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Full Guitar Repair School Course, ESFIR Curriculum Outline | Luthier School

Week One
Student Orientation

Week Two
Basic Guitar Evaluation

The purpose of this instructional block is to introduce the luthier school student to the various concepts concerning the dynamics and physical characteristics of electric, acoustic, and bass guitars via live demonstrations and extensive hands-on evaluations.

Week Three
Basic Acoustic Guitar Set-ups

This instructional block is a discussion and hands-on demonstration of the basic techniques and specifications that make up a complete acoustic guitar set-up. This instructional block builds upon and utilizes all aspects of basic guitar evaluation (Week Two).

Week Four
Acoustic Set-ups Continued – Bridge Doctors

This instructional block continues the instruction in the proper set-up of acoustic guitars. Also demonstrated are the various methods of repairing headstock tuning gears of various types. A demonstration and explanation of the use of “Bridge Doctors” and their effect on guitar tops is part of this instructional block. Luthier students will install a Bridge Doctor themselves as part of this section.

Week Five
Bolt-on Electric Guitar Set-up

This instructional block demonstrates the proper techniques and skills needed to properly set-up various types of electric guitars with a focus on the relationship between pick-ups and proper string height relative to a correct set-up and relief specs.

Week Six
Bolt-on Electric Guitar Set-up/Introduction to Basic Wiring

This instructional block is a continuation of the various techniques, specifications, and skill sets necessary to execute a proper electric guitar set-up. As part of this instructional block luthier students will be introduced to basic wiring techniques and soldering techniques necessary to perform simple repairs to loose and broken wires.

Week Seven
Set Neck Electric Guitars and Bass Guitar Set-ups

This instructional block will include discussion and practical evaluation techniques relative to both glue-in necks and through neck electric guitars. Students will be taught specific structural issues and common problems concerning this type of guitar. This is a one day instructional block.

Bass guitar set-ups will be discussed, demonstrated, and students will be taught various specific issues concerning electric bass guitars. This is a four day instructional block.

Week Eight
Floyd Rose Style Locking Systems

This instructional block will discuss the system dynamics and specific physical breakdown of the system components of various Floyd Rose bridges.

Week Nine
Nuts and Saddles

This is a three week instructional block covering design and construction of all types of electric, acoustic, and bass guitar nuts and acoustic guitar saddles. Students will observe a live demonstration of the construction of each of the above listed components and will be required to take detailed notes, including a step-by-step process for the construction of both nuts and saddles. Luthier school students will then make nuts and saddles using their notes and step-by-step written instructions.

Week Ten
Nuts and Saddles (cont.)

Practical application.
Students will continue to practice building nuts and saddles.

Week Eleven
Nuts and Saddles (cont.)

Practical application.
Luthier students will continue to practice building nuts and saddles.

Week Twelve
Guitar Electronics/Wiring

This instructional block is an in-depth discussion, demonstration, and practical application in all aspects of electronic repairs of all types of components used is electric guitar/basses. Subject areas covered are:

  • Basic Wiring Diagrams
  • Wire
  • Pots
  • Jacks
  • Switches
  • Pickups
  • Miscellaneous

Week Thirteen
Guitar Electronics and Wiring (cont.)

Discussion and demonstration of active electronics for electric guitar
Discussion and demonstration of arch top electronics

Week Fourteen
Arch Top Guitar Set-ups/Introduction to Fret Dressing

This instructional block will include discussion and demonstration of proper set-up techniques for arch top and semi-hollow body guitars. This will be a two day instructional block.

Fret Dressing

This instructional block will include a discussion of advanced neck dynamics including physical characteristics of various neck woods and the attendant problems concerning them. Basic approach in use of fret leveling files/crowning files and polishing and finishing techniques for both frets and fingerboards will also be demonstrated.

Luthier school students will be required to demonstrate their ability to use all tools correctly to achieve an acceptable final product.

Week Fifteen
Fret Dressing (cont.)

Practical application of various fret dressing styles and techniques

Week Sixteen
Refretting Guitar and Bass Necks

This instructional block will demonstrate various styles and types of refretting techniques and will include both demonstrations and video instruction on refretting techniques of vintage guitars.

Week Seventeen
Refretting Guitar and Bass Necks (cont.)

Practical application and practice of various refretting techniques

Week Eighteen
Refretting (cont.)

Practical application and practice of various refretting techniques

Week Nineteen
Basic Crack Repair Techniques

This instructional block will discuss and demonstrate basic crack repairs using both traditional wood glue and modern super glue techniques, including basic wood patch construction and application techniques. Polishing techniques will also be demonstrated using standard polish compounds and both hand and machine polishing wheels.

Week Twenty
Basic Crack Repair (cont.)/Student Make-up

Basic crack repair, continuing practical application
This is a two day instructional block

Student Make-up Testing

Luthier students will be allowed to attempt to successfully demonstrate any skill sets they had previously failed to demonstrate correctly during previous instructional blocks.