Friday, 31 December 2010

POST # 450 Pat Metheny on Guitar and Jazz

The guitar for me is a translation device, it's not a goal. And in some ways jazz isn’t a destination for me. For me, jazz is a vehicle that takes you to the true destination - a musical one that describes all kinds of stuff about the human condition and the way music works.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

POST # 449 B B KING on T-Bone Walker

And when I hear T-Bone play, his tone setting is like no one else’s. He has a strange way of holding his guitar, slanting it away from him instead of having it lay flat against his stomach. It’s almost like he were playing a steel guitar, but he curls his left arm underneath, and reaches his fingers up over the top. And he seems to kind of scrape his pick across the strings. How he’s able to hit specific strings, I just don’t know. And that touch he gets! I’ve tried my best to get that sound — especially in the late ’40s and early ’50s. I came pretty close, but I never quite got it. I can still hear T-Bone in my mind today, from that first record I heard, “Stormy Monday,” around ’43 or ’44. He was the first electric guitar player I heard on record. He made me so that I knew I just had to go out and get an electric guitar.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

POST # 448 Eric Johnson on how he developed his style.

“I developed my style by listening to records and by taking things in different ways. I really enjoyed listening to good guitarists, from Chet Atkins to John McLaughlin. There is a certain energy that happens when someone devotes a lot of time to their playing no matter what style they play.

Through junior high I was never really interested in sports or anything like that and after school I would just run home and get out my Jeff Beck Truth record, sit there by myself, and learn all these songs.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

POST # 447 Herb Ellis on Whether Jazz Improvisation can be Taught

Well, the crafts and the tools—the intellectual part of it—can certainly be taught, and your technical ability can be improved. But if you can’t move people, then all that other stuff doesn’t count.

New Layout for the New Year!

Here's the old layout header for one last time!

Saturday, 25 December 2010

POST # 446 Merry Xmas Everyone


Thanks for your patronage this year. Have a safe and fun holiday season, hope Santa brought u all lots of GEAR this year :)

Friday, 24 December 2010

POST # 445 MYSTERY CASE # 19 WHO Am I ??

G'day Guitar Eureka detectives, you are given 10 clues to the identity of this mystery person, see how many clues you need to solve the mystery! Have fun!

1. I was born on April 25, 1923 in Indianola, Mississippi.

2. I am also known as The Velvet Bulldozer.

3. I had to work nonmusic jobs to survive (including bulldozer operator and mechanic), but in the late '40s I settled in Osceola, Arkansas, and worked local gigs with the In the Groove Boys.

4. I also played drums for Jimmy Reed and sang and played guitar on my own singles, including "Lonesome in My Bedroom" and "Bad Luck Blues" for the Parrot label in 1953.

5. I was left-handed, but usually played right-handed guitars flipped over upside-down so the low E string was on the bottom.

6. I had my first minor hit came in 1959 with "I'm a Lonely Man" written by Bobbin Records A&R man and fellow guitar hero Little Milton, responsible for my signing with the label.

7.I was a large man, standing 6-foot-4-inches and weighing well over 250 pounds. I was a moody man and known to carry a .45 in the band of my pants.

8. I used very unorthodox tunings (i.e., tuning as low as C to allow to make sweeping string bends).

9. My guitar is nick-named 'Lucy' and it's a Gibson Flying V.

10. In 1966 I signed with the Stax record label. Produced by Al Jackson, Jr., King with Booker T. & the MGs recorded dozens of influential sides, such as "Crosscut Saw" and "As The Years Go Passing By", and in 1967 Stax released the album, Born Under a Bad Sign.

I am ?????


My guitar playing had a wide and long-term influence on Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Robbie Robertson, and later Gary Moore and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Eric Clapton has said that his work on the 1967 Cream hit "Strange Brew" and throughout the album Disraeli Gears was inspired by me.

Eric Clapton has admitted that the riff for "Layla" was a direct lift from "As The Years Go Passing By" by me.

I died on December 21, 1992 from a heart attack in Memphis, Tennessee


Thursday, 23 December 2010

POST # 444 Pat Martino on Being a Guitarist

In the first five or six years of my playing I did, but not after that. I’m an observer of environment, including the guitar; I see the guitar in everything. I think that at certain levels of performance the player becomes de-personalized by the instrument, and I don’t particularly care for that. It’s hard to retain one’s identity when you’re locked into the identity of a machine.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

POST # 443 B B King on Big Joe Williams and Lightnin' Hopkins

Big Joe Williams is another great one. His playing with Sonny Boy Williamson was beautiful. Tunes like “Baby Please Don’t Go” were really setting a pace.

Lightnin’ Hopkins was another one like that, another style setter. Blues guitarists have to all come through players like these two. In the same way, lady singers have to come through Bessie Smith, and, later, Dinah Washington — these two covered everything. So did Big Joe and Lightnin’.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

POST # 442 Slash on his Guitar Rig

Thanks. People ask me this question all the time, and it's sort of funny. Because, to be honest, all you need is a decent-sounding Les Paul and a decent-sounding Marshall 100-watt or 50-watt head. That's it. The only other things I use are the occasional Boss EQ and wah pedal. I'd love to make it sound more interesting, but I'd be lying.

Monday, 20 December 2010

POST # 441 Pete Anderson on Tom Anderson Electric Guitars, Martin D-2, Larrivee and Harmony

I’m Tom Anderson maxed. My number one is a chambered Tele-style body with three pickups, a 5-way switch, a vintage-style tremolo, and locking tuners. The tone knob is a push-push pot that turns on the front pickup, giving me the chunky neck/bridge tone that’s not available with a standard 5-way switch. Anything you hear on the record with a whammy bar is that guitar. I also have a badass Anderson baritone, the Baritom. My extreme favorite—my saxophone guitar—is an Anderson Cobra with P-90s. It looks like a Tele, but it has a mahogany body like a Les Paul Junior and a 243/4" Gibson scale. That’s my dog—no, my pit bull.

