Wednesday, 30 September 2009

POST # 197 Leo Fender on the Precision Bass

"In the 40s and 50s, it was common for guitar players in groups to double on bass. My concept of an electric bass arose in response to some important needs. First, it was impossible to get a Dog House' bass around. Second, the bass player had to sing, and it was hell to try and get the bass up to center stage to the microphone. There was a screaming need for a portable bass that could be amplified and with frets so that the guitarist wouldn't have to struggle to stay in tune."

"The only bass strings we could make were made of gut, and they wouldn't work on an electric. To get workable strings, we had to wrap iron wire around the gut strings, which was a miserable job." - Leo Fender

( Once sales of P-Bass took off, V.C Squier made electric bass strings for Fender. Donald Duck Dunn giving the P-Bass a workout. - Ed )

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

POST # 196 Kirk Hammett on Master of Puppets

“I really felt that Master of Puppets was the album that defined that lineup—James, Lars, Cliff and I. We had gotten to know each other’s musical capabilities and temperaments over the three-year period we’d been together, and every song we came up with was another great conception.” - Kirk Hammett

( Vintage Metallica live. - Ed )

Monday, 28 September 2009

POST # 195 Jonny Greenwood on Radiohead Sound

Our ears get bored very quickly. Sometimes a guitar plugged into an amplifier isn’t really enough. So you hear sounds in your head, or on a record, and you say, ‘I want it to sound like this.’ And sometimes it won’t—I can’t play the trumpet, so it’s not going to sound like Miles Davis. But we aim for these things and end up with our own garbled version. - Jonny Grenwood

( Radiohead doing Paranoid Android - Ed )

Sunday, 27 September 2009

POST # 194 Bix Beiderbecke on Jazz

One of the things I like about jazz, kid, is I don't know what's going to happen next. Do you? - Bix Beiderbecke

( Doco on Jazz - Ed)

Saturday, 26 September 2009

POST # 193 Pablo Picasso on Originality

Disciples be damned. It's not interesting. It's only the masters that matter. Those who create. - Pablo Picasso


Friday, 25 September 2009

POST # 192 Kenny Burrell on Exercises and Practices.

If we overload ourselves with exercises, our playing will sound like that, I don’t
want to practice things to have little bits and pieces to call on. I’ve studied theory and composition, so I’m aware of all the scales from India, Asia, Europe, Greece—whatever—but I’m not going to put these in my music just because they’re different. Rather than consciously impose scales on a progression, I just try to add something musical—a few notes, some nice sounds. It’s a combination of emotion and intellect, but emotion is the essence. If you don’t have that, you don’t have anything. The most important thing is to express your feeling—not what someone else is feeling. I try to be as free as possible and just let something happen. It will—if you let yourself relax. - Kenny Burrell

(Wonderful jam here contrast Banrey's bebop lines with Grant Green's hardbop soulful approach and Burrell's tasty bluesy sensibility. Really dig Grant Green's comping behind Kessel as well and Burrell's hip outside lines when they were trading 4 in the end. - Ed)

Thursday, 24 September 2009

POST # 191 Stevie Ray Vaughan on the Blues

If people tell me they don’t want to hear a blues band because it brings them down, they’re not paying attention at all. I like a lot of different kinds of music, but if it doesn’t have any soul I can’t relate to it. - Stevie Ray Vaughan

(RIP Steive Ray Vaughan, guitar slinger extraodinarie par excellence. - Ed )

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

POST # 190 Angus Young on Malcolm Young's Gretsch Firebird’s the way he plays rhythm – it’s got that distinct sound, especially with that Gretsch [Firebird]. I’ve tried to emulate his rhythm style myself, at home, with one of his guitars, and it’s no easy task. He’s got those big thick strings on it, like tram tracks, you know? It’s all in his little wrist…….he’s at the point where they’re not making that gauge any more, since the youth want them lighter and lighter. These days, you see, they all want to run from one end of the fretboard to the other. They want to practice scales. I mean, that’s all very good, so long as they do it at home. - Angus Young

(Malcolm getting some glorious sounds from his firebird in TNT. - Ed)

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

POST # 189 Leo Fender on his upstart guitar factory

We were putting an acetate finish on the guitars at the time, and to keep the acetate warm, we kept it near an open gas flame. If anything ever happened we would have blown that building to the moon. Actually, , it was so bad that when the fire inspector came by, he just looked in the door and ran to the nearest pay phone to call us about being in violation of code. - Leo Fender

( Clip of the Fender factory today. - Ed )

Monday, 21 September 2009

POST # 188 Wes Montgomery on Guitarists

Some things you have to leave for somebody else. Of all the good guitarists I've heard, they're either in one thing or another. But then I can imagine how some of the public feel. They say, well, OK, I can hear how you're doing what you're doing - solid, but for some ungodly reason they'd like to see how you'd do something else. And they don't realise what's involved for you to get into another thing. I keep trying to explain 'like, I'm up tight now! - Wes Montgomery

