Al­bert Collins

Cap­ture the magic of the ‘mas­ter of the Tele­caster’, Al­bert Collins, as we look at his sig­na­ture solo­ing tech­nique

Total Guitar - - TURN AROUND -

One of the orig­i­nal Texas blues­men, by the age of 18, Al­bert Collins had dis­cov­ered the cut­ting sound he wanted to achieve was most eas­ily coaxed from the Fender Tele­caster. This was orig­i­nally the sin­gle pickup Esquire vari­ant (which was cheaper), be­fore mov­ing to the Tele­caster Cus­tom for the rest of his ca­reer.

Al­bert’s play­ing style was un­usual as he pre­ferred to use an open F mi­nor tun­ing (low to high: FC F Ab C F) usu­ally with a capo placed around the 5th to 7th frets – de­pend­ing on the key sig­na­ture. This led to a dis­tinc­tive choice of notes that might not fall un­der the fin­gers as in­stinc­tively in the gui­tar’s stan­dard tun­ing but can be em­u­lated once you are fa­mil­iar with Al­bert’s phras­ing. For con­ve­nience, we’ve used stan­dard tun­ing for this month’s tab ex­am­ples – and no capo re­quired.

The first three ex­am­ples are in­spired by Al­bert’s early 60s play­ing with a deft touch and dis­torted tone on a soft sound­ing neck pickup. The last two are mod­elled on his late 80s/early 90s era, us­ing a bridge pickup and play­ing fin­ger­style as Al­bert did, to re­ally ‘snap’ those strings back against the fret­board for lots of bite. A medium drive tone and touch of re­verb should give a suit­able sound.

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