Guitar Band The Ventures Receives Medal by Japanese Emperor For “Teke Teke”-Sound

Guitar Instrumental Group The Ventures

From left, Gerry McGee, Bob Spalding, Leon Taylor, Don Wilson, Nokie Edwards

The members of US guitar band The Ventures are the first foreign pop musicians to receive a decoration by the Emperor of Japan. Don Wilson
Nokie Edwards, Gerry McGee, Bob Spalding, and Leon Taylor were decorated with “The Order of the Rising Sun” today.

Since they started touring Japan for the first time in 1962 The Ventures became very popular in Japan. The performed more than 2000 times in Japan. The Japanese call the typical Ventures guitar sound “teke teke”. The Ventures are known for their guitar driven instrumentals.

Happy Birthday Django Reinhardt!

The great guitar innovator Django Reinhardt was born on January 23, 1910 in Belgium. His playing made him famous around the world. He died at the age of 43.

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5 Pages For Classic Jazz Guitar Addicts

1. Classic Jazz Guitar

This site is probably the best classic jazz guitar archive on the web. It concentrates on jazz guitar players from the 1930’s through the 1950’s. Every listed guitarist is covered at least with a short but thorough biography. Some biographies are supplemented with links, discography, listening samples and picture galleries. A good starting point for every lover of classic jazz guitar.

Classic Jazz Guitar

2. Jazz Guitar Primer: An Introduction to Jazz Guitar Music

This extensive blog article takes you on time travel. It starts in the early 20th century with George Van Eps and continues with Charlie Christian, Johnny Smith, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Pat Martino, John McLaughlin and Pat Metheny. Each guitarist is presented with a short biography, essential listening and publications. A good chance to follow the development of jazz guitar over the decades.

An Introduction To Jazz Guitar

3. Soft Flight – The Charlie Christian Web Site

Before you visit this Charlie Christian site be warned! You may spend several hours on it. It covers literally all aspects of Charlie Christian’s short life and career in detail. The discography even mentions over how many bars Charlie Christian played his solos. Speaking of solos: the site includes several transcriptions of Charlie Christian’s solos. Besides that you’ll find a chronology of his life, a detailed calendar covering the years from 1939 – 1941, a great photo gallery and much more.

Charlie Christian Web Site

4. Howard Roberts Site

Howard Roberts Site

The Howard Roberts Site is very comprehensive and a must for every one who loves the music of Howard Roberts. It tracks down all aspects of Roberts’ playing. The discography not only includes his recordings as leader and sideman but also his work for television and movies. There are also some pop credits from the time when he was working as a studio guitarist.

5. The 100 Best Jazz Guitarists

The 100 Best Jazz Guitarists

When it comes to music I don’t believe in rankings. Music is not sports. That’s why I only reluctantly mention the list of the 100 Greatest Jazz Guitarists. But it has a feature that makes it noteworthy. For 50 guitarists there’s a listening sample. This gives you a good and varied audio impression of different jazz guitar players.

Billy Strange’s Fuzz Guitar Spices Up Ann-Margret Ballad

Singer Ann-Margret

Ann-Margret (Photo: unknown)

Guitarist Billy Strange

Billy Strange (Photo: The "Official" Billy Strange Fan Group on Facebook)

Recently I discovered a great fuzz guitar example on Westex’ blog Diggin’ It!!! performed by studio guitarist legend Billy Strange. He played a catchy fuzz guitar intro on Ann-Margret’s country-pop ballad I Just Don’t Understand from 1961 and added some more fuzz later in the song on the chorus and in the solo part.

Billy Strange is notorious for his fuzz guitar. In 1962 he played a driving fuzz guitar solo on the Phil Spector production “Zip-A-Dee-Doo Dah” by Bobb B. Sox and the Blue Jeans. To get the fuzz sound he used a very simple but effective method that he  explains in Tales Of Broken Guitar Amps.

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Rock Guitarists Who Played On Michael Jackson Records

13th Annual American Music Masters Les Paul Tribute Concert

Guitarist Slash (of Guns N Roses & Velvet Revolver) performs as part of tribute concert to Les Paul in Cleveland, Ohio, 15 November 2008 (Photo: Jason L. Nelson)

On exminer.com David Sadof takes a look at some of the guitarists who played on Michael Jackson records. While on Off The Wall (1979) Jackson worked with jazz influenced guitarists Larry Carlton and Phil Upchurch, he later also collaborated with rock guitarists such as Eddie Van Halen, Steve Stevens (Billy Idol) and Slash (Guns N’ Roses).

Rene Hall: Influential But Forgotten Guitarist And Arranger Of Rock ‘n’Roll And Rhythm And Blues

Rene Hall is one of the most important founders of rock’n’roll and rhythm and blues.

If you don’t know his name, don’t worry. Unfortunately his name is only known to a few insiders. Although it’s him who’s  playing that raunchy guitar on Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba” and who wrote the arrangement for Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come”.

TheHoundDog published a wonderful article with Rene Hall that gives some insight into his great achievements. Be sure to read it and learn more about a very important musician.

Nashville Studio Guitarist Legend Ray Edenton Now Online

Legendary Nashville Guitarist Ray Edenton

Legendary Nashville Guitarist Ray Edenton

Nashville studio guitarist Ray Edenton is a legend of the rhythm guitar. His guitar was an important ingredient of the so called classic “Nashville Sound”.

He created this timeless sound together with among others guitarist Harold Bradley, drummer Buddy Harman, and bass player Bob Moore.

Ray Edenton’s playing gave a defining edge to immortal songs like Crazy (Patsy Cline), Some Day’s Are Diamonds (John Denver), Till I Get It Right (Tammy Wynette), Chug a Lug (Roger Miller) or Wake Up Little Susie (Everly Brothers).

Now the Ray Edenton Website is online. It includes a short biography and there’s a wonderful collection of songs.

See also: Ray Edenton And The Secret Of His Nashville Guitar Tuning