When I set out to do a guitar tutorial on the Justin Bieber (acoustic version) hit, “What Do You Mean?”Dan Kanter Acoustic Version I had no idea how important that innocuous, deceptive, but irresistible guitar accompaniment would become to me and many others. It truly woke up a whole nation of guitar players to the “coolness” of the acoustic guitar in a pop/hip hop setting. The song would be to so many a “slap back to reality” of sorts to the guitar community of the expressive and colorful possibilities of an acoustic guitar and a voice.
Before you accuse me of leaving out countless other guitar vocal duos, Tuck and Patti Tuck & Patti surely come to mind first, none of them were at their peak during a communication revolution. With information moving faster than we can keep up with, Dan’s guitar playing on the acoustic “What Do You Mean?” has single-handedly sparked a very big interest in taking the guitar more seriously.
Maybe, just maybe, this has demonstrated that it can be cool to play three, four, maybe a rare five chords and make them groove. Not only that, but when played by a bassist, pianist, guitarist, composer, arranger, music director, producer, current holder of a New York University music degree, and a future York University YorkU Master’s Degree in Musicology YorkU Musicology Program graduate, you see that the word guitarist can now carry much more weight that it has in the past.
One thing is sure, in a world of incessant musical delivery it’s refreshing to see someone come along and stir up some of us who had become rather comfortable. Keep it up Dan and thanks for the infusion of relevance into the world of the guitar.