“You will be amazed at the quality of any instrument you build at the Colorado School of Lutherie. I’ve built two guitars and I was thrilled, not only with my own results, I was truly impressed with every guitar in both classes. People of all abilities, most with little or no experience, produced fine instruments. It’s a credit to the school’s dedication to craftsmanship, teaching, and individual attention. You get a great experience in addition to a wonderful instrument. Pride included.”
– Ken Waag
“My experience attending classes at the Colorado School of Lutherie has been life changing. I’ve never had fun learning until having Edward as a teacher. He is a master of his craft and a genius if you ask me. If anyone is thinking of taking some classes here I would say do it!!! There is no way you will regret it and you will greatly benefit. Thanks Ed and Tom for all your help! I will be back!”
– Dalen Buckalew
“I have taken three classes at the Colorado School of Lutherie. Edward’s classes provide an incredible and unique hands-on opportunity for those interested in guitars and in building musical instruments. His teaching of core hands-on skills in a program that ensures each student ends up with a beautiful and valued instrument makes his classes a special value. Class time is a great mix of instruction and discussion of theory, along with some great stories.”
– Phil Lidov
“Hello, I am a past graduate of the December 2003 Colorado School of Lutherie. I would like to encourage anyone who has the interest, financial ability and desire to explore one of the most unique experience’s available in Colorado.
First and foremost, I would like to state at the outset many people believe they can teach; few can truly do it justice. It takes a very special talent to teach well.
Edward Dick has a wonderful way of teaching anyone from the experienced woodworker to the novice, to those with no experience at all. There is no place for intimidation, you will all be on an incredible journey.
All classes are kept in a small group so that everyone is given lots of personal guidance and individual assistance. These classes offer each student an opportunity of a lifetime to create an excellent instrument. There are some guidelines needed in order to keep everyone on track, but it also offers some personal creative exploration.
This will become not only your favorite time of the week, it will leave you with a satisfaction unsurpassed. In the end of the course, you will have an exquisite treasure to behold, admire and play for a lifetime.
I am proud to have had the opportunity to share in one of these sessions and would love to do it again. If I can offer any additional information, please feel free to contact me.”
– Respectfully, Robert Wall
“I made two guitars at Victor Guitar. The program excels in 3 ways. (1) Lots of experience and a broad base of knowledge, (2) Good at explaining and demonstrating – an enthusiastic teaching style. (3) Good instructional set up – materials and tools ready to go, good time management and small class size allows for individuals attention. PLUS, both guitars are excellent instruments.”
– Herb Dreo
“During the past two years, I’ve taken two classes with the Colorado School of Lutherie and will be signing up for a third. If I had my druthers, I’d sign up for an Apprenticeship.
I initially took the beginner’s class after reading about Edward Dick in the Denver Post. As a lifelong musician, I was interested in exploring the mechanics of instruments themselves. Edward’s classes touch upon a range of subjects, including biology, physics, math, engineering, acoustics, design, and art. There is no right- or left-brained dominance here. You’re challenged in both.
At this point, I feel confident in my ability to craft a high-end instrument on my own (I’ve made both a 6-string and twelve-string guitar). However, I really appreciate the atmosphere that Edward and Tom Hunter-Crump create in their studio. The class is a welcome respite from the motion of every day life. Both men are exceptionally patient and encouraging (I hadn’t done any real woodworking since shop class in middle school, circa 1979). The classes are comprised of musicians, wood workers, mechanics, chefs – you name it. However, the students all share a love of learning and risk-taking. Every measurement, cut, and chisel must be thoughtfully considered. I guarantee you’ll be out of your comfort zone in the best possible way. You’ll be nervous. Mistakes will be made. And you’ll be forced to consider what you’ll do differently the next time. Not unlike life itself. As Edward advises, “Shoot for perfection and live with what you get.” Fortunately, Edward and Tom – without doing it for you – will guide you very close to the perfection you seek.
In a world of constant distractions, there is something wonderfully monastic about standing in front of a bench upon which rests a piece of wood. In sixteen weeks, that wood is painstakingly transformed into a guitar that rivals a high-end Martin or Gibson. You’ll find yourself more distracted by your own hand-built guitar than your Twitter feed.”
– Rich Amend
“I couldn’t have been happier with my experience at the Victor Guitar guitar building class. The instructors are experts in lutherie and were very patient with us novice builders. I now have a beautiful guitar which is my go to for playing. The sound is incredible and exactly what I have been looking. Thank you both for an incredible experience.”
– Keith E Gundy, satisfied customer!
“The Colorado School of Lutherie provides a world class opportunity to realize the dream of building your own guitar. Thank you Edward for your infinite patience, sense of humor, and incredible knowledge that allowed me to build not one but three amazing guitars.”
– Don Anderson
“All ‘fingers and thumbs’ and with barely any understanding of what a tool was, let alone a workshop, I decided to sign up with Edward and learn how to do something practical.
On day one of the class it became clear that I was in for a few surprises.
There I was, staring at a piece of wood and my first thought was …..”What the heck do I do with that?”
