In January 2017 we will be holding our next guitar making course in downtown Wellington, New Zealand. This is New Zealand’s original guitar building course (since 2001) and there is normally room for around fourteen people on the three week course. These courses are run every two years and so far they have been attended by more than a hundred would-be guitar makers, who have walked away strumming their own steel string or classical guitars.
The course is run by myself and Canadian guitar maker David Freeman. of Timeless Instruments, in Saskatchewan. The mass guitar building takes place in the Wellington High School’s woodwork rooms, which are large, modern, well ventilated and full of natural light. They are also quite close to the capital’s downtown, so there are plenty of backpacker lodges and hostels in the vicinity.
David Freeman has been teaching guitar making in Canada for thirty plus years and hundreds of his former students are now making instruments in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Top quality engleman and sitka spruce, cedar, rosewood and mahogany is provided to make the guitars in Wellington, so don’t expect to see any plywood or cheap short cut materials. We also use a durable satin laquer finish on the completed guitars, applied in a spray booth.
Students come from all walks of life, and in the past have included doctors, university students, musicians, industrial designers, trades people, police personel, and some who have never used woodworking tools before. Limited woodwork experience is no obstacle as the course is designed to take construction one step at a time with instruction on how to use the relevant tools included. Both David and myself are on hand at all times to provide assistance.
We ensure that everyone finishes their guitar and leaves with a good sounding instrument, regardless of their level of skill.
The course is held in the first three weeks of January, and requires attendance six days a week, ten hours a day. You only need to bring your willingness to learn, a notebook and a coffee cup. Materials are top quality, as used in the Taylor or Martin factories. For people wanting to build in rosewood and spruce the cost is $3180 NZ and it’s $3050 to build in spruce and mahogany.