Sh­eryl Crow’s sim­ple style be­lies her great skill at playing for the song and pro­vid­ing rhyth­mic sup­port. Stu­art Ryan gets strum­ming.

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

Sh­eryl Crow is one of the finest singer­song­writ­ers of re­cent decades. Stu­art Ryan looks at her acous­tic ac­com­pa­ni­ment style.

This month’s artist is a ver­i­ta­ble icon of the Amer­i­can rock scene. Al­though Sh­eryl Crow may not be renowned as a guitarist she is an­other fine ex­am­ple of the guitarist-song­writer for whom the acous­tic gui­tar is at the heart of what they do. Crow has had a long and as­ton­ish­ing ca­reer within the mu­sic in­dus­try start­ing way be­fore the ex­plo­sion of her own star­dom in the ’90s.

Crow was born into a mu­si­cal fam­ily in Kennett, Missouri on Fe­bru­ary 11th, 1962. She started her work­ing life as a school mu­sic teacher but by the mid-1980s she was work­ing as a ses­sion vo­cal­ist at a small stu­dio pro­duc­ing jin­gles. The world of jin­gles may seem like an in­aus­pi­cious start but she was work­ing on ad­verts for huge cor­po­ra­tions that reached a wide au­di­ence (and also paid very well, by her own ad­mis­sion). The late 1980s saw her be­come an A-list ses­sion and tour­ing vo­cal­ist and many peo­ple are not aware that prior to fame un­der her own name she was a fea­tured back­ing vo­cal­ist for Michael Jack­son on his huge Bad world tour and stu­dio record­ing. Fur­ther ses­sion jobs saw her work along­side leg­ends like Ste­vie Won­der and Don Hen­ley among many oth­ers, so launch­ing her own solo ca­reer was merely a mat­ter of time.

Solo star­dom ar­rived with the re­lease of her de­but al­bum, Tues­day Night Mu­sic Club in 1993. A slow burner to be­gin with, the al­bum yielded the world­wide smash All I Wanna Do and her solo ca­reer was well and truly un­der way. Crow’s mu­sic is a clas­sic blend of pop, rock, folk and Amer­i­cana with a bluesy, riff-based el­e­ment thrown in. As with many artists of this style she typ­i­cally uses the acous­tic gui­tar as a rhyth­mic tool sup­ply­ing a sup­port­ing foun­da­tion to the bass and drums, while a Tele or Strat sounds the hook. How­ever, there are also times when her acous­tic gui­tar comes to the fore - for in­stance A Change Would Do You Good where the acous­tic leads the track.

As sim­ple as the gui­tar style of an artist like Sh­eryl Crow can seem she is a text­book les­son in find­ing the right acous­tic part for the track, even if just strum­ming open chords and keep­ing a strong, con­sis­tent rhythm in place. Play along with this month’s track and keep an eye on your tim­ing - ask your­self, are you as ‘in the pocket’ as you need to be?

many peo­ple are not aware that crow was fea­tured back­ing vo­cal­ist on michael jack­son’s ‘bad’ tour

NEXT MONTH Stu­art looks at the dis­tinc­tive acous­tic style of Richard Thomp­son

Sh­eryl Crow with her sig­na­ture Gib­son South­ern Jumbo acous­tic

Crow’s most prized acous­tic gui­tar is her 1962 Gib­son South­ern Jumbo, an in­stru­ment repli­cated for the Sh­eryl Crow sig­na­ture model, which is ba­si­cally a cross be­tween a J-45 and a Hum­ming­bird. Any larger bod­ied acous­tic will do the trick here, as you want some­thing with vol­ume and depth to make your strum­ming parts loud and punchy. I recorded this on a sim­i­lar Gib­son J-35 Col­lec­tor’s edi­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.