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Guitar Geeks



Bruce's Guitar Geek Corner - Your Questions


Q: Hi Bruce, in some of your handwritten pdf transcriptions you state that the scales for the solo would be E Maj pentatonic E Min Pentatonic and E Mixolydian.
Could you explain how this works as to me playing all these scales from the same position would result in different notes each time, and conflict with the key centre. for example if it is in E Major then surely you should move to B Mixolydian rather than E Mixolydian (same notes as E different start position) and if you are playing the major pentatonic then you should move to the relative minor pentatonic starting on C#) rather than staying on the E and changing the scale? confused.... Darren
A: Hey Darren. I see why you could get confused. Modes are often taught and described in a confusing way. So to explain

·         Think of a mode as a tonality in its own right – rather than just a scale. So a mixolydian for example is like a major scale , but with the bluesy flat 7th. You will only clock this tonality when the chords underneath suggest that tonality- like Norwegian wood for example. So of course a c mixolydian has the same notes as an f major scale- but because we are thinking of C7  as chord 1 ( rather than F) we have a completely different feel . try C7 /// F maj 7/// and jam over that using C Mixoldian. Then try F maj 7/// to C7 ///   using F major – same notes but entirely different tonality- because we are thinking differently about which is ‘ chord one’ or home base….
·         So learn your modes by harmonising the scale and jamming over chord sequences in the mode/ so you’ll get 7 ‘tonalities’  – rather than 7 scales.  It’s just like a rainbow going from dark to light ( locrian to Lydian) …. And you’ll hear examples all over the place in the tunes you listen to. Any Beatles and Hendrix will do- also led zep etc etc
·         Now some chord sequences ( like the Boneyard etc ) are ambiguous enough to stand more than one scale or tonality. How far you can stretch it depends on the limits within the chords you’re playing over. For example an E power chord to A power chord could have all sorts-  E minor/ E major pentatonic, E Dorian, E Phrygian, E aoelian, E mixolydian, and even E Lydian.

I always have an issue with the jazz guys saying that if you are playing in C major and you hit a D minor chord then they say you are playing D dorian over it. I say its still just a c major scale – we just happen to be on chord two. Its still c major all the way. The jazz guys see each chord as an island – were as someone like me sees blocks of chords ( often a whole song as the one entity.
So I go ‘what key is it’ (  major, minor or in the middle – like a dominant blues) then I go ‘what scales do I want to use?’
So back to the track- its as I said. scales for the solo would be E Maj pantatonic E Min Pentatonic and E Mixolydian. There will be no clash as the chord sequence will take all those tonalities – listen to the track and see what I mean.
If you are still confused – send me your phone number and I’ll explain over the phone . once you get this it will all be easy.
All the best

Hi Bruce I'm 9 years old and learning the Guitar and my mum (Rachel) found some old sheet music of your songs but it's a bit too hard for me to follow, I'm a big fan of the band and could you email me some easy chorus's to learn seeing as I'm as beginner. I would like an Electric Acoustic, do you think I should have one or just a normal Acoustic while I'm only learning? Thanks, from Ben :) PS, I'm hoping my mum will bring me to see you at Nottingham, keeping my fingers crossed, my mum got me into
your music!!!! Ben Clarke
A: Hey Ben. Good to hear from you, and great that you're learning the guitar. If you want to play electric guitar then I would strongly recommend getting an electric and an amp- and not starting on an acoustic ( or electro acoustic) - the reasons are that it's much easier to get going on electric, and cheaper acoustics are very hard to play- as the strings are heavy and lift up too high from the fingerboard. A good guitar to start on would be something like a Squire Stratocaster and a little practice amp. You can get starter kits - try and get one made out of solid wood rather than a composite material like MDF. Get a good tuner and get someone to show you and your mum how to put strings on properly. You'll want gauge 9 strings so it's nice and light to play. You'll get all this in one box. It might cost £130 quid or so- but there are second hand
ones on ebay. Let me know if you want help finding a second hand guitar.  Then have a look at something like Green Day or Nirvana as they are great songs and easy to play. ' Song 2' by Blur is another good one to learn, and '7 Nation Army' by White Stripes. On our stuff' She's a Little Angel' is G A E in the chorus. And E D A in
the verse. That's an easy one to play along with. If you learn a pentatonic scale in E minor you can jam along with some solos- you might need someone to show you how to get going. All the best and let me know if you need help finding a guitar.

