Jon Gomm is a guitarist, singer and songwriter who first picked up a stringed instrument at the age of two when his parents bought him a ukulele, the only guitar small enough for Jon’s tiny two year old hands. He played guitar throughout his childhood, and went on to study music at The Guitar Institute in London, turning down a position at Oxford University to do so.
Gomm honed his skills as a guitarist by playing in clubs and restaurants and recording as a session guitarist. After moving to Leeds he decided to try performing solo with one guitar, inspiring an experimental phase of his music career that spawned his current sound. Jon Gomm uses a technique called acoustic percussive guitar. This is when the guitarist creates melodies with the strings of the instrument by plucking, slapping and strumming the strings, while creating percussive (drumming) sounds with the body of the guitar. Each section of the guitar body produces a different sound, and tapping that area with different parts of the hand will produce a different percussive sound. For example, if you were to knock on a door with your knuckle, it would produce a different sound to banging on the door with the fleshy muscle of the palm.
So far, Jon Gomm has home-recorded one CD, called “Hypertension” and has sold over ten thousand copies without industry backing, proving that great musicians don’t need corporate sponsorship to be successful. According to Gomm, “Hypertension” was recorded as a demo CD to get gigs. It was so successful that it was only in 2009 that he managed to take time from touring to record another album, “Don’t Panic”. (You can buy Jon Gomm’s CDs through his online music store. He also has a couple of other treats for sale there.) His youtube videos receive thousands of views within days of being uploaded and he is often mentioned by other musicians as being a source of inspiration.
In this video, Jon Gomm sings “Passionflower”, in which he sings his own beautiful lyrics, describing a seed growing to be a passionflower plant, stating, “You are what you grow into / You’re not what you were.” You can read the rest of the lyrics here. Jon Gomm’s website is packed with videos, pictures and info about this guitarist. If you’re looking for guitar inspiration, his website is well worth a good look.