Rene Martinez SEGAS Interview!

SEGAS – Tell us a little bit about how you got started down in Dallas working on guitars?

Rene’ – I began my apprenticeship under David Caron, violin maker, from Dallas, TX, at a store named Frets & Strings in 1971. I learned to repair all fiddles, from violins to double basses. I also learned to repair guitars. My teacher wanted me to follow his steps, but I couldn’t play the fiddle, and I had a hard time learning it. So I stuck to guitars, because I could play them. It was at that time I was playing flamenco and classical guitar. My dream was to be a concert classical guitarist.
SEGAS – What was it about Stevie Ray that made you go to work for the man ?

- I met Stevie around 1983-1984. He brought a guitar in for set-up and this where we began our relationship. He asked me one day to come join him on the road. I had to think about this. I first declined, but I agreed to it about a month later.
SEGAS – You’ve worked closely with several of the most influential guitarists of the past 40 years, so what common trait do they all share, in your estimation?

Rene’ – They were all great players and they needed good tuning and skills to enhance their guitars.

SEGAS -Do you collect instruments yourself?

Rene’ - I don’t play electric guitar. So the only guitars I have are classical and flamenco. And yes, they are all collectible. I own a 1959 Ramirez Flamenco, A 1968 Conde Hermanos Flamenco, 1969 Juan Pimentel flamenco, 2006 Juan Pimentel flamenco, 2002 Chris Savino flamenco, to name a few.

SEGAS – How has your job changed in basic terms, from the early ’80′s til now?

Rene’ – I started touring in 1985. From SRV four pedals to a JM Bradshaw rack with 10 pedals. From cables to wireless guitar transmitters. From floor monitors to in-ear monitors, and our wonderful cell phones, computers, ipods, etc! Just more stuff to keep up with.

SEGAS – Can you tell us the theory behind your revolutionary ‘Half gauge” strings?

Rene’ – My Big Core string design, was meant to insure that the plain strings remained true 9′s, 10′s, or 11′s. After you stretch a.009, it becomes less than a true .009. With a half size more, you can stretch it and it will remain still more than a .009. More mass means more tone! So the wound strings are of a bigger core. this will ensure more tone for the wound strings. I will elaborate more on these at the guitar show clinic.

SEGAS – What do you feel is your strongest trait, when it comes to handling an artist’s requirements?

Rene’ – Give them what they want, not what I think, unless they ask.

SEGAS – Biggest ‘goof up’ you’ll ever admit to while on tour?

Rene’ -Truly can’t think of any.

SEGAS – What do you want people to know about you, that they either think they know but don’t, or don’t know but should?

Rene’ – I am a guitar repairman, player, and entrepreneur. I also am a guitar technician. This is different from being a guitar repairman. In guitar repair, I can do all phases of repair on all fretted instruments, even on the road. I take with me all the necessary tools to refret, make bone nuts, and any other repair needed.

August 17, 2010 in News | Comments (0)