Classical Guitar Building

Learn all the techniques and skills needed to make a concert quality classical guitar! Whether you are just starting or have already built many classical guitars, this course has something for everyone.

Buy Now $335.50 156 Lessons 25:17:17

About This Course

Welcome to the Robert O’Brien Online Classical Guitar Building Course. In this course Robert shows in great detail how to build your own traditional classical guitar from beginning to end. The chapter on French polish finishing alone is worth the price of the entire course.

The complete course price includes free downloadable plans for O’Brien’s classical guitar design, his guitar mold used for building the guitar and detailed set up instructions. All were professionally drawn specifically for his online course.

If you buy the complete course you also get free bonus videos on the following topics:

You also become eligible to join Robert’s invitation only chat group. Here he offers advice and support as you build. There is a wealth of information available to you for free!

If you have ever wanted to learn how to build your own high end classical guitar then Robert’s Online Classical Guitar Building Course is a must!

Please read the FAQ page before beginning. To begin, just register/login and purchase the video lessons.

It has never been easier to learn the art of guitar building.

Happy Building!

Construction Notes for Classical Guitar

An in-depth, step by step, handbook designed as a companion to my “Online Classical Guitar Building Course”. It has over 150 pages of detailed instructions and each chapter contains hyperlinks to all of the lessons in my online course as well as links to my free YouTube “Luthier Tips du Jour” instructional videos. Free to download.

After 4 months of research, starts and stops I've finally finished my 1st classical in about 5 weeks using Robbie's course. I'm a bit in shock that it actually plays and sounds good seeing I had zero experience or tools starting out. This has been the hardest thing I've ever done and really can't believe I'm done. Certainly it has a few issues like little cosmetic things only I see or others if they really look, but overall I'm happy with it. Peter
See what others are saying


