Please note that our school emphasizes repair and not building. There are many great schools in this country and abroad where one can learn to build fine electric, acoustic and arch top guitars, but their focus is primarily on building and the repair aspect takes a backseat. This is unfortunate as talented repair technicians are desperately needed in today's market.
Repair work is the fastest way for a new luthier to start earning a living wage upon graduating luthier school . While many of us dreamt of heading from school to the custom shop where we'd be rubbing elbows with the top luthiers and building sweet axes for the guitar gods, the reality is that if building is your goal, you're going to be starting off at the bottom – and you'll be doing a lot of sanding for not very much money.
In the beginning, we recommend that you do the building on the side and come see us to learn the most common repairs that working technicians run into. This approach will make you a valuable asset to your employer on day one. Don't want a new employer? Rather go solo? That's actually a thing if you have the necessary skills to perform the most common repairs in an efficient manner. After taking our classes, you'll have the education, repetition and the specialty tools needed to get your new career off of the ground.
We have a system that zeros in on the most efficient learning methods for the 5 most common repair issues: Setup and Maintenance, Nut and Saddle Making, Fretwork, Wiring and Structural Repairs.
Students can sign up for one class at a time and will spend around 10-20 hours of class time on just one subject. Class times are a combination of weekday evenings (7:30pm - 9:30pm) and weekend seminars (Sat & Sun 10am - 4pm). Prices are kept low and many classes include high-end specialty tools with the tuition. In an attempt to make classes available to as many people as possible, we've kept the hours convenient for most working adults. We'll even create special schedules for people with especially complex and inconvenient hours. Please inquire if you think this includes you.
Our courses are taught by Aryeh East; a seasoned luthier with many years of repair experience in nearly every facet of guitar repair and manufacturing. He worked in Los Angeles repairing and authenticating vintage pieces for independent dealers at the height of the market. He was the head luthier for the Chicago Music Exchange and was there at the beginning of Reverb.com. He was an instructor at the Chicago School of Guitar Making and was the only person outside of the school's founder and head instructor to create curriculum. He also had the number one revenue producing repair shop in the entire Sam Ash retail chain after only 6 weeks in a location with no previous clientele. Rest assured that you're learning from someone with the right experience in the repair business.
So whether you're new to guitar repair or you've already received an excellent education in building instruments at one of the top guitar making schools, come take a class at Artifact and elevate your repair game.