Journeyman Program

Two Months (320 hours)

The Journeyman Program can be viewed as a standalone program covering Level One guitar construction and repairs, or as the foundation for the Technician, Master and Graduate programs. You will focus on the most relevant issues you will encounter on a daily basis and the custom builds are electives so you can best-lay the foundation for your career.

My Journeyman Program teaches you the baseline skills that will lay the foundation for your career as a practicing journeyman Luthier. -Bryan-

Guitar Repair Classes

To ensure your success you will need to generate a positive cash flow. One of the fastest ways to do so is through repairs and restorations. My repair session covers the most requested and best money making topics.

Repairs: Session One

Fretting – 8 hrs First you’ll focus on fretting techniques and be introduced to the fret jig. This valuable tool simulates string tension on an unstrung guitar to allow for faster, more accurate fretwork.

Topics covered: truss rod designs flattening fret boards re-fretting compression fretting hammer-in fretting gluing in frets routing fret slots dressing frets adjusting truss rods repairing loose frets fretwire selection

Repairs: Session Two

Finishing Techniques – 2 hrs In repair work, it’s important to be able to refinish both electrics and acoustics. You’ll learn the finishing techniques used by the manufacturers plus the necessary woodworking skills to restore damaged guitars.

Topics covered: repairing dents – finish sanding – applying wood fillers – spraying custom colors – spraying sunburst – metal flake finishes – wet sanding – buffing

Repairs: Session Three

Acoustic Repairs – 10 hrs Many repair people acquired their skills on electrics, but neglected the acoustic market because acoustic repairs are more advanced. Here, we will focus in-depth on acoustic guitars and their unique problems.

Topics covered: neck resets – bridge re-glues – repairing cracks – humidity issues – re-gluing loose braces – repairing bridge plates

Repairs: Session Four

Setup and Maintenance – 10 hrs Two of the most useful and challenging subjects of the program. Every repair job requires some amount of setup to enhance or maintain top performance.

Topics covered: trouble shooting before set up – neck evaluation – adjusting action – making bone nuts – back filing nuts and bridges – setting pickup height and intonation- replacing intonation saddles – identifying fretboard radius – floating tremolos – locking nuts – proper string gauge – fitting bridge pins – making/replacing bridge saddles – compensated saddles

Repairs: Session Five

Repairs and the modern guitar – 10 hrs With the implementation of CNC and robotics the style of guitar making has changed. In addition to understand vintage repairs you will need to be up-to-date on these modern guitar making methods.

Topics covered: Taylor style repairs, Martin style repairs, Gibson style repairs, repairing imports, what to stay away from and what should be repair or replace.

Business and Marketing

Business: Session One – 2 hrs Many luthiers are great in a shop, but handling the basics of everyday business is not on their radar. For this reason, Bryan developed three classes which parallel the Journeyman, Technician and Master Programs to assist students in making the transition.   

Guitar Making: Level One

It’s time to decide what area of guitar building best fits your business plan. To achieve this, two “ground up” build options are offered–either an electric, or an acoustic. The acoustic guitar teaches students what it takes to make a quality instrument and what the modern acoustic guitar market is looking for. The electric guitar uses an easy template system, custom designed for the small-production shop. Once completed, you will have the ability to setup small production runs, making it possible to start your own line of guitars.

AG-1 Steel String Acoustic

We will lead you step-by-step through the building process to give you a real understanding of acoustic guitar design. Upon completion, you’ll have hand-built a flat top acoustic guitar that serves as an excellent way to introduce yourself to potential employers and customers.

Level One: Option One

Steel String Acoustic

We will lead you step-by-step through the building process to give you a real understanding of acoustic guitar design. Upon completion, you’ll have hand-built a flat top acoustic guitar that serves as an excellent way to introduce yourself to potential employers and customers.

Acoustic Guitar Body – 80 hrs
The heart of the acoustic guitar is the body. The tonal quality of the finished instrument reflects wood choices, bracing patterns and body styles. All of these elements will affect clarity, balance, projection, warmth and overall tonal character.

Topics covered: Layout and design - wood selection - top sets - back and sides - plat joining - thickness sanding - bending sides - cutting rosette - cutting sound hole - fitting to mold - parabolic sanding - fitting kerfing - side braces - scalloping back braces - scalloping top braces - assembling body - binding and perflings

Acoustic Neck – 40 hrs

Players are very particular about the neck styles they play. In many cases, the neck's feel and contour are the first thing players consider when purchasing a guitar. We’ll look at how the neck affects the tone, feel, and playability of the guitar.

Topics covered: scale lengths - making a fretboard - peghead designs - overlays - tuner layout - truss rod installation - gluing on fretboard - carving necks - setting necks - fretboard markers - leveling fretboards - fretting - side markers - peghead inlays - heel cap

Acoustic Finish – 40 hrs

Bryan has spent years perfecting acoustic guitar finishes. The methods taught at the Galloup School are systematically perfected operations that will deliver a finish that gives the best tone without sacrificing wood protection.

Topics covered: finish sanding - masking techniques - spray gun operations - wash coats - fillers - clear coats - wet sanding - buffing

Acoustic Setup and Assembly – 40 hrs Final setup and assembly are the means to well-balanced tone and great playability. Most people consider these to be the most challenging aspects of the course.

Topics covered: final neck set - bridge layout - gluing bridges - tuner installation - fitting bridge pins - leveling fretboards - fretting - fret dressing - bone nut - bone saddle - final setup - final buff and polish.

Tone Wood Upgrades

For the Level one Acoustic, as with all of our Galloup School class projects, we offer premium tone wood upgrades upon request. Please call for availability and pricing.    

Voicing: Level One

Principles of Instrument Design – 6 hrs What separates the Galloup School is the ability to teach instrument voicing and design unlike any other guitar making school in the world. The methods taught have been divided into Levels to assure each student has the ability to comprehend the topic as their luthier skills advance. Bryan’s system is easy to understand and easy to apply, putting you on the path to developing you own tone.    

Topics covered: how sound works – compressions and refraction -human hearing range – guitar body functions – physics of vibrations – fundamentals and harmonics – what are resonances – Helmholtz resonators – tap tones – material selections – bracing – brace voicing – body geometry – porting alterations – plate resonances


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