By Robert Silverstein
GUITARS CENTER STAGE
20th Century Guitar speaks with the latest up and coming guitarists about their gear and new sounds!
I started playing guitar at the age of 13 and remember being really excited about playing. I learned by ear primarily as this was BGTM (Before Guitar Tab Magazines). I took some guitar lessons to learn scales and modes, and then studied music theory. For a while, I was very much into technical playing. Now, however, I just like to plug in and go for it. The guitarists I admire are “feel” players who seem to have a direct connection from their soul to their hands, and the technique to make it musical.
After teaching guitar and playing in many rock bands, I decided to work on instrumental guitar music. My main criteria was to try to create music that I would listen to – music that would hopefully transport me places and stand up to repeated listens. I released my first CD “The Blue Room” in 1999. “By Night” is my latest release (2004).
”By Night” was written and recorded in the aftermath of everyday life over the past four years. I feel the album has many songs that are subtle and cinematic; there are others that are more powerful and up-front.
The album was recorded in my home studio. It's a modest studio - an ADAT, Mackie mixer, some rack gear - but it's certainly more than adequate to get the job done. I always admired the way the Beatles created such masterpieces with very little equipment (by today’s standards) and a high degree of creativity and imagination.
When I’m writing music, I’m always thinking of the song. I also try to play only what's necessary for the song; my favorite musicians have a knack for playing just the right amount of notes at the right time (to my ears).
When I’m wearing my recording engineer hat, I’m also thinking about studio effects like delays, reverbs, echoes, panning, etc. that can really embellish a recording. I listen to music on headphones a lot and really appreciate this aspect of recording. To me, there are few things better than listening to a great performance of a great song captured by a skilled recording engineer/producer.
I play a 1952 Fender Reissue Telecaster, 1981 Fender Stratocaster and 1999 Gibson Les Paul Standard. I also have a nice Ovation Legend that sounds great acoustically.
I am a bit
of a gear junkie and knob twiddler. On “By Night” I used a Mesa Boogie Mark III
combo, Line 6 POD, and many stomp boxes.
My pedal board this week has a Rat 2, Ibanez MT10 Mostortion,
MXR Phase 90, Boss Heavy Metal HM-2, Boss Tremolo TR-2, Boss Digital Delay
DD-3, Ibanez SC10 Chorus, Boss TU-2 Tuner and a Dunlop Cry Baby Wah-Wah.
As a guitarist, I’m always interested in anything by Jeff Beck, Robben Ford, Joe Satriani, Eddie Van Halen, Larry Carlton, David Gilmour, Mark Knopfler, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Django Reinhardt. I'm also a fan of the rock players who play such perfect parts within the context of their band: Mike Campbell, Elliot Easton, Brian May, Tom Scholz, Neil Geraldo, Neal Schon, Steve Lukather, etc.
My web site is www.rolandnipp.com
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.