Hi Bruce. Not strictly a guitar-related question but I couldn't resist replying when I saw your message to Andy about the fishbone necklace he made you. I met Andy through the LA fanzine me and my friend used to run (that eventually became the Goat Pen) and he very kindly made me a fishbone necklace too. Mine was slightly different (think it had an extra "rib") as he didn't want there to be two exactly the same. Anyway, I lost touch with Andy over time, and would love it if you could pass on a message, maybe by adding to your reply, that mine is still intact and going strong despite being worn endlessly for so many years! In fact, I wore it to the reunion show in Portsmouth in June. Looking forward to Bristol in December! Paula x
A: Hooray for Andy's craftsmanship and you looking after his work for all these years! I wish I still had the original. All my stuff wears out so quick:
shoes, fishing rod, guitars and especially cars. Why can't I look after things better....??

Hello Bruce, really great that you are all playing again. From Scarborough Opera House ("Realization for Jazz Orchestra and Guitar!"-remember that one?!!) to Leeds T & C in July 93, much inspired by your work. Anyway, just wondered what your thoughts are on cheaper guitars-me n a Scarborough pal often have a chat about the pros and cons of playing cheaper copies of classic guitars. Naturally, I'd love to own a Fender Strat, Gibson Les Paul etc, but with a wife and two boys can't really justify the cost. But do like to have a 'rack' of guitars to fiddle about on & pretend.... Similarly amps and pedals. Any recommendations?-or shall I just flog the Squier Strat and buy yet another bloody Thomas the tank engine.....All the best for the tour, Angus Scarborough
A: Hi Angus. It's all about the quality of the wood and most modern guitars - even the expensive ones- are really poor. Japanese copies of the classics by the likes of Tokai made in early 80's are almost always fantastic and very cheap. If you type MIJ into eBay you'll find them ( Made in Japan). They can be bought from Japan and imported very cost effectively, look out for a seller called Chingo . I have bought several guitars from him over the years: Greco LPs and Tokai strats - cheap as chips and great instruments. Laney amps are good for value - their copy of an ac30 ( LC30) is great and can be found on eBay for not too much. The orange tiny terror is also an amazing cheap little amp- I could do a gig with it and it would be perfectly convincing. All the best,

Hiya Bruce, I've just bought a Burny Les Paul 'cause I couldn't afford a proper one, have you ever heard / used one? When I was trying it out I smashed out Do Ya Wanna Riot? through an Orange amp, it sounded the mutts... (well my opinion), but more importantly it brought back memories of my first gig, 17th March 1991 at Redcar Bowl, I was 15! now I'm 37 and will be at Newcastle for the One More... tour... can't wait! cheers for all the years and the music. Mark
A: Yes ! I have had a couple - they were made in japan for their own domestic market. You can get them on Ebay from japan and the early 80's ones are mint built and sound. We still use a Greco LP (similar Japanese copy) in the studio. Good buy and probably much better than a new Les Paul! If you want to up grade it some pick ups from bareknuckle would make a huge difference. I use a Black dog ( covered) in bridge and a riff raff (uncovered) in neck - Speak to Ben there for advice. Love Orange maps too..See you on the tour!

Hi again Bruce, Thank you for your reply earlier. Did you play the mandolin part on the album? I thought I remembered from years ago reading it was someone else....Haven't got a clue who now though! I couldn't find anything on the web about it either, but maybe I'm thinking of a totally different song or something...The memory isn't as good as it once was! I don't recall the mandolin part whenever I saw you live either. I'm glad you said it's a non-standard tuning...I wasn't sure if it was or not. That could help explain why I couldn't work out the chords myself! Transcribing stringed instrument parts is a bugger sometimes when you think of all the alternative tunings that are out there!! Thanks again for making the time to reply, it's very much appreciated and I look forward to hearing back again once you've sussed it out! Cheers for now, Bob
A: Yes, Kevin our manager played it I think- and Mark P played it live- but he only played the intro and then went on to bass. It's a little detail but making the extra effort for stuff like 16 bars of mandolin makes a difference in the show - it's just another dynamic in the set... I am bidding on a mandolin on ebay right now!! Thank god for eBay I love it.
*** UPDATED *** Hey Bob sorry for late reply. I got a mandolin the other day and worked out the tuning. It is, from low to high, A E A E. The melody is player on the top two strings (on top E string: 2nd fret , 3rd, , open, on A string: 5th fret) that's the main riff with all the other strings droning away giving and A 5 chord. Then over the G chord its played on the middle two strings 3rd fret and 5th fret in a guitar power chord shape. The riff leaves the G hanging on the first finger on low E string and the melody is on the higher A string...5th, 7th, 5th 3rd, 2nd) again all the open strings can ring a bit so you get an A drone. Last chord is a D with F sharp in bass. First finger second fret on lower E string, little finger on 5th on higher A string. First finegr moves up to 3rd fret to get that ddddd gdgd change. Thats it. Hope it makes sense- once you have the tuning though its much more obvious and actually it's a very usable tuning. All the best

