Tommy Emmanuel, the ultimate six string showman shared with us some of his insights into what makes the acoustic guitar so versatile in the right hands, and why it's played such an important part in musical history...
AU: Why do you play the guitar the way you do?
It has so many frequencies and if you do what I do with it and try to make it sound a bit like a bass guitar, this bit like the piano, a bit like a drum, all that sort of stuff. You can create something that will people listen and totally get it and wonder where all the other instruments are. You know it's hard to do that with the electric... if you play electric then you're going to have a band with you.
With the acoustic...I AM THE BAND.
AU: Who are the pioneers who have pushed the acoustic guitar forward over the years?
TE: We are definitely standing on the shoulders of giants. No one is more giant in the guitar world to me than Django Reinhart, one of the most important people in the chain of players.
The way nature seems to me to work is that Nature sends a messenger you know. So there started out to be in blues there was Robert Johnson and T Bone Walker and Son House house. And then B.B. King came along and he was the new messenger, and then Eric Clapton came along and HE was the new messenger you know and so the line goes on, and there's always been a messenger
AU: On Michael Hedges
TE: The acoustic guitar needed to go another direction and Michael Hedges certainly became “the messenger."
You can't point your finger and say well he got it from there. Michael Hedges is a mystery! He's a he's a riddle wrapped up in an enigma. It's so beautiful what what he did and someone like that comes along and then everybody tries to emulate that because he shows you something different that lit a fire in you. And that's what inspiration is all about.