Tuesday, 30 June 2009

POST # 109 Les Paul on Stevie Ray Vaughan

I did meet Stevie Ray Vaughan. He was great! I talked to him twice here in New York. I didn't know him when I first met him, but he talked about us playing together. We didn't though, but if we had I'm afraid I would have been in big trouble. He was a hell of a fine player! – Les Paul

( Stevie Ray Vaughan playing with one of his main influences and blues great Albert Les Paul in a beer commercial! - Ed)

Monday, 29 June 2009

POST # 108 Les Paul on Guitar Collection

And I don't know of a guitar player that has only one guitar. They're never happy with one. I'm never happy with just one of them. I woke up and ended up with six, even if you can only play one at a time! And, of course, the competition between the wife and the guitar is pretty heavy! - Les Paul

( True...and True... Ed)

Sunday, 28 June 2009

POST # 107 Joe Pass on Solo Guitar

Guitarists should be able to pick up the guitar and play music on it for an hour, without a rhythm section or anything. - Joe Pass

( Who needs a whole band when you can play solo guitar like Joe Pass! Joe tells a funny story before going into a solo blues number. On a related note Bireli doing the solo guitar thing from a more Gyspy Jazz background with some creative uses of the tuning pegs. - Ed )

Saturday, 27 June 2009

POST # 106 Bireli Lagrene on Playing the Changes

I know what kind of chord I’d expect to come when it is my turn to play a solo, so I can kind of figure it out. At the very moment, I think about the general chord. But you don’t think of it, because, once you know the tune, you don’t think about what is going to come. It’s a sort of automatisme. - Bireli Lagrene

( I think jazz standards are a little more complicated to internalize then other genre because of all the chord changes..but if you can do it with a 12 bar blues there is no reason you can't do the same with a standard, most standards are really only 16 bars (not counting the repeats! AABA) Bireli and company does the bop standard Donna Lee - Ed)

Friday, 26 June 2009


POST # 105 David Grissom on Tone

I think almost all your tone is in your hands. Sometimes when I do a clinic, I’ll walk around playing my guitar acoustically to let people hear what it sounds like. It’s pretty eye opening for people to hear acoustically a lot of the things they’re used to hearing when I’m playing through an amp. - David Grissom

( The old saying that tone is in your hands! It's an easy trap to fall into thinking a new guitar purchase will make you sound a certain way when really its the player that makes the difference. But...still... I am hanging on to my Gibsons :P - Ed)

Thursday, 25 June 2009

POST # 104 Eric Clapton on the Gibson Les Paul

“I would hit a note, hold it, and give it some vibrato with my fingers, until it sustained, and then the distortion would turn into feedback. It was all of these things, plus the distortion, that created what I suppose you could call my sound.” - Eric Clapton

( The classic sound of a Gibson LP through Marshall in this vintage Clapton clip from the bluesbreaker period. - Ed)

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

POST # 103 Juan Manuel Canizares on Technique part II

Technique is very important, but once you have it, you go to a second level. Technique has to serve the music. For this reason it is very important to work very hard with technique when you are young, so that you will have it later when you wish to compose. – Juan Manuel Canizares

(Some nice relaxing jamming here. - Ed)

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

POST # 102 Juan Manuel Canizares on Technique

My principal advice is to know where you want to go, because if you do not have a direction, you are wasting your time. Also I tell my students that until you achieve mastery of the instrument, it is very important to think that your first, middle, and last names are Technique, Technique, and Technique – because if you don’t have technique on your instrument, how are you going to express your ideas? - – Juan Manuel Canizares

( I love the sound of the Flamenco, no need to worry about getting an amp, dialing a sound on the electric etc....just pickup and play! Plus the various rhythmic things they do very passionately. - Ed)

Monday, 22 June 2009

POST # 101 David Grissom on Delay effect

A lot of people think that delay moves your sound to the background, but that’s not necessarily true – it can also help separate your sound if a bunch of keyboards are going on or there’s another guitar player. – David Grissom

(David Grissom talks about a few of his effect settings in the following video. - Ed)

