Ten Questions With… Michelle Qureshi

“Ten Questions With…” is a semi-regular series in which I ask a notable acoustic guitarist ten questions about their process.
Michelle Qureshi is a musician/composer living and working in Indiana. Acoustic guitar is often at the center of her music, but as she is a multi-instrumentalist, her music explores a variety of sounds and textures. Classically trained on the guitar, she has a beautiful, accessible, melodic style, often using two partial capos and alternate tunings. She places a high value on improvisation, often producing gorgeous pieces on the fly, but also composes emotionally moving structured pieces. She has released twelve albums, two EPs, and a handful of singles. She, like me, is a Gemini.
  • Who or what made you first take an interest in the acoustic guitar?
  • The Beatles! They made me excited about music in general, since I was a little kid.
  • Who are among your most admired guitarists?
  • I admire, Sharon Isbin, Jason Vieaux, Pat Metheny, Michael Hedges, Tommy Emmanuel and Ralph Towner.
  • What is your favorite acoustic guitar album?
  • “John Holmquist: Las Folias de Espana.” This album let me hear solo guitar in a way I never had before; great inspiration from the man I studied classical guitar with at college.
  • What three acoustic guitarists do you think show through the most as influences in your playing?
  • Leo Kottke, Michael Hedges, and Pat Metheny.
  • How much time do you spend time practicing daily?
  • It varies; some days not at all, and other days maybe off and on for up to four hours.
  • What tuning do you use most often, or do you use various tunings somewhat equally?
  • After standard tuning, I tend to love DGDF#BD at the moment, but I’m always experimenting with other tunings and capo positions.
  • When writing, are you expressing specific or general experiences and feelings?
  • Usually specific.
  • When writing, do you employ the aid of technology in the process?
  • No.
  • Do you use a click track when you record?
  • Rarely.
  • In the studio, what aspect is the most challenging for you?: tuning, mic placement, timing, accuracy, feel, or dynamics?
  • Mic placement and recording levels for acoustic instruments, mixing for virtual instruments.