Build Your First Electric Guitar

Build Your First Electric Guitar. Step-By-Step Instructions.

build your first electric guitar

Welcome To Project Electric Guitar

So you want to build an electric guitar but you are overwhelmed by the many decisions. Wood, hardware, how to plan the build, etc. You have been putting it off because you just don't know where to start.

In this course, I’m going to show you , step-by-step, how to build an electric guitar. From design, planning, wood and hardware decisions, template making, building the body, the neck, fretwork, finishing, assembly, fine tuning and everything in between.

At the end of this course, you will have created your first beautiful and functional electric guitar.


For The First-Time Builder

Since this course is for the first-time builder, the design of the guitar, and consequently the construction, is kept simple. I have eliminated many design elements that can potentially complicate the construction process.

But don't be mistaken, the end result will be a beautiful, full-functional electric guitar that you will be proud of!


Why People Never Start The Build Process?

Here are a few reasons people don't start the guitar build process.

  • They simply don't know where to start
  • With too many choices, they drown in decision fatigue
  • They want to build the best guitar they can imagine, fancy inlays, carved top, binding all around, stained maple top, etc. However, this add a lot of complication to the build which brings us back to the first and second points.

It's my assumption that, once you build your first guitar, you will want to build a second one... it's the nature of this craft. Learn to build a simple and beautiful guitar first, and then start to add more layers of sophistication on future guitars.

Course Outline


Building an electric guitar may sound complicated, but it’s simple when the process is broken into small discrete and doable steps.

This course is broken into 6 general modules:

Module 1: Design, plan, wood and hardware
Module 2: Build the body
Module 3: Build the neck
Module 4: Assemble the body and neck
Module 5: The finish
Module 6: Final assembly & electronics

Each module contains multiple lessons. Each lesson is a digestible portion of the whole guitar building process.

Module 1: Design and plan

Lesson 1.1: Overall design
Lesson 1.2: Wood & hardware decisions and purchase
Lesson 1.3: Print the plans

Module 2: Build the body

Lesson 2.1: Make the body template
Lesson 2.2: Prepare the body blank
Lesson 2.3: Cut the body blank
Lesson 2.4: Carve the switch path, pickup cavities, etc.

Module 3: Build the neck

Lesson 3.1: Make the scarf-joint
Lesson 3.2: Route the truss-rod channel
Lesson 3.3: Make the heel
Lesson 3.4: Make the peghead
Lesson 3.5: Prepare the fingerboard
Lesson 3.6: Install the fingerboard inlays
Lesson 3.7: Install the frets
Lesson 3.8: The easy way to carve the back of the neck

Module 4: Assemble the body and neck

Lesson 4.1: Carve the neck pocket on the body
Lesson 4.2: Install the neck to the body
Lesson 4.3: Find the bridge and saddle positions based on scale length

Module 5: The finish

Lesson 5.1: Prepare the guitar wood to accept finish
Lesson 5.2: Grain fill
Lesson 5.3: Paint (optional, depends on design decisions)
Lesson 5.4: Apply the base-coat
Lesson 5.5: Process the base-coat
Lesson 5.6: Apply clear-coats

Module 6: Final assembly & electronics

Lesson 6.1: Fretwork
Lesson 6.2: Install the hardware
Lesson 6.3: Neck adjustments
Lesson 6.3: Make the nut
Lesson 6.4: Assemble the electronics
Lesson 6.4: Final adjustments (pickup height, intonation, string action, etc.)


Jigs and Templates

All the plans to build the needed jigs and templates are provided.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which body style is built? (click to show)

Single cutaway. More precisely, a flattop Les Paul-like single cutaway.


What can I expect from this course? (click to show)

You can expect to have all the information needed to create a beautiful and full-functional electric guitar. I will also be available to answer questions.



What type of woodworking tools do I need? (click to show)

Guitar building is a woodworking project. Therefore, woodworking tools are needed.

In theory, you can build a guitar with simple hand tools, but this is not ideal. Some basic power tools will be extremely practical, for example, a jigsaw and a router. 



What kind of finish will be applied to the guitar? (click to show)

There will be a few options for the final finish:

1) a simple oil finish (this option is good for woods that have a pretty grain)
2) a painted finish with design and polyurethane (for woods that do not have a visible grain) 

Since this is a simple build, the course does not discuss staining.


Are the plans provided? (click to show)

Yes, the full plans are provided. You will print the plans on multiple pieces of paper and tape them together. Then cut the shapes with scissors and start the build.


How is the course delivered & structured? (click to show)

The course is available online, there is nothing to download (except the plans). You will have access to the lessons from your browser.

The course contains 6 modules with multiple lessons in each module.


Does the course include video instructions? (click to show)

In order to keep the costs and timing reasonable, at this time, I don't plan on creating videos.



Who is this course for? (click to show)

This course is for the person who wants to build a beautiful and full-functional guitar but needs help to start and accountability. The course will teach you, step-by-step, starting from a plan, wood and hardware how to build your first electric guitar.


More Information To Come…

I'm in the process of planning the course. If you are interested in this course, please leave a short comment below...

3 thoughts on “Build Your First Electric Guitar

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.