Joe Bonamassa: The Struggles I Have Playing Acoustic Guitar

Joe Bonamassa talked about some of the issues he has with playing acoustic guitar, telling Guitarist Magazine:

“The first thing you realize very quickly when you decide to do an acoustic version of an electric song is your solo either becomes either very truncated, very different, or non-existent, because even if you play a clean solo it’s different with the acoustic.

“Usually with electric guitar, with a clean sound you lighten up the right hand and you need a bloom. You can get the bloom out of a pickup.

“With the acoustic guitar I feel like I hack.

“Tommy Emmanuel: that’s an acoustic guitar player. That guy knows how to get the most out of the guitar and he really lives and breathes this stuff.

“Rodrigo y Gabriela – these guys know what they’re doing, you know, and unfortunately I don’t have that skill set when it comes to that instrument.

“To me it’s tuned the same way but it’s a different instrument.

“I find I barre a lot of stuff and I always play more like Chuck Berry on an acoustic guitar than I do on electric because I’m constantly searching to fill out this sound. Single notes on electric bloom and it sounds thick and you can roll the tone off and adjust.

“If you’re playing on the acoustic you’re trying to cut through a nine-piece band without a cable and, if you are plugged in, to me it sounds like you don’t have the right pickup system and it sounds like rubber bands.

“You can quote my father if you want; he goes, ‘Joe, you have your electric sound together, but you probably have the world’s worst live acoustic sound.’

“I go, ‘Thanks, dad.'”


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