Yeah, Tap That Axe!

by guitarkadia on November 3, 2008

in Acoustic, Electric

There is never one way to play anything. Hand over your guitar to a person who’s never played the guitar before, whether a musician or non-musician, and watch how (s)he holds it and tries to play it. But guitar players who’ve adopted their own style bring us a sound we are not familiar with and that either unlocks something in you or offends you.

My first memory of someone playing the guitar ‘wrong’ was Stanley Jordan. He is not so rough on his guitars. Check out these videos and marvel at their technique. If you know of a person I missed but ought to feature, please leave comment with a link.

Erik Mongrain.

Andy McKee. He has a following like you won’t believe. This piece is perhaps the most covered.

Bob Brozman.

Adam Fulara

Daby Toure. This one I shot in August at the African Guitar Festival.

And you thought guitars don’t like it rough.

Now some of you be whiners and may be watching these and saying: “I’ll never be like him, or like him becauseI don’t have enough this” or “My fingers are too short this and my ass is too tight that or my arms are not joined at the right.”

I have a special medicine for those whiners.

Now go fucking practice!

Dee November 3, 2008 at 9:49 am

Amazing stuff. How about Jonsi from Sigur Ros? He doesn’t exactly tap the guitar, but he’s got his signature way of playing it with the cello bow.

Dees last blog post..HBO’s Summer Heights High Mimobot Giveaway

emon November 3, 2008 at 1:07 pm

Good tip, Dee! Reminds me of when Senor Jimmy Page played one ever so gently. 🙂

I probably could do another post on playing the guitar the wrong way.

Christopher November 4, 2008 at 12:35 am

Great stuff, emon. No Michael Hedges? Disgraceful, I say!

I dabble with taping stuff (in various forms) in my “spare time.” It’s a lot of fun, and a good tool for the bag. Playing with both hands on the guitar has definitely taken a step forward since EVH and the rest of the 80’s people–however, there’s some cool stuff from that era too. Jennifer Batten:
Look past the 80’s cheesiness.


Christophers last blog post..On Being a Music Major

emon November 4, 2008 at 2:49 am

It is disgraceful…Hedges should have been on the list. I’ glad you picked Aerial Boundaries.

Have you seen Steve Vai’s Visual Sound Theories DVD? The one he recorded with a Dutch orchestra? It is pure inspiration. And might I add – some nice tap work!

Suldog December 30, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Magnificent. The last fellow reminds me of seeing a performer on “The Gong Show” back in the 70’s who played guitar but had no hands. He used his hooks to pick and slide. I especially remember that because one of the total a-holes on the panel “gonged” him before he could finish. And he was actually pretty damned good; would have been decent playing even if he had hands. I couldn’t believe there was anyone so cruel (and tasteless) in the entire world.

By the way, probably going to be a while before I can finish that interview. I would really, truly love to give you some audio or video of me playing, but I have no amp at present. I have the access to a studio (although a voice recording studio – not quite the same) but just haven’t gotten the pep to hook it all up and make it work through the equipment here. I will, but I don’t know when. Or maybe I’ll actually break down and buy a damn amp and a cord and… Yup. Sometime.

emon December 31, 2008 at 10:34 am

Maybe gonging the guy was part of their plan to create controversy. Who knows. Will email you re: interview.

heyjoe February 13, 2009 at 4:58 am

nice, but i lost interest in each of them after about 30 seconds… where’s my adderral?

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