Masters Program

6 Months (3 Terms – 960 Total Hours)

The Master Program takes your training to an advanced level with it’s 24 weeks of full-time guitar making here at the school. Repetition is a key factor for success by developing your skills one instrument and one lesson at a time. As a Master student, our hands-on education includes three terms of full time training in which you create a total of four quality guitars. After six months on continual training, you’ll have a solid understanding of what it takes to make a living in the real world of guitar building and repair.

You’ll choose instrument building projects that are tailored to your personal focus. You might want to concentrate on acoustics or maybe electric guitars are your prime interest. With the Galloup Team’s guidance, you can tailor your training to accommodate your personal goals.

The Master Program includes three levels of Instrument Static Instrument Voicing training. These lessons sync with your building projects, giving you insights into wood selection, testing, record keeping and hand voicing.

Term One is a two month session that lays the foundation for Master Class training. Over the first eight weeks you get hands on training by making two guitars, one acoustic and one electric. Simultaneously, you will move through the repair class, take Level One Business and Level One Static Instrument Voicing. This will help you to make the best decision when choosing your class projects for the second and third term training sessions.

Guitar Repair Classes

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

Class: Repairs 1 – Fretting and Fret Dressing – 8 hrs
First are fretting techniques. You’ll be introduced to the fret jig, which simulates string tension on an unstrung guitar to allow for faster, more accurate fretwork.

Topics covered:

  • Truss rod designs
  • Flattening fretboards
  • Re-fretting bound fretboards
  • Compression fretting
  • Hammer-in fretting
  • Gluing in frets
  • Routing fret slots
  • Dressing frets
  • Adjusting truss rods
  • Repairing loose frets
  • Selecting fret wire

Class: Repairs 2 – Finishing Techniques – 2 hrs
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 a sunburst
  • Spraying metalflake finishes
  • Wet sanding
  • Buffing finishes

Class: Repairs 3 – Acoustic Repairs – 10 hrs
Many repair people today acquired their skills on electrics, but unfortunately have neglected the acoustic market mostly because acoustic repairs are usually more difficult. The Acoustic Repair session focuses on these delicate instruments and their unique problems.

Topics covered:

  • Neck resets
  • Bridge re-glues
  • Repairing cracks
  • Humidity problems
  • Re-gluing loose braces
  • Repairing bridge plates

Class: Repairs 4 – Guitar Setup and Maintenance – 10 hrs
Two of the most useful and challenging subjects of the program. Every guitar you touch every day of your Lutherie carrier will need some level of set up and customers generally judge their technicians by the quality of their set up work. This is one topic you want to get right.

Topics covered:

  • Electrics
  • Troubleshooting before setup
  • Neck evaluation
  • Truss rod designs
  • Making bone nuts
  • Back-filing nuts and bridges
  • Fitting and replacing intonation saddles
  • Identifying fretboard radius
  • Setting up tremolos and locking nuts
  • Choosing proper string gauge
  • Acoustics
  • Troubleshooting before setup
  • Fitting bridge pins
  • Replacing and refitting bridge saddles
  • Making compensated saddles
  • Making bone nuts
  • Identifying fretboard radius
  • Choosing proper string gauge

Guitar Making: Primer

The HD30 electric guitar and the S22 electric bass guitar are both designed specifically for teaching the Electric Guitar Making Level One Primer training session. The lessons covered are some of the most important everyday topics that will come across your workbench. Along with basic electronics, assembly and set-up skills, you will get your first introduction to spraying, wet sanding and buffing guitars style finishes.

Guitar Making: Level One/Building an Electric Guitar

Level One guitar making is formatted around the most successful electric guitar of all time; the bolt-on-neck design. In almost any music store, these guitars outnumber others five-to-one. Along with general guitar making skills you will focus on advanced topics to lay the foundation of your training.

CLASS: ELECTRIC 1 – Body – 8 hrs

Wood choice and body design play a large part in the tone of an electric guitar. If you play electric solid body guitars unamplified and you’ll notice distinct differences between various wood types. A solid body that sounds good acoustically will absolutely sound good amplified. We’ll look at the different woods used to make electric guitars and the effect of different body styles on tone and sustain.

Topics covered:

  • Body styles
  • Wood choice
  • Neck joints
  • Fitting neck to body
  • Finish sanding
  • Installing body hangers for spraying



CLASS: ELECTRIC 2 – Neck – 8 hrs

Just as wood affects the body, when making a neck you have to pay attention to wood choice in order to have a good sounding guitar. You’ll learn what makes a neck sound and play great.

