magicaddict: (B&W 2)
...may well be Tommy Emmanuel.

The below is just over six minutes of the most light-fingered genius you will ever see.

It's one guy, one guitar. No dubbing or sampling. What he gets out of it almost beggars belief.

Tommy is of the fingerpicking school, who strum or pick the strings directly with their fingers rather than using a plectrum, and play both bass and melody at the same time with different fingers. This strikes me as monumentally complicated, but what it allows you to do is elaborate, tuneful, and artistically beautiful. It also allows you to be your own backing group, which is rather cool.

He does videos where he slows what he plays right down, allowing you to see what his fingers are doing and where they're picking, and talks you through it at the same time. While the guitar was never something I managed to pick up, it's fascinating to listen to someone that expert describing exactly what they're doing. It's like watching a skilled surgeon in an operating theatre.

I love listening to even just the audio of this, but watching him actually play it, that fast and that accurately, is simply a whole notch more fun.


Jan. 3rd, 2017 05:25 pm
magicaddict: (B&W 2) I mean to go on.

There are several musical series to which I have it in mind to subject you, and kicking us off is the first of instances of absolute musical genius: Either the result of thousands of hours of practice leading to a total understanding of how to play the instrument, or genuine prodigyism that blows the mind. Music in the company of an expert, be it nature or nurture.

Below is a video of Victor Wooten playing Amazing Grace on unaccompanied bass guitar. No other instruments or people - one artist, and one guitar, typically used for accompanying other instruments.

It's a bit of a slow burn, and the video quality isn't all it could be, but do, please, give it time. It, and he, is worth it.

My love of this particular performance comes from the casual nature by which a number of different 'voices' are extracted from the guitar, and the use of harmonics as simply another register to play in, accessed as easily as the instrument's main range. Victor plays all parts of the guitar, rather than just picking the strings, and that only comes from learning exactly how the mechanics of your instrument actually lead to sound. Despite being so technically complex, it is so utterly accomplished and polished - genuine genius.

Other series will include outstanding group work (including acapella that would make Glee cry), curiosities that are fun, ridiculous or challenging, my personal favourite songs, and excerpts from various characters' soundtracks. For now, however, enjoy a guy in an overly loud shirt making a bass guitar sing, and know that when I posted it, I did precisely that.


magicaddict: (Default)
Doug Millington-Smith

June 2017

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