Chicago is steeped in a rich tradition of guitar making. At one time it was even the guitar making capital of the world! These days more and more companies are abandoning traditional building techniques in favor of cheaper overseas CNC manufacturing. This has left fewer and fewer opportunities for students interested in the tradition of guitar building than ever before. Here at the Chicago School of Guitar Making we strive to keep the tradition of Lutherie alive and thriving. With the hope of inspiring new generations for many years to come!

About the Chicago School of Guitar Making


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While there are a number of Luthier Schools out there, most of them require students to enroll in intensive and expensive 6-12 month programs. Our goal is to be the school for people who want to learn but cannot leave their home, families, or job to embark in this new venture.

We hold classes and workshops on weekdays, weekends, and evenings to accommodate busy schedules. Courses can be taken one-at-a-time, all at once, or whenever convenient to the student.

Specimen opened the Chicago School of Guitar Making in 2005 as a response to the growing number of resumes and internship inquiries we received every week for nearly 20 years. We recognized people were hungry to learn, but there was no place in Chicago for them to study and be trained to build and repair guitars.

We started with a basic offering: our Guitar Setup and Maintenance Course. From there we added a Fretting Workshop and Guitar Electronics Course. Soon it became apparent these classes weren’t enough, alumni were waiting for more, and many of them were asking about tube amp training, more complex guitar repair techniques, and guitar building classes. Things were going great and word about us spread outside of Chicago. To meet the need, we opened our first Weekend Seminars in Guitar Setup & Electronics, others soon followed and hosted classes for people coming from other states, Canada, Europe, and even Asia. Since then we have added the Tube Amp Diagnostics & Repair, Tube Amplifier Making, Guitar Making, and Guitar Repair Courses to our curriculum.

For news and additional details about our school, including information about the staff, facility and the classes we teach, please visit this page and our FAQ page.