The musician Prince (died April 21, 2016 @ age 57) and was considered one of our greatest modern era rock/pop singer songwriter. He wasn’t necessarily considered a great guitar player. Yet after further research and review of his expansive musical history (even though he left this planet way to early) it proves that Prince was indeed one of the most acclaimed guitarist in this genre.
Prince also had the early insight of recognizing the record industries manipulative ways of cornering the artistic marketplace. He took it upon himself to be one of the leaders in ‘self-published’ works. As such many musicians to follow expanded on this foundation to distribute their music without the record industry strangle hold on the market.
This article spends a good deal of time getting to the point as to why Prince was considered one of the top greatest guitarist of our times…
(By Jack Hamilton – via: slate.com)
“Prince may have been the greatest guitarist of the post-Hendrix era and often seemed to carry Hendrix’s aura more intrepidly than anyone, most notably in his incredible versatility.” further noting in this article… “The story goes that sometime during the 1980s, Eric Clapton was asked how it felt to be the best guitar player in the world, and responded, “I don’t know; ask Prince.”…
Read the whole story about why Prince may have been the greatest guitarist since Hendrix, here…
Merle Haggard sang his last song the day of April 6’th, 2016… he was just 79 years old. Born right outside the small town of Bakersfield in the high desert, north over the mountains from Los Angeles.
Many of Merle’s band members, the Strangers, were playing live with him on tour right up to the day of his departure. Some of these members had been with him for over 40 years! Merle himself was a gifted guitar player, mostly played a Fender Telecaster. He had the stories and voice to carry his message to the ones that appreciated his ventures. A real true freedom supporter!
Merle mentioned that… “the road thing is like a run-away train, once you’re on it you keep riding her to the end…”
Haggard wrote over 700 songs! Merle once mentioned that he had written so many songs from so many experiences, that he kept coming around stumbling all over himself. But, once in a while something very powerful would emerge as a new discovery about himself.
The Byrds, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Grateful Dead, Emmylou Harris, Dwight Yoakam, Lucinda Williams and Reba McEntire all covered his songs, while many others paid tribute to him in theirs. In the Dixie Chicks’ “Long Time Gone, which criticizes Nashville trends, the trio crooned: “We listen to the radio to hear what’s cookin’ / But the music ain’t got no soul / Now they sound tired but they don’t sound Haggard.”…
Read complete press release here:
It’s interesting to note some of the long ‘lost’ guitar players, before there was a lot of media to push the entertainment industry. It’s especially interesting if one of our earliest pioneers on the ax was non-other than a hip woman.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe was ahead of her time. Well, ahead of many cats to follow… including Hendrix, Elvis, Chuck Berry to name just a few. She played a good deal of gospel… you could even call it, gospel metal at that time.
During the 1940s through the Sixties, her recordings played a highly significant role in the creation of rock. Presley, J Lee Lewis, Cash and Litl’ Richard cited her as an inspiration.
Here’s to the women of original rock…
(via and by)
As a musician, she was simply ahead of her time. Maybe even by several decades.
Born in 1915 in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, Tharpe developed her distinctive style of singing and playing at age 6, when she was taken by her evangelist mother to Chicago to join Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ. At 23 she left the church and moved to New York. While performing there, she was signed by Decca Records. For the following 30 years she performed extensively to packed venues across the U.S. and Europe and recorded more than a dozen albums…
Read and Learn more about Sister Rosetta here…
For those among us musicians that loves the keyboard player in the band… I for one, have always appreciated the great sound and jams that, Emerson, Lake and Palmer laid-down. Unfortunately, Keith has passed… yet, he has left us with a great legacy for our reference of his wonderful keyboard rock style.
As noted on ELP’s Wiki, regarding Keith… “Keith Emerson was the co-founder of one of the most popular and commercially successful progressive rock bands in the 1970s!… ”
“Their musical sound included adaptations of classical music with jazz and symphonic rock elements and was dominated by Emerson’s flamboyant use of the Hammond organ, Moog synthesizer, and piano.”
Michael Putland, Getty Images
As this article notes: “Keith Emerson, the outsized co-founding keyboardist in Emerson Lake and Palmer has died. Long-time bandmate Carl Palmer said he passed last night (March 10) in Santa Monica, Calif. ELP later confirmed the news. No cause of death has been mentioned; Emerson was 71.”
“Keith was a gentle soul whose love for music and passion for his performance as a keyboard player will remain unmatched for many years to come,” Palmer said. “He was a pioneer and an innovator whose musical genius touched all of us in the worlds of rock, classical and jazz.”
Learn and read more about Keith’s death, here ->
Using the Music Dial Chart Guitar Solo Scales Dial…
Good solo or lead playing is a form of personal expression. Feeling, tone, phrasing and technique are all used to create a personal style. The ultimate goal is to play solo melody or lead notes that sound great when played with the rhythm accompaniment chord progression and which enhance the overall feeling of the song.
Start your learning patterns with the 4 basic and popular scales, used to play lead guitar for all styles of music, including… rock, pop, country, blues, traditional, jazz etc.
On the Guitar Solo Scales Dial, select one of the 4 scales, depending one the key and style of music you’re playing.
When using these patterns for Major or Major Pentatonic Key, emphasize the black notes on the Dial, which is the keynote or ‘tonic’ of the Major Scale.
