Age: No way - suffice it to say I've played guitar for over 30 years!!
Rockville, MD (a suburb of Washington, DC)
At what age did you start playing guitar, and what made you decide to start?
Classically trained in trumpet and tuba, music's initial draw was skipping third grade classes. At 16 I stole my sister's guitar and immediately saw that unlike tuba, an entire orchestra, are within the single instrument. In guitar there was also a freedom to play music by ear, not by sheet music.
A wonderful Goya 12-string Hummingbird copy. Where is it now?
Like many, guitar began with the folk music of Dylan, PP&M, and S&G. Even today songs from that era will creep into a performance. As folk music's simplicity gave way to more sophisticated folk/jazz compositions and electric experiementation, I picked up an electric guitar and joined a Charlottesville, VA rock n' roll band, Max A/C. Time moved forward, the circle became complete, and the acoustic guitar recaptured my heart. However, now the more accomplished guitarists such as Rev. Gary Davis, Jorma Kaukonen, Bert Jansch, Davy Graham and John Renbourn provided direction and guidance.
Tell us about your early playing days. What motivated you? Did you have friends that played?
I find that one of the best ways to learn is to jam with people that are way better than you. Did you do a lot of jamming when you first started?
Playing and sharing music with others is the best way to learn and improve your skills. The best of times.
I'm not certain I can remember, for which there is probably a good reason. Currently I perform solo (http://hometown.aol.com/cdurfor) and in a trio called Lola Granola (http://hometown.aol.com/lolagrnl). The later is composed of an incredible female singer (Whitney Pearsall), a fretless bass (Ed Kernan) and a feckless-guitar (myself). Check out the web site for live MP3s.
Acoustic Guitars you own:
- 1967 - Gibson B-12
- 1993 - Gibson - J-100 xtra ("Only a Gibson is Good Enough")
- 1995 - Gibson - Advanced Jumbo
1995 Gibson Advanced Jumbo
Your Style, and how you developed it:
I'm a fingerstyle guitarist who initially copied the style of my influences. My original compositions drew upon these influences plus the marriage of first-fret chord structures moved up and down the neck in a manner to the way an electric guitarist slides E and A chords. The resulting "broken chords" offer both the ambiguity of open tunings the strong resolution to major and minor chords.
Aye, there's the rub. Practice is divided between composition of new music, keeping up the old tunes and learning an occasional cover tune. Needless to say there's never enough time for everything so playing out 1-3 times per week often substitutes for rigorous practice.
Favorite Artist(s):So many, so many - see the list above.
What general suggestions would you give to someone who wants to either start playing guitar, or start playing fingerstyle guitar - having come in from another genre?
Have fun! Choose songs you love, for those are the ones you will spend the weeks/months required to perfect. Don't be troubled if the song sounds different then the CD, for just like your own compositions, playing music is a wonderful way to learn more about what's inside you.
Check out Chuck's website