Jeff Beck

Geoffrey Arnold Beck Born 24th June 1944 in Wallington Surrey, is possibly the most revered of Guitar players amongst guitar players. Part of the British Holy trinity of Guitar Gods Clapton, Page and Beck. They all played in the legendary 60’s band The Yardbirds.

Now at 17 Studio albums as Jeff Beck or Jeff Beck Group, of which he has received 8 Grammy’s, Mostly for Best Rock Instrumental Performance and further 7 nominations. A staggering number given the company he is in. Steve Vai and Eric Johnson only have 1 each and Joe Satriani has none, just to put it in perspective.

Add to this we have sessions for the following

  • Rod Stewart
  • Mick Jagger
  • Tina Turner
  • Jon Bon Jovi
  • Kate Bush
  • Roger Waters
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Brian May
  • ZZ Top
  • Brian Wilson

Beck was voted 5th in Rolling Stones Top 100 Guitarists of all Time and in 2009 was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in his own right, having previously been inducted as a member of The Yardbirds.

Beck and Jimmy Page ( Led Zeppelin) were childhood friends and spent large chunks of their teenage years jamming with each other and sharing records. I don’t know what they had in the water in that area, but it clearly spawned to of the most Iconic guitarists of all time.

Beck was the guitarist of choice for both The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd, but joined neither, preferring to remain solo and chart his own course. Beck has worked with some of the most revered people in the industry : George Martin, Jan Hammer, Stevie Wonder, Mickie Most, Brian Wilson. Association with just one of these would be enough to complete a career.

Beck’s style is a combination of great 50’s rockabilly/ the most haunting vocalesque lead/ insane fusion and the blues. More importantly, when you hear him you instantly know it is Jeff Beck.

A signature Fender Strat , an amp coupled with some overdrive and great delay and reverb are the cornerstones of Beck’s sound. (although he is equally devastating with a tele, LP , Gretsch or anything else he can get his hands on ) In the video’s accompanying you will hear the tone and the variations. Eric Clapton when asked how Beck gets his tone responded with ” it’s all in the hands” . It is, Beck dispensed with using a pick many decades ago after damaging his right thumb. Beck loves Hot Rod cars, possibly more than he loves guitar, and builds his own from scratch, and on one occasion damaged his thumb whilst working on a car. This use of his fingers and thumb of the right hand is a huge part of his tone. Add to that his exceptional use of the trem arm. There is possibly no more expressive a player on the planet.

There is far more to understand about Jeff, but for now enjoy these tunes and we will investigate his techniques and licks further.

3 Legends, including previous Blog subject Luke.
Boyhood friends
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~ by Geoff Lea Guitar on January 17, 2019.

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