Great Guitar Build Off 2022 Overview


.....and we're BACK! Great Guitar Build Off 2022 is on! What's more it is new and shiny, bigger and better, with new competition categories, prizes and voting processes.. Gird your loins, pull up your socks and let's get started!


THE ENTRANCE FEE is £50 for all competitors excepting the invitational, this allows us to cover the administration costs while also leaving as much 'profit' as possible to plough into the real mission of GGBO, helping people who can't afford to to get into this wonderful hobby and career that is guitar building.  

In the spirit of the GGBO, if you cannot afford the entry fee, please contact us and we will - on a case by case basis- offer a 50% subsidy.

On payment of the entrance fee each competitor will be sent a logo/media pack with instructions, a link to purchase an exclusive category specific GGBO Tee if they want one and an private invite to a Builders Area of the website. This is where they will create their own profile, link to all their socials and where they will share the process of their build as it progresses. From the 1st of April this area will be visible to the public and there will be links to everyone's profile on the main site.


THE PERKS... As part of their entry, main sponsor Crimson Guitars, will gift each luthier with a private discount on their luthiers tool and supply store worth 10% off everything on the site (apart from the 3 month & longer in person guitar building courses) and a full 20% off any kit guitars or timber.  This coupon will be good for unlimited use up until the final videos go live. Competitors will also be given the option to join the Crimson Guitars affiliates program for fun and profit.


JUDGING & VOTING of all 5 categories in the competition will be performed by all the competitors in GGBO this year, removing the public vote will entirely curtail the voting issues we suffered through last year. 


THE PRIZES! There are no prizes for the Invitational apart from a trophy, bragging rights and good feelings!

But, well, this is where it gets truly interesting for the other categories. There will be a variety of prizes donated by many companies, friends and other assorted fans of luthiery. 

The main prize will be for the top 3 places of each category, and these will include but not be limited to a trophy (finally), tools and cool gear, even coffee and, well.. assorted other bits and pieces that will make you the envy of all far and wide. But, that is not all, not all by far...

We feel that as well as these toys and trinkets, cool as they will be, nothing says 'I won' quite so well as cool, hard CASH! 5% of all money raised through the Prize Draws of both the Invitational and Professional entries will go to the top three competitors in the Freestyle, Scratch and Kit categories. 3% to the winner and 1% each to the 2 runners up.



Finally, throughout the competition there will be regular Spot Prizes given out to people for everything from the best inlay to the most especially epically edited video or even the most ferocious hairstyle (Ben need not apply).. so get out your curling tongs, I have spoken.


RULES - 1. Don't be a dick

                2. Don't. Be. A. Dick!

                3. Stick to the dates below.





This is a Kit Guitar build.

Competitors will be all be given the same standardised Crimson Guitars Uncut kit plus a hard case and will use that, within certain guidelines, to create a one of a kind guitar.

This instrument will be entered into a Prize Draw off with:

  • 5% of the proceeds being put up as 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes in the 3 public categories
  • 40% going to GGBO
  • 45% will go to a charity or good cause of the builders choice
  • while 10% pays the prize draw worldwide licencing fees, a sad but essential part of the whole competition. 

The top 3 up will be chosen by the other builders in the competition, the GGBO academy in a closed vote. Guitar Builders judging other guitar builders.

The Prize Draw funds are only released on safe delivery of the instrument to the winner, who will be liable for shipping costs from the builder to themselves.

The winner of the GGBO22 Invitational will receive a cool trophy, karma and bragging rights forever. 



A new category to make the whole competition more fair for the hobbyist builders and to promote guitar building businesses to a huge new audience. We are very much looking forward to seeing people start in the hobbyist categories and end up competing here, this is what the GGBO is ALL about!

If luthiery is your main income or even if you are a guitar building company with thousands of luthiers this is the category for you. The guitar built will also be part of the Prize Draws off in the same way as with the Invitational category. The proceeds will be split between GGBO and the builder thusly:

  • 50% - The competing Builder/Guitar company
  • 25% - GGBO
  • 10% - Prize Draw Licencing fees
  • 5% of all prize draw income in this category will be split between the 2nd and 3rd placing competitors in the category
  • 10% of all prize draw income in this category go to the category WINNER

There is one very important proviso, should the prize draw not raise enough to guarantee a minimum of £400 going to the builder the winner will receive 75% of the total cash instead of the guitar unless GGBO itself covers the shortfall. We are here to support builders not penalise them for entering.

Funds are only released on safe delivery of the instrument to the winner of the prize draw.  The builder will have to arrange shipping and also supply a hard case to guarantee safe transport of the guitar to the prize draw winner. 

