STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN
How To Sound Like Stevie Ray Vaughan
His daddy's name was Big Jim.
The regular house band (literally) was The Texas Playboys.
He left school to go on tour with his rock band, Blackbird at the ripe old age of 17.
Nearly fifteen years later, he would collapse in the middle of a worldwide tour and seek treatment for an alcohol and drug addiction.
Then tragedy struck: the helicopter carrying Stevie Ray and four others flew into the side of a hill and all passengers were instantly killed.
It don't get much more rock 'n' roll legend than that.
The Making Of An Original
But Stevie Ray Vaughan was much more than just a rock 'n' roll guitarist, as any SRV worshiper worth his fanpage will tell you. His was a unique combination of blues, rock 'n' roll, and jazz that crossed every genre there was and challenged everyone who heard it to define him. And although big brother Jimmie was the first to take up the guitar, little Stevie would eventually surpass him in both talent and recognition.
Nobody who grew up in the sixties could avoid being influenced by guys like Jimi, Clapton, and the Beatles, but the Vaughan brothers also picked up licks from guys like Albert King, B.B. King, Muddy Waters, and Otis Rush. Stevie even developed a little jazz guitar flourish, with a fondness for Kenny Burrell, and Jimmie Vaughan (a respectable guitarist himself) claims that he and Stevie became unofficial Johnny "Guitar" Watson experts as well.
Stevie Ray Vaughan - Hideaway (Montreux '82)
After several bands that didn't go anywhere, Triple Threat became Double Trouble when Stevie fired the vocalist, Lou Ann Barton. Their big break seemed to have come when they were invited to play the Montreax Festival, but the performance turned out to be a disaster because the band had mistakenly been booked on "jazz acoustic night." The silver lining was that their performance led in a roundabout way to a recording contract with Epic Records brokered by John Hammond, Sr.
The Rise And Fall Of An Icon
And so, on June 3, 1983, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble released their debut album, Texas Flood. The album received enthusiastic reviews as well as going on to become SRV’s first album to go gold, although at the time it only reached as high as #38 on the Billboard music charts. "Texas Flood," the 3rd track on the album, would go on to become one of Stevie Ray's most iconic songs and a favorite in concert. The only single from the album, "Pride and Joy," would make it to #20 on the charts.
Couldn't Stand the Weather
Less than a year later, Stevie and the band had another album ready, Couldn't Stand the Weather. He was also awarded "Entertainer of the Year," and "Instrumentalist of the Year," at the Blues Awards in November of the same year. The album would also go on to become gold and also contained their next popular single by the same name: "Couldn't Stand the Weather."
Another year had another album, this time titled Soul to Soul, which went on to go platinum in sales. While Stevie was flying high professionally, though, he was sinking deeper and deeper into addiction.
When he collapsed after a show in Germany in '86, it was time for a change.
He checked into rehab in London, and managed to get sober. The first song to chart #1 for the band, "Crossfire," emerged from this period, as well as Stevie's final album with Double Trouble, In Step.
He would, however, record one last album (with his brother Jimmie) which was released just after his death in August 1990: Family Style.
Guitars And Equipment:
The most well-known guitar Stevie used was "Number One," a.k.a. "First Wife." Although Stevie described it as a '59 Fender Stratocaster, when Custom Shop employees disassembled it after his death they discovered that the neck was a '62 and the body a '63. However, the pickups were indeed from 1959, which is why Stevie presumably referred to it as such. He also changed the fretwire to Dunlop 6100, switched the vibrato to a left-handed setup, and changed out the strings to a much heavier gauge, usually .013-.058. He tuned down a half-step to compensate for the heavier string uge and the increased tension on the neck.
Stevie's favorite effects were the TS-808 Ibanez Tube Screamer distortion box and a Crybaby Wah pedal. Anyone wanting to sound like Stevie is going to have to invest in these two effects boxes at the very least. Along with that, you'll have to fork out some bucks for a few amps, too: a 1967 Fender Super Reverb blackface 4 x 10" amplifier, and a Fender Bassman 1959 Reissue for the later stuff. Round out your amplification with a blackface Fender Vibroverb, circa 1964-65, and you've got a good start.
A more exhaustive list of the guitars and equipment Stevie Ray played can be found at www.stevieray.com/gear.htm.
Things To Remember Him By
The SRV Signature Stratocaster is one of the longest running Signature models still in production. Released just two years after his death in 1990, the model has been available for more than 15 years now, and is a reproduction of Stevie Ray's famous guitar, "Number One." With 21 frets, Pao Ferro rosewood fretboard, and 3 special Texas Special Single Coil pickups, the guitar is generally considered to be a faithful reproduction of Stevie's favorite axe. The Fender Custom shop also made a very limited run (235 copies, to be exact) of "Lenny," SRV's guitar that was used mostly during the song by the same name.
If you're interested in Music Talent, check out Got Music Talent.com for the latest up and coming YouTube music stars!
Stevie Ray Vaughan Guitar Lesson
This hub brought to you....
by Julie-Ann Amos, professional writer, and owner of international writing agency www.ExquisiteWriting.com
Why not create your own HubPages? It's fun and you can make revenue from Adsense and other revenue streams on your pages. JOIN HUBPAGES NOW - SIMPLY CLICK HERE...
This work is licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ or send a letter to CreativeCommons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California94105, USA.
Check out my other Guitarist hubs:
- KEITH RICHARDS - Guide to the World's Greatest Guita...
He's the man behind the classic riffs to
- JOE PERRY - Real Guitar Hero - Guide to the World's ...
No world's best guitarist lineup would be complete without Joe Perry. Guitar player known oh so well to Guitar Hero players, Perry has inspired many to try to play. As the lead guitarist for what has come to be known as
- KURT COBAIN - Real Guitar Hero - Guide to The World'...
Whether you adore him or despise him, there's no disputing the fact that Nirvana's very own guitar hero Kurt Cobain had a profound impact on a generation. Bands like Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains would never have made it into the mainstream if it had
- ERIC CLAPTON - Real Guitar Hero - Guide to The World...
They call him
- Duane Allman - Guide to the World's Best Guitarists
The thing about great musicians from the 60's was they were always dying. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Brian Jones from the Rolling Stones, Jim Morrison, Keith Moon…and, unfortunately, the guitarist whose nickname was
- CARLOS SANTANA - Real Guitar Hero - Guide to The Wor...
It's been said he could take a cardboard box with rubber bands for strings and still get it to make music sweet enough to make a grown man cry. Maybe, but guitar hero Carlos Santana isn't planning on putting down his Paul Reed Smith anytime soon. Goo
- JOE SATRIANI - Real Guitar Hero - Guide to The World...
Known as Saint Joe by his fans and simply as
- JIMMY PAGE - Real Guitar Heroes - Guide to The World...
As you read this article, countless aspiring guitarists all over the world are struggling through the opening notes to
- BB KING - Real Guitar Hero - Guide to The World's Be...
If you consider the development of rock and roll as a giant mansion, with lots of rooms for each of the different styles and artists over the years, the cornerstone would have to be Riley B. King. Better known as B. B. King, he was old school before
- SLASH - Guide to The World's Best Guitarists
Guitarists are a colorful lot. Even in a room full of them, however, Saul Hudson, better known as Slash, stands out like a sore thumb. With his trademark black top hat and shock of wild black hair, it's always a wonder that he doesn't run into walls