Córdoba artist Dave Martone has been mixing the nylon and electric genres together for decades; along with creating a unique, signature sound, Martone works for the National Guitar Workshop and conducts clinics through Berklee College of Music. He's about to release his next studio album, Nacimiento, later this month. Since Martone has been playing Córdoba guitars for years, we thought we'd ask him a few questions about his gear, his career, and his forthcoming album!
CG: What were your goals when you set out to write/record this album?
DM: To be honest, I did not plan on making this album. I was supposed to release another electric album with my label, but was struggling with inspiration and couldn't complete it. At the same time I was performing weekly in Vancouver playing solo nylon gigs, and wanted some accompaniment so I started to make some basic tracks in my studio to play along with. I found it fun and started to make them more polished instead of just demo's
Then I started to do full songs, and re make covers for another group I play in called KaDaBrA. What I would do would be to demo up the songs for the band, then write a chart out for us to perform at gigs. This was how it came about. I pushed forward and before you know it, I had 16 complete songs.
CG: Did you do a lot of composing on your Córdoba?
DM: I have been using my main Córdoba (pictured) for recording and performing. I had my tech Barry Ewart do a few things to it for my liking and have been using D'addario strings on it with Planet Waves Cables. It is on many of the tracks on my new release from Magnatude/Magna Carta Records.
CG: What comes first, lyrics or melody? Does your Cordoba ever inspire you to take a song in another direction?
DM: Well, for me, there are no lyrics on this album so it is more a question of, is it the harmony or the melody that comes first. What happens is I try to intertwine them together to hear what both parts would sound like simultaneously. Kind of a finger style technique. Then I would break it down father into separate parts after I have the working form of the song. I would then work on different voicing's for the chords and tweak the melody further to my liking. For me, sound is what is important. I have many electric guitars, but only a few acoustic guitars. Each guitar has a certain "colour" and I know what colour is needed for each song. So to me, having the right strings on the guitar, and playing it with the proper tone variables/hand placement will help the song come out. I will play a part over many times in the studio, until it "feels" correct. To me it could be technically perfect, but be cold and not breathe. It has to breathe way more importantly than be technically perfect.
CG: Your new album seems very heavily flamenco-influenced. What were some of your musical inspirations for the album?
DM: Well, it has an underlying spanish feel for sure! I started off when I was young on playing classical guitar. It has been with me for my entire life. I have focused much of my carrier on the electric guitar, but to sit and play a nylon string, with just a bit of reverb through my amp is breathtakingly inspiring.
Nacimiento will be released on May 19, 2015; check out Dave's website and Facebook for more information. And here's a little teaser of the upcoming album!
Now that our bags are unpacked and we've slept off all of the jetlag, we'd like to share a few photos from our recent trip at Musikmesse, an annual music tradeshow in Frankfurt, Germany!
We had a great time sharing all of our guitars and ukuleles with our European dealers and fans. It's so exciting for us to meet all of our international Córdoba lovers, and we look forward to seeing you next year! Until then, enjoy some of these shots from Frankfurt!
In this month's issue of Guitar Player, Swedish indie-folk singer/songwriter José González disucsses his latest album, Vestiges and Claws. González had an interesting approach to the album, opting to do a lot of the work himself:
"I decided to produce and mix the album myself so that I could concentrate on making the songs that way. Although I did record a few things in my big studio, I worked on a lot of the alubm in my kitchen at home, and there's something that happens when you don't have other people around that can help make things more soothing and mesmerizing. I also wanted to explore slightly more lo-fi sounds, because I'm inspired by the Microphones and other bands who sound like they're working at home in their own little world."
When asked if he plays with a pick or with his fingernails, González responded, "When I'm on tour, I use a nail strenghtener from OPI, because after about three shows, my nails need the help. I also change my strings maybe once a year, because slightly used strings are easier on my nails."
Lastly, González discussed the guitars he used for the album:
"I always try to find the guitar that has the best resonance for the song. For example, my Loriente (Clarita) nylon-string resonates in the key of G, so I used that guitar on 'Open Book.' I also played Esteve, Alhambra and Córdoba classical guitars."