Topics covered:

  • Wood choice
  • Scale lengths
  • Fretboard radius
  • Tuner installation
  • Truss rods
  • Finish sanding
  • Installing neck hangers for finishing



CLASS: ELECTRIC 3 – Finishing – 24 hrs

You’ll finish your electric guitar with the same methods used by guitar companies in the 50’s and 60’s — techniques that have stood the test of time and are recognized as the best sounding finishes used on guitars. You will also work with colors, tints and application methods to get the look you are looking for.

Topics covered:

  • Body wood stains
  • Spraying techniques
  • Custom colors
  • Sunburst
  • Metalflake
  • Clear coats
  • Wet sanding
  • Buffing



CLASS: ELECTRIC 4 – Electronics – 10 hrs

Now that you’ve assembled a great guitar you’ll have to learn what makes them tick on the inside. These are topics every Luthier needs to know and tools you’ll used ever day throughout your carrier.

Topics covered:

  • Pick guard types
  • Grounding plates
  • Pickup installation
  • Wiring volume pots
  • Wiring tone pots
  • Wiring switches
  • Wiring output jack
  • Bridge and string grounding



CLASS: ELECTRIC 5 – Final Assembly – 30 hrs

Learn how to assemble and set up an electric guitar to factory specs. Our methods make the job much easier that will cut your set-up time in half. Many of these were developed by Bryan through years of production along with industry standards every tech needs to know.

Topics covered:

  • Pick guard placement
  • Bridge placement
  • Setting neck
  • Tuner installation
  • Installing strap bottoms
  • Fret dress
  • Nut
  • Bridge set up
  • Action
  • String tree placement
  • Pickup height
  • Intonation
  • Final buff and polish

Guitar Making: Level One/Building an Electric Bass

Level One guitar making is formatted around the most successful electric bass of all time; the bolt-on-neck design. In almost any music store, these basses outnumber others five-to-one. Along with general guitar making skills you will focus on advanced topics to lay the foundation of your training.

CLASS: ELECTRIC 1 – Body – 8 hrs

Wood choice and body design play a large part in the tone of an electric bass. If you play electric solid body basses unamplified and you’ll notice distinct differences between various wood types. A solid body that sounds good acoustically will absolutely sound good amplified. We’ll look at the different woods used to make electric basses and the effect of different body styles on tone and sustain.

Topics covered:

  • Body styles
  • Wood choice
  • Neck joints
  • Fitting neck to body
  • Finish sanding
  • Installing body hangers for spraying



CLASS: ELECTRIC 2 – Neck – 8 hrs

Just as wood affects the body, when making a neck you have to pay attention to wood choice in order to have a good sounding bass. You’ll learn what makes a neck sound and play great.

Topics covered:

  • Wood choice
  • Scale lengths
  • Fretboard radius
  • Tuner installation
  • Truss rods
  • Finish sanding
  • Installing neck hangers for finishing



CLASS: ELECTRIC 3 – Finishing – 24 hrs

You’ll finish your electric bass with the same methods used by guitar companies in the 50’s and 60’s — techniques that have stood the test of time and are recognized as the best sounding finishes used on guitars. You will also work with colors, tints and application methods to get the look you are looking for.

Topics covered:

  • Body wood stains
  • Spraying techniques
  • Custom colors
  • Sunburst
  • Metalflake
  • Clear coats
  • Wet sanding
  • Buffing



CLASS: ELECTRIC 4 – Electronics – 10 hrs

Now that you’ve assembled a great bass you’ll have to learn what makes them tick on the inside. These are topics every Luthier needs to know and tools you’ll used ever day throughout your career.

Topics covered:

  • Pick guard types
  • Grounding plates
  • Pickup installation
  • Wiring volume pots
  • Wiring tone pots
  • Wiring switches
  • Wiring output jack
  • Bridge and string grounding



CLASS: ELECTRIC 5 – Final Assembly – 30 hrs

Learn how to assemble and set up an electric bass to factory specs. Our methods make the job much easier that will cut your set-up time in half. Many of these were developed by Bryan through years of production along with industry standards every tech needs to know.

