Eric Gales, one of the greatest electric guitar players on the planet, reveals he actually prefers playing acoustic

Eric Gales
(Image credit: EarthtonesOfficial/YouTube)

When you hear the name Eric Gales, you probably think of searing blues guitar lines and scorching scale runs, and for good reason: Gales undoubtedly has one of today’s most bountiful electric guitar vocabularies.

However, despite usually slaying from behind the fretboard of a Fender Stratocaster or his Magneto signature guitar, Gales is equally adept with an acoustic guitar in his hands. And, according to the man himself, he actually prefers playing the acoustic.

In fact, he loves the acoustic guitar so much, he’s got a whole double acoustic album in reserve that will “take the world by storm”, having written a huge number of unplugged tracks over lockdown.

Speaking to Guitar magazine, Gales admitted, “I actually prefer the acoustic. During the pandemic, I did about 40 songs on the acoustic. So I have a whole double acoustic album basically done. 

“Of course,” he continued, “I don’t want to release it all at the same time, so I’m going to let the life of Crown do what it does and then follow up with what I worked on during the pandemic. But, man, I got a heavy acoustic record that I think is going to take the world by storm.”

Gales went on to explain what it is about the acoustic he likes so much, commenting on their intimacy, emotion and the fact they are unforgiving beasts.

“They’re very unforgiving,” Gales observed. “But, at the same time, there’s an emotion and intimacy when it’s just you with the guitar. It’s the same way with the electric but it’s a different atmosphere with an acoustic. 

“I’m a stickler for beautiful arrangements and chords and, when they’re done on an acoustic, it’s unmatched.”

The bluesman has been keeping himself equally busy with an electric guitar in recent times. His upcoming Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith-produced album, Crown, is due tomorrow (January 28) and, if the first two singles are anything to go by, it’s going to be a treat for guitar fans.

I Want My Crown featured some top-notch guitar dueling with Bonamassa, while You Don’t Know The Blues saw Gales light a fire under the conventional shuffle form. 

And, while most of us would assume getting JoBo onboard behind the desk would’ve been a costly endeavor, it turns out his production rates are actually very affordable. Speaking to Guitar World, Gales recently recalled how he recruited Bonamassa by buying him two cans of Diet Coke.

Crown is available to preorder now ahead of its release tomorrow.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.