My main country flat-top is a beautifully aged, silky sounding 1986 Martin herringbone D-28. For fingerpicking, I use a signature model Larrivée PA-OM. Sonically, it’s very competitive—it claws through the track. I have a ’59 f-hole Harmony, which I capoed and played on the outro of “Sweet Delta Sunrise.” On “Daredevil’s Dance” I also used an old Guild converted to high-strung tuning.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

POST # 440 Herb Ellis on Joe Pass and Barney Kessell

Joe and I come from different places, so we can put a little more emphasis on interplay—the involvement, the harmonization, the counterpoint. With Barney, because we’re both from the same background, we can start out playing lines that are parallel or counter or crossing, and we’ll wind up playing almost the same phrase! It’s unreal. So the parts Barney and I play together are more arranged than when Joe and I play.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

POST # 439 Joe Satriani on his First Expereience with the Guitar

“My first experience with the guitar came when, between the ages of nine and 12, I learned how to play acoustic guitar by watching my sister Marion. I realized that, outside of her technical ability she had an emotional involvement in what she was doing, and when she performed, she would spread that feeling around and it was very natural.

Friday, 17 December 2010

POST # 438 MYSTERY CASE No 18 WHAT am I ??

1. I was originally made by hand, with a heavy mallet and a variety of knife edged dies, then finished by hand with sand paper.

2. I am quite collectable by musicians and music lovers alike.

3. Some notable models included the #351, #346, #358.

4. Nick Lucas was one of the earliest artists to have custom ones made and sold to the public.

5. I play a central role in a movie/comedy about heavy metal.

6. I was first made in 1922 by D'Andrea.

7. I come in a variety of gauges from .38mm to 3.0mm

8. I was originally made of celluloid, later Delrin, polymer plastic, nylon, acetal, ultem, and lexan

9. Jazzer and bass players prefer heavier versions of me.

10. Eddie Van Halen likes to hold me between his first and third finger, while Pat Metheny holds me with three fingers and use only the rounded side.

I am the ????


Thursday, 16 December 2010

POST # 437 Pat Martino on Johnny Smith

Precision! Precision and cleanliness and getting over what you want to say without laboring over impediments. I am always concerned with the present moment, and when I was listening and viewing Smith’s mastery of the guitar I seriously wanted to become another Johnny Smith. I copied all I could comprehend from his albums. But, when I started studying with Dennis Sandole, Dennis made me realize that if Smith stopped making records, I’d have to stop playing. The most important thing about a player is that what he plays is recognizable as far as being cleanly executed with articulation and dynamics. Smith’s playing has all these aspects. Another great thing about his playing is that he has kept his identity; you can always recognize his playing and his sound.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

POST # 436 Xuefei Yang on Chinese and Spanish Music

They are very different, of course, but I do find lots of similarities between pipa music and flamenco music. Both are quite free and lyrical, with very rhythmic parts. There are two types of pipa music: One is very intense, always describing war and fighting, and the other is slow and liquid, with lots of tremolo. More generally, Chinese music has very little harmony.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

POST # 435 Xuefei Yang on Smallman, Ramirez, Fleta and Gee Guitars

I like to change guitars all the time while recording. Also, sometimes when I’m fed up with practicing, I’ll switch guitars to get more inspiration. It is difficult to travel with multiple guitars, so if I can only carry one it will be the Smallman. Some people say that Smallman guitars are only loud and have no color—but I disagree. Smallmans can have lots of color, depending on how you play them. And the complaint that they are loud is a funny one, because when you play with an orchestra or even with wind instruments, you need a loud guitar. A Smallman may be louder than other guitars but, compared to other instruments, it’s still quiet. I played all the Chinese pieces on the album on the Smallman, because Chinese music is very lyrical and melodic, and the Smallman is resonant and really sings.

I also have a Ramirez that someone lent me last year, and I find that playing Spanish music on it is very authentic, as it has a very quick response and is a little bit dry sounding. When I play scales, the accent is an important part of getting the articulation to sound right. There are some rasgueados [a strumming technique using single digits in rapid succession that is commonly employed in flamenco music] in one of the Spanish pieces and the Ramirez sounds very crisp and quick when using that technique.

The third guitar is a Fleta, which belongs to a friend, and is very big and hard to play. I used it for “Valses Poéticos,” because of its depth and silky character. The fourth guitar was a borrowed Michael Gee with a spruce top, which I like very much. I have been playing cedar-top guitars for years, but I found that the Huang Zi piece, “Plum Blossoms in the Snow,” sounded very nice on the Michael Gee.

Monday, 13 December 2010

POST # 434 Pete Anderson on Digital Modelling vs Fender Deluxe Rebeveb

I don’t want to disappoint guitar freaks, but I haven’t used an amp for recording in six years. Line 6’s Amp Farm plug-in does it for me. I’m a Fender Deluxe Reverb guy, right? Line 6 loaned me the original Deluxe they modeled—the mother of the clones—and I did an intensive study comparing Amp Farm’s Deluxe model to its mother. I could never tell the difference. My favorite models are the blackface Twin and the Deluxe, though I’ll sometimes throw in a tweed Bassman. I love how you can do the Steve Lukather thing and put a Deluxe through a 4x12 cabinet. Most of the slapback is Line 6’s Echo Farm—a collection of vintage echo and delay models.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

POST # 433 B B King on Louis Jordan

I’m a mixture of many people. Like if you listen to Louis Jordan’s phrasing, you’ll hear B.B. King. When you hear men like these play a melody, it’s so beautiful! They may never put anything else in it, but if they were playing about a bird, you could see it flying.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

POST # 432 Slash on How he came up with Sweet Child O Mine riff

There's no secret technique. That's just my pick-up-a-guitar and fuck-around-with-it style of playing. That whole riff was just a mistake-a joke, really. To this day, I find it incredibly ironic and hilarious that it turned into a song, especially such a successful one. The riff started out as a stupid exercise that I noodled around with nearly every time I picked up a guitar. I don't really know how to practice properly, so I like to make up things that are difficult to play, so that I can become better at what I do.

Anyway, I must have played that riff a million times without ever thinking it would be a song. Then one day, while I was playing the riff, Izzy [Stradlin, former Guns N' Roses guitarist] started playing some chords, and the thing just took off! I think that just goes to show the value of doing things on the guitar that get you out of the box.