Sunday, 21 June 2009

POST # 100 Tommy Flanagan on his recording date with Wes Montgomery

"Somebody must have written his own tunes out for him when he came from Indianapolis, because he had the music," Flanagan recalls, referring to Wes' apparent inability to read music. "They were good songs: 'West Coast Blues,' a waltz that was different for the time, and 'Four On Six,' based on 'Summertime.' That was one of his first major recordings, so I guess he just let it all hang out. He was very humble at the date, acting in awe of us as players. He was a little nervous because he didn't read or couldn't see a note as big as his head, but his knowledge went far beyond anything that we knew. We were stunned by his incredible musicianship. It was unusual to hear a guitarist play in that style with just his thumb." - Tommy Flanagan

( Interesting interview with Nat Adderley, Keepnews about Wes's incredible musical abilities and his recording with Tommy Flannagan. - Ed)

Saturday, 20 June 2009

POST # 099 Angus Young on the BLUES

“For me, the culture is blues music. That’s what I grew up on, and I have great respect for Muddy Waters, B B King, Chuck Berry, Willie Dixon…If those people weren’t there, you wouldn’t have your Stones, your Zeppelins, the Who…all the big blues-based bands.”

(AC/DC covering a well known blues standard in the early days. - Ed)

Friday, 19 June 2009

POST # 098 Angus Young on Sticking with his SGs

Every guitarist I would cross paths with would tell me that I should have a flashy guitar, whatever the latest fashion model was, and I used to say, “Why? Mine works, doesn’t it? It’s a piece of wood and six strings and it works.” Hell, if the drummer had a kit made up of different bits, who cared as long as it f***in’ rocked, you know? - Angus Young

( Angus is so associated with the SG now, can you imagine him playing anything else??!! And does it really matter what guitar you play as long as the end result sound good? More vintage AC/DC - Ed)

Thursday, 18 June 2009

POST # 097 Angus Young on his Amp Sound

For me, I prefer the sound to be clear if I can get it clean. If you can get that natural distortion, fine, because I don’t believe in pushing the hell out of the amps, because they become muddy and whooshy. - Angus Young

( Angus Young, not big fan off muddy guitar tones live in the 70's - Ed )

Wednesday, 17 June 2009


Yeah. There used to be a little shop on the corner there where I bought a couple of SGs. And one of them was great. The guy who sold it to me told me there was a “2” on the back of it, and apparently that’s what they put on the rejects. So I said, “Yup, that’s me!” I used that guitar on Highway to Hell. – Angus Young

It had a really thin neck, almost like a custom neck, I liked the SGs because they were light. I tried Fenders but they were too heavy and they just didn’t have the balls. And I didn’t want to put DiMarzios on them because then everyone sounds the same. It’s like you ‘re listening to the guy down the street. And I liked the hard sound of the Gibsons. – Angus Young

( AC/DC are touring again! Hopefully I will get to see one of my favourate bands live this time around. - Ed)

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

POST # 095 Joe Pass on Charlie Parker

"Well I never copied him. I don't remember that I copied any guitar player note-for-note. But I remember copying Charlie Parker note for note." - Joe Pass

(Joe Pass doing a nice bluesy number in the 60's - Ed)

Monday, 15 June 2009

POST # 094 Bireli Lagrene on personality and maturity.

And I could play most of the solos at that time. But when I turned fifteen, I wanted to go fly with my own wings and I left it behind. I didn’t move to another music because I was fed up with it. It just came naturally that I started doing something else. I was also encouraged by a lot of my friends. They said, “That’s enough. Try to find something of your own.” So I did that, and now I can’t remember any solos of Django. I play in that manner, but personality and maturity has a big role in it. - Bireli Lagrene

(Bireli doing a funky update on the standard Stella By Starlight...anything goes when he plays he even chucks in a throw away rock'n'roll shuffle in the middle of the head in the ending! - Ed)

Sunday, 14 June 2009

POST # 093 Nile Rogers on Being a Studio Musician

Back then, if you couldn’t read, you couldn’t make a living. Not only did you have to read, you have to have great powers of interpretation. And you had to be fast, because most of the time you went from one studio to the next, and the producers had only three hours to cut all the instruments on a song. – Nile Rodgers

(Nile shares a few anecdotes on his days with Chic - Ed)

