The GUITAR is king…

“Lean your body forward slightly to support the guitar against your chest, for the poetry of the music should resound in your heart.”

Andre Segovia

From classical guitarist, Andre Segovia to the hard-rocking, Kurt Cobain, guitarists throughout the ages have played this beautifully expressive instrument and moved our souls, lifted our spirits and brought us to tears. We may debate whether Robert Johnson, the ground-breaking black Mississippi blues singer and guitarist should be ranked #1 among the best guitar players in the world or whether that honor should go to Jimi Hendrix, but in the end, that’s less important than the influence they have had on music. Johnson’s legacy of recordings is the undisputed foundation upon which all modern blues and rock music rests. Hendrix took every possible sound from acoustic to electric and blended it into something that went so far beyond the drugs that it left people high who had never taken a drug in their lives.

Guitars and guitar players have been the most essential component of contemporary music since John Lee Hooker stuck a microphone in his guitar while singing those angry, raspy Delta blues back in the early 1940s. The never to be forgotten B.B. King made that inevitable. Once the big band orchestra style era ended, the guitar became the backdrop for almost all popular music and that’s still true today. (It has been brought to my attention by a reader that I neglected one of the most talented and innovative guitarists of our time – the legendary Les Paul – whose design and electronic contributions to guitar manufacturing really can’t be measured. Dozens of superstars like Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney have played a Gibson-Les Paul guitar.)

In 1968, Beatles member, George Harrison wrote a song that was eventually to be listed as #136 on Rolling Stone’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”, #7 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time, and #10 on their list of The Beatles 100 Greatest Songs. In an online poll held by Guitar World magazine in February 2012, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” was voted the best of Harrison’s Beatle-era songs. The recorded version includes a guitar solo by another of the top 20 guitar players of all time – Eric Clapton. Arguably one of the Beatles finest songs, it never won the acclaim of other hits. But the lyrics can’t help but touch your heart.




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While My Guitar Gently Weeps by Lianne Schneider buy print

17 thoughts on “The GUITAR is king…

  1. Superb creation, Lianne! This painting and your beautiful post are bringing back lots of memories to me…my dad was a pianist, orchestra conductor and music composer, my brother was a pianist, guitarist and music composer too….unfortunately for me, they are both in heaven…anyway, I grew up among songs….music is my life 🙂

    • Awww Giada – I’m so glad that this spoke to you in some way but I’m so sorry both your Dad and your brother are gone. I’m sure that music always brings them to mind. I find that to be true in my own life. Thank you so much.

  2. In my house there are 4 guitars, a banjo and a ukulele – I don’t play even one of them but I love to hear my husband play 🙂 Nice post Lianne!

    • I wish I played – my mother, God love her, began taking piano lessons when she was 66 and continued until she was 82. The arthritis keeps her from playing now but it was a real joy to sit in my studio and hear her playing next door.

  3. Like the print. BTW classical guitars only have 6 strings. I heard Segovia live many years ago. You didn’t mention Les Paul, not only was he a great guitarist, but his early innovations brought about the electric guitar, and his experimenting with sound on sound recording introduced the music world to multi-track recording.

    • It would be difficult to mention every great guitarist – especially since no one can agree on who should make the top 100 list. I do mention more of them on my artsite in the description for the print. Thanks for the correction – not being a guitarist myself my only references were a number of CDs in which mention is made of the guitarist, either Segovia or Williams, playing a 12 string. I do know that it’s more difficult to play according to the experts and that a lot of folk and rock guitarists played or play 12 strings as well as 6 string acoustic or electric. I certainly wouldn’t argue with you about Les Paul whose work I very much love and respect. I’m certainly no expert – just a lover of the instrument in any of its constructions. Thanks so much for the insights you offer here! Really appreciate it and I’ll make the edit!

      • I wouldn’t sought that both Segovia and Williams recorded so pieces on vintage 12 string instruments. When I played with a group from the Canary Islands during the time we lived in Madrid, Spain, they had many lute and guitar like instruments some with 12 strings others with more. Being the foreigner, I got the job of tuning all the stringed instruments before the practices and before we performed. It was quite a job. When I couldn’t make a performance, the singers would complain to me later that the strings were out of tune;) Regular 12 string guitars have a nice sound, but I don’t like plying them or tuning them.

      • Sounds as if you are quite the expert! I envy you your insider knowledge – it must be lovely to play something as beautiful as a guitar. I love music but don’t play though I took piano lessons as a kid – lol.

      • You are right about the guitar being king. It’s one of the only instruments you can compose full scores on besides a piano. Even though it’s a complex instrument, it’s very easy to play by only learning a few chords, which makes it one of the most accessible instruments ever made. I once taught my brother-in-law Spanish Romance (a simple, yet beautiful piece for classical guitar) that he played for a girl in his efforts to seduce her. He got the piece down really well, but once his mission was accomplished he never touched a guitar again that I know of. You should learn to play the guitar. Even playing the simplest chords and songs on the guitar is very satisfying.

      • I’m a little old to take up an instrument – though you never know. My mother began taking piano lessons at 66 and I didn’t start creating anything one could call “art” until I was over 60. So I just might take up the challenge! Thank you for all your contributions Timothy.

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