Revisiting the Sixties
tutor: Richard Barrett | Gear used: Knaggs SSC, Keeley Boss SD1, vox aC15 C1
In 2017, we have a wealth of contemporary blues artists, as well as pioneers such as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Buddy Guy, who pushed the genre far beyond its traditional boundaries, creating a template for much of what was to come.We are spoiled for choice and it can sometimes be hard to see what the future holds for blues (or blues-based) guitarists. At times like these, it’s useful to think back to an era that still stands as the defining years of solo electric-guitar playing – a time when the sound of a Gibson Les Paul through a cranked valve amp was not so ubiquitous as it was to become in the 1970s and beyond. Between about 1966 and 1970 a succession of bluesbased players came to the fore with a new electrifying sound (but let’s not get into who was the very first here – that distracts from the main point). And their legacy has more than stood the test of time. The object of this month’s headlines is to look at driven blues influenced solos as if for the first time – putting ourselves in the shoes of Clapton, Page, Peter Green etc. Before there were hundreds of publications crystallising the blues into such specific licks and scales, at this point there was no precedent, just a desire to expand. There are many choices today for those who want a quality humbucker-equipped solid body – like the wonderful Knaggs SSC I used for this solo – but the late 50s Gibsons, as played by most of the aforementioned artists, command legendary prices not only for the quality of workmanship, but their association with an era which will seemingly never die. I’ll raise a glass to that!