Topics covered:

  • Pick guard placement
  • Bridge placement
  • Setting neck
  • Tuner installation
  • Installing strap bottoms
  • Fret dress
  • Nut
  • Bridge set up
  • Action
  • String tree placement
  • Pickup height
  • Intonation
  • Final buff and polish

Business Plan: Level One – 5 Hours

Many students are great with their hands and good in a shop but handling the basics of everyday business is not on their radar. For this reason Bryan developed three classes to parallel the Technician, Journeyman and Master Programs to assist students in making the transition.   

Business Plan Level One is designed to teach students that the basics are just not that difficult. For many, getting started is the hardest part of running a business; even if you intend to work for someone else, basic business will be most helpful. 

Guitar Making: Level One

Now is the time to choose the area of building and repair that best fit your business plan. To achieve this. twp building options are offered and both are “ground up” builds. Students have the choice between a steel string acoustic or a set neck electric.

The acoustic steel string was designed to teach students not only what it takes to make a quality instrument, but also what makes it tick, what to look out for and to know what the modern acoustic guitar market is looking for. Once completed you will have an edge on the market no matter if you choose to build for a living or go into repairs full time.

The set neck electric was designed to give students the skills to do a ground up build with a quick and easy template system custom designed by Bryan for the small shop. Once completed you will have the ability to set up small production runs making it possible to start your own line of guitar

Guitar Making Level Two: Building an Acoustic Steel String

Whether you want to build or repair guitars, it’s important that you know how they’re assembled. We will lead you step-by-step through the building process to give you a real understanding of acoustic guitar design. We’ll cover only the most beneficial information and repeat as few procedures as possible. Upon completion, you’ll have hand-built a flattop acoustic guitar that’s excellent way to introduce yourself to potential employers and customers.

CLASS: ACOUSTIC 1 – 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:

  • Guitar layout and design
  • Selecting wood
  • Matching top sets
  • Matching back and side
  • Joining tops and backs
  • Thickness sanding
  • Bending sides
  • Cutting rosettes and soundhole
  • Fitting sides to mold
  • Parabolic sanding
  • Gluing in head and end blocks
  • Fitting kerfing
  • Shaping side braces
  • Scalloping back braces
  • Scalloping top bracing
  • Assembling body
  • Binding and purfling



CLASS: ACOUSTIC 2 – Neck – 40 hrs

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

Topics covered:

  • Scale length
  • Making the fretboard
  • Binding fret boards
  • Peg head designs
  • Peg head overlays
  • Tuner layout and fitting
  • Truss rod installation
  • Gluing fret boards
  • Shaping necks and heels
  • Neck sets
  • Fretboard markers
  • Leveling fret boards
  • Fretting
  • Side markers
  • Peg head inlay
  • Heel cap
  • Inlay



CLASS: ACOUSTIC 3 – Finish Work – 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



CLASS: ACOUSTIC 4 – 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 sets
  • Bridge layouts
  • Finish removal
  • Gluing bridges
  • Installing tuners
  • Fitting bridge pins
  • Leveling fret boards using neck jig
  • Fretting
  • Dressing frets
  • Making nuts
  • Making saddles
  • Final setup
  • Final buff and polish

Guitar Making Level Two; Electric Guitar Making

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. In addition, we’ve added pickup winding putting you one step closer to building an entirely scratch-built instrument.

CLASS: 1 ELECTRIC – 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 book matched 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 back sections
  • Pre-routing for electronics
  • Gluing up body blanks
  • Drilling locating holes
  • Jigs and template systems
  • Routing control cavities
  • Routing pickup cavities
  • Routing neck joints
  • Shaping body style
  • Binding



CLASS 2: ELECTRIC – Electric Neck – 50 hours For the neck on your Level Two Electric you will make you neck from quarter sawn high-grade maple. This style of neck making is the most popular electric guitar neck for it’s incredible stability and great tone.

Topics covered:

  • Wood choice
  • Gluing up neck blanks
  • Truss rod installation
  • Cutting neck joint
  • Scale lengths
  • Fret board radius
  • Making fret board
  • Shaping inlay
  • Custom inlay
  • Drilling tuner holes
  • Gluing on fret boards
  • Neck carving



CLASS 3: ELECTRIC – Assembly – 40 hrs There are several popular neck joints with all having their place depending on the builds style and purpose. For your Level Two Electric you will use a mortis and tendon set neck method for a great clean simple and solid neck joint.

