For decades, considering yourself a guitarist has meant subscribing to a certain culture—one that for many has been un-relatable and exclusive.
Today, we begin expanding on a conversation that is constantly discussed but seldom showcased: Who is the modern guitarist? What does being a guitarist mean to you? What gear do you play? How do you choose to learn? What are your obstacles and how do you overcome them?
In this video series sfilmed at the 2018 SX She Shreds event, we interview guitarists and document the incredibly wide spectrum of what that looks and sounds like.
What Was The First Song You Learned On Guitar?
Every single word from every single artist.
What Is Your Relationship With Gear?
Rachel Aggs [Shopping]: ” I’m impressed when people can use gear and they really understand it, but at the same time I never wanted it to be a crutch”
Sadie Dupuis [Speedy Ortiz]: “I’m very excited by FX pedals. It’s such a male dominated field and it’s really nice to know about the women and non-binary people that are creating FX pedals so some of my favorite brands are EarthQuaker Devices, Catalinbread, and Frantone and I learned about those from She Shreds.”
Why Did You Choose The Guitar?
Christina “Teddy” Thompson [Shamir]: “I chose to play bass [for two reason]: I would say first is the challenge of it…bass is such a versatile, funky [instrument]. The more you get into it, there’s so much you can do with it. Especially growing up and never seeing too many female—especially black female—guitarists and bassists so I wanted to push myself more and see how far I could go with it.”
Shana Cleveland [La Luz]: “Self-expression through the arts in any way, whether it’s writing or playing music is so important for everybody and I think especially women. Guitar is so great because you can play it as loudly or as quietly as you want, you can play it alone only for yourself or you can blast it for all the world to hear. It’s just whatever you want it to be.”
What Have Been Your Biggest Hurdles/Accomplishments?
Shamir [Shamir]: “My biggest hurdle as a guitarist is also my accomplishment. It’s the fact that I play upside down so sometimes it’s hard and then sometimes I can do things that other guitarists can’t do.”
Ana Perrote [Hinds]: “We always wrote guitar lines that were way harder that what we could do at the time. We always wrote something really slow and then we couldn’t play it live because it was too advanced but that always put the level really high so we had to rehearse like crazy.”