Notable Guitarist Quotes

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
26,426
Tucson
‘Music out of tune is bad music. Music out of time is just noise’

I cannot play a single gig or performance without that sage advice coming back to me. It has it all in so few words. I was told it as a kid by a brass player I once knew and it stuck with me.
Wise word, indeed. Play the wrong note at the right time and you’ll probably get away with it, but play the right now at the wrong time and it sounds awful.
There's only 2 kinds of music. Good music and bad music.
I thought it was Louis Armstrong but it was Duke Ellington. Apparently inspired by Italian composer Rossini.
Here's one by Louis Armstrong:
All music is folk music. Ain't never heard a horse sing a song.
I’ve heard that attributed to all sorts of sources, but Ellington sounds logical.

I love the actual Armstrong quote. And he’s right, most music is Folk Music, in one sense or another.
“The worst thing for me was that Stevie Ray had been sober for three years and was at his peak. When he played that night, he had all of us standing there with our jaws dropped. I mean, Robert Cray and Jimmie Vaughan and Buddy Guy were just watching in awe. There was no one better than him on this planet. Really unbelievable,”
Eric Clapton

Every guitar I own gets used and has its purpose.
Mark Knopfler
Losing SRV was truly tragic.
I don't have the exact quote, and I'm not sure who said it, but...when a certain rhythm guitarist was asked why he doesn't play lead guitar, he replied, "it interferes with my drinking."
Well, there’s that. :)

Charlie Mingus was once asked why he could play so well when he was drunk, and replied it was because he practiced while drunk. :)
 

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,724
Where the action is!
He probably tilted it just for the photo op, knowing it would mystify other guitarists for decades.
You're not the first person to suggest this explanation when it's been pointed out in the photo shoot picture. But the seemingly candid picture Pete66 posted is not from the same photo shoot, and he appears to be in a recording studio. Apparently he really did set his bridge at an unusually severe angle, at least some of the time. It's the why he would and how could it have possibly worked that's eating at me.
 

Ricochet

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Nov 13, 2009
22,295
Monkey Island
You're not the first person to suggest this explanation when it's been pointed out in the photo shoot picture. But the seemingly candid picture Pete66 posted is not from the same photo shoot, and he appears to be in a recording studio. Apparently he really did set his bridge at an unusually severe angle, at least some of the time. It's the why he would and how could it have possibly worked that's eating at me.

I'm thinking he might have been annoyed by a moving bridge base while playing, and simply jammed the treble side of the bridge base against the pickup(possibly partly under the pickguard), locking it in place. I don't think intonation was ever a consideration.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
26,426
Tucson
You're not the first person to suggest this explanation when it's been pointed out in the photo shoot picture. But the seemingly candid picture Pete66 posted is not from the same photo shoot, and he appears to be in a recording studio. Apparently he really did set his bridge at an unusually severe angle, at least some of the time. It's the why he would and how could it have possibly worked that's eating at me.

I'm thinking he might have been annoyed by a moving bridge base while playing, and simply jammed the treble side of the bridge base against the pickup(possibly partly under the pickguard), locking it in place. I don't think intonation was ever a consideration.
It makes no sense to me. By all appearances, that guitar should have been very poorly intonated. To my eye, it looks unplayable, unless one was deaf. But of course, that’s one guy, looking at two pictures. The string gauges in those pictures look normal, so I don’t think he was compensating for odd string gauges.

I guess it’s possible that he cocked the bridge deliberately, for those pictures. An experienced guitarist could re-intonate a bar bridge like that in a few seconds, and maybe it was a running joke. Who knows?
 

Pemberton

Gretschie
May 4, 2022
252
Pennsylvania, USA
“As a musician, there are three kinds of mistakes: ones that only you notice, ones that your fellow bandmates also notice, and ones that the audience will notice. Most are the first one.”

I’m probably paraphrasing this from something I read somewhere. So I have no idea who might have said it.

But I used to remind myself when making small mistakes on stage that most likely nobody but me noticed, so don’t make any weird faces.
 

Sabato

Country Gent
Mar 22, 2019
2,760
Massachusetts
“As a musician, there are three kinds of mistakes: ones that only you notice, ones that your fellow bandmates also notice, and ones that the audience will notice. Most are the first one.”

I’m probably paraphrasing this from something I read somewhere. So I have no idea who might have said it.

But I used to remind myself when making small mistakes on stage that most likely nobody but me noticed, so don’t make any weird faces.
Reminds me of this one:
Quotes from Louis Armstrong
If I don't practice for a day, I know it. If I don't practice for two days, the critics know it. And if I don't practice for three days, the public knows it.”
 

Ricochet

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Nov 13, 2009
22,295
Monkey Island
“As a musician, there are three kinds of mistakes: ones that only you notice, ones that your fellow bandmates also notice, and ones that the audience will notice. Most are the first one.”

I’m probably paraphrasing this from something I read somewhere. So I have no idea who might have said it.

But I used to remind myself when making small mistakes on stage that most likely nobody but me noticed, so don’t make any weird faces.
I think that one might originate from Segovia, on practicing.
One day not practicing and he could tell. 2 Days, the orchestra could tell. 3 days and the audience could tell.

^ Sabato probably got that right.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
26,426
Tucson
“As a musician, there are three kinds of mistakes: ones that only you notice, ones that your fellow bandmates also notice, and ones that the audience will notice. Most are the first one.”

I’m probably paraphrasing this from something I read somewhere. So I have no idea who might have said it.

But I used to remind myself when making small mistakes on stage that most likely nobody but me noticed, so don’t make any weird faces.
I’m always amazed by how mistakes go unnoticed by the audience, not that I’ve ever made a mistake.
 

GlenP

Country Gent
Jul 23, 2019
2,465
WA
There is a better telling of this story in the book by Don Felder. When he ran off the stage to avoid getting beat up by Glenn Frey, who can be heard on mic “I’m gonna kick your …” Don grabbed one of the guitars backstage and smashed it as a final act of defiance and his resignation notice.

It was a Takamine guitar. Glenn Frey said something like “so what, big deal to smash the (radio edit) crappy Japanese guitar.”

And that was the first time the Eagles broke up until Hell Froze Over.

Glenn Frey would later have a signature guitar endorsement deal with Takamine, the EF-360s GF, but they did not quote him in their promotional material:

“Takamine,
a crappy Japanese guitar,
-Glenn Frey”


I love irony!
 
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Pemberton

Gretschie
May 4, 2022
252
Pennsylvania, USA
I’m always amazed by how mistakes go unnoticed by the audience . . .
Sometimes even when an audience member is a musician. I once went to see a fellow guitarist and his band play. During a break I said to him how good he and the band sounded, and I meant it. He wasn’t overly pleased with his performance and said how sloppy he was playing that night. He was only playing sloppy in his own head.
 

wabash slim

I Bleed Orange
Feb 10, 2010
18,312
lafayette in
"To play them blues, you gots to live em." Unknown
The best Blues quotes I know come from Bleeding Gums Murphy on The Simpsons.

"Y'know, Lisa, you don't play too bad for someone with no real problems."
"The Blues ain't about makin' yourself feel better. It's about makin' other people feel worse and makin' a few bucks in the process."
 


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