The top 3 places will be chosen by a closed vote from among all the competing builders in every GGBO category.




Building a quality guitar kit is one of the very best ways for a novice to get into guitar building but also allows a seasoned professional to really let loose without having to worry about boring things like routing pickup cavities or aligning neck pockets.. you get to play with mind bending new ergonomic shapes, inlays or painstaking carves of.. who knows what!?

This could also be the competition for the most laid back, perfectly appointed studio guitar where all that matters is that one pickup and how it reacts to just the right setup hit at just the right angle by you, just the right player/builder!

Take an existing guitar or guitar kit and customise it beyond what the previous laws of physics deemed possible, or not.. that's up to you.. You can make a whole new body for your instrument from scratch if required, but the rule is that if the neck was made by someone else then this is classed as a kit build.



This is the big kahuna, take the raw materials of your choice and smoosh them together with some strings and a pickup or two.. Guitar, Bass Guitar or some combination of the two.. we don't really care, we just want to see what you can build! From scratch though, that's kind of the point.. and the challenge.

It is also by far the most popular category based on last years numbers so while competition will be fierce the prize will be well worth the trouble to those win through to the top.



By popular demand, another new category for 2022. We all know the temptation to play outside of the norm, to march to a slightly different tune to the rest of the makers out there and this is where the Freestyle competition comes in to play.

Whether you want to build an acoustic guitar or a violin, a ukulele or a hurdy gurdy, you will need to sharpen your tools, prime your camera and start building early, because we WANT to see you on our pixels! There are no real rules here apart from the one important one, the instrument needs to be scratch built, a musical instrument of some sort and to absolutely NOT fit in any of the other categories  available in the Great Guitar Build Off.




Another new category but one that goes back to the very roots of the Great Guitar Build Off, no entrance fee (though a donation is always welcome) and no big prizes (though there will still be spot prizes from the Builders Choice Awards) and finally no major pressure to do anything apart from build an instrument and join in the fantastic community that GGBO has brought together.

Arguably the most important job that the Community Build members will have will be to help judge the rest of the competitors. 

Build what you want, how you want.. we can't wait to see what you do.. now, this is the only category that is expressly NOT a competition, so there will be no voting for the top 3 builds here.. if competition is your thing then this isn't the place for you.

Entrance is free but if you would still like to support GGBO then feel free to donate something here, it will be very much appreciated.



1st April - You can start building as soon as you know the rules (see above) but are not allowed to post video or photo's of the build to your GGBO profile or YouTube channel until the 1st of April. This is to allow as many people as possible to start their builds properly while removing the head start that early entrants will have otherwise received in their various door-stepping, polling and otherwise hard hitting self promoting activities.

In the same vein the contestants pages will only go live on April 1st!  These pages will have links to your GGBO22 profile and all your posts and comments. After this date we will start promoting everyone's builds with ferocity and fire on Crimson Guitars Extras YouTube channel and the GGBO Instagram account there will also be some videos on the main Crimson Guitars channel.

1st of October - The Final super-edit video for the three hobbyist categories, which should not be more than 45 minutes long, will go live. You will not be disqualified if it doesn't and you can post early, see the Rules above, but your vote garnering will be seriously inhibited without a nice concise video for your fans to lovingly watch and share with all and sundry.

Academy voting in all categories will be open for four weeks, we will poll each participant for their votes for the top builder in each category.

15th of November We will announce the winners of the hobbyist categories in a video on the Crimson Guitars YouTube channel. Prizes will be confirmed and it will be a day of general celebration, parties will had, drinks will quaffed and tears (both of joy and of defeat) will be shed. It will be a day to remember.. and then planning will commence, for of course, there is always GGBO 2023!


By the 8th December we need a minimum of 10 photographs of your finished guitar so can create your Prize Draw listing.

10th December - The Invitational and Professional categories will release their final (or only if they so choose) video on their YouTube channel and the Prize Draws to win each of these amazing instruments will start on the same day.   Voting in the Invitational and Professional categories will also start on December 10th and will go on for 10 days of frenetic self promotion and in-fighting!

We will send you the link to your personal Prize Draw so that this can be included in your final video which has to go live on the 10th December

Voting by the Academy will also begin on the 10th December and the results will be presented in a video on Christmas Day.

On the 10th December each Prize Draw will begin on the Great Guitar Giveaway Website and your fans can buy tickets for 6 weeks.  The Winners will be announced on a Livestream on the Great Guitar Giveaway YouTube Channel on Tuesday 24th January 2023.

Link to Great Guitar Giveaway website for the Prize Draw:

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