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Guitar Set-Up & Maintenance


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Sale on 2019 Summer Workshops – through Dec 31, 2018.   Give our Gift Card!


Learning the elusive craft of setting up a stringed instrument for optimal tone and playability will reward every musician with a greater understanding and appreciation of their instrument.

Take this class before you buy your next instrument and I promise that the class will pay for itself!

Whether or not you decide to perform your own maintenance in the future, taking this course will enable you to deal confidently with the local luthier and to have the best interests of your instrument in mind.

Students are encouraged to bring as many stringed instruments as they like for both instructive demonstration and hands on bench time.

Students who complete the course may schedule additional hands-on workshop time in our Open Workshops.

  • Fee

    $275 Weeknights: Tue, Wed, Thu, 7–9:30pm
    7.5 hours

    $385 Sat, 10am–5pm
    7 hours

    $485 Two Day Workshop, 11am–5pm
    12 hours

    Tuition includes instruction, reference materials and hands on time in the workshop with use of a workbench, specialized tools and shop supplies.

  • Materials and Supplies

    Students are encouraged to bring one or more instruments to work on.

  • 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.

These classes offer lecture and demonstrations, and varying amount of hands-on bench time.

The longer workshops offer more time at the bench, giving students a greater opportunity to develop skill and expertise while working on their own instruments.

Lectures explain the fundamental mechanical operation of the guitar and all other stringed instruments.

Demonstrations will address different playing styles, and the pros and cons of various products and hardware.

The hands-on portion of the workshop offers students the opportunity to exercise their knowledge from the lessons learned.

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

Which class is right for you?

Fast track seminars are 7 hours. These courses are primarily lecture and demonstration, with Q & A and are good for those who prefer a thorough overview and taking notes.

Two day workshops are 12 hours. Additional course time includes hands-on work at the bench, perfect for those who enjoy learning by doing.

Students who complete the course may schedule additional hands-on workshop time in our Open Workshops.


Student Testimonials
“Very informative and easy to understand. You guys rule, probably will see more Chicago Music Exchange employees coming through! Party on!”

“Learned a lot in two days. Both instructors were very helpful and knowledgeable. Shared a lot. Exciting, professional. Would advise to take this course and many more.”

“I genuinely understand the process now and feel confident practicing on my other guitars.”

“Very explanatory and helpful. Covered it all.”