2006-05-08 20:41:40 UTC
My previous guitar, Lenny Frank was a wonderful and inspiring teacher.
He was both a great jazz player, playing on his D'Angelico New Yorker,
as well as classically trained. He has a wonderful old Santos.
He used to improvise in a classical style, as did many of his better
students. He also loved to use his fingers, or pick and fingers on
his beautiful D'Angelico. He played great classical pieces on his
D'Angelico. I have some beautiful recordings. Some strictly played
classical, some pick and fingers, and some just using a pick.
Sadly, he died well before his time, leaving quite a legacy.
When I went to Berklee, Bill Levitt, a great teacher and player from
the old Schillger School ran the guitar department. It was a no fingers
allowed school. You had to only use your pick.
He had a book, I don't remember the exact name, something to the extent
of Classical Pieces for the Pick Style Guitar. Each semester you had to
memorize and play it before a committee. I remember I did Adelita (sp)
one earl year. I rebelled, and still loved to use my fingers.
The book is very interesting to play, the pieces are very well arranged
and will certainly improve one's ability to use a pick. Very
challenging. And they sound really interesting as well. Anyone tried
There was a prejudice against the jazz and arch top players, so I think
they overreacted. I remember when the Museum of Art had an exposition
on great guitars, and I knew Jimmy D'Aquisto. Perhaps the greatest
guitar maker ever. He was furious they ignored D'Angelico or his
instruments, or any arch tops.
Jimmy did make some wonderful classical guitars, but they just weren't