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Message to Old Bones

Posted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:23 am
Hello OB.

I did ask a week or so back to remind us all of your comment about one of my pieces on YOUTUBE.Would you care to share it with us sir?

Bet it makes interesting reading judging by your amazing input thus far to the Anoraks section for which we are all gratefull.


Re: Message to Old Bones

Posted: Fri May 02, 2014 9:44 am
by Oldbones
Hi Gordon.
Just seen this message.
I think I recall the comment you are referring to - but can't remember which upload it was associated with.

In essence, I recall commenting that although I love your music, I found what I described as your 'twiddly' style something that wore me down after awhile. I was then surprised and pleased to receive a comment on Youtube from yourself in which you wondered if I actually disliked your music. I replied to reaffirm that I loved a lot of it. It was just that all those twiddles - for me - tended to obscure the lovely melody lines you create.

To emphasise my appreciation of your music, this is what I wrote when I posted my 5 star Amazon review of 'Beyond Boundaries: Guitar Solos' by Michael Hedges ...

This album is shattering - Imagine Leo Kottke at his very best .... then throw in Hendrix-like fireworks with string and fret-tapping .... then add the melodic fury of Tommy Emmanuel .... and then, just when you thought I was describing totally OTT music, add in the lilting beauty of Gordon Giltrap, John Renbourne and Bert Jansch. Finally add just more than a dash of Davy Graham's jazz style. That takes you about half way to imagining how fantastic this record is. If you love acoustic instrumental guitar, this is a MUST buy. Glorious.

Recently, I bought a copy of 'Total Giltrap' in which, when introducing 'Tumbleweed' you refer to (quote) ...

" not only requires you to hammer-on from a picked note. but also to hammer-on to a dead string 'out of nowehere'..."

I'm wondering if it's that technique which I sometimes found to be over-used for my own particular tastes? It is, however, one of your 'signature' styles and millions love it. No problem.

None of any of this detracts from my love for and admiration of your playing and I guess everyone has likes and dislikes in the repertoire of pretty well every musician they follow. I'm also happy to admit that as a lifelong (and not especially accomplished) plectrum player, I'm still very much old-school in that I like to play and listen to melody lines, note-runs and blends of traditional flatpicking country styles etc. I loved Davy Graham's early music, but not everything he then went on to create. Ditto for Roy Buchanan and ditto for several others. I guess I'm a bit of a stick-in-the-mud in some respects.

I hope all that answers your request.

Thinking about it, I wonder how many members know about 'Total Giltrap'. I only chanced upon it by accident whilst searching for music. I'd never heard of it before although I remember reading many of your columns when I used to buy 'Total Guitar'. (I stopped after about issue 81 because they seemed to cover more and more heavy music rather than the styles I used to find in earlier issues. And once shredding became a regular theme, I lost all interest).

I've added a reference to the Mel Bay book elsewhere for others to pick up on.

(For reasons of which you're aware, I'll not be back in the forum for at least week after the 2nd. Maybe longer.)

Re: Message to Old Bones

Posted: Fri May 02, 2014 10:31 am
Yep, can get a bit "twiddly" at times but guitar players especially, like the technical aspect of this technique.I think it's called ornamentation.

I have to say that the older I get the less I focus on this approach,and try to emphasise the melodic content.I think it's called " maturity" that only comes from years and experience I guess.

Be well.


Re: Message to Old Bones

Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:14 pm
by AndrewD
Just passing, hope you don't mind me joining the conversation... :wink: Ornamentation is an important part of bringing any piece of music to life whether it be guitar, vocal or any other instrument. However it can be overused, which then kills the piece in my opinion. Careful and tasteful use of twiddly bits is good and I've recently gone back to basics. That is in part because I haven't played regularly for a loooooong time now and am just getting back into a routine of daily practice but also because if you are going to twiddle like the best of them (can't imagine who I'm thinking of here...) then time spent slowly getting the technique spot on is time well spent. One clean twiddle is memorable and worth any number of muddy, buzzy or otherwise mis-fretted twiddles.

Re: Message to Old Bones

Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:40 am
Hi Andrew

Thanks for your posting buddy.

I look forward to seeing you on Saturday with your superbly set up GG Vintage custom.

I think you and I know that it takes a high degree of skill and practise to perfect these ornamentations :)

We like em don't we...well I do :D

Be well sir.


Re: Message to Old Bones

Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:54 am
by Bob Wilson
Ornamentation takes music out of the mediocre.
Used with skill it can make or break a tune.
You have it sussed Gordon.
Vive la différence :D