Famous Guitarists' Technique Thread

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by colchar, May 13, 2013.

  1. colchar

    colchar Banned

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    The recent threads about Lynyrd Skynyrd got me to thinking that I wish I knew more about Gary Rossington's technique as he is my favourite of the Skynyrd guitarists. That also got me to thinking that it might be a good idea to post a thread here in the 'Lessons' section of the forum in which we can all post whatever info we might have about famous guitarists' technique. Since this might turn into a great resource for the members here B-Squared has agreed to sticky this for us so, hopefully, the thread will have some legs.

    So have at it folks - post whatever info you might have about any famous guitarist's technique.
     
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  2. colchar

    colchar Banned

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    Alright, I'll start things off by posting some info on Dickey Betts' technique.

    Some good info can be found here:

    In Deep: Dickey Betts | Guitar World




    I also have an interview with him saved on my computer and, although that interviews covers a bunch of stuff, he does talk a little about playing. Here are the relevant quotes from that interview (I've included some of his comments about gear and tone as well):

    BG: What amps did you use with the Allman Brothers and what are you using now?
    DB: I've got two sets of amps. With my band I am using one 50 watt Marshall and it's the vintage Marshall, the reissue and I think they quit making them again already. They make them for a little while and then they stop. I've got four of those. I use one 50 watt Marshall with one Marshall cabinet with JBL Lansing 120's in it and I use an old Ibanez digital echo. I try to get it to sound as close as I can to the tape echo and it seems to work great. With the Allman Brothers I used two 100 watt vintage Marshalls with two cabinets with the Lansings in them. The Allman Brothers Band is a lot louder band than this band is.


    BG: Is that why you dropped down to 50 watts?
    DB: Yeah, all I need is like 50 watts and I run it on like four. It's loud. We play loud enough for rock and roll. Even outdoors, I just use one 50 watt head.


    BG: One of the things that you are known for is your tone.
    DB: Well you know the Lansing speakers have a lot to do with it and I don't use any distortion at all. I just use the natural distortion. If I can overdrive the tubes in the amp that's what I try to do. I put the amp just loud enough to overdrive the tubes in the amp.


    BG: What do you have done to the amps?
    DB: They just bias the tubes and tune it with a little more treble. I don't beef them up or anything.


    BG: So they are totally stock?
    DB: Yeah. Totally stock. Like I said, the cabinets aren't stock, they have JBL 120's in them.


    BG: Didn't you cut half of the backs out?
    DB: You know sometimes I do cut just one third out of it like a twin amp. The ones that I am using now do not have the backs cut out. For outdoors you don't want to do that. You want solid backs. If you are playing a club or a theater, it's nice to have the backs cut. Actually Jerry Garcia turned me on to that. Just take one-third out of the middle. What it does is it kind of flowers the sound up on stage. It makes it kind of come up on stage, instead of shooting it straight out. Of course outdoors, you want to get the sound out there in front of you.


    BG: Do you use anything different in the studio than on stage?
    DB: Yeah, I experiment quite a bit in the studio. Probably most of my stuff is done with my stage amp, but I have used little Fender amps, Pro Juniors. It's a great little amp. I've got a couple of old vintage Fender amps and I've got a Gibson Ranger. It's got a twelve-inch speaker in it. I experiment around in the studio with different amps.


    BG: How do you set your guitars and your amps to get that tone?
    DB: On that Marshall, depending on the room, but on the average, I usually set treble on about two-thirds and the bass and the middle on about one-third. My guitar, I usually play on the front pickup.


    BG: Most of your leads are on the front pickup?
    DB: Yeah and sometimes I split it between the two pickups, add a little bit of the treble pickup to it. I kind of like a thicker sound than most people do. Duane used to play all of his stuff on the treble pickup. It was nice playing with Duane. He was one hell of a player and one hell of a person. He was a great guy.


    BG: How do you think you influenced Duane's playing?
    DB: Duane was more of a real purist blues man and well my dad and all my uncles were fiddle players. I think growing up hearing the melodies and things, I think that with Duane and I, it was the chemistry. I was more of a melody kind of guy. I would just start a melody and Duane would jump on it and play the harmony to it. That doesn't explain the whole thing between me and Duane, but that's basically what we did. I think he picked up the idea of playing melody in rock and roll and I picked up a lot of stuff from him on how to pour your heart in to playing a blues line. We learned a lot from each other.


    BG: What scales do you use for your leads?
    DB: When I play blues, I play out of a dominant 7th kind of chord. It's basically that scale, but when I'm playing Blue Sky or Jessica or that kind of song, it's a pentatonic scale, it's got that 7th left out.


    BG: Is Jessica played mainly with two fingers, like a Django Rheinhardt thing?
    DB: I was thinking about Django Rheinhardt when I wrote that thing. Well, I still listen to Django, but at that particular time that's all I was listening to. I was trying to get that Django sound, that real happy kind of a thing that he does. I was playing it like a two finger thing because you know Django only had two fingers because his hand was burned, so yes you can play that tune with two fingers, but I don't do it that way. When I was writing it I was kind of playing it with two fingers to try to get that sound. The skip hop sound.


