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Jeff Aug: Six Concerts, Six Countries, 24 Hours

What have you done in the past 24 hours? Jeff Aug, an American guitarist now living in Germany, holds the Guinness World Record for most concerts performed in different countries in 24 hours. He played six concerts in six different countries in what he called the Wounded Fingers Tour.

Aug's wild acoustic guitar style uses just his fingers, not a pick. Host Scott Simon wonders if that hurt.

"You do it long enough, and you develop a nice callus on the fingers," Aug says. "It's like fine, tanned leather."

Aug's record-breaking tour took him through Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands.

All About The Fingers

Like most guitarists, Aug says he loves the instrument. But, once again, it all comes down to the fingers.

"A lot of people say they have a melody in their head — I have a melody in my fingers, and my fingers have melodies in their heads. I think each of my fingers has its own brain," Aug says. "One of my favorite things to do is to play guitar when I want to play guitar, not when I have to play guitar."

Unlike most guitarists, however, Aug doesn't use his index finger. He found that playing the bass parts with his thumb sounds nicer, so he dropped the pick, at which point the index finger had nothing to do.

Playing In A Rock Band

Aug didn't always play the acoustic. An uncle gave him his first electric guitar, and years later, he formed the rock band Sorry About Your Daughter. While he was developing rock skills, he came by an acoustic guitar, listened to artists on the Windham Hill label and developed a taste for instrumental acoustic music.

While in Sorry About Your Daughter, Aug and his band had a record deal in Germany. When the band broke up, Aug realized he had more opportunities and contacts in Germany than he did in the U.S. He still tours in the U.S. but — like most musicians — relies on tips and CD sales rather than door guarantees.

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