(At the end of this post, I’d very much like YOU to tell me and the readers where you think fingerstyle guitar could possibly be heading next….)
This is a really exciting time in the fingerstyle guitar scene, and I feel blessed to be playing guitar at this time in history. We’re all going through this very cool time together – and it is time for you to get involved…
In case you didn’t know this – back in the 1950’s classical guitar wasn’t an option in conservatories, in fact guitar was not even considered a “real” instrument. Yet, Andres Segovia stepped up to the plate when everyone thought guitar wasn’t a real instrument and said “here’s some Bach…now deal with this!”
In the 80’s classical guitar became accepted in the major music conservatories. Wow. Doesn’t seem like a big deal but it is.
In the 60’s Wes Montgomery came along and put mainstream jazz onto a guitar with a level of touch, taste and groove that he influenced a whole generation of guitarists and still does. Chet Atkins put songs on the guitar with his signature “boom chick” sound and practically defined fingerstyle guitar as we know it. Not to mention, Chet played on countless old rock & roll albums.
Today, Tommy Emmanuel has brought the “ultimate Michael Jordan” experience to the guitar. Every time he plays, it’s beyond a slam dunk. Chops and energy meet invention, harmonics and beauty. He has inspired me and thousands of young guitar players.
I find this evolution fascinating…of course there are many many more players who have pushed the guitar into new territories, too numerous to list here. And there are tons of new guys working hard at the craft! Andy McKee has taken the tapping – percussive approach and evolved it.
One of my goals is to “play the groove and counterpoint” that a whole funk band might play. Funky guitar in a band setting is one thing, but funky guitar with 2 or 3 independent moving basslines is a challenge. I guess that’s why I have gravitated towards Stevie Wonder and the Jackson 5.
(In case you are interested in playing my Jackson 5 arrangements – the new instructional DVD with tab booklet will be available for purchase the second week of August, stay tuned! This launch is a major event that I’d like you to be part of…so stay tuned…)
If you think about it, playing the music of the J5 is a New York City kid’s version of just what Chet or Tommy is doing. The common denominator? We’re all playing songs and making people happy – only I am playing with the grooves I heard here in New York in the 70’s and 80’s, not a Nashville boom chick groove.
I really look forward to YOUR contribution and encourage you to dig deeply into your musicality. Please practice hard, post your videos to youtube and let me know what you are up to.
Where do you think fingerstyle guitar is heading next? Leave a comment here…I am very curious as to what you have to say about this topic.
Until next time…