    BG: When I listen to One Way Out on Eat a Peach, it's one of the greatest solos I have ever heard, how did you get all those great riffs in one lead?
    DB: I don't remember exactly what I did on that record. That is a fun song to play, but I probably put a little western swing kind of thing to it. Duane was more of a spitfire kind of a player and my playing was more western swing type. I grew up with a guy that was and still is a great, great western swing player, in fact he is on the acoustic album that we did this past winter. That's Dave Lyle sitting to my right on that little couch and I learned an awful lot from him. He is a great player.


    BG: When I hear that lead, it is pure tone, I can actually smell the fresh cut wood when I hear it.
    DB: I think as far as my sound goes, I try to keep the effects out and I am not being derogatory about people that use effects, I don't mean it that way at all, but for my sound, I just want the speakers, the guitar, and piece of wood, I get a pretty truer sound that way.


    BG: The two main things that you are known for are tone and that you don't play fast leads, every note is just right where it belongs. When you hit a good note, you hold it for everyone to hear instead of rushing on to the next note.
    DB: I try to play fast, but just not a real fast player (With a laugh)


    BG: If you played fast, it just wouldn't sound right.
    DB: I really put a lot of stock into the tone of my guitar and try to get the emotion. That's what it's all about. Whether it's happy or you're talking about a busted up love affair or whatever, you just pour it all in to it. You are right. It is not how fast you can play, like Django Rheinhardt for instance, he got the same thing I am talking about by playing fast. He'd get you real excited and everything by playing fast, but everybody doesn't play fast to play good.


    BG: Do you think your leads out, or do they just come naturally while you are playing?
    DB: Oh no I don't think them out. That's the last thing I want to do. I think one of the best expressions that has come along lately is to describe a lot of these kind of bands as Jam Bands. I mean that's really what we have all been doing for so long. Southern Rock is a great way to describe a certain bunch of bands, but it didn't really have much to do with the music.


    BG: How did you put your harmonies together?
    DB: We play a 1-3-5. Usually Danny plays the third over me and the horn plays the fifth under me. [He is talking here about his solo band with the late Dan Toler].

    BG: When you and Duane were playing you were one of the first bands to put the harmonies together like you did.
    DB: There were a lot of bands that had two guitar players in them, but I think that the Allman Brothers really used them playing at the same time together more than I had seen anybody else do at the time.


    BG: Usually it was one rhythm and one lead guitar, where you both played the leads together.
    DB: Like Jerry and Bob Weir, one would play rhythm and the other one would play lead whereas Duane and I, or really the band even before that the band Second Coming, you know we had two guitars in that band with Berry Oakley, myself and Larry Reinhardt. Actually in that band, Reese Weyman played in that band and he went on to play with Jerry Jeff Walker and Stevie Ray Vaughn


    BG: If someone wanted to learn your style or copy you, what would you suggest that they do?
    DB: The thing that is most indicative of my style is the pentatonic scale. It's a real melodic six note scale. Just listen to Ramblin' Man. I think it is probably the most revealing of that scale, but it's a nice melodic way of playing. Then I have stuff like Elizabeth Reed which is a minor scale, so there is a lot more to my playing than just the pentatonic scale, but I think when people think of my style, I think they think of Jessica, Ramblin' Man and Blue Sky and that's all the six note scale.
     
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  3. b-squared

    b-squared Banned

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    My contribution:

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QS1LHkTs4Mw]Guitar Lesson Dickie Betts show how to play Jessica - YouTube[/ame]

    Interesting, having read the above article...he's playing the riff VERY Django-ish, mostly with two fingers!

    BB
     
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  4. b-squared

    b-squared Banned

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    Here's one of my faves, whom I will be studying up on once my man-cave gets assembled in the next month or so:

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pm1TkaWfZIY]Joe Bonamassa blues lesson soloing - YouTube[/ame]

    BB
     
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  5. colchar

    colchar Banned

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    I was going to post both that and the similar Elizabeth Reed video last night but didn't want to monopolize the first few posts in the thread, especially just with Dickey Betts/Allman Brothers stuff :thumb:

    But here it is anyway:

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oNZo9A91FY[/ame]
     
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  6. AngryHatter

    AngryHatter Senior Member

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    Interesting - watch at 0:21 (hand gesture) and 0:42 (emphatic leg pump)- the acoustic player is not picking up the beat.

    Then as he breaks it down he is rocking the beat he wants.

    I never found his technique to be special, but his musical mind, lawd could the boy wander.
     
  7. AngryHatter

    AngryHatter Senior Member

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    This is 3 hours and 40 minutes of McLaughlin explaining and showing his technique.
    You want it straight from the horses mouth?
    [​IMG]
    I paid twice the $80 they want now in 2004. Worth it.
     
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  8. AngryHatter

    AngryHatter Senior Member

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    Most of what we covet is the right hand technique - what makes Jimi sound different from any number of similar players.
     
