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Robert Venn Luthier School

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Scottpro1969, Oct 14, 2010.


  1. Scottpro1969

    Scottpro1969 Supporting Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    Townsend, MA
    I'm getting out of the Air Force and considering going to this school. From all of the research I've done, they seem like one of the best. Has anyone here gone to school there? Or, any other luthier school to recommend? I'm hoping to use either the MGI Bill or the Post 911 GI Bill. I haven't converted yet.
     
  2. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    I've worked in the shop of a guy who went there... but he also studied under Charles Fox. Did Fox ever teach at Roberto-Venn?

    I know Fox has his own place now...
     
  3. Scottpro1969

    Scottpro1969 Supporting Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    Townsend, MA
    oops Roberto-Venn, sorry.

    Not sure if he did or not.
     
  4. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    Charles Fox is the king of jig-making, or so I've heard... you might consider the American School of Lutherie, if you're not set on being in Phoenix. ASL is in Portland, OR, I believe.
     
  5. ThrashMaster

    ThrashMaster

    Jul 7, 2010
    Boston, MA
    If youre going to use your gi bill money you have to use it at an accredited school, and RV is the only accredited school in the states.

    I went there with no woodworking knowledge (but had always been 'handy'), came out the other end with an apprenticeship at a custom maker which turned into a job. So yeah, I learned alot, but alot of folks went through it and learned jack squat. Its all what you put into it, cuz the teachers there are honestly a little whatever about the whole thing.

    I will say this...the job market for luthiers is horrendous right now, so good luck on a PAID job on the back side. Furthermore, even when the economy wasn't pure cr*p as it is now, guitar making jobs are notoriously low paying. You do much better on repairs, but it seems almost everyone wants to build.

    Theres also a huge proportion of bass players compared to guitarists, for whatever reason :)
     
  6. ThrashMaster

    ThrashMaster

    Jul 7, 2010
    Boston, MA
    been on a tour of the old CFox shop...his reputation is deserved
     
  7. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Inactive Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    Having worked at Gruhn Guitars for a few years, I must say that quite a few of the repair guys there came from:
    Red Wing Technical College
    308 Pioneer Rd.
    Red Wing MN 55066
    long term - guitar construction/repair, violin repair.
    (612) 388-8271 or (800) 657-4849
    From what I understand, They have a great program.

    Another repair guy there studied with Charles Fox; I don't think you would go wrong there either.

    A personal favorite for me is:
    Harry Fleishman
    925 37th St.Boulder
    Boulder CO 80303
    guitar construction/repair - short term small groups and individual basis
    (303) 449-7075

    I still want to study with this dude.

    I agree with the others; It's all what you make out of it. in the end, it comes down to what you put into it.

    I was fortunate enough to go old-school; I was an apprentice to an amazing luthier (Ron Lira/Honest Ron in Ok. City, Ok).

    Good luck with your endeavor.

    Moonshine :bassist:
     
  8. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Inactive

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    That explains SOOOO much Rick. :spit: :smug:

    I would second that route as well. There is no better way to learn this stuff that to just do it. If you are lucky enough to learn with someone then never stop asking questions.

    My schooling is chemistry and I think my instruments are pretty okay. ;)
     
  9. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    Man, I love Honest Ron! I bought my first "hack it up" guitar from him for $50 (Yamaha single pickup EVH Strat-ish guitar with a Duncan '59 in it). That guy has a collection of pin routers that would put nearly anyone else to shame...
     
  10. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Inactive Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    Ron is so Cool...He had some amazing equipment when I was around him in the 80's. I can only imagine what he has now.

    I met Ron in 84' when I bought a 3/4 sz. Tele style body & neck, second-hand that he had made (never assembled); When I asked him where I should place the bridge, he told me that I better give it to him because I obviously didn't know what I was doing! That did it for me. I kept bugging him until he finally started showing me stuff. He is the guy that got me started in this whacky business. Thanks' Ron!
     
  11. So the jump from "luthier school" to "luthier apprentice" leads me to ask,

    Mikey, Shawn, Moonshine.. need an apprentice? Ledbelli? Any of you guys?
     
  12. frianbisher

    frianbisher

    Dec 28, 2007
    Milwaukee WI
    I'm going there in febuary...I'll let you know what its like...sooo excited.
     
  13. gfried84

    gfried84 Commercial User

    May 7, 2005
    Owner Fried Guitars Inc.
    I went to roberto-venn. I highly recommend the program. I currently have a small repair/custom shop in brooklyn and going to the school has helped me out tremendously. I did not have any woodworking experience when I went. Obviously like all schooling there is still a lot to learn after you graduate but the foundation they give you is very strong. Also while I was there, the people who check out the accredited schools to make sure that they are up to snuff were blown away by the program.
     
  14. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Inactive

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    I could be at that point within two years if I keep growing at the current pace. :bassist:
     
  15. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    LOL... I wouldn't say that I'm at that level, yet... I mean, I'm building VERY part-time out of my basement and garage, with occasional forays to either my (future) father-in-law's shop, or that of a builder in E. Washington who shall remain nameless.

    After several years of building in my own shop (including a couple of years of trying to do it full time), with much input/insight from other builders, I spent about 6 months building in the corner of another luthier's shop, and let me tell you, I learned SO much. I would guess I learned/progressed as much in that 6 months as I did the prior 4 or 5 years.
     

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