Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Play In A Day - The Steve Jones Way

Are you a practicing musician, wannabe singer or am-dramatist at any level? Pro/semi pro, occasional gigger, or perhaps a 'have a go hero' kicking some riffs around at home or even a bedroom or PC/virtual DJ? If so - was there an album, artist or song that made you go from bewitched listener to befuddled learner?

Mine was the Sex Pistols NMTB. This riff heavy album with it's 'guitar soup' sound, kick started a teenage daydream of becoming a guitar hero and kept me playing through the early stages of calluses, chord combo fatigue and reef knot fingers.

Over thirty years on from its release and twenty five years since I started strumming, I still get the tingles when I Play-along-a Pistols, and I'm off to see them in concert at Hammersmith tonight.*goes cross eyed and faints from the excitement*

Steve Jones plays the riffs that got me rocking..


Valentine Suicide said...

Well, as I only picked up a guitar, tuned it and clumsily began trying finding chords in February this year, aged 43, I can well remember what got me going. It was a combination of listening to Howie Day cover Paddy Casey's 'Rainwater' and thinking "I really wish I could play and sing that" AND the invention of Guitar Hero III.

It's so bloody compelling. I've never been able to find the tab for 'Rainwater', and am currently sitting here night after night trying to make my arthritic, middle aged hands play the barre chords for Elbow's 'Switching Off' (B, F#, G#m, E) quickly enough! GAH!

iLL Man said...

I never played along to anything, I couldn't, I was really bad and lacked patience. So I just put my own songs together. Early stuff was like Mercury Rev meets Flying Saucer Attack, chucked together on a Fostex 4 track. Started writing 'pop songs' when I joined a band, got dis-illusioned, went acoustic, gigged, put some stuff on Myspace, then gave up.

I think it was maybe the Buzzcocks and Nirvana that made me pick up a guitar. They made it sound quite simple and easy. In a sense it is.

Sartre was right. Hell is other musicians ;)

Planet Mondo said...

VS - now those are tough chords. I found it best to start with open, then move to barres - as you fingers have developed more flexibility by that point. Having said that Steve Jones only plays barre chords (check the clip). A couple of great tracks for practing barres to are 'Won't Get Fooled Again' or almost anything of off the Stones 'Some Girls' album which only use 3 chords for most tunes. Have you got this book I can't recommend it enough. And have you checked out Danelectro guitars - crazy cheap around £150, but used by everyone from Jimmy Page to Ron Wood. Seriously good gear.

IM - Have you read Will Hodgkinson Guitar Man - very affirming for any player at any level. He sets himself the task of learning a Davey Graham tune and performing it live with 6(?) months - having never played before, on his travels he mets all sorts of players and performers Roger McGuinn, Les Paul, T. Model Ford - and the essence is the same - forget the formalities, if it sounds good - it is good

Valentine Suicide said...

I hadn't checked out Danelectro guitars, PM, but now I have. I've now got a "hmm its' my birthday next month, and my current electric is not up to much, and neither is my practice amp, and I'm really starting to enjoy tootling around on the electric, and having a good one would be loads more rewarding, and those Danelectro ones ARE very reasonably priced..." stream of consiousness. I have feeling you could be costing me money?!

At the moment I've got one of those cheap Gibson/Baldwin starter kits which sounded really bad until I restrung it. It's just OK now. Most of my time is spent on my entry-level Yamaha F310 acoustic... which I love, but would also like to replace.....

Planet Mondo said...

VS If you're going to go Dano
The DC 59 is probably the best bet I've got a Pro and the shorter neck can be a bit limiting. Also check out Epi G 400 customs
it's my main guitar, and the 3 pickups give you can incredible selection of sound and tone options.

Ampwise Orange's Orange Crush amp is a beaut' and I still regret selling mine. But I replaced it with a Hughes and Kettner Blue 15 which is just as fantastic..

Acoustically If you can stretch to it check out the Martin DX 1's - unreal they're so good (it's all in the bass and sustain) all the pro's use Martins ( I got mine for £160 via ebay from the states an even with £60 shipping was still half the UK rrp) a mate of mines got a £1000 Martin we tested ours both side by side and there's no noticeable diff' - Also Simon and Patrick or their budget version Art and Lutherie are well worth checking.

And if you fancy a guitar gadget Line 6 pods have excellent build quality and are incredible value, loads of pro musicians use them live and in the studio - you can check all the info here but basically they give emulate a huge selection of classic amp, cab sounds and guitar effects all inter-changable at the touch of a button - almost any classic guitar sound can be downloded ready made and installed on the pod ie Hendrix, Stones, The Who via the website pocket pods are a great start at £60

Valentine Suicide said...

Cheers PM. Given my limited talent and ability, I really should hold off be sensible and make do with what I've got. But I'm not like that so I won't. That Epi looks like a cracker (whaddya mean it's not about looks!)

I'll walk the middle ground I think and get DC59 and the Orange Crush. I'll look at a new Acoustic next year.

Thanks for the advice!

Planet Mondo said...

Youtube is great for demo's as well as lessons check these

Dano this is the pro (clean) but the 59 sounds the same and they are really raunchy with some overdrive.

I was lucky enough to be invited down to the studio by Marco Pirroni earlier this year, after reviewing a Wolfmen gig on my PM blog, and turns out he's a big Dano fan too

Orange amp

Pocket POD

Axe Victim said...

Just tried out the Orange Tiny Terror Combo today and it's not up to much at all. I was very disapointed. Not enough 'oomph' by half. Next stop Fender reverb deluxe.