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Guitar Set-Up & Maintenance Course


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Enroll now. Early registration discount is subject to expiration.  Class size is limited.

  • Fee

    Course fee includes instruction, reference guide, use of a workbench and all shop supplies necessary for course work.

  • 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.

  • Schedules

    Courses are offered with a varying number of completion hours.

    Longer courses offer more hands-on time with guidance from the instructor.

    Shorter courses are perfect for those who prefer to work on their own at home.

  • Materials

    Students are encouraged to bring as many instruments to class as they can for class demonstration and hands on work on in this course.

  • Workshop Saftey

    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.

  • Parking

    Parking is free on the street directly in front of and in clear view of our building and space. 

Course Description

This course offers the student a solid foundation for the study of lutherie. It includes lectures, demonstrations and hands-on work.

The student will learn the fundamental skills needed to set up any stringed instrument for optimal tonality and playability.

Lectures will explain the mechanical operation of the instrument, including many useful details specific to various makes and models.

Demonstrations teach set-up technique and the shop skills, and will address different playing styles and the pros and cons of various products and hardware.

The one day course (6 hours) provides lecture and set up demonstrations on the instruments students bring to class. Students will learn how to assess and improve instruments using the time tested methodology in place here at Specimen Products for the last 37 years.

The two day course (12 hours) offers the opportunity to exercise knowledge from lessons learned with more hands on work at the benches. We encourage students to bring as many instruments as they wish for this opportunity. The student will use provided luthiery tools and build their skills as they work on their instruments at our specially designed benches, all with guidance and supervision from the instructor.

 Topics include:

  • String height
  • Intonation/saddle compensation
  • Neck relief
  • Neck pitch
  • Truss rod adjustment
  • String break angles
  • Selecting string gauges and types
  • Nut and saddle
  • Fret wire
  • Tuning systems
  • Vibrato systems
  • Bridges
  • Finish care
  • Tooling

Guitar Set-Up & Maintenance Course