Fortunately I didn’t need to answer the question. Help was at hand and for the next weeks and months I was guided, step by exacting and expert step, through the minefield of guitar construction.
And as things began to take shape I found a new sense of satisfaction, and a possessiveness that I have not felt for any other material possession.
It may not be a Hermann Hauser. But it’s unique. It’s MY guitar. And no-one can ever take that away.
Thank you Edward.”
“After a number of years playing guitar and working my way up to “better” ones, I became dissatisfied with the somewhat generic sound of many factory-built guitars (Martins and Taylors). I’d done a lot of research into different woods and how they affect tonal qualities, so I took the guitar-building class in an effort to learn to build what I wanted. The end result was that I can now build custom-made guitars to my specifications at far less cost than taking a chance on an off-the-rack guitar. I wish I’d taken the class years earlier.”
-Tim (first class 2011)
“I absolutely loved the guitar building class. I learned a lot more then how to build a guitar. The shaping of the braces and “pencil standings” to tune the top was a surprise. I didn’t expect to learn and understand how to fine tune the sound board.
The beginning guitar builders class far exceeded my expectations. I learned more, did more and my guitar sound and plays 1000 times better then my highest expectations. A week after the class, I am already making my own molds and will order wood for my next guitar soon.
I didn’t expect to know how to make molds, intelligently choose woods and feel confident that I can “tune” the sound board.
I am completely blown away with how challenging and fun the class was.”
– Brad Carvey
“Playing guitar made me curious as to how they worked, why some guitars sounded better or played easier than others. I stopped in at Victor Guitar/Colorado School of Lutherie and met Edward Dick. I enrolled in Edward’s beginner steel string building class. There were seven other folks in the class, and all were intent on building their own guitars, it was an appealing and interesting group of people. Each class began with an explanation of what we were going to be doing in that class, a demonstration, and off we went. We didn’t learn to simply inset tab A into slot A All along the way, Edward would explain why this angle is crucial, why a brace was carved in a pattern, how and what processes or structures would mean in the finished instrument. Edward’s approach was to teach us how and why we could join 25 to 30 pieces of wood together to produce guitars with quality sound and playability. It all came together to make sense, and eight people completed the class with finished guitars they are proud of.
I enrolled in Edward’s intermediate steel string class, met another great group of folks, and made the journey to another finished guitar that I enjoy playing. In hindsight, I see that Edward and assistant Tom Crump conducted the classes professionally, but fostered a family feeling that developed between students and instructors. Under Edward’s guidance, students committed to quality work, and learned how it is that acoustic guitars can come to life.
Paying attention in the first class, and adding good notes in second class made me think that maybe I could build a guitar in my shop at home. So I did, it was sort of a mess. I exchanged emails with Edward and took the guitar into the shop. Edward most generously evaluated what I had done, explained and showed me how to make corrections, and solidly encouraged me to keep after it. I have kept after it, but I take each one to Edward for his honest evaluation and thoughts when it’s done.
My thanks and appreciation to Edward Dick. He doesn’t run a guitar building mill. He offers a class that is solid in the fundamentals of woodworking and acoustic guitar theory and design. He is focused on the success of his students and the art of lutherie. I couldn’t ask for more.”
– Dick Harlan
“Don’t enroll in a building class at the Colorado School of Lutherie if you’re just looking for another guitar. For what the tuition will cost you, you can buy a heck of a guitar. But, as I explained to my wife when I signed up for my last building class, “I don’t need another guitar, but I do want to build another guitar.”
And where better to do it? I’ve taken several classes at the Colorado School of Lutherie over the years—building and otherwise—and always come away with a good feeling, and, sometimes, a new guitar. What could be more interesting to a player/trader/collector than designing his or her own instrument, from body size and shape to wood choices to neck profile and scale length. Edward Dick, proprietor, offers a variety of molds for different body sizes, and if you have it in mind (as I did) to build something non-standard he’ll be glad to help you build a mold to accomplish that.
No woodworking or building experience? No problem. Edward and Tom Crump, the other on-site instructor, can walk anybody through anything. If you do have experience, it’s your chance to challenge yourself. You can build what you want, though more complex instruments, say with an intricate inlay pattern, for instance, may require some at-home work. And if you’re worried about mistakes, don’t be. Everyone makes them, but Edward and Tom have seen just about everything, and will figure out a way to minimize the impact.
My last class included students with several builds to their credit and a man who’d never touched a woodworking tool prior to class, and others that fell in between. The class yielded one classical, one tenor, one twelve-string and several six-string guitars of varying sizes and shapes. It’s really up to you to decide what you want to build.
Each student gets his own workbench for the duration of the class, all materials and access to every tool in the well-equipped shop, along with instruction on how to safely and effectively use them. Every major manufacturer, Martin, Gibson, et al, build quality, good-sounding instruments, but there is nothing quite as personal, quite as endearing, as the one you make for yourself or for someone you care about. So the next time you’re thinking about a new guitar or uke, and you’re feeling the least bit adventurous, consider the Colorado School of Lutherie. It might just be a good fit for you.”
-Tom L. 2014