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Red Light Fever

This month, as we were delving into the meaty topic of recording (see cover feature, page 76) the subject of nerves came up a couple of times. Funny how often just seeing the ‘record’ light come on can make you tense up and make silly mistakes. The most reliable way to overcome ‘red light fever’, of course, is to get very, very comfortable with the material you’re going to play before you go anywhere near a mic. Well bedded-in muscle memory really does power you through any jitters – and knowing the material through

and through frees you to express yourself with feeling.

That goes for gigs as well, of course. When me, Nev and Mick Taylor were preparing for our recent Cream tribute gig (see page 122), we had limited rehearsal time together as a group. With the gig looming, I fancied going through the set one last time with the band but, as it happened, no one was free. The answer? Drummer Dougie had used a handheld digital recorder to record our last practice session, complete with some little tweaks to the arrangements we’d made at the last minute. He helpfully sent the audio file to me and I played it back on my iPad through a PA system at a local rehearsal studio in what was, effectively, a solo practice with the whole band there! I couldn’t believe I’d never tried this before – and certainly helped give that final polish to preparations. In fact, as acoustic wizard Tommy Emmanuel recommended in a recent issue of the mag, one of the best ways to get your general playing standard honed really sharp is to record all practice sessions, even when you’re just going through stuff on your own at home, so you can listen back and hear what you’re doing well and what could use a bit of extra work. So, it turns out that recording can be both the cause of red light fever – and its own solution. One thing’s for certain, getting stuff down on tape (or DAW, app, wax cylinder or what have you) is one of the most rewarding and all-round beneficial things you can do as a guitarist, so I hope the cover feature provides plenty of fuel for inspiration. Enjoy the issue and see you next month.

Editor’s Highlights

We Salute You Phil Hilborne’s got a bumper lesson in the twin-pronged guitar attack of Messrs Malcolm and Angus Young in store for AC/DC fans on p142

Jamie Dickson Editor

Portishead Revisited Adrian Utley is one of the most creative guitarists working today. We join him to talk about crafting Portishead’s evocative sound in the studio p66

Toto, In Total It’s always a pleasure to join the fabulous Steve Lukather to talk guitars. He looks back on the studio sessions behind Toto’s greatest hits on p56

June 2018  Guitarist