A personal note by:
Something every guitarist knows, or should know. There is this tremendous throw back that has evolved in the last few decades. The last month of Guitarworld
Vol 42 No. 9 September 2021
So on the cover is the late great George Harrison. Some picking up a guitar for the first time would not even know who he is. His start in 1963-64 was the launch of a great era. George in particular for guitar players. So why in 2021 nearly 60 years later are we still a Beatles fan or why is he on the cover of Guitarworld?
Well, I don't have that answer, and I'm a fan like all others in the music world, with exceptions to some I'm sure. But you are here because of a shared interest in 'Guitars'
I have always loved technology, so for longer than most it had me perplexed as to why so many wanted 'old' guitars. Even 'old looking' guitars.
After many conversations with great luthiers and guitar experts, I learned that the biggest draw was that original sound, tone, character. I have some classic guitars. I also have the latest kind. I have a collection of stomp boxes, and software to rival
the best of them. To keep it short, I have a LOT of tone enhancements and various tools to shape guitar sounds. What have I learned? Some people confuse 'dexterity' with music ability, and tone has the same reputation.
Because you will see a 9 yr old on Youtube shred like the late great Eddie VanHalen, you can count dexterity out when creative ability is measured.
So you can play a thousand notes a minute, awesome, get into the Book of world records, and then be forgotten at the first musical distraction.
How many people will want to play your insanely fast shredding in their car, or on their headset during a run. Some.. maybe. But guess how many are listening to musicians with melodic grandeur or great lyrical gifts to share to nearly all of the market.
My take away:
It will not pay off to obsess over the guitar's ability, your amp, your stomp boxes, your guitar software. It will not satiate the majority of listeners to 'master' shredding without the melody to keep them listening. What will pay off, is how you stir the soul when you play, not the toys and tricks, nor the speed of fingers on a fret board.
There is magic in a song that people want to play over and over. The majority of fans feel something. Guitars are NO different! They are a tool to get that poignant or blissful stir by the way your fingers play MUSIC, not by tricks and 'slight of hand' but, more simple sounds that move emotions and the love of music.
Rockguitars provides an art form, and I work by hand a guitar that can perform well in conjunction with your application of the craft. A final point -
I recall as a contractor I worked on a very expensive home in the Berkley Ca.
There were very adept American workers, and some workers from Guatemala.
The American men would tease, and bad talk the Guatemalans behind their backs.
I finally responded to one by noting, "look at the work they did with very basic tools!"
"You have the best of the best in tools, but your getting 'do overs'
and complaints by the customer". I walked over to an amazing redwood foot bridge the Guatemalan crew built and stood on it. "Look at the artistry and quality of
this work, with near nothing in tools!" It reminded me of a bumper sticker I once saw that read;
"I've done so much with so little for so long - That now I can do anything with nothing"
I just want newcomers to understand what many vets know.
It's the melody mostly, not the tools or fancy toys. Guitars are my world, I love them, and make sure mine do the job very well. Then, I create things no different than what
you will find at an art gallery. However, paintings don't perform, my guitars do!
You should know, it's mostly you.Your style, your choice of notes and timing. I sell artwork on a guitar to provide a unique looking tool, a 'one of a kind' -
No duplicates. EVER!
At the end of the day, it's more about the notes, than the tone.
And, it's mostly about how you make your fans 'feel' with those notes.