The Art of Guitar Making

Laura Jackel chats to luthier Matt Semmens about how the Australian Guitar Making School came to be, its bright future and what it takes to make a beautiful instrument from a block of wood.

In an inconspicuous old shoe shop on Maitland Road, Mayfield guitarist and instrument craftsman or ‘luthier’ Matt Semmens has helped hundreds of students learn how to make a guitar from scratch. Many of them have enjoyed the process so much they returned to make many more.

The Australian Guitar Making School started life as the realisation of a dream for owner, instrument maker and classical guitarist Strato Anagnostis. Strato opened the first school in Toronto in 2006 and was immediately inundated with people enrolling to learn from him.

Professional guitarist Matt Semmens was one of Strato’s first students.

“I had been playing guitar since I was eight years old and teaching since I was 13, but I didn’t have any previous experience with woodwork or instrument making. I loved the process of crafting my first guitar in 2007 and the beautiful uniqueness of how it sounded when I first played it…

Story Laura Jackel.