Saturday, 13 June 2009

POST # 092 Vic Juris on Intervallic Approach

Building on the brilliant artistry of legendary alto saxophonist Charlie Parker and tenor sax god John Coltrane, many of today’s contemporary jazz guitarist- players such as John Scofield, Alex Skilnoick and John Abercrombie take an intervallic approach to their improvised lines. This concepts makes it possible to break away from the mundane ‘rollercoaster’ sound of straight scales and arpeggios played up and down the guitar’s neck, and it can help the guitarist create fresh, angularly contoured lines that swing hard. – Vic Juris

( I really liked the sound Pat gets out of his Synth guitar ballsy sustain without ANY distortion! Sco not only intervallic but also rhythmically something else! - Ed)

Friday, 12 June 2009

POST # 091 Robin Trower on the Subconscious and Playing

“You know what Obi-Wang Kenobi says to Luke Skwalker: “Let go. Use the force.” And that’s what it’s like. You’ve just got to let go. You can’t think about it. You’ve got to assume that your fingers know quite where they are. The conscious part of playing, that’s not really important. It’s the subconscious. You gotta let the subconscious do it. ‘Cause it’s all in there.” – Robin Trower

( Its like learning a new language first you have difficulty pronouncing the words, have the wrong accents, wrong grammar and you are stuttering but after a while you don't have to think about it and just speak fluently. - Ed)

Thursday, 11 June 2009

POST # 090 Wes Montgomery on Practice and Bandstand

But we got together and he offered
me a job in his club. Wow! Me working? And I'd only been playing a couple
of months. So I go to the club and I find that I'm featured. I'd come on
and play just Charlie Christian solos from the records because at that
time it was all I could play. Of course the other musicians knew this, but
one day I got a hand so big they wouldn't let me off the stage. But I
couldn't play nothing else! It was so embarrassing, so I said I've got to
go back and start practising. - Wes Montgomery

(Even the talented Wes Montgomery started off copying Charlie Christian then have to find his own voice. Reminds me of what Barney Kessel says about practacing making things up rather then just copping someone else's licks all the time. Hear CC doing a minor bluesy thing in Swing to Bop in contrast to Wes's take on the minor key Yesterdays. Both sounding hip in their own ways! - Ed)

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

POST # 089 Les Paul on Rock Music

We were kind of upset about it - Sinatra, Nat King Cole - all of us. I thought I was out of a job when rock came in. We were told to change and to be less traditional. They used three chords, and not the right chords, and buried the singer! It was another world that you entered into with a riff and rode it, and you needed to turn it up 500 watts to get the sound right. It was rebellion, having something to say with a new beat. They wanted "How High the Moon" with a new strength! – Les Paul

(Ironically The Gibson Les Paul is one of the most revered guitar embraced by rock musicians! Here they talk about the Gibson Les Paul. - Ed)

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

POST # 088 Les Paul on his favourate Les Paul

It's a 1971, a brown one. I also have a black one that was one of the first prototypes made of what they call the recording guitar due to its low impedance device. The black one's so good that I'm afraid to take it down to the club because if I leave it on that stool it would be gone in a minute. You know, when I was in Chicago they'd take a jack to the lid of the car trunk. I lost many guitars that way - stolen. They should do it more with accordions...[ laughs]. - Les Paul

(How many times when guitarist talk about Les Paul they are refering to the guitar this man endorsed (yes endosed not invented!! see below) instead of the man himself? The man himself actually prefers the relatively obscure/less popular Les Paul Recording where he invented the pickups on that guitar. Les Playing his LP Recording on this promo for a doco. - Ed)

(The significance of Les Paul's contributions to his Gibson guitar design remains controversial. The book "50 Years of the Gibson Les Paul" limits Paul's contributions to two: advice on the trapeze tailpiece, and a preference for color (stating that Paul preferred gold as "it looks expensive", and a second choice of black because "it makes your fingers appear to move faster on the box", and "looks classy—like a tuxedo" from Wikipedia.)

