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 ???

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

POST # 372 Eddie Van Halen on Learning Lead vs Rhythm Guitar

“Most beginners want to learn lead because they think it’s cool .. consequently, they never really develop good rhythm skills .. since most of a rock guitarists time is spent playing rhythm, it’s important to learn to do it well .. learning lead should come after you can play solid backup and have the sound of the chords in your head”

Sunday, 10 October 2010

POST # 370 Jimmy Rushing on the Blues

Anytime a person can play the blues, he has a soul and he has a 'lift' to play anything else he wants to play. It's sort of like the foundation to a building.

Friday, 8 October 2010

POST # 368 Frank Zappa on the most Blasphemous device on Earth

“Let’s be realistic about this, the guitar can be the most blasphemous device on the face of the earth. That’s why I like it…The disgusting stink of a too-loud electric guitar: now that’s my idea of a good time.”

Thursday, 7 October 2010

POST # 367 George Barnes on his first Electric Guitar

In 1931, my older brother, who is an electronic genius, built me a pickup and an amplifier before they were even out on the market. He did this for me, because he knew I wanted to play solo lines which could be heard in a band. The first electric guitar came out the following year. National Dobro made them and one of those was my first real electric guitar. Nobody knows who had the first electric guitar; maybe I did. I knew, the first time I played one, that that instrument was going to take me through my career for the rest of my life.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

POST # 366 MYSTERY CASE No. 8 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. My 'concept' was first designed in 1934 by Electro-Voice.

2. My application to the guitar was first applied in 1955

3. My original magnet length was 2.5" long, which was decreased by 1/8" to 1/4" to around 2.25" in July 1961.

4. I can be made of Alnico 2,3,4,5 grade, but standardized to Alnico 5 from 1961 onwards.

5. I was manually wound by the Leesona 102 coil winder until 1965 when automation took over.

6. I am wound with #42 plain enamel wire, firstly purple bobbin wires then red on later versions.

7. I typically have a DC resistance of 7.5 to 9 kΩ

8. I have a black or cream M-69 pickup ring

9. I have two internal coil bobbins under a 1.5" x 2.75" metal cover with one bobbin having a row of six adjustable slot-head poles, and the other bobbin being non-adjustable.

10. My U.S. Patent No. is 2,896,491 by Seth Lover

WHAT am I ???


I made my debut on the Gibson Les Paul guitar.

I have a narrower string spacing when used as the neck pickups of jazz archtops.

I have two coils with opposing windings and polarities

I produce a "warm" and "fat" tone

I am sometimes referred to as dual-coil, double coil or hum-cancelling pickups

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

POST # 365 George Barnes on working with Carl Kress

Carl was my closest friend. We really loved each other. We hung out together all the time, whether it be playing chess, drinking, or going to hear other musicians. He was always a gentleman with a relaxed manner, and a lot of fun to be with. He was also a fantastic musician.

His style of playing was totally unique. Playing rhythm was his forte. He used a special tuning to give his chords a full, rich sound. His 6th string was tuned to Bb the 5th to F, the 4th and 3rd had the regular tunings of D and G, the 2nd was tuned to A and the 1st to D. With this lower tuning, he could play more and fuller bass lines. However, this tuning was not very good for playing solo.

He rarely soloed in single notes; instead, he soloed in chords. It was his unique tuning that brought about the development of the 7-string guitar. George Van Eps, who studied with Carl, was warned by his father not to study with him, because he used an unusual tuning. We made four albums together, one of which was a live recording we did at a town hall concert. I truly miss him.

Monday, 4 October 2010

POST # 364 Jimi Hendrix on Electric Guitars

“I wish they’d had electric guitars in cotton fields back in the good old days. A whole lot of things would’ve been straightened out.” – Jimi Hendrix

Sunday, 3 October 2010

POST # 363 Jim Hall on Tone

I do see the guitar as a tool it's true. I think of myself more as a pretty good musician who happens to play the guitar. I also think I'm a decent writer. On the other hand, if the sound is rotten; the amplifier is bad or the sound too edgy that is disturbing to me. Even though in the last few years I've started fooling around with various effects which changes the sound, I still like a basic, what I think of as a Lester Young sound or a Coleman Hawkins sound - that mellow guitar sound. Yes, it is important even though the guitar is a tool.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

POST # 362 Bill Frisell on What Music Means to Him

"Music, for me, has always been a place where anything is possible--a refuge, a magical world where anyone can go, where all kinds of people can come together, and anything can happen. We are limited only by our imaginations."

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