I've been playing the new 7-string guitar for about four days. It's a challenge, but it's fun. I brought the 7-string to a Godfrey and Guy rehearsal after exactly one day of owning the instrument. I could practically feel the smoke coming out of my ears as my brain went into overdrive. To make a long story short, it'll be a while before I debut the new instrument in a performance.
While I expected the transition to 7-string guitar to be tricky, I was surprised at some initial awkwardness when picking up the 6-string again, although it didn't take long to readjust. Last night's performance at Noosh suffered a bit after focusing on the 7-string earlier in the week. I play as many songs as possible from memory. Memory slips are inevitable in a three hour gig, but I had more than my share last night.
Going forward, I'll spend equal time on the 6- and 7-string guitars. At some point, I may have to decide whether to continue playing both instruments in performance or switch permanently to a 7-string, but based on the way things are going, I'm not going to have to make that decision any time soon!
- Tom Godfrey
- Atlanta, GA, United States
- When I suffered a lip injury that ended my career as a classical trombonist, I thought my life as a musician was finished, but I fell in love with music all over again when Santa gave me a guitar for Christmas in 2003. Even as I was struggling with my first chords, I was planning a new performance career. As a trombonist, I performed with the Heritage of America Band at Langley Air Force Base, the Ohio Light Opera, and in pick-up bands for touring acts that included Rosemary Clooney, George Burns, and the Manhattan Transfer. Reborn as a jazz guitarist, I sing and play my own solo arrangements of jazz classics, am half of the Godfrey and Guy duo, and hold the guitar chair in the Sentimental Journey Orchestra. I have been a freelance music copyist since 1995, served as Director of Music at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation from 2011 to 2017, and currently serve as Contemporary Band Director at the same congregation.