I was born among guitars, on June 9, 1960 in Madrid, in the workshop where my father worked.We lived in the upper floor of the shop, and I had the luck that ever since I was very small I have always watched as my father worked with the wood, selected it carefully and it treated with love and respect. He always told me that he looked for the most noble woods and that the wood always thanked him with quality, by allowing him to build a good guitar.
Then, when my father became independent, a new time of his life, the workshop began in our family house on Loto street. I continued learning the secrets of the good construction of guitars, directly from father to son; there was always much time spent in the workshop and so soon I left my studies to do the work I loved and to work with my father full time.
At the age of 17 years old I began my career of guitar-maker as my fathers apprentice, with the best but most difficult Master; he was always a perfectionist and he was always telling me the secrets of the use of the tools and the knowledge of the life of the woods. In this way, first I learned the secrets of my Master, and then in time I could work in the same fashion as my father, always attentive to his advice and his good ways of seeing a profession that he had as an art.
We worked together in this manner for 30 years. Even when we rested or we had vacations we were always thinking of the future and about how we could build the next Great Guitar. Now my father has passed and that challenge has become mine. I know my father is still with me, even after his death, helping me build my guitars and that he is happy that he prepared me so well these 30 years, to build guitars in our way.
I hope to make the same thing with my children, if they want to follow this beautiful profession of making great guitars.
Paulino Bernabe ”Royal” Madrid, Spain 2007
Vihuela. Karl-Erik Gummeson (1910-2000) Stockholm, Sweden 1968