I’ve played both acoustic and electric instruments for years, but I’ve never really used electric guitar as my primary instrument. Ninety-nine percent of my songwriting has been done on acoustic instruments. That might be changing.
When it comes to music, writing, and songwriting, I like to create projects with parameters. In 2023, my songwriting project was simply to write songs using a ukulele. I did. I wrote 60 songs. And I think some of those songs might be some of my best work to date.
I’ve wrestled with playing the electric guitar for years. I’ve owned several. I’ve played electric guitars off and on for 30 years now. I wrote two or three songs on an electric guitar in the 1990s. Other than that, I’ve been more of an acoustic player. Currently, I own a Mexican-built Fender Nashville Telecaster. And I recently purchased a 2023 American Fender JazzMaster Pro II.
I bought the JazzMaster with a goal: To write a few batches of songs on electric guitar in 2024.
Interestingly, many of the songs I wrote on the ukulele this year lend themselves well to an electric-guitar kind of vibe. That’s what motivated me to buy a new electric guitar.
I’ve contemplated why I’ve struggled to write music using an electric guitar. There are a couple of basic reasons.
- It feels like I need a band. You don’t see many solo artists playing an electric guitar as a singer-songwriter.
- I need to improve my electric-guitar playing skills. If I’m going to write songs on the electric guitar, they need to have more emphasis on musical composition than the simple chord structures I tend to use on the acoustic guitar.
When you think about it, the electric guitar is a much more versatile and musical instrument than the acoustic guitar. It has more sustain. It’s physically easier to play which allows for more playing versatility. Add a few pedals and there’s a whole world of music you could never create on an acoustic instrument.
I try not to make too many plans and predictions on my creative journey. But I am going to set a goal to write some songs using an electric guitar in 2024. I’ve already started a file of potential song titles. Wish me luck. – dse
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