Adam Gold­smith adds a few more tips to this is­sue’s fea­ture, perti­nent for the job­bing mu­si­cian

Guitarist - - Contents - ADAM GOLD­SMITH

When I heard about the theme of this is­sue’s big fea­ture – ‘100 Ways To Be A Bet­ter Guitarist’ – it got me think­ing. There are ob­vi­ously many different types of guitarist, which would mean one man’s es­sen­tial Ibanez Jem 777 is not nec­es­sar­ily the thing needed for an­other man’s Sun­day-night folk-jam at the Whis­tle and Fer­ret.

How­ever, for this col­umn, I’ll look at what’s es­sen­tial for a job­bing studio mu­si­cian. Un­for­tu­nately for me, I of­ten have to sep­a­rate my en­thu­si­asm for vin­tage gui­tars (I am cur­rently eye­ing up a highly ‘es­sen­tial’ re­fin­ished 1963 Strat) from gui­tars that are 100 per cent re­li­able in ev­ery way. After all, if some­one is pay­ing £3,000 a day for Abbey Road Studio 2, they don’t want to have to wait for me to re­tune the tun­ing peg on the E string of the orig­i­nal lute from Henry VIII’s draw­ing room for the 50th time…

I re­cently did a cou­ple of ses­sions for the forth­com­ing film Mary Pop­pins at Lon­don’s Air Stu­dios, fill­ing in for my col­league John Par­ri­celli. This film re­quired mostly Arch­top gui­tar. John and I both own vin­tage arch­tops, in my case a 1934 Gib­son L50, all orig­i­nal. And, if mem­ory serves me cor­rectly, John has a lovely old L7, but for this film he had used his mod­ern ‘Loar’ arch­top gui­tar, which can be bought for around £750 – con­sid­er­ably less than a pre­war Gib­son as I’m sure you can imag­ine. I brought my L50 with me and was slightly dis­mayed to no­tice the Loar sounded a bit ‘bet­ter’ for these pur­poses. I use in­verted com­mas around the bet­ter as ob­vi­ously this is a rel­a­tive and per­sonal con­cept. My L50’s orig­i­nal tuners are a bit stiff and not as ac­cu­rate as the mod­ern tuners on the Loar, and the in­to­na­tion was slightly bet­ter on the mod­ern gui­tar, so for these rea­sons and con­ti­nu­ity of sound, I used John’s Loar for these two ses­sions.

I’ve had sev­eral ses­sions since that re­quired arch­top gui­tar, so I in­ves­ti­gated the new Epi­phone Master­bilt se­ries, even­tu­ally pur­chas­ing their Deluxe Clas­sic, which I’ve used on sev­eral ses­sions since, in­clud­ing, as I write, a big-band ses­sion yes­ter­day at An­gel Stu­dios. The en­gi­neer com­bined a mic on the gui­tar it­self to cap­ture the acous­tic sound, with a mic on my AER acous­tic amp for the best of both sonic worlds. Its tun­ing gears work per­fectly, it sounds fan­tas­tic, and in­to­nates per­fectly up and down the neck. My L50 cur­rently re­sides in the win­dow of No.Tom gui­tars in Den­mark Street.

The mod­ern-elec­tric gui­tar equiv­a­lent I have is a Suhr S-type gui­tar with a hum­bucker, which I’ve had a coil-tap fit­ted to for those Dick Dale mo­ments. This type of gui­tar I would con­sider an es­sen­tial for a work­ing studio player as you can cover 99 per cent of styles con­vinc­ingly, it’ll stay per­fectly in tune and will in­to­nate ac­cu­rately. I used it re­cently on Sheri­dan Smith’s new al­bum in con­junc­tion with my faith­ful old 335. These gui­tars, a clip-on tuner, a de­cent Fen­der style amp, your favourite dis­tor­tion pedal, and, at least as far as studio play­ing goes, you’re pretty much ready to rock. Or jazz, or coun­try, or what­ever else you fancy.

I feel that all these ideas are also equally rel­e­vant to that sta­ple of many a job­bing gui­tar player’s in­come – the func­tion band. In mu­si­cal terms at least, it can be fairly sim­i­lar to do­ing a TV show ses­sion such as The Voice or The X Fac­tor, in as much as you are re­quired to cover a lot of sonic ter­ri­tory quickly and with the min­i­mum of fuss for your em­ployer. After all, the big­gest es­sen­tial if you’re go­ing to do this for a liv­ing is mak­ing sure you get asked back for the next gig!

Adam cra­dles his brand new Epi­phone Master­bilt Deluxe Clas­sic arch­top

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