Just seen you on the official Bare Knuckle Pickup Youtube channel. He did a great demo of his new pickups. Some of us at the bare knuckle forums would like Bruce to register on the forum and add his input and views. Your input would be an amazing addition to the forum. Thanks, Darren
No problem Darren- I'd love to do that- I have some gigs coming up , but will be done after download so I can get onto it then. You should also consider Metal Gez- who is a great studio engineer for guitars- as he can comment on how to get the best out of your gear when recording. We're very big on using valve amps , and I don't use master volume on amps much - so its very traditional- but gez records a lot of down tuned stuff which is a difficult thing to get right in a mix. Can't wait ! All the best.

You mentioned about your friend in Rooster with the strat, however, I remember them on CDUK using the fish Les Paul, but during the dark days before the internet, No one else who liked you guys saw it to agree with me about it being 'that' Les Paul. Can you confirm? David Evans

Yes it was ..Chris Leonard used it in a band called Son of Dork ..All the best

Hi Bruce, Loving your little section of the website here! Not strictly a GUITAR related question, but I got myself a mandolin recently because I think they sound amazing! Bit of a difference to playing guitar though. Need to get all those fingers squeezed up tight! But anyway, I was wondering if you could tell me what the chords are on Young Gods for the mando part please? As an aside....my partners eldest son is studying at BIMM in Bristol. Was amazed to see your name there when I looked the place up! And thanks for this section....You're a top bloke doing all of this for us less talented folk! Good luck to the band with the forthcoming shows mate. Thanks for your help, Bob
A: Hi Bob. The chords are basically A G and D - but the mandolin is tuned funny. One of my last jobs is to sort and mandolin and work that part out again- I know what it is on guitar but I need to remember how we tuned the mandolin. I'll give you a shout in a week or so. Hope your son is doing well in Bristol. If I was still there I'd keep an eye on him! You take care and thanks for the encouragement

Hey Bruce. Good to see you and boys back together. I was just wondering, have you still got the fishbone pendant I made you? Made it at Uni, you wore it in b.l.o.w... I figured it finally fell apart, but I see something similar on your photo... Good luck for your gigs. Andy
A: Hi Andy. No this is a reproduction! Yours did drop to bits a after a while. Hope you're well. Maybe see you at a gig or something. All the best,

1st. Thank you for the return! I've waited 15 years.
2nd. Wondered if you put up the 'bitter and twisted' tab.
3rd. Wanted to know there where going to be any little Angels shows before download??
Corey Whyte
A: Hey Corey. There will be a couple and I hope they'll be announced soon. I don't know myself yet having said that! I haven't played B and T since we recorded it - I don't think we played it live for very long...Its in drop D as I recall and I don't really play like that now. But I don't think its too hard I'll check it out again. All the best,

Hey Bruce, I've no musician friends or anything, so this is tricky. What are your thoughts on an old JCM800 combo? You mention you're using a JCM800 for early Little Angels, so it's more suited for a harder rock and lead sound? Maybe not right for me and maybe the combos are no good. If I can get the "Little Wing" sound that would be great. Cheers again.
A: Nick that could be a very good amp there. What year is it and how much is it? The jcm 800 is a master volume amp- so more rip and it can be toppy- but you can sort that. The combos can be ace as they have open back cab- The little wing sound is a plexi type Marshall with no master volume- Like my jtm 45's - and jimi ran the amp flat out and turned down the guitar for his clean sounds- giving this feeling of repressed power- very different to a clean amp and guitar on full. I hate that sound- all clicky and clanky. But despite the fact the jcm 800 has a master volume you should try and get it as it's a great amp anyway and you can get very close. It may require some tweaks to get the best out of it. All the best

