How to build an acoustic guitar from scratch

By | April 7, 2021

Training and resources for guitar building


Learn to play the guitar. It may sound simplistic, but if you are considering building a guitar and then learning to play it, you have got it back. Playing a guitar is crucial to understanding the elements involved in building one and designing one that is right for you. Before you play for a while, you do not understand your own preferences. After playing, you know what size guitar you prefer, what type of neck fits your hand and whether you prefer a lighter or deeper sound guitar. All of these issues will affect the type of guitar you decide to build. It’s better to spend $ 100 now on a cheap guitar and learn, then use up to six months of your time to build a guitar you do not like.


Learn the guitar parts and how it works. There are several resources on the web to teach you guitar mechanics. How things work (see resources below) has an in-depth explanation of acoustic guitar.


Learn about wood. The forest Composing a guitar has a direct effect on the sound. Choosing wood for the sound card (the top of the guitar) is the most critical. For example, a spruce top guitar gives a bright sound, while a mahogany top gives a richer and deeper tone.


Investigate Luthier Training. Several schools in the United States teach guitar manufacturing. The ‘gold standard’ for American guitar schools is the American School of Lutherie (ASL) in Portland, OR (see resources below). Charles Fox, who started making guitar in 1968, runs ASL. ASL teaches students to make acoustic steel string and acoustic classical guitars. In one of their week-long courses, with the help of their instructors, you can build a guitar that you can take home with you.


Apprentice with a local luthier. Each major city has its share of luthiers. It is possible that someone in your area may be willing to teach you the craft.


Build an acoustic guitar from a kit. Several companies such as Stewmac (see resources below) offer guitar packages. These kits can be expensive and require the purchase of tools, but if you are impatient to build a guitar and can not take the time to go to school, this can be a profitable option. The beauty of a kit is that all the difficult technical and design decisions have already been made for you.

Tips and warnings

  • Consider building your guitar with environmentally friendly recycled or sustainable woods.
  • Always woodwork in a well-ventilated area.
  • A fine acoustic guitar is beautiful to the eye and ear. Highly trained specialists called luthiers build quality guitars. With the right tools, any individual can build something that looks like a guitar. However, it is unlikely that a homemade guitar can be played. Many elements go into the guitar construction, and it is a combination of precision and experience that makes them sing. A guitar builder must understand how a guitar works and has strong woodworking skills. You can learn the necessary skills, but it will require an investment of time and money.