What Are the Best Tips for Making a DIY Guitar?

Tara Barnett

Making a DIY guitar is a modern application of a craft that has been around since the first guitar was made. Tips for designing guitars are both extremely varied and very thorough. For making a first guitar, there are a number of tips that can be helpful, although starting by taking a class that will teach specifically this type of woodworking is truly the best way to start. People who are interested in making highly unique or modern guitars may be better served by tips that address the technical aspects of guitar making. When making a DIY guitar for one's self, it is most important to remember that a little creativity can lead to a guitar that is perfect for one's body and meets precisely one's requirements.

A guitar.
A guitar.

Many people who set out to make a DIY guitar are interested in making a classic acoustic guitar. This type of guitar requires a number of woodworking tools as well as the experience to put these items together in a way that will not break under the stress of the strings. Choosing materials is very important for an acoustic guitar, so researching different types of wood and various designs is a good idea. Starting out making an acoustic guitar from a kit can be a great way to get a little experience while minimizing the risk of failure.

An electric guitar.
An electric guitar.

Electric guitars can be made from many different materials, although the frets must meet certain measurements in order to play the appropriate notes. A DIY guitar of this type is often made from wood or other conventional materials, but it can be in any shape the designer imagines. Making guitars in unique shapes is a great way to take advantage of the freedom offered by doing a craft one's self.

One tip to keep in mind when making a DIY guitar is that the placement of the frets is very important to get right. If this placement is wrong, the guitar will not make the desired notes or will be perpetually out of tune on some notes. The neck itself can be made at a size that is appropriate for different users, but the standard relationship between the frets is very important for the finished guitar.

Guitar making classes are offered at many community colleges and other types of schools with the appropriate equipment. If one's goal is to make the perfect guitar for one's needs rather than sell guitars, one may be better served by using the tools available at one of these institutions. On the other hand, taking master woodworking classes and other relevant courses may be the best path if one intends to sell guitars. Guitar makers once took apprentices to pass on the extremely detailed and complicated craft of making guitars. Taking a class is one way a DIY guitar maker can learn some of the important skills needed to continue in the time honored craft.

A DIY acoustic guitar must be able to withstand the tension from the strings.
A DIY acoustic guitar must be able to withstand the tension from the strings.

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