Hi Bruce, Well, I found what I think must be the amps, look up here: http://www.voxshowroom.com/uk/amp/v15.html Maybe I could be interested ... but I am in Germany. Would like to hear it with a Treble Booster. Maybe that can bring more life to it. I can only highly recommend you to check out BSM Treble Boosters on your AC30s (first on the normal input) e.g. 71/73CM and HS-S for Strat/Singlecoils (RPA California for more dirtier gain)and RW-F or the brand new AP-WA mainly for Humbuckers. This is a real cool alternative tom your TS/EQ setup. Check it out. If you are interested contact my friend Bernd Meiser, he will send you some just for testing. If you don't like them send 'em back. No problem. He is very uncomplicated guy. I am not telling you because I get money for it. I am just a huge fan of the concept. Best regards Dirk

A: Yes that's them I think- I'll give your mate a shout about that treble booster- thanks for the info- I bet it sounds great..

Aaaaaah Bruce that would be great, but I'm all the way up in Newcastle and don't drive. Where are you living these days? I'll have to try and sort something out. I could give you the money straight away, no probs. It's just the transport issue. Funny thing is I've never owned a decent amp and know absolutely nothing about them, or guitars! I don't know anything about guitars - I just pick em up and play haha. Reading your stuff here has made me realize I'm missing out and I need to get the right gear. Let me know where you're living - and thanks a lot for all the great advice and kind offer. Nick.
A: Hey Nick- I'm in Brighton so it's not ideal is it.....If you've never really used amps you need something a bit less unusual than the little voxes- and you need to get into a rehearsal room and try the classics: an ac30, a good JTM45 and fender twin (black face) would be good for starters. They will sound really basic and brutal at first till you learn the nuances. Can you borrow some amps from some one? All the best

Cheers for the advice. I'm looking into everything you suggested. Had no idea about sticking the amp in a cupboard and reducing the sound. Your tone and playing on the new DPFM is incredible. It's really great to see you getting back into guitar playing again. (I didn't touch a guitar for years too, but it's like riding a bike eh) Cheers. Nick

A: Cheers Nick! Thanks ! The cupboard is not just for reducing the volume spill- but it’s almost always the best acoustic environment for distorted sounds. As well as the dryness which you need for the punch in the track, something happens when you get some sound pressure happening- it seems to tighten up and accentuate the mids. If you are using clean strat sounds mostly- I have a pair of vox valve amps- they are early 80's models- all valve and hard wired. look like ac15/s but are something else ( I forget what they are, but they run cleaner like a fender). They do break up nicely at volume and would drive a single vintage 30 properly. I got them off ebay for £300 each- but they are too fender like for me and don’t have the boxiness of the ac30. If you can pick one up you're welcome to take it away and give it a go. If you like it you can have it cheapo £200 would be fine) and just pay me when you can afford it. The have a pair of ten inch speakers in each of them currently and they are no good. I suggest making one into a head, selling the empty cab with speakers on ebay ( I bet you'd get £100 easy) and driving a single 12" speaker in a coffin or cab. So you'd need a cupboard, ( some duvets and damping) and an sm 57 on a stand, and a vintage 30 and you'd be off with that. You'd get to a very good standard with that set up.

Hey Bruce. Don't worry I'm not stalking, but a question came up and need your sage advice. Could you recommend me an affordable way to record guitar? Bearing in mind I don't have a good amp and don't want to disturb the neighbours too much. I've always plugged straight into recording units in the past, but always end up with a plastic, dead tone and no strat magic. Is there any way to plug straight into something and get a decent sound? I'm not looking for perfection, just enough to capture the classic semi-clean strat sound when banging out chords. Thanks in advance. Your humble student, Nick

A: Nick -I think you need a small valve amp and put it in a broom cupboard with a sm57. The Marshall 5watts are great but they always make these little amps with a ten inch speaker- and this is no good. You need a 12 inch good speaker. I always use a celestion vintage 30 and there are loads on ebay. You could consider a speaker coffin (so you kill the volume) and you can make one easy enough. An sm57 is a very cheap mic and responsible for many many classic guitar sounds. You need to place it carefully- that needs some research- but easy enough. Get it right with no eq and you can add compression a reverb and off you go. Choice of head is up to you... you might go up to 20 watts plus if you design your speaker coffin right. Yes you need a valve amp- you got to move air. A DI will always be a DI and amp modeling will always be crap consequently- you need to capture the magic. All best,

