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As a teenager, Nazareth, PA native Dale Unger knew that he wanted to build and play guitars. He was intrigued by Martin Guitars (located in his hometown) and inspired by their incredible craftsmanship and ease of playing. He not only bought one of their guitars, but in 1977, he also began building acoustic guitars in collaboration with long-time Martin Guitar employee Dick Boak (who retired in 2018 after over 40 years of service to the company). In 1993, Dale began an apprenticeship with Archtop guitar builder, Robert Benedetto and calls it “an experience of a lifetime.”
After launching his very own American Archtop Guitars in 1996 and teaching the art of lutherie at colleges and workshops, Dale opened Nazareth Guitar Institute in 2004, a fully equipped studio and workshop, where he and his son Tyler share their passion for music and the art of guitar-building.
NGI offers several classes, including the building of archtop, flat top, and electric guitars. Students design the guitars, glue pieces together, install frets and strings, and add the appropriate wiring for electric guitars. Students also are shown various ways to finish the guitars, which are theirs to keep once the workshops are completed.
Classes at the Nazareth Guitar Institute are several-day courses and are held multiple times a year. Private, single-student courses are also available.
If you can dream it, you can build it at Nazareth Guitar Institute!