Tony Dekker

Tony Dekker, Great Lake Swimmers

This video has been brought to my attention by my friend Martin. I am not very familiar with The Great Lake Swimmers and I don’t know the first thing about playing guitar, but from a hand obsession point of view, this video is amazing.

First of all I just want to say that watching this makes me want to give this guy a hug and just hang out with him and listen to him play like this all day. But now to the hands. Tony has long fingers as well as very wide hands and I guess that is good for playing guitar, in terms of being able to stretch your fingers far. Actually the width of his hands make his fingers not look very long in comparison. I would call him a naturalistic guitar player, he definitely doesn’t show off or make any unnessisary moves, he has his own style. I can’t help but think of a working man, like a factory worker when I see him, like he is a hard working guitarist. His hands do seem like worker hands, not artist hands, I think. His fingers look a bit stiff in the joints, they don’t streach out very often or roll into fists either, when he is not playing guitar and just talking to us.

He talks about how he likes to not use a pick and uses a speacial technique with 3 of his fingers instead. Once again, in the way he does this, I see a working man. A craftsman with his very own technique. I love his thumbs. The joints are very flexible, his thumbs can bend a lot “backwrads” (a sign of creativity). In some movements his fingers have some of the same features as people with arthritis fingers do. It is only a little bit, but it could seem like it is hurting his fingers to play, but he ignores it, because he HAS to play. Like an old craftsman with tired hands but still a vital passion for his craft. His hands do seem older than him and I could analyze him to having a bit of an old soul. Also, his mouth moves in ways that match his hands’ personality very well. His mouth also show a bit of hurtfullness.

I don’t know The Great Lake Swimmers and Tony Dekker, have only seen this one video. But just looking at his hands, I would say he is a carpenter of music, making gently and personally cut songs in his workshop.



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