Trey Gunn and the Persistence of Vision

Trey Gunn.

Now, let’s just skip the fact that Trey is a master musician. First and foremost, he is to me an artist in a constant quest, a quest that goes beyond mere technique, a quest that is more about having a unique vision than being the fastest, flashiest in town.

Here is a video where “Trey speaks from personal and professional experience to the value of ORIGINAL VOICE, how to find it and how to use it to your advantage.” It is something that is often forgotten amongst working musicians, comic book pros and artists in general, me included.

Even if you’re not a musician or even an artist, I strongly suggest your watch this just to see what kind of process artists (should) go through.


Most artists are freelancers and as freelancers, we are often plagued by the constant fear to be out of work. Gotta make a living. As it happens, it seems like every job we get will be the last one and once it ends, we will obviously be out of work forever. This anxiety will sadly push us to accept work that is not necessarily right for who we are and often will divert us from our personal artistic path. Ironically, I’ve found through the years that being versatile and the ability to jump from one style to the next may get you more work, but slows you down considerably in finding your own style. Style is often defined more by what you can’t do than what you can. Ironic, you say?

There comes a time when an artist has to stop the obsessive search for Work and step back to reflect on his craft and vision. The problem is that many things prevents us from spending the time and energy to find our personal voice, be it ego (fear of looking foolish), safety (fear of failure), peer pressure (technical wizardry) or simply financial stability.

All of this can make us rely on old techniques and tricks. Safe and comfortable, but…


Below is very interesting footage of the Tapping Workshop given by Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn in June 2012.

And here’s what I mean by an artist on a quest. The workshop was given by both Trey and Markus, but the footage here involves Trey more as student than master. This is also something that should be praised: humility. He manages to put ego aside and accept to openly display his shortcomings to better his craft.

Isn’t that the only way one can improve?




Foot notes:

For those who don’t know or want to know more about the Touch Guitar family of instrument, refer to this older blog post.

The players featured on the workshop video that also are on the Specimen13 Echosystem CD are:
Trey Gunn
Markus Reuter
Alex Dowerk
Erik Emil Eskildsen


All amazing musicians!