Courtesy of Music Radar.com
As Serge Pizzorno prepares to run down his top tips for guitarists, Kasabian's guitarist, producer, and songwriter feels compelled to make the following admission: "There's not a ton of guitar on our new album. A lot of what could be guitar parts are actually played on electronics. I just find that to be way more creative these days.”
That said, he carries on with his rather strange top guitar tips, let us know what you think of them...
Tip #1). Don't Listen to Jimi Hendrix (he's too good)
“That's right – don't listen to him. It’ll break your heart and destroy your spirit forevermore. He’s just so ridiculously amazing. It’s like, ‘Oh, my… This will never be.'
“Of course I’m being facetious. Do listen to Jimi Hendrix. Listen to him a lot. He’s the greatest guitar player of all time. But what's funny is, I think he’d definitely be into electronics if he were still alive. Listen to Electric Ladyland – it’s so futuristic. He was so ahead of the game. He would’ve pioneered electronic music just like he did for guitar music.
“I watched numerous documentaries on him, and all of the people who played with him said that he was like Picasso. He would be at the desk, creating, hearing all of these sounds that nobody else did, like he was in his own world. He was a one of a kind."
Tip #2). Practice Your Guitar a Lot!
“You should never stop practicing. If you’re not working at the guitar for at least five hours a day, then you’re not seriously into it.
“The thing is, guitars work for people who are obsessive. If you wanna just play and be all right, OK, fine, then do that. But if you want to make a statement, if your goal is to be amazing, then you have to practice your ass off.
“I didn’t do that, of course, ‘cause I’m too lazy. [Laughs] I’m terrible, really. But I found what I was good at and I stuck with it. So I don’t practice what I preach, which means I’m just like everybody else!”
Tip #3). Use Only Watkins Amps
“The Beatles used to play these Watkins amps. You can still pick them up relatively cheap on eBay. They’re fantastic! They distort a guitar better than any amp or pedal that I’ve ever come across.
“I’d liken a Watkins amp to the sound of a Motown vocal, where the needle is hitting the red but it still sounds great. It’s gritty and crunchy, but it's very musical and special. It's just the best.
“Not a lot of people are playing Watkins amps, so go on eBay and find one. But if you don’t do that, if you go into a guitar shop or whatever, play through as many amps as you can until you find ‘the one.’ Don’t listen to the guy at the shop who’s trying to sell you something. Find what you like.”
Tip #4). Play a Guitar That Isn't Popular
“Early on, I noticed that my favorite guitarists each had a main guitar that they played. They were known for that guitar and photographed with it, and it was their thing. The look of the guitar was as important as its sound.
“I was sort of rummaging around second-hand stores, looking for something that I could make my own, and luckily for me I found it – the Rickenbacker 480, one of the coolest guitars ever. I mean, it’s a real bitch to play, and it sounds absolutely horrendous, but there’s something about it. I’m so lucky to have found it.”
Tip #5). Do NOT Change Your Acoustic Guitar Strings
“I don’t know about anybody else, but for me, the sound of new strings on an acoustic is horrendous. Oh, my God, it's terrible! [Laughs] So I would advise everybody to just leave their strings on for as long as possible. The older and more beat-up the strings are, the better.
“I’ve gone over a year without changing strings on my Hofner acoustic. Our guitar tech is my dearest friend. He’s 65 and has been with us for over 10 years. He’s toured with The Kinks and Zep and you name ‘em – he’s the real deal. I frustrate the hell out of him because he’s always trying to change the strings on that guitar, and I won’t let him.
“I tell him, ‘Leave that thing alone. There’s dirt on those strings, and that makes the guitar sound better.’ Seriously – sparkly new strings on an acoustic are flat-out horrible. Let 'em get old and just play the things."