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QRD #61 - Guitarist Interview Series Part VIII
QRD - Thanks for your interest & support
about this issue
Guitarist Interviews:
Alan Bishop
Grégory Duby
Nathan Joyner
Nick Jonah Davies
Claudia Gregory
Matthew Filler
Julien Ottavi
Chris Brokaw
Andrea Vascellari
Jeff Barsky
Chas McKeown
Jean D.L.
Adam Cooper
Chris Summerlin
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Claudia Gregory of Feel No Other
Claudia Gregory of Feel No Other
Claudia Gregory of Feel No Other
Claudia Gregory of Feel No Other
Claudia Gregory of Feel No Other
Claudia Gregory of Feel No Other
Claudia Gregory of Feel No Other
Claudia Gregory of Feel No Other
Claudia Gregory of Feel No Other
Claudia Gregory of Feel No Other
Claudia Gregory of Feel No Other
Claudia Gregory of Feel No Other
Claudia Gregory of Feel No Other
Claudia Gregory of Feel No Other
Claudia Gregory of Feel No Other
Claudia Gregory of Feel No Other
Claudia Gregory of Feel No Other
Claudia Gregory of Feel No Other
Claudia Gregory of Feel No Other
Claudia Gregory of Feel No Other
Guitarist Interview with Claudia Gregory of Feel No Other
April 2013
Claudia Gregory of Feel No Other
Name: Claudia Gregory
Bands: Feel No Other, Claudia VS The Queen of Hearts, Exhaust The Fox
Websites: www.feelnoother.com
Listen to Feel No Other "Even the Blue"

QRD – What was your first guitar & what happened to it?

Claudia – My first guitar was some beat up piece of junk I found in someone’s closet. It had three strings (just enough to learn the riff from “Blue Monday”) & I actually still have it.

QRD – What’s the most important part of your rig - guitar, amplifier, or effects?

Claudia – Guitar, definitely. I normally don’t use any effects, but I’m a fan of big sounds. Not big as in heavy, but as in layers & layers of sound. I love when people can use effects as something like a full on orchestra that sounds like it came from outer space. It’s so cool to hear some new crazy sound every time you listen to a song.

QRD – What’s your main guitar & what are the features that make it such?

Claudia – My main guitar is this inexpensive guitar that I picked up at a pawnshop. I love it because it has this really interesting sound to it. It’s really imperfect & raw sounding. I also have a thing for red guitars & the built in tuner is a big plus.
QRD – If you had a signature guitar, what would it look like & what would some of its features be?

Claudia – See, you shouldn’t have questions like this, because I could write an entire novel. I think my signature guitar would be an acoustic electric with a really unique body. It would have some kind of classic renaissance artwork painted on it, but the subject would be like... mermaids or Narnia or something. Something enchanting ha-ha-ha-ha. I’d like opal inlays shaped like the phases of the moon. Shall I continue...?

QRD – If you had a signature pedal, what would it be & what would some of its features be?

Claudia – I really like a lot of reverb, so maybe a mixture of some reverb, chorus, delay. I like a little distortion thrown in. Just a little bit to make it sound raw. Actually, it would be cool if I had a pedal that just created a cathedral around me. Ha-ha. Too much?

QRD – How many guitars do you own?

Claudia – Five. Two electric, two acoustic, one acoustic-electric.

QRD – How & where do you store your guitars?

Claudia – All over the house so my cat can knock them over

QRD – What do you wish guitar cases had that they usually don’t?

Claudia – Wheels & an expandable handle like a suitcase.

QRD – What features do you look for when buying a guitar?

Claudia – I really just want something that fits who I am. I’m not all about buying super expensive guitars. I think when it comes down to it, you can make any guitar sound good if you put your heart into what you’re doing. I guess if I pick it up & it just fits my personality & my message than it’s perfect.

QRD – How much do you think a good guitar should cost?

Claudia – I think it really depends on the person & what they’re looking for.

QRD – Do you upgrade & customize your guitars or just stick with what you get?

Claudia – I like customization. I love taking something & completely making it my own.

QRD – How thoroughly do you research or test a piece of equipment before buying it?

Claudia – I love to educate myself, especially if I’m investing in something. I try to do a good bit of research before buying new equipment. There’s nothing worse than having something stand in the way of what you’re trying to create.

QRD – Are you after one particular guitar tone & locking into it, or do you like to change your tone around a lot?

Claudia – I like to experiment with different tones/sounds & sometimes it’ll work for an idea I want to get out, but I normally fall back into the honesty of just the straight raw tone of my guitar.

QRD – What are some guitars, amps, & pedals you particularly lust after?

Claudia – I really love White Falcon guitars. I think they’re all around beautiful.

QRD – What do you think are some important features to be on a person’s first guitar that aren’t always there?

Claudia – Tuning. Definitely tuning.

QRD – What have been the best & worst guitar related purchases you’ve made?

Claudia – I think the best guitar related purchase would be my capo. I love capos. The worst... hmmm. I’d say this pick-up mic I got off of eBay that extended maybe a foot. How do you even plug that in!?!?!? You have to lay on the ground to play. I’m not that punk rock.

QRD – What’s the first thing you play when you pick up a guitar?

Claudia – A song I wrote called “Ghost on the Shelf.”

QRD – How old were you when you started playing guitar?

Claudia – I was about 14 when I picked up a guitar, but when I really got serious about it I was around 18.

