I love acoustic guitars and guitarists just as much as I do electrics and their players. And, just as many of us ‘need’ both humbucking and single-coil tones (in my case P-90 too) the same sonic case can be made for acoustics.
I have two steel-stringers – a Martin D-28 and a Gibson J-185. The Martin, my all-rounder, stays home but might do the occasional pub gig with mates – it’s second-hand and I traded it with another Martin. It has a good pickup fitted so is ready should I get the call. The Gibson is my stage acoustic: it looks fabulous, like a slightly scaled down and less overtly ornate J-200 and I only ever use it for strumming.
I got into acoustic via James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and the 70s singer-songwriters. It was a great foil for the heavier and often less musical (to my ear) stuff that was appearing at the time.
I spent months hamfistedly working out JT songs, and struggling to learn Little Green by Joni, only to be informed by a folkie friend that it was in open G tuning. Doh!
Strangely, I never became much of an acoustic blues player, even though blues is a form I really love. But perhaps it’s not too late, and I can have a crack at Jon Bishop’s most excellent article this month, where he brings us four full pieces at a range of ability levels. Each is written for solo acoustic guitar: they go from old-style Mississippi to a fantastic slide fest, ending with a couple of rather more challenging arrangements.
The rest of the issue has lessons in almost every style. If Creative Rock is usually not for you, do try it this month as Shaun has some lovely melodic blues-rock ideas (check out his audio!). And if a good workout is what you need, Charlie’s vibrato lesson will have all four fretting fingers flying.
See you soon...
Neville Marten, Editor