Watch the Midnight Walkin online guitar lesson by Ladd Smith from Modern Nashville Guitar
Alright, so like I say in the intro, this is a little groove I came up with and play live pretty often. This one is pretty self-explanatory and it's a whole lotta fun to jam on. You can really get creative when you get into a song that has a funky groove and bass line in a minor key. I find myself emulating a Santana sort of thing on this one a lot, only with my banjo-rolls and my phrasing, just cause that's almost like what it's calling for, which brings me to the next thing I want to talk about; Critical Listening. One parallel I would like to point out is in this story about a master luthier (however he doesn't like the word luthier) and repairman in NY named Flip Scipio (he's the guy Paul McCartney sends his original Beatle Bass to for repairs and set-ups... along with an armed guard and a private seat onboard the Concord no less) - I recently met Flip at the screening of his documentary at the Nashville Film Festival and I found it interesting that they had an entire section of the movie dedicated to Flip holding this piece of wood and tapping on it, for a really long time, in lots of different places and then gently shaping it with his tools, fractions of an inch at a time - he says he was listening intently to 'what the wood was telling him' regarding how it wanted to be shaped and what it wanted to be as an instrument. Now this may sound funny to you, but I've got to say, that's the whole idea. You really have to tune-in and listen to what that song wants to be on record. What does it want to say musically? What are the lyrics saying? How can we further support and communicate that with the inflection of our instrument? How does this song want to be heard over and over?
This tone that I've got going is the Seymour Duncan 'Firebird Mini-Humbucker' straight out of the G&L into a 'hard-knee' compression on the CMAT Signa Comp-Drive, which is a dual use pedal so I'm using the Compressor side and the 'Tube-screamer' like overdrive, into the Keeley modded Line6 DL-4 long 'analog' delay into the Mesa-Boogie Lonestar 1x12 tube amp at 30 watts - which is set reasonably clean.