Classes and Seminars

  • Guitar Set-Up & Maintenance

    from $275$225

    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.

    register
  • Fretting Workshop

    from $420$385

    Learn to execute a professional quality re-fret on a 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.

    register
  • Bone Nut Making

    $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. 

    register
  • Bone Nut & Saddle Making

    from $365

    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 in the workshop.

    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.

    register
  • Guitar Repair & Restoration

    $485$435

    The Guitar Repair and Restoration workshop presents essential procedures for a variety of repairs addressing damage, aging, and wear on any stringed instrument – acoustic and electric – in a hands on workshop.

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

    register
  • Guitar Electronics Repair & Upgrades

    $385

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

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

    The hands on portion of this workshop offers students the opportunity to learn as they work on the electronics in their own instrument.

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

    register
  • Guitar Electronics + Guitar Repair & Restoration Combined

    $795

    Guitar Repair & Restoration and Guitar Electronics and Upgrades are bundled to offer a thorough understanding of instrument repair for acoustic and electric stringed instruments.

    The student will learn to achieve the best possible sound and reliability for an instrument and acquire valuable skills in the workshop.

    Each class is divided into part lecture and demonstration and part hands-on work and training. Hands on work gives students an opportunity to learn through application and develop skill as they work on their own instrument.

    Here is an indispensable knowledge base for the instrument repair technician, guitar builder or for anyone interested in instrument restoration or repair.

    register
  • Design & Blueprint

    from $485$385

    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.

    register
  • Guitar Building

    from $239

    During the course of these workshops, students will build their own electric guitar completely from scratch using raw materials and the time tested building methods of luthier Ian Schneller.

    Students may also use this time to continue work on their acoustic kit builds.

    Students will learn how to shape their guitar’s neck and body, install the truss rod, install all hardware and much more.

    At the end of this multi-step process students will have a wonderful creation that fulfills their own unique vision.

    register
  • F Style Neck Making Workshop

    from $785

    A custom made guitar neck with a Non-Adjustable Steel Reinforcement will greatly improve the sound and performance of any suitable guitar body. The tonality, stability, and longevity of this type of neck is undisputed by those who have played them. Musicians are consistently amazed at the difference in tone, harmonics, and sustain that a non adjustable truss rod makes.

    Here is your opportunity to make your own supreme quality guitar neck under the guidance of Ian Schneller, founder of Specimen Products and the Chicago School of Guitar Making. Instruction includes individual guidance and demonstrations illustrating each phase of the process.

    Please note: This workshop is structured to teach each essential phase of this project.  However students will work at their own pace and may require additional time outside of this workshop to complete their project.

    register
  • Open Workshop

    from $60

    Open workshops offer students the freedom to schedule their preferred hours to work on a project at their own pace.

    register
  • Acoustic Guitar Building

    from $927

    My Acoustic Guitar Building Workshop begins your journey of learning acoustic instrument making. Students will  build their own Martin-style 000 guitar from an excellent kit.  This  class is a perfect initiation to acoustic luthiery. Ambitious students will be ready to build an original design from scratch after completing this build.

    Students will learn fundamental workshop skills and advanced techniques required to build a fine acoustic stringed instrument.

    We will cast a wide net into the realm of woodworking, with a finished guitar as proof of application.

    No drawing skills or shop experience required.

    register
  • Acoustic Guitar Building Summer Camp

    from $2,558.81

    This immersion course offers the student an extended opportunity to build their own Martin-style 000 guitar in the Specimen workshop under the guidance of luthier and CSGM founder Ian Schneller.

    register
  • Tube Amp Building: Guitar, Bass Amp or Stereo Hi-Fi

    from $1,161.79

    Tube Amp Building is an immersive learning and making experience. Start your journey into the exciting realm of audio electronics.

    Students will build either a Tweed Deluxe, Bassman, or Champ guitar amp utilizing an excellent kit with special component upgrades – or a Specimen Hi- Fi Stereo Tube Amplifier.

    This is an exceptional opportunity to learn audio electronics and acquire valuable shop skills with the guidance of an experienced amp builder in the workshop.

    Building an amplifier allows students to develop the diagnostic skills necessary to troubleshoot and repair other amplifiers.

     

    register
  • Tube Amp Building: Stereo Hi-Fi

    $3,235

    Students will build a SPECIMEN HI-FI Stereo Tube Amp in this workshop.

    This amp circuit is derived from the classic single-ended designs that began in the 1930s. This design is by Ian Schneller. The Baltic Birch frame completes this tube amp beautifully. The layout of this tube amplifier is simple and elegant, but most of all timeless, very well built, and great sounding!

    You can plug just about anything into this amp’s input with great results. For listening to vinyl you will need a phono preamp.

    If you have ever been interested in building your own high fidelity, single-ended triode tube amplifier, but felt that it was a daunting and mysterious task, then wait no longer. This class removes all the mystery and will guide you through the entire process.

    Once you have built this circuit, you will be on your way to gaining the skills necessary to start designing and building your own DIY audio creations. Or just sit back and enjoy the music.

    register
  • Tube Amp Building & Diagnostics & Repair 1 — Amp Camp

    from $1,756.79

    This three day course offers a unique hands on, immersive making and learning experience combining a tube amp electronics construction workshop with a tube amp repair seminar.

    Student will enjoy bringing home their own hand wired tube amplifier with the confidence to service it.

    No prior shop or electronics experience is necessary.

    Students will build either a Tweed Guitar Tube amp, or a Hi-Fi  Stereo Tube Amplifier in the Tube Amp Building Workshop. By building an amplifier, students will begin to develop the skills necessary to troubleshoot and repair tube amplifiers.

    They will follow Tube Amp Building with the Tube Amp Diagnostics and Repair 1 Seminar.

    register
  • Tube Amp Diagnostics & Repair 1 – Fundamentals

    $685$495

    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 the fundamentals of tube amp electronics and professional diagnostic techniques from a master technician.

    Tube amp electronics, diagnostics and repair fundamentals are covered in this comprehensive course.

    register
  • Tube Amp Diagnostics, Repair & Mods 2 – Advanced

    $685$495

    Tube Amp Diagnostics & Repair 2 covers all of the information necessary to delve into the world of tube amp modifications and repairs, from the standpoint of the amp repair professional.

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

    Here is your chance to learn from a master amp technician who is one of the best in the business

    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.

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

    register
  • Tube Amp Diagnostics, Repair & Mods 1+2 Combined

    $1,270$985

    These two intensive seminars offer a complete overview of tube amp electronics, diagnostics, and the options for repairs and modifications, from the standpoint of the amp repair professional.

    Learn the fundamentals of tube amp electronics and troubleshooting followed by tube theory, advanced tube amp diagnostics, repair and upgrade techniques, all from a master amp technician.

    More than just the keys to a vocational opportunity – here’s a chance to learn from one of the best in the business.

    register
  • Effect Pedal Making

    from $360

    Effect Pedal Making is an excellent introduction to audio electronics and the wiring techniques used in many electronics projects.

    Here’s a chance to learn and develop skills in a hands on workshop, while constructing one or more effect pedals that will be ready to play.

    Build either one effect pedal in the one day workshop, or two pedals in the two day workshop.

    No experience necessary. Make your own effect pedals! 

    register