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Terence Hansen’s style is unique because he plays two guitars at the same time while singing. His album, Songs For Two Guitars, is a showcase of his songwriting and performance skills in this context. He performs using a tapping technique where the bass and rhythm guitar are played by the left hand and the lead guitar, piano, strings, organ, Rhodes etc. are tapped by the right hand guitar and layered with a guitar synthesizer. He has performed all over the U.S. and Europe with artists such as Human Rights, Robert Palmer, Jennifer Batten, Fates Warning, Jonathan Edwards, Keith Urban, Morgan Cryer, and Gary Hoey. Terence has also been a columnist for JAM Magazine, a songwriting coach for Singing For Success ‘03-‘04,  a mentor for Season for Non-Violence song camp ‘07, a musical director for Progressive Insights guided meditation/relaxation program, film scorer for the full-length feature film Nightfall and he has played on and produced scores of records, commercials, bands, and poets. He was recently the Music Director for Paul Green’s Rock School in SLC, and now is directing the year-round show band for the school. He has also presented product and educational clinics for: Lexicon, Digitech, Stephens Amps, Starsmith Music, Musicians Friend, Abel Axe Guitars, Singing For Success, Summer Jam, Music Garage, Vocal Boot Camp, and the Music Factory.



How did you start playing guitar and what got you into it?

i always wanted to play music but hadn't intended to become a professional musician. I wanted to play an organ or the piano or any instrument really, I just didn’t get the opportunity until I was about 14. I got my first guitar because I loved music. I didn’t want to be a musician. I just I wanted to play music so badly so that was my intention. I believe I really got into it when I saw Stanley Jordan on the TV. That changed my life alongside with Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen and so on. All of a sudden I found myself getting into all the technical aspects of the guitar and maybe because I was into sports at the same time, I was competitive and I had inside me the competitive desire to be the best, the fastest or whatever you know, until years later I realized that that was because I was into the guitar and it didn’t have to do with the music that I liked. I feel that throughout the years I came to full circle now and I play what I like musically.  Today it is more about the music. I don’t shred as much as I used to anymore.



As you’ve mentioned that you used to shred, obviously it sounds like you sat down for many hours with the guitar in order to elaborate techniques and build up speed. How did you see the development from day one from a single neck instrument changing into the double guitar neck acoustic style guitar?

I was one night in my bed sleeping and my mom came and woke me up and said. “Wake up, you really got to see this guy on the TV.” It was Stanley Jordan on the “Tonight Show”. I was barely playing the guitar at that time. The fact that my mom got me out of bed to come and see him it was like "wow"! So after that I started playing with two hands on the neck. In the meantime I was always picking up on all this heavy metal guitar stuff and I put out a progressive rock album. I kept the tapping as a personal thing; I didn’t perform that very often. When I performed it was more along the lines of a Steve Vai show and finally I realized that there’s going to be only one Steve Vai. I thought to myself “why am I still trying to do that?” and that was a turning point. I started taking the tapping thing more seriously because I was fairly good at it. So I started playing 2 guitars hanging around my neck and that was about 1995 when I first did that. And then I decided that musically it presented a lot of possibilities because of the redundancy of having 2 necks and so I started to treat that as a compositional tool. I put the guitars together on a drum stand and made it more ergonomic so I can play more comfortably. The only problem was that I had to practice standing up when I had to do that. It was in 1997 that I put out my first album of doing everything all doubled-neck two guitars playing at the same time. I called them “the duelling guitars”. Every note that is played in this album is on two guitars at once. It was very edgy mellow jazzy type of stuff and then I kept pursuing it more in a rock direction and I kind of reconnected with the music I grew up listening to, stuff like Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, and that sort of music. That’s when I realised that I didn’t want to be a guitar hero anymore. I wanted to be a singer/songwriter. I didn’t want to put up a freak show anymore, although it still is a freak show (Laughs). For me it’s more like a compositional tool. I feel differently when I play on two necks than when I play on one. When I solo with my left hand I have a different vocabulary than when I solo with my right hand. It’s like I’m a split personality musically.


Tell us a few words about your music career. I was kind of fortunate because I had a lot of opportunities as a kid.

I started playing the guitar when I was 14 and by the time I was 15 I had a band and we recorded in a studio. By the time I was 16 I was in professional musical theatres as a guitarist. That had a huge impact on me because I had to learn to take direction from a music director and it was like I had to be a musician and not just the cool guitar player anymore. That really made me become more serious, and even though I didn’t intend at that time to be a professional, I was making money at it and started teaching and by the time I was 18 I was doing ok as a musician. I’ve been fortunate enough to keep that going all these years. I feel like I got my foot  in the door early for being a professional musician and learning to deal with a lot of things. I think that the longer you go on a normal lifestyle it makes really hard to shift gears and become a musician. I never had a normal life (Laughs).

Terence Hansen on the Heeres Guitar Stand in Guitar Nation 2010


Do you make your living today only from playing guitar?

Yes, I do a lot of types of music and I play in a lot of different bands. I perform solo a lot and I play normal guitar in other bands as well. I also have my own trio and I produce and record other people, teach at schools and do whatever it takes. Musically I feel gratified most of the time but I feel more gratified when I play the double neck acoustic guitar.


What advice would you give to the new guitar players that they want to make it in the business?

Be focused on the music first. Just worry about learning as much as you can as a musician and play with people. It’s very important. Learn how to work with other people, get along with other people. Don’t be stuck in your own little world in your bedroom. You can’t live there very long. You have to get out and start experiencing things so you know if that’s really what you want because I know a lot of people that are sitting insane hours and practicicing licks. There is a huge difference in being a musician and being a performer. I didn’t feel that I was a natural performer, I was a musician and suddenly I realized that people expected me to perform. They want me to put on a show for them. That for me was something that I took as a challenge and it brought out another side of me, a personality that was already in there. Other people they don’t have that thing. They don’t want to perform, they just want to be musicians and I understand that but a lot of guys get very frustrated when they realize that people expect so much from them so if you want to be a professional musician you are going to have to be a performer as well. They are two very different things. They need to be blended together successfully otherwise you might end up not being very happy with playing music.

Are you going to be joining our L4G community?

Definitely! I’m very interested in the Internet. I spend a lot of time on it exploring music. For me it’s a huge resource for discovering music. And I’ve always loved to discover things and I feel that you guys are doing a great job.

Anything else you would like to add?

I will be coming back in August next year in Europe to do some touring so check out the dates on my website if you are interested. Thanks very much for the interview and keep doing what you do.

George"gt"Stergiou & Terence Hansen


Thanks for reading and see you next time