The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #40023   Message #571210
Posted By: John Hardly
13-Oct-01 - 11:09 AM
Thread Name: Building stamina - guitar backup
Subject: RE: Building stamina - guitar backup
Well Bob,

I do play a flattop. I generally play fingerstyle and accompany myself. I've also taken to learning to flatpick fiddle tunes--a pursuit that I sometimes fear, an other times am glad, will continue for the rest of my life.

I am also quite fond of acoustic jazz and swing on acoustic guitar---as I am listening to Hot Club of Cowtown and Harmonius Wail and John Pizzarelli (who I know is using an electric--but it's a hollow body archtop that's electrified and I usually associate that with acoustic--an arguement for another day). It is within this genre that I see great use of the economy to which I referred. The function of the three note chord isn't just economy of motion...it also has much to do with ensemble playing and not stepping over others or unnecessarily muddying up the sound. It's also a veiw of guitar as part rhythm instrument.

As my chord vocabulary increases I find myself more and more being drawn toward this style of play. I'm also fascinated by the progression and interval play and the way it can be a more universal language in much the same manner that fiddle tunes are for bluegrass players.

For instance, one of the most fascinating threads in this forum for me has been a conversation between (I know I'll miss someone and I can't remember the thread title) Rick Fielding, M. Ted, Mark Clark and others about the practical use of the "Nashville numbering system". It was a wonderful window into the possibilities awaiting one with the resolve to learn the chords and where they fall.

As a life-long fingerstyler I became painfully aware that it wasn't a very social pursuit, music-wise. I have been on a quest to learn to play with others---enough musical materbating! Toward that end, my ears perk up whenever the subject of ensemble guitar tricks and secrets are discussed.