Next seminar dates:  

From October 28th to November 1st., 2019

Available places remaining: 1

 

Are you ready to create, design, and build the electric guitar of your dreams?

Learn about the ancient art of guitar making, designing and building the instrument you always dreamt of.

I have put together a hands-on, intensive course on guitar making, in order to make that dream into a reality.

This is how it works:

Phase 1 – DESIGN

You start as soon as you want, drawing sketches of the instrument you would love to build.

Then, with my help, you will refine your concept: You will develop an electric guitar (or bass) working on the shape, the ergonomics, the materials, the aesthetics, the style, and the playability.

This usually takes 5 or 6 remote, one-on-one, 45-minutes sessions, which we will held via Skype, so it doesn’t matter where you live (we will speak in English, Spanish, or Italian).

You will base your design in a standard template, and put your creativity at play in order to come up with a beatiful design.

This process results in the complete blueprint and specifications of your own electric guitar. We will define each detail, even your logo!

Phase 2: CONSTRUCTION

You come to Berlin, one of the coolest cities in Europe. Together with me (and the other participants of the course—ideally no more than 6 people) you will build your actual guitar. You will learn about the tools, the techniques, and you will acquire the knowledge to make your next guitar by yourself.

The Eleventh Workshop on Guitar Design and Making will take place during the week from May 20th to May 24th – 2019.

We will only have five days to complete the instrument, so we will work with focus and resolve, following this timeline:

  • Day 1: Introductions. Presentation of the designs. Speech about safety (10 minutes). Body making. Body Finishing (part 1).
  • Day 2: Neck making. Neck finishing (part 1). Body finishing (part 2).
  • Day 3: Electronics. Neck finishing (part 2). Body finishing (part 3).
  • Day 4: Montage + Setup
  • Day 5: Final touches + sound test + photo session.

Type of guitar: Due to the time constrain, we need to avoid certain techniques take many hours (and even days) to be completed. This means: no binding, no tremolos, no carved tops (ergonomic bevels are okay), no unusual scales, no crazy electronics (unless you are already trained in guitar wiring). We will build a beautiful, but straightforward, solid-body electric guitar; it’s value will rest on the personality of your design, not in adornments or unnecessary complications.

Finishing: The finishing process is not included in this workshop. For that, you have two options.

1) To send the guitar to a professional finishing service (not included in the cost). I can recommend some for you, which charge fair prices (I am not commercially associeted to them, nor I receive any financial compensation from my recommendation).

2) To finish the guitar yourself back at home, using either Tru-Oil, or sprayed lacquer, following the instruction in my books. I can give you some tips regarding products and procedures, if needed.

 Requirements

No previous lutherie or woodworking experience is needed. Ideally, you must read my two books on the subject (you get a free copy when you sign up for the course).

However, there is one crucial requirement: that you strictly follow my indications in regard to safety. The process has been designed to be safe (we will use mostly hand tools, no chemicals, etc.) but nonetheless you will be required to sign a contract with a waving clause. We want you to travel back home with a beautiful guitar and all your fingers and eyes attached to where they belong, okay?

 

The workshop:

The construction sessions will take place in an authentic lutherie workshop (see pictures below). You don’t have to worry about tools, machines, or anything else. Everything is there, ready for work.

The workshop is located in Berlin, in the traditional neighborhood of Spandau, close to the famous Citadel (a fortress built in the 1500’s, and one of the best conserved in the world). Reaching the venue is easy from almost any part of the city, either by train or subway. The workshop is located at a 10-15 minutes walk from the Spandau station, an ideal opportunity to breath in the fresh air before the work starts. You are going to need it!

 

This is how an afternoon at the workshop looks like :)

 

Hours:

We will work on the week of the seminar from Monday to Friday— each day from 1pm to 7pm. This leaves you the mornings free, so you can have a relaxed breakfast and visit the city attractions (museums, historical places, etc.). After a full afternoon working on your guitar, you are ready for a shower, dinner, and the night-life of the city (although you will have to organize that part by yourself).

