Thank you for your interest in our 3-month lutherie school Complete Program.

Compared to our shorter ‘single instrument’ programs such as our ‘3-Week Electric Guitar Building Course‘ and our ‘5-Week Acoustic Guitar Building Course‘, which have tighter time constraints, three months will have you blueprinting as well as making your own jigs and templates from which to build an electric guitar, an acoustic guitar and an additional guitar of your choosing.

This is the ideal program for students interested in understanding the entire guitar building process from conception to completion or for the aspiring luthier interested in getting up and running in their own shop.

For course details and answers to common questions, continue reading…

Michael Whitney | Luthier, Instructor

$12,500 CDN | Now Accepting Applications for 2024 -  CLICK HERE TO APPLY!

We ask that you review our School Policies before registering.


Students enrolled in this course will taken an immersive ‘deep dive’ into guitar building and acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to build their very own electric and acoustic guitar(s) from the ground up.

Unlike the shorter 3-Week Electric Guitar Building Course and the 5-week Acoustic Guitar Building Course, this course includes the fabrication of all molds and templates required so that students gain a thorough understanding of guitar building from blueprinting to assembly.

Students can expect to complete the course with a finished Telecaster-style or Strat-style guitar, an OM or Dreadnought guitar, and time permitting, a guitar build of their choosing.

Little-to-no experience with power tools? No problem. I take a ground-up approach with all of my students and build upon more basic tasks. This fosters the confidence and skillsets that students require to complete any shop task be it in my shop, or in their own.

*NOTE: While previous tool use is not mandatory, it is an asset in the course. A minimum of grade ten math is mandatory.


Below is a loose walk-thru of what to expect during the three-month ‘complete’ guitar building course.


TELECASTER BUILD: Students will begin their learning with discussions on scale-length and move into blueprinting and layout using traditional drafting techniques. From here, we move into precise template building to develop hand-eye skills and explore neck faceting and ‘dummy carves’ before creating our finished body and neck. Finishing, assembly, fret-work and a setup will complete this build.


ACOUSTIC BUILD: Students will work from a shop blueprint and develop their own templates from which to construct their own acoustic guitar. Milling and prepping stock, bending sides, preparing the rim, installing kerfing, final rim profiling to receive the plates, establishing correct neck geometry, building the bridge, neck carving and so forth will all be covered in great detail. The build is completed with fretwork, finishing and setup work.


BUILD OF CHOICE: At this phase of the course, students are free to use other shop plans to build a different steel-string guitar or a guitar of their choosing.

Note: Due to individual learning styles and pace, not all students will complete the final guitar within the three month course window but will have amassed the skills necessary to complete the final project on their own.


Elliott Wooding, Gibsons BC

Lutherie Course - Whitney School of Guitar Building
Elliott Wooding
Finish Carpenter | Gibsons BC, Canada

An amazing experience…

I recently finished the three month guitar building course at Whitney Guitars and I have to say it was an amazing experience. I’m now at home and have the knowledge and confidence to set up my own shop and start building guitars. Mike is an awesome teacher.

Elliott W. Lutherie Course Testimonial



'complete' guitar building course
  • COURSE TYPE On-site; hands-on; one-on-one
  • STYLE Tele, Steel String, Classical or Tenor Ukulele PLUS Guitar of Choice
  • ACOUSTIC BACK AND SIDES Mahogany or Black Walnut
  • SOUNDBOARD Sitka Spruce, Engelmann Spruce, or Cedar
  • FRETBOARD Ebony or Rosewood
  • NUT & SADDLE Bone or Corian
  • TUNERS Black, Silver, or Gold
  • FINISH TYPE French Polish or (*Add-on - Emtech Water-based Lacquer)
  • HOURS 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
  • DEPOSIT $600 (includes $100 registration fee)

We ask that you review our School Policies before registering.

The next available course date will always be listed at the top of this page. If you are interested in securing a date not listed, feel free to contact me and we can discuss availability. All courses require a $600, deposit which includes a $100 registration fee. Please see our ‘Registration and Payment Policies‘ before registering.

