Ultimate Guitarist: Simon Slack

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Intro:

Welcome to the first of hopefully many profiles of the guitarists of Ultimate-Guitar.Com. These are examples of just some of the people who regularly frequent the Riffs & Recordings section of the UG forums, and open up their musical creations for the rest of the UGers to dissect. These are the people that make UG Forums what they are, so what better way to give you an insight into their music than to showcase their talents! This week it's our resident R&R moderator, Simon Slack aka Beatallica_fan.

Featured Track:

I'm going to use my version of "Autumn Leaves" (alternate); it's a jazz standard that has been covered many times by some of the greatest musicians of the last century. Versions I recommend (apart from mine) are the Eva Cassidy and Cannonball Adderely version (featuring the great Miles Davis). I'm choosing this as it is my jazz playing which I've been working on the most recently, and it's this area of my playing which has developed most since joining UG. I haven't got a tab but here is the chord sheet should you wish to accompany the track or work out your own melodies/leads.

Autumn Leaves' Chart: A:

Cm7         F9          Bbmaj7       Ebmaj7 Am7b5       G#add13     Gm           G7#9 Cm7         F9          Bbmaj7       Ebmaj7 Am7b5       G#add13     Gm           G7b9

B:

Am7b5       G#add13     Gm           Gm Cm7         F9          Bbmaj7       Ebmaj7

C:

Am7b5       G#add13         Gm  C7   Fmin  Bb7 Ebmaj7      Am7b5 G#add13   Gmaj7    Gmaj9

Structure is ABABC.

Biography:

I've been playing the guitar for 9 years. My interest in guitar coincided with a move away from poppy chart music to more serious genres with greater instrumentation and deeper themes. The first time I picked up the guitar was while watching a video of Nirvana's unplugged concert, during an ad break a short clip of Hendrix playing Voodoo Chile at Woodstock came on and I was hooked. I went and grabbed my dads encore acoustic and sat in front of the TV trying to copy Kurt. Unfortunately he was tuned to Eb, so my attempts were less than successful, but the seed had been sown.

I continued playing on my fathers acoustic for 3 or 4 months, learning chords primarily along with simple riffs, but never really learning whole songs. This approach bore fruit in the end as I continued to progress whilst friends were trapped in 'power chord hell'. Eventually my Dad purchased a Tokai Stratocaster that he let me use, with a Phillips stereo cassette player as an amp what a tone! I eventually got my own guitar and amp at Xmas '95, a Hohner JT60 and Peavey Rage 158, both of which I still own. For the next few years I played in a few bands and acquired plenty of gear.

When I went to University in '98 my playing suffered as living in halls restricts how much practice you can get. Thus most of the playing I did was drunken acoustic sing-a-longs with the lads after a night down the bar. After graduating I came home and discovered UG. My interest in guitar was re-ignited. I was a made a moderator quite fast and have played a fairly prominent role in the running of UG forums ever since. Being a mod means my main job is to help people but I also learn new things everyday, both from fellow mods and the more knowledgeable users. My interest in other genres, specifically Jazz grew enormously. The user Casualty01 has been a very large influence on my playing since joining UG, I have improved enormously since he started helping me.

UG also allowed me to get back into home recording, the fruits of which you will hear soon. With the inception of UG's Recording and Riffs forum, I had somewhere to share my music, which has also been a huge bonus. Collaborating with people from across the globe is fantastic. I've worked particularly successfully with Bill43 and FatKidsOnMopeds.

Rig:

Guitars:

  • Yamaha Pacifica 1151ms Mike Stern signature guitar
  • Ibanez RG570 DX
  • Epiphone Les Paul Standard
  • Hohner JT60
  • Hohner Electro-Acoustic
  • Studio X acoustic
Amps:
  • Line 6 Spider 2 x 12 100watt
  • Peavey Rage 158
Accessories:
  • Jim Dunlop CryBaby
  • Fender PT10 Tuner Pedal
  • Boss CS3 compressor Sustainer
  • Vamp2
  • Cakewalk Guitar Tracks Pro

Links:

Here's the link to my website where all my music is hosted and you can find the featured track: beatallica.dmusic.com. Other songs to check out are, 'We Live On' (collaboration with FatKidsOnMopeds, 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' (jazz cover)', 'Something' (cover), 'Funk Riff', 'Iguaza', 'Unreal', 'Nightmare' (collaboration with Arienette and thebassmaster), and my acoustic trilogy of 'Matter Of Time', 'Just Don't See' and 'Can Do No Right' so most of them really ;).

