You can find a lot of guitar books out in the market and all of them claim that you can surely learn right away.
It is entirely up to the individual whether he or she will use a guitar book to learn to play guitar or not. But if you’re confident, patient, and motivated, you can learn to play guitar through guide books.
By the way, I always assumed the candy bar was named after baseball great, Babe Ruth, but it turns out there’s speculation it was named after others.
Many of us have received email forwards containing photos of three-dimensional (3D) drawings by Julian Beever.
I see the theory in how these are done, but I’ve never attempted to do an extreme perspective drawing like this. If you’re interested in learning how to do this kind of art, but are a more visual and hands-on learner, there are video tutorials on YouTube.
I received recipe newsletter from the Just A Pinch yesterday, the subject of which said Man Catching Fried Chicken.
When I read the subject line, I knew what the recipe’s submitter was trying to say when she titled it.
When two or more words modify the noun that come after them, there should be a hyphen in between them (see Compound Modifiers). I don’t play bar chords on the guitar as they were always too demanding of my wrist and I lacked the strength in my fingers to do them well. Don’t ask me to play from sheet music unless I already know the song and there are guitar chords printed above the music so I can sound it all out and memorize it.
I did take the step of having my hubby bring my keyboard up out of the basement and set it up on its stand in the office, at least.
That said, there are millions out there who can not only read guitar chords and tabs, but sheet music. After I cut out the leaf images I used on the front of the card, I was left with their shapes outlined in pieces of cardstock. The note to my friend is blurred out for privacy reasons; when will I learn to take photos before I write in cards? Fusing different musical forms is hardly new in the guitar world: The marriage between jazz and rock has survived nearly two decades, while jazz and classical get together fairly often.
Rik Emmett, leader of the rock power trio Triumph and the author of Guitar Player's Back To Basics column, was fully aware of the artistic hazards involved when he proposed a Sound page recording to Editor Tom Wheeler in late 1986 that would fuse rock, jazz, and classical.
The resulting composition-Emmett's masterful "Beyond Borders" -succeeds in melding its various elements on a number of levels. While Emmett, Boyd, Lifeson, and Bickert reside in the greater-Toronto area of Canada's province of Ontario, each is a world-class artist whose abilities transcend national boundaries. Why were four prominent artists so eager to dedicate hours of valuable time to a noncommercial project of this magnitude? Alex Lifeson: When you work in a band like Rik and I do, you get used to playing in a certain way and having a certain attitude ' towards writing and performing. Ed Bickert: One of the things that Rik and I talked about a bit was how a project such as this is going to interest some listeners in other styles of guitar playing that they might not get exposed to otherwise. Alex: Ed and Liona also contribute a lot of transition points and segues, in addition to the places where they were featured.
Was there anything that you learned or did differently that you might not have done in your normal musical environment?
Alex: After spending the day here in February when I recorded my guitar solo, I was reminded that I really love playing the guitar. Ed: Sometimes playing the guitar makes me feel good, and sometimes it makes me feel as if I should be in some other line of work [laughs].
Rik: Speaking of doing things differently, when Liona played her part, only a click track was on the tape, so she was really in the dark.
Alex, you mentioned working with textures for this project, but you've always done that with Rush. Rik: I knew that one of the trickiest parts would involve making everyone's sense of rhythm work together. Rik: Canada has a fairly strong multicultural mosaic, and we are in the shadow of a huge cultural sister.
Rik: To finally answer the question, in one respect Ed is the best guitarist, in that he works on an instinctive level, being comfortable with what he knows. Ed: I've always been an admirer of classical guitar, and I've dabbled with it in a very small way.
Alex: About 15 years ago I studied classical guitar for about 12 months, and I really regret not keeping it up. Not all guitarists are as well-versed in the technical aspects of recording as are Alex and Rik. Liona: It's certainly helpful, and it may be something that I'll spend more time with in the future. Ed: When I record, I usually do my own thing in my own way with my own equipment and my own style. Ed: At this time in my life, I'm not disciplined enough to practice and do a lot of listening and research. Rik: When you're young you tend to go through a very intense period of working on your chops.
