with Jacob Peck
Name: Jacob Peck
Bands: Symbolikas, Cosmic Mystery Band of Unknown
QRD – What was your first guitar & what happened to it?
Jacob – My first guitar was a gift from my father for... I think it was Christmas. I was probably ten. I still play it... it’s a Fender electric/acoustic. I really play the crap out of it. I have other guitars for more delicate playing. I buried it once & let the earth play it. There’re photos of that somewhere on the web. The guitar continues to live & love.
QRD – What’s your typical set-up from guitar to effects to amplifier?
Jacob – Generally have a guitar with many random goodies, such as drum sticks, mallets, alligator clips, cloths, fuzzy paint brush things, pens, paper, chains, sticks... sticks are important... pedals... well, I don’t use them too often, but when I do, I use a Boss Loop pedal & that awesome green delay one... the Line 6... & I have a Fender Vibrolux tube amp.…
QRD – What’s the most important part of your rig - guitar, amplifier, or effects?
Jacob – I am the most important part of my rig... ha-ha-ha.…
QRD – What’s your main amplifier & why?
Jacob – My main amp is a Fender Vibrolux tube amp.
QRD – What’s your main guitar & what are the features that make it such?
Jacob – Ooo... different guitars for different days, moods, moments, & so on. Fender strat used most often... then my Fender electric/acoustic, which I usually tune funky & bang on wildly... then my dandy dandy Taylor, which I play oh so very sweetly... & then...my Raemundo nylon string... it’s been chilling in its case for quite some time.…
QRD – If you had a signature guitar, what would it look like & what would some of its features be?
Jacob – A guitar I envision would have drum skins built into the body... as well as plants growing out of the sound hole.…
QRD – If you had a signature pedal, what would it be & what would some of its features be?
Jacob – My signature pedal is my foot tapping.
QRD – How many guitars do you own?
Jacob – I believe I own 5 guitars.…
QRD – How & where do you store your guitars?
Jacob – I put my guitars in places that they go... & keep them safe from extreme temperatures & direct light.
QRD – What features do you look for when buying a guitar?
Jacob – The purity of tone... the reality of its tone.…
QRD – How much do you think a good guitar should cost?
Jacob – A good guitar will cost what it is worth to the one purchasing it.…
QRD – Do you upgrade & customize your guitars or just stick with what you get?
Jacob – I got noiseless pickups installed... that’s about it.…
QRD – How thoroughly do you research or test a piece of equipment before buying it?
Jacob – Not too thoroughly.
QRD – Do you change your rig around often?
Jacob – Nope.
QRD – What do you think are some important features to be on a person’s first guitar that aren’t always there?
Jacob – It should feel good to hold.…
QRD – What have been the best & worst guitar related purchases you’ve made?
Jacob – The guitarist needs the feature of being able to do dandy things with her or his fingers, palms, wrists, tendons, shoulders, & toes.
QRD – What are some effect, amp, & guitar brands you particularly like or dis-like & why?
Jacob – Tube amps. I enjoy their sound.…
QRD – What’s the first thing you play when you pick up a guitar?
Jacob – A very mysterious something.
QRD – How old were you when you started playing guitar?
Jacob – Probably 10.
QRD – At what age do you think you leveled up to your best guitar playing?
Jacob – I’m not there yet... doubt I ever will be... I am always learning.
QRD – Why do you think a guitar fits you more so than other instruments?
Jacob – Because I’m a rock-n-roll superstar.
QRD – Do you think guitar should be people’s first instrument as often as it is?
Jacob – I believe it would be beneficial for young ones to choose their first instrument. If they were exposed to the wild world of music in a more open way, we may have more trombonists & flute players on this planet.
QRD – Do you see your guitar as your ally or adversary in making music?
Jacob – My guitar is a magical means of meeting the Mystery.
QRD – Who are the guitarists that most influenced your playing & sound?
Jacob – Some big influences have been Tommy Emmanuel, Fred Frith, Lenny Breau, John Stowell, Trey Anastasio, Jimi Hendrix, Jerry Garcia, Keb Mo, & all those guitarists playing on the radio.
QRD – Do you think people anthropomorphizing their guitars is natural or silly (e.g. naming their guitar)?
Jacob – Ain’t nothing what we call it.
QRD – What do you do to practice other than simply playing?
Jacob – Setting goals... working on the same facet of the same thing for many weeks until whatever it is I am working on is fully integrated... practice is study.… The best way to practice is to work on the same idea or song or concept or exercise again & again & again & repeat & repeat slowly, softly, consciously, courageously until the material is in your bones body blood & brain.…
QRD – How many hours a week do you play guitar & how many hours would you like to?
Jacob – I don’t believe in hours. I play as I will & as it may.
QRD – What type of pick do you use & why?
Jacob – I use picks made of polished agate because earth tones are groovy, plastic is moody, & the soft supple edges of a curved, polished stone sound softer, more supple, & more whole.
QRD – What tunings do you use & why?
Jacob – In the past few months I’ve been playing in a tuning of fifths... that is... C G C G CC.… It’s great for raga singing & epic dronal explorations.
QRD – Playing what other instrument do you think can most help someone’s guitar playing?
Jacob – Piano, drums, flute, sticks & stones.
QRD – What’s your favorite guitar gadget (ebow, capo, slide, string cutter, etc)?
Jacob – I like clipping alligator clips to the strings directly over the active pickup(s).
QRD – Did you ever take guitar lessons & if so, what did you learn from them?
Jacob – Yes, I have taken guitar lessons. I learned some teachers are great & others aren’t. The best teachers teach me how to teach myself while showing me some remarkable things along the way.
QRD – What would you teach someone in a guitar lesson that you don’t think they would generally get from a guitar teacher?
Jacob – If you have a string & pluck it, it makes a sound.… If you divide the string in half & pluck it... it makes another sound that is the same sound.… Oh yeah, & there isn’t a single instrument in the world that is totally in tune.…
QRD – What’s something someone would have to do to emulate your style?
Jacob – They’d have to be who they are.
QRD – If a band has good guitar work, can you ignore the rest of the band not being good?
Jacob – No.
QRD – Where can people hear your best guitar work?
Jacob – I’m on the YouTube... & symbolikas.com
QRD – Anything else?
Jacob – Listen closer.