Tuesday, 31 August 2010

POST # 329 Chet Atkins on Recording in his home studio and amp

Mostly in my home studio. I have a 24-track operation and in between the air
conditioner blowing and the rest of the noise, I did it. Also, I was having some
renovation done to my house at the time and I had to kind of work between the
hammering and sawing. As usual, I played through the old Standel amp and if the noise was too much, I’d just turn up the volume on the amp.

( Wes Montgomery played a Standel as well. - Ed )

Monday, 30 August 2010

POST # 328 Slash on Jamming with Others

“… that’s one of the cool things about going to local bars: seeing what people are doing and jamming with them. I’m a huge advocate of jamming with others; you learn a lot. So I love to go and do that – even if people wipe the stage up with you..” – Slash

POST # 327 Charlie Parker on Music and Life

I am a devout musician.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

POST # 325 MYSTERY CASE No. 2, 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...

1. I was born on August 10, 1909 in California.

2. I was studying to be an accountant and became bookeeper for the Consolidated Ice and Cold Storage Company

3. I met my first wife Esther Klosky in 1933 and we married in 1934.

4. In 1938 I borrowed $600 to start a radio repair shop. I also built PA systems in my shop.

5. I formed a company with Clayton Orr "Doc" Kauffman in 1944

6. In 1949 I designed a guitar that would go on sale in 1950 retailing for $154.95

7. For copyright reasons I had to change the name of one of my guitar.

8. My company also built electric bass and electric amplifiers.

9. I sold my company in 1965 due to ill health.

10. I would go on to work for companies such as Music Man and G&L.

I am ????

Friday, 27 August 2010

POST # 324 Buddy Guy on the Public perception of the Blues

“Once I was checking to hotel and a couple saw my ring with Blues on it. They said, 'You play blues. That music is so sad.' I gave them tickets to the show, and they came up afterwards and said, 'You didn't play one sad song.'”

Thursday, 26 August 2010

POST # 323 Eric Johnson on Guitar Gears

...I think people overemphasize the importance of gear in their search for tone. Your sound comes from how you pick and dampen the strings and from your attack as much as anything...

(from the guy that only use slightly drained 9V batteries? who would have thunk! - Ed )

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

POST # 321 Frank Gambale on Jean-Luc Ponty

Apart from Corea, Ponty was my equal favorite musician. I loved his sense of melody and clarity of arrangements. I also loved the way his violin sounded. It was fatter and warmer sounding than anyone else's violin. I think guitar and violin blend beautifully.

I remember first hearing the album Aurora, which is still on of my favorite albums. That's where I also discovered young Patrice Rushen's piano playing ( I have been playing club gigs with her lately.. she's brilliant!). I also discovered Holdsworth listening to Enigmatic Ocean which is another classic Ponty album. Incidentally, the drummer on Enigmatic Ocean was Steve Smith (that was his first album ) who of course is the drummer in Vital Information a group I have played and recorded with for 13 years.

I worked with Ponty only for 3 months in the summer of 86. He was between record deals at the time. When the tour was over he said he wouldn't be working for at least a year......that's OK for him, but I said I would love to play when you do the next tour but in the meantime I need to work. It was during that year that I auditioned for Corea.

POST # 320 Jimmy Page on Django Reinhardt

Another player whose physical handicap didn’t stop him is Django Reinhardt. For his last LP they pulled him out of retirement to do it. He’d been retired for years and it’s fantastic. You know the story about him in the caravan and losing fingers and such. But the record is just fantastic. He must have been playing all the time to be that good—it’s horrifyingly good. Horrifying. But it’s always good to hear perennial players like that, like Les Paul, and people like that.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Sunday, 22 August 2010

POST # 318 MYSTERY CASE No.1 Who Am I ?

Good Day GUITAR EUREKA Detectives!

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

1. I was born 31 March 1955 in Glaslow, Scotland

2. I moved with my parents to Sydney, Australia in 1963

3. I played in my first band called 'Kantuckee'

4. I formed this band in 1973 and have continued to this day.

5. Can I Sit Next To You Girl was our first single.

6. I been known to do a 'strip' during our show

7. My sister Margaret suggest I wear my school boy uniform on stage.

8. I am rarely seen without my Gibson SG and my amp is a Marshall model 1959 100 watt Super Lead Plexi

9. I am a hard rock guitarist.

10. My brother Malcolm is also in this band.

I am ????

