Chris Broderick is involved in the Skolnick & Broderick Winter Guitar Retreat. He said it’s more difficult for guitarists to distinguish themselves today because there are more of them and because there’s so much more exposure that you’re probably less likely to hear about them. Do you agree? Why?
Hmm…I hope that my own playing will be noticed by someone, but really my main goals are just to sound good, to keep improving and to have a good time. There are parts of my playing that I feel are passionate mine, but they aren’t only mine. I’ve borrowed all the good stuff from the music that I grew up listening to. It all just ends up as my personal greatest hits of guitar, and hopefully comes out every time I shake a note around. I have no control at all about how other people will respond to that, so I don’t bother to worry about it too much. Also, I’ve been pretty fortunate in the music industry. A lot of musicians have noticed what I’ve played, so maybe I don’t have an objective view of how hard the struggle can be. I am thankful though. I do have gratitude!
Your iPOD is going to mysteriously delete all the music in it. If you had to choose one CD to represent each of the following to remain, what would that CD be and why?
*The guitarist with the greatest vibrato.
I always like to listen to Robin Trower. It’s impossible to pick one person as the greatest, because there is so much cool guitar playing out there, but something about Robin’s vibrato connects with me in a deep way. The obvious album to pick is “Bridge of Sighs”, but I’m going to say “Victims of the Fury” because he gets to the point so quickly. The first 15 seconds of the song “Jack and Jill” gets me making guitar-faces and wanting to play like he does.
*The best rhythm guitar.
I’m going to go with Van Halen II. The song “Outta Love Again” is crushing metal and super funky at the same time. And the solo - even though it’s a solo and in a high register - has amazing rhythmic structure. If James Brown’s feet could play guitar, it would sound like Eddie Van Halen on that tune.
*The guitarist with the best sense of harmonic composition.
In general, that’s not really a strong point for rock guitar players. Piano players tend to beat us up when it comes to chords. Or jazz guitarists have us outmatched too. I like guys like Eric Johnson and Allan Holdsworth. And Todd Rundgren has written some great things, but he plays both guitar and piano and I have a feeling that his more chordy stuff comes from the piano. I’ll have to give this category to the Beatles, because their early hits were very guitar-driven and the chords and melodies we’re still complex and beautiful. I’ll pick the “Hard Day’s Night” album, if only because it has the song, “If I Fell.” The chords and melody in the intro are so stunning…and it’s all guitar full interview