Friday, 10 December 2010

POST # 431 Pat Martino on Guitar Students

Many times a student has to learn patience and understanding. He may be oblivious or non-sensitive to the reality of where he is and what he’s involved in.

Teaching, leading and guiding are when you can get a student to confront his own inadequacies. Sometimes a very short lesson will do as much as a very long one.

In teaching you also have the searchers and the finders. The searchers get caught up in the syndrome of searching itself. But they can’t recognize when they’ve found something. These are the professional students, not players.

On the other hand, you have the finders who are not interested in searching or questioning and answering. They are just interested in being involved. These people are really alive; they are the players.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

POST # 430 MYSTERY CASE No 17 WHO am I ???

Good Day GUITAR EUREKA Detectives!

You are given 10 clues to the identity of this mystery PERSON. See how many clues you require to solve the case...have fun!

1. I was born on February 18, 1956.

2. I made my first guitar while at St. Mary's College of Maryland.

3. After college, I opened a guitar repair shop and started making instruments, about one a month.

4. My collaborator was John "Orkie" Ingram.

5. I got my break when Derek St. Holmes, of the Ted Nugent Band, agreed to try out #2, the second guitar I had ever made.

6. My guitars are usually crafted of mahogany, with a maple top on most models. My guitars are known for "popping the grain" on their figured maple topped instruments, a process that accents the '3D' quality of the maple through a multistep staining process.

7. My guitar's bridge features an one-piece pre-intonated stoptail which does not allow for intonation but because our manufacturing tolerances are so tight, guaranteeing that the distance between witness points will be within a few thousandths of an inch from guitar to guitar. Two other bridge designs are our vibrato, which resembles a vintage Fender Stratocaster unit but with much better tonal stability due to less friction, and the more recent compensated wrapover tailpiece, which only allows for minimal intonation adjustment. An adjustable wrap over bridge is available as an additional extra.

8. Ted McCarty, former president of Gibson became my mentor and adviser.

9. Gibson Guitar Corp filed a trademark infringement against my company. An injunction was ordered and we stopped manufacture of the Singlecut at the end of 2001. The decision was overturned in 2005 , the court emphasizing Gibson’s concession in court arguments that “only an idiot” would confuse the two products at the point of sale.

10. My guitars also feature our own pickups including HFS (Hot, Fat, and Screams); Vintage Bass; McCarty; Santana I, II, and III; Archtop; Dragon I and II; Artist I through IV; #6, #7, #8, #9, and #10, RP (after the initials of the designer, Ralph Perucci) and Soapbar.

I am ???????????


My company's headquarter is still at Stevensville, Maryland.

My guitar's fret markers include the lower end moons, and the higher end birds.

Notable players of my guitars include Carlos Santana, Al di Meola, Mark Tremonti and Orianthi.


Wednesday, 8 December 2010

POST # 429 Jimmy Page on his Approach to Music and Guitar

My vocation is more in composition really than anything else - building up harmonies using the guitar, orchestrating the guitar like an army, a guitar army.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

POST # 428 Benny Green on Louis Armstrong

Anyone can learn what Louis Armstrong knows about music in a few weeks. Nobody could learn to play like him in a thousand years.

Monday, 6 December 2010

POST # 427 Charles Mingus on Creativity

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

POST # 426 Vernon Reid on Music and Technique.

“Music — or any form of art — is really just an expression of the inexpressible. You can talk a blue streak about what it all means, but when someone can play a series of notes and accomplishes the same thing — that’s something magical. When you can feel something without having anyone tell you — that’s what magic is to me. It’s really astounding, because it’s something that’s above and beyond technique — it’s the way people apply it, the conviction with which they play, and the way they put the tones together. The great thing about it is that you could have someone with great technique take you there, or you could have someone with no technique take you to the same place.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

POST # 425 George Barnes on Tal Farlow

The first gig I got when I arrived in New York was playing at the Embers opposite Tal Farlow, who I love dearly. Tal is my favorite guitarist to listen to. I used to call him the "Spider," because he has such long fingers. He amazes me when he solos in harmonics. I've always regretted his not staying active in clubs or on records.

Friday, 3 December 2010

POST # 424 Joe Satriani on Listening to Jimi Hendrix

I remember listening to Hendrix records when I was very young, probably around 10 years old, and being transfixed. Listening to his music was a deep, cathartic experience that was a little embarrassing to talk about as a little kid -- I didn’t see anyone else my age flipping out when they put on ‘Third Stone from the Sun.’ I had to get ready to listen to that song, so I knew it was doing something to me. The first time I listened to it all the way through, I felt as if my heart and mind had just been put through the wringer -- and it’s difficult for a 10-year-old to put those feelings into words. To be able to listen to his music like that was like a gift from one human being to another.

“I was totally obsessed with the sound of music and since I was a little kid I guess I didn’t pay close attention to details. When I’m really obsessed with Hendrix I tend to block out even the most basic things. For instance, back then I didn’t even know what a Fender Stratocaster was -- and it was right there, in front of my face. When I would put on those early Hendrix records, all I could think of was how I felt when I heard the music. I didn’t care about the amp or any of his equipment -- I just couldn’t believe that someone could make music like that.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

POST # 423 MYSTERY CASE No 16. WHAT am I ???

1. I was first created by Warwick Electronics Inc./Thomas Organ Company in November 1966

2. My creation was actually an accident which stemmed from the re-design of the Vox Super Beatle guitar amplifier in 1966.

3. I was originally made in Italy.

4. I was released to the public in February 1967 with an image of Clyde McCoy on the bottom panel.

5. When triggered by the input signal I am known as an envelope filter or envelope follower.

6. George Harrison wrote a song after me.

7. Miles Davis used me in his 70's setup.

8. Frank Zappa likes to set me in certain positions.

9. You can hear me in songs such as White Room and Voodoo Child.

10. I was sold as Vox V846 in Europe and as Cry Baby in the USA.

I am the ?????????


Wednesday, 1 December 2010

POST # 422 Jim Hall on Working with Bill Evans

Bill Evans' playing had inspired me way before we recorded. We knew each other socially, a bit and we'd both been teachers up at John Lewis' jazz school in Massachusetts. John put this jazz school together for two or three weeks every summer.

