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Made in Shoreditch

I also contribute a weekly column to Made in Shoreditch magazine called 'Old East End/New East End', where I look at the relationship between the East End of old and new, looking at the changes and the stalwarts in landscape, residents and culture, focussing on one street or district each week. You can find it here.

The Electric Guitar

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

This, really, is a very short little piece I'm writing. Just an observation of my preferences on guitar playing. So here goes...

I just listened to Pulling Mussels by Squeeze and noticed something. The use of economic, almost stabbing guitar parts is way more appealing, to me, than the legato style chord strumming. Something which has the feel of somebody slashing downwards quickly on their six strings and pulling off slightly with the left hand or stopping the strings with the right, with an almost stacatto effect, really gives a rock song a feeling of aggression. For instance, when Noel Gallagher plays rhythm guitar, the sound is very full (think Wonderwall), whereas when somebody of the ilk of Joe Strummer (I know I mention him a lot, I am a tad biased) or Pete Townshend (primarily on I Can't Explain) plays there is a much more open-closed feeling to the rhythm guitar chords. Kind of, timbrally speaking, a 'stab'.

This kind of 'stabbed' motion gives more of a freedom to a lead guitarist to float his solo over the top, I feel, than if he were required to do it over those seemingly never-ending chord patterns.

Just a thought...