Alex: It's funny because one of the reasons I stopped taking classical guitar lessons was because the drinking age in the province of Ontario was lowered from 21 to 18, which caused the number of clubs and bars for Rush to play to just explode. Rik: I'm curious to hear if Alex thinks it was easier for a band to be more adventurous in the mid '70s . Alex: There seems to be more experimenting now than in the mid '70s-in rock music, at least-but the results don't seem to be as honest or as complete in a musical sense. How would you answer purists who object to you going beyond your respective forms of music? Ed: It's unfortunate that people aren't more accepting of different kinds of music, and more easily exposed to it, but it's been like that for so long that I don't even think about it anymore. Rik: Somebody has to take the bull by the horns to try to overcome the prejudice that exists in the musical community. Since this was a non-commercial venture, it was relatively easy to appeal to Liona, Ed, and Alex. Once I heard that Guitar Player was interested in having the project be a Sound page, I wrote and phoned Liona, Alex, and Ed, and then sent them a basement demo tape that outlined my vision of the piece. In January, Liona came into the studio and spent the better part of the day recording her parts.
When Liona listened to the mix, she wished that it had had more reverb to smooth out the tremolo a bit, but she was perfectly willing to live with it.
As the composer of "Beyond Borders," it was great to collaborate, because the other participants provided reinforcement and assurance that I needed. One of the things I learned about Alex was the way he conceptually approaches a recording; he's able to look at a piece of music from the outside in, rather than from the inside out, which is my way of doing things. Balancing the electrics with the acoustic was the biggest challenge involved with the mix, especially in the busier sections. When I first started to arrange "Beyond Borders," I adopted the basic premise that it was to be a guitar quartet that could be played live onstage.
Liona begins her classical tremolo solo at measure 22; in the background you'll notice the feedback guitar part.
Where measure 101 crosses over to 102, I did a little lap steel thing with a volume pedal and echo that goes up from a fifth to an octave; it's kind of a Steve Howe cop. I want to give credit to Louie Muccilli, an old friend of mine, who is responsible for the melody that occurs at the last ending part of the piece.
One of the greatest difficulties in doing a fusion project such as this is successfully marrying the various elements.
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Many individuals are quite interested in learning how to play this interesting musical instrument. Learning the whole process of guitar playing through guide books is effective because you can find all the needed information so that you can learn easily and effectively. Some individuals learn easily with the use of guitar books but there are also those who find it really hard to learn the basics of playing guitar. The trick is, they’re three-dimensional only when viewed from a specific vantage point. This is a place where one tiny hyphen would have made a difference in the literal interpretation of the phrase.
However, without that hyphen, the phrase means this: (The) man (is) catching fried chicken.
I know just enough to realize the higher the notes are on the little lines, the higher they are to the ear, and I know that certain notes mean certain time intervals, like a whole note is four beats, a quarter note is one, etc. They can pick up an unfamiliar piece and bring it to life the first time they read the music and play through it.
I stamped an image, cut it out, and used both the cut out image and the remaining cut-out left in the cardstock as stencils on a card. So, I inked around one of the cut-out leaves several times, using a white Cat’s Eye ink. Of course, the more styles you try to blend, the less probable success becomes and the greater the risk of producing something whose sum is smaller than each individual element. While such a project promised to be the most complex one of its nature since the Sound page's debut in the Oct. Although brilliant playing abounds, the piece is more than a vehicle for virtuosic displays as it integrates various styles and weaves in and out of different moods, textures, tones, rhythms, key centers, and time changes.
Often referred to as "the first lady of the guitar," Liona Boyd early on earned a reputation as a fine classical artist. It was an opportunity to get outside of the genre I'm usually known for, and it also gave me the opportunity to work with artists of such high caliber and stature.
But when you do something like this with other musicians-especially ones who represent a broad musical scope-it gives you a lot of freedom to do other things. People who are familiar with one or the other of us will be able to hear the rest of the stuff and say, "Hey, that's not so bad." In that respect it serves a good function.
As it turned out, everyone is so gifted that they gave my thoughts a whole new perspective. The little bits that come in and out add a lot to the flow and work nicely, especially for something that was basically done in just a couple of days. Most of the times when I record, the person in charge usually tries to move the session right along, as if you were playing in a club.