As you know, piano and guitar can he difficult because you tend to bump into one another. But with Bill, it was so easy. He had a beautiful sense of texture in that he would never let things get cluttered up. If I was playing rhythm behind him on one of his solos, he'd realise he didn't even have to use his left hand and wouldn't. So I enjoyed it a lot, especially with Bill.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

POST # 421 Don Ferrara on Roy Eldridge

Every note Roy (Eldridge) played had meaning and life...his feelings pushed the valves down, not his fingers.

Monday, 29 November 2010

POST # 420 Eric Johnson on Growing up in Austin

The fact that I lived in Austin definitely had a big influence on my playing because there was such an active guitar scene. Guys like Johnny Winter and Freddie King were always playing around the area, and seeing them and other guitarists first-hand had an impact both on my playing and on my wanting to be a player.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

POST # 419 Chick Corea on Creating Artists

It’s very difficult for me to dislike an artist. No matter what he’s creating, the fact that he’s experiencing the joy of creation makes me feel like we’re in a brotherhood of some kind… we’re in it together.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

POST # 418 George Barnes on achieving Success

The best advice I can give is to work hard. Never settle for anything less than excellence. A musician should never just play for money alone. There are more rewards to music than money. Also, keep your musical ideas fresh by looking at each performance as a new experience.

Friday, 26 November 2010

POST # 417 Vernon Reid on Honesty in Music

You could live your life lying to people, and to yourself, and telling people things they really want to hear. Or you could live your life just being honest. The thing that perpetuates a lot of our problems is the near or complete lack of honesty within society. In terms of being an artist, that’s as true as anything else.

For instance, if you can paint with photographic realism, generally people will say you are very good. But what if you really want to just put slashes and dots on the canvas — what if that’s what you really feel? There’s a real danger in that. Say you really have a Jackson Pollock side of you that’s screaming to get out, but yet you have a technique that allows you to do things so people will applaud you. The point is that you’ll probably never do the painting that you really wanted to do. It’s the fear of rejection and most people are not thick-skinned enough to deal with that.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

POST # 416 MYSTERY CASE No. 15 WHO am I ?

Good Day GUITAR EUREKA Detectives!

You are given 10 clues to the identity of this mystery PERSON. See how many clues you require to solve the case...have fun!

1. I was born on January 13, 1929 in New Brunswick, New Jersey and raised in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

2. My father pushed me constantly to pick up tunes by ear, play pieces not written specifically for the instrument, practice scales and not to "leave any spaces" - that is, to fill in the sonic space between the notes of the melody.

3. I started giging at 14, and was playing with bands fronted by Tony Pastor and Charlie Barnet.

4. I like to break my guitar picks and playing only with the smaller part.

5. I spent much of the 1950s in relative obscurity due to my drug addiction.

6. In 1962 I recorded an albumn called The Sounds of Synanon. Named after the drug rehabilitation program I have been undergoing.

7. I recorded a series of albums during the 1960s for the Pacific Jazz label, including the early classics Catch Me, 12-String Guitar, For Django, and Simplicity.
I also did TV and recording session work in Los Angeles in the 1960's.

8. I recorded the very first album on the new Concord Jazz label, entitled simply Jazz/Concord with guitarist Herb Ellis.

9. I was signed to Norman Granz's new Pablo Records label in 1970. In 1974, I released a solo album called Virtuoso on Pablo Records.

10. I mainly play a Gibson ES-175 but have also played D'Aquisto archtops. I had endorsed guitars by Ibanez and currently Epiphone still makes a model named after me.

I passed away on May 23, 1994.

I am ?????


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

POST # 415 Ben Sidran on the Music Business

If Charlie Parker were alive today, somebody would try to cut a disco single with and try and get him to sell three million.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

POST # 414 Elvin Jones on Compliments

I feel very, very gratified when people are complimentary to what I have done or appreciated it with sincerity... It makes me feel that maybe I did do something that was proper and that was right.

Monday, 22 November 2010

POST # 413 Jim Hall on Classical Music

I rarely listen to jazz in my off time. For instance, at the moment on our CD player, we have Vaughan William's "Variations on a Theme by Thomas Tallis". I've always loved Vaughan Williams since l was in music school. Next Mondqy night, Gil Goldstein and I are going to hear Andre Previn conduct that piece along with some others. Jane and I listen to classical music a lot, Rachmaninov, Bartok and Mozart - we've rediscovered Mozart.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

POST # 412 Eric Johnson on How to Stay Interested in the Guitar

“I’m in my mid-thirties now and to keep the romance alive and the game interesting I have to develop new rules sometimes. You have to reinvent certain things to keep yourself passionately connected to what you're doing. If I didn’t do that, I'd lose interest in the electric guitar.”

Saturday, 20 November 2010

POST # 411 Pat Metheny on Pianist Paul Bley

“His relationship to time, is the best sort of pushing and pulling; wrestling with it and at the same time, phrase by phrase, making these interesting connections between bass and drums, making it seem like it’s a little bit on top, and then now it’s a little bit behind.”

“But there’s also this X factor, It’s the sense of each thing leading very naturally to the next thing. He’s letting each idea go to its own natural conclusion. He’s reconciling that with a form, of course, that we all know very well. And he’s following the harmony, but he’s not. It just feels like, ‘Why didn’t anybody else do that before?’ “

Friday, 19 November 2010

POST # 410 Joe Satriani on Music and Context

“I think music is all context -- how you respond depends on what you’re trying to get out of it. There are certain times when I play something, and even though I know I rushed a beat here or messed something up there, I know it’s the real stuff. Other times, I feel the music is asking me to perform some incredible technical feat perfectly, and that’s the only thing that will work with that particular song.

“For example, if you took Yngwie Malmsteen and put him in B.B. King situation, and took B.B. and put him in an Yngwie situation, in neither case would they satisfy the songs’ requirements. When someone puts on an Yngwie track I don’t think they’re looking for the profound depths of blues expression -- they’re looking to be set free by someone who plays with precision and fire. What I’m saying is that the first fan of the artist must be the artist himself. Only then can he hope to elicit a response from the audience and at the same time be happy with what he’s done.”

