Bumblefoot Talks About His Approach to Guitar in Guns N’ Roses
Sons of Apollo guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal discussed his approach to guitar during his 2006–2014 tenure with Guns N’ Roses, telling Music Radar during a recent interview:
“The Guns N’ Roses show was not about technical stuff; it was more about delivering the melodies and riffs in the right pocket, with the right feel.
“My aim was to give people the experience they came there to get – that’s what you should want to do, and it can be just as difficult or require just as much focus, despite not requiring super-fast playing in a weird time signature.
“I was thinking more about bending in the perfect way to create just a hair of tension before it hits pitch, or maybe my vibrato, or anything else to nail the phrasing. It wasn’t about fast scales – that was the least of my worries in that situation.
“Different aspects of my playing are at the forefront and more blatant in different bands, but my overall mindset is that there’s always plenty to nail.
“Something that sounds simple should never be frowned upon because it’s the way you play it and what you do to those notes that count. Is there an emotional connection? If you think you are above that, you are going to suck!”
During the rest of the conversation, Ron talked about developing technique in general, saying:
“Obviously, with the guitar being a physical instrument, it’s all about developing technical precision – but it’s easy for that to become the focus, like a sport. We really musn’t forget it should be about the music and expressing what you feel onto those strings – not competing with anything or anyone else.
“As crazy as it sounds, listen to the music in your head or in your heart or wherever it is inside of you, and hum it. Try to be there with that note, first inside and then let it out on the guitar rather than trying to be faster than the next guy.”