By Jude Gold
Sure, calling Guthrie Govan a virtuoso is certainly appropriate, and it's doubtful anyone who has heard him play would fault you for doing so. After all, the Aristocrats guitarist is astonishingly adept at a downright silly number of techniques and styles.
However, "virtuoso" does Govan's greatness a disservice. That's a bit like calling Neil Armstrong "a good airplane pilot." (The moonwalker was so much more.)
On the latest episode of Guitar Player's No Guitar Is Safe podcast, I sit down with Govan face to face, and guitar to guitar. We talk, we jam, and he demonstrates some of his signature approaches (such as "comedy octaves," faux slide licks, and tremolo-picked "devil-horn" unisons")—all of which you can hear him employ on the new Aristocrats album, Tres Caballeros.
I also try to coax out of Govan, in his own words and own playing, what it is that motivates him to pursue so many different guitar approaches so deeply, and how he is so successful in developing his hand at them.
I still don't know those things—who does?—but the conversation and resultant guitar playing was quite inspiring, nonetheless.
In this episode, Govan also demonstrates and discusses the different features of his fully custom Charvel Guthrie Govan signature model (shown above)—everything from its onboard Tremol-No to its uncommon clamping-bridge-with-standard-nut design ethos.
To hear this episode, as well as the other nine that precede it (which feature such guests as Joe Satriani, Brad Gillis, Billy Sheehan, Greg Howe, Vic Johnson, Kevin Cadogan and others), simply head to iTunes (link below), or anywhere else where podcasts are available.