A Guitar Build Experience you will never forget.
For the first time, the Northampton Community College (NCC) Luthier program is offering an intensive one-week course to build a guitar almost from scratch. During the course, you will build either your choice of a Martin Style 24.9 Scale 000 or a 25.4 Scale OM.
We say "almost" because, although you will carve a neck and learn the steps to complete the neck, you might not use that neck on your guitar. Otherwise you will learn every step of the guitar-building process from beginning to end.
The Fab Lab Luthier Certification Program at Northampton Community College has evolved into one of the most well-staffed and well-equipped Luthier schools in the country. Started six years ago, the luthier program has grown from a small woodshop on the third floor of the Fowler Campus building to its current location within a brand new 8,000 sq. foot Fab Lab facility. What makes the Luthier program so unique is the Fab Lab. While students are learning to make their instruments, they also have the opportunity to learn advanced technologies to incorporate into their instruments, such as: 3D drafting, CNC technology, Laser engraving, Carbon Fiber Resin Casting, Electronics and more. All of the processes that are incorporated into the modern age of stringed instrument building are available to the students. The Luthier Lab, recently named The Martin Guitar Foundation Luthier Lab, is a self-contained area where students can focus on hand craftsmanship.
About the Instructors:
Teaching the courses offered within the Luthier program are three of the most talented luthiers.
- Bil Mitchel, owner of Guitar Parlor in Riegelsville, PA has been a professional Luthier since 1992. He has built over 450 guitars…some for noted musicians such as ELO member, Glen Burtnik and Kasim Sutton, guitarist for Todd Rundgren. At NCC Bil has developed and refined the acoustic guitar classes and earned a following that keeps all of his classes sold out. Bil is a master luthier and a dedicated teacher.
- Sean Brandle works full time at the lab after spending over seven and a half years at Martin Guitar. Sean was one of the original 12 luthiers to form the renowned Martin Guitar Custom Shop. Mastering the crafts of hand carving custom necks and hand fretting non-adjustable necks. Sean went on to become Martin Guitar’s Custom Design and Inlay Artisan for six years. During this time, Sean was the lead inlay artist who designed custom limited edition high-end guitars for Martin as well as designing and inlaying custom guitars for nationally known artists including John Mayer, Eric Clapton, Ed Sheeran and Thomas Rhett.
- Kevin Weiner is a home grown luthier having taken his guitar making courses five years ago at the NCC luthier school. He then went on to master the art. Kevin has developed bracing systems that enhance the sound of his guitars and a resonance conditioning process that works to broaden the response. Kevin teaches Acoustic Archtop, Ukulele and Mandolin building.
Housing for the one-week Workshop is provided in the college dorms if you need it – college apartments are available at an additional cost. Transportation to and from the campuses to the dorms is not provided, however, Uber is fast and efficient.
The Fab Lab is located 12 miles south of Nazareth, PA – home of Martin Guitar. Although the week is too short to offer you a tour during class time you can always extend your stay and tour the factory before or after. We will arrange a VIP tour for you.
Luthier Certification involves 14 classes. Two of the classes are Acoustic one and Acoustic Two. The one-week intensive class will count for both of those classes should you decide to go on to work toward your Luthier Certification.
Now for the fun part, as if making the guitar wasn’t fun enough. The course runs during MusikFest. MusikFest is one the largest festivals in the country to offer 10 days of performances that are completely free. The event encompasses the entire city of Bethlehem. So you will enjoy building your guitar during the day and listening to live music at night.
So don’t wait – we are only accepting five students. Sign up today.