About Roland Nipp
Roland Nipp is a self-professed music junkie, knob-twiddler, and song addict. When not playing music, he is usually thinking about guitars, amps, pedals, songs, and CDs. Roland has written and produced five albums of electric guitar music, and in 2005, he was selected and featured by Guitar Player Magazine in their prestigious Spotlight column.
His latest album, Ragged Hearts, is a tribute to his musical heroes, and continues his quest to offer emotional electric guitar music to people who like electric guitars and songs. “In the ups and downs of everyday life, music makes everything better. For me, it eases the pain, and also celebrates our triumphs…my favourite music reflects this”. In our YouTube world of instant celebrity, it can be hard to recognize authenticity. Against this backdrop, Ragged Hearts reminds us how good it is to hear songs again.
From an interview with 20th Century Guitar Magazine:
The family radio was
always on and the pop/rock songs of the day became ingrained in my psyche. In
fact, while in the 5th grade, I remember playing Name That Tune, and being able
to identify songs and artists within the first few notes. I recall the teacher
and kids looking at me in disbelief.
My life forever changed at 13, when I first picked up a guitar. Even though I couldn’t yet make any musical sounds, I loved just holding it, how it looked, even how the case smelled! Shortly thereafter and not surprisingly, I began opting out of after-school sports.
Although I had some formal lessons, I am primarily self-taught, spending countless hours on my bed with a cassette deck trying to mimic my heroes. At school dances, I’d be at the front of the stage staring at the guitarist’s hands oblivious to the fact that people were actually dancing.
Writing and Recording
When writing songs, I
ask myself: “What do I want to hear as a music fan, what qualities do my
favorite CDs have, what brings me back for repeated listens?” The answer comes
pretty quickly - it’s all about the songs. My goal is creating music to
connect, not to impress. Once this ground rule is set, it’s easy to write and
play from the heart, and the songs usually write themselves. To paraphrase
Santana: to play with soul and purpose, we must first get our ego out of the
way. I am also drawn to the thinking of the late Philip Sudo, who, in his book,
Zen Guitar, says true guitar virtuosity is beyond technical mastery -
it’s about playing with virtue, honesty, integrity, compassion, and gratitude.
Roland Nipp - Interesting and not so interesting facts
Favourite guitars: Stratocaster, Telecaster, Les Paul
Favourite guitar players: Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan, David Gilmour, Mark Knopfler, Brian May, Alex Lifeson, Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, Tom Scholz, Steve Lukather, Mike Campbell, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Daniel Lanois, The Edge, Eric Clapton, John Mayer, Vince Gill, Pete Anderson, Django Reinhardt, Albert King, Nancy Wilson, Billy Gibbons, George Harrison, Santana, Jimi Hendrix, Rik Emmett, Ian Crichton, Jeff Healey, Colin James, Neil Geraldo, Tommy Emmanuel, many others
VIP list: Brian “Too Loud” MacLeod, Maria McKee, Jeff Lynne, Brian Wilson, Supertramp, Elton John, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Toto, Steely Dan, Joe Jackson, Norah Jones, Sarah McLachlan, Eagles, Bob Seger, Linda Ronstadt, Heart, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Rush, AC/DC, Pat Benatar, and many more
Canadian music DNA: Rush, Tom Cochrane, The Band, April Wine, Pat Travers, Triumph, Saga, Harlequin, Doucette, Loverboy, Chilliwack, Streetheart, Headpins, Trooper, Max Webster, Ian Thomas, Bryan Adams, and many others
CD discography: The Blue Room (1999), By Night (2004), Little Victories (2009), All We Desire (2012), Ragged Hearts (2015)
Movie most likely to quote from: The Big Lebowski
TV show least likely to watch: Anything with the word “Idol” or Talent” in its title
Store least likely to frequent: Ikea
Activity least likely to do for himself: Shop for clothes
Topic least likely to be thinking about: Home improvement
Personal care item no longer required: Comb
Task likely to avoid: Writing biography for my website
Social fad least likely to do: Take Selfie, post to Facebook
Reasons to practice guitar and not Guitar Hero:
Midnight in Harlem - Tedeschi Trucks Band
River of Tears - Eric Clapton
Hotel California - Eagles
Purple Rain - Prince
The Waiting - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Slow Dancing in a Burning Room - John Mayer
The Sky is Crying - SRV
Favourite question to be asked: Can I treat you to some new gear?
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