The week after Paul Smith sent me OL' BLUE, I had it re-fretted with bigger wire, installed 3 EMG pickups and modified the switching system. When I saw Paul later that year, he was NOT pleased. Though I used the guitar full-time from '91 thru '95. That slide part at the end of LAST REBEL is OL' BLUE.
The original PRS tone selector certainly doesn't suit my taste. But putting in a traditional 5-way would've required too much cutting. Now the rotary does the same as a 5-way...with a nice, fancy gold knob!
Actually...now I recall the gold knob is a push-pull for the bridge pickup (humbucker/single coil). The back black knob is that damned rotary knob!
Q - Do you ever put your guitar down and not play for days, weeks or months?
I usually play every day...just to make sure I'm still any good.
Passion for guitar playing comes and goes...much like anything else...you have to take a break from it once in a while.
Sometimes a L O N G break.
Q - Where do you think your playing needs work?
That's an EASY question. I finally got my hand vibrato down pretty good (after getting that baseball-bat-neck '58 Les Paul) - now if I could just learn a good 16th-note run!
Q - You mean it took you 40 years to get good vibrato?
I have struggled with that for YEARS. Finally figured out that the fatter necks and larger frets help A LOT.
Q - How did a California boy like you get so adept at playing Southern Rock seeing how your style seemed so far advanced than other of that time period?
I don't know. But there's an engineer in Muscle Shoals, Steve Melton, who used to tell me "You play pretty funky for a California boy!" Now, what he meant by "funky", I'm not sure!
On the other hand, once I ran into Phil Keaggy and introduced myself. I'd always wanted to meet him. He said "Oh yeah...you're the guy that played that quirky solo in 'Sweet Home Alabama' ". Quirky?
Q - Were you ever discouraged as a guitar player while not being able to create good songs or nail a guitar part?
Only one time.
Al Kooper invited me to a session to sit in with the Atlanta Rhythm Section. I left that studio totally deflated. I'd heard Barry Bailey before...but after actually sitting that close to him and watching him play, I thought maybe I should just give it up. A few months later, I left Skynyrd. I really think that had a LOT to do with it. I felt bad when he had his old red Telecaster stolen...he sounded great on that guitar that day. Bailey is still one of the few I like to listen to.
Q - Were you already playing guitar in the same style as you recorded with Lynyrd Skynyrd before you joined the band or did you adapt after you joined?
The only thing I had to adapt to was that #%@! Stratocaster.
I have no knowledge of modes or scales. What I DO have is a knowledge of the neck (I know where all the notes are and WHY) and chord structure. Most of what I play is just based on chords and their inversions, complete with passing tones. I learned how to play ass-backwards.
I've always said to aspiring musicians...it doesn't matter how well you play. If you have STYLE, you gotta hang in there. I've always considered myself a very mediocre guitar player...but I had style...at least when I play, you can tell it's ME.
I've always had a problem keeping callouses but I've never used super glue. NuSkin is NASTY NASTY STUFF. Me and Gary used to use it. The fumes from it will give you drain bamage.
A baritone guitar is sort of like a 6 string bass. If you put a capo on the 3rd fret of a 6 string bass, you essentially have a baritone guitar. I think. I used a Jerry Jones guitar of this sort on the LAST REBEL album...all over it.
I never play more than one gig per set of strings. So I have no breakage problems. But quarters and shells will wear strings out QUICK. I changed the strings on my old Les Paul last week...first time in 7 years!!!!
I use .010-.046 on everything except my PRS guitars...they get .0095 .012 .016 .024 .034 .044.
Back in the days when I couldn't afford new strings, I'd boil old ones in water and vinegar. Works great. Doesn't remove those old & worn fret spots on the strings, though! (Works best for bass strings...I'm absolutely serious.)
Last Edit: Nov 27, 2009 15:12:38 GMT -5 by ekforum
Q - Just saw a '54 Goldtop on Craig's list in Orlando. The seller claims this is a 1954 Goldtop you once owned. Is this a sham sale?
It was mine. I would've bought it back but it's had some headstock/neck damage and I didn't want to take a chance.
In 1972 I was living in Raleigh, N.C. ... I had the SG (which is more to my liking) and I NEEDED THE MONEY. I've always regretted selling it. It's a great sounding guitar, though the '53 I have now is probably better.
For those of you who don't know "crunching" is....it's simply the plugging of a guitar straight into an amplifier. No effects, no loops, no boxes of any kind. I call it "natural crunch."* The guitar against the 12" speaker cone! I've crunched a few myself, thanks.
* not a term I came up with. LONG ago an acquaintance of mine in L.A. coined the term. David West was his name. He ALWAYS carried his Les Paul with him EVERYwhere. While hitch-hiking one day, his ride made off with his guitar. I have never, to this day, ever seen anyone so heart-broken. So, David...if you're still with us...thanks for the "crunch."
If I'm playing slide (bottleneck) on a song, I'll be using my fingers and not a pick...without exception.
My favorite finger-picking guitar is the Martin 00-18 of which I have 3. My 1927 is great for slide and my 1949 is what I used for the entire ENDANGERED SPECIES album. Before we went out on tour in '94, Rossington bought me a 1968 00-18. I installed a BAGGS pickup in it and still have that guitar. I've also installed a BAGGS in my Gibson J-200. For my ears, they're the best.
