Ask Dominic

This is where you have the chance to ask Dominic a question. Please contact Dominic under contact@dominicmiller.com. Please understand that Dominic has a busy schedule and although he would love to answer all of your questions, he can only manage a few per month.

 

Question:

I heard how wonderfully you played on "Live in Boston". Which guitar did you play? - was it a Gretsch? It has a beautiful sound. - from Gerard

Answer:

I have played in Boston many times so I don't know which performance you refer to. But if it's the Chris Botti show I used a Yairi electro acoustic nylon Torres model guitar with maple body.

 

Question:

I've owned a P-Project nylon string for about 3 years now. OK, I admit that you had a lot to do with that purchase. The guitar sounds incredible and gets lots of use out with my various musical excursions. To be honest though, I find it quite difficult to play. It seems incredibly responsive, sensitive. Almost like driving a sports car. I just wondered if there's a particular approach one should take with this instrument. - from David

Answer:

The best approach with this instrument is to play it delicately or softly. The same as a lute. For me it sounds best fingerstyle and with no nails.

Question:

When I write songs, I often find myself trying to fight against writing out of mechanical convenience. What I am trying to say is that often times it is so easy to add a note to a chord because a finger happens to be free and available to fret a note that is near by - instead of trying to create something that is truly in my head and doing what ever it takes to make it happen. I guess I often find myself creating songs that are really a result of the pallet of tools I have learned or created over the years by rearranging them in different ways - instead of creating a new tool. Kind of like a painter painting with a pallet of standard colours that are available instead of having a vision of the colour he wants and finding a way to get or create it. Does that make any sense? - from Daniel

Answer:

This does make sense and well articulated I might say. I understand the process of putting as much as you can on to a piece of music whether it needs it or not. The fun part is taking the elements away and then seeing if it still stands. Kind of like the game 'Jenga'. Sometimes you have to see it all crashing down to know where or what the mistake is (or what was holding it together). My question to you is, does THIS make any sense?

Question:

What I'd like to ask you is if you have ever played or heard Godins Guitar (Multiac Nylon) and if so, how do this compare with your P-Project with regards to sound etc? As you said you think that Fernandes made a better job of it I'm guessing you have played or heard the guitar in question. I'd really appreciate your views on this one. - from Charly

Answer:

I did play a Godin once and really liked it. The reason I prefer the P-Project is because it's a bit lighter which makes for better resonance. I like to hear how they sound acoustically before I plug in. It's just a matter of taste. I don't think I could say one was better than the other.

Question:

I think it's time there was a Fender 'Dominic Miller' signature Strat. I'm curious to know what your personal specifications would be for such an instrument if you could be a part of the design. - from David

Answer:

I don't really have any specifications with a Strat. It is true the old ones are the best (up to around '68). I like playing with a rosewood neck though.

Question:

I was wondering if you could help me make a decision as to which nylon string guitar would sound best for studio recording? My budget is around US $2000, & was considering the Guild SC3 Paloma electric acoustic nylon guitar or Rodriguez nylon guitars. Of course what I'm looking for in the guitar is the kind of tone you get. Would love to hear your comparison of the two guitars and which one would be your choice for just Studio recording? - from Michael

Answer:

I think the Guild Paloma is an excellent choice although there is always an argument over using a real one (like my classical Rodriguez) over a synthetic one. With the right mixing desk and a good quality reverb the Paloma is right for what you are trying to do. If I were recording a classical record (which I did) I wouldn't think of using the Paloma but use the Rodriguez.

Question:

When you are choosing a new guitar, what qualities do you look for when selecting one? Is it the tonal qualities or the feel you initially have when you pick it up. Does appearance play into any factor? I was selecting a new bass a short time ago and sat for about 2 and half hours playing them all. The feel in my arms was a major factor for me. And do you always try to buy vintage guitars or maybe new ones? - from Ray

Answer:

When looking for an electric guitar I try to listen to how it sounds acoustically for a long time before I plug it in. If it doesn't sound good this way it never will. Of course it must 'look' like a Strat or Les Paul!

Question:

My kids and wife want to learn the guitar. I need a couple guitars since we have a left and right handed family. I am thinking either classical or acoustic to start. What do I need to pay for a good guitar that will last a lifetime if cared for? What do you recommend by way of make/models? - from Joel

Answer:

If there is a left handed kid in the family who hasn't yet picked up a guitar I recommend they start by playing right handed because it makes no difference. You still need both hands and they are equally important. Plus it's more sociable that way. I think Yamaha acoustic guitars are the best value for money. They are well built and cost effective. I would suggest a nylon string acoustic in the region of $500 to $750 dollars.

Question:

I was just wondering what version of Rodriguez guitar do you use, and what one would you recommend to someone starting to play the classical guitar? - from Demitri

Answer:

The Rodriguez I use is made in Cordoba, Spain. It is a 1986 and they only make about ten a year. There is another Rodriguez make which isn't so serious. The best guitars to start out with are Yamahas because they are not too expensive but sound really good. Plus, they stay in tune really well.

Question:

My son would love to receive a very good Strat as a college graduation gift next year. How do I go about investing in a good one? He plays in a band on the side off campus. He will continue to play for a lifetime. He started playing guitar at age 12. He's versatile and continues to learn and grow. What do you recommend? - from Virginia

Answer:

I think a Strat is a great choice but they do vary a lot. The secret to finding a good electric guitar is to find one that sounds good acoustically before you plug it in to an amplifier. If it doesn't sound good acoustically it will never sound good plugged in. My advice would be to find a friend of yours who's a pretty good guitarist (everyone knows one) and take him or her to a store and use this concept with all the guitars in your price range.

Question:

I'm to buy a classical guitar that I could use on (smaller) stage. I don't want to do classical, but music inspired mainly by yours and Sting's. What do you recommend? - from Andris

Answer:

I would recommend a Yamaha electro-acoustic. In my opinion they are the best value for money classical guitars.

Question:

What Nylon string electro acoustic you would recommend? - From Paul

Answer:

I would recommend the Guild electric nylon.