FAQ

Hands On Guitar Making Workshop

Do I need prior guitar making or woodworking experience?

How Many Days does it take to finish the Course?

How much time is committed to class each day?

Do I get to keep the guitar that I build?

Is this Guitar built from scratch or from a kit?

Is there a daily itinerary?

What woods are used in the course?

Can I choose the woods I use for my guitar?

Do I need prior guitar making or woodworking experience?

No. Prior experience can help to give a greater context to the concepts taught in class, but it is not necessary.

Some students take the class having no prior guitar making or woodworking experience, whatsoever. There is nothing wrong with a blank slate! In many ways, this can actually be beneficial to learning!

Some have built an instrument or two at home and take the course in order to overcome certain struggles they are having. Some have built dozens of guitars, and some have taken other courses or worked with other builders.

And some take the class simply because they want to build a fine instrument that they can cherish and pass down to their kids for generations to come.

How Many Days does it take to finish the Course?

The course is 8 days and it usually runs from Saturday to Saturday. That way, those who work or go to school Monday through Friday only need to take a single week off of work/school to take the course.

How much time is committed to class each day?

Class usually begins at 9 am and ends anywhere from 5pm to 8pm. A typical day is 8 hours but it is not uncommon for a day to run 10 or 11 hours long, depending on how things go. The course is very intensive and there is ALOT of ground to cover in 8 days! We do, however, take a long lunch to recuperate every day, usually an hour.

Do I get to keep the guitar that I build?

Of Course! You built it! It is your guitar!

Is this Guitar built from scratch or from a kit?

The guitar is built from scratch (Hence, the 8 – 11 hour “work” days!).

While building from a kit can be fun, and the novice can certainly learn a lot from a kit, it is more like an assembly job, and the student misses out on key practices and techniques such as neck carving, fingerboard slotting and tuning the braces. This is why I set up the course as a “from scratch” build.

*I do, however, prefabricate a few things before the class starts, just so that we are able to fit everything within the 8 day timeframe. Usually this means that the sides are bent and the back plate is joined before the start of class.

While there is nothing wrong with building from a kit, it is simply not something that I do with my students. There are certainly other courses available out there that are more akin to a kit build, if that is what you’re looking for.

Is there a daily itinerary?

Not really. My methods of building and my methods of teaching are in a constant, slow state of flux, which means that my order of operations is in a constant slow state of flux as well. The best way to predict what we will be doing in a coming class is to visit the Student Photo Gallery and view the most recent class photos (Even better: Just call and ask!).

What woods are used in the course?

This varies on a class-by-class basis. I like to switch it up!

For backs and sides we’ve used Honduran Mahogany, Peruvian Walnut, Black Walnut, American Cherry, Curly Maple, and others.

For tops, we almost always use Sitka Spruce.

It all depends on what I have available at the time and what I am particularly interested in using at the time. Regardless of the species used, the woods are always instrument grade. (A, AA or AAA)

Can I choose the woods I use for my guitar?

Yes. There is an option for customizing your tonewoods. Customizing tonewoods involves extra prep work so there is a $140 customization fee. On top of this fee, the student must pay for any additional material. This is the best way to get premium tonewoods on your guitar.

If you are interested in customizing woods, I will personally walk you through the process. Just E-mail eric@ericschaeferguitars.com or call 610-639-2777.

*To customize wood options, the student must register atleast 3 months in advance, often earlier depending on the wood species desired.

Is lodging available?

Yes. On-site lodging for the week is available for $400.