That 1949 Martin 00-18 is a finger-picker's dream. (It's the guitar in the image gallery where we're playing the National Anthem in Atlanta.) I saw that guitar in a back room in a music store in New Jersey in 1980. It was in need of serious repair, but it sounded SO GOOD & CREAMY. Woody, lush...geez, what other adjectives could I possibly use?? The store owner wouldn't sell me the guitar unless I also bought AN UPRIGHT PIANO! So the piano cost me close to $1,000 (my kids took lessons for a month) and then I paid another $700 for the guitar (which was outrageously HIGH in 1980, but I HAD to have it).
Q - What makes a good musician - the one who can hit every note or the one who feels the music?
What defines a "great guitar player"? There are some great ones out there that you will NEVER hear about. There are some, in my opinion, really mediocre players who made Rolling Stones Top 100. BUT, those mediocre players probably have STYLE. They don't mimic anyone...just write their own stuff and are their own person. To me, that matters.
By the way...I've been told I suck many times. Truth is...I DO suck sometimes. But then there are times when I'm really good. I've played REAL badly and been told it was great....and vice versa. Oh geez....life is confusing.
Do you think Yngwie Malmsteen is a better guitar player than John Fogerty?! Now there's an argument for you. There is no right answer.
I never use a pick when I play slide and I'm constantly damping strings with my right hand...not at all with my slide hand (and I wear a glass slide on my ring finger). Go watch a video with Derek Trucks in it. Highly recommended for slide technique.
I hate to play slide in standard tuning, but I also hate to switch guitars. So I use standard almost all of the time.
The sound must reside in these chubby little fingers, I guess.
I always laugh when players go out and buy the exact equipment to get another player's certain sound. Can't be done. I've tried to sound like James Burton for years and I can't do it. Same equipment. Different fingers.
Remember that 80% of ALL tone resides in the fingers.
Q - I was interested to hear your term "the pocket"...can you explain?
The Rolling Stones always amazed me at how Charlie Watts can take the groove from where it is, step it up for a while, then bring it right back. The pocket IS the groove...it's where the real down beat lays.
In ALABAMA, it must be deceptive because I've never heard anyone play it right. I believe it has to do with playing everything a little BEFORE it's supposed to happen! Behind the beat, sort of.
Not that EVERY Skynyrd song had that...but ALABAMA certainly did. SIMPLE MAN, also. Bob Burns did a Watts sort of thing by stepping it up and then bringing it back down. That is a GREAT drum part.
I'll tell you one band that lays back on the beat and hits that pocket every time...the Atlanta Rhythm Section. That is ONE SOULFUL BAND. The Who have the best 'pocket' I've ever heard. Egads..."Wont Get Fooled Again" is the #1 song in my book. "Freebird" and "Stairway" have to take a back seat to that song. Definitely a POCKET PLEASER.
Q - I was talking with a friend today about your burst that was stolen and recovered* and while I was pretty informed on the recovery part of the story, I realized I never did hear any detailed telling of how it was stolen in the first place.
I had other stuff for sale...I got caught off guard. Two guys in a sports car with mucked up plates...Father's Day 1987. It WONT HAPPEN AGAIN!! And that's all I have to say about it.
(* The full story of Ed's stolen and recovered 1959 Les Paul can be found on his website here.)
Last Edit: Nov 28, 2009 11:24:25 GMT -5 by ekforum
relic: Quirkiness - a fine word. Efficient and precise in a somewhat obscure way.
May 7, 2016 22:08:52 GMT -5
Myke: Happy Memorial Day 2016-Thank You Veterans !
May 29, 2016 12:45:16 GMT -5
michaeljames: Thanks for the add........... !
Sept 28, 2016 15:57:05 GMT -5
Captainkirk: He Ed , Kikk here just felt like saying Hi
Nov 5, 2016 13:09:42 GMT -5
findthesun: I love the old RCB photos, brings back a lot of great memories!
Nov 21, 2016 14:42:43 GMT -5
tonytrout: Howdy, fellow Ed King fans!!! How are we on this bitterly cold Sunday morning??
Jan 8, 2017 11:26:04 GMT -5
macfangus: New member here. I'm a huge fan of Ed King era LS.
Feb 7, 2017 19:54:58 GMT -5
shaw: I wonder if Zap is around.I found a guitar someone was throwing out and it has Zapp on the headstock. Turns out its one of those Law Suit era Les Pauls. I'm putting it back together it was only the body & neck, with no hardware but I got all the parts now.
Apr 8, 2018 12:09:40 GMT -5
Zap: No relation to me, LOL, but you can gift it to me when you are done restoring it if you like! LOL!
Apr 17, 2018 6:34:05 GMT -5
rebel1222: Whats the point of having a forum if noone can reply to, or create threads?
Nov 28, 2018 8:49:07 GMT -5
gman620: @ rebel1222: Anyone is free to start a new topic or reply to any thread, anytime he or she desires. You've been a member for over three years now, with zero posts, so what's stopping you?
Nov 29, 2018 21:48:09 GMT -5
rocker2462: Looking for info on Ed's red Strat with the tele neck? point me in the right direction please.
Feb 19, 2019 0:47:14 GMT -5
stevecamp: I believe it was was a Warmoth body, aftermarket pickups, an old tele neck.
Mar 5, 2019 16:59:18 GMT -5
stevecamp: Pick ups may have been "lindy Fralins"
Mar 5, 2019 17:00:08 GMT -5