Guitar and Stringed Musical Instrument Making with Paul
  • San Esteban, Cordoba, Argentina
  • 60 hours over 10 days

Guitar and Stringed Musical Instrument Making with Paul

Tap into thirty years of Paul's mastery to discover various guitar construction styles and craft your own string instrument . Work with fine woods of fallen trees like European Spruce and Indian Rosewood surrounded by the stunning valleys and mountains of the Sierras Chicas de Cordoba.
  • Airport Transportation
  • Snacks, Coffee, & Tea
  • Accommodation


One Guest
USD $2630
Additional guest(s) (max 3)
USD $1240


One Guest
Additional guest(s)

Meet the Artist

Paul is a master guitar maker and restorer with 30 years of experience developing new techniques as well as researching traditional ways of constructing classical guitars and other stringed instruments, such as ukuleles, cuatros, charangos, and cajons. After performing all over the world and studying flamenco guitar in Barcelona, he trained with maestro Stephen Hill in London for two years, learning the craft and making his first guitar. To further his craft, he studied Musical Instrument Technology and a Masters in Ethnomusicology at world renowned London SOAS.

He combines detailed work with hand tools such as chisels, gouges and planes as well as machinery in the processing and selection of woods. He says the most satisfying part of making an instrument is his use of veneers to make fine marquetry inlaid into the instrument. When you meet him, you'll soon realize that living amongst nature is the most inspiring part of his work.

VAWAA Includes:

  • Craft a stringed instrument together with Paul from a choice of either a charango, ukulele or cuatro venezolano. Classical guitar can be made over a longer duration of 15-30 days.
  • Learn to properly use all the machinery and hand tools and all the appropriate health and safety procedures.
  • Carve the body of the instrument from seasoned body blanks using hand tools like gouges and chisels, and machine tools such as grinders and band saws.
  • If making ukuleles or cuatros, learn to bend the sides, glue and prepare the backs.
  • Create tops made from spruce, and prepare them to be jointed and thicknessed using hand planes and scrapers.
  • Glue necks and carve using a combination of rasps, files and knives.
  • Cut the fretboards, and prepare them to be thicknessed and slotted using both hand tools and machine tools. Make bridges from a solid piece of hardwood using routers, rasps and files.
  • Bring all the components together into a single musical instrument ready for final sanding and finishing.
  • Make the bone nut and saddles before it's ready for stringing and tuning.
  • Your own handcrafted string instrument.
  • Lessons on how to play charango, cuatro from a professional local musician can be arranged for an additional fee.
  • Visits to other local instrument makers and crafts persons.
  • Plan 10 days of studio session plus an extra day off in between for rest. Explore trekking or climbing with professional guides, paragliding in La Cumbre, horse riding, meditation, yoga and visits to other towns and villages. Paul can help organize for an additional fee.

Stay at Paul's

There are three cabins available less than 100 meters from Paul's studio. Two of the cabins can accommodate up to 5 guests each; they include a master bedroom with a double bed and sofa beds that fits 3 guests. The larger cabin has two bedrooms, a master bedroom with a double bed, and a second room with two single beds and two sofa beds in the living room space. All cabins are comfortable and fully equipped with cooking utensils, bathroom, TV, WiFi. Each has a private outdoor area to barbecue and a shaded area to eat. There is also a swimming pool that is great during the warm season.

The cabins are situated on a slope and guests need to be able to walk up the track to reach them, as well as go up and down 6 steps. This accommodation is not suitable for wheelchair access.

There will be three friendly dogs and other animals that move around freely outside but never enter the cabins.

Explore San Esteban, Cordoba

San Esteban is situated geographically in the center of Argentina below the small mountain chain of Sierras Chicas de Cordoba. The valley has many of the woods that Paul uses in his instrument making. The climate is a temperate mountain climate, cold dry winters and hot and rainy summers. In nearby Córdoba, explore Spanish colonial architecture as you walk through the Manzana Jesuítica (Jesuit Block), a 17th-century church complex. Or visit the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, one of South America's oldest universities.

Additional Details

Best time to visit is in the spring/summer between October and May. It's best to avoid winter between June and July.

Must be 18 years old or older to participate. Sessions can be adjusted for guests with a disability.

This VAWAA is available for a longer duration of 15 - 30 days. If you extend, you'll have the option to make a concert-quality classical guitar from start to finish using a combination of local and imported materials, as well as learn more techniques like marquetry and French polishing. Please ask when you send your booking request.

There are three friendly dogs and other animals on the property. If you are allergic to these animals, please bring suitable medication before you arrive.
Paul's Availability 10 days

Guest Reviews

  • Shireen B., United States

    Working with Paul on making a stringed instrument was definitely the most challenging VAWAA I have done, or will do. But Paul did such a fantastic job guiding me through the process. He showed me how to use so many different tools, both hand tools, and power tools. I don't think I had ever considered how many precise processes need to go into making a stringed instrument. Paul did a great job guid Read more