Tag Archives: Jeff Beck Guitar

Jeff Beck Guitar history

In 1980 Mikal Gilmore wrote in Rolling Stone that Jeff Beck “was an archetypal figure: a resourceful, iconoclastic guitarist who helped mold and inform many of the rock-related movements in the last fifteen years, including psychedelia, heavy metal, art rock, fusion and—yes—punk.”

Beck’s road to stardom began with the unenviable chore of replacing Eric Clapton in the Yardbirds band in the mid-1960s. Beck quit the band Trident and took over the role by moving beyond Clapton’s blues-based licks and creating a whole new style that relied on feedback, distortion, volume swells, slide guitar, and sitar simulations based on modal scales.

“The Beck-Yardbirds represented the group at their highest peak of creativity, unpredictable and generally miles beyond the activities of their contemporaries,” as stated in Rock 100. Jimmy Page joined the band on second guitar and kicked their energy level up another notch until Beck’s ego reportedly led to his departure. Although he was only with the Yardbirds for twenty months, Beck’s manic playing fueled their biggest hits: “Over Under Sideways Down,” “Heart Full Of Soul,” “I’m A Man,” and “Shapes Of Things.”

Beck left in 1966 and soon released the singles “Hi Ho Silver Lining,” “Tallyman,” “Love Is Blue,” and “Beck’s Bolero,” with the latter featuring Page, Keith Moon, and John Paul Jones. He then formed the first Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart on vocals, Ron Wood on bass, Micky Waller on drums, and Nicky Hopkins on piano. Their first release, Truth, was “truly a showcase album for a guitar hero,” wrote Gene Santoro in The Guitar: The Music, The History, The Players. “Beck’s unpredictable pyrotechnics are at their wildest, wooliest, and most off-the-wall imagination here.” On cuts like Howlin’ Wolf’s “I Ain’t Superstitious,” Beck’s playing overwhelms Stewart’s vocals and stretched rock’s roots to their furthest yet. “That’s my whole thing,” said Beck in Rolling Stone, “trying to explore the blues to the maximum, really. It’s in the blood.” As wild as Beck got, he still felt second to the most exciting electric guitarist ever, Jimi Hendrix. “I was embarrassed because I thought, God, that should be me up there—I just hadn’t had the guts to come out and do it so flamboyantly,” he told Guitar World.

Jeff Beck Guitar lessons

The online destination for guitarists featuring artist news, lessonsThere and Beck: Albums Featuring Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart  In 2011, longtime Jeff Beck fans were excited by rumors that the legendary guitarist was Geoffrey Beck was born on June 24, 1944, in Wallington England. His first taste of musical performance came when he sang with the church choir at the age of …Jeff Beck is heading back to Australia to play the Byron Bay Bluesfest (along with Al Di Meola, Joe Bonamassa and Buddy Guy), making up for 

Jeff Beck Guitar Gibson

Surely, there are as many modified electric guitars in the world as there are guitarists who play them. But rare is the modified, “off-the-shelf” guitar that is elevated to iconic status by the artist who played it and the music created by it.

Such is the case with Jeff Beck’s “Oxblood” Les Paul, a guitar from the heart of tone history. And now, Gibson Custom is proud to unveil the most accurate recreation of this legendary instrument ever produced: the Jeff Beck 1954 Les Paul Oxblood.

Jeff Beck Guitar tips

Recently I’ve been spending a lot of time listening to Jeff Beck. He doesn’t know this, but it’s been a one-way relationship of pure joy. I’ve known for years what a monster player he is and how he pretty much transcends all other electric guitarists in terms of the emotional range he can express on his instrument.

I knew he plays with his fingers, rather than a pick, and uses the volume control, tone control, pickup selector, and whammy bar in a uniquely interactive fashion to create tones reminiscent of the human voice—crying, shouting, and a myriad of others. I knew he uses a Strat, a Marshall, and a handful of effects, which he judiciously applies as required. But it has only been in the last few months that I really started to gain a deeper appreciation of the man and his music. This realization occurred when I decided to attempt to perform a few of his tunes with a new trio here in New Zealand.

