Tap, Crackle, Pop! Regi Wooten's Tantalizing Two-Handed Tapping Tactics By Jude Gold “I get people doing amazing two-handed riffs by the end of their first lesson, even if they've never played guitar before,” claims Regi Wooten, who teaches upwards of 100 loyal students per week. “They go home and amaze their moms. It's a much more exciting way to start on the guitar than just learning a scale.” Wooten is one of guitardom's best-kept secrets. Rather than chasing down record deals and celebrity, shouting, “World, hear me now!” as so many throngs of hungry, ambitious musicians seem to do, he seems content taking the more reclusive path, using his gift to quietly astound and inspire students in his home in a woodsy neighborhood in Nashville, Tennessee. You can, however, hear Wooten's playing on Live in America, a concert album by a pupil who began learning from Wooten at the tender age of three—his younger brother, the standing-ovation-inducing bassist extraordinaire, Victor Wooten. “When I do clinics,” said Victor in an interview with Bass Player magazine, “people ask me where I got this or that technique, and I often say my brother Regi taught me. Everything I do on bass Regi does on the guitar—tapping, thumb stuff, everything. Some things we developed together, and some things I've shown him, but he's really the basis of everything I do.” Though Regi is a master of two-handed guitar playing (he brought the house down at this year's Buffalo Niagara Guitar Festival when he hopped onstage and played a radical, fully tapped blues solo over a slow, greasy 12/8 shuffle), he stresses that being a proficient tapper is only one aspect of being a modern, multi-dimensional electric guitarist.
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