Topics covered:

  • Setting neck to body
  • Fitting neck joint
  • Final neck set angle
  • Final shaping of neck, heel and body
  • Finish sanding
  • Masking
  • Prepping for finishing



CLASS 4: 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:

  • Masking bindings
  • Body wood stains
  • Spraying techniques
  • Spraying sun burst
  • Clear coats
  • Wet sanding
  • Buffing



CLASS 5: ELECTRIC – Electronics – 20 hour Now that you’ve built a custom guitar, 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:

  • Pick up winding
  • Pickup installation
  • Wiring volume pots
  • Wiring tone pots
  • Wiring switches
  • Wiring output jack
  • Bridge and string grounding



CLASS 6: ELECTRIC – Final Assembly – 40 hrs Learn how to assemble and set up 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
  • Installing strap buttonsFret dress
  • Nut
  • Bridge set up
  • Action
  • Pick up height
  • Intonation
  • Final buff and polish

Static Instrument Voicing: Level One – The Physics of Sound

What sets the Galloup School apart from the rest of the pack is the ability to teach instrument voicing and design unlike any other guitar making school in the world. The methods taught in the voicing classes were developed by the Galloup Team. These methods are currently being adopted by leading manufacturers and some of the most influential boutique builders in today market.

The voicing classes are separated into three levels with each level designed to correspond to training. This ensures the topics covered relate to the builds and a students skill level as a luthier. The team’s system for teaching the voicing classes makes it easy to understand and easy to apply which will put you on the path to developing your own tone.    

Topics covered:

  • What is sound, and how does it function?
  • Compressions and rarefactions (the slinky model)
  • Human hearing range
  • How the guitar body works to create sound
  • The physics of a vibrating string
  • Fundamentals and harmonics
  • What is resonance
  • The Helmholtz Resonator, complex oscillator
  • Understanding and using tap tones
  • Selecting materials: density and strength-to-weight
  • Bracing: its function and various approaches
  • Voicing the braces
  • The effects of body geometry
  • How volume and porting alter air resonance
  • How changes in plate size affect plate resonance

Term Two is designed to build on the foundations laid out in Term One. Layering the next level building techniques, Level Two Voicing, business class and choosing the correct tool package are all key topics prepping you for employment.

The advanced building elements of the Fingerstyle Acoustic or the Set Neck Carved Top Electric are ideal for Term Two students. While the lessons of Term One are still fresh, another guitar is started that challenge the student with a new set of skills commonly practiced in modern Lutherie.

Tooling: Tools, Cauls and Templates – 20 hours

To be a successful Luthier you’ll need the tools to get the job done. Depending on your business plan one of our packages should fit your needs. Each tool package is custom deigned by Bryan to fit the classes that you take but any student can order any tool package as they see fit.

  • Technician Tool Package, general set up and repairs
  • Journeyman Tool Package, major repairs and restorations
  • Master tool Package, restoration tool plus heavy machinery

If necessary we will custom-build a package to fit your business plan. For the rest of the program, you will continue to expand your toolbox by acquiring the cauls, jigs and templates necessary to be a successful luthier so you can hit the ground running wherever you set up shop. 

We strongly recommend you take advantage of our services with purchasing your tool packages. Package costs may vary depending on tool prices at the time of purchase, and all shipping charges will be in addition to tool package costs.

Business Plan: Level Two – 5 Hours

Networking is easer than ever before and there are basic simple steps you can take that will put you on the map and in the public’s eye. Now that you’ve laid the foundation in Business Level One, you need to let the customers or employers know what you’ve accomplished and what you are capable of. You also need to perform an analysis for what ever your Business plan is. All potential employment opportunities come with their pros and cons that need to be considered before choosing a final carrier path.

Many students are great with their hands and good in a shop but handling the basics of everyday business is not on their radar. For this reason Bryan developed three classes to parallel the Technician, Journeyman and Master Programs to assist students make the transition.

Guitar Making: Level Two

Now that you’ve completed Term One of your Journeyman’s Class Training, you’ve set into motion your area of interest and the instruments you intend to focus on. The next step is to decide what instrument will expand your training to the next level. Depending on if you chose the electric path or acoustic, our Level Two guitar builds are both outstanding instruments that will challenge your skill

Building a Fingerstyle Acoustic Guitar CLASS: Finger Style Steel String 1 – Body – 100 hrs

In today’s market, detail work such as hand cut mitered purflings on the top, back and sides show the talent and commitment to excellence of a true craftsman. In addition, the side port is a popular feature offered by many contemporary Luthiers. Your finger style acoustic will incorporate all of these features plus many new lessons that will elevate you to the next level of guitar building.

