We received such a positive reaction from all of our Córdoba fans (not to mention being quite impressed ourselves) that we couldn’t help but ask such a talented guitarist a few questions about his playing and his Córdoba gear!
CG: When did you start playing music? Did you always play a nylon string guitar, or do you also play a steel string/other instruments?
GL: I started playing guitar when I was 7. My parents bought me a little 3/4 classical guitar and bought me lessons. I continued playing classical until I went to high school and started getting asked to join bands, so my parents bought me a cheap second hand electric guitar and I started getting lessons with the school guitar teacher. In my first lesson he asked what I could play, and I tried to play some classical thing on my electric. I really had no idea what I was doing. Even though I could read music, I didn’t even know what an Em chord was! But from there I went on to play Jazz and then started studying a Bachelor of Jazz Guitar at the Adelaide Conservatorium (in South Australia). After a year I decided it wasn’t for me and gave up music altogether, before discovering the music of people like Kaki King and Andy Mckee about a year or so later and started playing again. But I still had never found a steel string guitar I wanted, so I started copying their styles but on a nylon, and it stuck.
CG: How did you develop the sound and style that you play now?
GL: After trying to learn a bunch of percussive finger style tunes by Andy Mckee, Kaki King, Eric Turnbull, etc. I decided to start writing my own music. I also started busking around the same time, but I found I wasn’t making very much money and people weren’t stopping. So I started looking for new ideas and stumbled across Erik Mongrain’s video of Air Tap where he plays on his lap. But instead of learning someone else’s tune like I had before I thought I’d just come up with my own way of doing it. This was about 4 years ago. So I wrote my first really percussive lap style piece, which, looking back, was terrible, but people started to stop and watch, and ask for more. So I kept writing them, and eventually it became just another technique I could call upon. Now I don’t even think about writing a lap tune or a ‘normal’ tune, I just use whatever technique I have to in order to make a particular sound. I’ve gotten to the point where there are no rules any more. If I want a sound, I work out a way of doing it. There are no restrictions.
CG: When did you first encounter Córdoba? What Córdoba guitar(s) do you play?
GL: I heard of Cordoba guitars a while ago, and always heard great things, but I’d never had the chance to play one. But towards the end of last year I was in need of a new guitar and decided to start looking around, and, after trying a few different brands, decided on the Cordoba GK Pro Negra. It sounds great for the techniques I use, has a great tone, and the pick up system is perfect for my percussive style.
CG: Does your Córdoba inspire you to play a certain way? Has it shaped your tone and overall style?
GL: I’m not sure if my Cordoba has shaped my style, but it is fantastic having an instrument that I can rely on to always sound good. My previous guitars always had small things that would bother me, but the GK Pro Negra sounds awesome the whole way up the neck, the percussive sound is great, and it just feels right. For me it just feels comfortable, a part of me, so I guess in that sense it will always shape the way I play!
CG: What are your plans for the future, in terms of music?
GL: My plan is to just keep doing it. Playing guitar, making music, developing ideas, coming up with shows – it’s what I do, and it’s all I want to do. My only real plan is to do whatever it takes to be able to share my music with people for the rest of my life. I don’t want to be rich and famous, I just want to spend my life doing what I love, meeting people and connecting with them through music. Simple really!