Instrument Building at AMC
Hawaiʻi Luthiers Dennis Lake and Bob Gleason
Come to Camp with your hands and heart ready for an amazing experience — building your own ʻukulele or steel guitar! You will spend the week lovingly fashioning the parts and putting them together. And you will return home with a perfectly playable instrument!
Along with the Beamers, Luthier Dennis Lake has been a permanent and extraordinary part of Aloha Music Camp since we started in Puna, Hawaiʻi over sixteen years ago.
Kumu Dennis says, “As many of you know, I have been honored to have taught ʻukulele building classes at Aloha Music Camp for the past several years. Here is an explanation of how the Class works and what we do.”
How it Works
“For those of you unfamiliar with my Class at Camp, this is what happens: the first night, right after Opening Ceremony, we all get together and work out our schedule. Each student chooses one class period in the morning and one in the afternoon each day. This means there is a certain time commitment — this class takes up two of the five available class periods.
Monday through Thursday we install the lining on the rim, fit and glue braces, glue top and back on, fit and finish shaping neck, glue bridge and neck on. On Friday we install the tuning machines, string the `ukulele, and do a set up so it is playing by the Hōʻike on the final evening, where the class is recognized and the ʻukulele receive a traditional Hawaiian blessing.
“The applying of finish is done at home – I provide easy instructions for that.”
No previous woodworking or ʻukulele playing experience is required. “Our builders have ranged from age 12 to Auntie Irene of Lanaʻi City who built her first instrument at age 92! I am happy to say that every one who has taken the Class has completed an instrument they can be proud of.”
This is a good way to learn about how instruments are put together, make yourself an ʻukulele, and have a great week with your fellow builders and campers — all while in the beautiful surrounds of the Hawaiian islands. Everything is provided except the finish, including a nice gig bag to take your ʻukulele home in.
Steel Guitar Building
For the first time ever, we offered Hawaiian steel guitar building at AMC in February 2017. Everybody loved it! We will have a writeup with more information and some pictures coming in the near future.
Pricing For February 2018
There is a Materials Fee in addition to regular Camp tuition for instrument building.
- ʻUkulele Building: $350
- Steel Guitar: $400
These special classes are available on a limited basis: we can only seven (7) slots for ʻukulele building, and eight (8) slots for steel guitar. Please check the appropriate box(es) below your registration selections on the Registration Page and we will contact you via email or phone shortly after your registration.