Chuck Berry And His Guitar Had "No Particular Place To Go," But Into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
Ah,Chuck Berry..The name has a ring to it,doesn't it?
I don't think any discussion of the 6 string electric guitar legends would be complete
without the inclusion of his guitar sound in the midst. This man has influenced just about
every famous rock band you can think of.
Ah yes...The Chuck Berry guitar sound...the ole duckwalker himself. The granddaddy of
R”n”R. I don't think there's a rock guitarist alive who hasn't copied at least a few of his famous
He was born Oct 18,1926 in St. Louis,Missouri and is known as one of the
pioneers who incorporated Rhythm and Blues and “Rock and Roll” music and gave
it that distinctive sound,that allowed bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones to
take over the world with rock guitar music. And my fellow guitarists this is no small feat
to be considered one of the founding fathers of rock.
Famous rock bands like the “Beach Boys” and “AC/DC have all cited
Chuck as a major influence in their playing and songwriting styles.
To these bands CB symbolizes the spirit of guitar playing and Rock and Roll.
So what exactly is the guitar style that this man is famous for?
The Chuck Berry guitar sound relies a lot on his use of doublestops or 2 note licks.
Listen to his song “Johnny B Goode” that's a perfect example of his guitar style.
Or also his songs “Rock and Roll music,” or “Roll Over Beethoven” encapsulate his sound.
Mr. Berry has never been considered as a technical guitar wizard in his 6 string playing.
But he has a sound and style all his own that has influenced generations of rockers.
Just about every beginner rock guitarist learns the intro to Johnny B Goode. I'll give you
instructions on how to play just the 1st part of it,then you can go to youtube and get al of it.
In the key of A it starts on the 6th and 5th frets with the single notes C# 3rd string 6th fret,
then the single note E on the 2nd string 5th fret then The single note F# on the 2nd string
7th fret. Then comes the famous 1st and 2nd string 2 note doublestop sliding E and A note
held down together with the 1st finger, at the 5th fret. And slide those 2 notes between
the 4th and 5th fret.
Now since this is one of the most famous guitar anthems of all time,there's lots of
variations of it so just go to youtube and pick out some you like.
When people go to a Chuck Berry concert of course they want to hear the Chuck Berry
greatest hits. But during his touring career Mr.Berry has been heavily criticised
for having sub par ,mediocre back up bands behind him. He thought that his music
is so popular that every musician knows it.So all he would do is just bring his guitar
and grab a pick-up band in what ever town he was in,sometimes with disastrous results.
Mr.Berry is in the “Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame” and has received many awards and
accolades. “Rolling Stone Magazine has Johnny B. Goode at #1 on its list of
“100 Greatest Guitar songs of All Time. So even in these modern days of Chuck Berry MP3s.
We're still being influenced by his guitar songs of the 1950's.
The Chuck Berry guitar sounds took influence and shape from players
like blues guitarist T-Bone Walker, and Chuck incorporated that into his own playing,
and also Jazz guitarist Charlie Christian. But of course Mr. Berry is not nearly as proficient
at guitar as Charlie Christian but he still enjoyed his playing style. And it helped
CB to develop his own approach and style.
Mr. Berry has a fondness for the sound of the “Gibson ES-355” and it is
the guitar that he is famous for playing. As for his guitar amp,I've seen
pictures of him playing through a “Fender Super Reverb and Twin.”
But I guess if he just uses pick-up throw together bands when touring
He'll play through anything they've got.
Now even though Chuck is a rock star and is still playing live in his mid 80's
which is amazing. In his earlier years he has had some serious problems
with the law. He was arrested and served time for armed robbery,and he
has also been charged with income tax evasion.
But hey...that's Rock n Roll from a living legend.
Just to end things off here. Even to this day it's a bone
of contention with Chuck Berry in that he feels he never
received the proper monetary entitlement or recognition.
From legendary bands like the Beatles,and the Stones for their use
of his recorded works in those bands early recordings.
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