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Yasmin Williams

Guitarist and composer from Northern Virginia

Armando Bellmas
Armando Bellmas
Yasmin Williams

Today on Ecléctico you're listening to Yasmin Williams, an acoustic fingerstyle guitarist and composer. She uses alternate tunings, percussive hits, and lap tapping techniques to make a unique sound that's simultaneously exciting and laid back.

You'll go deeper with an excerpt from and a link to a review by Sam Sodomsky on Pitchfork.


"Swift Breeze" by Yasmin Williams
2021 | Guitarist and composer from Northern Virginia


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Yasmin Williams has described her approach to acoustic guitar as a kind of creative problem-solving. Drawn to the instrument after mastering Guitar Hero 2, she dreamed of tapping along the fretboard like rock virtuosos before her. Unable to replicate their style, she laid the guitar on her lap, tuned the strings in harmony with each other, and played it like a keyboard. Drawing from a love of hip-hop, she sought an underlying rhythm throughout her wordless, melodic compositions. Without an accompanist, she attached a kalimba—a type of thumb piano—at the bottom of her instrument, plucking it with her right hand while her left navigated the strings.

Williams’ inventive style, which has also involved wearing tap shoes and taking a cello bow to her instrument, has made her stand out in the field of solo guitarists. But the power of her music is its immediacy. The 24-year-old is not only a skilled technician but also an instinctive songwriter, penning memorable compositions that, even at their most open-ended, proceed in a loose verse-chorus structure. Her smooth and immersive playing belies the complexity below the surface.

United States

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