Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I get started making musical instruments?

A: Providing access to lutherie information is what the Guild of American Luthiers is all about. Here are some helpful resources. (more)

Q: Do you have a list of lutherie schools and programs?

A: Here's a listing of contact information for all the Lutherie Schools that we are aware of. Here's some helpful thoughts about choosing a lutherie school.

Q: Can you help me find a person to repair my instrument?

A: We get lots of e-mails and calls asking for repair referrals for all kinds of stringed instruments. It's hard to know how to handle these requests. Yes, we may know of a luthier in the area, but we don't feel comfortable as a referral service. What we can do is point our readers and web visitors in the right direction, and with a little effort and application of some detecting skills, anyone should be able to find a competent instrument repair person, even if the instrument has to be shipped. (more)

Q: Where can I find plans for a particular instrument?

A: The Questions Column of American Lutherie receives queries all the time from folks looking for instrument plans.  We get so many of these questions that we cannot print them all in the column, and frankly we rarely get answers to these questions anyway. We do want to help you find the plans you are looking for though, and have put together this FAQ to help in the search. Be aware that you may have to put some serious effort into this quest. Also be aware that plans are simply not available for a large number of instruments. (more)

Q: I have an old instrument. What is it and what is it worth?

A: We get photos of strange and wonderful stringed things and we get requests for referrals to competent and honest appraisers. There are many resources to draw upon, but you need to take the responsibility for finding the right person or people who can help you. (more)

Q: Where do I find parts for my instrument?

A: The Questions Column of American Lutherie receives queries all the time from musicians looking for sources of parts for their instruments. We rarely print these questions in the column as they are rarely of general interest to luthiers, but we do want to help you find the parts you are looking for and so have put together this FAQ. (more)

Q: Have you ever published an article about (person, instrument, tool, proceedure...)?

A: Here are some strategies to find an article in our back issues.

Q: What would it cost to advertise in American Lutherie?

A: Check out our current advertising rates.

Q: Should I put the Guild's logo on my business card?

A: The Guild of American Luthiers retains exclusive rights to the use of its name and trademark logo. Since membership in the Guild is open to all, Guild membership is not in any way a stamp of approval and should not be used in a way that implies such approval. For this reason, we prefer if members not use the logo on their business cards, stationary and so forth, as this might give the impression of some sort of endorsement to the general public. On the other hand, if members would like to promote Guild membership among their fellow luthiers, we encourage them to mention that they are members. For the purpose of promoting the Guild, we provide a Guild logo for use on websites as a link to the Guild webpage. The guiding principle is that if you're using the Guild name in order to show support for it and encouraging others to join, we approve; but if you use the Guild name or logo to show that the Guild is somehow endorsing an individual luthier or company, which we don't do, then we disapprove.

Q: How can I add my link to the GAL website?

A: Send your url and a brief description to dale (at) We will try and get it uploaded as soon as possible. Please put a reciprocal link back to our website on your page. (

Q: How can I find info about my luthier ancestor?

A: We get a lot of questions from folks trying to find information about ancestors that are thought to have been luthiers. (more)

Also, many of the links on our Resources Page are highly informative and are valuable rescources in their own right. Check them out.

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