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Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College

Guitar Development and Production - Diploma


Career Area: Musical Instrument Repair & Building
Program: Guitar Repair & Building
Campus(es): Red Wing

Students from all over the world come to Red Wing to learn how to repair, design, and build guitars.

The Guitar Development and Production diploma takes lutherie to a higher level of challenge. The program is designed for students who have successfully completed Guitar Repair and Building.

In Guitar Development and Production, you will take on more complex projects involving archtop construction, intricate inlay, and advanced finishing. You’ll also gain experience in more demanding repair work, such as fixing broken headstocks, using patches and splines, bridge plate removal, and techniques for flattening acoustic tops.

Successful students are detail-oriented, highly motivated, and have the ability to sit at a workbench and stay focused on their work all day.

Design and build your own instruments

Students in Guitar Development & Production learn how to use CAD (computer aided design) software and CAM (computer aided machining) to create custom instrument body, headstock, bridges, and other instrument components.

Students build at least two instruments over the course of the year. All students construct either an archtop guitar or an A-model mandolin. In addition, students build a custom instrument of their own design, selecting the body style, tone woods, bracing pattern, neck dimension, headstock shape, rosette, binding, inlay, and other elements. This is an opportunity for students to express their highest level of craftsmanship and creativity!

Optionally students will complete additional projects during Guitar Development and Production. At the end of the year, first- and second-year student instruments are displayed and played in concert by professional musicians at the annual Student Guitar Show.

Our graduates are in high demand, working in music stores, independent repair shops, and instrument manufacturers. Many go on to start their own businesses in guitar repair and building.

Apply now for admission to MSC Southeast
For more information, visit www.redwingmusicrepair.org

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Cluster/Pathway
Career Field: Engineering, Manufacturing & Technology
Cluster: Manufacturing
Pathway: Maintenance, Installation & Repair
Recommended high school classes and basic job/program skills

Download the Program Plan

Courses

1) 1000 level (minimum) General Education courses required unless specified

Note:

It is recommended that this diploma be taken after completion of Guitar Repair and Building.

GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
English/Communications requirement
Choose one 2 credit (or greater) English or Communications course.
2 cr
Math requirement
Choose one 2 credit (or greater) Math course.
2 cr
 
4 crs
TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS
GTRB2402
Guitar Repair Shop
This course covers more advanced fretted instrument repairs such as neck and headstock crack, top, back, side, and brace crack repairs, splines, patches, fretwork on non-adjustable necks, and neck resets. Bridge plate removal and techniques for flattening acoustic tops will also be discussed. Completing basic set ups and repairs in a timely manner with professional quality, estimating parts, materials and labor will also be practiced. (Prerequisites: GTRB 1440, GTRB 1445, GTRB 1450, GTRB 1455) (4 credits: 1 lecture/3 lab)

Download the Course Outline

4 cr
GTRB2410
Guitar Special Topics
This class will be a 2-day workshop. It will provide an opportunity for 2nd year students to learn advanced techniques in repair, and or, building from one of the top professionals working in our field today. This will frequently be a past graduate and will also give the students a chance to learn from another source about the realities of going out into the workforce after graduation. (1 credit: 1 lecture/0 lab)

Download the Course Outline

1 cr
GTRB2412
Guitar Special Topics II
This class will be a 2-day workshop. It will provide an opportunity for 2nd year students to learn advanced techniques in repair, and or, building from one of the top professionals working in our field today. This will frequently be a past graduate and will also give the students a chance to learn from another source about the realities of going out into the workforce after graduation. (1 credit: 1 lecture/0 lab)

Download the Course Outline

1 cr
GTRB2415
Computer Drafting for Guitar
This course introduces Rhino 4.0 design software where students will design the outline for their instrument body, headstock, bridge and other design elements. Necessary drawings for templates and molds will also be created for use in GTRB 2420 using Rhino drafting software. (Prerequisites: GTRB 1440, GTRB 1445, GTRB 1450; Concurrent enrollment in GTRB 2420) (3 credits: 3 lecture/0 lab)

Download the Course Outline

3 cr
GTRB2420
CNC for Guitar
This course will focus on the use of a three-axis CNC router and Desk CNC CAM/controller software to aid in the creations of the 2d and 3d models created in GTRB2415. (Prerequisites: GTRB 1440, GTRB 1445, GTRB 1450; Concurrent enrollment in GTRB 2415) (3 credits: 1 lecture/2 lab)