As soon as you get into drum machines and syncing up sequencers, it 's essential that you use one. You can sync up five or six different sequences on different keyboards and have a fantastic atmosphere and sound texture. For instance, since Liona comes from a classical background, she thinks in the middle of the beat, whereas Ed is very laid back and ready to start swinging at any moment. It's been an education for me to do something that's so rhythmic, because in most classical music, the beat is not clear. In the initial stages I tried to be as flexible as possible, so I had to feel everyone out to see how they could fit in. When you got involved with this project, did you see it as an opportunity to make a nationalistic statement? We live in the same area of Canada, so maybe it would be better to call it Toronto Guitar Summit, although Toronto is a hotbed of talent.
We are influenced by Britain and France, but right next door we have Chicago, where the blues came from. I would be a lousy electric guitarist or jazz guitarist, and Ed might be a lousy classical guitarist.
I like Paul Desmond's remark about how he won quite a few awards for being the slowest saxophone player in the world, and that he earned a special honor for playing extra softly. There are certain things that you wouldn't try doing, due to the particular combination of musicians working together and the direction. I've tried to learn a few of the pieces in the standard repertoire, including some of Villa-Lobos preludes, but I've never had the technique to be able to cover playing classical, and I would never do it in public. I remember the pieces that I originally learned, and if I practice for a while, I can get my fingers back into relative shape. But you have to make choices in life, and I've decided that a terrific engineer can be very beneficial. The people in the studio understand that off the top, so I haven't had to adapt to all of the complicated equipment.

For instance, some artists need a good producer, especially at critical junctures in their careers.
As you get into your twenties, you start developing a career and you have to spend time figuring out your writing, engineering, record production, and those kinds of things.
Up until then I had time to work on my music; I took my guitar everywhere and played for friends as much as I could. The rock guitar vocabulary really hasn't expanded that much-it's probably gotten a little quicker, but most of the players are just saying the same things faster and flashier. It's a courageous move when Liona makes an album like Persona, for instance, It's something that she didn't have to do; she could have just gone on making a nice living doing what she was doing. Conceptually, I wanted something that would break down boundaries between different styles. Commercially, the project doesn't have a lot of potential; a six-minute piece with four guitarists from different walks of life isn't going to go Top 10.
Next came a meeting at Liona's house with Ed and Richard Fortin, her arranger and transcriber who plays in her band. We discussed the kind of role he would be playing and basically decided that he would provide atmosphere, but we wouldn't use any synths- just direct kind of guitar sounds and outboard studio gear. Later Alex I and talked about how everyone was able to put their egos aside and be more concerned with the music rather than showing off their chops. When you work alone, a lot of self-doubts can arise; but with colleagues, you find out that a particular idea isn't lunar and has some validity. Ed calls his sound "Scarborough dark" -Scarborough is in the greater Toronto area-which describes its warm quality. She also has some Ramirezes and a soprano guitar that was built by Serge DeJong, a Toronto-based Iuthier.
Even though we might never perform it under those conditions, that idea helped me limit the writing. I do the lead guitar off of the top, and Alex plays the atmospheric stuff in the background, which includes low weird things and floating sound effects. For example, Liona's classical solo has a bit of a rock feel laying in behind it, but Ed's part is pure jazz with little integration going on. Traditionally, it's a very accessible and personal instrument, and it's perfect for realizing all kinds of fusion-not just jazz-rock. Before you purchase any guitar books, make sure that you first look into these pros and cons. You see, there are also other options that you can turn to if you think that you can’t learn through the books.
If there are cookies or anything else delectable like them, that’s where I gravitate. Fortunately, there are some online resources available which show the basics of how these works are done.
If you have suggestions of other YouTube videos on the subject, let me know and I might add them to the playlist so everyone can enjoy them. If I want to get back into music, I need to discipline myself to take the time to learn it, and I don’t know if I want it that badly. It looks like they offer a lot for free and extras for those who subscribe to a paid service. Then, I used the leftover cardstock with the shapes cut out as stencils, using a cream color. Always seeking new avenues of self-expression, she recently has explored more pop-oriented ensemble formats. Some ofthe pieces I've done with Triumph blend a variety of styles, but I'm not good enough technically to do certain things-especially in Ed's and Liona's areas. For instance, here I approached my role from an atmospheric standpoint, and I tried to tie things together and do little things that I wouldn't normally do on a Rush record. Right now I'm expanding my artistic scope a little more, so I was eager to play something different and more experimental. Since she is the most schooled player, I knew that she could read a part and play to a metronome. My part in Rush ends up being more of a stricter guitar part, instead of an experimental thing.
