Acoustic guitar-making lessons

A new testimonial from Andy Woodham
Russ makes guitars – very good guitars. No, that is not enough. Russ creates guitars which are works of art. In the two weeks of the course, one cannot hope to absorb all the skills needed, learn the judgements to be made or find the finely balanced compromises to make a great guitar. Nevertheless, I left with a guitar, which, while I could never claim to have made it myself, I feel I totally own, having had such an intimate relationship with its construction. Russ involved me where he could and politely suggested he progress the work when the master touch would improve matters, while never making me feel inadequate to the task. What I learned about the purpose and properties of every tiny part of a guitar, the techniques for optimising every aspect of its playability and acoustic characteristics and the patience and skill required to put all these together will enable me to bore my friends and family for many years to come.
It is frequently said that the best teachers are those that have great enthusiasm for their subject and Russ has a passion for guitars and the building of guitars (and lots of other instruments as well). I left feeling I had had a glimpse into the arcane world of the luthier, and I wanted a part of it.
I was given this course as a birthday present from my wife and family and I can honestly say it is just about the best present I have ever had – the most interesting of experiences and the finest of guitars to take away with me.

A testimonial from Paul Morfey
The art of playing guitar is one that many endeavour to achieve, and few reach their full potential. The art of making a guitar is one that few even contemplate, let alone achieve. With the help of this guitar making course, constructing a guitar is achievable.
This course demonstrates the skills and expertise needed that will allow you to build a bespoke guitar. Although I may never go on to build another guitar using the skills shown to me on the course, it has given me a true insight into guitar building, and has allowed me to really appreciate the guitar I came away with.
The guitar looks and sounds great, and will inspire me to continue to improve my acoustic guitar playing abilities.

A testimonial about the course from satisfied customer Rod Lewis
‘Having only minute experience of woodworking and regarding incompetence as a distant aspiration, I was both wary and excited when I entered Russ’s workshop. Two weeks later I have learned a lot, extended my skill set and am the very proud owner of a beautiful and great sounding instrument, which will only get better as it matures.
Russ made sure I did as much as I could and way more than I imagined, while stepping in to keep the project on track and ensure a high quality end product. Worth every penny and a lot of fun!’

I am giving acoustic guitar making lessons on a 1-to-1 personal basis. At the end of the course you’ll have a completed, playable, solid-timbered acoustic guitar. Some carpentry / craft skills would be useful, but not vital. What you must have is an ability to concentrate on the work and follow instructions carefully. This should enable you to complete your guitar within a sensible time frame.

Your guitar will be comparable to many high-end factory guitars. The completed instrument will be unvarnished, but some guidance will be given so that you can varnish it at your leisure later on.

Though you will be building from a kit, instruction will be given on building from scratch during the course. Building from a kit brings down the time needed to complete the guitar, thereby saving on accommodation costs – building from scratch would more than double the time needed in the workshop to finish one guitar.

Bringing a camera to the course would be helpful if you decided to build from scratch later, as you will be able to photograph the various jigs etc. I use when scratch building. A non-refundable deposit of £600 is needed to cover the cost of the guitar kit for the course.

Price of the course – £2600.
This includes the cost of the kit and all tuition.

Course length – 2 weeks, Monday to Friday

Email if you might be interested in this course – there’s no obligation regarding taking the course if you do get in touch. I’ll be happy to pass on any more information you might require. It may be possible to arrange courses to be split up to accommodate travel/holiday slots – please ask.