Sharon Aguilar wasn’t even going to audition.
But what the heck. She was in the right place at the right time, took a chance and landed a gig playing and touring worldwide with CeeLo Green during his Lady Killer album tour. As a student at Musicians Institute, Aguilar knew going to the Hollywood-based school would give her opportunities. She just didn’t realize they’d come so soon and mean so much.
Aguilar has experienced a second world tour with K-pop group 2NE1 and is still going strong. Focusing now on her projects at home in LA, Aguilar is excited about the launch of her new group, Miss President, made up of many of her touring mates, including DANiiVORY, Goldielox and B.Brooks.
I caught up with Aguilar as she returned to the US from Asia to shoot the breeze, talk guitar and get the scoop.
GUITAR WORLD: So, you’ve been doing a bit of traveling.
Yes, yes. Just got done with a six-month tour in Asia with the K-pop group 2NE1. That was a lot of fun. It was a part of the world I’ve never got to see before, so it was definitely a highlight to be able to play a lot of the venues out there and experience the culture.
That’s a lot of traveling. Tell me why you picked up the guitar in the first place.
I started out on violin first, and it was by accident. I was in a magnet program and they only had spots left in music. So I thought, well, I like art more, but I’ll try this music thing and see how it goes. I fell absolutely in love with playing the violin. I played in the greater Miami Symphony and the Dade County Honors Orchestra.
I always thought the guitar was cool, but when I was a teenager, probably 14 or 15, it just seemed way cooler. So I decided to try picking it up, and because I had calluses and experience playing violin, it was not a very hard transition. My dad listened to a lot of classic rock, so I was always listening to Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and the Beatles. I just wanna be like Jimmy Page!
Do you still play the violin?
Not as much as I did before. I’ve really made guitar my main focus, but I do play violin sometimes. I played on American Idol with Diddy, which was a lot of fun. And I’ll do some things from time to time, but the guitar really is my passion.
Tell me about 2NE1.
I was playing with 2NE1 on their New Revolution Tour. It was a global tour, and we did a couple shows in the States too, at the Prudential Center and one at Nokia, which was sold out. It was a really cool show, will.i.am actually produced a lot of their tracks, and he came to the show and just started rapping over the encore and hanging out with us on stage, which was really cool.
But the 2NE1 girls, they’re a really big K-pop group. I felt bad because I really had no idea that there were other markets like that. I just felt like American entertainment was the be-all-end-all, and I feel ignorant for saying that. It just really opened my eyes to see what else is going on in the world, because K-pop is huge! These girls were selling out stadiums. It was just incredible. And they have very dedicated fans. It was a lot of fun.
Where can we find out more?
You can go to MissPresidentMusic.com. Right now it redirects to our Facebook page; we’re still working on the other page.
What have you learned on the road from a gear perspective? Any tricks of the trade you can share?
I would say you really learn what great-sounding gear is when you play with a band and hear how it you want it to sound when it hits the audience. The big thing for me is I prefer being mic’ed up over running direct any day. Not only is there no substitute for the mic picking up the speaker moving the air, but also I feel like running direct takes too much control away from how I want the amp to sound. It puts you in the hands of someone that you don’t know, that you might not have ever worked with before. On the 2NE1 tour, I had to run direct, but I did have a great sound engineer, so in that situation it’s OK.
Also, there are some tones that sound great in your bedroom that sound horrible live. You need to have a good amount of midrange frequencies in your live sound so you don’t get lost in the mix. And a manageable amount of gain so you’re not feeding back. First and foremost, a good tube power section and microphones are the most important things. I think one of the coolest things about the Axe-Fx is I can push one button on my MIDI controller on the floor, and it will switch the channels on my amp, apply all the pre-programmed effects, and it sounds just as organic as pedals. I was never able to switch on and off tons of floor pedals while also trying to have great stage presence in high heels.
I feel like there ARE more women playing instruments than ever.
Oh, absolutely! I just volunteered at a music program down in Miami called GOGO — Guitars Over Guns Organization. What they do is take high-risk kids that are at risk of dropping out, inner-city kids, and teach them music after school. So I went, and one of the girls there that was playing guitar was actually a fan of mine before I even went in there. She loves K-pop and 2NE1. It was cool to see that, and to see that she was playing guitar and doing something positive. It’s just nice to see when kids are playing music and choosing a right path.
So do you have any advice for people starting out?
Yeah. Take all your favorite players and start as early as you can to learn and transcribe riffs from them. Developing your ear in that way is super important. Learning riffs from the greats will develop technique and the skills you need to use later.
Anything else you’d like to ad?
I am working on an instrumental solo guitar album, so that’s in the works. It will be totally different from my girl band, but I think it’s cool to express myself in both ways.
Non-2ne1 parts omitted
Source: Guitar World
Thanks to everyone for the tip.
Tags: sharon aguilar
-  Sparkling Magazine Facebook: Did you catch Bom’s footage of #2NE1 AON in Manila on SBS’s#roommate?
-  UPDATED Details on 2NE1′s 2012 New Evolution Japan Arena Tour, 176,000 potential attendees
-  Minzy (@mingkki21) “Ms Mingkki’s triple combo … The hot Happening stage gotta go on!!”
-  Intel’s Facebook: [Touch the Ultrabook, Additional Event!] Featuring 2NE1 & will.i.am signed Ultrabooks
-  Dara (@krungy21) reveals marriage plans + PSYDARA & Hip-hop Dara