Thursday, October 30, 2014

Electric Design

There is a new offering as part of our Electric Guitar Building certificate which is a one credit Electric Design course.  Historically the design and blueprinting process started in the spring semester Electric Construction course which would take at least two full class days.  That class time becomes incredibly valuable toward the end of the seven week building process.  By creating the fall Electric Design course students have more time to plan what they'd like to build, complete the design process and have a working drawing to help them choose the correct material sizes to order for spring.  Not only that, but it will save all of the students valuable time in the actual building process.
Here is a design nearing completion.  The necessary dimensions are listed so someone can get the answer they're looking for without ever needing to measure the drawing. 
It can't be overstated how important the design and blueprinting is for a successful build.  As you work through the design on paper (or in a CAD program) problems with the idea will come to light.  You'll get a sense of how something will be constructed and plan ahead to make the process as smooth as possible.
This years students have the advantage of knowing all of the dimensions before they need to order wood for the build.  Making sure the material is over-sized enough will likely avoid some improvisational solution during construction.
On the first day of Electric Construction this spring, students will right away begin making templates.  They will want to have their finished blueprint with them as reference during the building process.  We're hoping these changes allow for a little more breathing room during the build for when unforeseen issues or mistakes pop up.  This should translate to a cleaner "fit and finish" to each students instrument.  After all, the fit and finish are what skilled luthiers will be looking at as they consider hiring one of our graduates!  We encourage students to focus on building a very clean, well-built simpler design for their first build. 
Here is the guitar from the drawing coming together.  This instrument was built in an early school year.
So what does this change mean for students coming into the Guitar Repair and Building program at Southeast Technical College?  The majority of credits required for the building certificate are already a part of the diploma program.  In order to complete the certificate students need to sign up and successfully complete the new fall semester Electric Design class which is a prerequisite for the Electric Construction course in spring semester.  The other fall courses needed for the certificate are also prerequisites for the spring building course.  Once students successfully complete the spring Electric Construction and Intro to Finishing course they will have earned the certificate in addition to a diploma.

Students in our diploma program that do not plan on building an electric guitar in spring are also welcome in the fall Electric Design class.  Taking the class would help them understand electric guitars if they are unfamiliar with them which very well might help them as they enter a real world shop setting.

If you would like more information about our Guitar Repair and Building Program at Southeast Technical please contact our admissions department anytime!

Here are all of the courses which make up the Electric Building Certificate:

GTRB1414 Guitar Overview Topics (fall) 3cr
GTRB1415 Electric Guitar Set Up, Lab (fall) 3cr
GTRB1417 Electric Guitar Design (fall) 1cr
GTRB1418 Electric Guitar Construction (spring) 4cr
GTRB1425 Fretwork (fall) 3cr
GTRB1450 Introduction to Finishing (spring) 4cr

Total Credit Requirement - 18