Magazine article Guitar Player

Session Strategies: Here's How Electric Players Can Prepare a Solo Acoustic Set

Magazine article Guitar Player

Session Strategies: Here's How Electric Players Can Prepare a Solo Acoustic Set

Article excerpt

EXPERIENCED GUITARISTS know that the acoustic guitar is a completely different animal than the electric. The notes may be in the same place, but the similarities end there. Although not quite as different as the electric bass and its upright counterpart, the approach to acoustic guitar is a study in itself. So if you play a lot of electric, you're likely fooling yourself if you think you can just grab your flat-top and dash right off to hit the road for a series of solo-acoustic concerts.

Hey, I'll admit it straight off: I play so much electric that my acoustic chops run down after a typical hiatus of a month or two. Although the acoustic comes out in the studio on a regular basis, an entire live solo acoustic performance is a real workout requiring strength and stamina. I like to book solo acoustic gigs between regular band tours in an effort to keep my acoustic chops up.

I don't make it easy for myself. For one thing, it's always a challenge to come up with new solo material. In addition, I don't use extremely light strings on my acoustics as some players do. That's a sound and style of playing all its own. I prefer to use a .011-.052 set of phosphor bronze strings for a bigger sound and more volume. I'm not bending a lot of notes--I'm going for resonance and clarity of tone. But with bigger strings comes a need for stronger fingers, and a long phase of playing mostly electrics strung with much lighter strings doesn't exactly beef up finger strength.

The ramping up of acoustic technique takes time, and, over the years, I've come up with a surefire way to get in shape for solo acoustic concerts. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.