Tommy Emmanuel On Artificial Harmonics
Neil: May I ask you a couple of questions about some things you just did. When you do the artificial
harmonics, looks like you’re using thumb and your ring finger to hit them, and I wanna see your index
Neil: To strike them. So you’re not using middle finger for anything on this.
Tommy: It’s a balance.
Neil: Yeah! No..
Tommy: It’s… give a little point
Neil: Okay. I just wanna make sure. It’s hard to tell when you’re doing it.
Tommy: Yeah. That’s it…
Tommy: If you at look at it and say…(strumming the guitar)
Neil: Yeah. But that’s sounds like… that’s
Tommy: And the key into getting the clarity is the further back you can get that from that, the better. If
you come up close, you’re gonna choke it.
Neil: Yeah. What I try is to tell people when they’re working on that, is this finger actually has to be
almost straight. You almost have to lock it.
Tommy: That’s right.
Neil: So.. Or it’s gonna move.
Tommy: You’re right.
Neil: ‘Coz when you are in the other, it’s gonna move so…
Tommy: Then you gonna look like that (strumming the guitar)
Neil: Yeah. And that’s just it. I tell them to lock it and then your thumb behind it and 3rd finger on the
top just like that, you know?
Matt: Listen, I wanna make sure that you’re not holding up…
Neil: Very, very.. It’s so true.
Tommy: I’ll mention when I’m already.
Matt: Okay (laughs)
Neil: One more question about… Like.. So chord progression you put together for Moon River.
Neil: You’re knowledge of theory came use from where? This is just your waste, and from your only
thousands of songs.
Tommy: You knowledge of theory is million miles of life …
Neil: That’s… You know. I mean your songs, you ears
Tommy: I’m trying to find a way of playing the melody…
Tommy: In a way that it is beautiful.
Tommy: And I found (strumming the guitar)
Neil: I know. It’s great.
Tommy: See that? Oooh.. Dooo Dooo (singing)
Neil: So these things…
Tommy: I stole that from a piano player.
Tommy: I was in a bar. One day, I was getting some food in Sydney and this piano player played, and he
went into… rooon… rooon… (strumming the guitar), and then he went raaan.. raaan.. raaan..
Matt: God! I want that!
Tommy: You see that?
Tommy: It’s such a beautiful idea! So I don’t use it every time of course. ‘Coz when you listen to the
original it’s always (strumming the guitar). It’s a ways of the 9th to the flat five (strumming the guitar).
That chord there (strumming the guitar). So the first line (strumming the guitar) and I do (strumming the
guitar). Then (strumming the guitar).
Neil: That was nice than, the major 7. So… Yeah.
Tommy: (Strumming the guitar)
Neil: That was beautiful.
Tommy: (Strumming the guitar). Now things like that (strumming the guitar). You have to do to have it
get cleaned, but they really worth it ‘coz (strumming the guitar)
Neil: Yeah, that’s it fine.
Tommy: You know what I mean?
Matt: Now, would you…
Tommy: I practiced that.
Matt: For the guys, see they’re with…
Tommy: You’re seeing the finish product. That’s the thing and believe me, there’s a lot of housework
polishing and shining, cleaning and going back to other things. That’s what I call housework. Go to my
arrangements and do the housework and get all the most skills together, because the way it works is…
First of all, I came up with an arrangement and I spent time on the arrangement and if I’m excited about
it and it’s going really well, then I’ll go through it and through it and through it until I know whether that
arrangement works really well. Now, I better practice it.
Tommy: And I better do the motor skills until I don’t think about the motor skills, and then when I stop
thinking about the motor skills and my hands had already doing it, that’s the magic moment. That’s the
moment you’ll live for where you start to listen to the music and pour your… and experience your spirit,
your feelings, your emotions into making the melody feel great.