60 sec­onds with...

A minute’s all it takes to find out what makes a great gui­tarist tick. Be­fore he jumped into his limo for the air­port we grabbed a quick chat with bril­liant US blues mas­ter, Joe Louis Walker

Guitar Techniques - - INTRO - For more info on Joe please visit www.joelouiswalker.com

GT: Do you have a favourite type of pick that you can’t live with­out?

JLW: Yes, medium gauge Tor­tex picks, so the pick doesn’t slip out of my fin­gers – they get slippy some­times on stage from wip­ing sweat off my face.

GT: If you had to give up all your ped­als ex­cept three...

JLW: I use de­lay for a bit of slap, auto-wah for wah-wah sounds, tremolo for a swampy vibe and groove. All three to­gether would also boost the gain.

GT: Do you play an­other in­stru­ment well enough to per­form in a band?

JLW: I play har­mon­ica, keys and bass. I’ve played har­mon­ica with bands, and I’ve played bass gui­tar and key­boards. But why’d any­one would want to get an okay player of those in­stru­ments when they could have a pretty good gui­tar player?

GT: If a mu­sic chart were put in front of you, could you read it?

JLW: I could read a mu­sic chart. If it’s a clas­si­cal score it would take a while to get in that groove though.

GT: Do gui­tar ca­bles make any dif­fer­ence? What make are yours?

JLW: They make a dif­fer­ence if the cord is a very cheap one be­cause it won’t last any wear and tear. I use Dun­lop cords.

GT: Is there a gui­tarist, past or present, that you’re slightly jealous of?

JLW: Otis Rush makes me a bit en­vi­ous be­cause of his vi­brato. I call it the right hand of God.

GT: Your place is burn­ing down – which one gui­tar do you sal­vage?

JLW: My 1969 Les Paul Cus­tom. I’d take it be­cause of the great tone that’s al­ways true; plus the gui­tar is so heavy it’d work as a bat­ter­ing ram to es­cape the burn­ing build­ing.

GT: What’s your favourite amp and how do you set it?

JLW: I’ve sev­eral favourite amps. But right now it’s a Paul Mark­wal­ter spe­cial order amp. It a small, pow­er­ful amp, tube driven, no re­verb, with three knobs.

GT: What kind of ac­tion do you like?

JLW: I’ve got what you’d call a kind of high ac­tion, which I like be­cause it helps with my vi­brato.

GT: What strings do you use?

JLW: I use Dun­lop strings. Gauges 10-42, my spe­cial gauge set-up – they have good dura­bil­ity.

GT: Who in­spired you play gui­tar?

JLW: My fa­ther turned me on to so much mu­sic – blues in par­tic­u­lar, and gui­tar play­ers es­pe­cially.

GT: What was the first gui­tar you re­ally lusted af­ter?

JLW: Sears and Roe­buck Sil­ver­tone was what I wanted. I bugged my mother to get one for me. When she put enough money aside she got it.

GT: What’s the most im­por­tant mu­si­cal les­son you ever learnt?

JLW: Dy­nam­ics is the most im­por­tant mu­si­cal les­son I’ve learned. You can do just as much with si­lence as you can with vol­ume. Some­times you can do more.

GT: Do you still prac­tise?

JLW: Yes I still prac­tise, mostly when I’m in­spired in to­day’s in­ter­net crazy world – some­times you gotta break away from the com­puter (like now!).

GT: Do you have a par­tic­u­lar warm-up rou­tine?

JLW: No I don’t have a par­tic­u­lar warm-up. Should I have one? Is there one that makes me play like Django Rein­hardt?

GT: If you had to put to­gether a fan­tasy band with you in it, who would the other play­ers be?

JLW: BB King, Al­bert King, Fred­die King, Ge­orge Har­ri­son, Les Paul, Jimi Hen­drix, El­more James, Mike Bloom­field, Son House... I think you get the idea that it’s a gui­tar band only!

GT: Who’s the great­est gui­tarist ever?

JLW: There’s no great­est any­thing, let alone gui­tar play­ers. But you can grab one from my pre­vi­ous an­swer!

GT: Is there a song or solo by an­other gui­tarist that you wish you’d played?

JLW: I still think Manic De­pres­sion by Jimi Hen­drix is un­touch­able. Some­one might be able to play it note for note, but they didn’t think of it. Only he could.

GT: And a favourite song or solo of your own?

JLW: Messed My Mind Up off the New Di­rec­tion CD. It’s a kinda crazy and fun solo in a se­ri­ous tune.

GT And what are you up to at the mo­ment – gigs, albums etc?

JLW: My new al­bum, Ev­ery­body Wants A Piece is out now on Provogue Records. I’m also proud of the work we’re do­ing with Blues For Peace, pro­mot­ing peace through mu­sic and rais­ing money for refugees around the world.

i’ve got what you’d call a Kind of high ac­tion, which i liKe Be­cause it helps with My vi­Brato

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