Fun Guitar and Rock Trivia

Fun Guitar and Rock Trivia Stories

These following little tidbits aren’t only fun to know about, they also make you a better guitarist and musician.

The Guthrie Govan Pick.

Master guitarist Guthrie Govan, used to file serrated edges in his picks, so he could create cool sounds scraping the pick on the strings. Red Bear Trading company now produces a Guthrie Govan signature pick that comes with the serrated edge.

I have one of their Guthrie Govan picks, and you can create really fun sounds with the serrated edge.

The Guthrie Govan Guitar Pick

For a good example of one of the uses of that serrated edge, check out Brian May’s inventive use of this in the “Keep Yourself Alive” intro. He vertically scrapes the serrated edge of a coin (which was his guitar pick of choice) up and down over the bass strings.

Purple Haze Mastery.

Many guitarists play Purple Haze, omitting the overdubbed guitar slides Jimi plays in the intro. You get that one step closer to sounding like the original studio version when you play those slides. Though they are overdubbed on the record, the slides can be done live.

Check out Jimi doing just that:

If you are a true purist and perfectionist: then you should also cough into your mic while playing this song live. Listen closely to the Purple Haze intro on the record at the 3-second mark, and you will hear Jimi cough into the microphone.

Fingerpicked Epic Rock Riff.

Most people incorrectly play the Smoke On The Water riff with a guitar pick.

Richie Blackmore actually fingerpicked the riff on the album “Machine Head”, plucking the strings with 2 fingers. When you fingerpick the riff, you will get much closer to matching the sound and feel of the studio version on the record.

Crosstown Traffic

I have quite the extensive Jimi Hendrix collection in my DVDs and CD’s and to the best of my knowledge: I don’t think Jimi ever played “Crosstown Traffic” live.

Though the song was recorded with a large number of overdubs, yet all parts actually CAN be played live in a 1 guitar, power trio type of band. It’s just hard to do so and sing at the same time. Even Randi Hansen, well-known for his Jimi Tribute shows, leaves out many of the cool guitar bass parts that Jimi plays on the album.

You can hear me play Crosstown Traffic here with all the guitar parts combined as on the album

and here

House Burning Down.

The only pedal I know of that can produce the flanger sound of Jimi’s “House Burning Down”, is the Paradox TZF pedal.

Foxrox Electronics Paradox TZF

There are some truly great sounds in that box.
You can hear me use the Paradox TZF here in my version of Jimi’s “House Burning Down”.

The Apple Start Up Sound.

One of my top 10 favorite guitarists, Stanley Jordan, was the creator of the start-up sound on the first line of Apple power macs.

He created the sound strumming a chord on a Yamaha 12-string acoustic guitar tuned to an open tuning. You can hear that sound in the following video (around 3:50):

Lemmy Loved ABBA

It’s interesting that Lemmy was a huge fan of Abba and The Beatles.
You would rather expect the frontman of one of the hardest rocking bands, to be more into the Rolling Stones.

Yet, here’s what Lemmy said about The Beatles in his biography “White Line Fever”

“…the Beatles were hard men too. Brian Epstein cleaned them up for mass consumption, but they were anything but sissies. They were from Liverpool, which is like Hamburg or Norfolk, Virginia–a hard, sea-farin’ town, all these dockers and sailors around all the time who would beat the piss out of you if you so much as winked at them. Ringo’s from the Dingle, which is like the f***ing Bronx. The Rolling Stones were the mummy’s boys–they were all college students from the outskirts of London. They went to starve in London, but it was by choice, to give themselves some sort of aura of disrespectability. I did like the Stones, but they were never anywhere near the Beatles–not for humor, not for originality, not for songs, not for presentation. All they had was Mick Jagger dancing about. Fair enough, the Stones made great records, but they were always s**t on stage, whereas the Beatles were the gear.”

You can find Lemmy’s fantastic biography here

Check out Lemmy’s Biography here

It’s a must-read by all means.

Jimi Hendrix Playing Piano.

You wouldn’t immediately think of piano when you think of Jimi Hendrix.
Yet there are at least 2 songs I can think of, where Jimi played piano.

Crosstown Traffic has a piano part in it, as does the song “Are You Experienced”.
Jimi’s producer Eddie Kramer talks about that in the following cool video:


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