Thursday, 18 November 2010

POST # 409 Vernon Reid on Rock Music and Image

“A lot of people in rock pride them themselves on their ‘wild’ image, yet in many ways they’re extremely conservative. There are all these concrete rules: You look a certain way, you dress a certain way, you play a certain way and you have a certain kind of rack. Rock and roll is considered to be outside of society, but to a large degree, that’s window dressing. A lot of the attitudes in rock are really no different from the attitudes you hear everywhere. And a lot of times it’s not as open and accepting as you might think.”

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

POST # 408 MYSTERY CASE # 14 WHAT am I ???

Good Day GUITAR EUREKA Detectives!

You are given 10 clues to the identity of this mystery OBJECT. See how many clues you require to solve the case...have fun!

1. I started life in 1976, my designer's profession at the time was making jewellery.

2. My first patent was awarded in 1979 when my designer made an agreement with a guitar manufactuer because he could no longer keep up with demand by manufacturing by hand.

3. I became widely available in 1982.

4. Some players find that the guitar has a "thin tone" with my installation, which has led to the development of replacement sustain blocks.

5. In January 1991, Kramer's exclusive distribution agreement with my designer ended when Fender announced that they would be the new exclusive distributor.

6. Typically I am 'floating' but some user prefer to set me 'flush' with the body so string breakage would not put the whole guitar out of tune.

7. Originally I had brass nut where the strings were locked in place with three U-shaped clamps, later changed to hardened steel.

8. The original version were double locking but did not have fine tuners, requiring the nut to be unclamped any time minute string tuning changes needed to be made.

9. I gained popularity in the 1980s through influential guitarists like Eddie Van Halen, Neal Schon, Brad Gillis, and Steve Vai.

10. I am named after my inventor Floyd D. Rose

I am the ?????

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

POST # 407 Keith Richards on Making Good Music

Good music comes out of people playing together, knowing what they want to do and going for it. You have to sweat over it and bug it to death. You can't do it by pushing buttons and watching a TV screen.


Monday, 15 November 2010

POST # 406 Pat Metheny on Learning to Play like Wes Montgomery

"But when I was 14 or 15, I realized that what I was doing was really disrespectful because that wasn’t me, that was him. I grew up in Lee’s Summit, Mo. I didn’t grow up in New York City. I’m white; I’m not black. I’m from a little town where you couldn’t help but hear country music, and I loved it. I always wanted to address those things with certain notes, qualities of chords, kinds of voice-leading.”

Saturday, 13 November 2010

POST # 404 Sheryl Bailey on Her Picking Technique

I took a few lessons with Rodney Jones when I moved to NYC in 1995, and he picks with the 90 degree angle, which he got from Benson. He gave me a series of technical riddles to figure out, which helped me switch my hand into that position. For me, it's incredibly relaxed and gets the best tone, because it's impossible to "overplay the string" - which is that "pingy" sound, that I, personally can't stand on a guitar. The 90 degree attack lets the string ring to it's truest vibration, the lighter the touch, the faster you can play, and the more dynamic you have to work with, articulation-wise.

Always practice with an amp - if you don't, you will pick to heavy-handed. The amp and your guitar together are your instrument, so if you practice, listening to yourself through the amp, you'll develop the right touch for your desired tone.

Friday, 12 November 2010

POST # 403 Pat Martino on his Picking Style

It was always there. It just sounded good to me, and that’s how I’ve always played. When I was 14, and taking lessons with [legendary music/guitar instructor] Dennis Sandole, I was constantly breaking strings because of my aggressive attack. So, I decided to keep increasing my string gauge until they stopped breaking—and I ended up at a .016 high E—which I still use today, although I have another guitar setup with .015s that I occasionally use.

Dennis tried to get me to hold the pick in different ways, and practice scales nonstop in an effort to minimize the string breaking. And, out of respect for my teacher, I tried that stuff, but my ecstasy with the guitar was definitely being interrupted. Thankfully, it returned when I upped my string gauge.

Oddly enough, I was never concerned about my picking hand. I never analyzed it, and I’ve always let it do what it wants to do. However, my left hand is extremely intellectual in regards to its analysis of the fretboard. It’s the exact opposite of the other hand. The left hand is the graduate, the right hand is the drop out, and I allow them to exist accordingly.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

POST # 402 Pat Martino on Wes Montgomery's Melodic Approach to Improvisation

Listen to the Montgomery Brothers’ album Groove Yard—one of my favorite Wes recordings–and dig the first six choruses Wes takes on the track “Back To Back.” There is not one phrase that can be analyzed and identified as a scale or mode per se. They’re all melodies. Every line. Nothing is based on a musical theory or rule. That’s the big difference between Wes, and, say, Johnny Smith, Hank Garland, or early Joe Pass. But Wes knew exactly what he was doing. He would slowly begin a solo with these wonderful, spacious melodies, and with the intention of ramping-up and getting more aggressive with each chorus. Eventually, he would launch into these intense 16-note phrases that could be analyzed from a more scalular approach

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

POST # 401 MYSTERY CASE No. 13 WHO am I ??

Good Day GUITAR EUREKA Detectives!

You are given 10 clues to the identity of this mystery PERSON. See how many clues you require to solve the case...have fun!

1. I was born on January 9, 1886 in Cropsey, Illinois.

2. I entered the Oberlin Conservatory (Ohio) in 1904 to study harmony, orchestration, canon, counterpoint, fugue, music theory, and piano.

3. In 1906, I met a female singer named (Sally) Fisher Shipp (1878-1954), the leader of the well known Fisher Shipp Concert Company and I was invited to join her ensemble. We performed on numerous concert tours, occasionally billing themselves as the "Gibsonians" We later married on May 21, 1916 but divorced 8 years later.

4. 1911 marks the time that I had an official relationship with the Gibson company as a performing artist, a participant in many Gibson travelling "Gibsonians" bands, an advisor, and a music composer. By 1913, Gibson was making some of my musical scores available as printed sheet music. By 1914, I was engaged as concert master for Gibson's various ensembles, writing and arranging much of the music they performed.

