Learn Repair

** We are not accepting students at this time. Sorry! **

Learning instrument repair at Fretted Strings is a unique and comprehensive experience.

  • You’ll be learning from Harrison Phipps, who has been doing fretted instrument repair for over 30 years.
  • You have the opportunity to witness the day-to-day happenings of a full-service repair shop.
  • You’ll gain experience working with multiple types of instruments, and both acoustic and electric-specific repairs.
  • You will practice thinking on your feet, including improvising jigs and techniques for unusual situations.
  • You’ll have the experience and confidence to believe that everything can be repaired.

Our Repair Courses:

1. Technical Introduction
Designed for music store professionals, working instrument technicians and those who desire to learn and perform proper set up and maintenance of their own instruments. It is for those interested in lutherie but who do not have the time for the longer, more involved courses. Topics include, but aren’t limited to: evaluating an instrument’s condition, proper set-up of both electric and acoustic instruments, fret evaluation and minor work, electrical evaluation and minor work.

Cost is $600 and class size ranges from 2 to 6 people.

2. Essentials
Includes the basic principles, tools, techniques, parts and physics related to repair of the most common issues. In this course you will learn how to accurately diagnose problems a client may be having with their instrument. We will cover how to select the best (out of several) methods to remedy the problem and then make the actual repair. You will learn how to make a thorough evaluation of all aspects of the instrument that affect playability and optimum tone. Being able to make someones guitar sound better and play better will earn you a repeat customer. Income from fretted instrument repair can be a significant part of a luthiers income.

Cost is $2,500 and class size ranges from 2 to 6 people and is held over a 4 week period.

3. Comprehensive
This is an opportunity to get immersed in all aspects of a full service luthier shop where building and repairing are done full time. In addition to all topics covered in the less comprehensive courses, we will cover selecting instrument grade wood, resawing planks into tops, backs and sides, and selecting the best sets based on strength and tonal properties. If you are well disciplined you have the opportunity to build and complete your own guitar or ukulele.

Cost is $10,000 and is limited to 2 students for 24 weeks.