Davide Garbujo (Tribe Guitars) Interview

When did your interest in becoming a luthier start?

My story begins when I was very young, a child.

I was already very interested in music because both my mother and my two older sisters listened to all kinds of music all day long.

I remember spending days with my sisters also watching music videos on MTV

I fell in love with music, so when I turned 5, my parents gave me a piano, it was my first approach to a musical instrument.

I started studying music very seriously until I graduated from the conservatory.

Over the years I have experimented with different instruments, including the guitar and the electric bass, for which I have literally gone crazy.

Speaking of guitars … I started my first band when I was 14, I played the electric guitar there.

It was a cheap, secondary brand electric guitar, and over time I realized that it wasn’t enough to meet my needs, I didn’t like the sound anymore because listening to great guitarists I realized that I was not up to par, neither technical nor under the sound aspect … but I didn’t have the money to buy a new guitar so I started tweaking it …

I spent days replacing pickups, strings, setup and so on, until the day I decided to try and build one.

My grandfather was a carpenter, so I had easy access to his machinery and lumber.

One day I found a wooden blank that I thought was perfect for building my first guitar body … so my story began.

Then, i started attending the best lutherie schools until I opened my first workshop, in 2007.


You spent years building custom instruments. What can you tell us about that?

Yes, I spent many years building custom instruments for my customers all over the world, and still today, when an instrument leaves our company, I get excited because I feel that a piece of my heart is coming out of our lab and I am happy to know that somewhere in the world, a musician can enjoy his Tribe.

What I can tell you is that the first time I saw my instrument on the stage of a great artist at the stadium, it was one of the greatest emotions of my life.


Tribe Bass in Meazza Stadium


Are there any luthiers you look up to?      

Sure, there are many fantastic luthiers, both European and American, but Rick Turner and Juha Ruokangas are my absolute idols.


Who are your favourite bass players?

Difficult answer … there are too many!  I mention some of my favorites:

Pino Palladino, Les Claypool, Dario Deidda, Richard Bona,  Shob Neau,  Billy Gould and many others.


What would be the perfect bass for you? If it were to exist…

Everyone has their own idea about the “perfect bass”, our customers have clear ideas and are looking for the simplest but also the most versatile bass to tackle all musical genres.

As for me … I just need a pickup and a volume, nothing else


How important are the woods in bass construction and what is your favourite combination?

Woods are fundamental in the construction of an instrument, their quality and seasoning are basic.

There are several combinations that I love, and I always remain of the idea that simplicity is, in the end, the best thing.

A beautiful swamp ash body with a roasted maple neck is one of my favorite combinations, for example.

I have no preferences regarding the fingerboard…


What is more important for you, the parts or the construction?

You can have the most beautiful hardware, but if an instrument is badly built, it will remain a bad ax, the construction is the most important thing, which must absolutely be combined with a high quality hardware.


Garbujo work in progress


How and why did Tribe Guitars start?

The name says it all, my dream was and remains to create the largest community of bass players in the world. In this regard, we are working on a great project that we will unveil in the coming months..


What do Tribe Guitars offer in today’s market?

I believe Tribe has one of the largest catalogs on the market, different models for all tastes and all prices, to satisfy all the needs of today’s musicians.

Our strength is the ability to customize the instrument by choosing from dozens of options available starting from woods, inlays, pickup configurations, custom colors and much more … every bassist can build their own unique and bespoke Signature bass .

Our dealers can also configure the instruments they order to suit the tastes of musicians in their market.

New products  such as high quality cables, aluminum pedal boards and a line of boutique  pedal effects, will also be available soon.

Is it possible to dull down the influence of the Jazz Bass and the Precision and be successful commercially speaking?

Jazz Bass and Precision remain benchmarks for the most of people, but it is absolutely possible to create successful alternatives.

In my humble opinion, the bass is one of the most beautiful instruments because it is possible to experiment with different technical solutions and bassists, unlike guitarists  who are usually more conservative, are happy to welcome new proposals, because they have a more open mind, they are more experimenters and less tied to the brand.

In a few words, when the bass player finds the instrument he likes, he buys it without thinking twice …

Tribe Bass

Tell us something about Tribe Online Music Academy…

I can not tell you much because the Tribe Music Academy is part of a larger project that will see the light this year, for now it is still in an “embryonic” state but we are developing a great initiative to involve as many musicians from all over the world. and create a great platform that gives space to any musician, professional or beginner, it doesn’t matter!

As soon as everything is ready, All For Bass will be among the first to be informed!

What are your plans for the future of Tribe Guitars?

We have many projects and by my nature I always need to have new ideas and projects … keep following us to stay updated!

Name a favorite:

City? Paris

Book? Da Vinci’s code

Movie? The big Lebowsky

Food?  Sushi

Drink? Mojito

Bass? Tribe and Alembic

Concert? Peter Gabriel, Milan 1993

Album? Balance, EVH

A heroe? My grandfather, who died in 2007.


Thanks Davide

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