Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS - Neville Marten, Edi­tor neville.marten@fu­turenet.com

WHEN I LEARNT to play lead I had a cheap acous­tic and I’d of­ten lose my only plec­trum and have to re­sort to fin­gers. I soon de­vel­oped a method of us­ing thumb and first fin­ger that sounded con­vinc­ing, but dif­fer­ent to the tone that em­anated once I’d re­trieved my pick from down the side of the sofa. Fin­gers also al­lowed me to play things I couldn’t with a bit of plas­tic.

It gave me an­other string to my bow within my rel­a­tively limited style, and it’s great to call on when look­ing for a softer type of attack, or a par­tic­u­lar dy­namic to suit a cer­tain song.

So suc­cess­ful has it been that a num­ber of great play­ers have copied me and are now do­ing the same thing them­selves (joke, by the way). Jeff Beck, Mark Knopfler, Lind­sey Buck­ing­ham, John Mayer, Robby Krieger, Hu­bert Sum­lin and a host of oth­ers use the tech­nique all the time, or sim­ply bring it to bear when the mo­ment feels right.

So Jon Bishop has come up with a fea­ture that fo­cuses on play­ing lead gui­tar us­ing flesh only. If you’ve not done this be­fore, do get into it and I guar­an­tee it will add a new di­men­sion to your ex­ist­ing style.

While we were in a ‘pick­ing’ frame of mind it prompted this month’s other big fea­ture - Your Ul­ti­mate Coun­try Work­out. If you’re a regular reader you’ll know that no style is an is­land unto it­self and that licks from one genre, or tech­niques gen­er­ally re­served for that genre, can be suc­ces­fully trans­planted into oth­ers.

With that in mind I don’t know of ANY gui­tarist that wouldn’t want a bit of Chet-style pick­ing, Al­bert Lee-style pull-offs or Brad Pais­ley-style ma­chine gun lead in their ar­se­nal. So, even if you’re a rock, blues or jazz player, PLEASE give this one a go as Steve Laney has done the most thor­ough piece on the sub­ject - both rhythm and lead - we’ve ever seen. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but if you glean just five ideas it will be worth at least the cost of a year’s sub­scrip­tion.

A quick note about the main song: The Who’s Baba O’Ri­ley is not their most gui­tar-heavy track, but it’s one of their best so Steve Allsworth has tabbed Pete Town­shend’s synth part for gui­tar, and also Mr Big’s su­perb ver­sion. Give it a go, have fun and I’ll see you next time.

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