Blog Archives

Steve Vai

Steve Vai recorded and toured in Zappa’s band for two years, from 1980 to 1982. He began a solo career in 1983, has released eight solo albums and won three Grammy Awards. He has also recorded and toured with Public Image Ltd., Alcatrazz, David Lee Roth and Whitesnake. Vai has been a regular touring member of the G3 Concert Tour which began in 1996.  One of the greatest ever guitarists with a seemingly total mastery of the instrument and command of music theory and composition.  A great example to other guitar players of the benefits of practice and total dedication Steve Vai is known for his long practice routines including his legendary 10 hour guitar workout.  Also famous for his connections with Ibanez guitars, his Jem series is one of the most sought after and popular signature guitars ever produced.

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Joe Pass

One of the greatest jazz guitarists of the 20th century Joe Pass was known for his chord melodies, walking bass lines, and, outstanding knowledge of chord inversions and progressions.  New York Magazine said of him, “Joe Pass looks like somebody’s uncle and plays guitar like nobody’s business. He’s called “the world’s greatest” and often compared to Paganini for his virtuosity. There is a certain purity to his sound that makes him stand out easily from other first-rate jazz guitarists”.

Eric Roche

Eric Roche was an awesome guitar player.  Acoustic finger style, tapping, harmonics, slapping, and many other amazing techniques, but most of all some truly beautiful guitar playing.  He also taught at the academy of contemporary music and wrote the brilliant “Acoustic Guitar Bible”, get it.  Eric Roche sadly died in 2005 but his music and influence still live on.  Head over to the official website to find out more about this amazing guitar player.

 

Wilko Johnson

 

Wilko Johnson played guitar for Dr Feelgood and the Blockheads amongst others.  He has an unusual style of playing particularly with his right hand, no pick, which allowed him to play an aggressive punchy style of guitar whilst combining rhythm and lead.  He also had a long curly lead which allowed him to follow his guitar around the stage.  Check out Wilko explaining his style to BBC show rock school and then watch him perform the whole song in the bottom video.

Choosing a guitar cable

Guitarists are notoriously obsessive about their sound.  We spend hours, weeks, months, possibly years searching for the elusive sound we hear in our head.  We work hard, save our money, sign the credit agreement, for the latest megawatt all tube modelling digital amp. Endlessly search through magazines and the Internet looking for the perfect guitar and countless hours stomping on stomp boxes and editing patches all in pursuit of the perfect sound.  After spending all this time and money looking for the perfect equipment we then go down the local music store and buy a length of bell wire to connect it all together.

Having been playing for over 25 years ive been through a few guitar cables in my time. Can anyone remember the curly cables that used to stretch so far and then twang out the front of your amp or worse still pull your amp off the chair it was on.  I remember in the 80’s all cables had to be day glow yellow or vomit green.  How many times have you bought a cable with a lifetime guarantee that six months later fails mid gig.  Nowadays the ends are sealed so in the event of it breaking you can’t re solder the end.
This minor irritation was starting to become a major headache when, mid gig as usual, another cable bit the dust.  I then did something I should have done years ago.  A quick Internet search brought up a list of suppliers of quality cables and a few days later I had my shiny new cables.  Guitar cables DO affect your tone.  I could not  believe the difference when I cranked my amp up at the next rehearsal.  The sound was tighter, clearer, and much more punchier.  The cables are thicker than usual and the jacks feel much sturdier. 

The cables cost around £40 each which seems expensive but put this in to perspective. You spend £1000 on an amp and £1000 on a guitar so £40 to connect them together properly is not much.

So remember choose your cables carefully.  Find a lead that is of suitable quality to connect your hard earned instruments together and be prepared to spend a bit more time selecting cables.

It’s all in the details.