Guitar Repair & Building
The Guitar Repair & Building program at Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical in Red Wing draws students of all ages and backgrounds from all over the world.
Located on Southeast Technical's Red Wing campus, the Guitar Repair & Building program prepares students for a career in lutherie. Experience hands-on learning as you progress from basic repairs to the step-by-step process of building an acoustic guitar!
Beginning with the correct use of power and hand tools, our students gain a thorough understanding of woods, adhesives, history, and materials related to fretted instruments. You will practice a variety of common repairs and learn acoustic and electric guitar set-up, fretwork, finishing, and how to perform neck resets.
No previous woodworking experience or musical ability is required, but successful students are detail-oriented, highly motivated, and have the ability to sit at a workbench and stay focused on their work all day.
- First year guitar students build a flat-top steel string guitar in Guitar Repair & Building and also have the option to build an electric guitar.
- Second year students can choose to build a mandolin or archtop guitar and will also design and build their own acoustic guitar, electric guitar, or mandolin as part of the Guitar Development & Production diploma.
Our graduates are in high demand, working with music stores, independent repair shops, and instrument manufacturers. For more information, visit redwingmusicrepair.org. To become a student, apply for admission to Southeast Technical.
Program Learning Outcomes
Program graduates will be able to:
- Diagnose, adjust, and repair, set ups, action, and intonation.
- Identify and understand parts and materials, and their use and characteristics.
- Safely and accurately use hand and power tools.
- Design and build a string instrument.
- Diagnose, estimate costs, and perform most guitar repairs.
- Perform finishing processes and touch up.
- Use the math, communications, and computer skills needed in lutherie.
- 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 Southeast Technical 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 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 Southeast Technical 2002. He apprenticed with luthier John R. Waddle in Saint Paul, under whom he studied violin making and restoration. Returning to Southeast Technical as a full time instructor in 2010, Steve has designed a curriculum for incorporating CNC work into guitar making and now teaches advanced acoustic guitar construction and computer-aided drafting in the Red Wing Guitar Repair and Building program.