I think the most important thing about playing is to walk out with confidence, look the people right in the eye and say ‘Here I am,’ and go and do your thing. As soon as they know you’re confident, they’re confident. As long as you adjust to them you’re not in trouble. You should eyeball them, find out what they want, and give it to them. They didn’t pay to come out and look at the tapestries.
More quotes by Les Paul
I gave up the guitar in 1965. Didn’t want to see a guitar. I’d go out and get drunk. When I came out of the heart surgery, the doc said, “Promise me you’ll work hard.” I said, “I thought working hard is what got me here.” He said, “No, working is what will keep you alive.”
There are times when you want to go where you used to go and you can’t go there. So I’m back to Count Basie lifting his hand. And I find you can stop that show with one note just like you can with a hundred.
Paint pictures with sound. First, find your white-the deepest, roundest sound you can play on the guitar. Then, find your black-which is the most extreme tonal difference from white you can play. Now, just pick the note where you’ve got white, pick it where you’ve got black, and then find all those colors in between. Get those colors down, and you’ll be able to express almost any emotion on the guitar.?
Our music is generally the music I would play way back when I was in the record business. So I’ll play World Waiting For The Sunrise and How High The Moon, maybe Over The Rainbow, some standards. But it depends upon the artist that comes up – if people like a certain kind of music, I will focus the show that way. Whoever walks up on to the stage is the star – he is the picture, we are the frame. The frame is there to make the star look better – let’s make this fellow the best he’s ever going to be.
More quotes about Music
When I started playing, I was playing just the harmonica. We’re back in the prohibition days. Like down a dark alley somewhere, you’d play for an illegal club that was probably right behind a police station, and what I’d do is sing and play the harmonica. It didn’t take me long to work out that I needed something more, and that was the guitar. So when you added the guitar, the harmonica and my voice, you would be talking with people mainly in the bar, or in the restaurant, or the people in the pub.
I had a really good time in New Orleans, although I had some very tragic times in Baton Rouge. Some guys beat me up and threw my horn away. ‘Cause I had a beard, then, and long hair like the Beatles.
Everything I record, I just try to sound like me and come up with songs that suit what I do and then just go for it. I never know what the public’s going to like, anyway.
I simply want to reach a level where I will never cease to make progress…so that, even on the bad evenings, I may never be bad enough to despair.
I don’t worry too much about the fundamentalist principles that are in almost any discussion about Jazz.