Years ago I bought a guitar magazine (which may or may not have been called Total Guitar) to which you contributed a feature each episode which was going to run A to Z. Unfortunately the magazine got cancelled after several issues-I think "G" was the last one. I always wondered if you had the rest of the articles written or not-and if you did would you share them!?!?!?! Nige

A: Hi Nige- was that the magazine future publishing did- called ‘the band’ or something like that … it was a good mag, but it didn’t sell well and conked out. I didn’t do the extra articles, but I did some stuff for guitarist magazine years ago and many of my guitar students now write for the guitar mags. All the best,

Hi Bruce, I am so happy, firstly that you guys are getting on again and secondly that you will have the opportunity to play together again, you always looked like you enjoyed yourselves in the late 80's early 90's when I saw you play (I just hope I get the opportunity to see it again). I am really enjoying the new instrumental versions that you have been recording, there is some really interesting use of different layers and different sounds (particularly the through zero flange sound you seem to use on the Don't Pray For Me instrumental). Anyway. Now to the point. This is not really a guitar geek question although, that is what I am, but with the chance to ask you one question here is mine........ The song STW. What does STW stand for. I did ask Toby but he wouldn't tell me, and I think I've been wondering about it for long enough now. Please put me (and I'm sure others) out of my misery. Thanks, Peter Rookyard

A: Hi Peter. Cheers for your email. There's no flange on the DPFM- I think what you're hearing is the ribbon mic picking up the room sound- or more likely it’s the verse as my tele is wired out of phase- ie. the middle position sounds all hollow. It was like that when I found it and it’s a very distinctive sound. The main lead is a strat and one of those pro co RAT fuzzboxes....Anyway STW .. I just can’t tell you. I’m sorry. All the best,

No question but just a big thank you for taking the time to put some tabs on here and looking forward to more.I started learning guitar about 1 year before the Angels split,then when they split for a while i kind of lost interest in music and it took me a while to appreciate different styles and bands. Anyway over the years picked the guitar up quite a few times and learned different things. Now the Angels are back the guitar has been out hell of a lot and am playing better than i thought i would ever do (not brilliant though). I won't ask for any songs for you to tab as there's that many i would like to know how you play them i would end up going through all the albums. Just a big thank you. Actually one question "do you think there's any chance ever of a tab book coming out" I remember getting the Jam book but it was just the chord's. All the best.  Paul (Roky)

A: Hi Paul. No probs- I've been a bit quiet recently as I am finishing a phd (bloody thing)- and also the Plaice fishing has really kicked off this year - which is a distraction...but I have a finished mix now of another instrumental to go up and I'll get to do a bit more filming and tabs in early April. Keep playing and try working with a metronome- there are loads on you tune - I suggest a kick drum and it will really help you improve. All the best,

NHi Bruce, I asked a friend and expert concerning your problem with the Cornell cutting out after 2,5 hours. He said, could well be the driver tube becoming too hot after a long time, must be an ECC83, I think? You may experiment with changing it. Have you tried a PostPhaseInverterMasterVolume (PPIMV)on the VOX? On the VOX it is a good idea to unplug all the not used preamp-valves e.g. on the vibrato channel to keep temperature lower and to release the OutputTransformer a bit. Best regards from Germany, Dirk

A: That's really useful Dirk thanks! I'll try that. All the best,

Hi Bruce. Absolutely loving your Guitar Geek Corner. Is there any chance of doing a video/tab for the intro solo to I Ain't Gonna Cry? Much appreciated. Tony Bean

A: Yes I'll get round to that - It's a simple part but it's all about the vibrato and getting some weight into the tone. Definatly a big Gary Moore influence on that- We all miss him- the best blues rock player there has ever been in my view. I met him in Brighton a few times and he helped some young musicians out without making a song and dance about it. Under the gruff shy exterior he was a generous warm person. Cheers Tony - just give me a couple of weeks and I should have it up there.

