Why I Play Seven Guitars

Friday, 3 March 2006

When I first moved to the U.K. five years ago I was playing one guitar exclusively — my custom-made Ovation Adamas longneck. I wrote lots of music on it and had been performing all over the world with it for years.

I wrote music in different styles on this guitar — percussive rock tunes like “Tractor Pull”, jazz ballads like “First Summer Without You”, bluesy tunes like “Lost Time”, and outright drum compositions like “Rainmaker”.

But then over the past several years’ things started to change. I started to open up my thinking. Now I play seven different guitars in my concerts, and I’m having a blast.

What I discovered is that the more instruments I play during a show, the more fun I have and the more entertaining the show becomes for the audience. With the addition of all these new instruments and their associated sounds I am able to write in more different styles, and show more of what I can do musically.

I have always loved all kinds of music, from rock to jazz to blues to classical to country to bluegrass…and on it goes.

Now I can pick up the classical guitar and play a sensitive ballad like “False Spring” or “Woman In The Tower”.

I can pick up the 12-string and play the triumphant “Overture”.

I can grab the archtop jazz guitar — with that soft, classic Wes Montgomery sound — and play “Chord Melody”.

I have even re-assigned a few tunes originally written on acoustic guitar (e.g. “Instrument Landing”) to one of these new instruments because they literally take on a new life.

My repertoire keeps growing in new directions.

Every time I pick up a new guitar, audiences hear a new Preston.


Watch this space for what’s coming next.

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