Friday, February 10, 2017

You Can't Play This

You can't play this either.


  1. Phenomenal talent! Genius, really. A true American Original, if ever there was one.

    Hey, Kid, do you know if Chet supplied his own percussion to Tiger Rag, or did he have assistance?

    I know Tommy Emmanuel, whom I admire even more, is a disciple of Chet, and learned much from him, and TOMMY supplies dos own percussion effects by slapping his guitar at rhythmic intervals –– an incredible display of virtuosity.

    I wonder if Chet did the same and gave Tommy the idea?

    Did anybody TEACH Chet Atkins, or is he just a "natural?" The best musical performers in the classical world –- where I come from –– usually are gifted with natural facility, but even so it takes years of serious study with knowledgeable teachers to learn the repertoire, and be able to play it with confidence in front of audiences.

    I can hear, however, that guitar playing in this great a level is as demanding as any classical literature.

    I really do thank you for turning me onto this kind of music. I have more difficulty with Joe Satriani but I recognize the originality in his stuff, even though the basic "sound" doesn't appeal to me so much.

    1. FT, There was a drummer and an obvious floor bass, but all the rest is Chet.

      He learned ob his own and by listening to other people play local or on the radio, and his biggest influences were Merle Travis early on and Les Paul later.

      Much later on he learned how to read music because of his main profession as a producer at RCA demanded it.

      This is long but you might enjoy it.

  2. Chet Atkins first influence was Merle Travis. The story is that since he only heard Travis on the radio and couldn't see what he was doing, when he tried to duplicate Travis, he ended up using three fingers instead of just index and thumb.

    1. Adrienne, yes, I remember from one of his teaching DVD's I think, he spoke of meeting Merle. Chet was on the radio here in Cincinnati on WLW and Merle was in the area listening and rushed to the station to meet this guitar player. When Chet played for him, Merle said "Wow - 3 fingers !" to which Chet said he thought that was what Merle was doing. Best friends ever since, and Chet named his daughter Merle.

  3. Merle and Chet -- doesn't get better than that!