Monday, 8 June 2009

POST # 087 Joe Pass names three of the most influential jazz guitarists

Django Reinhardt; I listened to him first, then Charlie Christian. Then I heard all the others - Tal Farlow, and Barney, Jimmy Raney - all those from the 'forties. I think the big influences as far as jazz guitar is concerned are Django, Charlie and Wes. These were the three big influences, players who actually added another dimension to the instrument. - Joe Pass

(Here 3 great jazz guitarists Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel and Charlie Byrd pays tribute to all three. Check out Byrd's lovely tremolo picked backing in Nuages...sounds like a whole string section there! - Ed)

Sunday, 7 June 2009

POST # 086 Charlie Parker on Practice, Experience, Music and Art

Don't play the saxophone. Let it play you.

If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn.

You've got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.

Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art. - Charlie Parker

( Learning fingerings for scales/arppegios/chords on your instrument are like football players jogging for fitness but making music should be your end goal! Sorry for the mixed metaphors :P - Ed)

Saturday, 6 June 2009

POST # 085 Damon Fowler on Jeff Lang and Martin Sexton

But there are some modern guys that I really love, too, like Jeff Lang, this Australian slide guitarist who’s just awesome. As far as songwriting, I really like Martin Sexton. He’s not really flashy- he just accompanies himself on his songs but his tunes really draw you in. – Damon Fowler

(A clip of a younger Jeff Lang playing a Hendrix cover and an older Lang playing live at Basement in Sydney. Martin Sexton sounds like a more country Paul Simon to me! - Ed)

Friday, 5 June 2009

POST # 084 Damon Fowler on Old Blues

I’m open to all sorts of music. There are really only two kinds of music – good and bad. But especially with the blues, I’m drawn to more of the older stuff because there’s a certain organic-ness to it. It’s not perfect. It was made a different way than a lot of music is made today. – Damon Fowler

(Sylvester Weaver's Guitar Rag was the first ever recorded blues slide guitarist. - Ed)

Thursday, 4 June 2009

POST # 083 Charlie Parker on Playing his first Jam Sessions

I got a job in this place, working, you know, but prior to that, this was when they were laughing at me. I knew how to play, um, I figured, I had learned the scale. I'd learned how to play two tunes in a certain key, in the key of D for your saxophone, F concert. I learned to play the first eight bars of "Lazy River" and I knew the complete tune of "Honeysuckle Rose." I didn't never stop to think about different keys or nothing like that. [Laughter] So I took my horn out to this joint where a bunch of fellows I had seen around were, and the first thing they started playing was "Body And Soul," Longbeat, you know? Shit! So I got to playing my "Honeysuckle Rose," I mean, an awful conglomeration. They laughed me off the bandstand. They laughed at me so hard. - Charlie Parker

( Journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Even the greats have to start at the beginning and make a few mis-steps like the rest of us! The difference is they kept going. - Ed)

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

POST # 082 John Pizzarelli explains the Shout Chorus

The shout chorus is usually something simple we’ve come up with that swings in the tempo we’re at, and helps us get to a drum solo or change the atmosphere before going to the out-chorus – just like Basie would do. – John Pizzarelli

(The swinging Basie band with Freddie Green on rhythm guitar! - Ed)

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

POST # 081 Viva Deconcini on Scales

"More by feel. I’ve learned a lof of scales, obviously, but I seldom think of them while I’m soloing. My improvisations tend to be more rhythmical than melodic, because there’s nothing like locking in with a great bassist and drummer – though occasionally I play composed solos that ar more melodic, like Brian May might do. As far as mixing up scales goes, I went to the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music for a while, and the founder, Arnie Lawrence, told me that there’s really one scale, which is the chromatic scale-and I kind of took that to heart." – Viva Deconcini

(Chromatic scale, the grand daddy of all scales. - Ed)

Monday, 1 June 2009

POST # 080 Wes Montgomery on Charlie Christian

"I don't know whether it was his melodic lines, his sound or his approach,
but I hadn't heard anything like that before. He wasn't the first electric
guitarist I'd heard because Les Paul was around at that time, but I didn't
get much from him. Maybe Christian stuck out because he was so different.
He sounded so good and it sounded easy, so I said maybe the big thing of
it is just to buy an instrument! I had a good job as a welder so I bought
me a guitar and amplifier and said now I can't do nothing but play! But I
found out it's not that easy. Really welding was my talent, I think, but I
sort of swished it aside!" WES MONTGOMERY

(Talented welder and guitarist Wes Montgomery talking about one of his foremost influences (on the guitar that is, not welding :P) - Ed)

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