1. I appreciate your lessons as they hold a philosophy about things. Too often we just want to rush off and practice being able to play scales with lightning speed. I need some schoolin’ first.

  2. John –

    You are right on the money. Derek Trucks often comments on how his approach to playing slide is to emulate many great singers he’s listened to. He says that’s why he and Susan Tedeschi compliment each other so well (other than being married).

    On the speed issue, I am taken back to a conversation I had with with the late Freddie King. He used the phrase “getting inside the note” to describe the way he, B.B. King, and many other blues players played compared the the fast playing guitar gunslingers of the day. He said those players played all around the note and took too long to get to the meaning of what they wanted their playing to communicate.

    Take a look at Stevie Ray Vaughan on his “Live Alive” album which was recorded when his substance abuse issues were at their worst. I think it was his worst playing ever recorded. He was playing a million miles an hour and to me it sounds like all of the soul has been ripped away from him. However, listening to “In Step”, the last album before his untimely death, the soul and magic of SRV is back greater than ever. I had friends say at the time they thought he had lost the fire in his playing because he had “slowed down”. I think he was “inside the note” and was saying more with his playing than he ever had said before.

    And for the record, slowing down is hard. There are times I want to go fast. But then I remember Freddie’s words and force myself to then make the effort to get “inside the note”.

  3. This is dead on. Speed is a great tool, but it’s ability to effect emotions is very limited. There is so much that can go into why what someone is singing makes it is good when it is so simple.

  4. I found your comments after a search of ‘blues singer’s tone guitar’
    Thank you for your reassurance. I am a beginner of 9 months and struggling with my finger placements.
    I have just been practicing and tried to follow Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash’s tones with my acoustic. The famous singers from the past have left us all a legacy-Their success was due to a lifetime honing their voice. Your comments are invaluable to all guitarists who want to progress further

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