If you have a specific start-date in mind, please contact me to discuss. It may mean that we double you up with another student, but class sizes will never exceed two students at any one time so that I can provide you with the dedicated attention required to make your building experience a great one. Please note that apart from the weekends or statutory holidays, I will not further break up a given course time-frame.

The ‘register now’ buttons above will bring you to a page where you can submit your $500 deposit as well as your $100 registration fee via PayPal. If you do not have a PayPal account, you can send your deposit via eTransfer to mike [@] whitneyguitars [dot] com or as a bank draft made payable to ‘Michael Whitney’.

Once payment has been received, I will message you directly to welcome you to the course and answer any additional questions you may have.

NOTE: The remainder of the course fee is due on the first day of class for our 1-week, 3-week and 5-week courses. Longer 3-month, 6-month and 1-year course fees may be made in monthly instalments or paid in full on the first day of class. Please see our ‘Registration and Payment Policies‘ for more information.

Currently, we do not offer accommodations on site. However, most of our students stay at local AirBnBs.

The Okanagan valley is a tourist mecca boasting endless wine-tasting, stunning scenery and tons of outdoor activities. You’ll definitely love the quaint town of Summerland and the surrounding area.

While tool experience is not necessary, it is certainly an asset.

The only academic requirement for the course is a minimum of grade ten math and a working knowledge. Specifically, proficiency working with decimals, fractions, multiplication and division is critical, as is being able to read ruler.

Yes. All courses require a $600 deposit which includes a $100, non-refundable registration fee to secure your spot.

For our 1-week, 3-week and 5-week courses, the balance of the course fees are due upon the first day of class. Four our longer 3-month, 6-month, and 1-year programs, a monthly payment schedule will be emailed to you upon registration, or you are welcome to pay your course fees in full on the first day of class. For more information, please review our ‘Registration and Payment Policies‘.

Your deposit can be submitted via PayPal by using the button above, via eTransfer to: mike [@] whitneyguitars [dot] com., or by way of a bank draft made payable to ‘Michael Whitney’. Upon receipt of your deposit, I will reach out to welcome you to the course and answer any additional questions you may have.

Yes. Students requesting a specific start date or those wanting to pre-register are encouraged to register as far in advance as possible.

If you have questions about coming course availability, feel free to contact me to discuss.

As you’ll be in a working shop, hearing protection, safety glasses, a dust-mask, and appropriate footwear is recommended. If you’d like a specific list of items, I can message that to you with links.

Notebooks, binders and pens / pencils will be provided.

Some students like to work with their own lutherie tools. If you have a small kit you’d like to bring, that is encouraged, although not necessary. Key items to consider are: digital callipers; 6″ centre-finding rule.

Yes. You have the choice of a hand-rubbed oil finish, a water-based spray-lacquer finish or a French polish on (acoustic instruments). We use ultra-low VOC Emtech EM 6000 lacquer, which is comparable to nitrocellulose based finishes. If you would like me to finish your guitar for you and send it to you, I can do that at an additional cost.

As hardware costs and preferences can vary greatly, students are responsible for supplying their own hardware (tuning machines, pickups and so forth). If you have hardware you want to bring to the course you are welcome to do so. Alternately, we can choose hardware together during the initial days of your course so that they are ready come time for assembly. Turnaround time for parts is typically 2 days via FedEx to our shop.

In the interest of time and in producing the best results, we recommend that students ‘walk before they run’. You can experiment in your own time once you have the foundational skills. That is our goal in the program.

As an alternative, you may want to consider one of our other in-depth courses as each takes a deeper look into blueprinting, mold-making and conceptualizing your designs after gaining a foundation with more fundamental guitar projects. Read more about our Guitar Building Courses.

Please review our ‘Registration and Payment Policies’, here.

Of course. For all other inquiries, feel check our ‘General FAQs‘ or free to send me a note through the contact form.