Master Program

Six Months (960 Total Hours)

The Master Program takes your training to an advanced level with 24 weeks of full-time guitar making and repair classes. After six months of training, you will gain a solid understanding of what it takes to make and repair guitars. With the Galloup Team’s guidance, you will select class projects that tailor your training to accommodate your personal goals.

Additionally, three levels of Instrument voicing are synchronized with your building projects. Bryan personally designed each session that are presented in easy to understand lessons that will prove to be instrumental with controlling the sound of your guitars

Graduating our Masters Program of course does not make you a master Luthier; that takes decades of practicing the craft. The title “Master Program” refers to the subject matter selected by Master Luthier Bryan Galloup that includes many advanced topics in modern Lutherie.

Term One

The Foundation

Term One 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. Buy visiting and revisiting these topics, a base for a solid understanding should be established.

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 – peg head 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 restraining – 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 – sunbursting – 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: Level One

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 and its design parallels the stylistic preferences of the modern acoustic guitar market and 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: level One

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.   

EG-1 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 – peg head designs – overlays – peg head 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 Properties

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.

Term Two

Musical Instrument Development

Along with advanced building techniques, tone applications moves you from general guitar making into the world of musical instrument development. The new Finger Style Guitar was redesigned to teach the acoustic voicing classes and the Set Neck Electric has been redesigned to do the same. Combined, these are the strongest guitar voicing lessons in the industry.

Business: Level Two

Deciding what path in Lutherie you want to take seems confusing and all employment opportunities come with their pros and cons. Therefore, a good plan is a key moving forward so we should consider potential employment opertunities making sure it’s a good fit.

Furthermore, successful Luthiers need the proper tools to get the job done. Even though there is a baseline tool package every student needs to enroll in the Galloup School, we additionally have tools packages which correlate with our our selected programs. Furthermore, with in reason, we can assist you with tool package considerations that might best fit your intended career plan. Contact us for more information.

There are specialty tools you will use at the Galloup School that cannot be purchased through traditional outlets but our CNC departments outlet store, The Luthier’s Connection can reproduce those items. Additionally, we can customize items to suit your own instruments design jump starting your personalized guitar line.

Guitar Making: Level Two

Now that you’ve completed your first guitar, you’ve set into motion your area of interest and the instruments you intend to focus on. Depending on your choice (electrics or acoustics), Level Two guitar builds will move you from the land of guitar making into the world of musical instrument development.  

Controlling Tone: Level Two

Voicing Applications

With general data collection and materials behind us, let’s apply the lessons learned to your next builds. But additionally, we will expand your understandings to include hand voicing on acoustics and tonal control through wood options with electrics. This is where Bryan’s decades of guitar voicing experience comes into play and your data collecting lessons will pay off.

Class Project: Level Two

One Per Student

GS-FS1 Fingerstyle Acoustic

Bryan re-launched the “Finger Style Guitar” in the fall of 2022. The re-designed AG-2 has a new body design and embellishments, but most importantly, expanded voicing lectures to make this build the best lesion in the Lutherie school business.

Body: Layout and design – wood selection – top, back and side sections – top and back joining – sanding to thickness – side bending – rosette and sound hole cutting – rosette installation – side assembly – fitting to mold – parabolic sanding – kerfing and side brace installation – voicing top and back braces – assembling body – flush routing – routing binding and perfling slots – binding and perfling installation – finish sanding.

Neck: Scale length options – fretboard making – peghead designs – overlays designs – tuner hole layout – truss rod installation – gluing on the fretboard – gluing on overlay – routing neck joint – carving necks – setting necks – heel carving and heel cap installation – fret markers – leveling fret boards – fretting – side markers – Fret dressing – finish sanding.

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

Assembly and setup: Final neck set – bridge making – bridge layout – gluing on bridge – tuner installation – drilling bridge pin holes – 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.    

GS-ESN2 Set Neck Electric

As a continuation of your Level One Electric Guitar Making, we will further evaluate the importance of quality material and add to the complexity of the build with the addition of book matched flame maple caps, expanded finish options and, hardware and electronic lessons.