Hi Bruce, great to see you and the guys back. long overdue. Although a keys man (still remember the chat I had with Jimmy in the toilets at the NEC of all places!) I always loved your solo in Juvenile Offender and the interaction between the two of you. My question is will you be gluing a banjo onto a tele again for That's My Kinda Life? I can still see you bouncing around the stage playing it! Good times. All the best for Download and can we have a tour please !! Leighton

A: Hi Leighton - I took that thing to bits and used the parts to make other stuff. The best bit was the tele neck which I made Woodfish from. There are technical difficulties with the banjo - when you have Mark Rich behind you playing thumping it out like a rhino on angeldust, the banjo picks up the bass drum through its PU's and its hard to stop it feeding back. I'll probably give that a miss and play the part on the tele if that's okay! All the best

Glad to see LA back in action. First saw you lot supporting Cinderella years ago. Saw you play loads of times. It would be good if  you could do a few extra dates too for those of us not fortunate enough to get to download. Question time now. I'm a long time guitarist (and have had the pleasure of playing with a few of your BIMM graduates throughout the years). I've moved over the Fusion side of things over the past few years and am really inspired by the new wave of Fusion players like Tom Quayle, Martin Miller, Michael Dolce etc. They have 'forced' me to learn new things! Who are you listening to and why? and who keeps things fresh for you. Boo Littlewood

A: Hi Boo. I am looking for a note and a sound - The perfect note exists already in Peter Green's 'Man of the World', it's so devastating that I am sure it was the turning in his mental illness getting the upper hand. I am looking for the detail in simplicity and so am playing less and cleaner. Inspired by people Like Etta James who use few notes but say so much. I have spent time with a lot of great jazz fusion guys - but it's not for me. I am definitely inspired by a great vocal , and it's got to come from the blues. I also need a proper sound. If I'm not playing through a valve amp with character like  a plexi- then I'd rather hang the guitar up for good. A good sounding room will inspire me to play and I do most of my playing in the studio. It doesn't work for me to over practice. Best to think about music without a guitar in my hand and only play when I have something to say. At the moment playing the Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Mamma Cass all on vinyl. All the best keep on doing your thing!

Hi Bruce, I see you've mentioned your old Kramer Pacer. If you head on over to the kramer forum (www.kramerforum.com/forum) someone on there might be able to help you find one... we're a friendly bunch. I'm a Science teacher by trade (at Michael Lee's old secondary school funnily enough) and spend most of my time building and restoring valve amps. My current project is a restoration of a Kelly 100w head. Point-to-point, halfway between an AC30 and a Plexi in sound. Anyway... my question - do you use NOS (new old stock) valves or modern ones, and which brand? All the best, Paul
A: Coooooooooooooooooool! I'll check it out. Valves I just have a heap of them in a box - but it's not a scientific process. I need some new preamp 83's and and 81's....what do you recommend? If you build anything that sounds like a plexi or ac30 _or a cross between the two- send down here!! I blew two amps up today... actually that doesn't sound very attractive from your point of view does it?..My Cornell plexi cuts out exactly 2.5 hours into use on full power. It starts up fine again the next day before cutting out again after the same usage. Fine on 2 valves all day- any ideas on that? All the best.

I saw a video by Son of Dork a couple of years back and could have sworn that one of the lads in the clip was playing your famous black Les Paul "Eat My Dust" axe... Am I dreaming this or is this true? If it is, I take it that that great bit of wood won't be appearing on stage with you (unless it was a borrow to them on your part)? Gray

A: Yes it was and yes I am! Click on the face book link for the full story....All the best

Hi Bruce, a so chuffed you guy's are back, we have been waiting a long time. I was at Scalby School in the late 80's early 90's so saw you guy's pretty much from the start, I've never stopped listening all these years n cant believe we are going to see you at Download. (The Missus n I go every year, she cuts your Jimmy's hair weirdly enough!!) Anyway that's bye the bye. Any chance pretty please you could tab the intro to Big Bad World for me? (when you get chance) All the very best n hope to catch you before DL. L8rs!!! Mark, Scarborough.
A: Blimey Mark that's an old song - I stopped tapping when we did the EVH tour as I felt it was disrespectful to Eddie- and that intro has the two handed thing going on with the right hand leaping over the left all the time. It's hard to do on a Les paul and easier on a shred neck. I used the old Kramer pacer on that. That was an amazing guitar but Kramer let the quality go downhill very quickly from '87 when they were exceptionally good, to 89 when they were next to useless. I have been trying to find a vintage banana headstock Kramer for a while but not found one yet. I am planning to dust off the tapping and see if I can do it with the heavy strings (.11) and high action. I have a little solo in my head called 'Plank Spank (Old School)'. If it doesn't surface on the website you can assume (to quote Bowie) I ain't got the power anymore!! I add your request to the list and get to it when I can. All the best

