Classes and Seminars

  • Guitar Technician Program

    $2,100$3,600

    Our Guitar Tech Program is a series of classes teaching fundamental luthiery principles, repair techniques, shop skills, and the knowledge base necessary for the guitar service professional.  Perfect for those who wish to prepare for entry into the guitar service and repair industry.

    This program bundles and arranges classes sequentially so that the student can progress through a logical series of curriculums.

    Courses include lectures, demonstrations and hands-on course work taught by an experienced luthier in a professional guitar service shop. Students will apply knowledge learned while practicing  techniques under the supervision of the instructor in class.

    Students who have completed this program may qualify for Apprenticeship at Specimen Guitar Shop through the school.

    Apprenticeship offers an opportunity for those with a solid knowledge base and proven skills to gain experience and develop expertise.

    Specimen Apprenticeship positions are limited and are unpaid.

    To inquire about a Specimen Apprenticeship position through the school please contact the instructor.

    To apply to Specimen for an Apprenticeship please send a cover letter and resume to [email protected]

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  • Guitar Set-Up & Maintenance Course

    $285$485

    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 this course may schedule additional hands-on time in our Open Workshops.

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  • Fretting Course

    $425$525

    Learn to execute a professional quality re-fret on your own guitar, bass or other fretted instrument in this hands-on workshop.

    This skill is a must for the guitar builder or guitar repair technician.

    This workshop is ideal for the musician or roadie, or anyone interested in working on stringed instruments.

    Students are encouraged to bring their own instruments to re-fret.

    If the student is unable to bring their own instrument to re-fret please contact us in advance to arrange for the school to provide one for use during this course.

    Learn why a installing a new Nut is important when Fretting, check out our:

    Fretting + Bone Nut Making Combined course!

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  • Fretting & Bone Nut Making – Combined

    $585$695

    New frets are taller than the old frets and generally it’s considered a dramatic tonal compromise to shim up an old nut to achieve the correct string height. A hand made bone nut is the best option and solution to follow a re-fret.

    Brand new frets with a properly fitted bone nut will upgrade the playability, tone, and clarity of even the most humble instrument. The results are truly stunning!

    Learn how to execute a professional quality re-fret and hand carve and properly fit a custom bone nut for any fretted instrument. Then do the job on your own instrument in this course.

    This skill is a must for the guitar builder or guitar repair technician.

    This workshop is also ideal for the musician or roadie, or anyone interested in working on stringed instruments.

    We’ve bundled our Fretting and Bone Nut Making Courses to help you learn and get the job done right —with significant savings.

     

     

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  • Bone Nut Making Course

    $295

    A bone nut will upgrade the tone and clarity of your guitar, bass or any stringed instrument  – acoustic or electric! Even the most casually made instrument can benefit immensely from a hand cut nut. The results are truly stunning!

    Students will learn to carve a bone nut for their instrument, with the guidance of an experienced luthier in the workshop.

    Make no mistake – hand carving a nut from a piece of bone is a highly valuable skill for any guitar technician, and a necessity for the guitar builder.

    Cutting a piece of bone by hand into a beautiful finished nut is a vanishing art.

    In this workshop you will learn that skill and keep the art of luthiery alive for future generations. 

    Check out our Fretting + Bone Nut Making Combined course. We also teach Bone Saddle Making!

    This course is also part of our Guitar Technician Program.

     

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  • Bone Nut & Saddle Making Course

    $395

    A bone nut and saddle will upgrade the tone and clarity of your guitar, bass or any stringed instrument! Even the most casually made instrument can benefit immensely from a hand cut nut and saddle. The results are truly stunning!

    Students will learn to carve a bone nut and saddle for their instrument, with the guidance of an experienced luthier.

    Make no mistake – hand carving a nut and saddle from a pieces of bone is a highly valuable skill for any guitar technician, and a necessity for the guitar builder. Cutting pieces of bone by hand into beautiful finished parts is a vanishing art. In this workshop you will learn that skill and keep the art of luthiery alive for future generations.

    Check out our Fretting + Bone Nut Making Combined course!

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  • Acoustic Guitar Making Courses

    $989.12$2,082.36

    Our Acoustic Guitar Making course offers the perfect initiation into the craft of guitar making.

    Students will embark upon making their own Martin style acoustic guitar from an excellent kit.

    This course teaches the workshop skills and luthiery techniques required to build a fine acoustic stringed instrument. 

