Phil Hil­borne on Jo­hann se­bas­tian bach

How the le­gacy of a clas­si­cal mas­ter con­tin­ues to in­flu­ence

Guitarist - - Contents -

Al­low at least 30 mins per sec­tion

Tu­tor Phil hil­borne | Gear used PRS ‘Sig­na­ture’ Cus­tom 24 Gui­tar into a Fender Blues Deluxe amp mic’d us­ing a Royer 121 and a Shure SM57. The dis­tor­tion was from a Freed­man BE-OD over­drive pedal and any ad­di­tional re­verb/de­lay was added via Logic plug-ins in the mix Jo­hann Se­bas­tian Bach is – with­out doubt – an ab­so­lute ti­tan in the world of mu­sic. And that’s all mu­sic. His in­flu­ence and le­gacy strad­dles ev­ery­thing from clas­si­cal and jazz to rock, metal and pop. Tracks such as Procul Harum’s Whiter Shade Of Pale, The Beach Boys’ Lady Lynda, The Bea­tles’

Penny Lane (trum­pet solo), Emer­son, Lake & Palmer’s The Only Way, Jethro Tull’s Bour­rée and lots of mu­sic by Deep Pur­ple, Yng­wie Malm­steen and all the neo-clas­si­cal rock­ers sim­ply would not have ex­isted in the same form with­out him. Other iconic mu­si­cians and com­posers who ac­knowl­edge a debt to him in­clude Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Men­delssohn, Mozart, Rach­mani­noff, Schoen­berg, Arvo Part, Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck, Paul Mc­Cart­ney, Paul Si­mon – this im­pres­sive list could go on and on!

Bach played many in­stru­ments in­clud­ing the or­gan, harp­si­chord, clavi­chord, vi­o­lin and vi­ola. Of all these in­stru­ments, it’s likely that the or­gan and vi­ola were his favourites. He also pre­ferred to play the vi­ola over the vi­o­lin in en­sem­bles be­cause it put him ‘in the cen­tre of the har­mony’.

There is a mas­sive amount to be learned from Bach and so we take a look at just a few ideas – how­ever, do bear in mind, these only re­ally scratch the sur­face! Not only is play­ing Bach on gui­tar fun, it also poses a re­ward­ing chal­lenge! Here are my ex­am­ples…

De­spite be­ing born cen­turies apart, Bach’s le­gacy lives on in play­ers such as Yng­wie Malm­steen

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