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 Post subject: Suggestions on classes?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 6:33 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:02 pm
Posts: 98
First name: Jonathan
Last Name: coleman
City: rome
State: ny
Zip/Postal Code: 13440
Country: usa
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
So I’ve been aprenticing under a local luthier on and off for about 11 years now. Due to the current situation with the panpocolypse, He’s too scared to continue. So, I’ve been thinking about taking a class somewhere or online. I’ve built 1.5 guitars. Have 2 sets of sides bent and a couple tops and backs joined. Anyone have any suggestions? I live 30min east of Syracuse New York and am willing to drive up to 4-5hours but if online classes were beneficial I would be ok with that too. Thanks in advance to reaponses.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 7:50 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:22 pm
Posts: 80
First name: doug
Last Name: powdrell
City: hilo
State: big island
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I would suggest Cumpiano and Natelson's book......read it cover to cover, then get started, assuming you have acquired a few necessary tools......I read that book back in '03 and never looked back....78 instruments later.....also this forum has excellent tips...still pick up tips here....good luck....and have fun!!!!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:42 pm
Posts: 1582
First name: John
Last Name: Parchem
City: Seattle
State: Wa
Zip/Postal Code: 98177
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Robbie O'Brien https://obrienguitars.com/courses has a lot of great online courses. Follow the link to see. He is a great teacher, the instructions are basically real time, he discusses alternatives for many of the operations. I have made over 30 instruments and I still refer to the courses a lot.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:47 pm
Posts: 1912
First name: Jay
Last Name: De Rocher
City: Bothell
State: Washington
I'm another fan of Robbie O'Brien's online courses. I've done several of them and thought they were top notch.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 7:36 am 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2014 9:33 pm
Posts: 296
Location: Mount Vernon, Ohio
First name: Greg
Last Name: Maxwell
City: Mount Vernon
State: Ohio
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
Robbie's online classes are great. In-person, hands-on instruction can't be beat. If you are willing to come an hour or so further, I teach an excellent two-week build class here in Ohio. PM me for more details.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:59 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:20 pm
Posts: 37
First name: Rick
Last Name: Tedder
City: Branson
State: Missouri
Zip/Postal Code: 65616
Country: United States
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Brian Forbes has a good book out too. Acoustic Guitar Making. Shows you how to make jigs, body molds as well.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:03 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:20 pm
Posts: 37
First name: Rick
Last Name: Tedder
City: Branson
State: Missouri
Zip/Postal Code: 65616
Country: United States
Focus: Repair
Status: Amateur
Look up today string works on you tube. He has over 400 videos on repair and building string instruments. Slot of them are over an hour long. Especially check out his custom builds.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 1:26 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:49 pm
Posts: 532
First name: peter
Last Name: havriluk
City: granby
State: ct
Zip/Postal Code: 06035
Country: usa
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
About classes - - - I'm in a vaguely similar position, waiting on a safe opportunity to spend a couple of days with a luthier to locate and install a bridge on, and set up, my last project, a 12-string. Doing that on my own is muddling through, and I'd rather learn something, too.

I've decided to be patient and see what the future offers, and continue with a 6-string I've started.

This whole ramble is by way of encouraging OP to be patient and resume with his teacher when that becomes possible.

I have Forbes' book and it helped me fill many gaps in my luthier workshop.

And for me, trying to learn lutherie from books or videos, without observation and feedback, is sorta' like trying to learn to fly by reading a book. That hasn't been known to end well. Both are nuanced skills that benefit from incremental direct instruction.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:00 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:04 am
Posts: 4567
First name: Chris
Last Name: Pile
City: Wichita
State: Kansas
Country: Good old US of A
Focus: Repair
Status: Professional
Quote:
And for me, trying to learn lutherie from books or videos, without observation and feedback, is sorta' like trying to learn to fly by reading a book. That hasn't been known to end well. Both are nuanced skills that benefit from incremental direct instruction.


And yet, that is exactly how many like me had to learned decades ago before YT, before videotapes, before there were even books on guitar repair. Guitar building - a few, and most focused strictly on classical guitar building.

Don't be afraid to make mistakes.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:16 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:52 pm
Posts: 1951
First name: Don
Last Name: Parker
City: Charleston
State: West Virginia
Zip/Postal Code: 25314
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I have mostly learned from books (I’m a Cumpiano/Natelson first guitar survivor), and more recently from videos. I have received some in-person guidance (thumbs up for Greg Maxwell). I find it all useful. Do what you can, but keep building. I’m on the same page as Chris on this point: don’t be afraid to make mistakes. They are the best way to REALLY learn how to not do something (unfortunately).


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:25 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:12 pm
Posts: 6644
First name: Mike
Last Name: O'Melia
City: Huntsville
State: Alabama
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
I don't understand. 11 years? Shouldn't you be well versed by now?


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 Post subject: Suggestions on classes?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 1:00 pm 
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Koa
Koa
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:17 pm
Posts: 1015
City: Escondido
State: CA
Zip/Postal Code: 92029
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
Mike OMelia wrote:
I don't understand. 11 years? Shouldn't you be well versed by now?

