The Stevie Ray Vaughn Guitar Sound Was The "Pride And Joy"Of Texas.
One of the best rock blues players to come along in years,Stevie Ray Vaughn was well on his way to
becoming a guitar superstar. But unfortunately he died at a young age in a helicopter accident.
Stevie Ray Vaughn or SRV as he was also known played with his band called “Double Trouble.”
His playing style was blues,rock, and a bit of jazz and he played with great feel and passion in his solos.
Rolling Stone magazine has him ranked at #7 on it's list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Players of All Time.
The SRV guitar sound made him truly one of the best electric blues players
in the business.
A lot of musicians say that SRV sounds very similar to Jimi Hendrix but he was more
than that. His style involved many variables. For example he would play at the top of the neck
of the guitar up by the tuning pegs and bend strings behind the nut. Try doing it yourself and see some
of the cool guitar effects you can get by playing behind the nut. He also used the index finger of his right
hand as a pick to play behind the nut to get unique sound nuances out of his amplifier.
The meat and potatoes of his guitar sound is probably his use of ringing open strings.
Listen to SRVs “Pride and Joy” song you can hear his use of unison open E notes,which is one of the
signature sounds of his guitar playing. And the incredible string bending blues rock licks that he plays
Another component of the Stevie Ray Vaughn guitar sound is his mastery of back picking and sweeping
in his rhythm playing, its so fast and smooth you hardly even notice it. He had really fast hands and
wrist speed,with hands that fast I'll bet he could tune his guitar up really quickly. Definitely a stratocaster
If you listen closely to the Stevie Ray Vaughn guitar style,you'll hear some amazing rock and blues licks
and then sometimes usually on the turn around on a blues,he'll veer off into some short jazz inspired licks
which sound great.
Stevie's main jazz guitar influence was Kenny Burrel. He even plays one of Burrels songs called
“Chitlins Con Carne.” On this song Stevie employs the use of ocaves which are unison notes 8 notes apart.
For example a G octave: G on the 4th string 5th fret played in unison with G on the 2nd string 8th fret. Another
jazz influenced song by Stevie is “Riveria Paradise” check that one out too.
The Stevie Ray Vaughn guitar sound was achieved on his main guitar which was a Fender Stratocaster.
In 1992 “Fender Musical Instruments Corporation” released the “Stevie Ray Vaughn Signature Stratocaster”
which Stevie had helped design before his death in 1990.
SRV was a real guitar professional and lots of his playing style can be attributed to his main influences
for blues which were,Lonnie Mack,Albert King,Otis Rush,Buddy Guy,Jimi Hendrix,Eric Clapton, and
The Stevie Ray Vaughn guitar sound also included his mastery of the “Whammy Bar”...and no that's not
a bar in Texas where you drink until all the Whammy is taken out of you. It's the vibrato arm on the guitar.
And finally I know you've probably seen pictures in guitar magazines of Stevie playing guitar behind
his back.The way he did that was he had a special guitar strap made up for that particular purpose.
That move still looks pretty flashy though, doesn't it?
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