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.”

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