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Riaan
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« on: October 17, 2008, 09:45:48 am »

One of my favourite players, Lindsay Buckingham.  I haven't seen much video footage of his playing, except the Fleetwood Mac Live in Boston concert and some stuff on YouTube.  I am curious about his playing style: I know he doesn't use a plectrum, he's a fingerpicker - also on electric.  But he does not appear to have long fingernails as most fingerpickers have, as far as I can see anyway.  What kind of electric guitar does he play on the Boston DVD?  It looks like some custom built guitar?  Anybody know what kind of tunings he uses on his acoustic stuff?
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Riaan C
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2008, 05:12:18 pm »

Hi Riaan.

I'm a massive Buckingham fan too.  You MUST get the FM DVD The Dance.  He does some incredible electric and acoustic stuff on it.

Here's some of what I gathered:
Buckingham never took guitar lessons and does not read music, on principle. By age 13, he became interested in folk music and, influenced by banjo methods, practiced the fingerpicking styles of The Kingston Trio.  Unlike many rock guitarists, Buckingham does not use a plectrum, or a pick. Instead, he uses his fingers and fingernails. By his own admission, Buckingham does use a fingerpick in the studio. Before and initially after joining Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham used a Gibson Les Paul. In 1979, he worked with Rick Turner, owner of Renaissance Guitars to create the Model One. He has used it extensively since, both with Fleetwood Mac and for his solo efforts. He has also used an Ovation Celebrity for acoustic performances and a Fender Telecaster.  His influences include The Beach Boys and The Kingston Trio.

I found some nice articles from guitar mags where Lindsey discusses his style, guitars, etc:

Rick Turner, BTW, was the original President & Chief Designer of Alembic Guitars.  I've inserted a pic of the Turner Model 1 below.

Have a look at this amazing chart where Turner compares his Model 1's specs to that of a Gibson LP and PRS Singlecut:
http://www.edroman.com/guitars/rickturner.htm

Lyndsey's preferred acoustics are a Rick Turner Renaissance acoustic/electric guitar and a Martin D-18. Pedals: Boss SD-1 Super OverDrive pedal; two Boss DD-5 Digital Delay pedals - the first DD-5 pedal for his electric guitar pedalboard and used to generate a slap-back echo effect, and the second DD-5 for his acoustic pedalboard;
a custom A/B switch for actuating the electric and acoustic pedalboards; and two Voodoo Lab Pedal Power units for supplying power to each of the electric and acoustic pedalboards.  Amps are a Mesa/Boogie Three Channel Dual Rectifier with matching 4X12 Mesa/Boogie cabinet; a SWR California Blonde II acoustic amplifier and a Trace Elliot TA40R Acoustic Amplifier.  Also uses a 63 Strat on some recordings.

Man, after typing all of that I just found this amazing synopsis of his gear by his actual guitar tech!   Embarrassed  Here goes:

Lindsey Buckingham's main guitar is a 1979 Model 1 solid-body made by Rick Turner (Turner Guitars, 815 Almar St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060; [831] 460-9144; www.renaissanceguitars.com). It was custom-built to fit Buckingham's distinctive guitar style, which blends an acoustic fingerpicking approach with electric lead playing. According to Buckingham's guitar technician of many years, Ray Lindsey, it was designed to be a "cross between a Les Paul and an acoustic." Its smallish body was based on an early-19th-century Johann Stauffer (who taught C.F. Martin how to build guitars), and its single humbucking pickup is designed to provide a tone somewhere between that of an acoustic and an electric. It's his main stage guitar because it covers so much ground; it has a broader frequency range than a typical electric guitar, especially on the bottom end where Buckingham needs a greater boost since he uses his thumb rather than a pick. The pickup is on a revolving disc so that it can be rotated at different angles to the strings. "The aim," says Ray Lindsey, "is a sound that is very loud and very clean." The guitar is strung with D'Addario strings, gauges .010.046. Buckingham uses two Boss pedals: a Super OD-1 for overdrive on his leads and a digital delay for depth. The signal is sent through two Boogie Dual Rectifiers with EV 12L speakers.

Buckingham also has two Turner Renaissance cedar-topped steel-string acoustic semi-hollow-bodies with flatwound, light-gauge strings as well as a Renaissance baritone six-string. They're fitted with Roland GK guitar synth pickups. Each string has its own output and can send either a straight signal or trigger a Roland GR-50 guitar synth, enriching the tone with a steel-string guitar patch and other sounds.

Turner also modified a Gibson Chet Atkins CE solid-body nylon-string for Buckingham by replacing its stock pickups with a set of custom-made hexaphonic units and an elaborate custom preamp. Buckingham uses it with a Roland VG-8 guitar processor and sends the signal through Trace Elliot acoustic guitar amps. Buckingham's onstage acoustic, used on such songs as "Landslide," is a Taylor 814ce with Fishman electronics, sent through SWR California Blonde acoustic amps. He strings the Taylor with D'Addario bronze-wound lights. He also plays a Baby Taylor that Turner set up with nylon strings and a D-TAR Timberline pickup. In the studio, Buckingham plays a variety of guitars, including a 1965 Martin D-18, an early '60s Fender Stratocaster, a Dobro, a Takamine nylon-string, a National resonator, a Baby Taylor, and an Alvarez dreadnought. His capos are made by Shubb.

http://www.acguitar.com/issues/ag130/gear130.html


Great interview from Acoustic Guitar magazine:
AG: What other tunings do you use?

Buckingham: I use dropped D quite often and open G and open E sometimes. And sometimes I make up things, like dropping the G string down a step.

AG: "Bleed to Love Her" is in G#. Did you capo for that one?
Buckingham: No. I was actually playing in A, tuned down a half step. I do whatever it takes. I can only play well in a few keys. I didn't take lessons, and I don't know my scales. I just find things that work and embellish them. I try to work within the limitations that I've got.

AG: Do you always use your fingers on the strings instead of a pick?
Buckingham: Almost always. Sometimes I use a flatpick in the studio on acoustic. If I need to get a nice clear strumming sound, it's a good idea. But I don't use a pick onstage at all. When I play banjo, I use fingerpicks. In the last tour, we did "Say You Love Me" in a very sort of camp, hootenanny way where we were all standing in the front, and I was playing a five-string banjo. And I hadn't had those fingerpicks on for years. It was a mess. Those are cumbersome! But you can't get that speed without them. You can't get that sound.

They tried to get me to use a pick when I first joined the band. They had certain things they thought were appropriate. I tried to adapt as much as I could. I was playing a Fender Telecaster when I first joined. And I started playing a Les Paul, because it was somehow more appropriate to the pre-existing Fleetwood Mac sound, kind of a fatter sound. That wasn't an appropriate guitar for the way that I played. But you do what you can.

AG: How do you position your hand to get such a strong attack without using picks?
Buckingham: I basically rest my wrist above the soundhole, with the heel of my hand down on the body of the guitar. It gives me a firm foundation. It's not acceptable classical technique, but most of what I do isn't. You do what you can to get the sound you want.

Full interview
http://www.acousticguitar.com/issues/ag130/feature130.html

Another cool article from Guitar World Acoustic:

GUITAR WORLD ACOUSTIC: You tend to even fingerpick your electric as though it were an acoustic. Joni Mitchell has told me that she plays like that because the guitar then becomes a whole orchestra of sounds. Is that why you developed your unique style?
LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM: That's true. Because the thumb can act as a surrogate bass, I can have two different rhythms going on simultaneously, and two different melodies. And the percussiveness of the fingerpicking implies drums. But my fingerpicking on the electric is a direct outgrowth of my formative period of playing the acoustic as a young teenager. When I first joined the band, they tried to get me to start using a pick. And I said, "No, I don't think so." This is what I do. I started out doing a basic Travis thing, but I don't know what it is now. John Stewart once told me that I was "frailing" the guitar, which is a banjo technique.

Full interview
http://www.fmlegacy.com/GuitarworldLB.htm

From Guitar Magazine, 1997:

When it comes to guitars, Buckingham has always tried to tailor his sound to the task at hand. He plucked Strats and Teles before switching over to Les Pauls when he joined Fleetwood Mac in late 1974. "The Fenders just didn't fit into the existing sound of the group," he explains. Since the late '70s, however, Buckingham's main guitars have been Turners, axes hand-built by Rick Turner, who once worked at Alembic and now runs Rick Turner Guitars. Observes Lindsey: "They're like Les Pauls with parametric equalizers."

In addition to his trusty Turners, Buckingham leaned heavily on his solid-body '92 Gibson Chet Atkins, notably during The Dance's back-to-back readings of "Go Insane" and "Big Love." "Landslide" sees the debut of a new, "delicate-sounding" Taylor acoustic, and "Say You Love Me" gets its own special revamping: "There I'm playing a longneck 5-string banjo, getting a little bluegrassy on the intro, and then I slip right into the folkiness of the song."

For amps, Buckingham switched from the older Mesa/Boogies he'd used on his solo tour to Dual Rectifiers. "The Mac sound is a bit bigger and I needed something beefier," he explains. "And I'm still not using a major amount of pedals, just a Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive and a Boss DD-5 Digital Delay."


Full interview
http://www.fmlegacy.com/guitarmag1097.html

From Guitar Magazine, 1998:

My strings are Ernie Ball Regular Slinky, whatever set has an .010 on the top and a .046 or something on the bottom."
http://www.fmlegacy.com/guitarmag1198.html

Lindsey has an official youtube channel with rare videos, etc:[/color]http://www.youtube.com/lindseybuckingham

Interesting article about LBP, a condition known as the The Lindsey Buckingham Paradox; ie what happens when otherwise brilliant musicians decide they're better than their bandmates (creative differences, natch), strike out on their own with solo "careers", and somewhat curiously never again manage to grasp his or her own genius in the way we all know is possible.  Good for a laugh!! Cheesy
http://www.mynxzilla.com/2008/03/lindsey-buckingham-paradox.html

If you're a Fleetwood Mac nut, like me, here's a collection of articles and interviews that will kill a few days! Cheesy
http://www.fmlegacy.com/Articles.htm

And, for sake of completeness, here's some Buckingham obsessed IT techie who's spliced together all Lyndsey's best solos (approx 30 mins!!).  Does contain some cool early period footage.  Shocked







Riaan, hope that answered some of your questions. I learnt a lot doing it!!! Cheesy


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Riaan
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2008, 05:43:18 pm »

Hey Riaan wow, thanks for all this info!  I've got my reading material for the weekend now... Cheesy  I browsed through it quickly and there are some really interesting things there.  So Lindsay doesn't know his scales...there's hope for me after all!  I'll look out for The Dance DVD.
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2008, 11:00:54 am »

One of my favourite players, Lindsay Buckingham.  I haven't seen much video footage of his playing, except the Fleetwood Mac Live in Boston concert and some stuff on YouTube.  I am curious about his playing style: I know he doesn't use a plectrum, he's a fingerpicker - also on electric.  But he does not appear to have long fingernails as most fingerpickers have, as far as I can see anyway.  What kind of electric guitar does he play on the Boston DVD?  It looks like some custom built guitar?  Anybody know what kind of tunings he uses on his acoustic stuff?


Some of Buckingham's magic was worked in the studio. Speeding things up etc. So don't get too suicidal if you can't figure out he played this or that :-)

Looking at the interview with Buckingham in Paul Zollo's "Songwriters on Songwriting" we find....

PZ: Do you ever use a pick?
LB: I use a pick in the studio. Because for some sounds that you want to get a very light pick with very light strings can create a delicate sound. Live, never. Mick Fleetwood tried to get me to use a pick for years, but I could never do it.

PZ: It's always seemed like such an integral part of your sound, that you use your fingers on the strings. It's more human sounding than a pick.
LB: Yeah. But out on the road I lose these [nails]. Maybe it's because I'm a little bit over the top on stage. So I just play with my fingers.
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2011, 03:14:32 pm »

Lindsay Buckingham is a musical genius. 

Been trying to wrap my fingers around his solo version of "Big Love" from the Dance dvd for a few months now, and i'm loving every second of it.
He's the reason I have been looking into finding a plugin nylon.

I've even considered finding an el cheapo nylon and slapping on a picup seasick steve style right above the sound hole underneath the strings.

Oh Riaan C,  this may interest you as you are such a Fleetwood Mac nut. Mick Fleetwood was most probably conceived in my fathers house in Schoenmakerskop in PE. His parents owned the house just before they left for the States, and Mick was born shortly after them leaving SA. Strange I know, but I thought it might be slightly interesting somehow.

 The smile on Mick's face during the entire Dance DVD is magical. You can really see how much he is enjoying it.
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« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2011, 03:20:02 pm »

Would love to jump in but heading onwards to weekend... I just have two words to add to the discussion:

Peter Green.
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« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2011, 04:02:13 pm »

Would love to jump in but heading onwards to weekend... I just have two words to add to the discussion:

Peter Green.

Don't be mean.  It was a different band with Buckingham, with a different style.
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« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2011, 03:16:54 pm »

Would love to jump in but heading onwards to weekend... I just have two words to add to the discussion:

Peter Green.

Don't be mean.  It was a different band with Buckingham, with a different style.

PETER GREEN.

Taking all the fun out of my baiting. Pah.

To be honest I haven't listened to post Pete Green Mac since I was a kid... I'll give the clips above a listen when I've got a better connection...
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