Instructional Course Offerings

All instruction is now one-on-one individual instruction-  no more big  classes, no more “that  one guy” with all the needy questions, no more distractions;  just a primary focus on you and your specific goals. If you don’t see what you are looking for listed, give us a call and we’ll work out a custom course tailored to your individual needs. Room and board are not provided but are available very reasonable in the Asheville area.

“I can fix your bass for a day, or teach you to fix your bass for a lifetime….”


Individual instructional  workshops are based on a rate of $50 per hour, just like the going rate for a good bass lesson here in Asheville.

Setup Workshop, 4 days

Full fingerboard plane, level, and dress; cut and setup new bridge with adjusters, full nut and saddle setup, carve and adjust new soundpost, hot hide glue use. Work can be done on a student provided instrument or one that we have available in the shop. We will also spend half of the last day  making a set of custom soundpost setting tools for you to take back. This is a great introduction for individual empowerment or for  a shop needing a tech who is up to speed  on upright bass setup work.

Complete top rebuilds, 4 days

For this workshop, we’ll remove the existing damaged or sunken top, mount it up on one of our original spec arching molds and use the giant vacuum press and heat blanket  system to re-arch your old top, add a red spruce belly patch, make any adjustments to the bassbar and  internals, and then hot hide glue it back on your old bass body. You’ll wind up with a bass that is structurally and tonally better than the day it left the factory new, ready for another half century of gigs.

Scroll grafts and neck rebuilds, 4 days

Broken necks are the most common repair issues with old bases. Saving the vintage vibe of the original scroll is important to us- very important. We’ll divide this workshop into two parts. For the first two days, we’ll take your original broken up neck, remove the existing scroll and pegbox and very precisely graft it on to a new neck blank using a combination of traditional hand methods and some very exact jigs we have made up. For the rest of the workshop, we’ll recut your factory spec whimpy little dovetail into a traditional large mortise and fit the new heel and tenon from the grafted neck on to the old body in a similar manner- using part traditional hand tools and the rest some very exact specialty jigs we have here in the shop. We’ll top it off by adding a couple of carbon fiber beams inside the neck to make it structurally bombproof and glue your fingerboard back on.

All the work will be done using traditional hot hide glue or you can chose to make the new neck a removable system for the ultimate in versatile basses. This is the neck we all wish they would have supplied at the factory.

Kay Bass restoration masterclass, 10 days

This is a ten day workshop where we’ll take a vintage bass provided by the student and go completely through it, covering everything you’ll need to get comfortable with all aspects of Kay or similar vintage ply bass restoration for getting going in your own shop or in cooperation with a working shop who need to get one of their techs fully up to speed with the major aspects of vintage bass work. You walk away with  a ton of new knowledge and a great working bass that shows off your handiwork to any shop or potential new customers.

Typically we’ll cover:

  • loose bassbars and / or replacement
  • soundpost patches and any internal grafts or strengthening needed
  • loose seams
  • all aspects of neck joints- resets, changing neck angles, rebuilding / replacing internal neck blocks, removable neck designs; broken necks and scroll issues
  • full fingerboard dressing /planing / replacement / carbon fiber reinforcing, and setup
  • carving new nuts and saddles
  • full bridge replacement and cutting /setup
  • hot hide glue and period correct adhesive and finish work
  • all fittings and tuning machines
  • lamination and ply issues
  • all aspects of soundpost carving, positioning, setup, and design.

“Finishing for the real world”

It has been said that it takes about a decade to learn how to build a great instrument and then you spend the rest of your life trying to get a good finish on it. For those projects where you already did a great job on the repair or restoration and want to take it to the next level, we offer small scale finishing help for things like matching a vintage color or sunburst on a completed repair. Need to ‘burst the scroll and heel after a new neck or graft? Need to match a C bout that was replaced? Need to finish that  lower bout where a big hole from the tour bus was repaired? Want to ‘burst your bridge to match that very  cool original Epiphone bass sunburst tailpiece? This is the one for that. Most finishing problems can be solved in a single day with an overnight to let things dry up before heading back home. We also offer more comprehensive finish workshops where you can  learn to do a complete vintage style sunburst or pimp out your new build like a custom hotrod show winner.

“The New York City Vacation”

In the past several years, we’ve been getting a lot of individual requests for students who come from a large metropolitan area (like the Big Apple) where the cost of restoration and repair work is either very expensive or  cost prohibitive.  Often those repair estimates range in the neighborhood of $600-$750 or more per day of work.  We offer a nice visit to the Asheville, North Carolina area with the goal of fixing your bass and getting in a little breather from the city life. Checkout the talkbass link on the previous page where we were able to cover what was originally estimated at an approx. $5k NY repair bill in about a week for 1/3 the price- enough leftover to cover your travel expenses and still have a significant savings.

“The Luthier’s Liferaft”

Often a student will find themselves in a situation where they get in a bit over their head with an ambitious  repair or restoration project. For those times, we offer the “Luthier’s Liferaft” option. You bring the unfinished project down to our shop and we’ll assist with things adding our experience and shop to get it back on track to get you through the crux or help finish up the job.

All aspects of new bass building and construction are available:  Please contact us further for specific details of your needs.

Popular areas:

  • carving and voicing spruce top plates
  • new bassbars
  • finishing
  • new neck / fingerboard construction
  • new tailpiece /  bridge construction
  • fabricating parts for missing restoration needs
  • side / rib bending
  • period correct materials, adhesives, and methods
  • If you don’t see it, ask for it!