Rachel Housle on Open Strings

“The guitar is an interesting instrument because it’s so accesible, but is also has all these layers. You can approach it in so many different ways with having a ton of prior knowledge for things to sound good—like with barre chords or power chords—and write songs that are really valid and beautiful. Or you can get into really intricate finger picking and alternate tunings and it’s a world that goes really deep, even though it’s incredibly simple at the outset when you’re getting started. As you start to get deeper in, you start to connect with the instrument and associate the sounds with what you’re able to play and you can start to hear more, like hearing the sound of the open strings on recordings or in certain combinations like if there is a unison note with a pressed down note and an open string—these little guitaristic things that you start to perceive. There’s also just something about ‘The Shapes’ and the way they sit in your hands—they come so easily to me compared to something like the piano. They’re a self-contained, resonating mechnaism. And, the guitar is so portable (it’s why you see so many buskers with it), and a really natural accompanying instrument. “

— Rachel Housle, December 2019

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