Paul Kossoff tragically left us 43 years ago today.
Gosh thats a long time and i remember as well…great guitarist, makes you wonder what he could have gone on to record, very sad.
Copied from Bluesman:
" The Sound of Silence
Trying to imitate Kossoff’s playing is very challenging – both mentally and physically. His vibrato is so powerful and muscular and executed at such a pace, that attempting to emulate it is taxing. I can sustain it for a few songs but I quickly start to lose momentum. If there is one element of Kossoff’s playing that distinguishes him as one of the greats of the British Blues scene, it is this. After all, when Eric Clapton is asking you for tips on how to play, you know you’re doing something right…
Mentally, trying to emulate Kossoff’s playing is even more difficult. Effective guitar soloing is as much about the notes you don’t play, as those that you do. To create impactful solos you have to ‘leave space’ between the notes. If you don’t, it’s too much for the ear to handle and as a listener you become overwhelmed. Less is often more.
What’s more, when you play a flurry of notes in quick succession, it becomes more difficult to put emotion into each note. That’s the kiss of death if you’re trying to play the blues. If you can’t make people feel something through your playing, then you should pack up your bags and go home.
This is exacerbated by the structural limitations of the blues. As blues players we generally aren’t utilising exotic scales; we’re sticking to a relatively straightforward set of notes and shapes. If you look at legendary blues men like Freddie King, in some instances they stick to only a handful of notes when soloing (the song [Going Dow n ] is a good example of this). It’s not the number of notes these guitarists play; it’s their tone and phrasing that makes their soloing impactful.
Did not know of him. Thanks for posting this. The above would be good advice to a lot of players.
I remember seeing him play at Maidstone Art College in late 75 or then abouts with Back Street Crawler, an amazing musician.
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