How to sound like Stevie Ray Vaughan!
OK first do this - phone up Clapton, May, Slash, Jimmy
(Page) and Gilmour. Get them round to your local venue and put them on a stage behind a
curtain with ONE guitar (to share) (let's say a Mexican Strat) and ONE amp (let's say a 65
watt Marshall Valvestate). This is affordable stuff within the reach of the average
player. OK. Get them to decide on one song to play (let's say "Little Wing"
since everyone should know that) and then, in no particular order each play the song.
Shouldn't be difficult to spot who's who should it? Now get them all to try sound like
Stevie (i.e. try to play the way he would, with similar amp settings etc. Still won't be
too difficult to spot 'em! Why is that? The reason is that Clapton sounds like Clapton,
Slash sounds like Slash etc and no matter what they do and how close they get to trying to
sound like someone else they can't, because there'll always be a little something that
gives it away. Some little piece of phrasing or a string widdle or bend or whatever, even
their pick attack on the strings or how they hold the guitar, which is a product of all
they've done before, from where they learn't to play, and what, to who they've played with
etc. So what am I getting at? Clapton does not want to sound like Stevie. He's happy to
sound like Clapton. And you should be happy to sound like yourself (because at the end of
the day the only person you're going to sound like is YOU). So every time you practice
something or play something, you'll end up using that in the future, even if you don't
realise it. This is called 'developing your own style'. Same goes for all the
"totally accurate" TAB that's about. Why?? I really prefer to play something and
put my own feel to it. Listen to The Corrs playing Little Wing on "Unplugged"
and see if you agree. Listen to Sting playing Little Wing. So use the TAB as a guide, see
what others are doing and then play it your way. Going off down another route, tho still
on the "accurate TAB" thing - get as many copies of Eric playing "Before
You Accuse Me" (I've got about seven) and tell me if he plays it the same way twice.
No. So what's that telling you. Even the greats play things the way they feel like playing
them at the time. Amps and tone?? Aaahh... what can we say about that? Next EVH concert
you're at, jump on stage and grab Eddie's guitar from him and play some Eddie riffs. Sound
like him?? Naaa. Not even close.
OK just to finish off here ... (or have I rambled on for too long?) ...
no, one last thought, inspired by a letter which I've just received... (Thanks David)