The Soulful Art of a Flamenco Guitar

The Soulful Art of a Flamenco Guitar

I always try to put a little
bit of my soul into a guitar. This is a mixture of sweetness, which I sometimes have, not always, and a little bit of bravery. The part that I love the
most about working with wood is touching it, the feeling
of the wood in my hands. It’s something that always
reminds me about who I am, where are my roots, where I belong to. The wood needs to be dried
at least for 30 years, which means that I’m using the materials that my grandfather bought. I’ve never met him; he died
one month before I was born. So I get to touch the
things that he picked without knowing they would be for me, because I’m the first woman
in the family to make guitars. So it’s quite special. Once you have picked the material, then you start to prepare
all the parts of the guitar. We always start with shaping of the neck. The second part, it’s the top. When we decide the materials, we decide which one of the
templates that we have, that we’re gonna use. The first thing that
you do when you cut it is to put it in the solera. The solera is the mold that we
use for the top and the back to give the guitar this little
curve so it sounds better. And then for the top, we need
to put the rosette in it. And it’s little pieces of wood, and we make the drawing, the design, and we have to start
putting every single piece so it matches. The rosette, it’s one of the
most difficult parts to do. But it’s also one of
the most creative ones, where you are allowed
to do whatever you want. It takes me like two months and a half to make a couple of guitars, because we are always
making a couple of them so when one is gluing we
can work with the other one. Actually when a guitar is gluing you’re going to use
this old form of clamp. These ones we made ourselves here, so we can put pressure on the guitar. The flamenco and classical
guitar they may look equal but in the construction
they are different. Classical player, they always look for a neat note, bright sound. But the flamenco ones,
they just want soul. Everybody asks about the sides bending. You have to put them under the
water for a couple of hours and then you do this bending with heat. We use a little oven and
if you get the wood wet, through the process you can bend the sides to the shape of the guitar. The Conde business started with an uncle of my grandfather in 1915. Nowadays, in this workshop
we are three people, plus my father. At first, continuing the tradition, it was not something that I had in mind. My father suggested me to come to the workshop in the
evenings, just to try. And I found it beautiful to know how the family business worked
and how to make a guitar. The first guitar that I closed,
I remember going back home and my smile couldn’t be bigger. Because it’s the first moment that you see a complete guitar. For joining of the back, we
need to put enough pressure to stick the back and the sides, but it’s not so much so
the sides could break. The tradition is to give your
first guitar to your mother, but I’m not a boy, so I decided
to give it to my father, which was my master. I was totally afraid that
it would be a mistake and a mess and it wouldn’t sound. But it did sound, and it did sound well, and I couldn’t be more proud. I remember this as one of the
most exciting days of my life. Once you have stuck all the guitar together, then you start with the fingerboard. We always use ebony, from Africa. It’s a really tough material because it has a lot of density,
it’s really heavy. You have to be very careful in the distribution of the frets. If you are mistaken by just one millimeter you wouldn’t be able to tune
it, it would be impossible. After that you only have
to give the last touches. Once a guitar is finished,
you have to adjust the neck bone and the bridge bone. And this is really important because that will decide the
tension of the strings. Sometimes you need a whole
day to adjust a guitar, to find it perfect. But I guess it will never be perfect because it depends on the
person who plays the guitar. I have really good memories
with flamenco music and then for me it means home actually. It comes from the heart of a person. I have this romantic idea
that this is my grain, that I live in this world so
someone else can make music, which gives life to all of us.

100 thoughts on “The Soulful Art of a Flamenco Guitar

  1. In a world where almost everything is done by computer it is comforting to know that craftsman(well craftswomanship i this case) is still going strong and I reckon the demand for more organic products, instead of their binary equivalents will increase, if you make something with love, it'll love you back! I have a handmade Spanish guitar I saved up for and bought some 30 years ago now. When guitar playing chums visit me, whether they are Strat Players, Martin acoustics or whatever, they invariably says "pass me the Spanish, it just sounds chuffing gorgeous" It seems to get better as it gets older!

