I have postponed my voicing classes, for an as-yet-undefined period of time. This will be a disappointment to a good handful of people, but I see no other alternative at this point, given other factors in my life.
For some years now my classes have been far from full. I’ve had quite a few classes with only two or three students. I had one with four. But I really want to have six. That is a much better arrangement from the standpoint of interactions, question-and-answer sessions, problem-solving, looking-over-the-next-person’s-shoulder as we do the hands-on exercises, and the sharing of views and opinions.
The problem has not so much been the cost as it has been the inconveniences of scheduling. Different people can only come during certain months or times of the year, but not others. And I cannot offer the class several times a year. But whatever the cause, the result is that the classes are a net loss for me at a time when I cannot take such efforts on.
Another part of this mix is I’ve gotten very busy with guitars to make, and am so far behind schedule that I cannot afford the time each class takes. It requires about a week of preparation beforehand, then the class is nine days long, and then it takes me a week to recover my energies. In the meantime, my students and I take over the shop and nothing else gets done. It really is costly in terms of time . . . not to mention the hour of weekly emailing and communication that must be dealt with between classes; over the course of a year that adds up to fifty hours at the computer. All in all, having classes that are only half full really works against me.
Good luck to you in your building efforts. The best advice I can give at this point is that, if you have not already done so, go out and buy a set of my books and read them. They are FULL of pertinent and useful information, and my class has been organized around the information contained in these books. You can read up on them on my website, and order from me directly or through my website; They cost $265 for the set, plus shipping, and I can autograph them for you if you wish. See below for more information.
Sincerely, Ervin Somogyi
P.S.: My two-volume book set has the titles The Responsive Guitar and Making the Responsive Guitar. The first is about the Why, the How Come, the What If, and the What’s That All About. Each of its chapters describes a part or component or function of the guitar, its dynamic importance and structural, how that aspect of the guitar works and interacts with other aspects, and how different builders work differently with these same variables, and what happens when one emphasizes one variable or function over another. Mainly, it is about what each part of the guitar is there for, and what relationship it stands in to the other parts. The second is about how to construct the instrument itself. These books are heavily cross-referenced and are more useful a set than as single volumes. Finally, if you are not going to buy my books, then the single most useful piece of advice I can offer you is to accept that most guitars are SIGNIFICANTLY overbuilt. If you lighten up on the construction, thickness of parts, etc. then you will make better guitars.