Guitar Tips

After the human voice the guitar is the most expressive musical instrument that there is.

The guitar is my main instrument and I play it differently to most other guitarists.

Endless runs up and down scales don't interest anybody. Even your mother wouldn't listen to it! So, I play melodies, even when improvising. I never fill a whole bar with 16th notes. I rarely play more than a couple of notes to the bar; I'm into the more expressive qualities of the guitars voice, mimicking the human voice, using pitch bends and vibrato; and other nuanced expressions. I play the rests between the notes. I picked that up as a blues player. Playing notes non stop without coming up for air is a rookie mistake. When you throw down a tasty blues phrase for instance you can create much more drama for the listener by a bar's rest; you'll make them scream for the next lick. Yes, for me, less is more.

I found exactly that with my next main man; Miles Davis. He was the first non guitar playing musician I really got to dig. Miles was making some of the most progressive music on the planet at that time. He'd gone electric and all the critics and those stuffy traditionalists loathed it. Miles