What kind of strings do you use?
D’Addario XL Pro Steels .009–.048 gauge. I keep fairly low action basically to make tapping easier. I’ll keep them as low as they can go without fretting out. (see the gear page within the “Biography” menu
What kind of picks do you use?
I’ve been using little Fender heavies for the last 10 or 12 yearsand just switched to the Seven Kings company who is making the same thickness and shape for me, but they also print amazing quality photos on the picks!(see the gear page within the “Biography” menu
What kind of cat litter do you use?
I use two different kinds. I have an automated Littermaid box in which I use the recomended “World’s Best Cat Litter”, but even then, it still only picks up the poo and rarely the pee. Someone needs to reinvent this thing. In the other box for cat #2, I’m using Swheat Scoop but am slowly introducing a new pine scented litter. I didn’t realize when I got cats that I’d be spending so much time trying to reinvent the elimination of smell. First I gave them my bathroom and put a cat door in it. Then I sealed it off better with a rubber seal to block the 1/4 inch of gap in the door. Then I added 4 different smell enhancers with essential oils. Then I added an ionizer/oder eater machine. And still, when I go to bed sometimes I find the need to stuff a fragrant candle up my nose. Next step is to rewire the house so that when the central air comes on, so does their bathroom fan, as I believe it’s blowing air from the bathroom to the bedroom through the tiny cracks.
What sound gear/guitars do you use?
Check out the gear page for details on EVERYTHING I use and then some
How did you get the Michael Jackson gig?
There was an audition in 1987 of about 100 guitar players and I was one of the 2 lucky winners. The other was Jon Clark, (who also did some touring with Lionel Richie, and Donny Osmond afterwards).
How did I get the Jeff Beck gig?
I tracked him down while on tour with Michael Jackson in ’92 just to meet him. I gave him my 1st CD and he called a few months later regarding doing a project together. We both got involved in other things but finally it came together in the spring of ’98 when he hired me to tour Europe, followed by South America. Following this we cut “Who Else”. Other players include Steve Alexander, Randy Hope Taylor, Jan Hammer and Tony Hymas. It was released in March ’99 at the beginning of the Who Else tour USA. We went to Japan in May/June and did a 2nd USA leg late summer.
How do you get the synth sounds on the Beck tour?
I’m using the Roland GI 10 midi converter and JV 1080’s for synth sounds. I’m also triggering a few samples from an Akai 3000 sampler. I’m using the Roland GK2 pick up and now have them mounted on all my guitars. They’re available as an option on my Batten model Washburn JB100 guitar . I have 3 volume pedals and 2 seperate patch switchers (one for synth one for guitar) + a Digitech whammy pedal, a wah pedal.
What was the MJ audition like?
It was very relaxed in that MJ wasn’t there! Everything was video taped for him to see at a later date. There was no band present and we were to play by ourselves. We were told that part of it had to be some rhythm playing as that was a majority of the what would be called for on the gig. I played some random funkified stuff, followed by some random rock soloing, followed by the 2 hand Giant Steps solo which later appeared on ‘Guitar for the Practicing Musician’s’ premier compilation CD. Later a different version appeared on my first solo record.
Who are your favorite guitar players?
1st of all, there’s Jeff Beck-the God of all guitar Gods…and Joe Diorio, an avante guard jazz head. At one time I learned all the solos to ‘Blow by Blow’ and ‘Wired’ (JB). I also memorized 2 of Joe’s books; ‘Intervallic Designs’ and ‘Fusion’
After them comes a slew of cats – Van Halen, George Lynch, Steve Morse, Preston Reed, and my newest God-Brad Paisley-a country pickin MONSTER!
Where have you done clinics? All over the planet. Mostly in Europe, but I’ve also been to S Africa, Mexico, South and Central America, Indonesia, China, and the U.S.
How do you get all those bends on the records?
I use 3 methods of bending. a) fingers b)Floyd Rose bar c) Digitech’s Whammy pedal. If it sounds like a slide guitar, most likely it’s the Whammy pedal.
Have you done an instructional video?
There is a lesson at the end of the Whatever CD/DVD and I’ve also started offering global lesson via SKype. Click “contact” for scheduling and more info.
How can I get some transcriptions of music from your records?
You can get a transcription to ‘Flight of the Bumble Bee’ and ‘Giant Steps’ from the ABB record as part of the fan club membership
SEND ME MORE QUESTIONS!! Cheers – JB