This past Friday night I was privileged to be able to see Richie Havens, the opening act of Woodstock, now 67, play in a small theater in Nelsonville, OH.
I was utterly in awe.
He plays strictly rhythm, on an acoustic. And he does it wrong
. I should put wrong in quotes, because he can play rings around anyone I've ever seen play rhythm. He holds the neck of the guitar angled downward and uses his thumb constantly, making Barre cords with it.
Between the power of his strong, often fast rhythm, and his still crystal clear voice, the man radiates music. He was joined on stage by a lead guitarist playing a Gibson hollow-body, and a woman playing a cello. That's it.
But the one thing I really learned from watching this legend is that there is only one thing you need to play guitar. Forget all the 30 day promises, the "methods" and all that. The only thing you need to go from a good guitarist to a great guitarist is...Passion
. Every strum, every note. Feel them. He did, and I'm still shaking my head at the thought. His site has a concert calendar. If you get a chance, I would highly recommend it.http://www.richiehavens.com/
Learning requires a willingness to be bad at something for awhile.