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.

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