Moore is one of the worlds truly fine acoustic 12-string guitarists.
This “best of” presentation compiled from two out of print recordings
is a generous set that will amaze and delight guitarists and
non-musicians alike. Beyond its usual habitat as a power guitar, the 12
string has an incredibly dynamic and melodic range. Moore demonstrates
these qualities of this remarkable instrument though his compositions
and arrangements, particularly utilizing the upper octave strings in
the melody lines.
|I Love My Attitude Problem|
Mumbles the Cat
Peculiar Point of Balance
Too Many Questions
Prelude: Brand New Sneakers
The Dilettante Sidestep
Bob Takes His Truck
To the Dump
Days at Sea
Swanee River Boogie (live)
A few words about my approach to the 12-String Guitar:
ear was first drawn to the 12-string guitar when, as a young teenager,
I was given a Pete Seeger 12-string guitar instruction LP and booklet
by one of my newspaper route customers. I was already learning guitar
at that point, with the dream of playing in rock'n'roll bands. And
then, in high school, my guitar teacher turned me on to Leo Kottke's
"Armadillo" LP. Soon I was leading a dual life as lead guitarist in a
rock'n'roll band, and as a serious student of the acoustic guitar. By
the time I reached college, I had decided to major in classical guitar.
The beautiful, melodic music of the Renaissance lute caught by ear and
I began to also study the music written for this incredible instrument.
In the course of my studies I acquired a lute. I also purchased a Guild
12-string guitar and began learning and performing the music of the
"American Fingerstyle Guitar" movement, for lack of a better term.
The lute and the 12-string guitar both have double courses -
strings in pairs - some tuned in unison, others to octaves. The lute's
highest string is actually a single string, called a chanterelle.
The next two courses are tuned in unison and the remaining courses in
octaves, with the lower octave first, as you strike the string with
your right hand thumb. On the 12-string guitar, the upper two courses
are in unison, and the remaining four courses are tuned in octaves, but
opposite those of the lute, the 12-string's higher octave string is
struck first with the thumb.
A college roommate played
melodic banjo, a banjo style where you incorporate the high G string of
the banjo into the melodic lines of music. This intrigued me, and
looking at the 12-string guitar, I realized I had four of these upper
octave strings that could be incorporated into the melody lines. That
did it... I was hooked!
Working with this style of 12-string
playing, your right hand gets quite busy, plucking the melody with your
right hand fingers and alternating melody notes with the upper octaves
of the courses you choose with your thumb. The thumb also has its usual
bass duties, so you develop the technique of plucking only the upper
octave of a course when needed with your thumb or, both pairs as normal
or, just plucking the lower octave when you want extra clarity in your
The melodic and textural possibilities of the 12-string guitar just explode when you think of the instrument in these terms.
varying degrees, the compositions and arrangements included in "The
Collection" make use of these techniques on the 12-string guitar. Tunes
such as "Tom Bombadil" and "Clam Chowder" scratch the surface of these
techniques, while compositions such as "Highland Drive", "Peculiar
Point of Balance", and "McSharry's Jig" really get into it.
these words have given you a little insight into this wonderful
instrument. Please check out the music and, if you have any questions
or want more information, please visit me at tracymoore.com. There you
will find more information on the music, tunings, influences, etc.
All the best,