Obviously, most of you who know music and my guitar playing, know that I always lean toward electric guitar, and usually played with a band. But this time, especially in the interest of displaying what I can do in other guitar genres, I have decided to simultaneously release 2 new all-acoustic cds. Not that this is my first…I also released my all-acoustic “Drive it Home” back in 2003, which was a very personal album dedicated to my late wife and daughter. This is the cd many folks herald because of my acoustic solo instrumental of “Layla”, that they all seem to like so much!
These new cds, though almost as personal as that previous one, are a bit more commercial in nature, as they focus on the music of Simon and Garfunkel and Bob Dylan. On the heels of my all-electric “Toolin’ Around Woodstock”, with Levon Helm, it just seemed to make sense to go the acoustic route this time around. I also love to perform in a solo acoustic vein, so it also helps support those kinds of performances.
I guess what I’m really getting at here is that for you, I recommend trying to hone you skills as an acoustic player as much as electric. This will not only broaden your scope as a player overall, but it will also maintain and build up your true “chops”. I know, for example, if I go away and travel with only an acoustic for an extended period of time, when I get back to an electric guitar, I am stronger, my string bending’s easier, and it just improves my playing overall. I always tell folks that they should start on both electric and acoustic. This is especially true for those early years when a child may be only attracted to the relative “coolness” of playing electric as opposed to acoustic. It’s important that they develop an equal amount of respect for both forms of guitar, as the way you play them and get music out of them are two very different approaches. They will also make you play differently, as I learned in my early days of electric playing, when I sort of “laid off” from my acoustic playing. When I came back to the acoustic, I found that I immediately seemed to create a new style that was a real blend of both acoustic as well as electric techniques. As a result, I ended up with an acoustic approach that was a lot stronger, with more emphasis on string bending than most all-acoustic players would have.
So, in the end, even though you may want to play the heck out of an electric guitar, please make sure to cultivate the other side of the coin, and “go acoustic”, as much as you possibly can! You’ll really be so glad you did!