However, on Sunday evening before the seminar starts, you are invited to a homemade pizza night at my home, complemented with my wife’s world famous Tiramisu dessert :)  We will meet and greet, talk gutiars, show you a few of my instruments, and share a beer (or three).

 Cost:

The cost of the course is EUR 2,350 (plus additional VAT charges that apply to EU residents).

The fee includes:

  • All the materials. We will use only top quality, certified tonewood blanks in this project (for both the neck and the body). We use either red alder (for guitars that will be finished with solid colors later on), or a beautifully figured mahogany (for guitars that will be clear lacquered or oil finished later on).
  • All the tools. After the course you will take home the basic kit of tools you used, so you can start your own workshop: dragon files, soldering machine, etc.
  • All the hardware. We will use high quality Schaller parts (bridge, tuners, etc.), made in Germany.
  • All other parts. Pickguards, truss-rod covers, control cavity covers, pickup frames, plates, etc.
  • The electronics. Pots, caps, switches, wire, jack, solder…. Everything is taken care of.
  • A customized apron, the luthier’s uniform of choice.
  • Refreshments: There will be fresh coffee, tea, sodas, and something tasty to nibble in every session.
  • A ticket for the Holy Grail Guitar Show, if the dates apply. (Note: my seminar has no affiliation with the EGB or the HGGS).

Not included in the cost: The pickups. Since this is a very personal choice that regards the sound and character of your instrument, you will buy (at your cost) and bring the pickups yourself. You will receive my guidance on this too, of course.

Payment:

The payment is done in two parts. You pay 50% before the design phase, and 50% before the construction phase. Please note that the payment is strictly in advance (EUR 1,175.- before the beginning of each phase, plus applying VAT).

Payment methods: Bank transfer or PayPal. (Please note that I cannot accept cash, money transfers, checks, or credit cards—except via PayPal).

What do you get from this course?

You go back home with all of this:

  • A unique guitar or bass, made by yourself—your first instrument to show to the world.
  • The knowledge you need to build your next instruments, acquired under the guidance of a professional luthier, author, and guitar designer.
  • The basic tools you need to start your next project.
  • The fun of an unforgettable experience in one of the most vibrant cities in the world.

… All at the price of a good quality —but still conventional— guitar (i.e. your typical Fender or Gibson), bought over-the-counter at some music shop (yawn!).

(This is an example of a guitar designed and built by one of my students).

 

Things you must organize yourself:

  • Transport. You must arrange your ways to, from, and in Berlin. (I can help you choose the best ticket for you, like a weekly pass, etc.)
  • Lodging. You must book and pay for your lodging according to your preferences: hotel, hostel, Airbnb, a friend’s sofa, etc.  (I can help recommending a couple of places, or giving you feedback on your shortlist of options, if needed.)
  • Meals. However, the refreshments during the seminar’s hours and the dinner at my place are on me, of course.
  • Touristic attractions. I will do my best to satisfy every guitar-related question you might have, but I must defer the matter of touristic guidance to the specialists :)

 The next steps:

1) Contact me at info@lospennato.com, and let me know that you are interested in participating (no obligations at this point). You are automatically put on a waiting list until the first payment is made; only then you are confirmed as a participant. Please remember that I can only accommodate a limited number of participants, in order to closely follow everyone’s work.

2) We will plan a weekly design session via Skype. Usually 5 or 6 are enough, but we can meet as many times as necessary for you to complete your design (this is a key part of being able to build a guitar in one week).

3) Make the necessary reservations to come to Berlin. I suggest using AirBnb.com or Booking.com, where you can reserve many hotels and apartments  using a free-cancellation policy. (Tip: Take into account how easy would be to get from your hotel or apartment to S+U Rathaus Spandau station.)

Again, I wait for your message, questions, etc. at info@lospennato.com.

See you soon in Berlin!