Category Archives: Guitarist Of The Day
Check out some great performances from your favourite players or discover new players.
Born in Scotland in 1943 Bert Jansch is a folk guitarist probably best known for his work with the group Pentangle.
His style of playing was usually fingerstyle acoustic guitar which was distinguished by his unusual chord voicings, use of extended chords, and his clever use of unusual time signatures. Jansch played a number of instruments including banjo, Appalachian dulcimer, recording, and concertina, as well as, on rare occasions, picking up the electric guitar.
He learned his trade initially in Edinburgh in the early 1960’s before moving to London where his music was heard, covered, and famously copied by some of the leading musicians and bands of the time including Donovan, and Led Zeppelin. In the late 60’s and early 70’s Jansch had a lot of success with Pentangle before the group split up in 1973, to reform again in the early 1980s.
Sadly, Jansch died in 2011, leaving behind a large body of work for his fans to enjoy. He recorded at least 25 albums and toured extensively from the 1960s to the 21st century as well as winning 2 lifetime achievement awards from the BBC, one for his solo work, and one for his work with Pentangle.
Albert Lee is an English guitarist known for his hybrid picking technique and rapid fire phrasing. He left school at 16 to play guitar full time and has been playing professionally ever since.
His playing credits read like a who’s who of music. Too many to list but they include Bo Diddley, Eric Clapton, and the Everly Brothers. He has also recorded a large number of solo albums under the names “Albert Lee” and “Albert Lee & Hogan’s Heroes”
He is known as the guitar player’s guitar player because of the presence of so many guitarists, famous or unknown, everywhere he performs. Albert Lee is also referred to as “Mr. Telecaster”. Lee has been described by his peers who include Jimmy Page and Ritchie Blackmore, as a complete gentleman who does not know the meaning of the word ego.
His song “Country Boy”, shown in the video above, helped to redefine country guitar for a whole generation of players.
Albert Lee can be seen live touring with “Albert Lee & Hogan’s Heroes” at the time of writing, July 2012. If you get chance go see him play.
Vinne Moore was discovered by Mike Varney after playing professional gigs since the age of 12. His connection with Varney led to him featuring in a Pepsi advert and then releasing the albums Minds Eye and Time Odyssey on Shrapnel Records. He has since appeared on albums by Alice Copper, Vicious Rumours, and, UFO. He is currently playing for UFO who released their latest album in 2012.
Moore is known as one of the earliest “Shred” guitar players and his early albums feature a neo classical style utilising fast picking, sweeping, and, some pretty cool acoustic playing. Check out the track above for a wide selection of Moore’s techniques and also his compositional skills.
Mark Knopfler was the guitar player and singer in Dire Straits from their beginnings in 1977 to their break up in 1995, selling over 120 million albums worldwide they are one of the worlds most popular recording artists. Since 1995 Knopfler has had a successful solo career covering a diverse range of musical styles.
Mark Knopfler is left-handed, but plays right-handed, and fingerpicks instead of using a plectrum. Fingerpicking is usually associated with the acoustic guitar, but Knopfler usually (though not always) plays an electric guitar. He revealed during a French interview that he uses a pick for his rhythm work during recording sessions. He surprised the interviewer by pulling a pick out of his pocket and saying that he usually carries one. He has long favoured Fender Telecaster and Stratocaster style guitars. Fender carries a Mark Knopfler Artist Series Stratocaster. During the 1980s he came to appreciate the tone of the Gibson Les Paul and his original 1958 has been used regularly in the studio and on stage.
Paul Gilbert is one scary guitar player. Awesome technique, Phenomenal speed coupled with a strong melodic sense combine to make him one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time.
At age 15 he contacted Mike Varney, head of shrapnel records, asking for a gig with Ozzy Osborne. The gig with Ozzy did not happen but Gilbert was featured in Guitar Player magazine at age 15.
After spending three years at GIT Gilbert then joined Racer X. This is where Gilbert gained his reputation as one of the worlds fastest guitarists. Gilbert then formed the band Mr Big who had a number one hit with the acoustic tune “To be with you”. Gilbert left Mr Big in 1997 to pursue a solo career.
He continues working on solo projects as well as holding guitar clinics around the world. He is also a teacher at GIT and is well-known for his instructional videos.
Blues, Jazz, Folk, Fingerstyle, slide, syncopation, and much more. Leo Kottke is a truly innovative and one-off guitarist. He hasn’t had it easy in his playing career and has had to overcome a number of obstacles along the way. A partial loss of hearing, and, tendon damage in his right hand resulting in him having to alter his technique. Leo Kottke is a recognised master of the guitar.
Kottke has focussed on composing and recording instrumental music but has also been known to sing as well. He has also collaborated with many other artists including. Chet Atkins, Lyle Lovett, Margo Timmins, Mike Gordon, and Rickie Lee Jones. He has recorded tunes by Tom T. Hall, Johnny Cash, Carla Bley, Fleetwood Mac, The Byrds, Jorma Kaukonen, Kris Kristofferson, Randall Hylton, and many others.
Ry Cooder is a guitarist, singer, and, songwriter. He is known for his slide guitar playing in particular and also his interest in traditional American music.
He has collaborated with many musicians, including Larry Blackmon, The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Randy Newman, Earl Hines, Little Feat, Captain Beefheart, The Chieftains, John Lee Hooker, Pops and Mavis Staples, Flaco Jiménez, Ibrahim Ferrer, Freddy Fender, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and Ali Farka Touré. He formed the band Little Village with Nick Lowe, John Hiatt, and Jim Keltner.
He has also written and performed on many film soundtracks. Have a look at 80’s guitar/road movie crossroads to which Ry Cooder provided all the slide guitar parts, terrible film but a great soundtrack.
Throughout his career he has played many different genres of music encompassing folk, blues, Tex-Mex, soul, gospel, rock, and much more. To date he is still writing, recording, and putting down some awesome guitar parts.