Body: Layout and design – wood selection – joining figured top and sanding to thickness – jointing back sections and sanding to thickness – routing template operations– router operation – control, pick up, neck pocket and cover plate routing – laying out body design – cutting out body – carving maple top – final shaping body – cutting binding slot – installing binding – drilling wiring holes – finish sanding.

Neck: Scale length options – making a fret board – peg head designs – overlays – peg head inlays – truss rod installation – gluing on fret board – carving necks – tuner layout – drilling tuner holes – cutting neck joint – setting necks – fret board markers – leveling fret boards – fretting – side markers – finish sanding – set neck – glue on neck – dress frets – finish sand.

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

Assembily: 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 Two Electric, as with all of our school class projects, we offer premium tone wood upgrades upon request. Please call for availability and pricing.

Fingerstyle Acoustic


Fingerstyle steel string acoustics are a much more demanding instrument than a standard steel string flat top. To meet the demands of the players, the weights and balances are more precise. You will apply the skills you’ve acquired in you previous builds and apply lessons from our Level One Voicing Class. 

Finger Style Acoustic Guitar Body – 80 hrs
Tonally, a Fingerstyle guitar has a much quicker response and relies less on raw headroom. The variable to achieve this reflects the tone woods you choose and the bracing pattern used to voice the instrument.

Topics covered: Layout and design – wood selection – top sets – back and sides – plate 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 the fretboard – carving necks – setting necks – fretboard markers – leveling fret boards – 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 – B-bump 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.    

Set Neck Electric


Bryan designed a template method of building electric guitars that is ideal for small shop production on a tight budget. Using high quality materials, you’ll scratch-build a guitar that reflects the classic lines of some of the finest electrics ever made. 

Level One Electric Body – 60 hrs

As a continuation of your Level One Electric Guitar Making, we will further evaluate the importance of quality material and how they play a part in the tone of the guitar. Unlike the Level One Electric, Your Level Two Electric has a bookmatched flame maple cap that further adds to the complexity your material options have on the tone of the instrument.

Topics covered: body styles – wood choice – joining flame maple tops – joining beck sections – pre-routing for electronics – gluing body blanks – locating holes – using template system – control cavities – pick cavities – neck joint – shaping body

Level One Electric Neck – 50 hours

For the neck on your Level Two Electric, you will make your neck from quarter sawn high-grade maple. This style of neck making is the most popular electric guitar neck for its incredible stability and great tone.

Topics covered: wood choice – gluing neck blanks – truss rod installation – neck joint – scale lengths – fretboard radius – making fretboard – peghead overlay – tuner layout – gluing on fretboard – shaping neck 

Level One Electric Finishing – 60 Hrs As a continuation from your Level One Electric, you will choose a color scheme that suits your preferences. We have a wide selection of colors and shaping options so you can personalize your Level Two Electric.

Topics covered: final shaping of neck – final shaping of body – final shaping of neck – masking techniques – staining body – spraying custom colors – spraying clear coats – wet sanding – buffing

Level One Electric Electronics – 20 hours

Now that you’ve built a custom guitar, you’ll choose the wiring and pickups, giving you more control over the tone of your guitar.

Topics covered:  pickup installation – volume pots – tone pots – switches – output jacks – bridge grounding- soldering

Level One Electric Final Assembly – 40 hrs

Learn how to assemble and setup an electric guitar to factory specs. Our methods make the job much easier, and cut your setup time in half – skills you’ll use every day.

Topics covered: bridge placement – tuner installation – strap button installation – fret dressing – bone nut – bridge set up – action – pick up set up – intonation – final buff 

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. 

Term Three

Arch Top Instrument Making

Term three is the final leg of our Master Program training. With two instruments behind you, it’s time to tackle your final class projects. The guitars made in the third term increase in complexity, challenging the student’s skills and your training is not complete until you deal with the quirks of arched topped instrument making.

For those pursuing the path of the electric guitar, we offer our Semi-hollow body and for acoustic makers, our acoustic arch top hybrid is your final build. Both are ideal for a respectable introduction to arch top instrument making and level three voicing classes ties together the lessons from previous builds.

Business: Level Three

Even though choosing your path in Lutherie is ultimately up to you, the Galloup Team could assist you with the transition. In our first two sessions, we discussed many topics from the quirks of Lutherie to potential business opportunities. Now let’s see how we might help you moving forward.