The idea of providing an in-depth dissection of all the components that go into Jeff Beck’s sound would require an essay that extends far beyond the space available in a State of the Stomp page. Then there’s that pesky genius factor too—it’s tricky to try and break that one down. (If anyone knows how, be sure to let me know!)

For this column, I’m just going to look at one facet of Beck’s sound: gain and how he manipulates it with his guitar’s volume knob. Let’s look at this with particular attention to Beck’s tone on the Live at Ronnie Scott’s DVD and album that came out a few years ago.

Jeff Beck Guitar Tremolo

A variety of mechanical vibrato systems for guitar have been developed since the 1930s. They are used to add vibrato to the sound by changing the tension of the strings, typically at the bridge or tailpiece of an electric guitar using a controlling lever (often referred to as a whammy bar, vibrato arm/bar, or tremolo arm/bar). The lever enables the player to quickly vary the tension and sometimes the length of the strings temporarily, changing the pitch to create a vibrato, portamento or pitch bend effect.
Instruments without this device have other bridge and tailpiece systems. The mechanical vibrato systems began as a device for more easily producing the vibrato effects that blues and jazz guitarists had long produced on arch top guitars by manipulating the tailpiece with their picking hand. However, it has also made many sounds possible that could not be produced by the old technique, such as the 1980s-era shred guitar “dive bombing” effect.
Since the regular appearance of mechanical vibrato systems in the 1950s, they have been used by many guitarists, ranging from the gentle inflections of Chet Atkins to the exaggerated twang effects of early rocker Duane Eddy to the buoyant effects of surf music aficionados like The Ventures, The Shadows and Dick Dale to art rock innovator Frank Zappa. In the 1960s and ’70s, vibrato arms were used for more pronounced effects by the psychedelic guitarist Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page,[1] and Jeff Beck. In the 1980s, shred guitar virtuosos such as Eddie Van Halen, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, and metal guitarists ranging from Ritchie Blackmore to thrashers like Kirk Hammett used the “whammy bar” in a range of metal-influenced styles. The pitch-bending effects, whether subtle inflections or exaggerated effects, have become an important part of many styles of electric guitar.
Despite the common misnomer tremolo arm, these devices cannot produce tremolo in the normal sense of the word, but can produce vibrato; while some electronic “vibrato units” used by electric guitarists generally produce a tremolo effect, rather than vibrato. See “Vibrato or Tremolo”.

Jeff Beck Guitar rig setup

Jeff Beck. He Can’t Help It… He Just Keeps Getting Better. Tweet  A perennial in any guitarist’s short list of all-time greats, the 66-year-old is ….. Nobody is more qualified to talk about Jeff Beck’s gear than Stevie Prior – not 

I don’t think Jeff Beck needs any introduction, he is one of the  aguitar tone but let’s say that in the case of Jeff Beck, the gear is  Check out this video of Jeff Beck’s guitar tech for more information about his amp settings.

Jeff Beck Guitar rack

“I don’t understand why some people will only accept a guitar if it has an instantly recognizable guitar sound,” says Beck. “Finding ways to use the same guitar people have been using for 50 years to make sounds that no one has heard before is truly what gets me off. I love it when people hear my music but can’t figure out what instrument I’m playing. What a cool compliment.”
Beck burst onto the music scene in 1966 after joining the Yardbirds. Although his stint with the band lasted only 18 months, Beck played on almost all of the group’s hits. More importantly, Beck’s innovative style heard on classics like “Heart Full of Soul” and “Shapes of Things” helped influence the psychedelic sound of the ‘60s.

At the height of the Yardbirds’ popularity in 1967, Beck left the group and embarked upon unpredictable journey of musical discovery that has lasted nearly four-decades as an Epic recording artist. During that time, Beck has left his distinctive mark on hard rock, jazz-fusion and modern music history.