For example, when playing songs in the Major Key of C, emphasize the black note, which is a ‘C’ note. When playing songs in the Relative Minor Key of Am, emphasize the black note, which is an ‘A’ note.
For ease of playing, first learn the pentatonic scale note patterns (black notes only on the Guitar Solo Music Dial). Then learn the major scales and relative minor scale note patterns (black & white notes).
With a little practice and experimentation, you’ll be able to hear and feel the different emphasis and sound when playing with the 4 different scale note patterns.
The first and last note of each scale is called the root note. The root note for major key scales is the black note on the Music Dial. The root note for minor key scales is also the black note.
To play each scale, locate the lowest root note on the lowest string. Play each scale note from the lowest to highest, ending with the octave higher root note.
Other Guitar Techniques…
Some of the techniques used in playing ‘hot’ solos include, string bending, hammering on, pulling off, sliding, vibrato, two hand tapping, harmonics, tone, distortion, sustain, etc.
Some of the approaches to improvising solos include, using scales notes to play the melody, using scales notes to play a solo different from the melody, using scales notes or chord notes to play repetitive riffs, using chord notes to play chord arpeggios for each chord in the chord progression… etc.
Enjoy exercising your individual artistic expression!
Near the end of January each year marks the birth date of the front-man that was in two legendary rock bands, Small Faces and Humble Pie. It’s Steve Marriott’s birthday… time to share some information about his outstanding contribution to rock n’ roll.
According to Wiki: Stephen Peter “Steve” Marriott (30 January 1947 – 20 April 1991) was an English musician, songwriter and front-man of two notable rock and roll bands, spanning over two decades. Marriott is remembered for his powerful singing voice which belied his small stature, and for his aggressive approach as a guitarist in mod rock bands Small Faces (1965–1969) and Humble Pie (1969–1975 and 1980–1981). Marriott was inducted posthumously into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Marriott died on 20 April 1991 when a fire, thought to have been caused by a cigarette, swept through his 16th century home in Arkesden, Essex. He posthumously received an Ivor Novello Award in 1996 for his Outstanding Contribution to British Music, and was listed in Mojo as one of the top 100 greatest singers of all time!
Not only could he sing with such driving piercing force, his guitar playing was very noteworthy!
Heck, you “don’t need no doctor”… (live ’71)
One of Steve’s most memorable times with Humble Pie (along with the Rockin’ the Fillmore -71 tour) was Woodstock… One can easily see why Marriott is considered one of the best rock front-men on this planet, as the above video provides a flashback for your reference.
Also check out the film release, Humble Pie “The Life & Times Of Steve Marriott” when you get the opportunity.
We’ve lost another one… Paul Kantner was (of course) founding member of the 60’s psychedelic rock band, Jefferson Airplane. Not sure what comes to your mind, but as a guitar player, I get the feeling of cool ‘riffs’ and ‘hooks’ when I listen to Airplane…
Paul Kantner, among the titans of the San Francisco music scene, passed away (Jan. 28 2016). Kantner was 74 and experienced a cardiac arrest. Paul was inducted in the Rock Hall of Fame in 1996 as a collaborate with the Jefferson Airplane with the 1967 “Surrealistic Pillow” album.
This article from the Chronicle goes into great details on Paul’s background…
As quoted from the article…
“The band was formed in 1965 in a Union Street bar called the Drinking Gourd, when Balin met Mr. Kantner and expressed his interest in creating a “… folk-rock” band. It didn’t take long for the Airplane to attract a sizable local following, enough so that when fledgling promoter Bill Graham opened his legendary Fillmore Auditorium, the Jefferson Airplane served as the first headliner.”
Guitar Pedals for Recording and Live Gigs…
(credit given: via MixOnline.com by:Kevin Becka)
As noted in Wiki… Glenn Lewis Frey (/fraɪ/; November 6, 1948 – January 18, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter, producer and actor, best known as a founding member of rock band the Eagles. During the 1970s, Frey played guitar with the band, as well as piano and keyboards. Alongside Don Henley, Frey was one of the primary singers of the Eagles; he sang lead vocals on songs such as “Take It Easy“, “Peaceful Easy Feeling“, “Tequila Sunrise“, “Already Gone“, “Lyin’ Eyes“, “New Kid in Town” and “Heartache Tonight“.
RIP, Glenn… Jam On!
More to learn at the official Eagles website here…
David Bowie died in early 2016… his mark on the music industry is both, influential and controversial. Reviewing his past, one can indeed provide many twists and turns that contributed to our music industry.
The press release below provides more insights regarding the unfortunate (early aged) departure of David Bowie…
Credit Given via:http://www.bbc.com/news/
“The artist’s hits include Let’s Dance, Changes, Space Oddity, Starman, Modern Love, Heroes, Under Pressure, Rebel Rebel and Life on Mars.
He was also well known for creating his flamboyant alter ego Ziggy Stardust.
The singer (ed. Bowie), who had been living in New York in recent years, released his latest album Blackstar only last (ed. early 2016) Friday, his birthday.
The album has been well received by critics and was intended as a “parting gift” to the world, according to long-time friend and producer Tony Visconti.”
Read the rest of this story about David Bowie’s death here…