POST # 317 Chet Atkins on Going to a Rock'n'Roll Show

I’ve never been to a rock and roll show, you know. I went once to hear Eric Johnson, he’s a good friend. I admire him a lot. But anyway, he did a rhythm & blues show here down on the river with B. B. and a bunch of people. I went out to hear his part, and he plays through three amps that looked about the size of refrigerators. But what got me was the bass drum was so loud, it would hit me in the chest. I thought, damn, I’m going to have a heart attack from that. (laughs) I stuffed my ears full of napkins, so I don’t want to go to any more rock and roll shows.

(The two play together in this special. - Ed)

Saturday, 21 August 2010

POST # 316 Buddy Guy on Playing a Gig

“I've never missed a gig yet. Music makes people happy, and that's why I go on doing it - I like to see everybody smile.”

(Still going strong! - Ed)

Friday, 20 August 2010

POST # 315 Pat Metheny on his earliest influences

The first thing I learned was the theme from Peter Gunn. The second thing I learned was "The Girl from Ipanema," which is ironic, the way things have gone. But around that time, my brother brought home a Miles record, Four & More. And it was an instant reaction. People sometimes say that it takes a long time to become a jazz fan, but for me it took about five seconds: "What is that?" I remember running home from school every day just to put that record on, sit between the speakers, and hear that sound.

POST # 314 Pat Metheny on how he started on the Guitar

Several reasons. One is that my older brother Mike is an excellent trumpet player. By the time he was 12, he was playing around Kansas City in various classical situations and he was already an amazing talent. The comparisons of being his little brother and also playing the trumpet -- and, I have to add, I was not a naturally gifted trumpet player -- didn't feel that good. I thought my name was "Mike Metheny's little brother."

Combine that with getting braces on my teeth, which increased the pain quotient quite a bit, and blend that in with the cultural context of the time, which was 1962 to 1965, where suddenly the guitar became this icon of youth culture all over the world, thanks mostly to the Beatles. Add to that, that I saw A Hard Day's Night 12 or 13 times, and that the guitar was the one instrument that my parents absolutely refused to let in the house. So you add it up and see that irresistible forces led me to the guitar.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

POST # 313 Jonny Greenwood on his Stolen Guitar

Right now my mind is on the people who stole our instruments, and, specifically, the person with my guitar, which will no doubt end its days having Green Day songs worked out on it. A better fate was deserved - and while the reverence given to guitars annoys me, I shall miss it.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

POST # 312 Alan Jaffe on New Orleans

New Orleans is the only place I know of where you ask a little kid what he wants to be and instead of saying "I want to be a policeman," or "I want to be a fireman," he says, I want to be a musician".

POST # 311 Alber Einstein on Music as a driving force

It occurred to me by intuition, and music was the driving force behind that intuition. My discovery was the result of musical perception. (When asked about the theory of relativity)

(Music inspired theoretical physics, now theoretical physics inspired music. We have come full circle! - Ed)

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

POST # 310 Kevin Eubanks on Playing with your Fingers

In most places that are rich in guitar culture, everyone uses their fingers, like in Spain or Africa. In Japan there are string instruments played that way. It is not until you get in the States that you find people using picks.

( Great sounds from these players that plays only with their fingers. Thats just a few I can think of off the top of my head! - Ed )

Monday, 16 August 2010

POST # 309 Chet Atkins on Music Man Amps on the Road

On the road, I use a Music Man 112 RD. It’s 50 watts with a 12-inch speaker. You know, I’d like to take an amp with two twelves, or a 15-inch, but they’re so heavy. I have so much sympathy for those poor guys who load that stuff. And for my road manager, who has to lift it. Two speakers smooth out the sound, because speakers, if you look at a graph, the highs and lows have a lot of mountains and valleys. This is just conjecture on my part, but I think with two speakers, they’ll be different from each other, so they’ll smooth out the overall frequency response. Somebody can write in and tell me if I’m right or wrong about that, but that’s an idea I have and I believe it’s true.

So Paul and I both use the Music Man. They’re not manufactured any more, but they’re around, you can find them. I’ll tell you, I just accidently discovered that nylon string guitar sounds better through that amp than any amp I’ve ever used. So I started using it, then Paul started using it and a lot of people buy them now and use them. I had a larger, 100-watt Music Man. Paul’s got it now, but it’s so heavy.

