Magazine article Guitar Player

Rachelle Van Zanten

Magazine article Guitar Player

Rachelle Van Zanten

Article excerpt

AFTER 11 YEARS IN THE TRENCHES, CANADIAN slide guitarist Rachelle van Zanten is done with bands. She just released her first solo-album, Back to Francois [], which is packed with funky blues riffs and stellar slide performances. The surprise is that van Zanten juxtaposes her gutsy guitar playing with very personal and introspective lyrics--a stylistic trait she attributes to her diverse influences.

"After listening to Led Zeppelin, I really got a sense of groove," she explains. "Then, after listening to John Prine, Gillian Welch, and Joni Mitchell, I came to appreciate lyrical storytelling, and how it can convey emotion--as well as getting what you believe in across to your audience."

Describe your technique.

I try to isolate myself from listening to other slide guitar players to a certain extent so that I have my own sound. I use a lot of bass techniques such as hammer-ons and double hammer-ons with both my hands, and I don't use a pick. I wear my slide on my middle finger--which I adopted from Bonnie Raitt--and I use a banjo-picking style incorporated with bass-string slapping and a percussive attack.

What is your idea of ideal guitar tone?

I'm really, really fond of the high-mid frequency, sizzling Billy Gibbons thing. I call it my buzzsaw slide sound, and I find this tone is easiest to achieve with vintage amps, old guitars, and heavy-gauge strings.

You're producing and directing Western Canada's first ever Rock Camp for Girls.

Yes. …

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


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.