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Thu, 10 Jul 2008

The Soul of the Guitar

The guitar is one of the hardest instruments, right up there with orchestra conductor and concert pianist, because of the the high level of “personal leadership” that is expected of us. If I were an orchestra player, I would have a conductor to start me and stop me and bring me back in if I got lost, to show me what tempo, where the beat is, to write in the bowings, breathing and articulations, to tell me what phrasing and dynamics are expected of me, and so on — you know, the 130 things that the conductor does.

And then I would have someone sitting next to me doing the same thing as me. Someone I can peek at to see what I’m supposed to be doing; if I play a wrong note, I can catch it before it becomes apparent to the world. And if I get lost, they can play a little louder to cover for me until I get back in. As guitarists, we are expected to do all those jobs: start yourself, stop yourself and bring yourself back in when you get lost before anyone notices; cue yourself for entrances. And everyone expects you to smile even though you wish you were at home with your loved ones.


Thank you, Kevin.

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