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Learn Guitar Building – Make Your Own Guitar

Teaching has become a real passion of mine. Making a guitar with a student is always a great experience. I love seeing a student’s excitement when they string up their guitar and hear it for the first time. If you build a guitar in my class, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

I have had the good fortune of learning my craft from some of the very best in the world. Take advantage of all my years of experience and learn how to make a high quality guitar that you will be proud of. Walk away with a beautiful guitar that sounds great and is easy to play.

Some One-on-one classes for 2017 are  full. Please contact me if you would like to take a class in 2017 but the dates don’t suit you. We may be able to find a time that will work.

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John is an inspiration and a wonderful teacher! I have gained knowledge as well as hand skills and confidence. It was an amazing experience and so exciting to string up my guitar and hear it for the first time. Wow!

–  Karen Ackof, Fine Art Professor ­University of Indiana


May 2015 class -student with guitarLearn Guitar Building & Much More

In the one-on-one classes I work right along side the student building the guitar, teaching, guiding and pitching in when necessary. I guarantee that the twelve days you spend building your guitar will be both an educational and rewarding experience. Get a wealth of tips and information about guitar building, craftsmanship and aesthetics. You will also learn to properly use your tools and sharpen them as well as how to safely use your hand tools, equipment and power tools.

Get expert advise on wood selection and how different combinations of wood produce different types of sound.  You will leave with a great sounding instrument and the confidence and skills you’ll need to make a guitar again, on your own.

In order to complete the guitar in the allotted time students will create a simplified version of one of John’s signature rosettes and some decorative items will be omitted such as some purflings and back strip. Finishing will not be done in the class. Students will finish their guitars at home. Finishing tips and advise will be provided as well as recommendations on finishing products.

Some Experience Suggested

Some woodworking and/or guitar building experience is suggested. Check below for class schedules.

One-on-One Course Schedule – Third Session Added In 2017

Due to demand a third session has been added to the schedule. In 2017 there will be two sessions in the spring. If you are interested in taking a class but the dates don’t suit you we may be able to another time that may suit you.

One-on-One Class – Spring 2017

May 29 – June 10

Class is Full

One-on-One Class – Fall 2017

October 2 – 14

Class is Full

One-on-One Class – Fall 2017

October 30 – November 11

Class is Full

Course Info

Students Maximum Per Class: 1
Duration:12 days
Cost with Lodging: $6000
Deposit: $500

If you are interested in taking the one-on-one class please fill out the application. I will review the application to see if the class is a good fit for you. Be sure to leave your phone number so I can contact you.

What to Bring

It is recommended that students bring hearing protectors and dust masks or respirators. You are also welcome to bring along any tools that you prefer using.


Students are welcome to stay in the downstairs apartment in my house. The apartment has a kitchenette and a private entrance. Lodging will easily accommodate two people so you can bring your spouse or partner if you like.  Also a list of nearby motels or B&B’s can be provided upon request.

Western North Carolina

The mountains of Western North Carolina are known for their beauty, especially in the spring and fall. The Asheville area also has some great restaurants. And there are also plenty of things to do in the area. You may want to consider extending your stay beyond the class time to explore the area.