Spotlight: Tyne-James Organ

Tyne James-Organ
(Image credit: Will Patston)

TYNE JAMES-ORGAN

HAILS FROM: Melbourne, VIC
PLAYS: Solo
SOUNDS LIKE: Summery, soulful pop with big grooves and even bigger heart
LATEST DROP: Necessary Evil (LP out now via Universal)

What’s your current go-to guitar?
My Martin 000-15m is my baby. It’s a three-quarter-scale mahogany. I bought mine in 2014 and it’s served me so well every day and at every show since. I used to watch this guy from England on YouTube and he played one. His videos had no edits and I couldn’t get over the tone and look, so I just went searching. I knew it was mine from the first strum. I’ve got the LR Baggs Anthem pickup in there, which makes it a dream whenever I plug it in.

How did you initially fall in love with the instrument?
I was fortunate to grow up in a very musical household, but instruments didn’t come into my life until the age of 14. I loved guitar and had a Casino Electric, but I was confused by the strings. On my 14th birthday my dad bought me a ukulele, and the simplicity of that instrument really opened up my mind. I spent about six months playing it every day, and then decided to step up to the guitar. It definitely came a lot quicker after jamming on the uke. I remember a few months in, I nearly quit when I was trying to learn a song and it had a Bm barre chord. Fast forward to when I was 17, barre chords were all I used. The first guitar I bought was a Maton. I saved up my pocket money for probably a year, and was so stoked when I got it. Funny story: I was playing in my room a few weeks after I bought it, and when I went to take it off, the headstock hit the metal fan on the roof and broke it. I cried for weeks.

What inspires you as a player?
I’ve always loved John Mayer’s style and approach. I don’t consider myself a ‘guitarist’ as such, but I would be lost without it. I learnt all my playing and techniques from YouTube videos – and I mean the very basic ones. After some time of doing that, I would go on Ultimate Guitar and sing the song with the chords. I know a few scales, but nothing much. Maybe one day I’ll chuck a solo of mine on a record or bash one out live; but for the time being I’ll keep bashing out these barre chords.

Are you much of a gear nerd?
I’m actually not too much of a whiz when it comes to gear. I was pretty much a plug ’n’ play guy for a good five or so years, and it was only a few years ago that I started my pedalboard. I think I have five pedals on there. My fave is definitely my Holy Grail reverb – it’s just beautiful.  After spending so much time in the studio with Chris Collins, I’ve learnt more of what I like. My amp of choice is a ’68 Fender Princeton.

Do you have any ‘white whales’?
I’d love to have the Sm7b microphone that Michael Jackson used to record Thriller.

What would your signature model look like?
I’ve got a custom design I’ve had in my head for a few years, but I can’t tell you in case someone beats me to making it!

If you could jam with any guitarist, dead or alive...
BB King. Anything he wants. I’d probably just watch him the whole time.

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Ellie Robinson

Ellie Robinson is an Australian writer, editor and dog enthusiast with a keen ear for pop-rock and a keen tongue for actual Pop Rocks. Their bylines include music rag staples like NME, BLUNT, Mixdown and, of course, Australian Guitar (on which they also serve as Editor-at-Large), but also less expected fare like TV Soap and Snowboarding Australia. Their go-to guitar is a Fender Player Tele, which, controversially, they only picked up after they’d joined the team at Australian Guitar. Before then, Ellie was a keyboardist – thankfully, the AG crew helped them see the light…