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  9. LiveSimply

    LiveSimply Senior Member

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    How about a reference to BB's famous "butterfly" vibrato. Below BB explains his technique.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vg7ugDja1fA]BB King - Guitar Lesson - BB's Vibrato, Bending and Stretching with BB - YouTube[/ame]
     
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  10. WeatherBlues

    WeatherBlues Member

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    For you SRV fans, he is my all time favorite guitar player, and when I first heard him, I went from playing Heavy Metal to straight up fire Blues by the age of 21.


    Do not forget his 'Rake' technique if you want to play like him, it is very essential to his skills

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VqXo3inORs"]SRV Rake Technique - YouTube[/ame]


    Also highly recommend the picking style, if you ever watch him play, he plays very loosely like on Cold Shot

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2S3lQHp3C2o[/ame]


    To pick like this, you play very loosely but it can be a pain to get it to sound right. When you rake and you mute the strings, it will be one step closer to this technique. I hope this helps some of you, The 'Rake' is one of the most over looked technique's Stevie did. You can't learn it by tabs either, in fact I have the book to Carnegie Hall and no where does it tell you in that book how to make Cold Shot sound right.
     
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  11. hobbyman

    hobbyman Senior Member

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    I'd like to know how to get the sound that is heard at the very end of this song (2:43). I know a lot of Blues Rock musicians incorporate it in their playing (I'm thinking Stevie Ray Vaughan in particular). I just want to know how to get that sound of your fingers sliding up the strings (usually low end strings) at the end of a phrase or a song. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiE9tLgHnUU]Los Lonely Boys - I Walk the Line - YouTube[/ame]
     
  12. GBLEV

    GBLEV Senior Member

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    Pick-slide
     
  13. hobbyman

    hobbyman Senior Member

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    Thanks GBLEV, but I don't think the sound I'm after is done with a pick. I just found this video, and what I'm looking for comes around the 7 and 18 second marks, where the player slides his fingers up and down the fretboard. It looks like a simple long slide, but I guess I need a certain amount of dirt to make that sound as my fingers are sliding along the strings.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3BzJCND9mI]Two Slow Blues Ending Licks - YouTube[/ame]
     
  14. Mexicanbreed

    Mexicanbreed Senior Member

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    That 'Rake' technique thing is great. I will try to do that sometime. I always thought he was picking 'dirty', yet somehow the notes rang out. I thought he was doing some kind of chord shapes...really had no idea. When I tried that sort of sound, I never thought of choking the strings.

    Colchar, really cool thread, man. There should be many more like this in a guitar forum.
     
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  15. huw

    huw V.I.P. Member

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    Andy Summers, by Andy Summers:

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLJCOtG6CF0]Andy Summers - Guitar (HOT LICKS Instructional Complete - 1998) - YouTube[/ame]

    :)
     
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  16. colchar

    colchar Banned

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    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXGyYyVa6ZM]Eric Johnson - Hot Licks Video - YouTube[/ame]
     
  17. colchar

    colchar Banned

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    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TS-k1bh5_yY]Buddy Guy - Guitar Lessons - Teachin' the Blues - YouTube[/ame]
     
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  18. Archie R. Lib

    Archie R. Lib Junior Member

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    Here is my offering....

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLcL4MkpJQ4"]Don Felder - Guitar World Interview/Lesson - Part 2 - "Hotel California" - YouTube[/ame]

    Hope it goes through....

    I'd just like to know what model he's playing! That is the nicest LP I've ever seen.
     
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  19. colchar

    colchar Banned

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    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwJ-GKUJkUE]Robben Ford - Back to the Blues - Part 1 - YouTube[/ame]


    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ufmv7Gp9MjY]Robben Ford - Back to the Blues - II - YouTube[/ame]
     
  20. colchar

    colchar Banned

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    I've posted these here before but they are excellent and are the perfect fit for this thread so here they are again:


    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRnDMPbtUSM]Danny Gatton - Licks and Tricks - YouTube[/ame]


    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zhulCDYBCQ&feature=relmfu]Danny Gatton - Licks and Tricks 2 - YouTube[/ame]


    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2SQzjFOx7E&feature=relmfu]Danny Gatton- Licks and Tricks 3 - YouTube[/ame]


    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YboFo8tsBLE&feature=relmfu]Danny Gatton - Licks and Tricks 4 - YouTube[/ame]


    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyy9zyid-_E&feature=relmfu]Danny Gatton - Licks and Tricks 5 - YouTube[/ame]


    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQAiD8LasEI&feature=relmfu]Danny Gatton - Licks and Tricks 6 - YouTube[/ame]


    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fBrcjMub_E&feature=relmfu]Danny Gatton - Licks and Tricks 7 - YouTube[/ame]


    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-tMtpZjzQc&feature=relmfu]DG - Licks and Tricks 8.wmv - YouTube[/ame]


    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kxpPbxRyko&feature=relmfu]DG - Licks and Tricks 9 - Final.wmv - YouTube[/ame]
     
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