Download the Course Outline

3 cr
GTRB2425
Archtop Guitar/Mandolin Construction
In this class the student will make a carved top and back archtop guitar or an A model mandolin. Prerequisites: GTRB1440, 1445, & 1450, concurrent enrollment in GTRB2415, & 2420 6 Cr (2 lect/pres, 4 lab, 0 other)

Download the Course Outline

6 cr
GTRB2432
Advanced Construction Project
In this course the student will build the guitar they have designed and made templates and molds for in GTRB 2410, 2415, & 2420. Time management and proglem solving will be crucial skills used and developed in this course. (Prerequisites: GTRB 1440, GTRB 1445, GTRB 1450, GTRB 2400, GTRB 2410, GTRB 2415 GTRB 2420; Concurrent enrollment in GTRB 2435) (9 credits: 2 lecture/7 lab)

Download the Course Outline

9 cr
GTRB2435
Advanced Guitar Finishing
This course covers the use of new technology coatings such as waterborne, two-component and UV conversion finishes. Additional techniques using nitrocellulose lacquer will also be covered. Metallic finishes will also be used for applying gold top and colored metallic finishes. Touch up techniques will be practiced. Final sanding and polishing all types of film finishes will be practiced. Refinishing methods and materials will also be discussed. (Prerequisites: GTRB 1450, GTRB 2415, GTRB 2420, GTRB 2425; Concurrent enrollment in GTRB 2430 ) (3 credits: 1 lecture/2 lab)

Download the Course Outline

3 cr
GTRB2445
Archtop/Mandolin Construction II
This is the Spring Semester continuation of GTRB2425. (Prerequisites: GTRB2425) (5 credits: 1 lecture/4 lab)

Download the Course Outline

5 cr
 
35 crs

Total Credit Requirement - 39


Estimated Costs for this Major

Approximate Tuition/Fees:$8,369
Minimum Tool Cost:$1,870
Books/Supplies:$20
Estimated Total:$10,259
 

 


Career Opportunities

  • Music Stores
  • Repair Shops
  • Guitar Makers
  • Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Outcomes

Program graduates will be able to:
  1. Diagnose, adjust, and repair, set ups, action, and intonation.
  2. Identify and understand parts and materials, and their use and characteristics.
  3. Safely and accurately use hand and power tools.
  4. Design and build a string instrument.
  5. Diagnose, estimate costs, and perform most guitar repairs.
  6. Perform finishing processes and touch up.
  7. Use the math, communications, and computer skills needed in lutherie.

Highlights

  • Unique in length and comprehensiveness in the United States
  • Additional career for musicians and teachers
  • No previous musical or woodworking experience necessary

Instructors

  • David Vincent earned his certificate from the Roberto Venn School of Luthiery, and then worked as a repair technician for 6 years at E.M. Short’s Guitars and Wichita Violin Shop in Wichita, Kansas. He has taught at MSC Southeast since 1984. David has built more than 50 instruments and helped students build over 600 instruments. He has made the guitars that are the first place prize for the Minnesota Flatpicking Guitar Championship since 2009.

  • Brian Boedigheimer received his diploma in Guitar Repair and Construction from Red Wing Technical College (now MSC Southeast) in 1994. For 12 years he provided service for music stores throughout the St. Croix Valley. He also worked on designs and built electric guitars with the Benedict Guitar Company. In 2003 he attended the Wood Finishing Technology Program at Dakota County Technical College. Currently he teaches full-time in the Guitar Repair and Building Program and in his spare time he designs and builds his own line of instruments.

  • Steve Rossow earned diplomas from the Guitar Repair & Building and Violin Repair programs in at MSC Southeast 2002. He apprenticed with luthier John R. Waddle in Saint Paul, under whom he studied violin making and restoration. Returning to MSC Southeast as a full-time instructor in 2010, Steve designed a curriculum for incorporating CNC work into guitar making and teaches computer-aided drafting and CNC in second year guitar program. He also teaches in the Violin Repair program.

 

Other Majors in the Guitar Repair & Building program

Electric Guitar Building CERT

Guitar Repair and Building DIP

Apply Now!

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Transfer Credits

Expand your opportunities. Learn how your credits can transfer to other colleges and universities.

College Articulated Transfer Agreements: Specific agreements between MSC Southeast and other institutions to accept transfer credits.

Minnesota Transfer: Transfer information provided by Minnesota State colleges and universities, Minnesota private colleges, and the University of Minnesota.

Transferology: A nationwide network to assist students in determining which courses will transfer.

 

RedWingMusicRepair.org

Instrument Close Ups

Learn more about the musical instrument repair programs on our Red Wing campus at RedWingMusicRepair.org.

 
 

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WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987 | 507-453-2700

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