Biography

Ralf Sommerfeld was born in Hildesheim on July 15th, 1968. Being fascinated by bands such as Van Halen or Deep Purple he discovers his passion for the electrical guitar at the age of 13. Various school bands and first instruction activities follow . After the Abitur Ralf decides to become professional guitarist.

Several terms of the study at the University of Hildesheim follow, in which Ralf completes his training at the classical guitar. In this time he teaches at several schools of music. 

In order to achieve a wide-ranging practice-oriented training in all style directions, Ralf decide for a study at the G.I.T (Guitar of institutes OF Technology) in Los Angeles.Because he already plays at a high level at that time Ralf must not visit certain obligation classes and uses this time in order to intensify his technical abilities and his stylistic preferences. 

Being influenced by many different music styles (classic, Flamenco, Latin, jazz, rock, pop, metal) Ralf forms his individual style at this time: New Blues rock, on high technical level with fully developed tone and a feeling of swing by Van Halen. After the return from the USA Ralf founded the GUITAR SCHOOL in Hanover. 

The foundation of the band Summerfield (e.g. with Michael Wolpers, Drums) and the production of the first instrumental CD "Just got A new guitar" follow. PRO7 uses  "The nasty groove Song" for the action series "Renegade", the NDR uses "Forgotten Times" and "Broken Promises" for various spots. Ralf publishes several workshop series in magazines. 

Because of these facts the guitar manufacturer IBANEZ becomes attentive on Ralf. Since he is a great Ibanez fan for some years, a co-operation of many years begins. In addition the British amplifier manufacturer LANEY obligates Ralf as Endorser. He plays several performances for Ibanez and Laney in Europe. 

Ralf gets 3 Custom guitars in the RG Style from Ibanez after own conceptions (two guitars with 6 strings, one with 7 strings with special sound pick-up systems). Since then Ibanez publishes Ralf in the Ibanez Europe catalog and on the website as Ibanez artist. 

Because of his stylistic variety, virtuosity and affection for Latin in styles of Al di Meola he offers workshops for ovation guitars. 

In the continuing years the productions of the second Summerfield CD "Just got another new guitar" and the guitar duo CD "A psychoaccoustic adventure" follow. This CD represents the first guitar duo with 7 strings world-wide. 

Yuji Wakazono of Ibanez is so enthusiastic after a performance, on which Ralf plays Ibanez double edge guitars, that he decides to present the CD on the Japanese Ibanez website. 

In the following year Ralf presents the Ibanez TONE LOK pedal series amongs others on the music fair in Frankfurt and gets an offer of the largest and most well-known amplifier manufacturer: MARSHALL. Since then he is being active as a promoter for MARSHALL products in Germany. 

In 2009 Ralf produces altogether 7 MARSHALL product videos of the new MG series in the Paul Produktions-studio in Hanover, which MARSHALL presents on the German website. 

In 2010 Ibanez built for Ralf two more guitars from the noble J-Custom series especially according to his wishes.

In 2013 Meinl Germany offered Ralf a Mesa Boogie Endorsment. After checking a few Amps, Ralf was totaly blown away by the sounds, especially of the Mark 5 Series.  Since then Ralf plays Mesa Boogie Amps exclusivly.

Since 2016 Ralf has been playing only acoustic guitars and acoustic amplifiers of the brand Cort.

Ralf played with and learned from:

  • Andy Timmons
  • Bruce Bouillet
  • Scott Henderson
  • Christophe Godin
  • Paul Gilbert
  • David Oakes
  • Simon Phillips
  • Frank Gambale
  • John Petrucci
  • Michael Wolpers
  • Steve Lukather
  • Joe Diorio