02007-03-05 | Guitar, Musings, Ottmar, Performance, Touring | 11 comments

Regarding this comment:

Are you coming back to Humphrey’s in San Diego? How ’bout Wine Country in Temecula?

When a show has been confirmed (I am usually the last to find out…) you will find it here and here and here. Most likely I will mention the show(s) in this diary as well. You can also sign up for the newsletter, which I send out from time to time.

Regarding this comment:

Do you ever think that you may have a section or tab for musicians sound eng. Your sound that you have been able to capture time and time again are truly the best sounding guitar out ther. Weather classical, flamenco, new age, acoustic, etc. the sound of the guitar that you are able to cature and record are just magical. I wounder if you would ever share the process or maybe make a DVD of the process. Some tips tricks etc on the Leibert sound.

Have you considered using a spell checker?

How do I get my guitar sound? Is it a secret ingredient? A piece of gear perhaps? Is the microphone customized? Could it be the mic-pre-amp? What about the wiring? The acoustics of my studio? Is it the guitar? Is my guitar somehow different from other Lester DeVoe guitars? Do I get custom strings from D’Addario?

Well, I’ll tell you the truth, but you may be disappointed. It’s not the gear, it’s not the guitar… in fact it is nothing you can buy. It is years of practice and developing a personal sound. It’s intimacy with the instrument, which can only come from playing – I figure I have spent at least 15,000 to 25,000 hours of my life playing guitar, and probably more. Every person has different hands, different fingers, different nails, different angles at which those fingers and nails strike the string. It takes time finding the perfect angle, a lot of time. It’s easy to produce a sound, very hard to produce the sound, which is also your sound.

How can one explain that or teach that? Impossible! You could copy my technique, but since your own hands will be different this will only give you a starting point for your own investigation.


  1. Carol

    Yes, and that’s why no matter where your music might be found we will know it, because it is like no other. The intimacy you have with each string becomes the intimacy with each of us..

  2. llindaskaye

    Ottmar, nice to “hear” your opinione…i have been wonderinge also…guitar is my hobby…somethinge i want to enjoye and nowe i have time to learn how to play and have come across those ideas…i finde it a lot confusinge and remindinge myself of my purpose helps…amore amiogeas *******

  3. Steve

    This reminds me of a quote I once read by Jaco Pastorius:

    “…the sound is in your hands…”

  4. vic

    Thankyou for telling the truth and putting it all in clear prospective. Bottom line thught you do sound to me like one of the best musicians out ther sharing their art and heart. I also love the way your guitar sounds when you play live, studio, or Borders Thanks

  5. Manuel Rangel

    At some point in your life are you willing to give guitar classes?
    I know your comment is right about everyone being different, but if you can teach your technique I am sure you will have many fan’s interested in taking classes with you.

  6. Luz

    I agree with Steve. There are two very distinct guitarists that I recognize…yours & Carlos Santana. I’d have to say though that Stephen is running a close 3rd!

  7. vic

    I really like what Manuel said I think there are some people who might really like to take a masters lession or weekend with you. To learn some of the hand movments and even fine tune fingernailes etc. Just a thought, I do think you are one of those who is a player and artist who is out of the box and may be able to inspire many others to create beautiful music. Well Im not going

  8. Diran

    I agree with Carol.What I would like to add is,I think the meditations, since You started to play the guitar and your soul (is your antenna.)
    These are the fact ,make your music unique than others.Am I mistaken?

  9. Gudrun

    Ottmar, your explanations are so wonderful and so so so true. For example: “Heart still/beating” from “Nouveau Flamenco” in comparison with “Heart still/beating” from “The Santa Fe Sessions” – I can hear the 25,000 hours and more of practising your guitar in the years between.
    I guess you play your guitar 4-5 hours a day?

    Vic, at first it’s important to get a good education in classical and traditional Flamenco guitar. And to learn all the Flamenco techniques for both hands are so difficult, so hard. Flamenco is so diversified and so deep, you have to feel it “con cuerpo y alma”. And practise, and practise…..

  10. laurie

    and you make it look so easy and enjoyable… (sigh) (smile)

  11. Marie


    Ottmar I almost woke my little son up because I laughed so hard at:

    “Have you considered using a spell checker?”

    Also, is it my imagination or are there crazy typos on this payge?

    Ciao OL!


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