John Frusciante Guitar Lesson | Private GW Magazine | Interview 2006

[Music] [Applause] [Music] [Music] you [Music] [Applause] [Music] you I guess for me for me I I mean I really associate that playing with Jimi Hendrix but and that's that's where I learned it from when I was a little kid and I heard little wing I remember I remember

going to going to some like Indian in Florida at the summer I went to some Indian get-together picnic and had like Indian bands on an Indian Reservation and the band there played little wing and and I remember I thought about it a lot and I decided that nobody

could possibly know how to play little wing like I felt like I felt like that it's it's in the you know category of impossible to play you know like like and and I saw this guy play and I just couldn't believe my eyes like this this guitar player

up there was was playing at night I felt I really felt like he was doing the impossible so that kind of playing it took me a while because it exists on so many levels you've got that you've got the chord being played and then and then and then

you've got a sort of a lead part going on on top of it and then you also get on top of the lead part these extra strings that are being barred that are on the high strings it ends up sounding to the ear of somebody who doesn't know

how to play guitar it sound or somebody who's at the beginning stages it it really sounds like it's like three guitars at once and that was what little wing really had me confused cos I thought how could that be one guitar it sounds like three guitars you know

but I guess that where Jimmy was getting that style from was Curtis Mayfield it was that from what I understand the originator of that style of rhythm guitar playing and so you know his work and the impressions and all his great – all the records and everything it

was real innovative stuff and I know it was a big influence on Jimi Hendrix's playing yeah I mean for me I think using my thumb definitely has a lot to do with the way it sounds when I do it because it gives my fingers a lot more freedom

for me like I could never play this chord that way it just it would be too limiting for me I there's only so much you can do from there and when your thumbs taking care of that you have a lot of freedom here and like so so that

for me that's a big part of playing in that style like especially on on Danny California where it's when that thumb is reaching those those notes you know like you know it's it's like it just couldn't be done if you tried to do it this way you know

and so so that's a big part of it but as far as as far as hitting it I guess um I guess it just comes from years of doing it it's not something that I've ever really thought about that much I know I know the ability to to

to to block the strings that you don't want to be using with this hand rather than not picking them I tend to pick all the strings and and if I don't want a certain note to ring through I'll lift my finger up on it without lifting up all

the way and that's just something that it's second nature to me now but I guess to somebody who's starting losing their first couple years of playing it's really a good thing to start thinking about is is is getting in the habit of of picking all the strings out

well you can get really the the real rhythmic kind of attack and and then and then with this hand if you if you if you want to play a certain the note that you would normally be just picking by itself you you you you basically block every other

string for making a sound if you just want one string to sound through and you just get in the habit of muting the strings that you don't want to hear rather than not playing [Music] [Applause] [Music] that's like just barely pressing down on the on the on the

strings you know to get the real pressive funky sound that was it original idea with the James Brown stuff I guess was to make the guitar more like a percussion instrument rather than rather than like a guitar so it's basically just not holding I'm just just barely barely

pressing down kind of making it so it just makes more of a percussive noise you just don't press down all the way for me that that kind of playing has everything to do with just making sure that your that your right hand can just be really precise with

stuff like that and just be really deep in the groove [Music] [Music] it's like it's kind of like the idea of when you subtract all that space that can go in between two things like if you were to just it just it just it just creates this dimension

to it because then you've got to you've got a high thing and a low thing and it's basically like two things rather than just playing a chord which makes it just like one thing so so it was it was a good way to play good acoustic guitar and

to be able to kind of improvise with myself because I could kind of send my head in two directions at once you know like an example of like improvising with that kind of thing what you can get into like [Music] you know so you can just sit there

and have fun with yourself kind of be the bass player and the guitar player at once you know uh you know you can't forget that it's all about playing music it's not about what you can show people that you can do with a piece of wood in your

hands that had strings on it like the idea is to make sounds that are good and in music that's really so much about the relationships between the different things so like for me like if I'm sitting at home studying a particular guitar solo it's not enough for me

to just learn the solo I have to make sure I understand the relationship between the notes that that they that the lead players playing and the chords that are being played behind it or the bass line that's being played behind it and and I think that the fact

that I that I take that approach to it it comes out a lot in my sewing because I'm I'm often really absorbed in what the bass and the drums are doing and and and I'm really thinking about trying to create dimension and relationship to that you know I'm

not I'm not thinking in terms of of just oh good they're giving me a blank canvas now I can go crazy over it like it's it's it's more like constant interaction with with the with other people playing and you know it's I mean I guess on this album

like it was really important to me to have a lot of to do a lot of speeding up and slowing down and a lot of people play a lot of people play sort of straight up and down and there's there's like an invisible like if a song's tempo

is like this there's like a sixteenth note grid that's invisible that did it did it did it and usually like in general people play with the strict adherence to that even if they're people who don't know anything about music sometimes especially if they're people who don't know anything

about the technical side of music they stick to that thing like like they're in jail you know they don't they don't go outside of it they don't play slower than that they don't play faster than that they don't speed up and slow down they they they play a

series of notes all of which more or less fall into that onto one of those sixteenth notes they could be playing slow but it's done dunh dunh dunh dunh dunh dunh dunh dunh today today you know so yeah so the the idea for me like with a lot

of the plane that I did on this album was to really like really go outside of that and to and to not pay any attention to that at all and and even if even when I am playing things that are on time as far as being 16 so

it's I'll try to lay back on them or try to push forward on them just and and if I'm doubling a guitar I don't try to double it exactly I like to have like like on that thing on under Dani California where it's going if you listen though

the one on the right is playing what I think it's one of them's playing right on time and though and the other one is playing a laid-back version of it and they create a cool stereo effect like that I just I just didn't want to be straight in

anyway so so for me like like my playing I chatted until II did a lot of like experimentation with me in the studio just sort of playing in it in a style where the guitar is more talking over the music and it's finding a groove in it's finding

its own groove in the music other than what the bass and the drums are laying down you know [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] like like making it making sure you just stretching time out and and and make you know making time go faster making time go slower just playing

games with it all the time and just trying to like twist everything around and you know make just try to bend the fabric of reality because it's a lot you know it's it's it's a lot easier to do with a guitar for me than it is with talking

to somebody or you know [Music] [Music] [Music] you

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