Luthier School

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Kazz3lrath, Jan 24, 2013.


  1. Kazz3lrath

    Kazz3lrath

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    A guitar forum I used to go on was full of people who had taken luthier short courses and made their own guitars. Obviously these people were not world-class luthiers by the end and their instruments were not perfect, but it always looked like a whole helluva lot of fun. Any idea where I could find a place like this?
  2. Beej

    Beej

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Location:
    Canadia
    Where are you located?
  3. roberthabraken

    roberthabraken

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Yeah, I do, just a hundred miles from here.
  4. Kazz3lrath

    Kazz3lrath

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    I am located in New Jersey, but could potentially travel to most places in the United States.
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  6. Beej

    Beej

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Location:
    Canadia
  7. ChrisCassisi

    ChrisCassisi

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Disclosures:
    Tone Bastards Cables
    Roberto Venn in Phoenix, Arizona. Or if that is too far find a pro luthier near you and see if they would be willing to take you on as an apprentice.
  8. Kazz3lrath

    Kazz3lrath

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Thanks for all the advice guys! If I can't find the time to take a short course in the near future, I may use a kit to try and teach myself a few of the basics by myself. What is the opinion on this company's kits?

    http://www.byoguitar.com/


    EDIT:
    How long does it take to build a guitar/bass using one of those kits?
  9. Beej

    Beej

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Location:
    Canadia
    ^ How long? Tough to say as it depends on how much time and effort you put into it, and how your initial skills are. If you already know how to setup a guitar that will cut time, if you know anything about finishes or have already finished a guitar that will also cut time. Really depends, but I'd be budgeting to have something ready to go in about 2 months with intermittent time spent on doing it and learning along the way...
  10. RxFunk

    RxFunk

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    Is that the name of the school, or the luthier?:hyper:
  11. RxFunk

    RxFunk

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    Never mind, I looked it up, and I realized I had heard of it before, it just didn't click I guess. I can't believe I live so close to such a big name in the art of luthiery!
  12. Tdog

    Tdog

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    A friend of mine attended Roberto-Venn. I believe it was an 8 or 9 month course. He said they had some great instructors on staff. They were required to build an electric and an acoustic to complete the course....(A third guitar may have been required, though I don't remember for sure) He also said that there was alway a backup of students waiting to use the spray booth and some machinery.

    But hang onto your wallet!!!!!!......He mentioned the cost was @$19K.........I don't know if that included room and board or not. If anyone can vouch for the accuracy of that number, please jump in with more solid info.
  13. RxFunk

    RxFunk

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    I actually looked up everything, it's a 5-month course(just for the building part) if he took all the other classes 8-9 months is certainly plausible. Basic tuition being $10450, required tools come in at around $400, and average cost of materials is about $1500. All of those prices are before takes, so all together around $13500 after taxes. It could have come out to $19K for your buddy depending on the woods he used in class, and how long it took him to pay it off. Also, your required builds are a steel string guitar and your choice of: an electric guitar, a 4 string bass, or a 5 string bass. Thats all I've found out so far.:D
  14. Macrocosmcwh

    Macrocosmcwh Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Location:
    Gilbert, Arizona
    I am here in Phoenix... One thing that I can vouch for with these guys is they are REALLY REALLY nice on the phone. I am not interested in becoming a pro luthier... But the guy on the phone, Keith I think, was so nice in offering a tour etc of the school... I would kill to do it full time! =)
  15. ON the ONE

    ON the ONE Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    Freeport, Maine
    There is also a program at U of M in redwing minesota and one in British Colombia called the summit school. Brian galloup school of Lutherie is in Montana or Michigan or some place. If you are motivated, you can teach yourself in time.
  16. Yvarg

    Yvarg

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    Speaking as a graduate, Roberto Venn is excellent (totally biased opinion here!). But you will pretty much eat, sleep, and breath guitars for those five months, just a fair warning before you decide to attend. If you just want a casual experience where you make a guitar yourself on the weekends, you might want to look elsewhere. That said, you will learn a TON of information at the school. The instructors don't just hand you a block of wood and say "Do this. Now you've got a guitar." They tell you what you need to do to make your guitars and explain why and some of the theory behind it and why you're not doing it another way (not to say there's only one way to build an instrument). Also, you will make an acoustic and an electric guitar there, but these will (unless you really try to prove otherwise) be really great instruments. The instructors make sure that everyone is doing what needs to be done to come out with a great playing instrument in the end.
  17. RxFunk

    RxFunk

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    It really does seem like an excellent school, and I definitely see what you mean when you say it's intense. I mean 880 hours in five months, or 44 hours a week. Its pretty much a full time job.
  18. ZoldosCustom

    ZoldosCustom

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    I am not sure if the school is still operating, but I attended Luthiers International located in Liburn (or maybe Snellville) GA. It was a 3 month course where we built 2 instruments, solidbody electrics, as well as an acoustic as a group. There were 10 people in the class. The majority of the focus was on repairs, a lot of fretwork, wiring, and the basics of building. That school was my first real attempt at any sort of woodworking so my 2 basses were not the greatest, plus I didn't have a whole lot of money to drop on nice woods. I went back in 2001 so I am sure a lot has changed. It really opens you up to a lot of construction aspects and jig making, but how far you take the instruction all depends on the individual.

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