Samuel Zamfir de Souza – 2018 Luthier of the “Emerging Guitar Talents” Competition

The guitar maker Samuel Zamfir de Souza will award a special guitar for the 6th edition of the International Guitar Competition “Emerging Guitar Talents”, June 8-10, 2018. We are glad to have him with us and we invite you to read a few lines written by Samuel:

“When I first learned how to play acoustic guitar at school, I had already started dreaming about making my own one, someday.

This never happened for over 15 years. I grew up in a small Scottish village on the North East Coast of Scotland. 

Farming, fishing, whisky making and the Oil and Gas industry were what defined the region. Although I always knew that I could build a guitar, being a luthier was not something that in my mind I associated with the real world. It belonged to times past and places far away.

At the beginning of 2016, when my son turned 2 and with another child on the way I told my wife that this is the year that I will make my first guitar.

I only had a book to learn from, but had sourced some very good Romanian spruce and maple. A couple of months later I had indeed accomplished my dream of a lifetime. I had built my first guitar. In October of the same year I went to Spain to do a course, learning how to build Spanish guitars using the traditional methods. The course was and still is run by master luthier Pablo Requena, to whom I am indebted for passing on solid construction techniques and his rigorousness when it comes to details.

The process of building a guitar is a very long one with many steps. If you are focused on creating the best possible guitar, you push yourself to your limits, but it’s immensely fulfilling to take each piece of wood, one of a kind in quality and aesthetics, and to give it a specific purpose; when I can inlay the beautiful rosette, bring the neck, top, back and sides together, when the guitar is first strung up and I hear its unique sound, the amount of job satisfaction I get is indescribable. Then there is also the knowledge that what I have created can now go on in the care of the player’s hands and may well be with the same player for a lifetime, and then go on being played for many more lifetimes – this is really a humbling feeling. And how humbling it is to represent a craft that carries the passion, experience, trials and errors, and successes of great masters such as Antonio de Torres, Hermann Hauser and Daniel Friedrich”.