QRD – At what age do you think you leveled up to your best guitar playing?

Claudia – I’m still getting there, ha-ha.

QRD – Why do you think a guitar fits you more so than other instruments?

Claudia – I think it’s easiest for me to write music with a guitar. I pick it up & strum some chords & before I know it I’m scribbling down lyrics. It kind of just falls together easier when you let your hands do the walking.

QRD – Do you think guitar should be people’s first instrument as often as it is?

Claudia – I don’t know. I started with piano, which I hear should be the first. I think in a sense piano is a good instrument to start on because you can really learn to match tones & eventually play by ear.

QRD – Do you see your guitar as your ally or adversary in making music?

Claudia – Sometimes it can be both, but for the most part I would say ally.

QRD – Who are the guitarists that most influenced your playing & sound?

Claudia – I really love the way John Gourley plays. He puts a lot of soul into his playing. I like Bob Dylan & Conor Oberst’s realness when they play. Really honest & straight forward. I guess a lot of blues & old folk music. I think there’s some great talent amongst strings within those genres.

QRD – Do you think people anthropomorphizing their guitars is natural or silly (e.g. naming their guitar)?

Claudia – I haven’t named mine, but now I kind of want to, ha-ha. Big red. No, but I don’t think it’s silly. In all, your guitar is normally who you tell all your darkest secrets to. I think that makes it real in a way.

QRD – What’s the most physical damage you’ve done to a guitar & how did you do it?

Claudia – I try to be gentle, so I’d say break a string.

QRD – What do you do to practice other than simply playing?

Claudia – I try to study my chords by learning songs by artists I really love & playing them over & over until I can play through the song without any mistakes.

QRD – How many hours a week do you play guitar & how many hours would you like to?

Claudia – During the winter I tend to play a lot more. Maybe 20 to 30 hours a week. I’d prefer to play music all day if I could.

QRD – What type of pick do you use & why?

Claudia – I actually don’t use guitar picks. I strum with my fingers

QRD – What gauge strings do you use & why?

Claudia – I should probably pay attention to that

QRD – How often do you change strings?

Claudia – When I look at them & fear that they’ll break during a performance.

QRD – How often do you break strings?

Claudia – I always break the same high E string. That little guy is just so fragile.

QRD – Which do you feel is more proficient, your strumming hand or fretting hand & how does that effect your style?

Claudia – I think my fretting hand is a little better. I play my guitar upside down (left-handed but not re-strung) & I’m actually more so right handed, so my right hand is a little more proficient. I like that it makes it easy for me to strum in 3/4 timing, because that’s my favorite.

QRD – Do you set-up your guitar yourself or send it to a guitar tech (or not set it up at all) & why?

Claudia – I set it up myself.

QRD – What tunings do you use & why?

Claudia – Standard.

QRD – Do you prefer tablature, sheet music, or some other notation system for writing down your own ideas?

Claudia – I prefer chicken scratch. I normally write down my lyrics with the chords or ideas at the top of the page & then I’ll record it so I remember what it is I liked.

QRD – How high do you hold your guitar when playing (strap length)?

Claudia – I’ve never measured, but it’s usually just above my hips.

QRD – What’s a bad habit in your playing you wish you could break?

Claudia – I sometimes wish I played with a pick. I’ve bloodied up my fingers a good amount of times!

QRD – Playing what other instrument do you think can most help someone’s guitar playing?

Claudia – Any string instrument. I think the hardest part of playing guitar is building up calluses. It’s a painful instrument to learn!

QRD – What’s a type of guitar playing you wish you could do that you can’t?

Claudia – Spanish classical guitar. I love the intricacy of the fingerpicking.

QRD – What’s a guitar goal you’ve never accomplished?

Claudia – I have a lot of trouble with bar chords.

QRD – What’s the last guitar trick you learned?

Claudia – I kind of make up my own techniques. I enjoy slapping the strings some times.

QRD – What’s your favorite guitar gadget (ebow, capo, slide, string cutter, etc)?

Claudia – Capo!

QRD – What’s a guitar technique you’d like to master, but haven’t?

Claudia – Finger-picking like a blue grass player.

QRD – Did you ever take guitar lessons & if so, what did you learn from them?

Claudia – I haven’t.

QRD – What would you teach someone in a guitar lesson that you don’t think they would generally get from a guitar teacher?

Claudia – I think it’s easier to memorize chords when you start with learning your favorite songs. That way you know how it’s supposed to sound & you have a desire to really get it right.

QRD – What’s something someone would have to do to emulate your style?

Claudia – I guess play upside down, ha-ha.

QRD – What do you see as the difference between lead guitar & rhythm guitar players?

Claudia – One is a little cockier.

QRD – If a band has good guitar work, can you ignore the rest of the band not being good?

Claudia – No. It just doesn’t work that way.

QRD – What famous musician’s guitar would you like to own & why?

Claudia – Probably Bob Dylan, just because he’s legend & his guitar moved so many people.

QRD – Who do you think is currently the most innovative guitar player & why?

Claudia – John Gourley of Portugal. The Man. He has a really unique sound. He mixes different influences & I feel like it makes his playing very distinctive.

QRD – Where can people hear your best guitar work?

Claudia – www.feelnoother.com “Even The Blue”

QRD – Anything else?

Claudia – I don’t even play guitar.... Ha-ha-ha. Just kidding.