( Two legends together. - Ed )

POST # 308 John Lee Hooker on Fancy Guitar Playing

I don't play a lot of fancy guitar. I don't want to play it. The kind of guitar I want to play is mean, mean licks.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

POST # 307 Jimmy Page on his Violin Bow Technique

The first time I recorded with it was with the Yardbirds. But the idea was put to me by a classical string player when I was doing studio work. One of us tried to bow the guitar, then we tried I between us and it worked. At that point I was just bowing it, but the other effects I’ve obviously come up with on my own—using wah-wah, and echo. You have to put rosin on the bow, and the rosin sticks to the string and makes it vibrate.

(Famously spoofed by Nigel Tufnel :) - Ed)

Saturday, 14 August 2010

POST # 306 Barney Kessel on What He DOES think about when Improvising

Okay, you asked me what I do think about. To me, it’s like this:Let’s say we’re playing a song and all of a sudden we were to freeze at a certain point-just as if we were taking a picture. Say we stopped at a point where I just struck a Cm7 chord. At that moment, to me, it’s just like somebody came in with an atomizer and sprayed with a Cm7. But I don’t think about what I’ve just said. All I hear is how the chord sounds, not its name.

It’s very much like if I was blindfolded and somebody said they wanted me to taste a piece of cake and tell them what flavor it is. Chocolate, cherry, pumpkin? Well, I’m tasting that chord, and the next thing that wells up in me-is, what’s my musical comment? Not a lick, or a run, but a statement. That’s what I think about.

If I have to think about what George Russell said in his Lydian Chromatic Concept book, or that John Coltrane would do, then I’d be filled with too much data, filled with intimidation and need to comment in a way that what I’m playing would be nothing more than status-buying. Everyone would know I’m buying all these other licks and devices, The only way that you get good at improvising is to improvise on what’s in you.

POST # 305 Barney Kessel on what he does NOT think about when Improvising

First of all, I think that any kind of introspection is a complete waste of time, and can be harmful-asking yourself why you did that, or what should you do next. You don’t have to explain anything, You just are.

Let me tell you what doesn’t go through my mind: scales, the names of chords, arpeggios, licks, devices, formulas, what could possibly work as a superimposition, what John Coltrane would do at that point, what I could do now that will make people think I’m hip, what my jazz lessons through the mail tell me I could do here, what finger shapes I could use on the fingerboard that will sound real weird and eerie and will impress people. Those are some of the things I don’t think about. I don’t think about the notes in the chord, and I don’t think about the fretboard. Well, that leaves me with very little.

Friday, 13 August 2010

POST # 304 Sylvia Plath on Creativity's Worst Enemy

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

POST # 303 Neil Young on Punk Music

When the punk thing came along and I heard my friends saying, I hate these people with the pins in their ears. I said, Thank God, something got their attention.

POST # 302 Billie Joe Armstrong on Playing Acoustic Guitar

I approach playing acoustic guitar more of as a percussive instrument. It's fragile. I don't have a lot of finesse when it comes to my guitar playing.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

POST # 301 Adrian Belew on Making Guitar Sounds

I was left with an urge to make the guitar sound like things it shouldn't be able to sound like.

(Fascinating look at Adrian Belew's guitar technique. - Ed)

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

POST # 300 Frank Gamabale on Rock and Jazz

I think a lot of rock players like my playing too because it's interesting to them, especially the sweeping. I am definitely a mixture of rock and jazz which results in the word fusion. I like the power of the rock sound with the intellect of jazz. Just because I play jazz doesn't mean it has to be wimpy, or if someone plays rock, it doesn't have to lack cool changes and interesting harmony! That's what I try to mix.

POST # 299 Wayne Shorter on Meeting John Coltrane

Yes, when I left the Army I was working with Horace Silver, like for a couple of weeks. We were working at this one place in New York and this lady came up to me and said, 'My name is Anita. My husband wants to meet you.' I was back in the kitchen working on my horn and she went back and got her husband, who was John Coltrane. She said, 'He likes what you're doing.' He said to me, 'You're playing that funny stuff, all over the horn.'

