I didn’t touch an acoustic guitar during the pandemic. Could a private island retreat with one of the world’s biggest guitar tutors help me reconnect?

Petit St. Vincent acoustic guitar retreat
(Image credit: Michael Astley-Brown)

Guitarists coped with the enforced isolation of the pandemic in different ways. Some finessed their technique, others checked off songs on their must-learn list. For me, productivity was my distraction: I was playing electric guitar, always plugged in, always writing, always recording. In my mind, it wouldn’t feel like a waste of a year if I had something to show for it.

The downside to this musical hot streak was a complete disconnect from the simple joy of actually playing. My Cort acoustic gathered dust on its stand in the corner of the living room, while my electrics got an eternal workout. Playing live shows with function bands had previously been my impetus for learning new material – without that catalyst, I was lost in an eternal loop of capturing perfect takes and perfect tones.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Michael Astley-Brown
Editor-in-Chief, GuitarWorld.com

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.