Every conductor I've worked with says that guitarists are so used to playing on their own that they don't really pay attention to rhythm. In Liona's case, I figured out that the best way to go was to record a rough outline of a part, which I sent her so that her guitarist and arranger Richard Fortin could do a transcription.
Ed: Everybody around here says we are not getting the opportunities to play, there aren't enough clubs, and people don't turn out for festivals and concerts the way they should, yet maybe the jazz scene here is much more active than that of other places.
Seriously, it reminds me of how much I dislike the whole "poll winner,""axe slinger" mentality that pollutes the guitar community. There certainly wasn't any competition in a project like this; each of us made our particular contributions, and that was that. But apart from that, there is a world of sound and ideas that I can look into, although I'd love to work with some other people, too. I realize that there are a lot of good players around, but most of my listening experience goes back to older times and records by Segovia, John Williams, and Julian Bream. Some of the things I know are fairly standard for grade-six level and include transcriptions of six lute pieces, "Bouree In E Minor" by J.S. I'm fussy about the kind of sound I want and what mikes are used and how they are positioned. If my sound is in question during playback, I just say, "I'd like a little more of this or a little less of that." Usually there's no problem, and they make the adjustment. One of the ways to educate yourself is to have a home studio, which will help you understand how things such as EQ, echo, and a mixing board work. But after you get your career going, there's time to go back and woodshed and recapture a bit of the artistic aesthetic that you had in the early stages. Recently I've made quite a career change, and I'm very happy with my new way of expression and working with other instrumentalists. Our attitude has always been, "If you don't like this record, too bad; maybe you'll like the next one. One of my pet peeves is the prejudice, ignorance, and phony walls surrounding various aspects of music, so this seemed to be a chance to do something about that.
It was funny because Ed had hardly played a note during the previous meetings, but I had a feeling that when it came time to record, he would be completely prepared. It surprised me how cooperative everybody was and how each of the participants had a professional graciousness. This might even be a Canadian trait, although I've been in other collaborative situations where it wasn't necessarily that way, such as jamming with other guitarists. She has a competitive and ambitious spirit, but at the same time she's a very gracious and classy lady.
He refers to all of the little details that can be added to a performance to make a chill go up your spine as the "GB factor," which stands for goose bumps. He used a Roland Cube amp, with the EQ and master volume wide open with the channel set at about 5.
Now that it's finally recorded, it still could be done live, although we would have to cheat a bit and probably use a guitar synth hooked to a sampler for parts such as the triad section at the end. Ed comes in with a little melody that lasts from bar 4 into measure 5, and then Liona's little melody enters at bar 6. I made the mistake of baking a roll of Pillsbury’s seasonal peppermint sugar cookies early this week.
Other times, the subject is so intriguing, I can overlook it not being in a style or colors I enjoy. Unless the strings stay in good shape for over a decade of disuse, they need to be replaced. I’m going to develop some original, hand drawn designs and import them into Make The Cut from my scanner so I can cut them out using my Cricut. I cut smaller shapes out of another stamped image (this made it easy to see where I wanted to make my cuts) and used that paper as a stencil for the dark areas you see on the cream leaves. Alex Lifeson is the dynamic guitarist for Rush, one of rock's most respected progressive units, while jazzer Ed Bickert's understated solos and sophisticated approach to chordal accompaniment have graced performances by luminaries such as saxophonist Paul Desmond, vibraphonist Milt Jackson, and trumpeter Ruby Braff.
It was great to be able to ask myself what I would do if I could write a part for a great player. For "Beyond Borders" everybody basically had their parts worked out and knew what they were going to do, but because it was in the studio arena, it had a whole different perspective to it.
The parts I initially had on the tape before Ed came in were Mickey Mouse compared to what he did. One ofthe things I did differently was use Lenny Breau's harmonic technique, which Chet Atkins explained to me years ago .
I knew that she'd have the best timing, so she laid down the skeleton, and Ed provided the next layer.
