My name is Hans van Velzen, I was born and live in Tilburg, in the Netherlands. I’m an Instrumentmaker by profession, and was educated at the Leidse Instrumentmakersschool.
I made my first electric guitar in 1986. Since 2004 I have been studying to become a professional luthier at the CMB in Puurs, Belgium.
At the CMB the emphasis is placed on developing your skills primarily using handtools, and this is something I feel very happy about. Because of my background, I am used of working with a high degree of precision, but it is quite a step from being a mechanical engineer to becoming a maker of musical instruments. I have learned a great deal about guitar building from a few superb teachers of whom I will mention two: Jacky Walraet and Walter Verreydt.
Over the coming years, I wish to continue to develop my guitar building skills. I have been working as a professional guitar builder since 2007, and in 2014, I became an officially qualified guitar builder. I have completed the steel string guitar Module, the restauration and repairs module, and the classical guitar module at the CMB.
I Graduated in 2015.
In 2011 I won the first prize at the Dutch Guitar Builders meeting.
In 2014 I was awarded the golden fingerplane of the CMB in Belgium.
This was a strong motivation to continue in the beautiful profession of Luthier.
The coming years my focus will be on the Classical guitar in terms of guitar building. I also participate in the Leonardo Guitar Project. In May 2015 I was able to work in Italy for a month with Lorenzo Frignani on this project.
In terms of sound I prefer Instruments build in the “golden era” of the Spanish guitar, roughly from 1870-1930. Major examples for me are guitars built by Antonio de Torres, Manuel Ramirez, Enrique Garcia and Santos Hernandez. I make historically correct copies of Instruments from these builders, approaching the original instruments in terms of both appearance and sound as perfect as possible. The knowledge I gain by building according the old masters, will eventually result in a model of my own signature.