Your views on the world of gui­tars and play­ing.

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -


Firstly, thanks for the great mag. The dif­fer­ent styles are ex­cel­lent at ex­pand­ing tech­nique, ideas and abil­ity. A re­quest, ac­tu­ally; could you run a fea­ture ‘in the style of’ the mas­ter that is Mark Knopfler? Par­tic­u­larly his early styles with chicken pick­ing, string mut­ing and clawham­mer? The styles seen in South­bound Again through to One World en­com­pass so much and surely would make a great les­son and fea­ture on Mark’s fin­ger­pick­ing style. Many thanks. Justin Tar­rant-Wills Funny you should say that, Justin. We’ve started do­ing a few of th­ese ex­panded style files, specif­i­cally on gui­tarists with broad tech­ni­cal skills or a long his­tory. Hence the re­cent Jimmy Page one and an­other com­ing up on Gary Moore. But Knopfler is, of course, a per­fect can­di­date and as such has just gone on the list. We’ll prob­a­bly build it to in­clude later elec­tric stuff (where his tech­nique and tone changed some­what), and even as­pects of his fine acous­tic play­ing. So, thanks for the heads up.


I’ve been a reader of GT for many years and have re­cently be­come a reg­u­lar again after a cou­ple of years spo­radic guitar play­ing. Dur­ing my re­dis­cov­ery of the elec­tric el­e­ments of play­ing I’ve be­come a big fan of many of the classic icons, in­clud­ing Jimmy Page. How con­ve­nient that you chose to do a fea­ture ex­plor­ing his many faces in GT271. I’d love to see more sim­i­lar features to this ex­plor­ing other gui­tarists. Not only fo­cus­ing on solo tech­nique but also their rhythm styles too. One artist who springs to mind here is some­one like Joe Bona­massa. I’m sure many of us en­joy his play­ing hugely and in­clud­ing his play­ing with Black Coun­try Com­mu­nion gives such a wide va­ri­ety of styles on both his lead and rhythm guitar. Keep up the good work and thank you for con­tin­u­ing to in­spire. Chris Ap­pleby Again, per­fect tim­ing, Chris. Bona­massa is in­deed a player of the mo­ment. I saw him play­ing in Frome in Som­er­set just be­fore his ca­reer ex­ploded. He was ex­cel­lent and the show was im­mensely en­joy­able. Some years later I watched him take Gary Moore’s place in the Jack Bruce Big Band at Royal Fes­ti­val Hall when Gary sadly passed away. His role was to do the Cream part of the set and he ap­proached it with such hu­mil­ity; didn’t over­play but paid hon­est homage to a man he re­garded (just as Gary had) as one of the true greats. We sat and had cof­fee to­gether be­fore the show – out in the foyer in full view of ev­ery­one; he didn’t hide be­hind a dis­guise and was ab­so­lutely happy to break off our dis­cus­sion, talk to fans and have his pic­ture taken. He also let me play his 59 Les Paul and I even got a quick chat with Jack, which was it­self a ma­jor hon­our. So, yes, Joe is on the list for a ma­jor style fea­ture, too!


I have to point out that the 15th and 16th cen­tury is hardly re­cent! Ap­par­ently tablature was in­vented by blind or­gan­ist, Con­rad Pau­mann in the 1500s. Har­vey P Freed­man [And not ‘re­cently’ as stated in your ‘Wel­come’ col­umn re­cently]. Haha. I know that, Har­vey, but thanks for point­ing it out any­way. I was of course re­fer­ring to its more re­cent us­age as an al­most en­tirely guitar-based learn­ing tool in mag­a­zines and song­books. And that sit­u­a­tion hasn’t been around long by com­par­i­son with stan­dard no­ta­tion. There’s not much room in a let­ter re­sponse in the mag for full and de­tailed ex­pla­na­tions so some­times we make gen­er­al­i­sa­tions. Apolo­gies if it was not en­tirely fac­tu­ally ‘cor­rect’.


Please do not be put off by the reader who said that he would stop sub­scrib­ing if you start do­ing gear ar­ti­cles. I don’t be­lieve any­one is go­ing to can­cel their sub­scrip­tion just be­cause two to three pages out of 100 are ded­i­cated to guitar gear (and one on guitar ped­als is long over­due). Also, it may help to fill the last few pages be­fore a fast-ap­proach­ing dead­line. Mark Beatty Thanks, Mark. Well, in a gov­ern­mentstyle u-turn we de­cided to shelve the idea for the time be­ing, as we man­aged to get round the prob­lem that brought up the idea (that of re-us­ing old features, which didn’t go down too well in some quar­ters). That was go­ing to be a way of fill­ing a few pages with­out re­prints but still re­main­ing of in­ter­est to gui­tarists. Any­way, yet again, the sub­ject of ef­fects falls right in line with our own think­ing, since ef­fects are of­ten so linked to cer­tain styles or tech­niques. We just need to give shape to the fea­ture so it works as a GT-type thing (ie, play­ing fo­cused) as op­posed to a Gui­tarist-type ap­proach, which would be more op­er­a­tional. I re­cently had the great hon­our of play­ing Brid­get’s GT ar­range­ment of Men­delssohn’s Wed­ding March at my son’s own mar­riage ser­vice this June. As you can prob­a­bly guess they had a slightly un­con­ven­tional wed­ding in a beau­ti­ful coun­try house set­ting. Luck­ily the Bri­tish weather was kind, so my Yamaha elec­tro-clas­si­cal and Fish­man Loud­box acous­tic amp were duly set up and the piece sounded beau­ti­ful float­ing over an English sum­mer lawn. I dithered about us­ing mu­sic, and in the end de­cided to fully learn it and dis­pense with read­ing aids (I imag­ined a gust of wind blow­ing it away and leav­ing me mu­si­cally naked, and that was enough to do it!). So, thanks GT and par­tic­u­larly to Brid­get for a won­der­ful ar­range­ment that went down a treat with fam­ily, friends, bride and groom! Martin Sta­ple­ton What a great story, Martin. Brid­get will be so pleased to learn that her piece was piv­otal to your son’s wed­ding. Any other such sto­ries out there? Do let us know!

Joe Bona­massa: most wor­thy of an ex­panded GT style study

Mark Knopfler: such a wide va­ri­ety of play­ing styles

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