Sometimes we get excited and we're way ahead of it, and then we start to bend notes and get way behind it. But after talking to Rik I realized that it was going to be built up and that I was going to have a score and not just be expected to improvise along with Ed. Kids hang out and argue about who's better between Yngwie Malmsteen, Eddie Van Halen, and Steve Vai. I suppose that when I play with other musicians, my main objective is to complement the other musicians' stuff.
Lionaisjust starting to be a writer, and Alex and I have been insulated in the rock band environment for years and years, so it's only at this stage in our careers that we are starting to step out and learn more about other music ensembles and structures. I have a particular style, and I'd like to explore how I can implement it in other music and songwriting.
I would like to be able to play some more contemporary music- not necessarily rock, but jazz that's a little more up-to-date, which is a different kind of thing compared to what I generally fall into. I'd also like to develop some ofthe two-handed playing that Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Lynch, and Stanley Jordan do.
I've always been involved in the sound that I've gotten, especially on my solo records, but I don't pretend to know all of the technical details about how things are mixed . From time to time I work out musical ideas that are different, or I get some pieces of music that are more modem than my knowledge. Andy Summers is a good example of someone who found success and then went off to do more creative things, such as film scores and albums with Robert Fripp that are pretty esoteric. You get a number of players who seem to establish a direction in playing, and then everybody follows, although now there are different forms of rock and different styles of playing. At the same time, an artist has a responsibility to do that, because in the end that's the way you overcome people's narrow notions. At the same time I wanted to get great players to execute my ideas, which went beyond my own limited techniques. The experimental and educational aspect of "Beyond Borders" really piqued the players' interest. Liona's part was completely solidified, and Ed got an idea of what he would be doing and signed off on the tempos for each of his sections so I could make click tracks.
I was very happy to have Ed Bickert get involved with the project, because he deserves more recognition.
For instance, at the end of the piece, I had a place for some semi-fancy lead playing that dances around and is fairly quick. In fact a couple of times during the mix he showed me how he was actually getting goose bumps on his arms from listening to the playback.
He plays a mid-'60s Fender Telecaster with a humbucking pickup in the neck position; he never uses the bridge pickup.
Also, Ed might have to be persuaded to playa little acoustic guitar, and Alex and I would have to scramble like crazy. That's where I back him up with a simulated bass guitar part that I play on my Yamaha arch-top.
Another difficult thing was trying to satisfy the standards of four international recording artists on a limited budget. No stranger to Guitar Player's readers, Emmett directed the project; "Beyond Boundaries" was recorded at Triumph's Metalworks studio in Mississauga, Ontario. You could say it's a first, in that I laid down some chords and overdubbed a solo over them. There aren't any classical pieces that use it, so I had to refresh my memory to learn it again.
When I got involved with this project, everything was just about finished, which enabled me to sit back and put my feet up and play whatever I wanted.
If we had recorded it together off of the floor, the result would have been a lot different; we wouldn't have had the flow, and the piece wouldn't have been as interesting.

Once I had heard things, I realized that I' had some very pretty parts, which made me excited. In my own music I want to get into fusing styles, rather than learning another separate one. I'm learning a bit about jazz now that I'm branching out and doing different styles of music, but I don't imagine I'll ever be ajazz player. It's unbelievable to hear that players such as Ed record so quickly; I'm used to making records where it takes two days just to get drum sounds. So at this point in my career it's a matter of parceling my time so that I can develop as a player and break new ground. I can play something for months on end by myself, but it undergoes a transformation once I start playing it in public. In some types, the guitar is more of a rhythm instrument, rather than playing a traditional lead role. From the beginning I thought that using local talent would make it fairly easy to get together and overcome the logistics and political kinds of problems that can develop when you deal with people from varied careers. After that, I put down a basic acoustic guitar skeleton to help guide everyone through the various sections.
Every take he did was fme and perfect, so doing more than one was a matter of getting something that was interesting. For example, when Liona did her tremolo part, as a producer I requested that she go for a very emotional performance, because the tempo was very open to interpretation and not very metronomic.
He is extremely laid-back and humble, so I saw the project as a way to expose him to a much larger audience. I wanted Alex to play that part, but he said, "Oh no, I don't know whether I can pull it off as well as you can, so I think you should do it." It makes you feel good when someone you respect says something like that. When it comes to studio equipment, he has a great understanding of the board and outboard gear, such as reverbs, delays, and EQs. Ed keeps the tone control adjusted close to full bass, and the volume control is close to wide open for soloing; he backs it off a bit for com ping. He used a Gallien-Krueger 250 ML basically as a preamp to drive a Marshall twin-l 2 combo and a Dean Markley CD 212.