Many opportunities are available and we are happy to supply all students with a list of connections for employment. But any recommendations are based on a rating generated by a students performance, attendance, work ethic, personal growth and final grade.  

Controlling Tone: Level Three

Archtop Instruments

To build on your past lessons, applications in the field of arch top instruments should be your next goal. Though not the same style of building approaches as flat toped instruments, the same principals apply but they have to be experienced in an alternative fashion to establish your tonal views.

Class Projects: Level Three

One Per Student

GS-ATH Archtop Hybrid

Making archtop instruments has been a part of the Galloup School for eighteen years. Over this time we have refined our lessons to make these instruments relevant and challenging. Only the necessary topics are covered to keep our students focused on this complicated build.

Body: Guitar layout and design – tone wood selection – matching top and back sets – joining tops and backs – side bending – top carving – F-holes routing – voicing top – side bending – fitting the sides into mold – gluing the head and end blocks – kerfing and side brace installation – top brace installation – top bracing voicing – body assembly – routing binding and purfling slots – binding and perfling installation – cutting the dovetail – finish sanding.

Neck: Scale length options – fretboard making – peghead designs – overlays designs – tuner hole layout – truss rod installation – gluing on the fretboard – gluing on overlay – routing dovetail joint – carving necks – setting necks – heel carving and heel cap installation – fret markers – leveling fret boards – fretting – side markers – Fret dressing – finish sanding – setting neck – gluing on neck – dressing frets – finish sanding.

Componets: Tailpiece styles – making truss rod covers – making pick guard – pick guard mounting brackets – making bridge

Electronics: Pickup selection – pickup placement – altering the pick guard to accept the pickup – mounting controls to the pick guard – output jack placement.

Finishing: Finish sanding – masking techniques – spray gun operations – wash coats – fillers – clear coats – finish thickness – wet sanding – buffing – polishing.

Setup: Bridge layouts – bridge base shaping – tuner installation – fitting the tailpiece – final fret dress – making nut – pick guard and electronics installation – 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.    

 GS-SH1 Semi-Hollow Body

New to the shop in 2021, our semi hollow electric has become a key addition to our electric guitar building program. Now in its third stage of design, it has become a solid build with a great tone that is a nice finish to your electric Masters Class training.

Body: instrument design – wood selection – matching top set – matching back and sides – joining tops and backs – carving top plates – bracing top – carving F-Holes –  laminating sides – fitting sides to mold – head and end blocks – fitting the kerfing –  body assembly – bindings and perflings – cutting mortise 

Neck: scale length – making the fretboard – fretboard inlays – truss rod installation – cutting tendon – peghead designs – overlays – tuner layout – neck sets – gluing fret boards – leveling fret boards – fretting – shaping necks – fretboard markers – side markers – peghead inlay – heel cap  

Finishing: final shaping of neck – final shaping of body – masking techniques – staining body – spraying custom colors – spraying clear coats – wet sanding – buffing

Electronics: pickup wiring – pickup installation – volume pots – tone pots – switches – output jacks – bridge grounding

Final Assembly: bridge placement – tuner installation – strap button installation – fret dressing – bone nut – bridge setup – action – pickup setup – intonation – final buff 

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. 

Archtop Guitar

Our Archtop Guitar is an old-school, 17″ instrument that has a hand-carved Sitka Spruce top and carved figured maple back. Also features a mini double-coil pickup to round out the build.

Archtop Body – 120 hrs Your guitarmaking skills aren’t complete until you’ve mastered the techniques of carving an archtop guitar plate. By the time you have completed this final segment of the Master Program, you will have experienced every aspect of guitar building and repair. 

Topics covered: guitar layout and design – selecting wood – matching top sets – matching back and side – joining tops and backs – top carving – bracing top – carving F-Holes  -bending the sides – fitting the sides to the mold – gluing the head and end blocks – fitting the kerfing – shaping the side braces – scalloping the top bracing – assembling the body – binding and purfling – cutting the dovetail

Archtop Guitar Neck – 40 hrs The arch top neck design includes the handsome details that are traditional on jazz-style guitars. You’ll build a neck using classic design elements and learn how they affect tone and strength. 

