Adrien Bernard-Reymond Interview
NAME: Adrien BERNARD-REYMOND
LIVING IN : Ruffieux, Savoie, FRANCE
TRAINING & BACKGROUND: After about 10 years in the graphic design / illustration world I turned to lutherie with zero experience in woodwork. I was trained by Pascal Cranga at l’Eesprit Du Bois luthery school in Cluny, Burgundy where I stayed for about 6 months.
PLAYING: I play electric bass
NAME OF YOUR HIGH SCHOOL BAND: We never played outside my parents house, so we didn’t really need a name 😂
LUTHIER YOU ADMIRE THE MOST: I love the new generation luthiers who dare to propose something different, to name a few: Florian Schneider (Millimetric Instruments), Nicolai Schorr (Schorr guitars), Robin Stummvoll (Verso Instruments)… and many more
INSTRUMENT YOU DREAM TO HAVE ONE DAY: One piece of each luthiers mentioned above! haha
LAST ALBUM YOU BOUGHT : Elllegy by The Olllam
LAST MUSIC SONG YOU PUT IN YOUR CAR: Starchy by FORQ
LAST SHOW YOU WENT TO : Honey For Petzy
MOST IMPRESSIVE INSTRUMENT YOU EVER HAD IN HAND: Avery selfish answer, but I was very moved when I held the very first instrument that I’d just finished, it was a bouzouki. It’s not in a really good shape today but being able to say “I made this instrument, with my hands” was really something for me at that time. That being said, I once had a Boucher dreadnought at the shop that was quite impressive in terms of clarity and projection.
MOST STRANGE RESTORATION OR REPAIR YOU HAD TO DO : Once a client came to me asking to repair a dent in the neck finish of his vintage guitar, he was devastated. But I couldn’t see the dent, it was basically invisible… So, I did my best…
I come from the graphic design and visual arts world so design is what comes first.
I always start with a lot of small sketches, pencil on paper, a lot of lines, until something pleasing to me “pops up”. Then I refine the lines and start to think how those lines could actually be a playable instrument.
Ergonomics, features like pickups, buttons, bridge, scale length, etc, need to be taken in consideration.
Then I make a full size plan and templates for the body.
The choice of wood also follow a design driven path. I usually leave most of the wood in it’s natural color except for the top. So I need to match different wood colors correctly.
I currently have 3 guitar models which are 3 variations of body shapes. I make them solid or semi hollow. I also adapted them for bass.
Pickups configuration, neck shape, etc. are up the client’s preferences.
My philosophy is to make instruments with a clean an minimal design, strong lines.
But guitars are also a tool so they must be easy to play and comfortable so the musician can play freely without any struggle.
My answer will only apply to electric instruments since this is what I make.
I’m not going to enter the tone wood debate here, I don’t think it is the most impactful thing we should focus on. Same thing with bolt-on vs glued neck… I make bolt-on necks because it’s easier to service, when you need to do a refret work for example. Pickups, strings and playing technique will have a way more massive impact on tone.
Buyers can have many different approaches as to how and why to order a luthier instrument. I think the most important thing is that he/she order a model that fill him/her with joy, a model he/she can imagine using on stage on in the studio, a model that put a smile on his/her face. It’s as simple as that. Then we discuss the specs like pickups config, neck shape, woods, etc. to fit their needs.
I propose 3 models, so when clients order an instrument they usually have a model in mind.
Then we discuss the specs (pickups, neck shape, scale length, woods, depending on their needs, and on the overall concept of the music they play: jazz, rock, etc…
I can accommodate the instrument to fit in the style. Delays are about 4 to 6 months.
There are more and more luthiers in France, and that brings a lot of different perspectives on what we do.
This creates an emulation that is good for creation and a good soil for new ideas to emerge and push luthery forward.
To order an instrument you can contact me via Luthiers.com of course, or via Instagram, Facebook, or simply send me an email.
You can try my instruments only at my shop for now or during guitar shows that I exhibit at. Next one will be the Salon De La Belle Guitare (Paris Guitar Festival) in Montrouge, March 2023.
We also invite you to follow him on his various social networks:
In the coming weeks, as for others luthiers for plucked string instruments, luthiers for bowed string instruments, amps & effects makers, wood & supplies dealers, lutherie events, jobs, schools & teachers subscribers on our site, you will be able to follow our series of mini-interviews dedicated to the fascinating world of luthiers.
See you soon…
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