Tag Archives: Folk music

Classical to folk…

This is the stuff that gives performers nightmares: what happens to your career when your hand is injured or some medical condition, sometimes even a minor one, reduces your normally superb hand control to something a lot less than it was at its peak. Well about ten years ago this  nightmare came true for world-renowned classical guitarist Liona Boyd. One of her fingers developed a nerve condition which gradually ruled out a concert career. “…I’ve worn out the neuroreceptors that control the fingers,” she explains. “With me, it was mostly the one finger, the one you need for arpeggios…” Result? Today Ms Boyd is a folk singer who, along with performing song styles ranging from Joan Baez and other music from the sixties, to New Age type compositions, and in accompaniment uses a regular strumming technique, which is to say she uses a pick. Read more here (“Liona Boyd Sings a New Song”).

Below is Liona Byrd with a her singing partner Srdjan Givoje. She’s not using a pick here though;  evidently she’s back to fingerstyle to some extent. I’ve seen several of her singing videos on Youtube; though she has a really beautiful voice, some of her facial gestures are overly dramatic, stagy.

Note: As far as a bad finger goes here’s some advice (and I have no idea whether or not it’s sound)

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Playing the charango

The charango is a small, rounded back guitar like instrument popular in the music of Peruvian Andes region. Kate Hathaway explains it all in the video below. Ms Hathaway forms half of a brother sister duo (the other half being James). You can learn more about this enterprising duo at their website and blog. They also have a number of videos on Youtube.

Update: This is a great song they wrote and play, called “Wait for Me,” being performed recently in a club in Peru:


In the comments section for this post, there’s a video of the Dromedary Quartet, featuring the charango, with guitar, bass and drums.

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