He invited me to his house, so I went. It was very nice to meet him because I knew he was the only one that was on to something musically that was moving. When I was in the Army we used to go to DC and see Miles with 'Trane and Cannonball. So I went to his house, and they wouldn't let me leave! They were cooking and we'd sit and talk about life, and he'd play the piano, and then stop, and then we'd compare horns. He'd say, 'That's a nice horn, but if you can get one of those old mouthpieces ... I think you have to shake that horn up, separate the molecules.'

I later looked around horn shops for the kind of old Link mouthpiece he recommended. Anyway, after that, John called me, Freddie Hubbard, and some other people to work with him at Birdland on a Monday night. The group opposite them was Cannonball's group. They were both still with Miles, but that was their off night. People twenty-five years after that said, 'That was a hell of a night!'

( Man I was born in the wrong decade! - Ed)

Monday, 9 August 2010

POST # 298 Jimmy Page on his First Guitar

When I was fourteen. It was all a matter of trying to pick up tips and stuff. There weren’t many method books, really apart from jazz, which had no bearing on rock whatsoever at the time. But the first guitar was a Grazzioso, which was a copy of a Stratocaster; then I got a real Stratocaster; then those Gibson “Black Beauties” which stayed with me for a long time until some thieving magpie took it to his nest. That’s the guitar I did all the Sixties sessions on. - Jimmy Page

(Jimmy Page talks about his customized #1 Gibson Les Pauls - Ed)

Sunday, 8 August 2010

POST # 297 Chet Atkins on Hearing Django Reinhardt Play

He was in Chicago, with Duke Ellington in ’46. I was out of work and spent my last dollar just to hear him play. I was in the very back of the Civic Opera House, I believe it was. He was playing some kind of electric, and I remember he would play some fine lick and the band members would yell and encourage him on.

I was so proud for him, because I have always kind of stood in awe of black players. From Blind Blake, on up to Coltrane. Years later, Dr. Pritcher, president of the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society, gave me a copy of part of that Chicago performance. What a nice gift! Anyway, I journeyed backstage, hung around and got his autograph. “D. Reinhardt” he wrote. I have since heard that’s all he could write. I sure wanted to do some finger picking for him, I’ll bet he would’ve loved it. But it never happened.

I have written a song about that afternoon, and someday I’ll record it. I sure had, and still have, a lot of hero worship for Django. Man, he taught the world to play great lines with perfection. I still have that autograph. Maybe some day I’ll auction it for charity at one of the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society (CAAS) meetings (every July in Nashville).

( Chet Atkins doing Django's Tears with Knopfler. - Ed )

Saturday, 7 August 2010

POST # 296 Pat Metheny on his gear and his sound

I'll be happy to go into detail about how my gear works, but I had a revelatory experience a few years ago when I realized that "equipment", although certainly a component in my sound, really had little to do with why I sound like the way I sound. For years, between around 1977 to 1987, I never did ANYTHING without my "rig". I would never "sit in" unless I could have my amps and stuff there, I basically didn't do any record dates at all other than my own cause I was sure they would "mess up my sound" -- etc., etc. Then in 1987, I went to the then-USSR on a tour with the group and there were a few "jam session" situations where I HAD to play with some Russian guys on their "gear" -- and I use the term loosely. I played one night on a Polish guitar and a Czech amp. Someone taped it and gave me the tape the next day. I was shocked to hear that I sounded JUST LIKE ME!!!! Since then, I sit in all the time on any old thing and have a blast and do record dates without worrying too much that it's gonna get mixed wrong, etc., etc. I feel much better knowing FOR SURE that it's more about conception and touch and spirit and soul, etc., than whether my hardware was in place. I do, however, totally envy horn players who are "sonically self-contained". They ARE their sound, especially if they can tote their own axe around with them, as they all easily can do.

POST # 295 Robben Ford on the Music Business

The most important thing is that you make sure you follow the music, which is a musician way of saying follow your heart. The two things are intertwined. You know, when you even mention the phrase music business, the older you get, the sourer it sounds. It's a terrible business, you know. Music and business have nothing to do with each other; there's no correlation, so it's always a rub. I would encourage people, don't be swayed by the music business. If youare truly, in your heart, a musician, stay one, and let the business find you.

