About Us

“The Guild is Great, the Guild is Good, the Guild is Great and Good!”

The Guild of American Luthiers is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational membership organization whose purpose is to facilitate learning about the art, craft, and science of lutherie. Membership in the Guild is open to everyone.

Started by a group of budding craftsmen in 1972, the Guild of American Luthiers has grown to become a driving force in the current “Golden Age” of lutherie through its constant commitment to a free exchange of information among luthiers of all areas and experience levels. Makers and repairers of guitars of all types, mandolins, violins, lutes, and other stringed instruments have found in the Guild’s publications and meetings a place to share their expertise and developing techniques, and to learn from the experience, successes, and trials of others in the field. In over forty years we have published almost 200 journals, ten books, and dozens of instrument plans. Thousands of members and hundreds of authors and presenters, including many of the world’s foremost luthiers, have supported the Guild’s free exchange of information and created a culture of openness that has helped advance the craft to the incredibly high level we see today. The Guild (GAL) is supported solely through membership dues, sales of its publications, and donations (donations are tax deductible in the USA). Our membership includes over 3,500 craftspeople, interested people, and lutherie suppliers in the USA and 40 other countries.

We invite you to join the Guild and participate in our worldwide community of luthiers! If you are just starting out, be sure to check out our Resources page and FAQ.

The Guild is headquartered in Tacoma, Washington, as it has been since our very early days. Since 1985, our office has been located on the ground floor of a former Odd-Fellows Hall, built in 1891, that has been restored by Tim and Deb Olsen. This is where our small staff handles all the day-to-day operations of the Guild. We host an open house here at the end of every GAL Convention.

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Contact Us!

Use our contact form for any of the following or other questions (check our FAQ too):

Members: Change of Address

Moving? Be sure to send us your new mailing address as soon as possible so you'll receive all your issues of American Lutherie. Include both your old and new address. Also, be sure to file a mail forwarding order with your post office, so they'll forward your American Lutherie if it's already in the mail.
New email address? Please send it to us so we can send renewal and other notices by email. We strictly limit the number of emails we send and do not share email addresses. It saves the Guild lots of dough if we can remind you to renew or share other news by email! Be sure to include your name and old email address.

Become a GAL Author

Much of the information that is published by the Guild is generated by our members. We encourage members to share their techniques, tips, lutherie adventures, “Meet the Maker” interviews, letters to the Editor, and more. See this page for info on becoming a GAL author. Then contact Tim to start the submission process or for more info.

Advertising in American Lutherie

See our AL Advertising page and Rate & Spec Sheet and contact Deb if you’d like to run your ad in American Lutherie.

Wholesale Book and Plan Orders

Contact us if you’d like to sell our books and plans in your shop or on your website and we’ll send you our wholesale rate sheet.