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Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

Nev salutes the vi­tal sound of The Shadows.

there are very few bands that have in­spired like the Shadows con­tinue to do. In 1960 when hank Marvin, Bruce Welch, Jet har­ris and tony Mee­han re­leased their sin­gle apache they were al­ready a hit as Cliff richard’s back­ing band. But with its thump­ing drums and bass, stri­dent acous­tic rhythm and beau­ti­fully melodic lead gui­tar, apache swept like a ti­dal wave through the youth of the day. teenage boys went bonkers over twangy, echo-laden gui­tars and the im­age of this band of lads – them­selves still mostly teenagers. Such was the power of those three match­ing Fend­ers, that the Bri­tish elec­tric gui­tar in­dus­try also took off, with red the nat­u­ral choice for the vast ma­jor­ity of in­stru­ments sold by com­pa­nies like Watkins, Burns and Fu­tu­rama.

Com­pared to many acts of the day, the Shadows’ sound was cap­tured in beau­ti­ful hi-fidelity by pro­ducer Nor­rie Paramor in abbey road stu­dios. Lis­ten­ing to the record­ings to­day it’s im­pos­si­ble not to be struck by their sim­plis­tic beauty; or by the sheer qual­ity of the play­ing from all con­cerned. Welch’s tight rhythm work on a Gib­son J-200 and Hank’s de­fin­i­tive Strat, Meazzi echo and vox aC30 tone, set a stan­dard that few con­tem­po­raries came any­where near to em­u­lat­ing. this month’s cover fea­ture by Phil Capone ex­am­ines Bruce and hank’s styles closely, to see just what gave them their dis­tinc­tive sounds. If you’ve ever had to per­form Shadows num­bers – I’ve recorded sev­eral for Gt in­clud­ing the Sav­age (with Bruce’s ‘strum­ming hand from hell’), apache and Won­der­ful Land – you’ll know it’s way trick­ier than you might think. It’s also im­mensely sat­is­fy­ing. even if you feel this kind of thing is be­neath you tech­ni­cally, do have a go and you might be sur­prised how hard it ac­tu­ally is. Let me know how you get on. Neville Marten, Ed­i­tor neville.marten@fu­turenet.com

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