    Students work at their own pace and will require more time to finish their acoustic guitar outside of this course. They may choose to continue working and finish this project at the school in Open Workshops or on their own at home.

    The student will be ready to make an original design of an instrument from scratch after completing this acoustic guitar.

    No drawing skills or work shop experience required.

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  • Electric Guitar Making Evening Course – Fall 2020

    $1,185 $885

    Our Electric Guitar Making Fast Track Courses offer essential luthiery training and a custom guitar design course in a series of hands-on workshops, giving the student a quick start to making their own custom guitar, bass or any string instrument.

    The Fast Track Evening Course offers 22 hours of instruction including our Guitar Design Course, Guitar Set-up Course, Guitar Electronics Course, and a Guitar Making Kickoff Workshop. These classes teach how to design and prepare to make a custom electric guitar from raw materials and stock or custom hardware. This is not a kit course.

    No drawing, design or previous shop experience is necessary.

    Students will complete a full size blueprint for a guitar or bass of their own design and specifications, learn guitar set-up and electronics assembly principles and techniques, select and prepare materials and hardware, and plan the construction phases of their instrument. Students who complete this course may continue working on their project either at home or in our Open Workshops at the school.

    Seize this rare opportunity to make a successful first lap into a lifetime of Luthiery.

    Check out our Student Guitar Gallery!

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  • Electric Guitar Making Fast-track Weekends

    $1,295 $1,195

    Our Electric Guitar Making Fast Track Course offers essential luthiery training and a custom guitar design course in a series of hands-on workshops, giving the student a quick start to making their own custom guitar, bass or any string instrument. The course bundles classes arranged sequentially, so that the student can progress through a logical series of curriculums and get an original electric guitar design project underway within a short time.

    This Fast Track Course includes Guitar Set-up Course, Guitar Design Course, and a Guitar Making Workshop.

    No drawing, design or previous shop experience is necessary.

    This course teaches how to design and make an electric guitar from raw materials and stock or custom hardware. This is not a kit course.

    Seize this rare opportunity to make a successful first lap into a lifetime of Luthiery.

    Students who take this course may continue working on their luthiery projects in Open Workshop at the school.

    Check out our Student Guitar Gallery!

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  • Open Workshop

    $60$2,250

    Open workshops offer our students the freedom to schedule their preferred hours to work on a project at their own pace. Students often continue work on acoustic or electric builds, fretwork, finishing, or electronic projects.

    This is an hourly, pay as you go, opportunity for students to continue their studies.

    Blocks of time maybe purchased at considerable savings. These blocks can be used incrementally for pre-scheduled sessions already listed on the calendar or for other time slots.

    All Open Shop scheduling is by appointment. Arrangements for scheduling are on a case by case basis, and can be made during business hours – 12 pm – 7 pm Tuesday through Friday.

    The schedule includes weekday and evening hours and some weekends. See our calendar.

    Occasionally there may also be availability on day that does appear on the schedule. Call 773 489 4840 or email [email protected] with any questions or to check availability and to reserve your time.

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Guitar Design Course

    $425$485

    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.

     

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  • Guitar Electronics Course

    $335

    The Guitar Electronics Repair & Upgrades workshop teaches instrument electronics troubleshooting, repair and component installation for both electric and acoustic instruments.

    Students will learn to achieve the best possible sound and reliability for their instrument and approach any instrument’s electronics problems with confidence.

    This course offers an indispensable knowledge base for the instrument repair technician or guitar builder.

    Students are encouraged to bring as many stringed instruments as they can to repair or upgrade themselves in this course.

    * If the student is unable to bring their own instrument to repair please contact us in advance to arrange for the school to provide one for use during this course. 

    We offer a discount to combine this course with our Guitar Repair & Restoration Course for a more complete overview of both electric and acoustic stringed instrument repairs.

    This course is a part of our Guitar Technician Program!

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  • Guitar Repair & Restoration Course

    $425$725

    The Guitar Repair and Restoration course teaches the essential procedures for a variety of repairs, addressing damage, aging, and wear on any stringed instrument.

    The instructor, Ian Schneller, will share proprietary repair techniques gathered from over 34 years of luthiery experience, reference traditional repair methods and demonstrate the proper use of a variety of hand tools and power tools.

    In addition to observing a variety of repairs, students will learn about various tools, materials and glues, and how to use them properly.

