The Leonardo Guitar Research Project (LGRP) is a Europe based independent non-profit organization that was funded by the European commission (Leonardo-Da-Vinci and Erasmus+ ) from 2011 till 2017.
The main goal of LGRP is to study, demonstrate and communicate the possibilities of building acoustic and classical guitars from non-tropical woods
Together with partners from different fields we aim to develop a cooperative knowledge platform concerning the use of alternative non-tropical wood species in guitar making.
Many of the exotic tropical woods are now protected and their trade restricted under the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). For the luthier it means that these woods, which have been traditionally used in guitar making, are becoming rarer and ever more expensive. For those tropical woods still available, care needs to be exercised to ensure that they are from a legitimate source as, despite certification processes such as that of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), much of the available tropical wood is illegally harvested.
Need to study alternatives
Because of the decreasing availability and increasing cost of tropical woods there is a need to find economically viable alternatives. Against this background the LGR-Project started up a research program to study the possibilities of using species of local non-tropical woods that are not normally used in acoustic and classical guitar making. The program consists of building guitars from both tropical and non-tropical woods and assessing them for performance and acceptance in a series of comparative tests. This work is carried out by an international team of 3 lutherie schools and 4 entrepreneurial luthiers, working in co-operation with external experts (forest management experts, environmental organisations, universities, and other researchers). Together we aim to develop a knowledge centre surrounding the use of alternative non-tropical wood species in guitar making.
As the LGRP research programme demonstrated that locally grown sustainable non-tropical woods can be used as viable alternatives for the traditional tropical woods, the effect could be more than just providing luthiers with a broader range of affordable tonewoods. Any move towards sustainable local tonewoods could have important environmental benefits through reducing demand for tropical rainforest woods, and by reducing transportation miles.
Read more about the Economic situation & Environmental value on this page
The LGR-Project was presented during many Guitar Festivals/symposia where the project guitars also were exhibited, played (in concerts), tested and compared.
- Cordefactum Guitar Festival and Symposium, 2014, May 30,31, June 1, Hingene - Belgium.
- Tampere Guitar Festival, June 2014, Tampere - Finland
- Gitaar-Bouwers-Meeting, Oct 2014, Barneveld - Netherlands
- Holy Grail Guitar Show, Nov 2014, Berlin - Germany
- Holy Grail Guitar Show, Oct/Nov 2015, Berlin - Germany
- Holy Grail Guitar Show, Oct/Nov 2016, Berlin / Germany
- The first Salon de la Guitare 5,6 Dec 2015 à la Belle Villoise, Paris, FR
- The annual Musicora event in Paris in February 2016, Paris, FR
- APLG Symposium, August 27, 2016, Le Mans, France
- ROMA EXPO GUITARS March 18/19th 2017, Rome, Italy
- LGRP-Event @ the Cordefactum Guitar Festival, April 14/15/16th, 2017, Lier, Belgium
- Itemm (Institut technologique européen des métiers de la musique) 24.04.17 Le Mans, FR.
- APLG Symposium, 23 Nov 2018, Montluçon / FR.
- Symposium & expo "Guitar on/off" / 4.11 > 15.12, 2019 / 72000 Le Mans / FR