I feel as though guitars and I have been destined to meet. From an early age I grew up listening to and watching my father play guitar. I was amazed as to how this instrument could resonate such great music. It wasn’t until I attended university to study statistics that I decided to learn how to play the guitar.
I obtained my first acoustic guitar at 18 and had the privilege of free lessons from a fellow student. My initial bewilderment for this instrument I had as a child was re ignited. I proceeded to buy other guitars of a higher quality than my first purchase as my passion for playing the guitar ascended. I bought a vast variety of guitars before deciding that the best guitar personally more suited would be a Spanish guitar.
After saving up for yet another guitar I was fortunate enough to travel to Spain where I bought my very first Spanish guitar. My experience of the culture and tradition behind the Spanish guitar drew me in to the world of flamenco and classical guitar music. It was like a breath of fresh air, the music I was discovering made me feel more alive than ever before.
As my love for guitar and the music they created grew, my time at university studying statistics felt wasted. Yet in realising that becoming a musician was far from my abilities I became frustrated. It was suggested to me that I should quit my unfulfilling course and pursue a more physical, suitable form of work such as carpentry and joinery. Not being so enthusiastic about tables and chairs I pondered about how I could access and contribute to the music industry. It was then that I realised that somebody had to make guitars.
The prospect of making guitars filled me with enthusiasm and I embarked on a search into how I could make them. I departed university and upon my arrival home I was informed about a guitar maker in Lewes (appropriately near my home). So I visited the shop of Spanish guitar maker Stephen hill and proposed the inevitable question “how did you get into guitar making?” Stephen then informed me about the evening courses he provided but sadly he was moving to Spain soon so he was unable to take on any students.
However, as I expressed so much interest and enthusiasm he agreed to teach me until his departure then transfer me to another Spanish guitar maker he knew. I started building my first Spanish guitar the very next day. Halfway through building this guitar Stephen moved to Spain, this is when I was introduced to Pablo Requena, who was to help me in the completion of my first guitar. I then spent two years working full-time in the workshop of Pablo Requena, as an apprentice.
Working on many of his guitars has helped me refine my skills and gain a great understanding of the effects the wood has on the overall sound. I was also fully trained in instrument repair and restoration. The work I assisted with Pablo has put me in the position to meet profession standards in the guitars I make and work on.
I am currently working from my own workshop located near Lewes and also assist teach on the Stephen Hill 4 week intensive guitar making course in Spain. I hope to further develop my approach to guitar making and refine my abilities in becoming a master in this craft. My ultimate aim is to create truly traditional guitars.