Eric Gales

From blues to rock and be­yond, this month Les David­son ex­am­ines the play­ing of that fiery left-handed gui­tar-slinger, Eric Gales.

Guitar Techniques - - LESSON: BLUES -

Fred­die King, al­bert collins, Buddy Guy gui­tar styles, but mix in some Hen­drix and Eric John­son style pen­ta­tonic bursts and that’s his blues play­ing.

Gales is known for his tough and fiery no-holds-barred style. He has so far played in a va­ri­ety of line-ups, which even verge upon heavy rock, psy­che­delic rock and ‘nu funk’.

Eric was born in 1974 and grew up with three broth­ers, two of whom played the gui­tar up­side-down and left­handed, as does Eric.

Gales is in fact right- handed and, as he learnt from an older brother, never re­alised that there was any other way to play. Hence he just kept go­ing with that way of do­ing things.

in 1990, Eric and Eu­gene Gales signed with Elek­tra records, and to­gether with drum­mer Hu­bert craw­ford re­leased 1991's The Eric Gales Band and 1993's Pic­ture Of a Thou­sand Faces. a Gui­tar World reader's Poll named Eric ‘Best New Tal­ent’ in 1991.

Gales has clearly de­vel­oped his own voice as a player, and although one can hear some strong in­flu­ences there is no mis­tak­ing him when he plays. check out some of his live YouTube per­for­mances to get a taste of this fiery, un­re­lent­ing ap­proach.

The fol­low­ing mu­si­cal ex­am­ples are from Eric’s ten­ure with the Pin­nick, Gales, Prid­gen line-up, that serve as an in­tro­duc­tion to his ap­proach to play­ing in a blues-rock set­ting. Both ex­am­ples should be used to ex­pand both your blues-rock vo­cab­u­lary and over­all tech­ni­cal fret­board fa­cil­ity.

Gales uses a con­ven­tional plec­trum tech­nique with quite a lot of ham­mer-ons and pull-off’s to get that smooth note de­liv­ery,

a lot of my songs are based on sim­ple vamps Eric Gales

although some­times he uses just his thumb and also both pick and fin­gers. The two 16-bar ex­am­ples are playable with plec­trum or ham­mers and fin­gers.

There are many ways to build up speed but here i’d sug­gest you at­tempt to play the ideas at full tempo, even if you can only man­age the first few notes. Re­duce the speed by all means at this point, add the next few notes or even a sin­gle note and then take the tempo back up, tak­ing care to play the notes cleanly and ac­cu­rately. This way we’re mak­ing progress by ex­pand­ing a few notes at a time, rather than play­ing an en­tire phrase at a frac­tion of the de­sired speed. You may of course pre­fer ther regular GT ap­proach of learn­ing at a slower tempo and speed­ing up later.

Eric Gales: a pow­er­ful and mean­ing­ful per­former

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