Guitar Design & Blueprint Course


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In the CSGM/Chicago Design & blueprint course we will produce a full size plan of your original stringed instrument design. In-depth lectures will educate the student to expertly manipulate every variable of stringed instrument design. The students personal aspirations for their ideal stringed instrument will be manifested into this drawing. A treasure map, if you will.

No drawing skills required.

Completing this workshop will prepare students for the exciting prospect of starting the actual construction of their design. The next step is to take a version of the Guitar building class.

This workshop welcomes both traditionalist and experimentalist. Whether you choose to chart new territory, or design a reproduction of a traditional guitar, bass or any string instrument – the emphasis is on designing a supremely-functional and long-lasting instrument of beauty.

  • Fee

    Weeknight: Tue, Wed, Thu, 7–9pm
    7.5 hours

    Weekend: Sat & Sun, 11am–5pm
    12 hours

    Summer Session: Wed & Thu, 11am–5pm or
    Sat & Sun, 11am–5pm
    12 hours

    A special discount may apply.

  • Materials and Supplies

    Drafting paper, template material, a workstation, and all of the necessary drafting tools will be provided.

  • 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 create their own full-scale blueprint of a guitar, bass, or other stringed instrument. This drawing will contain all the relevant design parameters needed to craft the instrument in it’s entirety.

Students will enjoy working at drafting workbenches specially-designed for this course. Useful reference materials will be provided.

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