Music I Am #24 – Buzz Gravelle

The moment when you knew you wanted to be a musician:

I knew I wanted to be a musician pretty early, around age 13. I had only been playing guitar a few years at that point but I had fallen so deeply in love with making music I knew I wanted it to be a central part of my life.

An important skill for a career in music that does not have anything to do with an instrument or making music:

Perseverance! It’s a long journey full of ups and downs, successes and failures, opportunities and closed doors. It’s important to keep going. Be smart about it, learn from your mistakes and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. In the end, opportunities and a career will emerge.

Two ways you stay motivated:

The first way is that I am always setting short term and medium term goals. That way I am always working towards something that gives me a sense of completion. That could be a new composition that I give myself a few weeks to compose, or a setting a date to learn and record it. We need to feel that sense of completion and these short and medium term goals provide that.

The second way is challenging myself to try things that are difficult for me. Fretless guitar is difficult. However, I love challenging myself to push the envelope and try things that I don’t think I can do.

Latest Project:

I am working on a second solo album of fretless guitar compositions as well as some collaborations with other guitarists. Additionally, I am developing my company, G&G Guitars, which are exclusive resellers of Altamira fretless guitars, which I play and helped develop. I am proud of these guitars and I want to make them available to more guitar players interested in fretless guitars.

Additionally, I am in the development phase of some fretless electric guitar models which I also eventually hope to make available to the public.

What inspired it:

I am very motivated to do everything I can to popularize the fretless guitar. This includes not only composing, performing, and teaching fretless guitar but also making fretless guitars easier to acquire.

Who’s on it:

Well, the collaborations are secret 😉

How do you discover new music?                     

Online. Social media. People recommend music to me a lot too. I’ve heard some great music that otherwise I’d never hear were it not for an online follower sharing it with me.

One living and one dead musician that deserves more attention:

For living, I would say the Turkish fretless guitarist Erkan Ogur. He “invented” it  back in the 1970’s and uses it to primarily play Turkish music. He is well known within Turkey but not so much outside of Turkey. A great musician.

For a dead musician I would say the Egyptian oudist Hamza el Din. He did a lot of interesting East/West collaborations when he was alive, including with Kronos Quartet. Another great musician.

Where can we find you online?

On Instagram and TikTok I am @fret_buzz. Also, my website at

*In November 2022 at Pomona College, Buzz and Aaron Larget-Caplan performed John Cage’s Bacchanale arranged for two fretted guitars. The arrangement is by Aaron Larget-Caplan and available through Edition Peters.

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