-- Simon (Beatallica_fan).

Outro:

Thanks to Simon for this week's feature. If you want to see your music featured, remember to pay a visit to the Riffs & Recording forum. There's a huge amount of talent on show and it's always worth taking the time to listen to and critique a couple of songs, as well as getting feedback on your own work.

36 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Bill43
    Congratulations Simon. You really deserve this... plus you're the first one to be featured. It just doesn't get any better than that.
    beatallica_fan
    i used it for some of that track, not all, i also used the yamaha and RG for some section, i'll relisten and try to pinpoint the various guitars.
    rhcpcure2826
    ^ but this features a song of theirs... not EXACTLY alike, but pretty much the same thing, yeah.
    beatallica_fan
    marchoso, nowadays i use the pacifica the most, then maybe my RG next. However both of those are quite recent aquisitions. The epi les paul is on the teen spirit jazz cover, cant exactly recall which parts though. I do still enjoy playing it though, its still excellent from rock and blues, generally now i have it tuned to Eb constantly for those Guns and Roses moments.
    Matty Ramone
    this is one of the best things this site has done, very cool idea, I wish I was good enough or even had as much knowledge of the guitar to have a cool article about me I am looking forward for others like maybe Lazy or monkey or dragon any way keep it up
    beatallica_fan
    Necromicon, yes it is Every breath, in the original post in the ultimate gear and accessories threads, i explain why i cover certain songs, i dont claim them to be my own, other songs i covered are cant get enough, jonny b goode and stairway.
    UseYourBrain
    so u used the epi les paul and the line 6 spider for the jazzy teen spirit? cause i love that tone.
    beatallica_fan
    sorry for the spam, just wanted to say i havent used the line 6 for any recordings, only gigs, i use the Vamp for recording.
    LazyGuitar
    rhcpcure2826: any ultimate bassists getting featured if they applied?
    Well there aren't many (if any) bass recordings that have been posted in R&R, so it's very unlikely! It's all from that nominations thread (linked above) which lists who'll be featured MattyRamone - check that link I posted towards the top with the list of who will be featured... I may do one, dependant on if I have time when my turn comes around, but i'd rather get others featured atm I'm currently sorting out the next feature!
    LazyGuitar
    marchoso: Alright i'm not going to tolerate ANY spam in these Showcases since it's so awesome..
    Don't worry... i'm gonna clean this like it were my own child. Actually, i'd probably get the missus to clean the kids whilst she's ironing and cooking dinner, so maybe that was a bad example.
    radiantmoon
    i must say simon ur guitar playing is thoroughly enjoyable to listen to especially ur warm rich tone and your interesting solos ur an inspiration
    RossDev
    I've just listened to your autumn leaves... and it blew me away! I've had two lessons with my teacher on jazz, because thats where I want to go for a while, and I definitely want to learn that song! Thanks man! You rock Ross
    Asomodai
    Bah this is just a copy of the Electric guitar forum famous, Uger of the week Be original guys ! lol
    LazyGuitar
    w00t... my beloved feature! Good stuff, thanks again Si! Hasn't got your rig pic, but hey, beggers can't be choosers
    rhcpcure2826
    question: on "autumn leaves" were you improvising in an F beebop scale? i was listening to it and playing along and it looks a lot like it.
    beatallica_fan
    as you can see from the chart the tune is mainly in the key of Bb, so i used Bb ionian and its related modes on the whole. Over some of the subs and stranger chords i used some more exotic scales. Its difficult to cover everything here but please feel free to ask specific questions on the chord substitutions and leads.
    Necronomicon
    Is it just me or does the start of the vamp demo sound like that song by puff daddy for notorious BIG?
    harm0n20
    hey my first guitar and amp was the hohner jt60 and a peavey rage158 too. CrAzY.
    Necronomicon
    Ok I'm listening on and I'm hearing other people's songs in there so I guess it's not supposed to be original is it..
    marchoso
    Alright i'm not going to tolerate ANY spam in these Showcases since it's so awesome.. Anyway, for Simon. Just a quick simple question; what guitar do you use the most? I just got an Epiphone Sheraton and that's my favorite as of now but do you play your Epiphone (The Blues maybe?) or one of your many other guitars.