Born in Granada, Spain, in 1939 in the Realejo neighborhood, Manuel begins to work in a carpentry workshop at the age of twelve. Some time later he combined the work of cabinetmaker with the elaboration of castanets for the master Eduardo Ferrer. At eighteen, he was already a guitar maker, until he was called to Military Service. On his return he set up his first workshop independently with Antonio Marín, and after several changes of location, finally established the definitive workshop int he street Paseo de las Palmas, in 1968. In this workshop would be formed, in addition to his sons Jesús, Mauricio and Miguel Ángel, other guitar makers of prestige as his brother José López Bellido, as well as Rafael Moreno, Juan Miguel Carmona and many others.
Depending on the construction period we can find different labels on his instruments. In the first period, instruments were labeled “Vellido”. However, a good number o such works were built for other makers, which makes it likely that they did not retain their original label. Later, in a second period, the fruit of his association with Antonio Marín Montero instruments are labeled “Montero-Bellido”. After dissolving their association, his instruments are labeled with his full name, “Manuel López Bellido” or “Manuel L.Bellido”, and currently as “Manuel Bellido”.
From a technical point of view, his guitars are very complex, dominating all the systems of construction and usually using and mixing them to his whim. This concern has led to importan improvements in different techniques and to the design and development of tools that we find today in any instrument workshop, such as sandpaper calibrator or external mold. Among the innovations that can be attributed to him is the use of the double bottom, top and even sides, productos of the search of new nuances when combining different woods.
He has built many different instruments, such as Spanish lutes, Renaissance lutes, reproductions of antique guitars, basses, guitars of six, seven and ten strings, tiples, charangos requintos, bandurrias, etcetera. He has also made numerous restorations.
Of simple aesthetics, Manuel`s guitars are known for their volume, balance, sound beauty and richness of nuances and tones, as well as for ease of execution. Great professionals of classical and flamenco guitar have passed through his workshop and played or have played his instruments.
He is considered by many professionals as one of the main names of the Spanish Guitar.
The man who works the wood sees in the guitar the goal of his work Manuel Bellido