Guitarist

Don’t Get Bitter, GET BETTER

JOE BONAMASSA

America’s new king of blues-rock guitar

1) A technique-based ‘I wish’

“Legato: I have absolutely no capacity to play anything using the legato technique. Eric Johnson blends legato and picking perfectly in my opinion. I am an Al Di Meola school player, especially when it comes to faster playing. I pick literally every note unless I’m on stage playing pretend rock star. I’ve tried to incorporate legato a little, but as my tech – who is extremely good at it and a huge Allan Holdsworth fan – glares over with the look of, ‘You are embarrassing yourself, Bonamassa,’ I decided it was not in my best interest to pursue that avenue.”

2) A theory-based ‘I wish’

“One of my strengths and weaknesses is that I have a very limited knowledge of theory. Strength: it makes me more fearless as a musician. I don’t care if what I’m doing is in the book; it just sounds good to me. You use that intra-barometer in all facets of your playing and life. I don’t want the numbers or the rulebook swirling in my head. Weakness: some people ask me if I want a chart for the song. I laugh and say, ‘Play the demo and save a tree.’”

3) One music-related thing I wish I had done earlier

“One of the reasons I do not collect celebrity instruments is because they will not write those iconic songs for you. Right now, I am in Abbey Road Studios making a new album. The Hey Jude piano is in eyesight. If I went over and played it, it’s not gonna write a song of that calibre for me. It’s gonna sound like a hack piano player playing in the key of G. In hindsight, I would trade some of my playing ability for songwriting ability without hesitation.”

MARTIN BARRE

Jethro Tull’s super-talented guitarist and now solo artist

1) A technique-based ‘I wish’

“Nobody mentioned alternate picking in 1960 when I bought my first guitar. Many years later, I

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