Topics covered:
  • Finger Style guitar layout and design
  • Selecting wood
  • Matching top sets
  • Matching back and side
  • Joining tops and backs
  • Thickness sanding
  • Bending the sides
  • Cutting the rosette and soundhole
  • Fitting the sides to the mold
  • Gluing in head and end blocks
  • Fitting kerfing and linings
  • Shaping side braces
  • Scalloping back braces
  • X braced top bracing
  • Assembling the body
  • Cutting binding and purfling slots
  • Mitering purflings
  • Binding
  • Cutting the mortise
  • Drilling neck mounting holes


  • CLASS: Finger Style Steel String 2 – Neck – 50 hrs

    One of the most popular acoustic guitar designs is an elevated neck joint with the neck/body joint at the 12th fret. Focusing on this format opens an area of guitar building and tone that are overlooked by other builders. In addition, the side port is a popular feature offered by many contemporary Luthiers. You’ll expand your skills by focusing on a different style of neck layout and how it affects the top bracing and tone.

    Topics covered:
  • Scale length
  • Making fretboards
  • Binding fretboards
  • Fret markers
  • Making the neck
  • Peghead designs
  • Peghead overlays and laminates
  • Tuner layout and fitting
  • Truss rod installation
  • Gluing fretboards
  • Shaping necks and heels
  • Neck sets
  • Side markers
  • Heel cap and laminate


  • CLASS: Finger Style Steel String 3 – Finishing – 60 hrs

    By this time you’ll be very familiar with our spray booth, and you’ll notice a significant improvement in your finishing technique. We will also cover how to deal with side and back purflings during the finishing process.

    Topics covered:
  • Scraping binding and purflings
  • Finish sanding
  • Using spray guns
  • Wash coats
  • Fillers
  • Clear coats
  • Wet sanding
  • Buffing


  • CLASS: Finger Style Steel String 4 – Setup and Assembly – 60 hrs

    Final setup and assembly are the means to well-balanced tone, and most people consider these to be the most challenging aspects of the course. The Finger Style Steel String guitar setup can prove to be especially challenging in order to get the dynamic tone this instrument has to offer.

    Topics covered:
  • Final neck sets
  • Bridge layouts
  • Gluing bridges
  • Installing tuners
  • Fitting bridge pins
  • Leveling frets
  • Dressing frets
  • Making nuts
  • Making saddles
  • Final setup
  • Final buff and polish
  • Guitar Making Level Two; Electric Guitar Making

    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. In addition, we’ve added pickup winding putting you one step closer to building an entirely scratch-built instrument.

    CLASS: 1 ELECTRIC – 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 book matched 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 back sections
  • Pre-routing for electronics
  • Gluing up body blanks
  • Drilling locating holes
  • Jigs and template systems
  • Routing control cavities
  • Routing pickup cavities
  • Routing neck joints
  • Shaping body style
  • Binding


  • CLASS 2: ELECTRIC – Electric Neck – 50 hours For the neck on your Level Two Electric you will make you neck from quarter sawn high-grade maple. This style of neck making is the most popular electric guitar neck for it’s incredible stability and great tone.

    Topics covered:
  • Wood choice
  • Gluing up neck blanks
  • Truss rod installation
  • Cutting neck joint
  • Scale lengths
  • Fret board radius
  • Making fret board
  • Shaping inlay
  • Custom inlay
  • Drilling tuner holes
  • Gluing on fret boards
  • Neck carving


  • CLASS 3: ELECTRIC – Assembly – 40 hrs There are several popular neck joints with all having their place depending on the builds style and purpose. For your Level Two Electric you will use a mortis and tendon set neck method for a great clean simple and solid neck joint.

    Topics covered:
  • Setting neck to body
  • Fitting neck joint
  • Final neck set angle
  • Final shaping of neck, heel and body
  • Finish sanding
  • Masking
  • Prepping for finishing


  • CLASS 4: 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:
  • Masking bindings
  • Body wood stains
  • Spraying techniques
  • Spraying sun burst
  • Clear coats
  • Wet sanding
  • Buffing


  • CLASS 5: ELECTRIC – Electronics – 20 hour Now that you’ve built a custom guitar, 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:
  • Pick up winding
  • Pickup installation
  • Wiring volume pots
  • Wiring tone pots
  • Wiring switches
  • Wiring output jack
  • Bridge and string grounding


  • CLASS 6: ELECTRIC – Final Assembly – 40 hrs Learn how to assemble and set up 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
  • Installing strap buttonsFret dress
  • Nut
  • Bridge set up
  • Action
  • Pick up height
  • Intonation
  • Final buff and polish
  • Static Voicing Level Two; Materials and Data – 10 hrs

    Measurement and data collection is at the hart and sole of the instruments voice. Understanding quality materials and collecting the data to develop a path to controlled tone is any serious Luthier’s best bet for consistent results.

