Jeff Beck – Paganini with a Strat
By Guitarist/Composer Alyn Syms
There are guitarists, and there are great guitarists, and then there is Jeff Beck, in a class of his own. In my opinion, the best there is. An innovator and virtuoso , like Paganini, he is the most celebrated guitar virtuoso of his time, and has made his mark as one of the pillars of modern guitar technique. He did it all with style, class and cool. And if you’re not cool, you have no business playing the guitar to begin with.
I’ve always admired Jeff Beck’s approach to guitar playing and his fundamental dedication to prowess on his instrument. I listened to his earlier albums with a good set of headphones on and played with the balance control to isolate his guitar work and was struck by the clarity of his sound and skillful attack. It was said about him that he didn’t play faster than others but further. Speed for speed's sake is for hacks anyway, if a listener can’t hear what you’re playing, then both you and what you are playing is meaningless, just an ego trip, at their expense. What Jeff Beck plays and the way he plays it is Composition, the medium of Masters, not ordinary musicians.
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