Custom Guitar Building Workshop

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This one-of-a-kind workshop is our most comprehensive to date. It will offer you the opportunity to not only learn the skills of soldering, electronics assembly, guitar assembly and final set-up, but to walk out with an amazing guitar custom spec’d and built by you.

Here’s what the workshop will cover:

  • Orientation, parts inventory, Q&A
  • Soldering Demo and hands on practice—Geoff will show you proper soldering and wire finishing techniques, then you can practice on spare parts before assembling and wiring your electronics package
  • Pickguard/control plate assembly and soldering
  • Guitar body assembly—install pickups, pickguard, bridge and strap buttons – This is where the guitar starts to take shape. The pickguard and pickups are installed, as are the bridge and strap buttons.
  • Neck assembly—install tuners and string tree, attach neck to body – Look, a guitar!
  • Geoff will then take you through the SF Guitarworks Setup Workshop, where you will be shown the entire SF Guitarworks 19 point setup process. From taking initial action measurements, through all adjustments, you’ll learn the in’s and out’s of making your guitar play great. The scope of adjustment includes using the truss rod to set neck relief, bridge action and radius settings, string height at nut, intonation and pickup height.
  • Wrap up and rock out

During the workshop, you will use a fully equipped technician’s bench, and will have all tools and consumables at hand. These include safety glasses, dust mask, solder, heatshrink and strings.

Three months prior to the workshop, there will be a pre-workshop consultation/ordering session for approximately an hour and half. We’ll help you pick the parts down to the electronics package (see below for information on the parts package). Geoff will guide you through the different technical choices you have, and you’ll discuss their effect on the sound and playability of the guitar.

PARTS PACKAGES: Each workshop will be specific to a Tele style or Strat style guitar

Body and Parts Kit–We’ll be working with MJT Custom Aged Finishes for the body and the parts kit (tuners, string tree, neck plate, control plate, bridge, strap buttons, knobs, switch tip, nut, jack cup, string ferrules). Go to the MJT site to see options for your body style, color and aging level. (Tele style models are VTT, VTL, VTM; Strat style model is VTS)


Neck–The necks will be custom made by Musikraft. We will help you select your neck woods, neck shape, nut width, fretboard radius and frets. The neck will be sent to MJT for finishing, and then the frets will be Plek’d by us, insuring that your new guitar will be the best playing one you have, and will fit your hand and style perfectly.


Electronics–We will work with you to determine the best pickups for your playing style and wood choice. There are numerous options, so you’ll be able to nail vintage tone, or you can go for a tailored, signature sound. Pots and switches will be the highest quality CTS and Switchcraft parts, and we like the Vitamin Q caps, but you can pick. Options available in this parts package are single-coil Lindy Fralin, Lollar and Seymour Duncan pickups.

Reunion Blues Continental Gig bag also included.

Weekend Workshop: Saturday and Sunday, 10am—5pm

Weekday Workshop: Four consecutive Wednesday evenings, 6:30pm—10pm

$2250. This includes parts package describe above, instruction, guidance, and use of specific tools and bench.

Workshop is currently limited to 4 students.

For more info and to sign up, call us at the shop: 415-865-5424.
Full payment is due at the time of sign-up.

Cancellation Policy: No refunds or reschedules. This is strict, because we would not be able to fill a last minute opening due to the ordering lead time on the parts. If you do have to cancel, the parts are yours and we offer to put the guitar together for you.

For more info, check out the page here.


Donation drive for the Bay Area Girls Rock Camp!

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For Immediate Release: October 17th 2015

SF Guitarworks is hosting a donation drive for Bay Area Girls Rock Camp from now until November 30th. Check out BAGRC’s wish list below to see if any gear (or other items) you have are a match, but any working gear would be appreciated. Bring any donations by the shop and we will deliver all items collected to the BAGRC, along with a fully Plek’d and setup Fender Telecaster. RSVP on Facebook here!