    In Level Two Instrument Voicing we will guide you through tone wood selections to help you develop an understanding of what to look for in quality materials to develop your ideal tone.

    Topics covered:

    • Using measurements to select materials
    • The value of quality materials
    • Importance of record keeping
    • New data collection methods
    • Material properties of wood
    • Determining Modulus
    • Dynamic and static determination of Modulus of Elasticity
    • How to obtain and measure a tap tone
    • Using an FFT analyzer
    • Speed of sound and quality
    • Thickness sanding to a deflection
    • Setting standards for top plates

    Term Three is the final leg of your Master;s Class training. Now that you have three instruments behind you, it’s time to decide what will be your final Master Class instrument. Level Three Voicing ties together Level One and Two Voicing and Level Three Business Class will assist you in making your decision of what you;re going after you graduate from the Galloup School.

    For graduating Master Class students who are moving into our Graduate Class Programs, now would be a good time to decide what instrument you will be focusing on. All Graduate Class session are prerequisite training classes designed to expend your training, therefore planing ahead alining your Master Class instrument with your Graduate Class selection will give you he be possible outcome for your training options.

    Business Plan: Level Three – 5 Hours

    Many students are great with their hands and good in a shop but handling the basics of everyday business is not on their radar. For this reason Bryan developed three classes to parallel the Technician, Journeyman and Master Programs to assist students make the transition.    

    Business Plan Level One is designed to teach students that the basics are just not that difficult. For many, getting started is the hardest part in running a business and even if you intend to work for someone else, basic business will be most helpful.  

    Guitar Making Level Three; Master Class Instruments

    The guitars made in the Third Term Master Class increase in complexity to challenge the students skills. For those pursuing the path of the electric guitar, Bryan offers the seventeen-inch Semi-hollow body Electric but for those focussing on acoustic’s they have the choice of three: the Arch Top, Fan Fret or Nylon String Classical.

    The Arch Top Guitar is an old school seventeen-inch instrument that’s hand carved from solid blocks of figured maple and Sitka spruce. It has a mini double coil pick up to round out the build.

    The Semi- Hollow Body is an arch top and arch back thin line electric guitar internally blocked to minimize feed back. This makes it ideal for high volume applications.

    The Classical Guitar was recently re-introduced to the school curriculum by senior instruction Sam Guidry. This is a traditional 660 mm scale instrument modeled after the iconic European instruments.

    The Fan Frets are a popular option in the modern acoustic guitar market. Built on the foundation set by the Finger Style guitar in term two, my will learn how to make these unique instruments.

    Building an Archtop Guitar

    CLASS: ARCHTOP 1 – Body – 120 hrs Your guitarmaking skills aren’t complete until you’ve mastered the techniques of Building an archtop guitar – one of the most desirable and collectible instruments, and also among the most difficult and fun to build. By the time you have completed this final segment of the Master Program you will have experienced every aspect of guitar Building and repair and will have the knowledge necessary to progress as a well-rounded Luthier.

    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
    • Tuning the top
    • 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



    CLASS: ARCHTOP 2 – Necks – 40 hrs The archtop neck design includes the handsome details that are traditional on jazz-style guitars: wooden stringers running the length of the neck, and a carved volute on the back of the peghead. You’ll build a neck using these classic design elements and learn how they affect tone and strength. Advanced binding work is included too: a bound peghead, bound fretboard, and peghead inlays.

    Topics covered:

    • Scale length
    • Making the fretboard
    • Fretboard bindings
    • Fretboard inlays
    • Truss rod installation
    • Cutting the dovetail
    • Peghead designs
    • Peghead overlays
    • Tuner layout and fitting
    • Gluing fretboards
    • Leveling fretboards using the neck jig
    • Fretting
    • Shaping necks and heels
    • Neck-sets
    • Fretboard markers
    • Side markers
    • Peghead inlay
    • Heel cap



    CLASS: ARCHTOP 3 – Bridge, Pickguard, Tailpiece and Truss Rod Cover – 40 hrs Like the most impressive archtops, yours will have a hand-carved wooden tailpiece and bridge, and a pickguard and truss rod cover made of wood. You’ll choose wood that matches your fretboard and peghead overlays, and ties together the overall look of your instrument.

