Athlyn Green discusses musical talent and explores different musical styles ranging from classical to rock.
Cruz--Virtuoso on Guitar
Edgar Cruz is no stranger to music, and indeed, often, some of the best players start out at an early age. Those who "breathe, eat, and sleep" music become so adept, it becomes almost effortless. This was true of Edgar, who played along with his father in restaurants and clubs when he was younger, then continued his musical education when he entered college, eventually earning a Bachelor of Music in Guitar Performance from Oklahoma City University.
Laying a good foundation can make a big difference to how a player interprets and executes music. Whether one plays by ear or has studied theory and playing technique, all factors combine and are ultimately what contributes to a guitar player's particular style and how his playing sounds. This is why two players can play the same piece and yet it can sound so different.
A skilled guitar player can make it sound as though more than one guitar is being played; and some, like Edgar also incorporate percussive effects, which add an even fuller sound. If you have ever heard a live band play without the drummer, you will notice how, once the drummer joins the band, the music takes on a life of its own. That beat is the perfect platform on which to build the music. In some respects, the same could be said for certain playing styles for guitar. Adding taps, brushes and thrumming can add percussion to the music.
Cruz blends modern and classical techniques, Spanish methods, and percussive effects in crowd-pleasing performances that leave fans marveling at his virtuosity. He has 400 songs in his repertoire, including such favorites as Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Malaquena and Bohemian Rhapsody, and embracing genres ranging from Classical to Latin, from Jazz to Rock.
Whether strumming, picking or tapping, Cruz takes guitar playing to a whole different level with the way he interprets the music and expresses it through his unique playing style.
Edgar Cruz is dynamite on strings. To see him play is to sit entranced as he wrings music and rhythm from his guitar in a fusion that captures the sounds of a band while he plays just one instrument.
Edgar continues to wow audiences and undertakes a grueling schedule, performing 200+ concerts each year on different continents, such as America, South America and Europe.
He headlines at the Chet Atkins Festival in Nashville and he's been and is a strong presence at major festivals in the Oklahoma area.
He seems indefatigable, not only in his wide choice of performance venues, his innovation, his contribution to charitable works and in his ever-growing list of pieces. Multi-talented and multi-faceted could well describe Cruz.
By now fans, anticipate his live repertoire, a line-up of greats, such as:
- Bohemian Rhapsody
- Classical Gas
- Dueling Banjos
- Hotel California
- In the Mood
- Latin favorites
Edgar engages audiences and goes beyond mere performing by interacting with his fans and inviting them into the music.
A Distinguished Performer
♥ Added to the Hispanic Exhibit, The Oklahoma History Center
♥ Bachelor’s of Music degree in guitar performance, Oklahoma City University
♥ Distinguished Alumni Award, Oklahoma City University
Cruz's Awesome Guitar Rendition of Crazy Little Thing Called Love
As I touched on above, each person who plays guitar puts their own touch on the music and hence, the same pieces can sound very different when played by different players.
What happens though when a guitarist doesn't actually play a piece that was designed for guitar, but rather adapts it for guitar? Sometimes the results can be stunning. Edgar does this with the Queen song, Crazy Little Thing Called Love. He incorporates multiple guitar techniques, such as hammer-ons, harmonics, sliding, string-bending tapping, brushing and fingerpicking, to create a unique rendering of a popular rock song.
As viewers will recognize, Cruz is using a steel string guitar for this one, which is no easy task, since these type of strings are can be stiffer to work with. These harder strings are harder on the fingers. They do not bend as easily as nylon strings and can feel much "sharper" even on calloused fingertips. Edgar wrings both sound and fluidity out of this instrument and out of the strings.
Edgar Cruz: Crazy Little Thing Called Love. A Superb Rendering
Factors That Determine How a Piece Sounds
- Type of guitar, wood used, resonance factor
- Type of strings
- Age of strings
- How each guitarist holds his guitar
- Angle of hand
- How fingers are held in relation to the sound hole
- Fingernails or picks
- Finger strength
- How strongly strings are plucked or struck
- Different plucking styles
- Techniques employed to produce certain sounds
- How each player interprets a piece of music
- Whether a player chooses to innovate or add additional notes to the music
- Variations in tempo and loudness/softness
Learn to Play These Killer Tunes
For those who want to learn how to play Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Bohemian Rhapsody and others on their guitar, like Edgar does. Music and tab can be printed from Arranging for Solo Guitar, The Queen Titles, videoprogressions.com.
Learn from Edgar as he walks you through, step-by-step. He goes over the techniques for the more difficult parts and offers simplified variations, and thus, these favorites are adaptable for students of different playing levels. This DVD features streaming musical notation and tab and both are printable from the disc.
Edgar Cruz Music
Cruz has has been recognized for his unique stylings on guitar.
- Civic acknowledgements for charitable contributions
- Featured in an OETA documentary entitled Spanish Blood
- Headliner at the Chet Atkins Festival
- Icon in Oklahoma's music scene
- National Guitar Fingerpicking Champion
- Oklahoma's Top Performing Artist/Acoustic Guitarist 15 Years in a row
Did You Know?
Bohemian Rhapsody has generated 14,000,000+ hits worldwide.
Multiple Techniques in Bohemian Rhapsody
Cruz, uses a mind-boggling array of playing techniques in Bohemian Rhapsody, to produce a rich, full sound for this complex melody.
For this song, he uses a nylon string guitar, easier on the fingers and producing a different sound.
As can be seen, those long fingernails on his right hand serve as built-in picks and he uses different finger picking styles to evoke different sounds out of the strings, he employs different strumming techniques, and he incorporates harmonics using his index to sound these. Add in bar chords and many more innovations that combine to transform a popular Queen song for the guitar that spotlights the many layers in this melody.
Edgar Cruz-Bohemian Rhapsody
Cruz--A Unique Playing Fushion
As can be seen in these videos, Edgar goes well beyond just playing guitar music, utilizing his own unique playing style by means of varied techniques, which blend to produce music that is contemporary, complex, fascinating to watch and interesting to listen to.
Edgar Cruz: Cruising The Beatles
A.R.T. of Edgar Cruz
Arranging For Sole Guitar: The Queen Titles
Edgar Cruz: Spanish Blood
Cruz Trio In Concert
Essense of Mexico
Guitarras de Amor
Guitarres de Baille
Guitarras de Fuego
Opening Night, Vol I
Opening Night, Vol II
Pieces of Edgar
Those Were The Days
Throw Another Tape on the Fire
Claim to Fame
Edgar is earning a place as one of the guitar greats. His fame is growing as he attracts an increasing number of fans who discover and fall in love with his unique playing style and his music.
© 2007 Athlyn Green
Athlyn Green (author) from West Kootenays on August 15, 2008:
I will definitely check out your Hub, since I love guitars and anything guitar related.
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