Posted in acoustic, Acoustic Guitar

Woman guitar players — go home and practice guys

When I first started playing guitar almost 40 years ago, it was very much a male thing.  Generally if females played guitar it would be classical guitar – read dots play Bach ( by the way I love Bach) or work through a Carcassi Method or the alternative was do the folk strummy thing (without a plectrum), lots of C chords and a cheap capo. 

Well, while you were sleeping some great things happened. 

  •  Joni Mitchell transformed from being a folkie to a superbly innovative open tuner and spawned generations of open tuners…David Wilcox, (the “how did you find me here” David Wilcox and not the other Canadian Blues player)  cites Joni Mitchell as a major inspiration. And if you think Joni Mitchell is about “Both sides Now”,  don’t kid yourself.
  • Ani diFranco threw away the manual on how to play and emerged with a very interesting array of guitars.  I still haven’t recovered from hearing “I’m not angry anymore” about 5 years ago”.
    One video of a live performane I saw, she was using a 4 string Tenor guitarBelow are a few of the tunings she uses“Studying Stones”  C, F, A#, D#, G, C.
     “Manhole”  C, F, A#, D#, G, C
     “Sunday Morning” C, F, A#, D#, G, A#
    “Seeing Eye Dog” D, A, D, F#, G, D
    “Lag Time” D, A, D, F#, G, D
    “Parameters” C, F, A#, D#, G, G#
  • The first time I heard of Kaki King, it was on the cover of a Frets magazine. It said something like “The new Michael Hedges”.  To me, comments like thast are a bit scarry, especially if you are familiar with his playing.
    Check out Kaki King on youTube
  • And just when you think it’s safe to go back into the guitar store. There’s Muriel Anderson 
  • And if you are currently working on the virtue ‘humility’, check out Badi Assad ..have a listen to her “Solo” album think I better go practice.


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3 thoughts on “Woman guitar players — go home and practice guys

  1. Kaki King is pretty amazing but she seems to lack soul in comparison with the late great Michael Hedges, she is more of a technical master. Maybe this will change as she gets older?

  2. Jon.

    It’s intersting what you say. But she is very young and I think once she settles a little we’ll start to hear some astounding music. Michael Hedges put a lot of emphasis on composition. Regardless of his brilliance, I don’t like everything he did and that’s really about personal taste. I really liked Aerial Boundaries and Breakfast in the Field. I love the way that Windham Hill captured his big guitar sound.

    I think that Kaki King is a very good inspirational model to help players break out of their limitations by leading by example.

    Another great player is Tim Sparks, ..a lot of what he does is interesting.

    The more players that throw the rule book out of the window the better.

    I’ve never seen Kaki King live, I missed her by one day, she played only about 80 miles from here and I found out the next day. Sometimes when we see players in a more intimate musical setting it’s easier to feel what they are saying. recordings can be limiting.

    I appreciate your comment Jon

  3. most definitely, aerial boundaries
    and breakfast in the field were
    both groundbreaking and to
    me his best work.

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