Yes, but he says he has only completed one guitar and half built a second. I know a luthier (Pepe Romero) who told me he built thirty guitars his first year —like it was the most normal thing! Time is no judge.

I think there is little substitute for just building. Which is, of course, the rub. After about three dozen guitars I still feel my skills need refining, but what am I going to do with another guitar? It is easy to give away the first dozen. It’s even easy to sell the next dozen to your extended network. Beyond that either you are one of very few who can build a real business, or you accept having dozens of guitars hanging on your wall (and the financial investment that represents).

The Cumpiano book will get you through building a guitar. The Gore/Gilat books will give you all the tools to refine it to the nth degree. But really after the third or fourth guitar it is all about just learning by doing, which can be a very lonely endeavor.

EDIT: I apologize if this comes across as too dark. A little COVID psychosis showing, perhaps.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 3:19 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:20 am
Posts: 4611
R. Rhett wrote:
"I think there is little substitute for just building. Which is, of course, the rub. After about three dozen guitars I still feel my skills need refining, but what am I going to do with another guitar? It is easy to give away the first dozen. It’s even easy to sell the next dozen to your extended network. Beyond that either you are one of very few who can build a real business, or you accept having dozens of guitars hanging on your wall (and the financial investment that represents)."

If you only build guitars, then I think that you may find yourself in this situation. I enjoy building musical instruments and build all sorts. Some are cheap and cheerful little boxes (stick dulcimers and cigar box ukes) that I don't have much in, and can sell cheap or give away without any great loss. Even with more elaborate instruments I watch the price of materials that go into them. As an "Amateur" in the original sense of the word, I don't need to recoup any remuneration for the time I put into them, so I can set prices accordingly.
I agree - if you want to do this as a business, then you better spend as much time "tooting your own horn" and building the business side as you do building guitars. And you may still fail.
But some don't......


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:14 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:00 pm
Posts: 158
First name: Terry
I agree with several above who basically said, get the information you need, take it slow, and finish the thing. Measure 10 times if you have to (I did on my first bridge) and check multiple sources for the correct placement if you are concerned. I did an awful lot of wood working before starting guitars, but I like how my instruments are turning out, and I've never met a luthier in person. Read a LOT before building my first.. G&G, Somogyi, Companio, some other one I forget... watched some videos, but those did more to make me realize guitar making is really just woodworking with different shapes. I didn't really consume any educational content that I recall.

Yea, it would be nice to have an expert to hold your hand... but it's even better to hold your own finished guitar.

Build on!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 4:57 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:12 pm
Posts: 6644
First name: Mike
Last Name: O'Melia
City: Huntsville
State: Alabama
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
I'm just curious what this fellow has been doing for 11 years in another's shop. Launch your ship! Ask a lot of questions (here for example). Make mistakes. That's how u learn. If your are afraid you might lose money in the process, you might be pursuing the wrong hobby lol!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:45 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:50 pm
Posts: 363
Location: Goodrich, MI
First name: Ken
Last Name: Nagy
City: Goodrich
State: MI
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I've built a dozen violins, violas, five strings, and three guitars, with no classes or training. I got a couple books, and went on forums like this one. I don't always follow the books. I do don't always follow the plans. I make instruments just from pictures. Probably not many would want to do that, but it works for me.

I have had some feedback from real professionals when I finally found a local violin makers group that met quarterly. I basically lack in the getting it to look professional. Finish, edge work, that sort of thing. I don't play violin, so guitars make more sense! I do like carving, so archtops seem.like a God fit. I don't really play,them either, but I have since I finished my archtop. I think the violins sound pretty good. I really like the guitar, but I don't have anything to compare it with.

Jump in, and don't worry about perfection at first. There will be.things that you know aren't right. The next one to the tenth one you make will have things you don't like. So? They should be getting better. And If you really like it, you will keep making.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 2:29 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:19 am
Posts: 73
Location: St. Charles MO
First name: Karl
Last Name: B
State: MO
Zip/Postal Code: 63303
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Stewmac's acoustic kit has a video. Everyone that has built this kit has one. I'll give you mine. If you goto the StewMac site and find the StewMac Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar Kit, it has a downloadable instruction pdf. Now you would have a video and instruction book. No experience for experience. That could be everything you need. We learn the most when we are NOT in our comfort zone..... With COVID, you may find the same situation with in-person classes, for a long time.

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Karl B.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 7:49 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 3:21 pm
Posts: 2976
Location: Alexandria MN
I think it is unlikely you will find an in person class until the pandemic is over. It would be worth the wait. A good one would shave years off your learning curve. I don’t think there is any substitute for in-person instruction especially if you already have some knowledge of building and know what questions to ask.

I don’t know if Charles Fox is still teaching but I took his “principals of modern lutherie” class in 2004 and it was excellent. His availability for follow up questions by phone or email was great too with quick responses.

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