Giulio Negrini got his Master Luthier's degree
in the Violin and Bow making's School of Gubbio (Italy), where he learnt
the classical techniques of the great Italian masters, in the "Cremonese" style (Stradivarius, Guarneri, Amati). His
passion for building fine (multi-strings, but not only) guitars started
studying hard-rock and heavy-metal licks. He is obsessed with beauty, tuning
1. GUITARS EXCHANGE: How did you end up becoming, or start out as, a luthier?
GIULIO NEGRINI: Out of necessity and for fun. I was about 16 years old and kept having a reacurring dream of being locked in a drawer. I spent hours upon hours with my instrument, which at the time it was a complete wreck: I felt obligated to take care of its maintenance, becoming an improvisational luthier… until my first attempt to construct a guitar from scratch. I was 17 years old. Later I attended a school specialized in the craftsmanship of classical instruments where I learned the arts of the luthier, making violins according to the tradition of Cremona.
2. G.E.: What inspired you to design and manufacture a new guitar?
G.N.: First and foremost, the search and desire to improve and adapt for the musician the sound, comfort and functionality. Secondly (yet equally as important), the desire to offer something innovative in design and aesthetics, with a strong Italian mark combined with a complex elaboration using “the Golden Ratio”
3. G.E.: Do you look for a given sound for any particular reason?
G.N.: The sound mainly comes from the musician—my job is to find the best combination between the musician’s style and quirks, then combine them with the musical genre or timbre sought.
4. G.E.: Select one and talk about: soul, jazz, blues, rock, pop…or other?
G.N.: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal & Shred…Actually, it’s my quirky clientele that pushed me in that direction, thanks as well to the touch and feel that my pieces offer, they are especially appreciated by musicians who spend hours upon on hours studying their instruments, looking for a guitar that won’t tire the hand, rather looking for a way to improve its expressive capabilities.
5. G.E.: Are you a jobbing artist or a solitary artisan?
G.N.: I’m both. I begin with a personal project and make suggestions, and then it is the guitarist himself who chooses to personalize it, sometimes beginning the whole process from scratch.
6. G.E.: What was the last record or CD you purchased? And the last one you listened to?
G.N.: You caught me in a special moment: the last disc I purchased was a collection of Michel Petrucciani. The last one I listed to was Erotic Cakes, from Govan.
7. G.E.: Electric or Acoustic?
G.N.: Acoustic: basically all guitars are acoustic; even the electric guitar has its own 'vibration' secrets that change the timbre output… Let’s say say that the electrical guitar is an acoustic that works in reverse [from vibrations to the timbre and not from the timbre to the vibrations]. [smiles]
8. G.E.: What is the secret behind your choice of wood?
G.N.: If I reveal it, what kind of secret would it be? This response stays with me [smiles]
...AND TWO HANDS
9. G.E.: Why should we consider luthier-crafted guitars as a viable option to guitars made by the large manufacturers?
G.N.: I don’t really consider it a real alternative. A guitar made by a luthier is an instrument made to the specifications of a single person. It’s merely a choice that does not exist in the mass market…it’s unique because it has no comparison. Furthermore, the quality of a handcrafted, artisanal instrument does not permit any compromises—it is incomparable: it is obvious from the moment you touch it.
10. G.E.: Who plays your guitars? Who would you like to play your guitars?
G.N.: The major/main teachers of modern schools of rock and heavy metal in Italy for their versatility. Amongst them, Michele Vioni, Claudio Pietronik, Ignazio di Slavo or Claudio Cereda; however also conservatory artists, such as of the calibre of Carlo Lomanto, in addition to certain eclectic musicians from next door, with my GNG of 10 strings, that have gone viral on YouTube. Whom do I wish would play my guitars? Anyone who can become excited/emotional with its bending, can appreciate a note its dot, withunique taste, and anyone who can appreciate its details and tone quality: both on stage in front of 10.000 people as well as in the privacy of your own room.
Official GNG site: www.liuteriagng.com & www.negriniguitars.com