The 24 tracks were completely filled up, and some of them were double assigned, so Ed drew up a map, which helped us keep track of the various elements.
For the warm bass sound I rolled the treble back and played with the fleshy part of my thumb. Bar 77 is semi-country acoustic fingerpicking with an andante tempo of 90 beats per minute.
We began listening to an old tape that we had done, and all of a sudden I recognized a melody he had written that I unconsciously used in "Beyond Borders," so I immediately apologized for stealing his lick. It's one thing if you're Roy Buchanan and you go into the studio and record a jam for a couple of hours, or you're Steve Vai working in your basement studio, but it was very difficult to be concise and make people live with things on a project that was this experimental. If you’re going to try your hand at chalk art, Crayola has a nice 52-Count Chalk Carton.
Things were also different, in that I don't expose myself much to other areas of music-I'm kind of a stick-in-the mud that way. Liona: I hate working with click tracks, but you have to when you record with other people.
When Rik first sent me his demo, I wondered, "What have I gotten myself into?" But once we got together, we joked around and plowed through it.
Record companies are more willing to take chances on Canadian artists now; 10 or 15 years ago you had to go south ofthe border to accomplish anything on a large scale. Being a Guitar Player columnist and doing clinics gives me the opportunity to influence younger players to not think in terms of who is better. A while ago I gave up contemporary classical music because I felt it was an intellectual exercise.
It's not something I've ever wanted to do, although it can add an extra dimension to your playing. Obviously, Rile and Alex have been working a lot more with multitrack recording; most of the time I've worked with solo guitar, although I was present while my albums Persona and Romantic Guitar were being mixed. I'm not sold on the idea of staying at the level I've reached, so I'm still open to learning some new things about harmony.
I always hate the first public performance of a piece, but other expressions come into it after a while. Years ago Gordon Lightfoot recommended that I write my own things, but I just laughed and said, "Segovia, Williams, and Bream don't do that. When you make a record with four different people on it, someone who likes Ed Bickert, for example, will get exposed to the other guitarists. When Alex listened to it, he said that he would have gone with a very straight reading-exactly the opposite of my idea. In many ways this addresses the issue of how the artistic side of music opposes the commercial side. Usually when a piece is performed, the composer is responsible for about 90%, and the remaining 10% results through the artist's interpretation.
This was the first chance I'd had to get to know him, and he was really great to work with.
He also keeps the Allen wrench for the bridge taped to the body so he won't lose it, which is pretty funny. For lead work I used a Yamaha RGX 1220, and the jazzy stuff was played with a Yamaha AE 2000 fullbody archtop. Alex likes to do things such as set one echo repeat on quarter-notes or halfnotes and another repeat in a triplets feel, so you get the two beating around in a texture that's rhythmically correct. The other concept behind the arrangement was to have no synths, drums, or bass guitar, as I mentioned earlier.
Ed does a cadenza at measure 64, and Alex plays an atmospheric technique where he holds a chord and brushes the strings quickly with the fleshy pads of his right-hand fingers; Lenny Breau was the first person I saw use that.
I play the acoustic steel-string, and Liona plays nylon-string in unison, all the way to bar 102; sometimes I break into harmony, but it's a unison part essentially. Although I just came in and did what I always do, it's surprising to hear how it all came together in the end. We are four guitarists who are great at certain things, if I can be so egotistical as to place myself in their company. Having a studio at home is another good way to have the lUXUry of getting into other music in a fairly big way, but without having to spend a lot of money and time.
Right now I feel as if I'm in transition, in terms of direction, but nothing definite has developed. Way back when, an artist was an artist and an engineer was an engineer, and never the twain shall meet. There's an awful lot of technique that I could improve on, to help me play what I already know. Segovia once said that he likes to play a piece in concert for five years before he records it. Most heavy metal stuff doesn't have much variety, possibly because it's not inherent in the abilities of the players or in 'their creativity. I think that some of the prejudice from Liona's area, say, is harder to overcome than with what Alex and I do. So when Alex and I mixed that part, we decided to give it a little back reverb but to make it fairly up-front and personal sounding. There's a fair amount of injustice that exists when Alex and I can be popular and financially rewarded for what we do, while Ed's music remains largely unknown to the young record-buying public. For example, Liona added a lot of interpretive color to the piece by artistically moving her hand towards the bridge for a brighter sound.