( Benson and Ritenour pays tribute to the master of jazz guitar. - Ed )

Sunday, 20 September 2009

POST # 187 Mike Stern on Chops and Playing Fast

Chops are a luxury item, but if you use them responsibly, they can add a lot to your music. For example, I never wanted to play fast for fast’s sake. But once I was onstage with Blood, Sweat, and Tears while everyone was playing aggressive, burning solos. I tried to play this slow, melodic thing, and Jaco[Pastorius, bassist] told me I needed to learn how to ‘hit up against the time’ and nail faster tempos. So I started working up my speed—not with physical exercises, but by playing tunes a little bit faster each week. - Mike Stern

( Nice interview - Ed )

Saturday, 19 September 2009

POST # 186 Carlos Santana on Writing Europa

“I started writing this song in 1966 or ’67, but didn’t finish it until ’75 when we were on tour with Earth, Wind and Fire, in Manchester, England. We were backstage while they were on stage playing. And we were just warming up, tuning up. I started playing it and [keyboardist] Tom Coster and I completed it right there on the spot. It immediately became a crowd favorite; it is one of those songs that, whether it’s played in Japan or in Jerusalem or in South America, it just fits right in with everything.” - Carlos Santana

( Love this song, Santana gets some beautiful tone from his YAMAHA SG2000 and nice use of a wah pedal in the middle to change it up. What's up with the chef's uniform though??!! I guess he is cooking up some nice tone! - Ed)

Friday, 18 September 2009

POST # 185 Irvin Berlin on Show Business

" Talent is only the starting point. "

" There is an element of truth in every idea that lasts long enough to be called corny. "

" There's no business like show business. " - Irvin Berlin

"Irving Berlin has no place in American Music, Irving Berlin is American Music."
-Jerome Kern

( Unless you are playing for your own amusement at's all show business baby ! Amazing how many of Berlin's songs have endured and are still played today. - Ed )

Thursday, 17 September 2009

POST # 184 Adrian Belew on Elephant Talk

"As you can appreciate over my lifetime I've developed a large vocabulary of sounds each requiring certain physical techniques often combined with a specific effect box....For example, after developing a sound similar to an elephant trumpeting, I wrote the song Elephant Talk which gave my elephant sound an appropriate place to live." - Adrian Belew

( With the excellent Robert Fripp on guitar as well! - Ed)

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

POST # 183 Leonardo da Vinci on Importance of Theory

"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast." - Leonardo da Vinci

( Knowledge is power ! - Ed )

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

POST # 182 Leo Fender on his first PICKUPS for K&F in the 40's

"The magnets in our pickups came off the flywheel of Model T Fords, which used magnets on the flywheel and coils on the engine block as an alternator" - Leo Fender

( I think it'd be pretty cool if my pickups came from a flywheel of a Model T Ford! Dick Dale talks about Leo Fender. - Ed)

Monday, 14 September 2009

POST # 181 Lenny Breau on his Style

"What I'm trying to do is make impressions. I think of myself as a colorist, adding different colors and shades by using different techniques and touching the guitar in different ways. I'd like to play sounds you can see if you've got your eyes closed. I'll always be a student, because I think of music as never ending." - Lenny Breau

( Lenny Breau what a beautiful cat. - Ed)

Sunday, 13 September 2009

POST # 180 Ritchie Blackmore on Writing and Playing Smoke on the Water

"Simplicity is the key. And it is simple - you can still hear people playing it at music stores. I never had the courage to write until I heard "I Can't Explain" and "My Generation." Those riffs were so straightforward that I thought, "All right, if Pete Townshend can get away with that, then I can, too!" - Ritchie Blackmore

" It's like Jeff Beck - when he can't find a pick, he just plays with his fingers. You know how it is. You're watching television and you can't find a pick, so you just play with your fingers. Even on something as simple as the riff to "Smoke On The Water," you'd be surprised how many people play that with down strokes, which makes a world of difference. Otherwise, you're just hitting the tonic before the fifth." - Ritchie Blackmore

Saturday, 12 September 2009

POST # 179 Charlie Parker on Musicians and Different Genres of Music

"There's always room for musicians, you know. There's no such thing as the middle of the road, it will be one thing or the other -- good music or otherwise, you know. And it doesn't make any difference which idiom it might be in -- swing, bebop, as you might want to call it, or Dixieland -- if it's good it will be heard." - Charlie Parker

(Musical styles go in and out of fashion but who cares what style you are into as long as you are playing your heart out and playing it good! - Ed)

Friday, 11 September 2009

POST # 178 Buddy Guy on his Style

I’ve learned a little more, but it’s still Buddy Guy. If you put me through a modern amplifier, somebody is going to say, “He don’t sound like he used to.” Well, of course, the guitars and amps aren’t the same today. But the man is still the same. I’m using the same fingers I left Louisiana with. I can’t really say how my style has changed, though. I used to tell T-Bone Walker, B.B., Lightnin’ Hopkins, Muddy, and John Lee Hooker—all those guys I learned from—that I didn’t have anything unique. Guess what they said? “Buddy, we got it from someone else, too.”