Friday, 6 August 2010

POST # 294 Frank Gambale on Going to GIT

I went crazy for the guitar. There were so many good players around in the school and in the clubs that I was determined to be one of them. I routinely practiced 12 hour days. I had no life outside of guitar. I was a sponge and absorbed as much as I could from Diorio, Mock and Henderson, I even spent some time with Joe Pass. It was a great time. I made some lifelong friends and I met people who I still work with today. I spent a lot of time developing my sweep picking technique. I wrote the Speed Picking book while I was still a student. When I graduated I was asked to teach ( which was great because I was completely broke!) and went on to teach for 4 more years having the guitar in my hand for often 12 hour days.

POST # 293 Herbie Hancock on his style

I think the time when I was with Miles Davis — middle period of that time, which is mid-’60s — I began to recognize that I did have my own style. It wasn’t that I could describe it, but I heard a record playing — I remember this experience — I heard a record on the radio, and wondered, when did I do that record? I’m listening and listening, and then I said, “Wait a minute, that’s not me.” Other people told me about my style, but I didn’t know what they were talking about. But when I heard that [song], I could recognize that it was someone who was influenced by me.

If I were to describe my style, or my individuality, I think I have a particular touch that’s mine, on the instrument.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

POST # 292 Jimmy Page on Les Paul

Have you ever heard “It’s Been A Long, Long Time?” (mid-Forties single by the Les Paul Trio with Bing Crosby) You ought to hear that. He does everything on that, everything in one go. And it’s just one guitar; it’s basically one guitar even though they’ve tracked on rhythms and stuff. But my goodness, the introductory chords and everything are fantastic. He sets this whole tone, and then he goes into this solo which is fantastic.

Now that’s where I heard feedback first –from Les Paul. Also vibratos and things. Even before B.B. King, you know, I’ve traced a hell of a lot of rock and roll, little riffs and things, back to Les Paul, Chuck berry, Cliff Gallup and all those—it’s all there. But then Les Paul was very influenced by Reinhardt, wasn’t he? Very much so. I can’t get my hands on the records of Les Paul, the Les Paul Trio, and all that stuff. But I’ve got all the Capitol LPs and things. I mean he’s the father of it all: multi-tracking and everything else. If it hadn’t been for him, there wouldn’t have been anything really.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

POST # 291 Kenny Burrell on Guitar Forms

"I wanted to express the various things I felt about the guitar on this album; not just to sample this and that, but to showcase different aspects of the instrument. Each piece would have to stand on its own, regardless of what kind of guitar I used."

(Guitar, the Swiss Army Knife of the instrument world. - Ed )

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

POST # 290 Frank Gambale on What to Practice

I think it's important to always be learning. If you don't know what to play on an E7#9 chord, then that's what you should practice. Find the scale, harmonize it, learn it's arpeggios, it's pentatonics and play with the notes. Sometimes if you sit for 10 minutes without the guitar just to decide what you are going to learn in your practice time, that's good. If you can play over an Emin7 chord, move on, it will still be there when you get back. The bottom line is Quality time is more important the Quantity time.

( Turn your worst enemy into your best friend. - Ed )

Monday, 2 August 2010

POST # 289 Jimimy Page on Telecasters

Yeah, well that’s the amp and everything. You see, I could get a lot of tones out of the guitar, which you normally couldn’t. This confusion goes back to those early sessions again with the Les Paul. Those might not sound like a Les Paul, but that’s what I used. It’s just different amps, mike placings, and all different things. Also, if you just crank it up to the distortion point so you can sustain notes, it’s bound to sound like a Les Paul. I was using the Supro amp for the first album and still do.

The “Stairway To Heaven” solo was done when I pulled out the Telecaster, which I hadn’t used for a long time, plugged it into the Supro, and away it went again. That’s a different sound entirely from any of the rest of the first album. It was a good versatile setup. I’m using a Leslie on the solo on “Good Times Bad Times”. It was wired up for an organ thing.

( Page with his "Dragon" Telecaster. Awesome. - Ed )

Sunday, 1 August 2010

POST # 288 Herbie Hancock on Technique

I decided some time ago that I was no longer interested in being a virtuoso of the piano. I just want to play the music; the technique is a tool. I’m not going for speed just to be fancy. I’m looking for more about what the music feels like. The sound that’s happening, the sound being the vehicle, the message, the emotion and the drama is what’s carried through the medium. That’s what I’m primarily interested in.

( Cantelope Island with Pat Metheny! - Ed )

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