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Thread: Guthrie Govan - Guitar Virtuoso

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    Default Guthrie Govan - Guitar Virtuoso

    I can't determine a type for him. Any suggestions?


    And here he is in a group setting:

    "This will sound bizarre, but I honestly don’t remember what age I was when I started – people tell me I was about three. My parents were very fond of music and I was exposed to loads of stuff from the 50’s and 60’s; I grew up with a guitar in the corner of the room and plenty of Hendrix, Cream, Beatles and early Elvis on the stereo. And, as a kid, it seemed very natural to me to pick up that guitar and experiment with it."

    "Well, I definitely played the guitar a lot, but I never thought that there was anything unusual about that, and the word ‘obsessive’ sounds rather unhealthy; I always enjoyed music, that’s why I did so much of it. When you’re a kid there’s so much less responsibility to deal with and people generally allow you to do plenty of whatever interests you. In my case it was reading books and playing the guitar and so I did lots of that."

    "I basically taught myself – I was quite fond of the library in my earlier years and would go and get out loads of books – anything from classical guitar books to violin or piano books to general theory. The more I read and tried to assimilate information, the more a broad general picture began to take shape regarding how music theory and notation worked. Some of the theory I found useful, other bits just seemed like long-winded – and more complicated! – ways of explaining stuff that I’d already figured out by ear. A classic example being modes – I remember poring over these in some book, and then suddenly realising after an hour or so that I already knew this stuff instinctively, I just didn’t realise there were so many names for it! But generally, that combination of playing all the time coupled with making lots of trips to the library helped me to find out all the stuff I wanted to know."

    "No, I don’t have that kind of attention span – I couldn’t sit there with just a metronome for company, clicking away. Whenever I’ve found that I can’t do something, I’ve slowed it down to look at the mechanics of it and to see if there’s anything wrong with the way I’m trying play it. If there is, then I’ll work on correcting that, and then the speed thing will generally sort itself out sooner or later. Rather than the metronome ritual, what I’ve always tried to do is just play along with real music. With music you like and enjoy listening to, the chances are it’s going to be in time, so you’ve got your built in metronome there; also, real music has groove, it has a dynamic element you can respond to, it has chords you can play over. I’d always rather jam along to the radio or an album than a soulless click. Some people, I guess, enjoy that weight training/gym philosophy of punishing themselves with scale exercises, and that’s great – it’s just never appealed to me."

    "I have never been a great one for life plans and career decisions, and it seems to me that a lot of the musicians who do well professionally have always had a very specific plan about what they want to achieve, how they should portray themselves, and how to target the sort of people who should be buying their products. I suppose I’ve never really been aggressive enough to work out a really effective business plan of any kind. Possibly because I started so young, I’ve often struggled to equate this “music” thing that I like doing with the concept of making money."


    For those who believe they can type by what one produces/creates, here are song examples:

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    Alpha NT something something?

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