One month Intensive guitar making course (two max per year - three places per course).
Janurary 2013 fully booked!
April 2013 fully booked!
Next course. Monday November 4th to Tuesday December 3rd 2013. One place remaining.
April 2014 course now booking. Thursday 3rd April - Friday May 3rd.
Here's the first chords on a guitar built on my November course. Magic moments!
April 2012. Three more superb guitars from Jon (new Zealand) Ricardo (Puerto Rico) and Tim (UK). Well done guys!
August Guitar Making course finished and a great success. Here's one of the guitars made on that course getting a bashing on BBC Radio Bristol!
All done! Unfortunately my third student had a wedding on the final day so no pic of all of us.
A chance to appreciate the quality acheived on the course!
Well earned I'd say
April 2011 course just finished as are three more fine guitars!
Carol, David and Torstein with the fruits of their labours. Photos soon....
First one month course a resounding success! Here are some testimonials.....
"I had a fantastic time on your guitar making course and I would recommend it to anyone who loves guitars and who has ever dreamed of making one. After only four weeks I took home a beautiful guitar of which I am very proud and which gives me daily pleasure. It is impossible to describe my feelings as I played the first chords on my new guitar. It has been much admired by all who have seen it and played it. Thank you, Richard, for such an enjoyable course and for so generously sharing your knowledge, skill and enthusiasm. I learned so much and, although I had little previous experience of working with wood, you helped to ensure the end results far exceeded my expectations. It was an unforgettable experience"
"The course is fantastic! I had no real experience of working with wood, but Richard was there every step of the way to demonstrate, guide and nurture the skills required for making a quality instrument. With the freedom to add my own headstock logo and decoration scheme, the finished instrument is truly unique. Added to this, the guitar plays and sounds better than I could have dreamt. All in all, a completely enjoyable and rewarding experience."
"It has been a life long ambition of mine to build my own guitar, so when I came across this course I jumped at the chance. I was slightly concerned about my lack of wood working skills, but I needn’t have worried as Richard provides plenty of help and guidance throughout the process. It was hard work, but great fun and I ended up with a fantastic looking and sounding guitar!"
Anthony finishing his guitar and playing it for the very first time! He made a beautiful Osborne Lacewing shape in Indian Rosewood and Spruce.
Anthony was the first to start a month course as a trial but ended up doing it in three sections over two years!!
The four weeks will be hard work but fun and inspiring with an end result to treasure. There are many many stages to constructing a guitar and so the course will focus on a hands on approach to understanding the craft processes and engineering involved to achieve a fine instrument. I also include some seminars to give you some background and history and a wider understanding of the craft.
You will make a steel-string acoustic guitar of my own design choosing between four models (see guitars page). I don't have a Dreadnought model at the moment but can accommodate any fans if you wish to build one. I ask all to start with Indian Rosewood back and sides due to ease of working and tonal properties. It is probably the best all round back and sides timber in most respects. You can choose at the time from sitka spruce or western red cedar for tops. You will have flexibility in terms of sound hole rosette design, head design, bindings and purflings (decorative edging) and an optional logo/signature on the headstock. You will use a combination of hand and power tools all of which will be provided.
You will produce a satin finish with a technique that is achievable within the time frame. There are a couple of options here which can be discussed once signed up
The course will run for 22 days. The hours will be Monday to Friday 9 - 5.30 with an hour for lunch.
My previous experience
I have been making instruments since 1998 and it has been my full time occupation since 2003. I teach three people at a time and my workshop is set up in such a way to accommodate this. Teaching three means I can give you the personal input needed to help you create a top quality instrument that I'm sure will exceed all your expectations.
Your previous experience
You need no previous experience. Some knowledge of woodwork can be helpful but not essential.
A degree of patience, a willingness to listen and work hard and importantly, to be able to see up close whether with glasses, contacts or without. The course is long!! You will be standing for much of the time so bare that in mind. I now run with whole weekends off and finish the day at 5.30pm to help keep energy levels up throughout the period.
Costs and payment
The course will cost £3000 including all materials and a selection of machine heads. Other hardware and cases can be purchased at extra cost.
I take a deposit of £500. This will be non-refundable. The remaining sum would need to be paid two weeks prior to the start of the course. I currently only accept cash, cheque/postal order or bank transfer.
I can provide some information on local accommodation for those who would need to stay for the duration. I can usually recommend rooms to rent in family homes to keep accommodation costs down. Options will change according to the season, ie camping/caravan will be available in summer.
Please let me know if you are interested even if you can't make the dates advertised. I can occasionally change a date to suit all or even run an extra course when demand is high. Please feel free to ask any questions about the course. Email or give me a ring.
For anyone wanting to make a traditional Spanish Guitar, please click here and visit my good friend Stephen Hill in Spain. He has been running wonderful courses for many years and it is from him that I got the one month 'format' for my own courses.
I am no longer running evening classes as the month format is keeping me busy! Big thanks to all my evening class students over the last seven years!
Lou Glandfield playing the guitar he made on the evening course a couple of years back.
Kevin thicknessing his walnut back
Lou looking pleased with his rosette
Derek inlaying his rosette into a cedar top
Anthony midst a vetinary-like procedure!
Brendan cutting a fingerboard taper
Stewart marking out something but not sure what!
Carol chuffed with her rosette
Mark one step closer with his cherry mandolin.
Steve looking menacing!
Mark has finished - a cracking mandolin. Well done!
Stewart planing chamfers on a block
Derek pleased as punch with the final result. Made for his son's 21st.