The Kids Are Alright.

The Who are often overlooked when there is a top 10 of the best bands but for me they merit a place no problem.
Formed in 1964 they have sold over 100 million records and singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townsend continue to perform 55 years later.
A string of early hits including My Generation , I cant explain and Substitute was followed up in 1969 with the bands 4 th album Tommy featuring the fantastic Pinball Wizard and See me Feel me.
It really is a great album and if you haven’t heard it you should get a copy.

The band had a reputation for being very loud with Townshend regularly smashing his guitars on stage and the hard drinking Keith Moon all cementing  their wild boys of rock status.
The Who has the classic line up of Frontman , guitar, bass, and drums. Townshend would spin windmills on his guitar and Daltrey whipping his mic they really were great showmen as well as having the songs to back it all up

All great things come to an end though and as with many flawed geniuses Keith Moon succumbed to rock and roll excess in 1978.

Check out the classic footage of the band at the Woodstock festival in 1969 and the Isle of Wight in 1970 !

The Pentatonic scale.

It is the bedrock of most blues guitarists solos and the reason is most obviously the sound it creates but it is also extremely easy to learn and is the first scale I teach any student who has an interest in the blues and soloing.
Replacing the major 3rd and 7ths with their flattened cousins gives the scale it’s unique sound.
The amount of simple bluesy licks that can be formed with these 5 notes is endless.
Many of the greatest guitarists have relied on this scale for their soloing including Clapton Page and Angus Young.
The scale fits perfectly under the fingers and is easily moveable up and down the fretboard.

Clapton builds his solos around the minor pentatonic scale throwing in a few notes only he can find!

 

Lockdown lessons.

Due to the current lockdown we are all having to endure I am currently doing online music lessons.

Everything is pretty much the same except I have to  make my own cup of tea!
So if you are thinking about learning a new musical instrument to relax and relieve the boredom please don’t hesitate to contact me!

The genius of Peter Green.

Whenever I talk to people about the greatest guitarists of all time Peter green barely gets a mention.
It’s always Hendrix , Clapton and Page.

Early Fleetwood mac was all about Green and his fantastic bluesy overdriven rock.
He played a les Paul and went straight into a marshall amplifier.
The thing about Fleetwood Mac is that their songs were as brilliant as the musicianship that went into them.
Greens voice was also a fantastic mix of blues and soul.
I love the mellow riff work of albatross. Such an original song. Then there’s the bluesy green manilishi. Green’s guitar playing at its raucous best! Another great song is Man of the world.

Why this guy isn’t talked about as one of the greatest of all time is beyond me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keith Moon. The legend lives on.

The Who’s Keith Moon was one of  the wildest men in rock in the sixties. His energetic style complemented John Entwistles bass playing to create a fantastic powerhouse rhythm section.

Moon was a true rock n roller. Famous for throwing tvs out of hotel room windows and driving cars into swimming pools he lived his life on the edge.
As The Who became global music stars Moon became addicted to alcohol and drugs.
A life lived to excess he died at the young age of 32 and the world had lost another genius.

 

 

Charlie Christian

I mainly play the blues but I do love the playing style of the great Charlie Christian. He played a lot more with the major third and sixth instead of the minor pentatonic giving him a lighter jazzier sound.

Playing a Gibson es 150 straight into a Gibson valve amp his sound was clean and warm. He was hugely influential on Chuck Berry who also played using a similar scale but of course adding his own unique rock n roll style.

Sadly he died at the young age of 25 in 1942 but he left a huge legacy for us all to enjoy . Check out the clips below.

 

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Use your illusion.

I Was listening to Use Your illusion part 2 by Guns n Roses the other day on my car stereo and was struck by how many great songs this band wrote.

Everyone knows their classics like Sweet Child o’ mine and Welcome to the jungle but check out the middle section of this album! Pretty tied up and locomotive are absolutely fantastic. Not to mention breakdown and You could be mine!

Slash riffs out like a demon while the rhythm section is driving with Duff playing some great stuff on the bass.  Axl is at his snarling best with some great lyrics. Another album please lads!

Strat v les paul.

I always have a laugh with one of my students about this because he loves his les Paul and I prefer strats. Both guitars are giants in the guitar world and pretty much all the guitar greats have played one or the other( apart from Angus who plays a SG).

The guitars make very different sounds. The les Paul is loaded with humbucking pickups and is one heavy guitar to play. It drives a valve amp to sweet heaven tho without the need for pedals.

The strat has single coil pickups and has a thinner body which i find a lot more comfortable to play. It takes pedals a lot better if that’s your thing and doesn’t muddy up when playing rhythms like the les Paul has a tendency too.

Another thing in the strats favour is price. A new strat is about half the money what you would pay for a les Paul.

Both guitars are wonderful instruments. It’s all about what sound you are trying to achieve.

Heres Jimi with his strat.

 

Here is Jimi Page rocking his Les Paul