Donations requested by the BAGRC include:

  • Musical equipment:
    – small basses
    – left-handed basses & guitars
    – portable & powerful small practice amps (guitar & bass)
    – keyboard amps
    – microphones & mic stands
    – snare stands
    – cymbals and cymbal stands
    – drum thrones
    – pedals of all kinds
    – 9v batteries
    – chromatic tuners
    – duster spray
    – other musical equipment donations are appreciated as well
    ** Please call ahead to SF Guitarworks before dropping off anything bigger than a guitar – 415-865-5424. **

Other donations needed (from the BAGRC website):

  • Used Smartphone, IPad or Tablet: These useful contraptions let us record footage during band practice and camp, publish media, share awesome video clips and songs with campers, and help us sell merch!
  • Pick up & Delivery People: Food donations feed our volunteers during camp, but it’s often difficult for a staff member to pick up the donations while we are running the program. So. . . We LOVE it when people can pick up and deliver donations to our program.
  • Videographers + Photographers: Help us record the showcases! We need photographers and videographers to record the showcases, edit and upload each song.
  • Air miles to offset the cost of sending staff members to the annual GIRLS ROCK CAMP ALLIANCE (GRCA) conference.
  • Food/beverages/snacks: We provide snacks for all our participants, full breakfast and lunch for our summer camp volunteers, and 3 meals a day for our Women’s Rock Campers. Donations of catered meals, restaurant discounts, beer & wine (for events), snacks, coffee & tea are greatly appreciated.
  • Auction prizes: We hold silent auctions at many of our public events as a way to raise funds. Auction prize donations can include gift certificates (for massage/body work, restaurants, tattoo shops, music lessons, etc.), handmade crafts, creative services (people have offered singing telegrams, customized original songs, birthday party entertainment, etc.), artwork, concert tickets and more.
  • Services: Graphic design, screenprinting, sound engineering, photography
  • Massage + Bodywork: We love our healers to much we are saying this twice! Massages and bodywork can come into the program to work on our volunteers. Donate as a gift to the staff or auction off your services as an auction item.
  • And the big one. . . A PERMANENT SPACE: We are in search of a space to call our own, preferably in or near downtown Oakland. In our dream space, in addition to our current programs, we would offer affordable group and private lessons, practice spaces for bands, ongoing workshops, a year-round community space for girls, recording and performance opportunities, and lots more. If you would like to donate a building to us, or have any leads on affordable spaces to rent, please get in touch!

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Bay Area Girls Rock Camp is a nonprofit organization that empowers girls through music, promoting an environment that fosters self-confidence, creativity and teamwork. BAGRC challenges gender stereotypes, encourages collaboration and tolerance among peers, and provides a comfortable space for people of all backgrounds to express themselves. Through music lessons, workshops, group activities and performance, girls acquire skills that help guide them throughout their lives.

You can read more about the BAGRC here:


We’re hiring!

Are you an experienced guitar tech, looking for a new opportunity in the beautiful city of San Francisco? See details below:

Experienced, Guitar Repair Tech (Potrero Hill)

Compensation: Commensurate with Experience

San Francisco Guitarworks is looking for a full-time, long-term experienced Guitar Repair Tech. This new hire will be an integral part of SF Guitarworks, and must be personable and comfortable interacting with customers, staff and vendors on all levels. Candidates who are extremely detail oriented, organized, customer service focused, flexible and enjoy a small team environment that changes from day to day will be at the top of our list.

→ Is inherently well-organized and detail oriented with impeccable follow through skills
→ Works with a sense of urgency yet maintains high quality work standards
→ Arrives at work on time with a positive attitude and prepared to work (leaves worries, troubles, and stresses at home)
→ Is creative and resourceful
→ Is comfortable following established systems or solving problems on the fly depending on the situation of the moment.
→ Strong sense of diplomacy and good personal judgment
→ Develops strong and successful working relationships with co-workers, customers and vendors
→ Has an inclusive and non-discriminatory attitude
→ Takes constructive criticism well, and is comfortable being direct
→ Is self-directed and able to work independently yet knows when to ask for feedback and help from the team
→ A sense of humor
→ Passion for guitars and or music

The ideal candidate will have a minimum of three years experience as a Guitar Repair Tech and/or Luthier, with a thorough understanding of guitar repair (both acoustic and electric and a full range of skills from simple guitar set-up to fret-level, re-fret, and other complex repair techniques.

→ Able to assess instruments for repair needs and offer various remedies for poor playability
→ Perform a high quality set-up
→ Perform a high quality fret level and dress, preferably using a neck jig
→ Be proficient in re-fretting all types of guitars
→ Be able install standard electrical components; ideally be able to design and troubleshoot complex electronic circuits
→ Perform all types of finish touch ups including lacquer and polyurethane
→ For custom jobs: Upon review of expected outcome, be able to spell out required steps to get there. Proactively identify parts/tools needed, where issues may arise, where tech is lacking in experience and may need assistance.
→ Part of the interview process will include performing a set-up and making a nut

No tools necessary.

