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QRD #55 - Guitarist Interview Series VI
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about this issue
Guitarist Interviews with:
Mason Jones
Chris Wade
Corbie Hill
Davy Curci
Matt Northrup
Xavier Dubois
Tony Sagger
Rich Bennett
Jonas Munk
Matthew Eyles
Francesco “fuzz” Brasini
Shawn Lawson Freeman
Jacques LaMore
Curran Faris
Sean Fewell
Ryan Scally
Shawn Steven
Sophia Johnson
Mick Barr
Joshua Heinrich
Jim Walker
Jacob Peck
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Guitarist Interview with Jacob Peck
June 2012

Name: Jacob Peck
Bands: Symbolikas, Andrew Weathers Ensemble, Cosmic Mystery Band of Unknown
Websites: symbolikas.com

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.