Link to Minnesota State College Southeast Technical Musical Instrument Repair and Construction - SE Technical College  - Red Wing, Minnesota  

Guitar Construction

First Year Program

In the Acoustic Guitar Construction course, first year students build a steel string acoustic guitar. Each of the fall semester courses is a step towards the opportunity to make your own acoustic guitar by hand, from scratch. Students who complete the fall prerequisites start building their own acoustic guitar in the spring semester.

Based on the work completed in Guitar Acoustics, students will have selected the tone woods, bracing pattern, neck dimensions and design elements for their own guitar. They have four body styles to choose from with two bracing and scale length options for each body style.

Students also personalize their instrument by choosing from options for many of the design elements of their guitar, such as wood selection, rosette, headstock shape, neck size, and binding.

Once the instrument is built there has to be a way to protect it as well as enhance the appearance. The Finish Work class will prepare the student in the different aspects of applying a fine wood finish. Touch-up techniques used in building and repair work are also practiced hands on, in the shop.

Electric guitar construction is an optional class that is also offered, but not required, for for first year guitar students.

Second Year Program

In the second year, Guitar Development and Production program students have the opportunity to build more complex archtop guitars and F-model mandolins. Computer aided design and CNC technology play a part in the design and building process. The students implement advanced guitar inlay and finishing techniques in their second year projects.


Acoustic guitar construction
Checking the neck angle during the construction process