Guitar Design Course


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In our Guitar Design course students will produce a full size detailed plan of their own original stringed instrument design. Check out our Student Gallery!

No drawing skills required.

In-depth lectures will educate the student to expertly manipulate every variable of stringed instrument design. The student’s personal aspirations for their ideal stringed instrument will be manifested into this drawing. A treasure map, if you will.

This course 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.

Completing this workshop will prepare students for the exciting prospect of starting the actual construction of their design.

This course is also part of our  Electric Guitar Making Course.


  • Fee

    Fee includes instruction, use of an individual work station and all materials.

  • Materials and Supplies

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

  • Instructors

    Ian Schneller read bio

  • Location

    1240 N. Homan Ave. in Chicago, Illinois 60651   Map

  • Registration

    Register online, in person, or by phone: 773.489.483 . Cash, credit card or a personal check are accepted. Registrations are final and non-refundable. Payment credit is transferable.


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
Ian Schneller with Guitar Design Student