Featured Seminars

Featured Seminars are offered by the Galloup School to both students and the general public. Bryan assembles events for continuing education as well as bringing in guests for workshops. Participants have been exposed to some truly world class players. These workshops give participants insight into what players want out of their instruments, another way to help them become more well rounded Luthiers.

The Northwoods Seminar

The Northwoods Seminar has proven to be one of the most significant training events in modern Lutherie. The original idea was to bring in guest instructors and offer a four day event in the same setting as the Galloup School of Guitar Making and Repair but make it open to the public. This format, when coupled with Dan Erlewine’s ability to attract the best instructors on the world, proved to be a winning combination.

As it turns out, the Northwoods Seminar gathered into one spot information on guitar repair and restoration the likes of which had not been seen before. This event created a ripple in the guitar repair community that ultimately changed the face of Lutherie forever.    

In the Beginning

Northwoods Seminar – 1996

1996

1996 was the first year for the Northwoods Seminar and it ended up being a huge success. We had an international base of instructors coming from as far away as Japan and Paracho Mexico. The instructors were world class but one thing to note about this photo; the participants who attended this event ended up being some of modern Luthiers most prominent movers and shakers.

The 1996 instructor list included;

Lindy Fralin, Abel Garcia, Yasuhiko Iwanade, Naoki Ogane, Joe Konkoly, Dan Erlewine, Seymour Duncan, Jeff Traugott, Bryan Galloup, Don MacRostie, Frank Ford, Roger Fritz, Steve Uhrik and Tim Scheerhorn.

Northwoods Seminar – 1997

1997 Northwoods Seminar Group Photo

A Sign That Something’s Right

The first Northwoods was nothing more than Dan putting together a list of key people he thought would be good instructors then Susan and I reaching out to see if the interest was there. That was certainly the toughest seminar but as I recall, it was also a lot of fun, uncertainty and all. We learned a lot from that 1996 Northwoods and afterwards we looked at each other and said, “let’s try that again”. The template was in place and we knew the interest was there since that first group kept saying, “If you do this again, count me in”, so we did.

Not only did we do it again, we did it bigger. The second Northwoods had 30% more openings for students and an instructor list that doubled yet it still booked full in about the same time frame as the first. As I recall this Northwoods was magic. The instructors who demonstrated were not only the best in the world, many became the future movers and shakers in the industry largely in part to the Northwoods Seminar. Furthermore the quality of players at this particular seminar was incredible making for a great Saturday night jam at the Sawmill Saloon.    

Northwoods Seminar – 1998

1998

A Life Of Its Own

Dan, Susan and I were having so much fun getting our friends together and doing what we loved that we decided to keep it going. As I recall it was actually Dan who was the biggest advocate for keeping the ball rolling. The surge of inquiries from people wanting to know if we were going to do another event grew to the point, they wanted to pre-pay to hold a spot. This gave us the security of having a pre-seminar budget; a luxury we did not have with the previous two events.

We made the announcement and the bookings maxed out in two weeks. Even the instructors were throwing their hat into the ring to be a part of the event. The cool thing was, the instructors were donating their time. The event covered their air fare, food, lodging and a little something extra (beer money I think) but that was it. The word was out; The Northwoods Seminar was the place to be for learning and sharing all things about guitar repair and restoration and they wanted to be a part of it.

Northwoods Seminar 1999

1999

A Well Oiled Machine

The 1999 Northwoods event was the last year before Susan and I moved our shop into a new facility. We decided to take one year off to make sure the move was complete before taking on another project.  Little did we know that one year break would turn into a 15 year stretch but that’s how things go when you’re running a business, you blink and 10 years vanish.

Nevertheless, this event was the largest of the three and thanks to Dan, the photo was shot in living color. Just like the previous events the quality of the presenters and participants were the best our industry had to offer. A key thing to note about these photos; the people in them were not only the best in the industry, many of the people paying to attend became the next generation of industry leaders. This is why the Northwoods Seminar was so important and significant to our craft, it was a major contributor in molding the future of guitar repair, maintenance and restoration.    

Northwoods Seminar – 2013

2013 Northwoods Seminar

The final instructor list was as follows;

The 2013 Northwood’s Seminar was the first after that fifteen year break and within 30 days of open enrollment the books were closed. The instructor list included key persons that were part of the earlier seminars but it also included people that were students at the earlier seminars who were now stepping up to the plate as presenters themselves.

This was a sign that the Northwood’s from the 1990’s had done its job and inspired a new generation of craftsmen carrying on the tradition of Lutherie. This was a testament to the Northwood’s Seminar itself and how important it was and still is to encourage gatherings such as this to share and promote our profession.

