What’d You Say? . . . Quotes Relating to the Guitar.

The New York Guitar Festival will certainly get many people talking about the guitar. Here are some quotes from musicians who have already been affected by the dangerous curves of the instrument:

The enthusiasm of the King toward [this] music was such that the guitar became the most fashionable instrument…Everyone at court wanted to learn, and God alone can imagine the universal scraping and plucking that ensued.
–  Memoirs of the Count de Grammont, 17th-century court historian for Louis XIV 
A guitar is a woman to whom the saying, “Look, but do not touch,” does not apply; her rosette soundhole is the very opposite of a real rose bud, for she will not wither, no matter how much you touch her with your hands. On the contrary, when she is touched and played by a master hand, she will produce ever-new blossoms whose fragrant sonorities will please the ear.
–  Gaspar Sanz (1640 – 1710) Spanish priest, composer and guitarist 
The guitar and the dog, in order not to be separated from man, have submitted themselves with resignation to the worst alterations of size and appearance.
–  Andrés Segovia (1893-1987) guitarist 
A different guitar will have different strengths and weaknesses. If you learn how different guitars want to be touched, you have a wider repertoire of tonal technique on all guitars. My guitars were frequently my teachers.
–  David Bromberg (born in 1945) guitarist 
I’ve always liked the Freddie King/B. B. King rich tone, and at the same time, I like the manic Buddy Guy/Otis Rush Strat tone.  So I’m always caught in the middle of the Gibson and Fender sounds.  If I’m playing my black [Fender] Strat, and I’m in the middle of a blues, I kind of wish I was playing a [Gibson] Les Paul.  Then again, if I was playing a Les Paul, the sound would be great, but I’d be saying, “Man, I wish I had the Stratocaster neck!”
–  Eric Clapton (born in 1945), guitarist 
Early on, I figured out that when the top of a guitar is vibrating and a string is vibrating, you’ve got a conflict.  One of them has got to stop, and it can’t be the string, because that’s making the sound.  So in 1934, I asked the Larson Brothers—Chicago instrument makers—to build me a guitar with a half-inch-thick maple top and no f-holes.  They thought I was crazy.
–  Les Paul (born in 1915) guitarist, innovator of the electric guitar 
I look for a deep, gutty feelin’ in a guitar tone. I don’t use picks. People ask, “How you get that?” It’s just there. There’s a lot of people try to play real fast chords—da da da da da—that ain’t the hard, solid blues. It’s synthetic. It has not feeling to it. You sit down and play some funky, funky guitar. Take your time! Don’t rush it. Just let it come flowing through you. I can play guitar so funky, it’ll bring teardrops to your eyes.
–  John Lee Hooker (born in 1917) guitarist 
The extreme dynamic and percussive possibilities of an acoustic guitar amplified through a bridge pickup have, over many years of performing, informed not only the way I play, but the way I write and sing too.  My guitar taught me to sing in textures, from the roundest lingering harmonic to the sharpest snap of a pulled string.  Being a percussion instrument as well as a melodic instrument, my guitar also teaches me about the relationship between rhythm and melody.  Portable.  Did I mention it also taught me about being portable?
–  Ani DiFranco (born in 1970) guitarist 
You don’t want to play like B. B. King.  You want to be you.  So what you do is listen to players you like, and try to “borrow” a little bit from each guy.  You don’t try to sound exactly like the other guy, you just add the bits to your vocabulary.  It’s like learning to read or write.
–  B. B. King (born in 1925) guitarist 
But the guitar, my lady, whether well played or badly played, well strung or badly strung, is pleasant to hear and listen to; being so easy to learn, it attracts the busiest of talented people and makes them put aside loftier occupations so that they may hold a guitar in their hands.
–  Luis De Briçeño, composer and guitarist, 1626 
My style is to just play.  The more “live” you capture your music—the more unthought-out—the more magical it is.
–  Bonnie Raitt (born in 1949) guitarist 
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