The Guitar has a versatile range of techniques (strumming, pizzicato, tambour, etc.), tone-colours (ponticello,dolce, tasto); and has a warmth and intimacy that the piano does not (vibrato, string bends, portamento, glissando, etc.).
A guitarist can learn so much from accompanying a singer. For one thing a singer needs to breathe, and so the Guitarist becomes acutely aware of phrasing; sometimes for the first time in the players experience. A guitarist’s soloing can be beautifully influenced through this experience.
However, the best of all experiences has to be when the Guitarist accompanies their own voice. To take a Renaissance Song, a Delta Blues song, a Latin Jazz standard, a Bob Dylan favourite, or one of the many current popular songs presented with ‘minimalist’ guitar accompaniment, and to sing and play them as a soloist is just fantastic!…really quite a difficult feat, but very, very rewarding.
Many of my students taken up this challenge.
Over the next few weeks I’ll attempt to present a series of posts on the subject of ‘Guitar and Voice’: the kind of repertoire that has a lot of interest things happening in the accompaniment, and that requires the skill of ‘Fingerstyle’ Guitar technique.