My relationship with the guitar, an
instrument I've been playing for 20 years, has had some elating, sometimes
enrapturing moments; it brought me to the discovery of music following a route
that started from songs and arrived to Jazz after having passed through
innumerable musical landscapes, from the Italian Song to Pop, from Country to
Rock, from Hard Rock to Progressive Rock, to Classical Music (from Medieval to Contemporary), from Jazz Rock to Modal Jazz, from there to Free Jazz to then go backwards to discover the origins, get to Be-Bop and go on passing through all the stages that lead to today's jazz, including listening to the world's ethnic kinds of music and to various musical syncretisms....in short it has always been my instrument and only on it I could try to express myself in the various musical idioms in which I was gradually becoming interested.
Therfore, the guitar brought me to the progressive discovery
of my ideal musical ground; a ground, though, in which my instrument gradually
started to take second place to give more and more space to composition, to the
point of leaving me, at times, with a certain feeling of unfitness, of partial
Mainly for two reasons: the first one concerns listening and
composition while the second has to do with performance. I believe I haven't
been influenced by guitarists as much as by horn-players, and, most of all, by
jazz pianists; the latter are actually the instrumentalists I mostly listened
to, as time went by.
Then the piano became my main instrument for composition,
even though my skills weren't such to allow me to play jazz and improvise, but
only to play my compositions' written parts.
On guitar the situation was reverse, since I was able to
accompany and improvising jazz, but I was confining myself to playing the theme
unison, or downrightly to laying out.
Most of the times, anyway, my role would be reduced to
playing monophonic lines on guitar.
Perhaps that's the reason why I always played my
compositions with a quintet. I don't remember having written any composition in
which the guitar had specific parts that were different from the ones of the
other instruments...if I were a sax-player or a pianist I'd have played my music
with a quartet (sax, piano, bass and drums); but that doesn't take anything away
from the visceral love that I feel for the guitar as an instrument, mainly for
its possibilities of expression and the tone qualities it possesses.
The second reason of partial unsatisfaction concerned
precisely the physical impossibility of playing on guitar both the parts I
composed on the piano (when they were not just chord symbols) and those modal
progressions -harmonized in close voicings -that I love so much and that are so
easily played on the piano keyboard... those horn section-like voicings, which
contain two or more intervals of a second, that I often prefer in my
compositions - I was longing to use them also during guitar accompaniment of
This is the reason why, at a certain point, I came to the
conclusion that my ideal instrument would be a guitar that had some possibility
of expressing itself piano-likewise or horn section-likewise....a "Pianotar"
Example of using of DAEGAB
guitar tuning: Waltz for Debussy (MP3)