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Tommy Emmanuel on Set-Ups, Strings and Capos

Tommy Emmanuel

Tommy Emmanuel on Set-Ups, Strings and Capos


Matt: I want to ask you a question you mentioned that you’ve a got the guitar reset for action that might be a little higher?
Tommy: Well this action is beautiful to play really is a maintain actions is just the best and what I get this last year. I had new saddle, new nut, and new frets and he set it a little higher and said what do you think and I said well I think it sounds a little better I’m gonna get used to startly higher action
Matt: Right
Tommy: So here, it made my hand stronger.
Matt: Wow!
Tommy: It took about months of playing shows and practicing and stuff for my hands to not be sore, co’z pushing down right on the center a little harder.
Matt: Oh right
Neil: Is these a medium or light gauge what are this?
Tommy: These are 1254
Neil: Yeah.
Tommy: On the big guitar that I play get in to 1358…but this are D’ Addario J16 that I put on last night.
Neil: That’s what I tell from were you buy…
Tommy: And (Strumming the guitar), Martin sp they’re the best two strings that I know that most consistent as well you know
Neil: Yeah.
Tommy: (Strumming the guitar)
Matt: You had a question about the Capos as well
(Strumming the guitar)
Neil: We were talking about why you use the Capos and one of the things that makes the action really optimal for a lot of songs.
Tommy: Yes.
Neil: You know
Tommy: But it’s not for that reason
Neil: Yeah
Tommy: That’s were the song belongs
Neil: Yeah we’re talking about that a little bit too…
Tommy: Like I wrote Angelina in D for one day I put the capo one second fret and played it in…And like that’s were it belongs
Neil: Yes…
Tommy: And I know it straight away.
Neil: Yeah.
Tommy: You know what I mean. And I use a Capo for things like ‘And So It Goes’ the Billy Joel song that I recorded it sounds… (Strumming the guitar), right, (Strumming the guitar) dodoooo….dadada….it sounds like various voices but you can do it here
Neil: Sure (Strumming the guitar)
Matt: Right
Neil: You didn’t have to sing it now
Tommy: But it sounds like Gregorian chant their
(Laughing)…bring it back at the end it sounds like a love song (Strumming the guitar), and my guitar really sings (Strumming the guitar)
Neil: Yeah, many years ago one of the song I wrote, in 1985 I think. I had this mood and feeling in my head and I could say; Oh my God that song…I got a Capo on the 3rd fret and sort of in B minor it’s like where it’s going you know and it’s, I can’t remember what it’s called now the sweet child that’s on the album. But it was just like you know, it was almost like waking up and saying; Oh this song here comes I gotta put the Capo but where’s my Capo you know
Tommy: Yeah
Neil: Do you know how it’s going yet. But you know it came together and few minutes.
Tommy: You know it’s a funny thing it’s like that in life. Sometimes we get lookin at things one way you know and as I always think about that dead products decide where Robin Williams said; (He gets up on his desk his a teacher he stands up on his desk) and he says to the class: Why Do I stand up here? And one guy says to feel tall and he said; wrong, wrong answer and he says; I stand up here to remind myself to always look at things in a different way, to try and look at things in a different way. And because we get so used looking things our way you know we forget to look in a different angle and see it in a different way, where as you might see it from that angle and I see it from this angle. And so, it’s important for us to look on all angles, and that’s why with the song sometimes you play it the same way over and over and you know it works and it’s all fine. But then one day something will happen and you’ll have the courage to change it you know what I mean, you’ll say well it’s not written in its term anything that it is and it isn’t I’m gonna change it
Matt: It’s got in the old book…
Tommy: Yeah… is like classical guess you know. I purposely I didn’t learn the original because everybody else played it exactly like the original. And I didn’t wanna be like everybody else I wanted to do my own thing with it. So I totally shredded it pieces and built it back, put it back together in my own way and Mason Williams is a friend of mine the guy I wroted and he loves what I did with it. The original version is really powerful with a band or an orchestra.
Neil: yeah
Tommy: But as a solo piece it’s too boring for me you know and I don’t mean that in a bad way. I mean I know when I lose people’s attention.
Matt: Right.
Tommy: I can spiel it straight away it’s like the best why I want it to be in the weak spot in the song, co’z you gotta kick people with you and take them with you all the time. You can’t let them out of you a grasp until you’re ready…


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