San Francisco Guitarworks is a well-established, instrument repair shop with a friendly, fun staff of six.

Only e-mails with a resume and compensation requirements will be considered.

Send us an e-mail at if you’re interested.

Conservatory Series feature for April 18th!

If you haven’t heard, we are having some awesome events at the shop here the last three Saturdays in April! We will be featuring some of the best classical guitar talent at the SF Conservatory of Music right here at the SF Guitarworks courtyard.

In preparation for the events, we will spotlight the talent of the events each week here on our blog until the series begin. Our first features are Nathania Isnandar and Anthony Mariano and his accompanist Camille Schiess. All will be playing at our shop on April 18th!

Nathania Isnandar


A native of Indonesia, Nathania Isnandar began playing classical guitar in 2011 at the age of 17. Her primary teachers in Indonesia were Armando Moreno and David Sylvester. In 2012, she moved to the United States to continue her studies at De Anza College with Ron Dunn. In 2014, she transferred to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she is currently studying classical guitar with Marc Teicholz.

In addition to performing as a soloist, Nathania has performed in numerous chamber groups such as the UCSC guitar orchestra under the director of Mesut Ozgen, the De Anza Guitar Quartet, and is currently a part of the SFCM guitar ensemble under the director of David Tanenbaum. She has also performed in the masterclasses of Denis Azabagic and David Russell. In July 2015, she will participate in the annual masterclass held in Maui, Hawaii by Benjamin Verdery where she will also study with Andrew York.

Nathania plays a 2008 double top guitar, built Jim Redgate.


Anthony Mariano

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Anthony Mariano is a passionate Classical Guitarist who has enjoyed international solo performance opportunities in both Europe and Canada. Growing up in New Mexico, Anthony has been recognized as a premiere guitarist in the Albuquerque area, receiving the position of Concertmaster for the second annual New Mexico All-State Guitar Ensemble in 2011.

Currently, he studies under David Tanenbaum at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and was chosen by the faculty in 2013 to perform in the school’s annual Guitarrada, an event featuring music played on some of the world’s finest historical guitars. Anthony hopes to continue his education at higher levels in order to pursue a career in collegiate music academics.

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Come join us for an afternoon of live music, networking and hors d’oeuvres  by registering for the events here:

Conservatory Series feature for April 11th!

If you haven’t heard, we are having some awesome events at the shop here the last three Saturdays in April! We will be featuring some of the best classical guitar talent at the SF Conservatory of Music right here at the SF Guitarworks courtyard.

In preparation for the events, we will spotlight the talent of the events each week here on our blog until the series begin. Our first features are Travis Johnson and Ryan Wallace. Both will be playing at our shop on April 11th!

Travis Johnson


In May of 2015, Travis Johnson will graduate from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor’s Degree of Music Performance under the tutelage of David Tanenbaum. Other Maestros that Travis has studied extensively with are Michael Partington and Peter Zisa. He has participated in Master Classes with Marcin Dylla, Gabriella Smits, Oscar Ghiglia, and David Russell. Travis had the pleasure of performing concertos with conductor Barry Jekowsky in 2007 as he conducted the Reno Philharmonic and the California Symphony, as well as with Lajos Balogh as he conducted the Marylhurst Symphony and Portland Festival Symphony in 2004. Travis is a vibrant interpreter of various musical styles spanning from the baroque to the modern era.




Ryan Wallace

St. Louis native Ryan Wallace began playing guitar at the age of 13, quickly leading to a passionate devotion to Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. Three years later, looking for ways to learn and improve for the betterment of his rock star aspirations, Ryan began studying classical guitar. When it came time for college, he was somewhat surprised to discover he had inadvertently fallen in love with the instrument, much to the detriment of his goal as a rock star. In his undergraduate studies, Ryan studied with Kirk Hanser and John McClellan of the Hanser-McClellan Guitar Duo, graduating with his BM from Webster University in 2011. During his time there, Ryan had the opportunities to play in many masterclasses, including Jason Vieaux, Raphaella Smits, and Olivier Chassain of the Paris Conservatory. After spending the next two years performing and teaching around the greater St. Louis area, Ryan moved to San Francisco in 2013 to pursue his master’s degree. He is currently a student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, studying under Latin Grammy award winning guitarist Sergio Assad, where he also works as an audio recording engineer.

Come join us for an afternoon of live music, networking and hors d’oeuvres  by registering for the events here: