José Vigil: “The Guitars Made Today in Granada Are Not a Direct Evolution of the Old Guitars”
Guitar teacher at the conservatories of the Andalusian Regional Government in Spain. Holds a degree in Philosophy.
This interview with renowned guitar maker José Vigil unveils the serendipitous journey that led him to forsake a career in economics for the artistry of guitar crafting, eventually finding his muse in Granada. Vigil’s initial encounter with local guitar workshops sparked a fascination with the manual intricacies of the trade, prompting him to split his time between Denmark and Granada, where he apprenticed under the tutelage of master luthier Antonio Marín.
Vigil’s transition from a guitar enthusiast to a skilled craftsman was catalyzed by a deep-seated passion for the manual labor involved in guitar-making. His initial focus on the meticulous assembly of guitar components, rather than the sound produced, underscores the significance he places on mastering the construction process. Drawing inspiration from Marín and other esteemed craftsmen, Vigil reflects on his evolution as a luthier, emphasizing the diverse approaches embraced by Granada guitar makers, ultimately shaping distinct individual styles.
The interview delves into Vigil’s philosophy on guitar construction, emphasizing precision and control as pivotal elements. His dedication to continuous improvement is reflected in his methodical approach to guitar-making, where each instrument is meticulously crafted based on quantifiable data and a profound understanding of the materials used.
As the discussion navigates through the nuances of guitar elements, Vigil expounds on the vital role played by the top in shaping the instrument’s sound. His preference for specific woods, such as Indian and Brazilian rosewood, highlights his commitment to maintaining consistency in his craft. Vigil’s detailed insights into the meticulous selection and treatment of wood further shed light on his pursuit of excellence.
The interview concludes with Vigil’s perspectives on the evolving landscape of guitar craftsmanship. While recognizing the merits of experimental techniques like the double-top, he anticipates a coexistence between traditional and contemporary methods. As Vigil’s guitars find homes across the globe, his humility surfaces in acknowledging praise while emphasizing that, as a craftsman, his paramount goal is to create quality instruments that resonate harmoniously with musicians’ needs.