Check out Vestiges and Clawshere. And make sure to check out González's performance at the Córdoba Guitars Lounge here!
The Córdoba Mini was featured in Premier Guitar's "New Gear Showcase!" The world's first miniature nylon-string guitar and the perfect companion for your summer road trips and vacations, the Córdoba Mini has been making waves since we debuted it at NAMM earlier this year in Anaheim.
Learn more about the Mini here! And check out Premier Guitar's full showcase here.
Looking for a great guitar, but on a strict budget? We've all been there! But luckily, Acoustic Guitar did your dirty work and researched all of the best options under 600 big ones.
We're honored to be on the list (and we definitely agree with them)! Here's what AG had to say:
If you’re suffering from classical G.A.S. (that’s guitar acquisition syndrome), you don’t have to shell out thousands for a handmade concert instrument. Look into an imported guitar by Córdoba, the premier company for nylon-strings in all styles, with a healthy selection selling for under $600. The C7 is a traditional model with a solid Canadian cedar or European spruce top, Indian rosewood back and sides, and rosewood binding and rosette work ($499.99). The Fusion 12 (from $529.99) is a crossover model that feels like a steel-string acoustic with its thin and narrow neck and Fishman electronics system.
Check out the May 2015 issue of Guitar Player Magazine for an appearance by the Córdoba F7 Paco in their "17 Sensational Signature Models" feature!
"None of these models appear to be a stock guitar with someone's name slapped on the headstock. So if you want a smattering of mojo from any of the fine players honored here with signature models, just put one of their babies in your hands!" writes author Michael Molenda.
The F7 Paco is "inspired by various instruments" in legendary guitarist Paco de Lucia's arsenal, and "features non-traditional body woods for a flamenco guitar."
If you're looking for a Master Series guitar, Marfione Guitars and All Strings Nylon is the place to go. A luthier and craftsman himself, Chuck Marfione runs his workshop with a level of attention that is second to none. With the help of his wife Magz, Chuck personally sets up every single Master Series guitar that crosses his path, making sure these already incredible guitars are perfect for their owners.
Marfione Guitars also carries many of our limited edition models like this Torres Limited featuring mahogany wood rather than rosewood. Check out their website here and here to see their full line of Córdoba products!
British magazine Total Guitar recently reviewed the Córdoba Guilele CE, and it's safe to say we won them over!
"A six-string uke or a mini classical guitar? It's your choice. Either way, it's a lot of fun with serious application," writes reviewer Dave Burrluck.
The guilele also racked up four stars in features, sound quality, value for money, and build quality, and five stars for playability. Big thanks to Total Guitar! Check out more on the Córdoba Guilele CE here.
Check it out! The new GK Studio Limited, which we debuted at Winter NAMM last month, was recently selected as one of Guitar Player's top ten "Ax-Ceptional Acoustic Guitars" from the yearly tradeshow!
The newest addition to the GK family, the GK Studio Limited is a stage-ready flamenco guitar featuring a solid European spruce top paired with striking ziricote back and sides. Accented with olive green and gray highlights, ziricote provides a rich, smooth sound that fills a room.
We're honored to be a part of the roundup! Check out the full list here.
We're back at work after another successful Winter NAMM show! We had so any fond memories that we wanted to share a few of them with all of you!
We debuted the F7 Paco in honor of Paco De Lucia's untimely passing last year. With its solid Canadian cedar top and Indian rosewood back and sides, the F7 Paco has a fuller, darker, less biting tone.
We also added the GK Studio Limited to the already sucessful GK Studio line. A stage-ready flamenco guitar with a solid European spruce top paired with striking ziricote back and sides, the GK Studio Limited features low action and quick playability.
Also new for 2015 is the Córdoba Mini, the first miniaute nylon-string guitar. Designed to be the perfect companion for road trips, vacations, or hanging out at home, the Minis provide the playability of a ful size nylong string guitar in a compact, lightweight body.
We hope you enjoy a few shots from our four days at the Anaheim Convention Center below! You can also see a playlist of videos over at our YouTube channel here.