The final instructor list was; David Collins; running a repair shop – Tim Scheerhorn; resonator set up and construction – Charles Fox; setting up a small shop – Link Van Cleave; tool sharpening – Even Gluck; philosophy of customers – Michi Matsuda; custom guitar design – Doug & Jamie Aulson; the future of inlay – Jason Lollar; pickup winding – David Wren; acoustic guitar making – TJ Thompson; Martin guitar repairs – Tom Crandall; vintage guitar repair – Tom Ribbecke; modern arch top guitar design – Julius Borges; guitar design – Mike Kemnitzer; mandolin making and repair – Tom Murphy; guitar refinishing – Chris Herrod; tone woods – Erick Coleman; vintage guitar repair. And the nightly music was; Peter Mulvey & Ralston Bowles, Kinloch Nelson, Fareed Haque & Cristan Galvez and of course the Saturday Sawmill Saloon open jam.   

This lineup was without a doubt a solid group that when finished we realized we had pulled off a great event accost the board. We already had our sights set on 2016.  

Northwoods Seminar 2014

2014 Northwoods Seminar

Northwoods Seminar 2015

2015 Northwoods Seminar

The final instructor list was; David Collins; running a repair shop – Tim Scheerhorn; resonator set up and construction – Charles Fox; setting up a small shop – Link Van Cleave; tool sharpening – Even Gluck; philosophy of customers – Michi Matsuda; custom guitar design – Doug & Jamie Aulson; the future of inlay – Jason Lollar; pickup winding – David Wren; acoustic guitar making – TJ Thompson; Martin guitar repairs – Tom Crandall; vintage guitar repair – Tom Ribbecke; modern arch top guitar design – Julius Borges; guitar design – Mike Kemnitzer; mandolin making and repair – Tom Murphy; guitar refinishing – Chris Herrod; tone woods – Erick Coleman; vintage guitar repair. And the nightly music was; Peter Mulvey & Ralston Bowles, Kinloch Nelson, Fareed Haque & Cristan Galvez and of course the Saturday Sawmill Saloon open jam.   

Northwoods Seminar – 2017

2017 Northwoods Seminar

The 2017 Northwoods Seminar was the largest sessions we had. Within one month of opening the books we had to shut it down due to over enrollment and it didn’t seem to matter who the instructors were going to be, students were coming no matter what. Dan reach out to people he knew that included Bob Taylor, Ian Davlin, Tim Frick and I contacted all of the friends I had made over the years going to guitar shows.

The final instructor list was; Mamie Minch; Repairs and Restorations – Jeff Jewitt; Finishing, supplies, spray guns and application – Jim Baggett; Repairs and restorations – Ian Davlin; New neck reset method, and vintage touch up – Tim Frick; Hand tools for building and repair – Richard Hoover; Detailing setup for Santa Cruz guitars – Eric Coleman; Do’s and don’ts of vintage instrument repair – Bob Taylor; The future of tone woods – Damon Mailand; Arch Top guitar making – Gary Brower; Guitar Electronics – Joe Glaser; Repair shop software for the modern shop – Paul Heumiller; Customer relations – Dick Boak; Four decades of Martin guitars and future goals – Michael Gurian; The man who supplied an industry – Rodger Fritz; Breathing new life into Kay guitars – Bryan Galloup; Tone wood management – Galloup Guitars; CNC for the small shop – Sam Guidry; Acoustic instrument voicing

Needless to say this was the who’s, who in the industry. Furthermore, the nightly dinner music was incredible. As with the last two Northwood’s the budget allowed funds to have after dinner entertainment and it was incredible.

Master Series Workshops – Bass Guitar

Steve Bailey And Victor Wooten

The Galloup team and Dr. Edward Mallett collaborated to bring Steve and Victor to the Big Rapids area for a two show series and a workshop at Galloup Guitars, a workshop that was free to the Galloup School students.

Master Series Workshops – Custom Guitar Making

Dan Erlewine

In the early 70’s Dan Erlewine built the iconic blues guitarist Albert King a custom left handed “V” that Albert played for the rest of his life. Pictured here you can see Dan giving a workshop discussing the “V” guitar and what the process was like working on such a project.

Bryan and Dan still find ways to stay in touch and work together. A while back, Dan and Bryan decided to re-issue the Flying V and recently Dan came to town to nail down the final details.

In the photo above, several sections of the original wood used in Albert’s Guitar are evident. This wood is being used in the current V Project so nine lucky people will be able to say; “I have a “V” made from the same wood that Albert King’s was made from”.

Master Series Workshops – Jazz Guitar

Fareed Haque


Fareed is a treasure who is as well rounded of a player that you will ever find, in fact, in 2009 he was voted “Best World Guitarist” by Guitar Player Magazine’s Readers Choice Awards. He has made time to perform in Big Rapids and his shows have included a Jazz Fusion group from Chicago as well as players from out of the country. Fareed always makes the time to talk with Galloup students about topics from playing to guitar set up. He is certainly a popular guest of the Galloup team and students.

Fareed and Bryan have worked together several times over the past few years collaborating on custom guitar designs that ultimately turned out some spectacular instruments.

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If you have any questions, or would like more information about the Galloup School, please email school@galloupguitars.com.