Topics covered: scale length – making the fretboard – fretboard inlays – truss rod – dovetail – peghead design – overlays – tuner layout – fretboard gluing – leveling fretboard – Fretting – shaping necks – Neck set – fretboard markers – side markers – inlay – heel cap

Arch Top Guitar Parts – 40 hrs Like the most impressive archtops, yours will have a hand-carved wooden bridge, pickguard and truss rod cover made of wood. You’ll choose wood that matches your fretboard and peghead overlays that ties together the overall look and style.

Topics covered: tailpiece styles – truss rod covers – pickguard styles – pickguard mounting brackets – bridge styles

Electronics – 20 hrs Your archtop is a true acoustic instrument, but most archtop players prefer the added versatility of a pickup. You’ll mount a free-floating pickup that secures to the pickguard, learning how to mount electronics to the instrument unobtrusively.

Topics covered: Pickup selection – Pickup placement – Altering the pickguard to accept the pickup – Mounting controls to the pickguard – Output jack placement

Finishing – 40 hrs In finishing, you’ll learn how to deal with flame maple back and sides, with the added challenge of an arched top and back. At this point, you’ll be impressed by how far you’ve progressed as a finisher!

Topics covered: Scraping binding – Finish sanding – Using spray guns – Advanced masking techniques – Wash coats – Spraying a three-tone sunburst – Clear coats – Wet sanding – Buffing

Setup and Assembly – 40 hrs Setting up an archtop is significantly different from the other instruments we’ve covered. You’ll now be dealing with a much steeper neck pitch and adjustable archtop style bridge.

Topics covered: Final neck sets – Bridge layouts – Making the bridge – Making the tailpiece – Installing the tuners – Fitting the tailpiece – Dressing frets – Making nuts – 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.    

Semi-Hollow Body

The Semi-Hollow Body is an archtop and thinline electric guitar internally blocked to minimize feedback. This makes it ideal for high volume applications. For students, this format is an ideal instrument if electric guitars are your prime focus.

Semi-Hollow Body – 120 hrs Your guitarmaking skills aren’t complete until you’ve mastered the techniques of carving an archtop guitar plate. In addition, a semi-hollow body utilizes a solid block technology to minimize feedback and maximize sustain. 

Topics covered: instrument design – wood selection – matching top set – matching back and sides – joining tops and backs – carving top plates – bracing top – carving F-Holes –  laminating sides – fitting sides to mold – head and end blocks – fitting the kerfing –  body assembly – bindings and perflings – cutting mortise 

Semi-Hollow Necks – 40 hrs The semi-hollow neck design includes a mortise and tenon-style neck and a low profile that most electric players love. You’ll make a neck using classic design elements and learn how they affect tone, strength and sustain.  

Topics covered: scale length – making the fretboard – fretboard inlays – truss rod installation – cutting tendon – peghead designs – overlays – tuner layout – neck sets – gluing fret boards – leveling fret boards – fretting – shaping necks – fretboard markers – side markers – peghead inlay – heel cap  

Finishing – 60 Hrs As a continuation from your Level One Electric, you will choose a color scheme that suits your preferences. We have a wide selection of colors and shaping options so you can personalize your Level Two Electric.

Topics covered: final shaping of neck – final shaping of body – masking techniques – staining body – spraying custom colors – spraying clear coats – wet sanding – buffing

Electronics – 20 hour Now that you’ve finalized the building portion, you’ll choose the wiring and pickups – pickups that you’ll wind yourself, giving you more control over the tone of your guitar.

Topics covered: pickup wiring – pickup installation – volume pots – tone pots – switches – output jacks – bridge grounding

Level One Electric Final Assembly – 40 hrs Learn how to assemble and setup an electric guitar to factory specs. Our methods make the job much easier, and cut your setup time in half – skills you’ll use every day.

Topics covered: bridge placement – tuner installation – strap button installation – fret dressing – bone nut – bridge setup – action – pickup setup – intonation – final buff 

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. 

If you have any questions, please contact us at: school@galloupguitars.com or 1-800-278-0089

Masters Class Schedule

Online Application

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