Elvin Bishop Testifies In Joel Selvin’s Basement Record Library

Just really diggin’ this episode of Selvin On The City tonight. Elvin Bishop is such a brilliant guitar player, and his comments in this interview are informative and fun. The tracks are all just burnin’.
Speak, Red Dog, speak!

Today’s Lesson: Fun Playing Is Good Playing!

Jeff_BeckPart of what makes a good musician great, is just how much fun they have. “Fun” can mean the fun of playing joyous music, sad music, funny music – absolutely anything in the vast range of human emotion.

I’ve always found Jeff Beck to be one of those players who has so damn much fun it’s contagious, whether you’re in the room watching, playing in his band, or listening to a recording.

Check out:

And all of Jeff Beck’s records, really. They just get better over time.

Jimi’s Version Is Still My Fave. Happy 4th!

Jimi Hendrix performs Star Spangled Banner Live at Woodstock. Who needs fireworks? I love how this just melts down every which way. A gorgeous display of chaos, great use of melody and just a monumental statement. This is about as much sound as you can get out of a guitar and amp! And about as much as you can say with an instrumental interpretation of this song. Thanks, whomever posted this on the YouTubes!

Old School Dixieland Jazz Blues Fun

This track is gorgeous. I love the major – minor shifts and the extraordinary interplay between these crack players. This piece covers a lot of emotional ground in a short span of time. Another gem from when there were no overdubs and you had to actually play! It’s amazing how much each musician can pile on here without it ever sounding cluttered. Superb. Today’s guitar lesson and music appreciation post is..

Original Dixieland Jazz Band with Al Bernard – “St. Louis Blues”

Originally posted this at PublicDomain4U.

History Of Rock Guitar In Ten Minutes

This is a lot of fun, and I have to take my hat off to Alex Chadwick for such a marvelously obsessive study. There’s no way this history can be complete – especially as it advances past the early years – but it nonetheless does an admirable job of describing the overall evolution of rock guitar playing. And it’s a superb performance, very cleverly conceived and masterfully executed. So here you go, today’s guitar lesson post – 100 Riffs (A Brief History of Rock N’ Roll) by Alex Chadwick. Check it out:

At his site – 100riffs.com – you can check out his setup, including the pedal board he used to pull this off in one pass. He’s also got lesson videos for some of those 100 tunes, like this one of “Purple Haze” – in which he breaks down both the guitar technique and demonstrates what particular effects pedals he used to complete the sound. Pretty badass.

Is it Ragtime? Is it Blues? Is it Rock and Roll? It is All That!

People were playing rock n’ roll long before rock n’ roll was called “rock n’ roll.” Here’s more irrefutable proof, in a ragtime blues from Charlie Spand and Blind Blake from 1929 called “Hastings Street.” It freaking rocks. And rolls. Today’s guitar lesson? Just listen to this all the way through a coupla times. Soak it up. Then cop the riffs and play along. Then play it on your own. Then call yer buddy up and have them come over and do the piano part. You will become happy.

Blind Blake and Charlie Spand – “Hastings Street”

Today’s Guitar Teaching Note: Turn Off Your Effects

You don’t need reverb, echo, doubling, or any of that. Whatever room you are in, it has it’s own reverb, it’s own sound. Whether you play electric or acoustic, what does your guitar sound like? All the tone you need, it comes out of your fingers. If you practice with reverb or other effects, you wont hear that. Practice dry, add effects only when they are required for the music you’re performing. I make this note only because I see a lot of players who just leave effects on by default. It’s a mistake – you miss out on the real sound of the guitar when you do that. The guitar, by itself, is a beautiful instrument. You can do anything with it. What you can pull out of a guitar is only limited by your imagination. Reach for it. Play a note, and listen to it, in the room you’re in. Amazing things will happen.

That’s all.  Starting a new blog Category with this post – “Guitar Lessons!”