The virtuosic Molly Miller on her magical 335 and guitar becoming a ‘choice’

A revered session musician and educator who’s worked alongside major artists like Jason Mraz amongst others, Miller is one of the most accomplished guitar players in the industry.

The moment it all started

“I started playing guitar when I was seven years old. My parents decided that my four siblings and I would be a band. From that moment on it was what I did ­– it became a big part of my identity. I’ve had a few of those ‘Aha!’ moments, like when I was 13 my guitar teacher showed me Purple Haze. I had no idea guitar was cool until that moment, which is so strange to me now. That was the beginning of a shift for me; guitar became a choice. I was a notoriously bad guitar student before – I never wanted to practice. After I learned about Hendrix, I started to see the light, if you will.”

I couldn’t live without my…

“My 335. It’s my baby. It’s from 1978, which isn’t a magical year, but it’s a magical guitar. I hate how attached I am to it. It’s almost scarier to have found the one because if anything happens to it, I am destroyed.”

The one that got away

“No… I feel fortunate that I haven’t sold anything I loved. I need to sell some guitars though! Then I would be better equipped to answer this question in a more romantic manner.”

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My signature model

“I do feel like I have found my ‘soul mate’ of guitars (sorry it sounds so cheesy). What would be nice is to have another one or two, so I wasn’t so attached to my 335! I think a combination of a 335 and tele would be ideal. I’d love the sturdiness, punch, and versatility of a tele to join forces with the depth and feel of a 335. I find a lot of semi-hollow bodies are finicky and too mid-rangy. My signature guitar would be a solid body for ease of travel, with a thinner neck (I hate chunky necks), and most importantly, it would have thousands of hours of play on it already. I find most new instruments to be stiff. Often guitars need to be played in order to have character and flow to them.”

The first thing I play when I pick up a guitar

“Lately I play E major up and down the guitar. I love playing chords, phrases, lines, and melodies in one key when I first pick up my guitar. I want to connect with my instrument before doing anything else.”

The best advice I’ve ever been given

“We are never practicing. We are always playing. (Thank you, Bruce Forman!)”

Molly Miller

My guilty pleasure

“Sublime and Third Eye Blind. My go to karaoke songs!”

I’m in the band

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This is a very challenging question and no matter what I say I’ll think of more after I submit my answer… Leon Russell, Hendrix, Prince, Ramsey Lewis, Dylan (electric), Beatles (and iterations of this), Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Otis Redding, James Brown, Randy Newman, Allen Toussaint, Paul Simon, The Roots, Dave Matthews Band (I love to jam when I perform), Fiona Apple, John Mayer, Buck Owens, Willie Nelson… And I can just keep going forever.”

I wish I was there

“Bob Dylan at the Royal Albert Hall 1966 or Hendrix at Monterey 1967.”

The first thing on my rider

“Ceremonial matcha (splash of oat milk), fresh baguette, extra sharp cheddar cheese. I’m happy.”

If I could just play one thing

“I want to be a shredding slide guitar player one day.”

Molly Miller Trio’s new album, St. George, will be released in 2021. You can follow Molly on Instagram via @moodymill

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