Jeff Gunn gave guitar workshop during CMW
Freelance guitarist Jeff Gunn, based out of Toronto but respected internationally, stopped by Long & McQuades on Bloor West in Toronto to give a guitar workshop to any interested patrons and guitar enthusiasts.
The clinic took place in the loft above the store, and Gunn demonstrated techniques and stylings from his latest series of books. He gave demonstrations on percussive techniques favourited by unique guitarists such as Andy McKee and himself. Where McKee does his style mostly sitting down, Gunn demonstrated the how to on doing it live and standing up.
“Basically my goal is to inspire people to in new creative ways in terms of performance,” said Gunn when we sat down after the class. “I really hope they go home and try some of the things we learned today such as positioning, artificial harmonics, and imitating the sounds of other instruments, mainly percussive ones. Hopefully they apply in their own life and style.”
Gunn is on tour for the months of May and June across Canada, supported by his publisher Mayfair Music Publications in promotion of his new instructional books series titled Hidden Sounds/Hidden Self.
“I brought Mayfair one book four years ago, I only got in the door because a friend of mine at Long & McQuades and Wilson Lee got me in, so I presented it to them, he said this can’t be just one book, that it needed to be a series. Over the next six months, we dissected the entire book, broke it up into chapters and made it a four part series, after that it took almost 3 years to complete.”
Gunn had previously established his instructional book cred by independently hustling a book on classical guitar techniques around Ontario.
Gunn has traveled the world and done it all. From performances at huge name Canadian festivals and venues such as: The World Bank, Capitol Hill, Canadian Music Week, Festival d’été de Québec, Toronto Center for the Arts, Pop Montreal and was even recently featured on TED Talks and the TV Series “Guitar Picks” narrated by Kim Mitchell.
“I started playing when I was 14, played my first gig when I was 15. I was underage but I was sneaking into pubs to play [laughs.] I even got to open for Treble Charger when I was 17 – at the time it was a big deal for me.”
He established himself as a prominent guitarist after receiving his BFA and BED in Music Education at York University in Toronto. He’s known for his literary prowess in guitar, music, and even worldly travel, as he’s published dozens of articles all over the world, from the U.S. to Thailand, to the UK and back home.
He has also been featured several times as a guest writer for Canadian Musician and even holds a steady column in The Guitar Magazine in Thailand. Simply put, his reach is global, but he’s never forgotten his Torontonian roots as a musician.
What separates Gunn from the rest of guitarist in his league, is his ability to colour outside the lines and always break boundaries. His constant experimentation and endless practice have made him the legend-worthy guitarist and musician he is today.
Rather than use up his talent touring with a band, he’d prefer to tour in support of aspiring guitarists and musicians, or even prolific guitarists looking to break the mold. And that’s exactly what he’s doing with this new book series and tour.