|Guthrie Govan, Jason Becker and Gretchen Mennky|
If you were to ask a dozen of top lady guitarists to name, I'd say Gretchen Menn would feature prominently. I was on a long way trying to find every info and news of her after the songs like "Oleo Strut" and "Valentino's Victory Lap" became so famous on the internet. She played the guitar very attractively and made so many great solos. Rare and unique solo. I even can't define what type of playing she had. Gretchen has it all. Great tunes and soloing concepts, beauty, and smart. I now believe that angel does exist on this planet!
By the end of 2011, I finally got her and offered an interview. I was happy that day when we got deal on it at last. So now, here it is; G, for Gretchen Menn!
1.Your name has become popular today. So I think, you should have such a nice story in the beginning. What age did you start playing guitar and why?
I started playing guitar when I was about 18 or 19. I had fallen in love with guitar-oriented music in high school, and during my first year of college I decided to get serious about it. Though Smith College's music department didn't offer instruction in electric guitar, there was a classical guitar teacher, Phillip de Fremery, who taught at all of the colleges in the area. He was a student of Andres Segovia, and was reputed to be phenomenal, both as a teacher and as guitarist. I have always loved classical and baroque music, and figured learning from him would give me a great foundation, even if my leanings were also toward rock music and electric guitar.
2. What age did you start to get serious? And what made you so serious?
I got pretty serious right away, actually. I started out practicing an hour a day, and that quickly became two hours a day, then three, then four... I fell in love with the instrument, and the more time I spent with it, the more I loved it.
3. When did you realize that you were gifted and finally encouraged yourself to take the opportunity in music career? Did your parents support you on that?
I had wonderful support from the beginning. Phillip de Fremery said I was one of the quickest students he had, and that my attention to detail would get me to great places, even though I was starting later than many guitarists do. It was huge to have such great encouragement early on. Having people whose opinions mean the world can help a student overcome self-doubts that are ultimately very limiting. Phil made me believe all that separated me from achieving my musical dreams was just some hard work, so I believed him and worked hard, though it never felt like work.