Introduction to Guitar Making (short course)

Add to my prospectus Why study this course? More about this course Our teaching plans for autumn 2021 Who's this course for Course structure What our students say How to apply

Why study this course?

Learn the art of guitar making. For complete beginners, the initial series of sessions concentrates on sharpening and hand-tool techniques, and applying these skills to guitar neck construction and soundboard, ribs and back preparation, ready for the instrument to be constructed in subsequent classes.

More about this course

On this course you will get the opportunity to learn through engagement with practical projects in the workshop. At the end of this module you will have completed a substantial piece of work in the form of a guitar neck. You will also be introduced to the working practices of project work.

This course is usually studied as an introductory course, with a view to completing your guitar in subsequent sessions in our intermediate and advanced level courses. It can, however, be taken as a standalone course to introduce you to basic musical instrument wood working techniques.

The course aims are:

  • to provide you with the basic experience and skills sufficient to enable you to work independently towards completion of your chosen project
  • to increase your understanding of practice through learning with other students
  • to integrate creative, technical and critical learning and skills in your field of practice

Course content:

Every student works at a different pace, but with prior woodwork experience and regular attendance, it is possible to make a full guitar by attending all three levels (Introduction to Advanced) of the Guitar Making courses. However, some inexperienced students can take two or even three years to complete an instrument.

These courses aim to give you the opportunity to:

  • acquire the skills and techniques necessary to be competent in guitar making
  • undertake hands-on practical sessions to create the finished product
  • build upon previous knowledge

Learning outcomes:

On completion of this course, you should be able to demonstrate:

  • the ability to work independently towards defined objectives
  • the ability to work and learn with other students, for example by asking for and using constructive criticism
  • the skills of integrating creative, technical and critical learning
  • a basic level of skills and understanding of musical instrument woodworking practice

Fees and key information

Course type
Short Course
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Our teaching plans for autumn 2021

We are planning to return to our usual ways of teaching this autumn including on-campus activities for your course. However, it's still unclear what the government requirements on social distancing and other restrictions might be, so please keep an eye on our Covid-19 pages for further updates as we get closer to the start of the autumn term.

Who's this course for?

This course is aimed at anyone who wishes to learn how to make an acoustic guitar using hand tools. It is not necessary to have previous musical instrument making or wood working experience. This course welcomes both the more experienced wood worker and the complete beginner. Ultimately what is essential is the desire to learn the skills to be able to build your own guitar by hand.

Course structure

  • Looking at the history of guitar designs and their evolution
  • Choose a model to base your guitar on
  • Introduction to sharpening edge tools: plane irons and chisels
  • Planing technique
  • Squaring and proportioning a neck blank
  • Laying out the dimensions of the neck
  • Constructing a scarf joined headstock and stacked heel (or Spanish foot for that type of guitar)
  • If making a traditional Spanish guitar then making a work board (solera)
  • If a steel string guitar then a mould will be available for use
  • Select appropriate tone wood
  • Join soundboard and back, thickness to final dimensions

What our students say

"Amazing experience at the School of Art, Architecture and Design. Nick Pyall has a wealth of experience and is open to any quirky idea that you throw at him. He is one of the best and most inspiring tutors I have had as a student and this just adds up to a wonderful course."

"The course was excellent. I was impressed by how much of it is done by hand and I truly felt I was getting a thorough learning experience. We had an excellent teacher."

"The course was very informative and enjoyable. A very pleasant atmosphere."

"The experience and patience of the tutor was of great help to me as I was coming from a basic level of knowledge of woodworking principles. I feel I've learned a great deal in a short amount of time and am looking forward to taking that new-found knowledge and confidence further with the next level of the course."

"Our tutor was great. He instructed when needed and he left us alone to enjoy the process. His attention to safety was also very good. He created a safe and enjoyable environment. I learned a lot about tools and almost finished a neck."

Course dates

Course dates Course postponed until further notice
Length One afternoon a week for ten sessions
Day and time Friday, 2pm to 5pm
Maximum class size 12
Contact hours 30


A 20% discount is available for:

  • those who are registered as unemployed and in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit.
  • those whose sole or main income is a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) state retirement pension
  • those who are registered as disabled and in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • full-time and part-time UK students on credit-bearing courses
  • London Metropolitan University students on year-long day courses
  • London Metropolitan University alumni members
  • London Metropolitan University staff

If you're eligible for the 20% discount, please contact us before booking.

What's included in the price?

In addition to the course fee there will be a charge of £10 to £15 for materials.

Terms and conditions

Please read our terms and conditions before booking.

How to apply

Booking for this course isn't open at this time as the dates of the next intake are not yet confirmed. Please get in touch for further information or register your interest to receive notification as soon as booking opens.