Joan Armatrading


One of the reasons I enjoy playing the guitar is because it's a very tactile instrument. When you play the piano, you're stuck at arm's length. When you play the trumpet or saxophone, even though your lips touch the mouthpiece, it's still at arm's length. The guitar is one of the few instruments that you actually hug when you play. There's a close, feel-the-music kind of connection.

When I'm writing, what I enjoy is that I'll start a song on a certain acoustic, and the song itself will dictate if the guitar I'm playing is the right guitar for the song. I may have started the song on a 12-string, but the song will say, "Actually, no. I want to be on a 6-string guitar, and I want to be on a Martin." And I'll move onto that Martin, and I'll discover that the song was right.

From a performance standpoint, I also love the fact that certain guitars will find you, and fit just right with how you play. I'm a bit of a hitter, you see-I bash-and I like to have everything going at once: bass, harmony, and melody. This is why I love Ovations. They are very powerful-sounding guitars, and when I hit those strings, they ring with a nice, clear, percussive--but not overly bright--sound that highlights the rhythms I like to play. …

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