siXty sec­onds with...

A minute’s all it takes to find out what makes a great guitarist tick. Be­fore he jumped in his limo for the air­port, we grabbed a quick chat with young UK blues sen­sa­tion, Aaron Key­lock

Guitar Techniques - - INTRO -

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

AK: I use any­thing! Mainly around 0.85mm, but I’m not too wor­ried. I go be­tween fin­gers and picks on songs for dif­fer­ent sounds as well.

GT: If you had to give up all your ped­als but three, what would they be?

AK: I don’t use any ped­als at all! I like the fact that I have one gui­tar to work with and I use it in so many dif­fer­ent ways to get dif­fer­ent sounds! I use tone knobs and vol­ume knobs a lot.

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

AK: I played drums for four years and used to play at jams, but haven’t played in years so not re­ally any more! Gui­tar is the one in­stru­ment that I con­nected with; I guess I can get through a song on bass but gui­tar is what’s al­ways in­ter­ested me.

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

AK: The world I came from was im­pro­vi­sa­tion and playing what I feel. I had a chance to learn but I al­ways thought of mu­sic as an ex­pres­sion and a way to ex­press your feel­ings and not just play what’s on a piece of pa­per. I play songs dif­fer­ently ev­ery night and they have a dif­fer­ent vibe ev­ery night be­cause I have dif­fer­ent feel­ings ev­ery night.

GT: Do ca­bles make a dif­fer­ence?

AK: It ob­vi­ously comes from the player but good amps and gui­tars help. I’m us­ing Monster ca­bles at the minute and they’re re­ally great.

GT: Is there any­one’s playing that you’re slightly jeal­ous of?

AK: Not re­ally. There’s in­flu­ences that I love but I’ve al­ways be­lieved in hav­ing your own iden­tity and voice, which is what I’ve al­ways tried to present in my mu­sic.

GT: Your house/stu­dio is burn­ing down: which gui­tar do you sal­vage?

AK: My Les Paul is the gui­tar I have the big­gest con­nec­tion with. I got it when I was 10 and it’s been on ev­ery stage with me.

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

AK: I love the old Marshall Plexis. It sounds awe­some flat out! I’m us­ing mod­ern cabs with Green­backs so they sound great. I also have a Blues­breaker with ev­ery­thing on 10, but the bass all the way off.

GT: What kind of ac­tion do you have on your gui­tars?

AK: It changes be­cause I play slide and acous­tic and open-tuned gui­tars so I couldn’t re­ally say.

GT: What strings do you use?

AK: Ernie Balls 10s on my Les Paul, 11s on my Fire­bird and TSR ju­nior.

GT: Who was your first in­flu­ence to play the gui­tar?

AK: That’d prob­a­bly be Keith Richards! I al­ways loved The Stones from a re­ally young age and al­ways loved their sound. There was loads of guys that got me into it but I guess Keith was the one who al­ways in­spired me to find a sound and char­ac­ter of my own in my mu­sic.

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

AK: My Les Paul! I al­ways loved them. I re­mem­ber star­ing at them for ages as a kid and I got the one I have now for Christ­mas when I started to play live. It re­ally did con­nect with me and I’ll al­ways play it.

GT: What’s the best gig you ever did?

AK: Down­load Fes­ti­val was an awe­some show for us, as we got to play with some great bands to a great crowd of cool peo­ple. Then we sup­ported Black­berry Smoke at Shep­herds Bush Em­pire. That was a dream be­cause I was such a big fan of the band and it was such a beau­ti­ful room to play. I got to see Johnny Win­ter there just be­fore he died too so it meant a lot to be there.

GT: …and your worst playing night­mare?

AK: Ev­ery­thing fall­ing to bits. The whole song just ends up stop­ping.

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

AK: To just been hon­est. Peo­ple al­ways love and re­spect hon­est mu­sic and can see through bull­shit. That’s al­ways stayed with me.

GT: Do you still prac­tise?

AK: Not so much on the road be­cause prac­tice is on stage. But at home I play a lot, whether it’s just writ­ing or learn­ing some­thing I still see it as prac­tice, as you’re stretch­ing your­self as a player by just playing things.

GT: If you could put to­gether a fan­tasy band with you in it, who would the other play­ers be (dead or alive)?

AK: Johnny Win­ter on other gui­tar, Tommy Shan­non on bass and it’d have to be John Bon­ham on drums. I’d stick Joe Cocker on vo­cals and Leon Rus­sell on pi­ano too!

GT: Present com­pany ex­cepted, who’s the great­est guitarist that’s ever lived?

AK: There’s so many amaz­ing play­ers but what al­ways in­ter­ested me was play­ers who had their own sound as soon as they played a note. I guess I’d have to say BB King for that.

GT: What would you most like to be re­mem­bered for?

AK: For be­ing some­one who al­ways played what he wanted to do and was an hon­est mu­si­cian.

GT:What are you up to cur­rently?

AK: We’re on this Road­stars Tour with SIMO and Fed­eral Charm which is go­ing re­ally well. We have a week left on this tour. We’ve been out since Oc­to­ber. We’ve done shows with Wilko John­son and Joanne Shaw Tay­lor as well, which where all great. Then the al­bum is out in Jan­uary so I’m look­ing for­ward to get­ting that out there.

what al­ways in­ter­ested me was play­ers who had their own sound as soon as they played a note

Aaron Key­lock: got his Les Paul aged just 10

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