Acoustic guitar solos make up a slice of a musical genre that has all but vanished from popular music – instrumentals. By instrumentals I mean music that is composed and played by a human using musical instruments rather than techno instrumentals that may not be composed and played in the traditional way. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I just thought it might be useful for some guitar players to take a quick look at the part the acoustic guitar has played in instrumental music. After all the acoustic guitar is the instrument that is always ready for us to pick up and express our feelings on. Plus it has the added advantage in that it does not disturb our family and neighbors too much.
The classical guitar is the original guitar in the form that is familiar to us. The electric guitar, the steel string acoustic, the resonator guitars all descended from the nylon string classical guitar. Classical guitar as a genre is simply classical music played on the guitar. It can get quite sophisticated and technically demanding but there are simple classical guitar pieces available on the net in musical notation or tabs that any guitar player with a basic fingerstyle technique could find very rewarding to play. Estudio in C by Dionisio Aguado and Gavotte En Rondeau – Lute Suite No 4 in E by J.S. Bach are two examples that I have seen in tab form.
If you are interested in listening to classical guitar music, John Williams and Julian Bream both have clips on YouTube and other video sites but do not restrict yourself to well-known names – there are many great acoustic instrumental clips by amateur guitarists.
You might be surprised to know that Flamenco guitar as a solo instrument is a fairly new arrival on the music scene. The guitar has been an accompaniment for singers and dancers for many years but solo guitarists have only been making their presence felt since the mid-twentieth century. The early Flamenco guitar players like Ramon Montoya produced music that would probably hold little interest for a modern non-Spanish audience but you will find video clips by masters of the 1950’s and ’60’ like Sabicas and Diego Del Gastor as well as modern virtuoso guitarists like Paco De Lucia, Serranito, Paco Pena and Vincente Amigo.
We all like to listen and explore the sounds of our guitars and the folk music boom of the nineteen sixties was a breeding ground for many new guitarists who loved to experiment with acoustic guitar instrumental solos. Possibly the most popular guitar solo from this genre was “Anji” by am extremely influential guitarist named Davy Graham. This piece was recorded by Paul Simon on an early Simon And Garfunkel album and Davy Graham’s “She moved thru’ the Bizarre/Blue Raga” was heavily adapted (or adopted) by Jimmy Page for the Led Zeppelin number, “White Summer”. Graham was responsible for the popularization of the DADGAD guitar tuning which introduced guitar players to the possibilities of playing bass accompaniment on open strings while improvising or composing tunes on the treble strings.
Well, I hope I the names I have given you will help you to find acoustic guitar solos and soloists you have never heard before. Remember if you any music you see played on one of the video sites is probably available somewhere in guitar tabs so do not be afraid to go hunting for them.