A rare breed of guitarist like Chuck Berry and Jimi Hendrix, Beck is not only compelling for what he plays, but for how he plays it. While some guitar players use racks of gear to create sound, Beck prefers a simple, natural approach that emphasizes manual dexterity over gadgets. As Eric Clapton once said, “With Jeff, it’s all in his hands.”
Like few guitarists before him, Beck plays the entire guitar. Using his fingers instead of a guitar pick for greater speed and control over the fretboard, Beck adds deft twists of the volume and tone knobs to shape the notes as he’s playing them and further bends sounds into a rubbery tangle with his controlled cruelty on the whammy bar. “I play the way I do because it allows me to come up with the sickest sounds possible. That’s the point now isn’t it?” says Beck with a wicked grin. “I don’t care about the rules. In fact, if I don’t break the rules at least 10 times in every song then I’m not doing my job properly.”

Jeff Beck Guitar pedals

Geoffrey Arnold “Jeff” Beck (born 24 June 1944) is an English rock guitarist….. echo-units along with this set-up and has used the Pro Co RAT distortion pedal.Here are some classic pedal moments I can think of from Jeff Beck, at least thesepedals will get you close! “Heart Full Of Soul” – Tone Bender, “…Jeff Beck. He Can’t Help It… He Just Keeps Getting Better. Tweet  A perennial in any guitarist’s short list of all-time greats, the 66-year-old is ….. AD9 – any of those old-school, fairly dark-sounding delay pedals from the ’80s.

Jeff Beck Guitar pickups

Seymour Duncan is a company founded by the man of the same name and primarily makes high quality guitar pickups. Among his many pickups, he has a favorite set: the Jazz and JB pickups. The JB pickup is intended for the bridge of the guitar and is used for soloing to give those great screaming highs that make it so famous.

What is a pickup?

pickups are the metal objects (often rectangles or rods) below the strings of an electric guitar where the player is strumming. They use an electric current and magnets to “pick up” the vibrations of the the strings and transmit them through wires to an amplifier, which makes the noise. As you can probably already see, pickups are very complicated and can be made a number of different ways. As a result, many companies have all come out with their own different pickups that guitar players have tested and adopted. The JB pickup is an excellent example of this.

What does JB mean?

The JB pickup is one of the few to be actually designed for a specific guitar player. Jeff Beck (JB) came to Seymour Duncan and asked him to create a new high powered pickup for him to use when soloing. This pickup was originally single coil (meaning it was shaped like a rod and not a rectangle; the specifics get complicated). Today, though, JB pickups are made as both single coils and humbuckers (the rectangles). Both styles can get the same great sound the Jeff Beck asked for and that helped him to become such an influential guitarist.

So how is this pickup?

The Seymour Duncan JB pickup is an excellent choice is you want clear, high powered leads. This pickup is great with distortion and allows it to shine while not getting muddied up like some other pickups. This is a bridge pickup, meaning that it is the pickup positioned lower on the guitar. To switch to it, you flip your switch forward, to the “treble” setting if you’re playing with a Gibson model. This pickup is what you need if you want to play lead guitar. It sounds great clean as well and because it is so high powered, it gives a natural increase of volume that you need to help cut through during a solo or riff. The only complaints against this pickup would probably be based on its strengths: if you want a muddy lead sound, then this won’t be able to do it very easily. This pickup has a sharp tone that is great for blues and rock especially. So if you feel like your skills have surpassed your guitar, then consider instead of getting a completely new one, simply replacing the bridge pickup with a JB by Seymour Duncan.

Jeff Beck Guitar player

Jeff Beck isn’t your typical guitar legend. His goal, in fact,  Although his stint with the band lasted only 18 months, Beck played on almost all of the group’s hits.

Geoffrey Arnold “Jeff” Beck is an English rock guitarist. He is one of the three noted guitarists to have played with The Yardbirds. Beck also formed The Jeff Beck Group and Beck, Bogert & Appice. Wikipedia
Born: June 24, 1944 (age 68), Wallington, London, United Kingdom
Music groups: The Yardbirds (1965 – 1966), More
Spouse: Sandra Cash (m. 2005), Patricia Brown (m. 1963–1967)
Awards: Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance,