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International Guitar Night Features Diverse String Mastery with Luca Stricagnoli’s Unique Techniques

by Madonna

New Westminster – The renowned International Guitar Night, a showcase for string masters initiated by guitarist Brian Gore in 1995, returns to the Massey Theatre this month, featuring the extraordinary talents of Luca Stricagnoli. The event will also highlight the skills of Vietnamese nylon string expert Thu Le, Brazilian composer and bossa legend Marco Pereira, and Australian one-person slide blues band Minnie Marks.

Luca Stricagnoli gained widespread recognition since the early 2000s, primarily through his immensely popular YouTube channel. His instrumental renditions of songs by artists like U2, AC/DC, and The Weeknd have captivated millions of viewers. Notably, his rendition of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” garnered eight million views within days, while his take on Gorillaz’s “Feel Good Inc.” surpassed 14 million hits in less than a week. Each subsequent video showcases increasingly stunning guitar pyrotechnics.

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A November 2023 clip of Stricagnoli playing Muse’s “Hysteria” underscores his unparalleled mastery of unorthodox techniques on his custom triple-neck guitar. Despite decades of classical training in the conservatory, Stricagnoli’s evolution into a finger-style sensation has been both surprising and impressive.

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“Finger-style includes so many different ways to play the guitar, including classical, which certainly helped me develop my technique,” explained Stricagnoli. “Besides being a great way to gain exposure to my playing, arranging covers gives me the opportunity to experiment with different methods as a training exercise. While I also compose and perform my own music in shows, the execution is distinctly different.”

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Stricagnoli’s extensive training exercises have given him a profound understanding of the instrumental requirements for creating the illusion of a room full of musicians with just a single set of hands. His innovative triple-neck guitar, featuring a standard six-string neck, a soprano neck with seven strings tuned in scale, and a bottom three-string bass with a reversed fret direction, reflects the necessity of such a configuration for his unique playing style.

Before the development of his triple-neck guitar, Stricagnoli had experimented with a detachable neck and custom slide unit, allowing him to slide melodies with one hand while continuing to chord, tap, and more on the regular guitar fretboard. The development of this one-of-a-kind instrument falls into the hands of Rome-based master luthier Davide Serracini.

Serracini, a renowned builder since 2003, is known for crafting specialty instruments, including concert classical and acoustic guitars. Building Stricagnoli’s concepts into actual instruments proved to be a meticulous process, with the final triple-neck creation weighing over five kilograms and equipped with multiple electronic pickups.

While Stricagnoli’s triple-neck guitar may not be suitable for every musician, Serracini acknowledges that some design elements could potentially be applied to regular instruments. The collaboration between the two artists resulted in a unique instrument that aligns with Stricagnoli’s unconventional playing style.

For those intrigued by Stricagnoli’s versatility, his recent duo release titled “Unsent” with German singer and songwriter Meg Pfeiffer offers a departure from his covers, showcasing 22 tracks of pure pop music with the added flavor of his tasteful guitar playing.

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