If you have questions on how to play guitar, why not go to one of the best guitarists who is currently making a living at playing professionally. That’s what Wired did (as seen below), fielding audience questions and then picking the brain of Polyphia guitarist Tim Henson for their Tech Support series.
The guitarist fielded a wealth of questions ranging from playing techniques to explaining some of the guitar terminology and even digging into the instrument itself and what makes it good or worth the price that you are paying.
Henson also answered a few song specific questions, calling out John Mayer‘s “Neon” as a riff that sounds easy but is actually hard to play. “It doesn’t sound that difficult, but you watch him play it and he’s just got his thumb stretched all the way up here and it’s just incredible. He frets the root of the chords with his thumb and then he plays the normal chords like you’d normally do all the way up there. It’s just truly difficult thing to play, especially if you don’t have large hands,” he explained.
He also cited Queen‘s “Bohemian Rhapsody” as one of the best guitar solos of all-time, explaining, “For me, how memorable the solo is and if you can see the solo. For example, I think the guitar solo from ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is one of the best guitar solos of all-time. If you can see with it, I think it’s more memorable than just a bunch of notes scattered.”
And for those looking for a good song to practice power chords that’s fairly easy to play, he singles out Black Sabbath‘s “Iron Man.”
Henson runs through techniques such as sweep picking, pinch harmonics and getting a guitar to sound djent. And he reveals some of the mistakes that people make when first learning to play guitar.
The guitarist also preaches some patience, revealing to one fan that asked what makes a good guitar tone, “It has everything to do with taste and using your ears. I remember when I was 10 years old I could not hear what the bass guitar was doing. I couldn’t distinguish it between the guitar and the bass guitar. And then just a year later I was like, ‘Oh, I can hear that now. I don’t know what was wrong with me. But now I’ve been on this earth long enough to understand what a good mix is and why it’s a good mix. I think listening to a lot of music and comparing mixes and guitar tones will help on your journey to crafting a good guitar tone.”
Dig in as Henson answers fan-submitted guitar questions for Wired below.
Henson and Polyphia are currently promoting their 2022 album, Remember That You Will Die.