Usually when the concept of an "awesome guitarist" comes to mind, I immediately think of anybody the likes of Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, or even John Petrucci. However, this only proved how limited my perception was of guitar playing excellence when I came across an acoustic guitarist on YouTube a few weeks ago.
This is a totally different path in guitar playing and Andy Mckee has taken that path to another level. Below is a completely acoustic guitar version of Toto's song titled "Africa". I was amazed that he manages to play the rhythm guitar of the song, whilst playing the vocal melody in between. Take careful notice at how he plays chords. Normally tapping chords is best left played on an electric guitar. But Andy is able to make the chords very audible on a steel string. He even sneaks in a few percussive strokes to the body of his guitar for added flavor.
Apparently, Andy's version of the song is a piece emulated by others. Below is a video of some kid, named Sungha Jung, who's able to play the piece as well. Although the kid needs to polish up the way he's playing it, the fact of the matter is that he CAN play it. I'll blog about this guitar prodigy on a future post. Damn kids these days.
Now back to regular Andy Mckee programming. I started searching for other videos of acoustic six string deity Mckee. To my astonishment his skill exceeds past 6 strings in a very unique way. While other guitarists wield a 12 string guitar to play something beyond 6 strings, Andy dons a custom made steel string guitar. The large bump/extension on the top of his guitar allows for thicker bass strings to be included in the guitar's possible notes. Although it hilariously resembles a bird house and the fact that the extension doesn't really have additional frets, those bass strings allow Andy to be creative in his song writing. The video below is one of Andy's compositions titled "Into the Ocean".
This guy is amazing, hands down. I remember taking classical guitar lessons from the nearest Yamaha school years ago. But I never really took it seriously because I wanted to play grunge songs. I really should've kept at it. I would've been able to play some of Andy Mckee's pieces by now.
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