The capo is to guitars what sugar—or Stevia, if you prefer—is to food. It makes everything sweeter. Musicians started noticing the capo's inherent song-sweetening properties sometime in the early 17th century, when primitive versions of the handy accessory were employed to raise the pitch of a host of fretted instruments.
From 1965 until their breakup in 1973, the Byrds were a bona-fide electric-guitar powerhouse. During the California band's initial—and most popular—incarnation, Jim McGuinn turned the 12-string Rickenbacker 360 guitar into an institution. Its glorious trademark "chiming" sound actually became the band's trademark sound—a sound that even influenced the almighty Beatles.
Sure, we could've packed this list with songs with mind-blowing B-bender solos by Diamond Rio's Jimmy Olander, the Hellecasters' Will Ray or the Byrds' Clarence White. Instead, we've gone for a more well-rounded approach, attempting to include as many different guitarists as possible, not to mention a few super-accessible (even "classic") songs. We might've even thrown in an 11th song. Our math isn't too good.
For today's column and video (like last week's), I grabbed my ugly grey shirt and my Gibson Music City Jr. with B-Bender (a limited-edition guitar Gibson issued in 2013), to play a Clarence White-inspired country lick in A. As an electric guitarist, White built the bridge between country and rock in the late Sixties.
Clarence White was a genuine double threat. His brilliant, Doc Watson-inspired acoustic flatpicking, which incorporated lightning-fast fiddle lines played on an already-vintage Martin D-28 guitar, helped the bluegrass world recognize the guitar as a lead instrument. Several masters of the genre, including Tony Rice and Norman Blake, list him as a key influence.
Clarence White was a genuine double threat. His brilliant, Doc Watson-inspired acoustic flatpicking, which incorporated lightning-fast fiddle lines played on an ancient Martin D-28, helped the bluegrass world recognize the guitar as a lead instrument. Several masters of the genre, including Tony Rice and Norman Blake, name him as a key influence.