5. In 1918 I got a job at Gibson as acoustical engineer and also became responsible for various business management functions. During my employment at Gibson, I wore many hats; aside from acoustical engineer, I was credit manager, factory production manager, purchasing agent, and repair manager.

6. I consciously invoked the violin connection when I named the Style 5’s amber-to-brown sunburst finish “Cremona brown,” a reference to the Italian city where Antonio Stradivari had made the world’s finest violins.

7. In 1924 I left Gibson to pursue other interests, in 1925 I became Professor of Acoustics in the Music School at Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois where I met my second wife Bertha Snyder.

8. On November 1, 1933, I and close friend Lewis Williams, and five other local businessmen founded the ViviTone Company in Kalamazoo for the purpose of "manufacture and sale of wholesale and retail musical instruments, acoustic and electric products, including research, consulting services and financing such business." Our ViviTone electric guitars were unusual and innovative. Some had f-holes in the top and back, some had no f-holes, and some had no back (they might be viewed as the first solid-body electrics, although “bodyless” would be a more accurate descriptor).

9. My contributions to Gibson include the design and development of the "Master Model" instruments: the H-5 "Master Model" mandola, F-5 "Master Model" mandolin, K-5 "Master Model" mando-cello, L-5 "Master Model" guitar, and style 5 "Master Tone" (later to become "Mastertone") banjos

10. One of my insturments was made famous by the founder of bluegrass, Bill Monroe. Monroe used a Gibson F5 model serial number 73987[4] signed by me on July 9th, 1923 for most of his career. This mandolin can be viewed in the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee, where it now resides in their collections.

I AM ?????

Other Trivia/Hints

In 1921, I worked with the factory to construct a unique instrument that united the qualities of the mandolin and viola: a "mando-viola" boasting 5 courses (two strings each) tuned Eb, C, F, Bb, and Eb (treble to bass).

In 1924, I developed an electric pickup for the viola and the string bass. In my pickup design, the strings passed vibrations through the bridge to the magnet and coil, which registered those vibrations and passed the electric signal on to an amplifier.

My contributions to Gibson include building the instrument top with F-shaped holes, like a violin; introducing a longer neck, thus moving the bridge closer to the center of the body; and floating the fingerboard over the top, a change from prior Gibson instruments that had fingerboards fused to the top. He also pioneered the use of the Virzi Tone Producer, a spruce disc suspended from the instrument top that acts as a supplemental soundboard.

I installed the Virzi Tone Producer, a sort of inner baffle that had a mellowing effect on tone, in many Gibson mandolins.

My combination of f-holes, tone bars, and a 14-fret neck effected a fundamental change in the characteristic sound of a Gibson guitar, from bright and “woody” to dark and “woofy.” I further shaped the tone by adjusting the size of the soundholes and the thickness of the top and tone bars—in essence, I hand-tuned each
L-5. And then I signed and dated the label.

I also made electric pianos using tunable metal reeds and a direct pickup design (reed-driven rather than string-driven), in the mid 1930's.

As of January 2010, mandolins signed by me in fine condition are valued in the $175,000 to $200,000 range, and are highly sought after by musicians and collectors. The average value reached a 2008 peak of around $225,000, then backed off somewhat from 2008 to 2010.

Monday, 8 November 2010

POST # 399 Jim Hall on his first big break

I would think that would have been with Chico Hamilton. I'd been in Los Angeles a short while - that would have been in 1955. Chico Hamilton just happened to call somebody's house where I was rehearsing and he was looking for a guitar player. That was the first group I was with that achieved any prominence.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Saturday, 6 November 2010

POST # 397 Pat Metheny on Playing with Dynamics

With the guitar, you really have to model in your mind this wider thing; you’re trying to create the illusion of a bigger dynamic range. The guy who defined that, on guitar, was Jim Hall, who opened up five or six degrees of dynamics on both sides by picking softer. He could then make certain things jump out a little bit more.”

Friday, 5 November 2010

POST # 396 Jeff Beck on Recognizable Guitar Sounds

I don't understand why some people will only accept a guitar if it has an instantly recognizable guitar sound. Finding ways to use the same guitar people have been using for 50 years to make sounds that no one has heard before is truly what gets me off.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

POST # 395 Jim Hall on his Gibson ES 175 and GA50 Amp

I still have that guitar, probably with a different pickup - I think it has some kind of Guild pickup on. I guess the virtues of the guitar are that it gets a good electric sound and has a nice acoustic sound as well. Not as good as a true acoustic guitar of course but it was a nice compromise between the two. Also, it was very comfortable to play; the neck is a nice size and so is the fingerboard. It's a little too fragile to carry around on the road now, but every time I pick it up, I realise what a nice instrument it is.

I used a Gibson, I actually remember the number, it was a GA50. I love the sound of tube amps in general. I don't know, I may have been able to get used to a Fender but there was something about the subtlety of that amp that I liked. I liked the way it looked, like an old radio.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

POST # 394 Mystery Case No 12 What am I ???

Good Day GUITAR EUREKA Detectives!

You are given 10 clues to the identity of this mystery OBJECT. See how many clues you require to solve the case...have fun!

1. I was first introduced in 1958

2. I have dual truss rods.

3. I have a three-ply maple/walnut neck, a shallow headstock angle, and a thick rosewood fretboard finished with clear conversion varnish.

4. I have dot inlays and equipped with a monaural jack plate.

5. I added a fifth 'blend' knob in 1961 along with the usual 2 x volume and 2 x tone knobs.

6. I am part of the 'Capri' line

7. I was designed by Roger Rossmeisl

8. From 1970-1974 a version based on me became known as the "Light Show" guitar. This version had a built in light organ, with an external power supply.

9. I have 2 single coil pickups, also known as Toaster pickups, current models sports 'Hi-Gains' single coil pickups

10. I am available in finishes such as Fireglo, Jetglo, Mapleglo and Amber Fireglo.


11. I am associated by many players with the jangle-rock sounds

12. I have a "crescent moon" double-cutaway shape with sharp, unbound edges.

13. I have an "R"-shaped trapeze tailpiece.

14. I am also available as a 12 string, another variation adds an additional pickup.

15. I am made by Rickenbacker.

16.Some notable players include Pete Townsend, Tom Petty, Paul Weller, Johnny Marr and Peter Buck.

I am the ??????????

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

POST # 393 Eric Clapton on Electric Guitars

I mean, the sound of an amplified guitar in a room full of people was so hypnotic and addictive to me, that I could cross any kind of border to get on there.

Monday, 1 November 2010

POST # 392 Pat Metheny on Bach's Fugue No. 22 in B-Flat minor

“The main reason I picked this was the way he was able to invoke this almost lyrical, vocal, singing quality from an instrument that doesn’t involve breath. We all have the same mandate, in a way: we try to communicate the kinds of phrases that would be believable if somebody were singing them.”

Sunday, 31 October 2010

POST # 391 George Barnes on his Influences

When I was 11, I heard some Bix Beiderbecke records featuring Joe Venuti. I knew then that I wanted to be a jazz musician.

No, there were few guitarists then who soloed. I didn't want to play rhythm; I wanted to play melody. I heard many records by Django (Reinhardt), but I couldn't relate to his playing because he sounded foreign to me.

The musicians who influenced my playing the most were the horn and reedmen I played with while I was growing up in Chicago. This was at the time that the Chicago sound in jazz was being formed and was strongly felt in the music world. I was very fortunate to be a part of it. My single greatest influence was a famous Chicago clarinetist, Jimmy Noone. He also greatly influenced Benny Goodman. I was playing with Jimmy Noone when I was 16. His playing gave me a strong direction. Another strong influence was Louis Armstrong.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

POST # 390 Dimebag Darrell on Screwing Up

“When I tried to play something and screwed up, I’d hear some other note that would come into play. Then I started trying different things to find the beauty in it. ” – Dimebag Darrell

Friday, 29 October 2010

POST # 389 Kenny Burrell on Duke Ellington

"Ellington set his own standards in terms of what was good and what was not good, and one of his philosophies was if it sounds right, it is right, the main thing that Ellington was interested in was sound … if the music sounded good, then that's what he was going with, no matter how you might analyze it."

Thursday, 28 October 2010

POST # 388 Buddy Guy on Blues Lyrics

“Listen to the lyrics - we're singing about everyday life: rich people trying to keep money, poor people tying to get it, and everyone having trouble with their husband or wife!”

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

POST # 387 MYSTERY CASE No. 11 Who Am I ?

Good Day GUITAR EUREKA Detectives!

You are given 10 clues to the identity of this mystery PERSON. See how many clues you require to solve the case...have fun!

1. I was born in Charleston, South Carolina on March 31, 1911 and passed away on March 1st, 1987

2. I played in a local group with a young William "Cat" Anderson, who went on to become an established trumpeter, working with notable figures such as Duke Ellington.

3. I moved to New York city and eventually worked clubs in Harlem and Greenwich Village.

4. I was noticed by the legendary talent scout John H. Hammond while working at a Manhattan nightspot called the Black Cat.

5. I got the nickname 'Pep' because when I get my hair cut short, the hair on the nape of my neck would curl up into little tiny balls that looked like peppercorns.

6. I setup my string action to be very very high.

7. I played an Epiphone Emperor in the late 30's. Switching to Strombergs in the 40's and 50's and Gretsch Eldorado from late 50's onwards.

8. I rarely took solos, concentrating instead on rhythmic accompaniment

9. John H. Hammond introduced me to Count Basie, I joined the Basie band in 1937.

10. I was part of the "All-American Rhythm Section" with Basie on piano, Jo Jones on drums, and Walter Page on bass.

I am???

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

POST # 386 Pat Metheny on Keeping Jazz Alive

“let’s keep jazz as folk music. Let’s not make jazz classical music. Let’s keep it as street music, as people’s everyday-life music. Let’s see jazz musicians continue to use the materials, the tools, the spirit of the actual time that they’re living in, as what they build their lives as musicians around. It’s a cliche, but it’s such a valuable one: something that is the most personal becomes the most universal.”

Monday, 25 October 2010

Sunday, 24 October 2010

POST # 384 Bill Evans on Performing

Perhaps it is a peculiarity of mine that despite the fact that I am a professional performer, it is true that I have always preferred playing without an audience.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

POST # 383 Brian May on Guitar Harmonies

I had this big thing about guitar harmonies. I wanted to be the first to put proper three-part harmonies onto a record. That was an achievement.

Friday, 22 October 2010

POST # 382 George Barnes on F Holes and Feedback

I designed that guitar back in 1961. When I first saw it, it was a piece of wood from Norway. My guitar is made from the finest woods. The pickups are suspended and the sound comes out of the body from the cut-out area of the top around the pickups. The guitar's sound works much the same way as a round-hole's, except my sound comes out of two enlarged triangular holes around the pickups. I knew that if I had a live top with suspended pickups, I'd get a better sound. I realized a long time ago that f-holes cause feedback. Both George Van Eps and I discovered that about the same time. We did a concert together in Aspen, Colorado and we both started laughing when we saw each other's guitar. He had put foam rubber in his f-holes to cut out the feedback, and I had taped mine over.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

POST # 381 Pat Metheny on Sonny Rollins and Coleman Hawkins Recording

“He (Sonny Rollins) was a young guy at the time, that feeling is such a great feeling - like ‘I can play anything, and it’s all good.’ Not to analyze it, but Hawk was kind of like his father. And it’s like Sonny’s saying, “yeah, but … .”

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

POST # 380 MYSTERY CASE No. 10 "WHAT" am I ?

Good Day GUITAR EUREKA Detectives!

You are given 10 clues to the identity of this mystery OBJECT. See how many clues you require to solve the case...have fun!

1. I was first made in 1969 at Prune Music in San Francisco. I was made available for the public in 1971.

2. Once in production I used high-quality printed circuit board that was etched and hand-wired by my inventor in the early days, later with help from his wife Rayven.

3. I am a Class A/B amp and uses 4 x 6L6, 4 x 12AX7 and 1 x 12AT7 Tubes. I am switchable between 60 and 100 watts.

4. My front panel controls were Volume 1, Volume 2, Treble, Middle, Bass, and Master. My later versions had "Pull Bright" and "Pull Boost" on the volume controls.

