Guitar talk

Guitar lessons and sources.

Essential Listening: Phil Keaggy

Phil Keaggy is as good as they get. Whether he’s rocking out on a Les Paul with his band or standing on stage by himself with an acoustic guitar he is amazing in either setting. Phil isn’t known to the general population because he plays primarily at Christian venues. He has been recording and touring for decades. My favorite recording of his is The Master and the Musician.

Essential Listening: Steve Kaufman

 

I had the pleasure to see Steve at a bluegrass jam recently. If you like flatpickin’ old time and bluegrass fiddle tunes on guitar then you’ll love Steve’s playing. He is very good at what he does. He also has tons of  instructional books. I have his Four Hour Bluegrass Jam book/CD. It is a great book.

Essential Listening: Eric Johnson

Eric studied all the greats of the first generation of electric guitarists: Jimi Hendrix, Chet Atkins, Jeff Beck, Keith Richards (The Stones), Wes Montgomery, Jerry Reed and so on. His playing is an amalgamation of all of the above. Not only does he imitate his heroes flawlessly but he has his own unique style and he is a great songwriter. The recording Tones is my favorite

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUECcou-34A.

Essential Listening: Jimi Hendrix

When Jimi Hendrix came on the music scene in the 60s it was as if the aliens came to earth and dropped off a guitar player. Even the great guitarists of the time such as Pete Townsend of the Who and Eric Clapton of Cream were intimidated by this gifted guitarist. No one wanted to follow his act at the festivals because his act couldn’t be topped. Hendrix is known by the average listener as the wild guitar player that played Purple Haze and set his guitar on fire at Woodstock. But, Jimi was much more than that. He could play the blues like nobody and his chord soloing on ballads were unparalleled. Much is to be learned studying his playing.  If you want to play rock guitar, learn All Along the Watchtower note for note. If  you want to play the blues learn Red House note for note. If you like a clean soulful sound on ballads and rhythm and blues learn Little Wing, The Wind Cries Mary, May This Be Love, Angel, or Spanish Castle Magic note for note.

Essential Listening: Michael Hedges

Michael played instrumental music on the acoustic ‘flat top’ guitar. I had the opportunity to see Michael in concert. It was a wonderful experience. He travels with a guitar tech whose main job is to tune his guitars while he is performing. He used a variety of altered tunings such as dadgad, open G, and drop D just to name a few. He was very creative and has done amazing things on the flat top guitar.

Essential Listening: Steve Howe (Yes)

Steve was the guitarist for Yes, another monster progressive rock band from the 70s. Steve uses a Gibson ES175 hollow body arch top electric guitar which is unusual in the rock world due to feedback problems at higher volumes. However, he used it and used it well. He also used a Fender Stringmaster steel guitar which is normally heard on country recordings. He made some nice sounds using an echoplex (a tape echo device that predated the digital delay) with the steel guitar. My favorite recordings are Close to the Edge, Fragile, and Yessongs.

Essential Listening: Steve Hackett (Genesis)

Steve Hackett (Genesis)

Steve was the guitarist for Genesis during the early days. Genesis, Yes, and King Crimson are the founders of progressive  rock which is a mixture of rock, classical, and jazz. Groups such as Rush and more recently Dream Theater are heavily influenced by the progressive rock bands of the 70s. Steve used a Gibson Les Paul and a volume pedal creating volume swells that emulated a violin creating his own unique sound. My favorite recordings are The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Trick of the Tail, and Selling England by the Pound. In fact, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is my favorite recording of all time.

 

Essential Listening: David Gilmour (Pink Floyd)

David is the guitarist for Pink Floyd. Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall, and Wish You Were Here are all fabulous recordings, but my favorite is Animals. Enough said, we all know their great

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Essential Listening: Danny Gatton

Danny Gatton

Danny has been called the greatest unknown guitarist. He could play jazz, blues, and rock on his Telecaster but Rockabilly was what he did best. My favorite song is his instrumental version of The Beach Boys song In My Room on his CD titled 88 Elmira Street.

Essential Listening: Tommy Emmanuel

Tommy Emmanuel is one of the most talented acoustic guitarists worldwide, his skills to use a guitar as a percussion as well as a stringed instrument makes him unique. He started playing guitar when he was six and started playing shows at an early age. He was awarded C.G.P By Chet Atkins and now signs his autographs with CGP. He performed in front of hundreds of thousands at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. He is currently touring the world. Tommy has the award of being the greatest living acoustic guitarist and comes number 3 in the world’s greatest acoustic guitarist (living and dead).