The guitarist performs at Aschenbach’s hotel one night. He seems to have no self-restraint and entertains the audience by behaving ridiculously and vulgarly. In one performance, he and his fellow performers laugh hysterically until the audience also begins to laugh. He thus exemplifies the contagiousness of extreme emotions and a lack of self-restraint, something Aschenbach despises early in the novella, but later approaches himself. Aschenbach also asks the guitarist about the disease in Venice, but the guitarist tells him nothing.
The timeline below shows where the character The Guitarist appears in Death in Venice. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...of the performers, a kind of comedian, started an entertaining, popular guitar solo. Through the guitarist’s winks, suggestive gestures, and “licking the corners of his mouth licentiously,” the song became “salacious”... (full context)