    Students are encouraged to bring as many instruments to class as they can to work on themselves in the hands-on portion of this course. Students will work on their own instruments with the guidance of the instructor. In fact, realizing repairs on student instruments often more than offsets the cost of tuition!

    The skills and knowledge base taught in this course are a must for the guitar builder, instrument repair technician, or anyone interested in instrument restoration.

    This course is also part of our Guitar Technician Program.

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  • Tube Amp Making Courses – Guitar, Bass, or Stereo Hi Fi

    $1,161.79$3,535

    Start your journey into the exciting realm of electron tube audio!

    Students will make either a Tweed Deluxe, Bassman, or Champ tube guitar amp utilizing an excellent kit with special component upgrades – or make a Specimen Stereo Hi- Fi Tube Amplifier. Learn about this wonderful Tube Amp kit here.   The legendary circuits in our outstanding guitar tube amp kits are the same that have made “Tweed” – era amplifiers revered among musicians.

    Here is a great opportunity to learn tube audio electronics and acquire electronics shop skills with the guidance of an experienced amp builder.  Building an amplifier is the best way to develop the diagnostic skills necessary to troubleshoot and repair. Students who complete this course will be well prepared to take our Tube Amp Repair Courses.

    We offer a discount for this course when combined with our Amp Repair Fundamentals Course.

    You may peruse the assembly instructions here: Instruction Book for Specimen Single Ended Stereo Tube Amp

     

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  • Amp Camp: Tube Amp Making+Repair Course – Summer

    $1,756.79$4,130

    Tube Amp Making and Tube Amp Repair 1 – Fundamentals  courses are given in series and bundled with a discount.

    Students will construct and hand wire their own tube amplifier of choice under the watchful eye of the instructor in our Tube Amp Making course. While constructing an amp the student will begin to develop the skills necessary to troubleshoot and repair amplifiers.

    Students will learn the fundamentals of tube amp electronics, troubleshooting, and repair in Tube Amp Repair I course.

    No prior shop or electronics experience is necessary.

    Professional amp makers and service technicians will teach students to make their own guitar tube amp or stereo hi-fi tube amplifier and give them the knowledge and confidence to service it.

     

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  • Tube Amp Repair II Advanced Course – Summer

    $685

    This course offers those who have a grasp of audio electronics fundamentals a deeper understanding of tube electronics and circuits. Students will learn how to modify tube amps for optimal sound and get the most out of advanced diagnostic tools and equipment.

    Lectures and demonstrations cover circuit design, tube theory, and advanced diagnostics tools, repair and modification techniques.

    Guest Instructor Kye Kennedy brings decades of experience as an amp and stage technician working for an impressive roster of clientele in Nashville, the mid-south and around the globe. His extraordinary amp diagnostics curriculum is well thought out and comprehensive. Here is your chance to learn from a master amp technician who is one of the best in the business.

    Pre-requisite: CSGM Tube Amp Repair & Diagnostics I – Fundamentals  or similar experience.

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  • SOLD OUT | Tube Amp Repair I Fundamentals Course – Summer

    $685

    Tube amp diagnostics and repair is equal parts science and art – there are very few places to learn it and few masters of the craft willing to divulge their hard won secrets.

    More than just the keys to a vocational opportunity – here’s a chance to learn tube amp electronics and professional diagnostic and repair techniques from a master technician.

    The fundamentals of tube amp electronics, diagnostics and repair are covered in this course.

    Students who have a grasp of these fundamentals may wish to complete their training in our Tube Amp Repair, Modifications and Diagnostics 2 Advanced course.

    Tube Amp Repair I and II is for those who wish to register for both courses, and is offered at significant savings!

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  • SOLD OUT | Tube Amp Repair I+II Combined Courses – Summer

    $1,285

    Tube Amp Repair I and II are bundled and given in series, offering a complete overview of tube electronics circuits, testing and repairs techniques from the standpoint of the repair professional.

    Lectures, demonstrations and Q & A cover troubleshooting, advanced diagnostics techniques, repairs, modifications and upgrades.

    Guest Instructor Kye Kennedy brings decades of experience as an amp professional and stage technician, working for an impressive roster of clientele in Nashville, the mid-south and around the globe. His extraordinary amp diagnostics curriculum is well thought out and comprehensive. Here is your chance to learn from a master amp technician who is one of the best in the business.

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