5. My early versions sometimes featured no reverb as it was optional, later versions have available with reverb and/or graphic EQ. I have "slave out" and "reverb" labeled on the back with Dymo stick.

6. My covers were fake snake skin, then black or blonde Tolex, with polished hardwood cabs available as an upgrade.

7. I was originally a Fender Princeton Amplifier but hot-rodded with a Bassman circuit and 12 inch JBL D-120

8. I have 2 channels, the "Input 2" channel, voiced like the Fender Bassman through Volume 2 only, and the high gain "Input 1" channel, a multi-Stage “Cascading” Gain Circuit through Volume 1 & 2.

9. Unlike most tube amps (at the time) with 1 or 2 gain stages, I have four gain stages between Input 1 and the output stage.

10. I was played by Carlos Santana who said "Man, that little amp really boogies!"


11. I have been used by Carlos Santana on Abraxas, and by The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards and Ron Wood, who used the amps live and in the studio from 1977 until 1993.

12. I was invented by Randall Smith and made by Mesa Boogie.

13. My latest incarnation (as of 2010) is version V, released on 15 January 2009 at the 2009 Winter NAMM Show.

I am the ????

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

POST # 379 Frank Gambale on The Record Business

I have signed my share of bad contracts. It's something I have learned from experience. It has been my experience that most record companies, publishers, video companies will all try and do everything they can to exploit you and in a lot of cases flat out rip you off. What musicians tend to forget is that record companies are NOTHING without artists.

So maybe you sign a contract for one record after which, if things go great, you can change percentages etc. It's pretty scary signing a 7 album deal if you don't understand the fine print. I've started my own record company called Wombat Records. It's small, but I can do whatever I want, musically, and I don't need to beg a record company to put it out. I'm releasing a double-live CD this year and a duet record I did with a fine Italian Classical guitarist called Maurizio Colonna. I have plans for many more project albums for Wombat Records.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

POST # 377 Shawn Lane on Srinivas and Indian Music

But it can also be done with frets, the main example of that is Srinivas. He does that most successfully on the mandolin which is not an Indian instrument but he plays legitimate Indian classical music on it. I had usually taken that as my model to try to play some Indian type things on the guitar, because the mandolin is fretted and the guitar is a fretted instrument, too.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

POST # 376 Shawn Lane on Jeff Beck and Indian Music

There's a song called 'Nadia' is incredible. For years now myself, I've been trying to phrase guitar like Indian music..and all Indian instruments, the way they are played is to mimic the vocal sound. All Indian music in based on vocals. Even the percussion parts are learned before hand as vocal parts. (sings fast rhythmic percussion part) and when people play sitar or mandolin, they're copying the vocal ornamentation. And Beck did that perfectly on 'Nadia' with the slide guitar, which seems perfect for the idea because all of the slides and the ornamentation.

Friday, 15 October 2010

POST # 375 Bill Evans on His Approach to Jazz

Jazz is a mental attitude rather than a style. It uses a certain process of the mind expressed spontaneously through some musical instrument. I'm concerned with retaining that process.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

POST # 374 Jim Hall on his Formative Years

Well, my Mom must have noticed that I was interested and she got me a guitar on instalments when I was around nine years old. She bought it from this store in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. I took lessons at the store, I think it was a dollar a lesson and 75 cents a week towards paying off the guitar. Obviously it wasn't an expensive instrument!

I started taking lessons and had a good teacher, a man called Jack Du-Perow, in Cleveland. And then when I got into Junior High School, I was thirteen I guess, I started working with this group which had clarinet, accordion, guitar and drums. The leader was a clarinet player called Angelo Vienna. He was a Benny Goodman fan so we went to a record store one time and I heard Charlie Christian for the first time. I still remember the solo, it was on Grand Slam, which is a blues in F. Charlie had two choruses. As I've said numerous times, I wasn't even sure what it was when I heard it, but I thought it was amazing and I thought I want to he able to do that I still feel the same way every time I hear that solo

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

POST # 373 MYSTERY CASE No. 9 WHO am I ?

Good Day GUITAR EUREKA Detectives!

You are given 10 clues to the identity of this mystery PERSON. See how many clues you require to solve the case...have fun! (this is a hard one!)

1. I was born on 26 June 1898 in Lake Dick, Arkansas, and was one of 17(!) children.

2. I copyrighted more than 300 songs during my lifetime, including both adaptations of traditional folk songs and original blues songs.

3. I made myself a fiddle from a cigar box and learned how to play spirituals and folk songs from my uncle, Jerry Belcher.

4. I had decided to give up the fiddle and become a preacher but was offered $50 and a new violin if I would play four days at a local venue. Before I could respond to the offer, my wife took the money and spent it, so I had to play.

5. I moved to Chicago in 1920 and switched to playing guitar. The guitars I have played include a Jane Regal flattop, Gibson Style 0 with a carved top, oval soundhole, body scroll, and cutaway, Gibson L-7 archtop and Martin 000-28.

6. My big break came in 1927 when I signed a record deal with Paramount and released my first record but my records sold poorly. I became more successful when I moved to Bluebird Records in 1934 and began recording with pianist Bob "Black Bob" Call, in 1938 I moved to Vocalion records.

7. I was asked to fill in for the recently deceased Robert Johnson at the John H. Hammond-produced From Spirituals to Swing concert at Carnegie Hall in 1938 and 1939.

8. I broadened my style in the 1940's to include ragtime, hokum blues, country blues, city blues, jazz tinged songs, folk songs and spirituals. Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones claims that my track, "Guitar Shuffle", is his favorite guitar music. Wood said, "It was one of the first tracks I learnt to play, but even to this day I can't play it exactly right." During the benediction at the 2009 inauguration ceremony of President Barack Obama, the civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery paraphrased my song "Black, Brown and White Blues".

9. I passed away on August 15, 1958 in Chicago from complications with cancer. Many blues men including Muddy Waters attend my funeral.

10. My first name is "Big Bill"

I am ???

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