Why design your own guitar?
Designing your own guitar is fun and working through the design process is a great way to gain a better understanding of the instrument.
If you like guitars, this is a really interesting way to spend a few hours, but also a great starting point if you want to get a custom guitar made, or build your own.
You could just follow a pre-made plan but it is much more rewarding to design completely from scratch. You can let your imagination run wild as guitars can be virtually any shape.
A working drawing is essential if you intend to build the guitar and an invaluable way to communicate your ideas to your guitar maker should you decide to have it made for you.
To begin with a blank sheet of paper and work through the entire design process, making vital decisions as you go. You will finish with a custom guitar drawing of your very own.
Step by Step
The course will guide you step by step through the guitar design process from the perspective of a professional builder.
The design will be a real working drawing of a guitar and the course is intended to give you the best possible chance of success if you do go ahead and build.
The guitar designed in this course will be made in the next course – Build Your Own First Guitar.
Over and over again
You will need only a few inexpensive items to complete your drawing. These along with the course material can be used over and over again as many times as you want until you find the perfect design!
How long will it take?
Drawing a shape for your guitar is the easy bit. Making sure all the important bits are in the right place and that it will actually work as a musical instrument requires a little work.
It will take a couple of hours to go through the process the first time as there is a lot of information to cover but once you have completed the course and understand the process will become easier and quicker.
The course contains full instructions and a library of templates to create your own original guitar design and working drawing. It covers all aspects of designing a solid body electric guitar, including vital information on construction styles, wood, hardware, bridges, tuners, pickups , electrics and much more!
Library of templates
(downloadable PDF’s) are included for tracing, to aid in your drawing.
•Pickups: single coil, humbucker, P90
•Control Cavities and Layouts
•Standard and Floyd Rose Trem
•Headstocks and Tuner Locations
•Neck joints: Bolt on, set neck and neck thru
Why I wrote it
There is much myth and confusion around the world of guitar design. This course aims to fix that and help to avoid many of the common mistakes made by the unwary.
These instructions cover only solid body electric guitars. Acoustic, semi-acoustic and archtop guitars have other aspects of the design like bracing which is beyond the scope of this book.
Left hand or right hand
Left handed designs can also be drawn using this method. Whenever you see this symbol LH read the note and it will tell you what to do, usually this will be simply turning the tracing over.
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How to Design Your Own Guitar
An informal guide to designing your own guitar
Table of contents
Why design your own guitar?
You will learn
✓ an overview of the design process
✓ guitar anatomy – wood, parts, hardware
✓ understand the difference between main construction methods – bolt on, set and neck-thru
✓ how to make key design decisions at each stage
✓ drawing techniques
✓ how to complete your own working drawing
✓ top tips
✓ much more
• pencil, sharpener and rubber
• large blank paper around 1.2m/ 4 feet min (wallpaper/liner roll is ideal)
• Rulers – 150mm or 300mm(6 or 12 inch) and 1000mm (40 inch)
• Drafting square (or protractor from drawing set)
• a roll of masking tape or 4 spring clips
• tracing paper
• a table or board to work
This course is for
In my youth I worked in a guitar factory alongside some of the best guitar makers on the planet, including Patrick Eggle who makes some of the finest acoustic guitars in the world, Gary Levinson and Rob Williams who make some of the best electrics and Trevor Wilkinson of ‘Fret-King’ who also invented the Roller Nut.
I did my very best to learn from them and eventually set up my own company producing a range of my own designs.
The information presented here is based on the ‘Build Your Own Guitar’ course which normally takes place in my workshop here in the glorious hills of South Ayrshire Scotland.
Although aimed at complete novices, many with more experience have found our courses very useful including guitar repair technicians from shops all over the UK who want to enhance their skills, and schools and colleges with students interested in building.
I have had many requests from all over the world from folk who are unable to get here in person so it is with great pride and thanks to a great team I am now able to provide this information online and hopefully help out a lot more people – I have seen the lights go on in many people’s eyes as they discover just how do-able it is.
I always say that most guitars are made in factories and they are not populated by genius luthiers (ask me how I know). They are just normal people who turn up at nine and go home at five. Most of the jobs are quite easy and I believe anyone can do it with the right tools and a little guidance.
Some of my students have gone on make many more guitars at home and some have even started their own guitar making business. I’m not saying it is going to be easy, nothing worthwhile ever is, but my aim is to show you what I think is the easiest, quickest and cheapest way to go about building your own electric guitar at home.
“if something is too difficult you are probably doing it wrong…” – Mark Bailey