On The Record

Guitarist - - Contents - Jamie Dick­son Edi­tor

Tommy Em­manuel shared an in­ter­est­ing piece of ad­vice in a re­cent in­ter­view with Gui­tarist. Here’s what he said: “Skill comes be­fore mu­sic. Then prac­tice will turn those skills into some­thing mu­si­cal.” We can take him to mean that the licks we learn can be use­ful tools but aren’t ac­tu­ally all that mu­si­cal un­less you play them at a mo­ment when the mu­sic re­ally calls out for that phrase. It’s so im­por­tant to just stop and re­mem­ber that mu­sic is a di­a­logue be­tween the mu­si­cians mak­ing the mu­sic to­gether in the mo­ment. And, thus, sim­ply in­sert­ing set-piece licks into mu­si­cal sit­u­a­tions they don’t quite fit can be the gui­tar equiv­a­lent of be­ing the guy who tells joke af­ter set-piece joke at a party when ev­ery­one else wants to have a proper con­ver­sa­tion. That’s why this is­sue fo­cuses on re­fresh­ing your sense of mu­si­cal­ity with stel­lar record­ings by a se­lec­tion of the great­est play­ers the world has pro­duced (see page 57). All the play­ers we’ve cho­sen keep their ears open to the mu­sic and the other mu­si­cians while they play – and the re­sult is they never sound clichéd and al­ways sat­isfy. As men­tioned in the fea­ture, we’ve largely steered away from uni­ver­sally well-known clas­sics be­cause the lessons that Clap­ton, Gil­mour and oth­ers have to im­part through their play­ing have (right­fully) been more than cov­ered in these pages in the past. In­stead, our de­lib­er­ately eclec­tic, staff-picked list of es­sen­tial gui­tar al­bums is in­tended to open up new av­enues in your ap­pre­ci­a­tion of gui­tar and hope­fully give you dozens of fresh in­spi­ra­tions for tech­niques to bor­row or bone up on. Or maybe just put them on your playlist, sit back and en­joy some of the great­est gui­tar mu­sic ever com­mit­ted to vinyl... As a side-note, you may no­tice one or two reg­u­lar fea­tures don’t make an ap­pear­ance this is­sue, to make room for our bumper roundup, but fear not – all your favourites will re­turn next month!

Else­where in the is­sue, we have plenty more to in­spire you – check out Phil Hil­borne’s les­son on the neo-clas­si­cal licks you can ac­tu­ally play even if you’re no Malm­steen (that’s most of us then) – it’s huge fun. See you next time.

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