(Buddy Guy with a couple of legends. - Ed)

Thursday, 10 September 2009

POST # 177 Joe Pass on His Choice of Picks

"Always the same kind. It's half a pick really, a pick broken in two. It's a medium-thin gauge, not soft, but firm. But I use my fingers a great deal too; and pick and fingers, or thumb and fingers. It's not quite as fast with the fingers though." - Joe Pass

(Joe playing beautiful rapid fire bebop lines with Oscar Peterson - Ed)

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

POST # 176 Lenny Breau on his pianistic approach.

• "...I approach the guitar like a piano. I've reached a point where I transcend the instrument. A lot of the stuff I play on the 7-string guitar is supposed to be technically impossible, but I spent over twenty years figuring it out. I play the guitar like a piano, there's always two things going on at once. I'm thinking melody, but I'm also thinking of a background. I play the accompaniment on the low strings." - Lenny Breau

( Two masters at work here. - Ed)

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

POST # 175 Eddie Van Halen on Eruption

"‘Eruption’ wasn’t even supposed to be on the album. I showed up at the recording studio early one day and started to warm up. I had a gig that weekend and I wanted to practice my solo guitar spot. Our producer, Ted Templeman, happened to walk by and he asked, ‘What’s that? Let’s put it on tape!’ " - Eddie Van Halen

( World's most famous warm up. - Ed)

Monday, 7 September 2009

POST # 174 McCoy Tyner on Jazz Guitar

"Every instrument seems to have a prophet, like Coltrane was to tenor-we're talking modern stuff, although you can't get any deeper on an instrument than Lester Young. But Wes seemed to lay the guitar out like Bird did on alto. Certain people seem to be able to show the symmetry of the instrument and a relaxed way of playing. If you want to study the essentials of jazz guitar, all fundamental great things are in Wes Montgomery." - McCoy Tyner

( Wes talks about the piano and guitar and plays a blues. - Ed)

Sunday, 6 September 2009

POST # 173 Jimmy Page on writing Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll"

“We were recording something else—I can’t remember what it was...and John Bonham just started playing the opening bars of ‘Keep a Knockin’,’ by Little Richard. I heard that and just started playing what you know as the riff of ‘Rock and Roll.’ The other song was just totally forgotten about and we did ‘Rock and Roll’ in a matter of minutes.” - Jimmy Page

( Serendipity at work! - Ed)

Saturday, 5 September 2009

POST # 172 Jim Marshall on The Start of Marshall Amps

"I opened a drum shop in Hanwell, London, in 1960 where I sold drums and gave lessons. The drummers I taught would all bring their guitarists in all the time and young players like Pete Townshend and Ritchie Blackmore would always say to me, "Why only drums? Why don't you sell guitars and amplifiers too, Jim? The other music shops in London all treat us like idiots because we play rock and roll, you don't so we'd much rather shop here!" My initial reply was, "I know a lot about drums but not much about guitars and amplifiers." But, I decided to give it a go anyway and it turned out to be very successful indeed right away." - Jim Marshall

( Bit of history and tour of the Marshall factory. - Ed)

Friday, 4 September 2009

POST # 171 Mike Stern on Hearing what You're Playing

“If you play too many notes, and are no longer hearing what you’re playing, you won’t be able to connect in an emotional way.” - Mike Stern

( Engaging interview with the very relaxed and friendly Mike Stern. - Ed)

Thursday, 3 September 2009

POST # 170 Miles Davis on Critics

"I don't pay no attention to what critics say about me, the good or the bad. The toughest critic I got is myself . . . and I'm too vain to play anything I think is bad." - Miles Davis

( Critics be damned! John McLaughlan kicked off this bad ass jam session on Miles' tribute to Jack Johnson. - Ed)

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

POST # 169 Angus Young on Playing Live

"I think all good bands are essentially live bands. The great ones – the ones that last – are the ones that had that approach. Your Stones, Who, whateverer. Your only real gauge for AC?DC is if we play some place and people come to see us the next time we play there. That’s the only way we know if we were good the last time. You can’t trust the hype side of it." - Angus Young


Tuesday, 1 September 2009

POST # 168 Gary Rossington on writing "Freebird."

“ ‘Free Bird’ is just a love song. I thank God that people dig it and that it got so big, but it just took a minute to write. I guess it had some kind of magic about it.” - Gary Rossington

( Revisit an old classic, Lynyrd Skynyrd playing Freebird live at the BBC, love the slide work and the end solo! - Ed )

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