What is a Plectrum Guitar?
Well, mostly, when people are talking about a plectrum guitar, they are referring to a certain way of playing a certain kind of guitar:
- steel string guitar
- played with a guitar plectrum
- mostly in a jazz context
Some people put the emphasis more on the kind of guitar (meaning steel strings, maybe some people even see the pick guard on the guitar as a necessary part of a plectrum guitar). Others put the emphasis more on the kind of music or on the way of playing.
Here is a nice example of a great plectrum guitar:
You can find the song in Mel Bay’s “Masters of Plectrum Guitar”.
So, does Plectrum Guitar basically mean “Jazz Guitar Style played with a guitar pick on a steel string guitar”? Yes, correct. And it’s fun!
There are several styles that go by the title plectrum guitar. Some are more swing related, some are more mellow jazz. Here’s a swing example. The great Django Rheinhardt, one of the early heroes of plectrum guitar:
If you would like to listen to more examples of a nicely played plectrum guitar, I suggest you stop by at the website of Rob MacKillop. He is the guy you can hear in the first plectrum guitar video on this page. A really great guitar player – I definitely enjoyed listening to the videos on his site!