Last January 30th, 2015 Guitarras Flamenco Madrid had the pleasure to interview the great guitar builder José Romero, who belongs to Madrid School of Guitar Builders, in his workshop in Madrid, located in Espoz y Mina St, close to Puerta del Sol.
A complete life dedicated to building beautiful guitars. He began as a trainee at the José Ramírez workshop in 1968 and later, in 1983, he set on his own workshop. José Romero has become one of the finest guitar makers and he is considered an alive legend of the builders of this wonderful instrument.
He is fully specialized in the construction of flamenco guitars, his guitars are renowned worldwide.
– Question: What do you think about the current situation of Madrid Guitar School?
– Answer: The “Guitars of Madrid” have always been the reference, Madrid Guitar School has always been and it will be the main reference for building guitars. You may think that a lot of the top guitar players traditionally play with guitars made by Madrid luthiers.
– Question: What were the influences which have marked the building of his guitars along his career?
– Answer: I’ve always based on the opinions of the flamenco guitar players. These opinions are really important and have been taken as a guide to mark the correct direction in my guitar construction.
I started in José Ramírez workshop when I was 14 years old, and 15 years later, I decided to establish my own workshop and I specialized exclusively in flamenco guitar construction.
Always I look for the guitar player’s comfort, both hands are important, and also for a top sound quality. The amount of sound is not very important for me, because we can not forget that the genuine flamenco guitar is low in volume.
– Question: Describe research, development and innovation in your guitar construction.
– Answer: One of the main aspects that I always have considered is the investigation of the wood for flamenco guitar. Therefore if we talk about wood combination, the genuine is spruce and cypress pine for flamenco guitar, and another combinations are only applied to get volume.
The rest of considerations that I take in the construction of my guitars, are mainly based on my love for flamenco, my knowledge and my good work for this art, and especially by the quality of my wood, with a minimum of 25 years drying.
– Question: What are the main features of your guitars?
– Answer: This question should be answered for the guitar player. You can ask to several national and international guitar players to know their opinion about my guitars.
– Question: What are your current and future projects?
– Answer: I want to continue working and trying to improve this instrument. When I say instrument, I mean that a guitar builder makes instruments: “Guitars are made in the factory”.
– Question: What are your considerations about legends like Antonio de Torres and Manuel Reyes (father)?
– Answer: Antonio de Torres is the soul of the Spanish guitar…
And about Manuel Reyes (father) I only say that he is a great current reference, where the vast majority of guitar makers should be reflected.