NEWS FLASH: Luthiery School Update 2015

We're expanding our program starting in January 2015. Several years back we offered Class 1 as well as subsequent classes in a small group format. We have now decided to bring back Class 1 again in the small group format again. This class will be offered the second Sunday of January, February, March and April in 2015. As extra bonus, we will offer this class with a new, lower priced tuition - $ 60 prepaid " early bird " fee, $ 75 if paying on the day of class and $ 90 if the student prefers to schedule it as a private class. All of the above rates are lower than the current tuition of $ 112.50 for Class 1. Please note that all other classes remain unchanged as shown on the website in the LUTHIERY SCHOOL section. Enrollment for the 2015 program begins in December 2014.

The second part of the expansion is the new class " KIT BUILDING ". Note that while we encourage all students to go through the entire two-year program, this class does not have any prerequisites. As the name suggests, the student will undertake a hands-on experience of putting together a string instrument in a professional environment. There will be several different types of kits for the student to choose from. Please email or call 704-599-4410 for more information regarding kit types, class duration and overall cost.

Class 1 ( Intro to Guitar Maintenance ), group format will be offered at the Gastonia, NC location only:
The Music Center
940 E.Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC 28054
(704) 861-1037
Contact Bill Jones at the above number or visit his contact page at

The NEW " Kit Building " Class will be offered at:
LA Guitar Factory
8125 Old Concord Road, suite D
Charlotte NC 28213
(704) 599-4410
Contact Ari Lehtela at the above number or by email on this website. 

Our Luthiery School Program remains unchanged otherwise. After completion of Class 1 the remaining classes will be private instruction only. As in several past years, the Guitar Building part of the program will continue to be taught only at the Charlotte, NC location. 
Tuition payments can be made by check or with a credit card. Please call the above number to discuss your preferred schedule, class information, and to make a payment.
We also encourage you to read through the LUTHIERY SCHOOL pages for familiarization with our entire program.

In addition to the aforementioned 2015 luthiery school expansion updates, we are also in the process of introducing several new classes to the program. The expansion, which is still being fleshed out, will include additions to the ACOUSTIC GUITAR REPAIR part of the program. Pertinent information will be posted in upcoming news on this website.



The latest custom creation is the eight stringed instrument named OCTO. The instrument is a design collaboration between the client and Ari Lehtela. Some features include microtonal subdivisions, eight individual string outputs and the octave range encompassing both guitar and bass. Below are two links showcasing its unveiling in Europe.
We will have a comprehensive photo essay, description and sound samples on this website soon.,9,29575

Ari Lehtela is fast becoming one of the most sought after luthiers in the world. His instruments are known for their incredible musicality, easy playability and unique aesthetics. These instruments are made to be played!

Ari's luthiery seminars are also becoming well known. If you're in the Charlotte, NC area, don't miss an opportunity to learn from a master and, at the same time, build your own custom instrument. New classes are starting all the time. More information is available under luthiery school.


Coming soon ! - information and photos of several new exciting instruments

2010: debut of the Lehtela Steel String Acoustic. The design and construction of this instrument addresses the all-too-common ' sag and bubble ' problem found in the bridge area of most conventional steel-string acoustics, by introducing atypical bracing methods. Please contact for more information.

The following website includes a recent interview with Ari Lehtela both as a builder and a player. Also included is a review of his cd titled " West Eats Meat ". The website is 

Ben Sher, playing his Violao
Espirit Django

Sam Macy, a former student of Ari's, playing his Tango.
Division Street


jazz tango