Journeyman Program

Two Months (320 hours)

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

The Foundation

Our Journeyman Program establishes a path for understanding what is expected from a baseline practicing Luthier. Between repair and building classes, many of the most relevant topics are addressed that will lay a foundation for a future in Lutherie.

Guitar Repair Classes

You will need to generate a positive cash flow and one of the fastest ways is with repairs, set ups, and restorations. These repair sessions cover the most requested and best money-making topics that will continue throughout your training in unison with your class projects. By visiting and revisiting these topics, a base for a solid understanding should be established.

Class Topics

Fretting: Truss rod designs and adjustments – fret board leveling – fret slot routing – fretting and re-fretting  compression fretting  arbor press fretting – hammer in fretting  gluing in frets  fret dressing  loose fret end repairs  fret wire selections – bound necks – non-adjustable truss rod issues – inlay issues.

Acoustic Repairs: Bridge re-glues – crack repairs – humidity issues – loose brace repairs – bridge plate repairs – vintage style neck resets – modern style neck resets – binding repairs – peghead repairs – pick up installation – acoustic guitar electronics.

Setup and Maintenance: Troubleshooting – neck evaluation – action adjustments – making bone nuts and saddles – back-filing nuts and bridges – setting pickup height – intonation adjustments – replacing intonation saddles – identifying fret board radius – floating tremolos and locking nuts – proper string gauge selection – fitting bridge pins – compensated acoustic guitar saddles – classical guitar considerations – cleaning hardware – fret board cleaning – fret board conditioning – stringing and restringing – tuner maintenance – strap button installations.

Finish repairs: Conversion varnish finishes – shellac finishes – nitro-cellulose lacquer finishes – catalyzed polymer finishes – touch-up possibilities – pros and cons about finish repairs – sun bursting – stains and dyes – metallic finishes – isolantes vs vinyl wash coats – grain filling – plasticizers – color options – spray schedules – spray equipment – spray booth operations.

Electronics: pickup components and function – single coil pickups – humbucker design and function – piezo pickups – contact transducers – potentiometers – switches – capacitors – output jacks – wire types – in-phase and out-of-phase – magnetic polarity – series vs. parallel – coil splitting – coil tapping – soldering – electronics troubleshooting and repair.

Business: Level One

Many students are great with their hands and comfortable in the shop, but few have the skills, or most likely, the interest dealing with the basics of the business. The good news is, getting started is not that hard. Level One guides you through common topics generally overlooked and skills that are necessary when establishing yourself as a Luthier.

Guitar Making

It’s time to decide the areas of building that best fit your plan. For this purpose, two ground-up build are offered. You can choose either an acoustic or electric guitar to set your plan in motion.

Our acoustic guitar teaches students what it takes to make quality acoustic instruments. Its design parallels the stylistic preferences of the modern acoustic guitar market. The electric guitar uses a template system ideal for the small production shop. Once completed, you will have the ability to setup small production runs, making it possible to produce your own line of guitars.

Class Projects

One per student

AG-1 Steel String Acoustic

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

Body: Layout and design – wood selection – top sets – back and sides – top and back joining – thickness sanding tops and backs – bending sides – cutting rosette and sound hole – fitting to mold – parabolic sanding – installing kerfing and side braces – scalloping top and back braces – body assembly – routing binding and perfling slots – installing binding and perflings – finish sanding.

Neck: Choosing scale lengths – laying out necks – making fretboards – peghead designs – overlays designs – tuner hole layout – truss rod installation – gluing on fretboard – carving necks – neck joints – setting necks – placement markers – leveling fretboards – fretting – side markers – heel shaping and heel cap – finish sanding.

Finish: Finish sanding – masking techniques – spray gun operations – wash coats – latex fillers – clear coats – finish thicknesses – wet sanding – buffing.

Assembly and setup: Final neck set – making bridge – bridge layout – gluing bridges – tuner installation – fitting bridge pins – bone nut – bone saddle – final setup – final buff and polish – builders label installation – final setup – pick guard installation.

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.   

Bolt on Electric

We will guide you step-by-step through the building process to give you an understanding of electric guitar design and construction. Upon completion, you’ll have hand-built from the ground-up one of the most successful electric guitar designs of all time that will serves as an excellent way to introduce yourself to potential employers and customers.

Body: Layout and design – wood selection – joining figured top – thickness sanding – jointing back sections – routing templates – router operation – control, pick up, neck pocket and cover plate routing – drilling neck mounting holes – drilling wiring holes – shaping body – finish sanding.

Neck: Scale length options – making a fret board – peghead designs – overlays – peghead inlays – truss rod installation – gluing on fret board – carving necks – tuner layout – neck joint – neck mounting inserts – setting necks – fret board markers – leveling fret boards – fretting – side markers – finish sanding.

Finish: Final finish sanding – masking techniques – spray gun operations – body stains and colors – wash coats – spraying sunbursts – clear coats – wet sanding – buffing – polishing.

Setup and Assembly: Final neck set – bridge layout – tuner installation – pick up installation – electronics installation – fret dressing – bone nut – saddle set up and intonation – final setup – final buff and polish.

Tone Wood Upgrades

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

Controlling Tone: Level One

Data and Material

The subject of tone control is what separates you from other guitar makers and instrument voicing is what separates our school from all other Lutherie Schools world wide. Bryan has dedicated decades to the subject of instrument voicing and has designed easy to understand lessons that will set you on the path to better sounding guitars. In this segment we will establish the importance of data collection, record keeping and material properties.

If you have any questions, please contact us at:

Journeyman Class Schedule

Online Application

Galloup Guitars, 10840 Northland Drive, Big Rapids Michigan 49307 – phone 1 231 796 5611 – 1 800 278 0089, – -Copyright © 2022 Galloup guitars, All Rights Reserved