    Topics covered:

    • Tailpiece styles
    • Tailpiece mounting bracket
    • Truss rod covers
    • Pickguard styles
    • Pickguard mounting brackets



    CLASS: ARCHTOP 4 – 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



    CLASS: ARCHTOP 5 – 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



    CLASS: ARCHTOP 6 – 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
    Building an Archtop Guitar

    CLASS: ARCHTOP 1 – Body – 120 hrs Your guitarmaking skills aren’t complete until you’ve mastered the techniques of Building an archtop guitar – one of the most desirable and collectible instruments, and also among the most difficult and fun to build. By the time you have completed this final segment of the Master Program you will have experienced every aspect of guitar Building and repair and will have the knowledge necessary to progress as a well-rounded Luthier.

    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
  • Tuning the top
  • 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


  • CLASS: ARCHTOP 2 – Necks – 40 hrs The archtop neck design includes the handsome details that are traditional on jazz-style guitars: wooden stringers running the length of the neck, and a carved volute on the back of the peghead. You’ll build a neck using these classic design elements and learn how they affect tone and strength. Advanced binding work is included too: a bound peghead, bound fretboard, and peghead inlays.

    Topics covered:

  • Scale length
  • Making the fretboard
  • Fretboard bindings
  • Fretboard inlays
  • Truss rod installation
  • Cutting the dovetail
  • Peghead designs
  • Peghead overlays
  • Tuner layout and fitting
  • Gluing fretboards
  • Leveling fretboards using the neck jig
  • Fretting
  • Shaping necks and heels
  • Neck-sets
  • Fretboard markers
  • Side markers
  • Peghead inlay
  • Heel cap


  • CLASS: ARCHTOP 3 – Bridge, Pickguard, Tailpiece and Truss Rod Cover – 40 hrs Like the most impressive archtops, yours will have a hand-carved wooden tailpiece and bridge, and a pickguard and truss rod cover made of wood. You’ll choose wood that matches your fretboard and peghead overlays, and ties together the overall look of your instrument.

    Topics covered:

  • Tailpiece styles
  • Tailpiece mounting bracket
  • Truss rod covers
  • Pickguard styles
  • Pickguard mounting brackets


  • CLASS: ARCHTOP 4 – 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


  • CLASS: ARCHTOP 5 – 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


  • CLASS: ARCHTOP 6 – 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
  • Building a Fingerstyle Acoustic Guitar CLASS: Finger Style Steel String 1 – Body – 100 hrs

    In today’s market, detail work such as hand cut mitered purflings on the top, back and sides show the talent and commitment to excellence of a true craftsman. In addition, the side port is a popular feature offered by many contemporary Luthiers. Your finger style acoustic will incorporate all of these features plus many new lessons that will elevate you to the next level of guitar building.

    Topics covered:

    • Finger Style guitar layout and design
    • Selecting wood
    • Matching top sets
    • Matching back and side
    • Joining tops and backs
    • Thickness sanding
    • Bending the sides
    • Cutting the rosette and soundhole
    • Fitting the sides to the mold
    • Gluing in head and end blocks
    • Fitting kerfing and linings
    • Shaping side braces
    • Scalloping back braces
    • X braced top bracing
    • Assembling the body
    • Cutting binding and purfling slots
    • Mitering purflings
    • Binding
    • Cutting the mortise
    • Drilling neck mounting holes



    CLASS: Finger Style Steel String 2 – Neck – 50 hrs

    One of the most popular acoustic guitar designs is an elevated neck joint with the neck/body joint at the 12th fret. Focusing on this format opens an area of guitar building and tone that are overlooked by other builders. In addition, the side port is a popular feature offered by many contemporary Luthiers. You’ll expand your skills by focusing on a different style of neck layout and how it affects the top bracing and tone.

    Topics covered:

    • Scale length
    • Making fretboards
    • Binding fretboards
    • Fret markers
    • Making the neck
    • Peghead designs
    • Peghead overlays and laminates
    • Tuner layout and fitting
    • Truss rod installation
    • Gluing fretboards
    • Shaping necks and heels
    • Neck sets
    • Side markers
    • Heel cap and laminate



    CLASS: Finger Style Steel String 3 – Finishing – 60 hrs

    By this time you’ll be very familiar with our spray booth, and you’ll notice a significant improvement in your finishing technique. We will also cover how to deal with side and back purflings during the finishing process.

