Taking Inspiration— Part One

Michael Schenker Prebends
By Nickolas A. Layton


I want to talk to you about a concept I call “taking inspiration.”

What this means for our purposes is to find one or two (or three) things that really inspire you about another guitar player and “take” that inspiration as a springboard for your own creativity.

To demonstrate this concept today we are taking a look at Michael Schenker and one thing he does that I really like. Don’t get me wrong, there are many things I like about Michael’s playing, but this time we’ll choose just one thing—pre bends!

A pre bend is simply bending a note up to a pitch without sounding it, then picking it when it is already at it’s highest pitch and releasing it. I love the way Michael does this in such an expressive way. It’s all over his recorded work but you can hear it specifically on the intro to the UFO track “Doctor Doctor,” especially any live versions you can find.

Taking inspiration is a very valuable concept you can use over and over with all of your favorite players. Endless inspiration! And the cool thing is that the things you like and “take” will be unique to you and will help you develop your own style and voice on the instrument. 

Stay tuned for “Taking Inspiration” Part two….