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The Chicago School of Guitar Making

Welcome to the Chicago School of Guitar Making! We teach classes in guitar setup and repair, guitar building, effects pedal building, tube amplifier building and tube amp diagnostics. We are the only school in Chicago where you can learn instrument repair and building from a professional luthier. We are also the only school teaching the craft of tube amplifier building. Since opening in 2005, more than 1,900 students have enrolled in our classes.


Below is information about our classes, facility and staff. For additional information about our school and the classes we teach, please visit our FAQ and About pages.


Schedule   Click here to see our current course list!

Courses and workshops are offered all year. We release the schedule of new sessions every six months to give students ample notice.

Courses are scheduled to meet either weekly or as weekend seminars.

The weekly classes meet weekday evenings from 7 pm to 9:30 pm.

Weekend seminars provide the same curriculum as weekly courses but are condensed into a weekend format. These seminars are ideal for those who have schedule conflicts with our weekly classes or are not in close proximity to the Chicagoland area.

We send out an email Newsletter several times each month announcing the school’s upcoming schedule and any new classes. Please sign up for our newsletter by providing your email address in the Newsletter Sign Up box which is found in the upper right hand corner of this web page!



Our school is located at Specimen Products, 1240 N. Homan Ave, Chicago IL, 60651.

It is outfitted with individual workbenches custom-made for the students. Each workbench is stocked with all the tools required in our classes. Students also have access to our fully-equipped wood and metal shop, and a wealth of specialized tools and supplies.



Ian Schneller Ian is the Chief Instructor and founded the School in 2005. Ian teaches Design & Theory + Blueprint Course, Tube Amp Building and Champ Tube Amp Building at the Chicago School of Guitar Making. He is also a faculty member of the Sculpture Department at the School of the Art Institute and owner of Specimen Products.

Pete Mueller Pete is a guitar builder and repair technician at Specimen. Pete teaches Electric Guitar BuildingLap Steel Guitar BuildingSetup & Maintenance for Guitar and BassBone Nut & Saddle MakingAdvanced Repairs and Fretting Workshop at the Chicago School of Guitar Making.

Richard Phillis Richard is a guitar builder, repair technician and surface finisher at Specimen. He teaches Effects Pedal BuildingGuitar ElectronicsElectric Guitar BuildingLap Steel Guitar BuildingAdvanced RepairsSetup & Maintenance for Guitar and Bass and Finishing Techniques at the Chicago School of Guitar Making.

Kye Kennedy We are pleased to offer the rare opportunity to learn the fundamentals of Tube Amp Building and Tube Amp Diagnostics & Repair with master technician Kye Kennedy. Kye is a visiting guest instructor who travels to Chicago from Nashville, Tennessee specifically to give instruction at the school.



These courses are part of our foundation curriculum and are structured to teach students the essentials of guitar repair and design. All of our foundation courses provide a good groundwork for anybody interested in building their own custom guitar.

Advanced Guitar Repair

Bone Nut & Saddle Making

Effects Pedal Building – One Pedal

Effects Pedal Building – Two Pedals

Fretting Workshop

Finishing Techniques

Guitar Electronics Repair & Upgrades

Setup & Maintenance for Guitar and Bass

Champ Tube Amp Building

Hi-fi Stereo Tube Amp Building

Tube Amp Building

Tube Amp Diagnostics & Repair

Students ready to embark on building their own instrument can enroll in:

Electric Guitar Building

Guitar Design & Theory + Blueprint

Lap Steel Guitar Building

Acoustic Ukulele Building

Acoustic Guitar Building – The Martin ooo