EDUARDO DURÁN FERRER

GUITAR MAKER

    Benito Ferrer, was born in Orihuela (Alicante) in 1845. He moved to Granada at a very young age, where he started studying medicine. But he liked the zambra (flamenco bar) in Sacromonte, and he built a guitar for himself so he could play in the zambra. His guitar was so popular that he set up his first workshop in Calle Jarrería (1875). Later on, he moved to Callejón de las Campanas, and finally, to Calle Santiago.

Fruit of his talent were the exact and final rules for the distribution of the frets in the bandurria and spanish lute, and the change from the old gut and silk strings to metal ones. In order to put into practice all these ideas, he had to reinforce the interior of the instrument considerably, so it would support the pressure of the metal strings. His guitars went through several stages, taking shape, and developing to take the current form.

Things went quite well. For instance, while an instrument normally cost six pesetas, he managed to sell them for fifteen. The highest price that was paid for one of his guitars was one hundred and fifty pesetas, which was not bad at that time.

Well-known people such as Recuerda, Molina Zúñiga and Manuel Jofré, among many others, played his instruments. Andrés Segovia, in his first moments, which were hard, received a beautiful gift from Don Benito: a studio guitar.

In his workshop his nephew Eduardo Ferrer, among others, learnt the trade.

    Eduardo Ferrer, was born in Granada in 1905. In his early teens, he started learning the trade in his uncle’s Benito Ferrer workshop. When his uncle passed away he took over the workshop, which continued to operate until his death.

He taught the trade to nearly all the guitar makers in Granada while some of them, at the same time, have or have had other pupils.

The Yamaha factory, in Japan, hired him for 3 years (1966, 1967 and 1968), to go there for three months each year, and advise them about the how to make better guitars.

His building system is traditional, in short, that of his uncle and Torres. He admires innovation but admits that after going crazy doing his own research, he had to go back to the traditional method. He thinks that with Antonio Torres and Benito Ferrer, there is nowhere left to innovate. He explains that the secret for a guitar to sound good should be in the wood, in the grain, because otherwise building six guitars from the same wood and in the exact same way, it would be impossible that some of them sound good and some others don’t.

His love for string instruments makes him good at playing some of them: the bandurria the lute and the guitar, at least enough to know if they sound good or not.

In 1975, his Granada guitar making colleagues, paid tribute to him, showing their admiration and gratitude on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Casa Ferrer.

    Antonio Durán, was born in Granada in 1940. He began the trade with Antonio Marín and Manuel López, and later on he moved to Casa Ferrer where he made castanets and then guitars.

 In 1957 he had a work-related accident in which he lost his right arm. The following year, he started up his own workshop, which became another apprentice school, where some of the current guitar makers in Granada learnt the trade.

He also had the habit, shared with many young guitar makers, of selling his instruments without label to veterans. Luckily, he overcame that shyness and since then the instruments have his own label. In the end, it is he who runs the workshop and everything that is done in it.

He applies the Ferrer system to classical guitars. He modifies flamenco guitars in another way.

He was very into flamenco. He usually went to flamenco festivals and some flamenco clubs. He was friends with numerous flamenco artists, with whom he shared not only the art of flamenco but also friendship. In fact, most of them, when they came to Granada, did not doubt to go to his house, which was always open for everyone to enjoy his hospitality.

 Eduardo Durán Ferrer . The 4th generation (see luthier)