I was visiting a friend’s recording studio today and listening to some songs he was in the process of mixing.  This was a singer/songwriter sort of project, but the instrumentation was pretty full.  On most tracks there were lead and harmony vocals, bass, drums, acoustic and electric guitars.  Some tracks had keyboards, percussion, fiddle even sax on a couple.  But even with all these parts I noticed a quality in these mixes that I call ‘air.’  There was a fair amount going on in the mix, but it didn’t seem crowded.  Every part had its place and they all worked together but nothing stepped on any other part.  There was room to breathe.

That concept, that notion of ‘air’ is a useful one for the guitar accompanist, too.  There is no need to use up all the available space, leave some air.  The song will thank you for it and what you add will be further emphasized by what you leave out.

Author: Ron

I started playing guitar in high school bands playing songs by the Ventures, early Beatles and other British Invasion bands. With excursions into many types of musical styles and genres in the intervening years I have developed an appreciation for the unique skills of the guitar accompanist. The accompanist serves the song and serves the singer, enhancing rather than competing with the song and the performance. This blog highlights those skills and the practitioners who exemplify this important bit of artistry.

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