Is in the way you tell ‘em

 A pupil of mine is working on the blues phrasing of Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan and the way that the lines from the former are found in the playing of SRV. However there are differences and he also mentioned to me that he was finding it confusing listening to various versions on the internet of transcriptions of Stevie’s Crossfire.

He asked ‘How is it that different versions of the same solo exist from different transcribers?’ The only way I could answer him was to say ‘please pass the salt’ and then ‘please, pass the salt’ they mean subtly different things. It is all in the dynamics and delivery and that maybe the listener will interpret different meanings in what they hear, a little like saying does your seeing of the colour blue match someone else’s seeing of that colour.

Guitar playing is very much like speaking a language and therefore you need to listen and then play what you hear NOT what someone else tells you they hear. When you have a number of phrases speak them in your tongue make the phrases communicate and remember that what you hear may not be what others hear. Hear with your feelings and not with your intellect, this will be more truthful; then hone it down like a child would do with language.


Three days of playing in a rock band – learn the tricks of the trade.