Electric guitars weren’t invented to make overdriven sounds, though they do excel at that. Made for electricity — and for the music of the day in the 1950s — the guitars created by Leo Fender’s company are capable of surprisingly sweet sounds that are as much at home in jazz as in country. I am particular struck by these Songbirds Foundation videos of guitarists playing stellar examples of 1950s Fender Stratocasters and Telecasters through amps that range from vintage Fender to a Dumble.
(Thanks to Guitar Salon International for their entry and this photo of the 1888 Torres SE 115) Between its many hundreds of videos and extremely informative site and blog, Guitar Salon International is doing quite a service for classical guitar players and fans. Hundreds of historic instruments have passed through the doors of this Santa Monica institution, and this is no exception. This 1888 Torres (Second Epoch No. 115) is historic not just because it has survived more than 120 years.
The whole idea of playing the classical guitar without nails — with just the flesh of the fingers — holds a great deal of appeal for me. Rob MacKillop’s extensive web site is a great resource — and source of inspiration — for players of (or with) the flesh (of the fingers). His own videos are excellent, as is his touch with the guitar. The history he lays out, of players from the 19th century to the present day, is compelling.