Hi Bruce, firstly i just want to say great work with the web site, to have a guitar geek corner is a great idea! Over the years I've spent many hours working out Little Angels songs by ear and had lots of fun with it. My question though is related to the song Boneyard, i just love the guitar sound with the wah pedal! However I am struggling with the passage immediately after the solo (cannons they won't still my beating heart). I have even tried slowing that part of the song down using software but still cant figure it out. Is it played fingerstyle? and how is it played? and the guitar sounds clean, is this achieved by simply turning the vol down on the guitar? any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again, Chris Johnson
A: Hi Chris. Thanks for your email- the wah is inspired by Brian Robertson from Lizzy and Hendrix obviously, I try not to over use it and only combine it with melodic ideas rather than wail away randomly- but when it's the right thing to do in a song it adds excitement and that vocal quality. I always had a problem with my wahs- they wore out after a few weeks and this resulted in a weaker dull signal coming out of the wah- even when it wasn't switched on. On the internet I discovered that this is well known and had a term ('tone suck' or 'tone rot' or something... I forget). Any way, there is a young guy near me who is a genius at pedal and amp mods and he made my cry baby true by pass and fitted an led. It's so much better both on and off now. He also made me a speaker coffin for recording and wired up my board. I'll post his details...The middle 8 of Boneyard would be very hard to work out as I think there are several parts. There is a Albert Lee country part which is just ac30 and les paul with the guitar turned down- its tuned up a tone...I do that quite a bit and I think its unusual. So the guitar is playing in G on that first chord rather than A. There is a bit of compression and reverb added after the mic. This is a really important point- when recording seriously you shouldn't think of the sound coming out of the cab as being the finished tone necessarily . Reverbs, delays and compression usually sound much better added later, where as flanges and phasers etc are usually better before the amp. I almost always record in the control room and will try for a natural reverb from a room in the studio, if I can get it. There's a slide over dub too so no wonder you couldn't work it out...Live I changed the part to something simpler which you can hear I think on the live version on this site. So either use that part, or put a capo on the second fret for the middle 8 and think open string country licks around G D and C and you'll get it. All the best

Hi Bruce. So glad you're back together and so hope we see you in places other than just Download. 21 years ago the band I played in did She's a Little Angel - want to play it again but can't bloody remember the chords (still know Don't Prey for Me so it's not my age - could be the booze though :0) ). Please give me a clue and the rest will come flooding back. Thanks. David

A: Hi David- the chords are G A and E in chorus and verse is basically E D and A - but I'll do a quick film - as there are little riffs around the chords. I'm in the studio Thursday and I'll film all the various requests- and get them tabbed.....

Hi Bruce, how are you stranger, ACM seems ages ago now? Being the proud owner of a 1964 VOX AC30 Top Boost, I'm asking why you using the preference of a Graphic Equalizer to drive the amp instead of something like a Treble Booster? Does it give you more control and range of tonality? I'm looking to drive my Vox amp hard and was wondering which is the best way to go? Great to hear your reforming and also got the Fish Les Paul back. Chris.
A: Mal ! How are you? Been a while- you got a 1964 Top Boost AC30???? The holy grail! I'd love to use those 60's ones- but I would worry about thrashing them too hard, and it would be mad to take on out on the road.. I bet it sounds mint..The top boost I think does pretty much the same as my old Ibanez graphic. My friend Phil Hilborne has a signature top boost pedal (he does the Queen show in the west end and has spent a lot of time playing with that set up). I like my EQ pedal because it is so hot and boosts the signal and has this 'steam powered kind of excitement to it. Its noisy as hell but just has a magic to it. I have a little audio clip of it live and you can hear the power amp go crazy when it gets stomped on. I'll see if I can dig it out and put it on as a link or something. Keep care of that amazing old amp! It'll be in some museum after we're all gone!

Hi Bruce, I hope you are well! Since hearing Boneyard for the first time on ITV's Chart Show, I have been trying to figure out how to play that chunky and infectious intro. I am guessing it involves open e string, A string at 5th and 7th fret and a chromatic run on the E string. Am I close?! Your direction would be very much appreciated! Best wishes to you and the boys, Craig

A: Hi Craig. I'll do a film of it for you- you're pretty close there. It's not a difficult part but I've always loved the sound of the open strings and this sort of part is inspired Marc Bolan's 'Get It On'. I always felt that although he was kind of primitive as player, he comes up with stuff that is musically perfect. I find guitarists who sing, like Francis Rosy and Jeff Lynn come up with vocal guitar lines. Its something I've been exploring, trying to phrase like a singer rather than a guitar player....All the best.

