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Derek Trucks: The Most Important Part of Any Guitar Solo

(Image credit: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images)

Derek Trucks recently sat down with Music Radar to offer his top five tips for guitarists. In the course of things, the Tedeschi Trucks guitarist offered his advice about guitar soloing by way of a quote from jazz drummer Elvin Jones.

“He’d say, ‘When you’re playing and when you’re soloing, always tell a story,’” Trucks says.

“You hear it in the great musicians, whether it’s a drummer or a horn player or a guitar player—you hear them take those breaths. You can feel that there’s something they’re trying to tell you.

“It’s emotion. It could be a literal story you have in mind that you could be telling, but it’s important that it’s not just a pile of things that you practice that you think are cool. You really should be trying to express something.

“You hear a great Art Blakey drum solo or Elvin Jones, and you can tell when they’re taking a breath. You can tell when they’re loading up for something big. There’s just this humanity in it, and I think that’s important as well. I think telling a story and taking a breath is important.”

The Tedeschi Trucks Band released their second live album, Live from the Fox Oakland, March 17 through Concord/Fantasy. Filmed and recorded September 9, 2016, the potent 15-song set gives fans an in-depth look behind the scenes of the band’s live performances and includes more than two hours of music. The album is
available as a CD/DVD combo, a CD/Blu-ray combo, vinyl only and CD only. You can see the full track list at bottom.

To read Trucks’ full interview with Music Radar, head here.

Below is a guitar-highlights trailer for Live from the Fox Oakland, along with a pair of video compilations of Derek Trucks guitar solos.

Live from the Fox Oakland Track List:
1. Don’t Know What It Means
2. Keep On Growing
3. Bird on the Wire
4. Within You, Without You
5. Just as Strange
6. Crying over You
7. Color of the Blues **Film only
8. These Walls (featuring Alam Khan)
9. Anyhow
10. Right On Time **CD only
11. Leavin’ Trunk
12. Don’t Drift Away
13. I Want More (Soul Sacrifice outro)
14. I Pity the Fool
15. Ali ** CD only
16. Let Me Get By
17. You Ain’t Going Nowhere **film only

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Christopher Scapelliti is editor-in-chief of Guitar Player (opens in new tab) magazine, the world’s longest-running guitar magazine, founded in 1967. In his extensive career, he has authored in-depth interviews with such guitarists as Pete Townshend, Slash, Billy Corgan, Jack White, Elvis Costello and Todd Rundgren, and audio professionals including Beatles engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott. He is the co-author of Guitar Aficionado: The Collections: The Most Famous, Rare, and Valuable Guitars in the World (opens in new tab), a founding editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine, and a former editor with Guitar WorldGuitar for the Practicing Musician and Maximum Guitar. Apart from guitars, he maintains a collection of more than 30 vintage analog synthesizers.