I just finished the Classical Guitar! This is a big deal for me. It's the first Guitar that I've built totally on my own. I used your Classical Guitar build video and your Classical Guitar voicing video for guidance. I worked very hard at staying within all the measuring tolerances that you presented for the build and as beginner I think that I did pretty well. I'm really happy with the guitar. I think that it sounds and looks good! I'll be starting another one very soon. You're a wonderful teacher. Thank you for your support. Polly
I put the strings on my second guitar build today. I followed your on-line Classical Guitar course and added some ideas from Jay Lichty’s Advanced Ukulele course(side sound port design and bound fingerboard). Both courses have great detailed step by step instructions. Thanks again for these wonderful resources. Ken
Thank you for the work you’ve put in building such an incredible website for teaching lutherie. Following your classical guitar building course, I was able to build one that surpassed all my other guitars (including my Cordoba C7) and used the knowledge acquired to build two outstanding Arabic ouds, I am attaching here my 3 projects as “proofs” or as a “thank you”. André
I second the video course from Robbie O'Brien for Classical Guitar building. It will be very good money spent. I don't think you will regret it. Also, you can go to LMI and order a Robbie O'Brien kit that has all the materials you will need to build your guitar, or you can customize it if you want different woods, etc. Check it out. Robbie is an EXCELLENT teacher. You can't go wrong Kevin
I have built three classicals from your online course and they came out great. Larry
I have enjoyed the course immensely and it has filled in quite a few gaps in my lutherie knowledge. Dan
I am in the process of finishing my first classical guitar with your online course. I have enjoyed the process and am interested in building a acoustic guitar as well Craig
I have purchased your online lesson for classical guitar building. It is amazing so far, I’m in chapter two. Craig
These manuals, together with the O'Brien online classical guitar course, are terrific--exceptional resources for students to study. I'm a recently retired veterinarian and I built several ukuleles this past year to develop some basic skills and knowledge of instrument construction. Now I'm going to attempt my first guitar build. It will be much easier using these resources as a guide. Thanks for help! Ken
parabéns!! para o seu excelente curso ! Cristiano - Brazil
Definitely get the Classical Online Course! I have watched it several times. But, I still haven't been brave enough to pick up the chisel to some high dollar rosewood, so I am still yet to start my first guitar Anthony
Definitely get the Classical Online Course! I have watched it several times. But, I still haven't been brave enough to pick up the chisel to some high dollar rosewood, so I am still yet to start my first guitar Anthony
Of all the books and references on classical guitar construction I own, I find yours most helpful! Don
You've said you like to see pictures and hear how your students have done. I'm attaching 3 pictures from my first classical guitar, based on your excellent video series. It's not perfect and I know what I would do different next time, but I learned a lot from making this and from your video series. Now I'm on to my next one (I have 2 customers waiting) ... Ron
I've finished my first classical guitar based off of your excellent video class. I learned a lot from it. Ron
I'm making my first classical guitar based off of your excellent online videos. So far, so good. Ron
Thanks for the great course. Peter
After 4 months of research, starts and stops I've finally finished my 1st classical in about 5 weeks using Robbie's course. I'm a bit in shock that it actually plays and sounds good seeing I had zero experience or tools starting out. This has been the hardest thing I've ever done and really can't believe I'm done. Certainly it has a few issues like little cosmetic things only I see or others if they really look, but overall I'm happy with it. Peter
I am attending your classical guitar building course. First, let me congratulate you on the amazing video material you created. I truly think your course is fantastic and extremely valid. It is teaching me many things and the more I watch the more enthusiastic I become. I just finished to watch and study chapter one and I already created quite a good piece of neck. Luca
I bought the course the other day and just completing watching it and taking detailed notes. It was extremely valuable and I really enjoyed it! Mizan
Comprei o seu curso de Violao Clássico. Puxa estou muito contente, valeu cada centavo! Me arrependo de não ter comprado seu curso antes, que maravilha! Cristiano - Brazil
I have purchased both your classical guitar building course and your steel string course. I have built 4 classicals and 2 steel strings. As always your videos are great and serve as a wonderful guide through the whole process. Steven
I am hooked! I am enjoying watching and learning how to build a classical guitar. I am binge watching through the lessons and cannot wait to get started. I am taking your advice and watching all the videos before starting. Raul
I recently purchased your classical guitar building course and I watched 20-30% of the contents so far. It’s a great course. Thank you so much making this available. Tateo
I started watching the videos already. I find them very interesting, especially the way you show several ways to do the same operation with less specialized equipment. Dan
I been through the classic online course several times & now assembling the shop – so I’m close!Thanks again for making such a fantastic course I am a retired professional trainer for Wilson Learning and I have never seen better! Ken St. John
I’m currently working my way through your online classical guitar building course. I wanted to say thank you for sharing your knowledge and skills of this amazing tradition with the rest of the world. I’ve had many years of woodworking experience and would never have been able to get as far as I have so quickly without your course. Jason
I finished my third Spanish guitar and the first one using your videos as my guide. What an amazing learning experience! Thank you for that. Your insights and detailed guidance gave me the confidence and the excitement to get the job done. As someone who’s only made a couple of Adirondack chairs until three years ago I’m very grateful for your expertise. Couldn’t have done it without your eyes and voice with me the whole way. Thanks. Noah
I just purchased your acoustic guitar course. I tried to ignore it for months but I just have to do it. It's true - I'm a repeater having used your classical course a few years ago with a wonderful result. Bob
This is a great course, and a significant addition to the instructional material available on guitar building. Jimmy
Just recently bought the 1st two chapters of your on-line classical guitar course and am absolutely loving them. Rick
Your videos are amazing. Your first video was the classical guitar course. I was the first person to purchase and have never looked back. To this day I reference that video. Very organized, logical step by step. Heidi
Just purchased the Classical Guitar Building course. I am already on CH. 4. So far the course is really making everything come together. I have read just about every classical guitar making book out there and now it's really making sense. Thanks for your hard work! Steve
I just finished my 3rd classical guitar using your online course.The course is terrific! Thanks again for teaching me how to make guitars. Steve in Minnesota
I purchased your online courses for classical and steel string guitars. In my opinion these are the best guitar-building instructional materials (video or written) available anywhere. Every step is explained and demonstrated in intricate detail. Your teaching style has a way of reducing stress and making the entire process an enjoyable journey, and the end result is a really great guitar! Jim
"I was the first person to purchase Robbie’s first online course “Classical Guitar Building” It feels as though Robbie is still right there, supporting me every step of the way. His in-depth step by step video programs are amazing and his style of building make it so easy to follow. It makes for a very pleasant building experience. I continue to purchase his online courses when ever a new one arrives online. I am now a full time builder and love when my instruments are played all over the world. Thanks Robbie for being such a great friend, an amazing teacher and mentoring me into the luthier I am today. " Heidi in Canada
Chapter 1 • The Neck
2:04:20 $31.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Layout and cut the scarf joint 8:07
Lesson 2: Cleaning up scarf joint 7:01
Lesson 3: Gluing the scarf joint 6:17
Lesson 4: Thicknessing the peghead 9:44
Lesson 5: Scale layout 10:41
Lesson 6: Gluing peghead veneers 9:13
Lesson 7: The heel block 6:48
Lesson 8: Slotting the heel 8:04
Lesson 9: Shaping the peghead 12:31
Lesson 10: Drilling tuner holes 6:50
Lesson 11: Cutting out tuner slots 7:38
Lesson 12: Top relief on heel block 5:21
Lesson 13: Shaping heel and tapering neck 9:01
Lesson 14: Sealing heel block 5:07
Lesson 15: Carving the peghead 13:57
Chapter 2 • The Sides
1:52:25 $31.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Thicknessing the sides 13:20
Lesson 2: More thicknessing 4:59
Lesson 3: Layout and taper of sides 13:41
Lesson 4: Bending the sides 15:00
Lesson 5: The End Block 8:26
Lesson 6: Cutting sides to length 7:07
Lesson 7: Gluing sides to end block 6:04
Lesson 8: Attaching the Neck 10:22
Lesson 9: Sanding and scraping 6:40
Lesson 10: Radiusing the sides 13:06
Lesson 11: Kerfing 15:00
Chapter 3 • The End Wedge
27:14 $14.50 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Making the end wedge 8:55
Lesson 2: Installing the end wedge 14:58
Lesson 3: Scraping the end wedge 5:01
Chapter 4 • The Top
2:58:14 $36.50 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Intro to making the top 3:43
Lesson 2: Joining the top 12:39
Lesson 3: Prepping top for rosette 9:23
Lesson 4: Sharpening and setting up The LMI cicrcle cutter 8:43
Lesson 5: Cutting the rosette channel by hand 13:16
Lesson 6: Installing the rosette 9:06
Lesson 7: Cutting rosette channel with a laminate trimmer 9:25
Lesson 8: Leveling the rosette 5:06
Lesson 9: Thicknessing the Top 8:28
Lesson 10: Graduating the top thickness 8:42
Lesson 11: Cutting out the soundhole 7:13
Lesson 12: The Bridge Patch 14:05
Lesson 13: Planing The Bridge Patch 3:18
Lesson 14: The Bracing Process Discussed 4:30
Lesson 15: Making Fan Braces 8:54
Lesson 16: Notching the Fan Braces 10:27
Lesson 17: Gluing the Fan Braces 9:14
Lesson 18: Shaping the Fan Braces 13:57
Lesson 19: Harmonic Bars 6:13
Lesson 20: Transverse Braces 11:19
Lesson 21: Soundhole bracing take three 4:55
Lesson 22: The finished top 5:49
Lesson 23: Spruce vs. Cedar 3:59
Chapter 5 • The Back
58:51 $20.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Thicknessing the back 6:29
Lesson 2: Joining the back 8:37
Lesson 3: Back centerstrip 14:59
Lesson 4: Making back braces 3:38
Lesson 5: Positioning back braces 9:46
Lesson 6: Radiusing the back braces 9:21
Lesson 7: Gluing back braces 7:21
Chapter 6 • Closing the Box
1:35:25 $31.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Kerfing prep 9:26
Lesson 2: Fitting the top 14:14
Lesson 3: Fitting the top (cont.) 13:42
Lesson 4: Fitting the back 14:08
Lesson 5: Fitting the back (cont.) 9:02
Lesson 6: Gluing the back 10:14
Lesson 7: Gluing the back (cont.) 12:03
Lesson 8: Installing the label 3:53
Lesson 9: Gluing the Top 5:38
Lesson 10: Flush trimming 4:26
Chapter 7 • Bindings
2:16:20 $20.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Setting up the binding jig 5:43
Lesson 2: Setting up the cutter 8:19
Lesson 3: Cutting the Binding channel 13:28
Lesson 4: Bending the Bindings 11:38
Lesson 5: Binding channel prep at neck joint 11:28
Lesson 6: Binding channel prep at neck joint (cont.) 8:26
Lesson 7: Installing Top Bindings 15:51
Lesson 8: Installing Top Bindings (Cont.) 18:45
Lesson 9: Installing Back Bindings 20:50
Lesson 10: Scraping Bindings 11:10
Lesson 11: Scraping Top and Side Bindings 12:42
Chapter 8 • The Fretboard
58:36 $20.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Slotting the fretboard 14:06
Lesson 2: Tapering the fretboard 8:54
Lesson 3: Thicknessing the fretboard 16:17
Lesson 4: Positioning the fretboard 8:14
Lesson 5: Attaching the fretboard 11:05
Chapter 9 • Neck Shaping
1:34:35 $31.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: The Heel Cap 7:08
Lesson 2: Shaping the heel 16:30
Lesson 3: Shaping the heel (cont.) 12:16
Lesson 4: Neck width 11:55
Lesson 5: Neck Thickness 6:09
Lesson 6: Neck radius 13:48
Lesson 7: Neck radius (cont.) 10:21
Lesson 8: Transition into Heel 5:16
Lesson 9: Transition into Peghead 6:30
Lesson 10: Final Shaping 8:02
Chapter 10 • Installing Frets
1:02:22 $20.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Leveling the fretboard 12:22
Lesson 2: Installing the Frets 16:41
Lesson 3: Installing the Frets (cont.) 20:29
Lesson 4: Completing Fret Installation 13:30
Chapter 11 • The Bridge
1:21:26 $20.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Bridge Design 3:03
Lesson 2: Bridge Dimensions 9:58
Lesson 3: Rough Slotting 11:18
Lesson 4: Bridge Radius 6:34
Lesson 5: Shaping the Wings 10:43
Lesson 6: Tie Block Bone 9:31
Lesson 7: Drilling Holes 14:03
Lesson 8: Sanding 9:34
Lesson 9: Beveling the edges 7:58
Chapter 12 • Finishing
6:10:09 $73.50 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Finishing Overview 0:49
Lesson 2: Rounding over Bindings 15:12
Lesson 3: Intro to Sanding 2:56
Lesson 4: Gap Filling 7:03
Lesson 5: Sanding the Peghead 13:32
Lesson 6: Sanding the Neck 6:17
Lesson 7: Sanding the Body 9:39
Lesson 8: Masking 15:33
Lesson 9: Shellac Seal Coat 7:13
Lesson 10: Intro to pore Filling 7:50
Lesson 11: Pore Filling 14:26
Lesson 12: Sanding the Pore Fill 9:33
Lesson 13: Sealing the pore fill 4:48
Lesson 14: Pore Filling the Neck 11:06
Lesson 15: Top Prep 11:10
Lesson 16: Mixing Shellac 12:05
Lesson 17: French polish technique - Sealing 21:20
Lesson 18: French polish technique - Polishing 27:13
Lesson 19: French polish technique - Leveling and more polishing 24:31
Lesson 20: Spiriting off 14:13
Lesson 21: French polishing the sides 28:28
Lesson 22: Fixing Dents 5:34
Lesson 23: Spiriting off the side 12:39
Lesson 24: French polishing the other side 10:13
Lesson 25: French polishing the top 20:56
Lesson 26: French polishing the top (cont.) 19:56
Lesson 27: Finishing the Neck 23:30
Lesson 28: Finishing the Peghead 11:38
Lesson 29: Rubbing Out the Finish 11:14
Lesson 30: Polishing problem areas 2:23
Lesson 31: Finishing Conclusion 1:29
Chapter 13 • Attaching the Bridge
22:39 $14.50 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Prep work 9:07
Lesson 2: Glueing the Bridge 13:32
Chapter 14 • Fretwork
26:23 $20.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Leveling the Frets 6:03
Lesson 2: Recrowning the Frets 8:59
Lesson 3: Sanding the frets 11:21
Chapter 15 • Set Up
1:08:18 $31.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Installing the Tuners 4:23
Lesson 2: Fitting and Shaping the nut 15:20
Lesson 3: Slotting the nut 14:30
Lesson 4: Making the Saddle 11:19
Lesson 5: Installing the Strings 11:16
Lesson 6: Final Adjustments 11:21
Lesson 7: Final Thoughts 0:49
Chapter 16 • Extras
Lesson 1: Side Bending by Hand 18:12
Lesson 2: Binding the Soundhole 15:30
Lesson 3: How to Select Soundboard Material 18:23
Lesson 4: The Soundport 25:42
Lesson 5: The Tornavoz 15:20