Date of Award

2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Music (Honours)

School

Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)

First Advisor

Daniel Susnjar

Abstract

Charlie Hunter is a guitarist who has gained international recognition for his ability to perform guitar parts and bass lines simultaneously on his hybrid guitar. His ability to construct solos within the context of simultaneous bass line and chordal accompaniment, along with methods he employed to create percussive textures, were the central points of discussion for this dissertation. Hunter’s original composition Recess was selected from the Hunter DVD Right Now Live1, which was transcribed and analysed.

This research is significant due to the lack of detailed analysis of Hunter's techniques in an unaccompanied setting, and to the researcher’s knowledge, there are no dissertations published which focus specifically on Charlie Hunter’s guitar techniques (in this context).

The methodology of the dissertation was based upon transcription and analysis, and driven by the following three research questions:

1) How does Hunter construct improvised solos within the context of his simultaneous bass line and chordal playing?

2) What guitar effects and techniques has Hunter used to create textures suited to the specific musical contexts in which Hunter performs?

3) What left-hand techniques/fingering approaches does Hunter use while simultaneously improvising over his real-time accompaniment?

The first research question was answered by identifying the basic musical material Hunter used to develop the solo. Next, the following research question was addressed by defining techniques (in relation to proper literature) and equipment used by Hunter to create textures reflective of the genres he performs in. Hunter's left hand fingering approaches were presented within the explanations of the previous two questions.

By analysing his performance of Recess, it could be observed that though Hunter used complex harmonic ideas, he framed them within simpler melodic and rhythmic frameworks. Moreover, he used creative approaches to form and methodical applications of fingering to make his style more achievable. However, the strongest aspect of his style was evident in how Hunter changed the interdependency of his guitar parts, bass parts and percussive textures throughout the solo. It is hoped that the findings of this study will aid other musicians in adapting Hunter’s technique.

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