  2. once you get stronger with your arms and upper strength you can make 4 to 6 guitars in a series in about 6 weeks make 4 to 6 tops and 4 to 6 backs necks made then work the sides put them together jamietulsaok

  3. Why is this video in English? There is nothing more sexy than the voice of a woman from Spain. Pisa morena, pisa con garbo.

  4. Que buena esta Maria DIOS !! Lo que digas preciosa ! But you need gain more weight because you’re too skinny alright!

  5. Você precisa verificar com o YouTube o que está acontecendo, se eu digo que curti não computa, só está computando descurtida..

  6. Excelentes Guitarras todas las provenientes de la "Dinastía Conde"… Ver una mujer tan linda por demás dedicada a esta labor es algo espectacular, seguramente sus Guitarras heredan toda esa esencia femenina.

  7. my name is franco, my family history is from spain .although I have never been there, your family business and story captured my heart. beautiful work!

  8. Amazing. Heres hoping we see more women making guitars. Fantastic. Oh and Spain ah Spain. What an amazing place. Visiting Spain should be on the bucket list of everyone.

  9. Brilliant! I wish the thumbs downers would comment so I could see how their minds worked. Who could not like this?

  10. She said: “A little bit of bravery”. That would be an understatement. Imagine making a perfect acoustic instrument with wood that’s been drying for 30 years! And you never really know if you’ve succeeded until it is complete. That’s craftsmanship. Or Craftwomanship in this case.

  11. i'm 24 years old. I wanna be Luthier in guitar Ten years ago. but this way is hard task in an economically in korea.
    might you can say "your wish is just that much.". maybe you are right.
    but, after i go to the university, I am making guitar these days. this bring me comfatible. I've made various guitar like fender telly and strat and I'll keep to make guitar i wanted.
    So…. the point is the
    sympathy that things of you want to talk. I want to talk with you.
    I'm looking for a partner to know this.

  12. If I ever win a huge powerball jackpot, I will gift $5 million to companies like this. The world is a much better place with them in it.

  13. hi great work I would love to have a fretted guitar do you think a classical built or a flamenco construction will give me a closer sound to the lute

  14. This video blesses my heart, enormously, and I am just a minute and 20 in … This will mean nothing to anyone reading what I write … But I fell in love with the guitar when my first grade teacher read us a book about a classical guitar building family from Spain … back in 1953. From that book, my love for the guitar grew until I became a guitarist myself, starting in 1959, and seriously, in 1961, and until this day (31March2019), more than 57 years later. Some of the very first things I learned, was Flamenco that my grandmother taught me.
    I cannot describe the joy I feel, in seeing that little book come to life, and the craftsmanship continued by a beautiful young woman, no less, who is absolutely precious to boot. How cool is that?

  15. ''The part that I love the most about working with wood is touching it…the feeling of the wood in my hands'' ….I'm just surprised more people didn't pick up on that lmao

  16. I'd rather go with an established maker and not a pretty face trying to sell guitars on her grand father's legacy. Sorry, but I dont fall for t&a and a smile.

  17. Hey no offense but why don't you see the work of the Filipino craftsman in Cebu they make guitars in Cebu like spanish classical

  18. I thought she was a Czech or Polish making flamenco guitars in Spain. She doesn't look Spanish at all.

  19. Young woman doing a respectable career that requires a lot of skill? Cue the 40 year old men telling her how beautiful she is.

  20. I'm so lucky to live in almeria( the home of the original moden style of guitar) and am surrounded by great guitars,great players,and the passion of my spanish neighbors.

  21. Morning Coolness Rising Sun Humming Birds, Melting Dew Along With My Best Compliments Wishing u a Very Gracious Morning G0OD….and I hope all myworks as dong all things right as coming in west african Ghana things as geart helping the world as well..manafshaibu am ghana ganie as right

  22. "Conde guitars have been inspiring artists from Leonard Cohen to Bob Dylan." For instruments, they are the cornerstones of creating internationally-inspired music.

  23. I hate women with ego. They are mean in a workplace like that. And they always saves company money on wrong irrelevant things like toilet needs or office stuff then there is no money for essential things.

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