“Sometimes it’s more fun to hit one note and see if it can mean as much”: Rich Robinson shares thoughts on virtuoso players

Sometimes your technique can be simple, but just as effective…

Rich Robinson playing a Gretsch guitar on stage.

Image: Javier Bragado / Redferns via Getty

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The guitar landscape today is bursting with virtuoso players and shredders galore, but Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes believes that in some cases, less is more.

Sharing his opinion on those players who can “do gymnastics” on the fretboard, Robinson thinks that sometimes it can mean more to hit one note and just see what happens.

Speaking in the new issue of Total Guitar, Robinson shares his appreciation for those who go on a fretboard frenzy, but explains why it’s not always needed to create impactful music.

“Those virtuoso guys are great players and they can do everything on the guitar,” he says. “They can do gymnastics, run up and down, anything you could possibly ask them to. But sometimes it’s more fun to hit one note and see what happens, see if it can mean as much. Sometimes it can mean even more!

“Jimmy Page was great at that, I think it’s why he’s considered to be so brilliant. Melodically, he knew when to play less. Jeff Beck is absolutely another one. Those two had the technique but more importantly they knew when to use it and when not to.”

On a similar note, Robinson later adds, “We don’t have to be so uptight about everything being perfect. A song can speed up going into a chorus and then slow down – and that’s okay. When you add vibrato on slide, it doesn’t have to be exactly note-perfect the whole time.”

He concludes, “Don’t worry too much about intonation or technique, because it’s all relative. Just don’t lose the human element in your music.”

Happiness Bastards, the latest album from The Black Crowes, is out on 15 March.

Find out more via their official website.

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