What is this blog about and who is Randy Burton?

About the Players and Pickers blog site

The universe of guitar players is huge, but who are the best purveyors of various playing styles?  Who are the trend-setters and which players are advancing the art by performing with fresh approaches to the instrument?  Which players are taking the influences of the past and crafting those influences into something entirely new?  What elements help to create a guitarist’s unique sound and style?

Sebastien Paquet, in his writings about personal knowledge publishing, said “the weblog community is decentralized.”  Indeed.  This fact makes immediate sharing of musical ideas, techniques and news about exciting new players possible across all geographical and cultural boundaries.

Paquet added that “there is a large and diverse population of users who are willing to experiment with the medium, give feedback, and learn from one another’s experiences.”

Like the blog community, guitar players are a diverse crowd.  There are styles of playing rooted in rock, blues, jazz, folk, bluegrass, classical and other types of music that are of interest to many of us who play the guitar.  Many of us hunger for new sounds and love talking with other players about those new sounds.  Blogs make that much easier to do.

Most guitarists strive to create something, not just consume.  That’s why they pick up the instrument in the first place.  How do players and fans learn about the hottest player or style on the cutting edge?

Participating in a blog fosters creativity through learning and sharing.   My blog will embrace the spirit of learning and sharing of ideas and observations about guitar playing.  Ideally, these ideas and observations will come from around the U.S. and around the world.

About Randy Burton

I have been a guitar player for more than three decades.  I studied the instrument briefly and then taught myself rock, blues, folk and jazz styles of playing.

Like many guitarists, I played in rock bands in junior high school, high school and during and after college.

As an advertising and marketing professional, I’ve spend much time as a weekend warrior, playing in folk, rock and jazz settings around the Washington, DC and Richmond, VA areas.

I have owned many guitars, each of which, I believe, served a special purpose for a different style of playing and a different style of music.

Among them, a Rickenbacker 12-string, a Martin jumbo acoustic, a Paul Reed Smith electric, a Gibson ES-335, a Gibson Howard Roberts Fusion III, and a Fender American Deluxe Telecaster.   I’ve used the Rickenbacker and the Martin for folk playing.  The Howard Roberts (pictured at the top of this page) with my current jazz group.  The Telecaster for playing rock with my company band.  The Paul Reed Smith provided a showcase for rock styles.  My ultimate tone machine has been the ES-335, because it’s nearly three decades old and has the rich, ripened sound of a near-vintage instrument.

I have played lead guitar with groups as an opening act for Leon Russell, Arlo Guthrie and Commander Cody’s Bill Kirchen.  For more than 7 years, my now-defunct band, The Trousers, played around the Richmond, VA area in various venues including The Ashland Coffee and Tea.  The Trousers private-label self-titled CD is still available on I-Tunes and on CD Baby.com.

For the past six years, I have led the band for the company I work for, playing at national sales meetings in Las Vegas, Miami, Los Angeles and New Orleans.

Currently, I play weekend gigs with my jazz band, Super64 and with a country folk group called Tattoo Red.  These two acts showcase my diverse styles of playing, and more importantly, my interest in various styles and approaches to the instrument.  The goal of my blog will be to explore all the various styles and approaches to playing the guitar.



4 responses to “What is this blog about and who is Randy Burton?

  1. Randy, I’ve been strumming most of my life, but have done little to learn officially how to make my guiter truly one of my instruments. That said, I am always in the company of musicians, most of the proficient on strings or keyboard, so I will send this link up to them. Among them, Dan in New Bern was one of the early members of the Animals and has played on tour with Boz Scaggs for years as a lead guitarist. Regularly, I photography bands in rehersal or in small clubs, so I can supply you with some photos if you will provide a byline and link to one of my sites. Let me know if you want more photos.

  2. Thanks Kirk, for your input, and thanks for sending along the link.
    I am fascinated that your friend Dan was an early member of The Animals. Is that Dan McCulloch? The Animals was a seminal British band from the 60’s that influenced sounds for decades afterward. Lead singer Eric Burdon, along with Steve Winwood (Spencer Davis Group), Gary Brooker (Procol Harum) and others, was among an elite group of soulful singers that captured American audiences with their style. I just had a conversation over the weekend with a musician friend about an element of my blog…..geographical influences of guitar styles.
    My friend Wayne said that The Animals’ gritty, soulful style was a result of their origins in Newcastle, England.
    I’ll take any photos you’d like to send, especially those of guitar players.

  3. Okay Randy, I was off. The “animal” was Turtles and it was on tour, as was Boz Scaggs and many others. His show name is Rev. Dan Dippermouth, and I will be seeing him on Saturday, so I will share the blog then.

  4. Nice “About” section, Randy. I was wondering if you’re going to explore guitar or music theory any on your blog.

    I have played acoustic guitar for about 2-3 years now, and I feel I have reached a “plateau” in my playing. I’d like to know how to take it to the next level. For example, I’d like to learn how to play short solos.

    I have basically taught myself by finding the chords and tabs for songs I liked (mostly alt. rock and gospel) online.

    I’m looking forward to following and learning from your blog!

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