No questions as such, I just wanted to say I never thought I'd see you back playing with the Angels again, and your new guitar stuff on here sounds great. Nice one. Check out my YouTube guitar page - where I get loads of guitar players asking me how I get my sound. Well what can you say? haha. It's all about what you put into a guitar with your fingers and soul.
Good Luck, Your old student Nick Weir, ACM 1997.

A: Nick it sounds ace - full on right hand attack and that groove you always had is in full effect. - check out this guitar link everyone- Nick Weir- makes me proud. Nick some people are asking if I can do lessons- but I am taking a break from rock n roll education for a couple of years - are you teaching? Maybe you could put the details up on your site if you are? Take care and good work! Really.

Q: Hi Bruce, cannot believe you guys are back together, it has made my day a million times over, last saw you in Norwich in 93. Anyway I have always wondered what guitar you used on Broken wings of an angel, which always gives me goosebumps when i hear it, oh and be cool if you could do some tab for the solo in womankind. hope you guys keep rocking for a very long time. thanks, Karl
A: Hey Karl. Thanks for your kind words! I think Broken wings was just an off the shelf Yamaha classical guitar and it was mic'd rather than di'd. I always find Yamaha guitars to be generally very good- but they maybe lack a bit spirit. They just aren't rock n roll- Scott Gorham played a black Yamaha SG on the Thunder and Lightning- and that was cool. The solo in womankind was originally recorded backwards ( the 2" tape was flipped over and I played over the bass and drums in reverse, then tape goes back over and hey presto a backwards solo) In fact it was one I did on the original demo and I liked it and kept it on the master. On the recent instrumental I played a normal solo on the LP standard but tried to get the spirit of the backwards one- so I have kept the shape of it and some of the parts. I could certainly have a go a tabbing that new one- that's easy- I'll do it over the weekend ... but the backwards one wouldn't make much sense I suspect. sound is LP/ vox and a grunt from the Ibanez eq pedal, reverb is some real room and a bit from pro tools. Real room is best! Very hard pick is needed and there are dynamics in the right hand from hard to soft in some phrases-- the Peter Green influence. Cheers!

Hi Bruce - love the news on the reformation! Love your new guitar instrumentals too, they sound fantastic (is that Markon drums?). Best regards, Craig

A: Cheers Craig. Great to hear from you - where are you these days? No - it's a couple of great session guys - they helped me out as its impossible to get Mark and Mark into the studio without major logistics - as we all live in different places.
Even though they (the session guys) are top players it's never the same as playing with the band you grew up with. That is like coming back down the garden path to home.... When Mark & Rich turned up at the LA rehearsal and said 'lets rock' it was like 18 years had never gone by. BTW have you still got the old 70's strat- getting collectable now! All the best to you

Q: Hi was just wondering if you could do a tab for Young Gods intro and solo also She's A Little Angel, it would be great to be able to play them totally right. Cheers, Bri
A: Hi Bri. I can do you a tab and film it as soon as I can get to it. It will only take a few minutes so no bother. 

 Hi Bruce...your guitar corner...awesome idea...I like it very much and huge thanks for doing it.  being an early LA fan, I've wondered how you play some of the things you did back then...in fact I had a eureka moment the other night as I had always wanted to know how you did the very beginning on Radical...it just came to me how you were doing it on a LP with the harmonics and probably bending the string behind the nut?  it sounds about right unless you used a whammy do it of course!  there are other things i'd love to ask you which i may do later...but in the meantime big thanks for taking the time to do this...i can't recall a pro musician taking the trouble to do this for fans or players.  Thanks again...Steve Wylde

A: Cheers Steve thanks for your encouragement! Yes it's the old black les paul and I'm playing a D major chord on harmonics at 5 h and 7th fret. I bend the F sharp (7th fret on B string) up a semitone behind the nut. I do that kind of thing quite a bit. You can also whack any note or chord an 8ve up with your right hand on top of the fret and out pops a harmonic. I'll try and get this filmed as its probably easier if you see it played.  I haven't used a bar since first album as it takes away so much tone. I don't mind the sound of the old strat wang bars- but then I sound too much like Jeff beck- best leave that to him.  It's a challenge to wring the phrasing detail out of a les paul in inventive ways. All the best