    Topics covered:

    • Scraping binding and purflings
    • Finish sanding
    • Using spray guns
    • Wash coats
    • Fillers
    • Clear coats
    • Wet sanding
    • Buffing



    CLASS: Finger Style Steel String 4 – Setup and Assembly – 60 hrs

    Final setup and assembly are the means to well-balanced tone, and most people consider these to be the most challenging aspects of the course. The Finger Style Steel String guitar setup can prove to be especially challenging in order to get the dynamic tone this instrument has to offer.

    Topics covered:

    • Final neck sets
    • Bridge layouts
    • Gluing bridges
    • Installing tuners
    • Fitting bridge pins
    • Leveling frets
    • Dressing frets
    • Making nuts
    • Making saddles
    • Final setup
    • Final buff and polish

    Building a Fingerstyle Acoustic Guitar CLASS: Finger Style Steel String 1 – Body – 100 hrs

    In today’s market, detail work such as hand cut mitered purflings on the top, back and sides show the talent and commitment to excellence of a true craftsman. In addition, the side port is a popular feature offered by many contemporary Luthiers. Your finger style acoustic will incorporate all of these features plus many new lessons that will elevate you to the next level of guitar building.

    Topics covered:

    • Finger Style guitar layout and design
    • Selecting wood
    • Matching top sets
    • Matching back and side
    • Joining tops and backs
    • Thickness sanding
    • Bending the sides
    • Cutting the rosette and soundhole
    • Fitting the sides to the mold
    • Gluing in head and end blocks
    • Fitting kerfing and linings
    • Shaping side braces
    • Scalloping back braces
    • X braced top bracing
    • Assembling the body
    • Cutting binding and purfling slots
    • Mitering purflings
    • Binding
    • Cutting the mortise
    • Drilling neck mounting holes



    CLASS: Finger Style Steel String 2 – Neck – 50 hrs

    One of the most popular acoustic guitar designs is an elevated neck joint with the neck/body joint at the 12th fret. Focusing on this format opens an area of guitar building and tone that are overlooked by other builders. In addition, the side port is a popular feature offered by many contemporary Luthiers. You’ll expand your skills by focusing on a different style of neck layout and how it affects the top bracing and tone.

    Topics covered:

    • Scale length
    • Making fretboards
    • Binding fretboards
    • Fret markers
    • Making the neck
    • Peghead designs
    • Peghead overlays and laminates
    • Tuner layout and fitting
    • Truss rod installation
    • Gluing fretboards
    • Shaping necks and heels
    • Neck sets
    • Side markers
    • Heel cap and laminate



    CLASS: Finger Style Steel String 3 – Finishing – 60 hrs

    By this time you’ll be very familiar with our spray booth, and you’ll notice a significant improvement in your finishing technique. We will also cover how to deal with side and back purflings during the finishing process.

    Topics covered:

    • Scraping binding and purflings
    • Finish sanding
    • Using spray guns
    • Wash coats
    • Fillers
    • Clear coats
    • Wet sanding
    • Buffing



    CLASS: Finger Style Steel String 4 – Setup and Assembly – 60 hrs

    Final setup and assembly are the means to well-balanced tone, and most people consider these to be the most challenging aspects of the course. The Finger Style Steel String guitar setup can prove to be especially challenging in order to get the dynamic tone this instrument has to offer.

    Topics covered:

    • Final neck sets
    • Bridge layouts
    • Gluing bridges
    • Installing tuners
    • Fitting bridge pins
    • Leveling frets
    • Dressing frets
    • Making nuts
    • Making saddles
    • Final setup
    • Final buff and polish

    Static Instrument Voicing Level Three; Application

    Continue to build on the foundation established in Voicing 1 and 2 through practical application. Setting aside any bias about what is the best tone, the builder’s challenge is creating the conditions that deliver the particular tone needed from a particular guitar.

    Topics covered:

    • Review: material testing
    • Applying measurements
    • The purpose of voicing
    • Brace carving methods
    • Practical application top voicing
    • Back tuning
    • Measuring the final resonances
    • Tuning body resonances
    • Summary, conclusions

    Free Housing

    Technician, Journeyman and Master students rest easy – you’ve got a great place to stay. Click here for more information about Free Housing.

    Financial Options

    Click here for more information about Financial Assistance for qualifying veterans and for other payment options.

    If you would like more information about the Galloup School, email us at school@galloupguitars.com.