top of page

6-Month 'Advanced' Guitar Building Course

Updated: Dec 21, 2023

A Fully Immersive, Advanced Guitar Building Course

Thank you for your interest in our lutherie school’s 6-month Advanced Guitar Building Program.

Expanding on the 3-month ‘Comprehensive’ program, students will further immerse themselves into the art of guitar building by fine-tuning their skills with greater focus and attention to smaller design details and embellishments. Veneering, inlay and introductory CNC design and milling are just a few of the additional topics covered in this course.

This is the ideal program for students interested in understanding the entire guitar building process from conception to completion or for the aspiring luthier interested in getting up and running in their own shop with a view to customize and automate some of the guitar building tasks. On average, students tend to build three to five guitars during this course.

For course details and answers to common questions, continue reading…

Michael Whitney | Luthier, Instructor

spindle sanding guitar neck

What can I Expect from your 63-Month 'Advanced' Guitar Building Course?

Students enrolled in this course will taken an immersive ‘deep dive’ into guitar building and acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to build their very own electric and acoustic guitar(s) from the ground up.

Unlike the shorter 1-Week Electric Guitar Building Course and the 3-week Acoustic Guitar Building Course, this course includes the fabrication of all molds and templates required so that students gain a thorough understanding of guitar building from blueprinting to assembly.

Students can expect to complete the course with a finished Telecaster-style or Strat-style guitar, an OM acoustic, a Dreadnought guitar, a carved top LP-style guitar and time permitting, a guitar of their own design for the final project.

Little-to-no experience with power tools? No problem. I take a ground-up approach with all of my students and build upon more basic tasks. This fosters the confidence and skillsets that students require to complete any shop task be it in my shop, or in their own.

*NOTE: While previous tool use is not mandatory, it is an asset in the course. A minimum of grade ten math is mandatory.

Course Snapshot

Below is a loose walk-thru of what to expect during the three-month ‘complete’ guitar building course.


TELECASTER BUILD: Students will begin their learning with discussions on scale-length and move into blueprinting and layout using traditional drafting techniques. From here, we move into precise template building to develop hand-eye skills and explore neck faceting and ‘dummy carves’ before creating our finished body and neck. Finishing, assembly, fret-work and a setup will complete this build.


OM ACOUSTIC BUILD: Students will work from a shop blueprint and develop their own templates from which to construct their own acoustic guitar. Milling and prepping stock, bending sides, preparing the rim, installing kerfing, final rim profiling to receive the plates, establishing correct neck geometry, building the bridge, neck carving and so forth will all be covered in great detail. The build is completed with fretwork, finishing and setup work.


DREADNOUGHT BUILD: At this phase of the course, students become more independent as they embark on their second acoustic guitar. CAD and CAM training will be introduced to expose students to automation and incorporating modern technologies into their workflow (if interested).


CARVED TOP LP-STYLE GUITAR: During the final months of the course, students will further add to their skillsets with hand-carving techniques to create this American icon! Advanced wiring, assembly and finishing processes are further refined.


FINAL PROJECT: At this point in the course, students are free to implement all of the knowledge they have amassed to date to design and build their own custom guitar!

Note: Due to individual learning styles and pace, not all students will complete the final guitar within the three month course window but will have amassed the skills necessary to complete the final project on their own.


Student Spotlight


I recently finished the guitar building course at Whitney Guitars and I have to say it was an amazing experience. I’m now at home and have the knowledge and confidence to set up my own shop and start building guitars. Mike is an awesome teacher. -Elliott Wooding, Gibsons BC Canada


6-Month 'Advanced' Guitar Building Course Details

Certificate Program Yes

Course Type On-site; hands-on; one-on-one.

Style Fender-style or Tele-style; Parlor, OM, Dreadnought or Selmer-style; Guitar of choice

SOUNDBOARD Sitka Spruce, Engelmann Spruce, or Cedar

Body Wood Mahogany, Rosewood or Walnut.

Neck Wood Mahogany / Maple

Nut Bone or Corian

Fretboard Ebony, Rosewood, Maple

Finish Hand-rubbed (*Add-on - Emtech Water-based Lacquer)

Course Duration 6-Months

Hours 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Deposit $600 (includes $100 registration fee)

We ask that you review our School Policies before registering.

Frequently Asked Questions

What coures dates are available?

As we are a working shop, much of our calendar year is reserved for custom guitar commissions. With only a portion of the year being allocated to teaching, course dates vary from year-to-year. Be sure to view our specific courses for the next available dates.

Please not that we operate on a first-come-first-serve basis and recommend that those interested register as far in advance as possible. Requested course dates will be taken into consideration but are not guaranteed. Registrants may submit their course deposit to secure their spot in our calendar. All courses require a $600 deposit which includes a $100 non-refundable administration fee. Please see our ‘Registration and Payment Policies‘ before applying.

How do I submit my deposit?

Do you provide accomodations?

Can I go on a wait-list for your next course?

Do I need to bring anything with me for the course?

Do I get to apply finish to my guitar?

Do I require my own hardware? What is included?

I still have questions. Can you help?

48 views0 comments


bottom of page