The Guild of American Luthiers is a nonprofit educational membership organization whose purpose is to facilitate learning about lutherie: the art, craft, and science of stringed musical instrument building and repair. Since 1972, we’ve been the foremost source of information for makers, repairers, and restorers of all kinds of string instruments.

Guild membership and publications are open to all. Whether you’ve been making instruments for years, or have just acquired the lutherie bug; whether you live in Brooklyn or Bangladesh; whether lutherie is your livelihood or your passion or both; we invite you to join the Guild and learn more about the many ways you can benefit from and contribute to our information sharing system!

Membership Benefits


Member Discounts

Members get discounted prices on our books, back issues, plans, and more.


American Lutherie

Our respected journal American Lutherie is the main benefit of GAL membership.


Articles Online

Members can read a growing selection of our articles online.


American Lutherie #152 - Summer 2024

Evan Gluck and fellow veteran New York repair guy Larry Fitzgerald demonstrate fret-leveling techniques at our recent Convention. Derek Porter takes a rigorous instrument-making course in the English countryside and builds a large viol in the elaborate style of Joachim Tielke. Bog oak is wood from ancient logs preserved in peat bogs. Gary Southwell loves the stuff as a lutherie material. So does Kevin Aram. We visit the home workshop of Brad Goodman, who has been working alone for decades in his simple and efficient home workshop, building many styles of fine guitars. How it would affect the response of a flattop guitar to make the sides deeper, or to make the soundhole smaller? A college professor and two students have built the test apparatus to quantify the question. Make a semi-do-it-yourself fret press. Jury-rig an inexpensive fish scale into a useful jig for measuring individual string tension. Make a simple optimized Larrivée-style binding ledge cutter. Federico Sheppard presents action and relief details for eighty-nine instruments in one of the world’s great classical and flamenco guitar collections. Jeffrey Elliott fondly remembers his long-ago apprentice, Kent Rayman. Make a simple jig for replacing the rings in a rosette after the instrument is completed. Familiar industrial-strength hand cleaner cuts the finger schmutz that builds up on a guitar. Respect the simple beauty of a limp cloth measuring tape. J.R. Beall had the original idea for the Guild of American Luthiers. Now nearing ninety, he takes a look back on the whole project. Longtime member Marc Connelly pens an appreciation of R.E. Bruné, who encouraged his early efforts. See more.

Scheduled to be mailed to 2024 members in early August.

New Instrument Plan

1982 Douglas Ching Slack-Key Guitar
GAL Plan #81  Drawn by Tim Olsen

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Are you just getting started in guitar making, or thinking about becoming a luthier? Or are you an experience builder looking for an event or hard-to-find supplies? See our Resources page with links to lutherie schools, suppliers, organizations, events and more!