Bri’s choices for winners in the Guitar Playing Competition (update 14 Dec)


And the winner is....


This was hard, Folks. Everybody had something to offer … good work, practice, precision and sounds.

Kinda upsetting that everybody can’t win, because it’s all good.

But … OK …

[ See the Original entries HERE ]

Here’s my, in the end, definitive choice for the winner:

Winner Stephen James - Long Away

Stephen James playing 'Long Away'

Why ? This is very subtle stuff, and what a lot of us aspire to. Steven has FEEL for days. You hear it straight away. It’s relaxed. Whether he’s playing rhythm or lead, watch that right hand (on the left of the screen, folks !! ha ha). He’s always in rhythm, and it looks effortless. His picking is a wonderful combination of fingers, and finger picks, and pure wrist work. And it’s like he doesn’t make a decision about when and how to play the next note … it’s already taken shape in his head as part of the rhythm he’s feeling. He’s worth a prize if only for making that 6-string guitar sound like a 12-string. I never played this piece that way, but this works brilliantly. The use of his finger ends for the soloing makes the notes sound round and sweet but still incisive. I like it a lot. And notice, guitar players, if he hits a note that doesn’t quite sing out, or gets clipped in some way, it doesn’t disturb Steve’s flow. He’s accepting himself for what he is in the moment – he’s always looking forward, never back. That’s an important lesson. It’s not about perfection – it’s about believing you have something to say, and getting on with it. And the guy SINGS, to boot !!! And sings like he means it. Congratulations Steven ! Very cool.

I have to name an honourable mention …

Mia - Brighton Rock

Mia playingMia playing 'Brighton Rock'
Mia playing ‘Brighton Rock’

Mia is evidently pretty young, but has technique and flair and some courage, I’d say. The Brighton Rock thing is great fun to do – with the double delay … but it’s not quite as easy as it looks. Most people find it gets out of hand quite easily.

What I like about Mia here is she’s not copying any of my performances at all … she’s got used to the technique and is doing her own thing. She’s feeling it out as she goes … and she never falters to wait for the catch-up. She also has given this some shape – even in this short clip you can feel the intensity building and ebbing according to how she’s feeling it. Love it. Had to give this honourable mention.



I’m going to contribute an extra couple of prizes for these two guitarists. WELL DONE !!!! Thanks to EVERYONE – all the players – for working so hard and contributing such well-crafted performances.

Thanks also to Mr Rundle ! And to Jen, my esteemed Web-Person, for liaising on this.