their guitar finished for them by a Specimen/CSGM professional, or apply a finish on their own outside the school.