Magazine article Guitar Player

How to Play like ... Elmore James

Magazine article Guitar Player

How to Play like ... Elmore James

Article excerpt

Born in 1918 in Mississippi, Elmore James began recording his wailing slide riffs in 1951, after serving in the Navy during World War II. James favored open-D tuning (D, A, D, F#, A, D, low to high), and was known for playing a Harmony Sovereign or Kay flat-top tricked out with a DeArmond magnetic soundhole pickup. James died from heart failure in 1963, yet during his tragically brief career, he wrote a handful of blues classics, including "The Sky is Crying," "Shake Your Money Maker," "It Hurts Me Too," and "Dust My Broom."

James was one of the earliest--some claim the first--Delta slide guitarist to go electric and perform with a drummer. Whether he or Muddy Waters led the charge to amplification, James set the tone for blues rock, and as a result, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. His raunchy bottleneck tones and powerful attack inspired Hound Dog Taylor and J.B. Hutto, as well as the Rolling Stones, Duane Allman, Jeremy Spencer of Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall, Michael Bloomfield, and George Thoroughgood. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.