Most people think of Alex and being part of a very serious progressive band, but he's one of the funniest guys in the world.
During that same section I also play the Dobro part and all of the electric fills that have a Pat Metheny-esque sound. The whole wasn't apparent until the end, because Ed and I did our bits more separately at the beginning, and then Rik and Alex came in.
I don't feel that I have to market music done that way; I'm lucky enough to have the freedom to make that choice. Allan Holdsworth and John McLaughlin are up-to-date musicians who are pretty interesting and have unbelievable facility. One thing I've observed about my own playing is that I tend to think traditionally, using standard tuning and usual chord voicings. I could also stand to learn some stuff that's more energetic- I guess that "fast" is the right word, although sometimes it's more a matter of making things sound effortless, rather than fast.
In some music, textures have taken over quite a bit, which includes the use of artificial instruments such as synthesizers and drum machines that substitute for the rhythm section. I find it ironic that Ed is very quiet, yet his music is so articulate and has such a depth of expression. I also used a variety of novelty guitars, including a Coral Electric Sitar loaned to me by Domenic Troiano, and an old metal-bodied National Dobro from the '30s that I borrowed from Paul James.
But we can lend things that enhance each other's musicality and playing, which is the most important thing. Without sounding like Christopher Parkening, who is very religious, it has a spiritual quality.
Solo guitar is very satisifying; being able to play the guitar alone is one of the best things about being a musician. Steve Lukather and Larry Carlton are good examples of instrumentalists who know what they're doing in the studio. Once you start doing that, your fingers become very limber after a couple of months, and you feel very comfortable about your ability as a player after a while. There is a big difference between a real drummer and a drum machine; you can feel it in the regularity of the playing. My amps included a Fender Princeton Pro Series and an old Marshall 50-watt head and a Marshall 4 x 12 bottom. When you play by yourself, the guitar sounds so beautiful because of the combination of harmonies and melodies that are possible.
I've always been involved, as far as the editing of all my albums goes, so when I hear a guitarist say that he lets the company edit his records, I think it's just out of laziness.
I've been listening to Larry Carlton a lot lately, and I really like the action that cat's got-he does it all. Sometimes I'm in the mood for writing instead of practicing, while at other times I've got no inspiration at all and I'm only in the mood for watching TV and doing scales. There is something very magical about how the classical guitar can create an entire piece of music, but a whole new world has opened up for me that involves playing with other musicians and using synthesizers and drum machines.
It's a shame that when you study classical music, you are not given a wider education that includes other styles, which would be useful for young players.
One of my classical instruments is a 1971 Ramirez that I bought in a Denver pawnshop in 1975. When I'm on tour, I usually practice only 20 minutes a day, but if I'm rehearsing for a major concert prior to touring, I do about an hour of technical stuff.
If I were teaching guitar right now, I would train players to be more versatile and have more basic knowledge of jazz progressions and structure. Liona once asked me what year it was, and she said that a guitar is like a bottle of wine; particular vintages of Ramirez guitars are better than others. One of my favorite exercises involves playing a four-finger pull-off starting on the high E at the 12th fret with the 4th finger; you just evenly pull off each note in the position, and then repeat the pattern a fret lower, and so on.
I can get much more involved with the music, compared to when I perform with a symphony orchestra, because classical guitarists don't get to play with them that often.
Practically speaking, most players, other than the very select few who are able to have classical concert careers, could benefit from being familiar with other styles.
Stylistically, I'm not looking to learn something innovative, different, or new; I'm quite happy with my ability.
I'd like to be a little better and more confident, but I don't want to learn two-handed hammer-ons and that kind of stuff, because it doesn't interest me.
It's the worst feeling in the world when you go into a town and you hear that only a third of the tickets have been sold and you're losing money, but it's great when the hall is packed.
When I started out with classical guitar, I thought that I would strictly play for classical audiences, but over the years I realized how broad the audience is and how it does go beyond borders.

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