Looking Back / My Part on Black or White / My Day with Michael Jackson

A number of years ago I got to play a guitar part on the song “Black or White” and spend a fine afternoon with Michael Jackson. I had just finished an amazing record with Pat Leonard’s “Toy Matinee” -produced by Bill Bottrell. A few months later Bill was in the studio recording, producing and co- writing the song “Black or White” with Michael Jackson. Among his other talents, Bill is a great guitar player – he played the signature part in the intro. Bill brought me in to play a heavy metal guitar part in the bridge, at the request of Michael, who was a fan of some of the big metal bands of that era.. Michael was a pleasure to work with, very easy to talk to, and looked me straight in the eye… I was fully credited, and indeed when I checked Wikipedia, my credit still stands as “heavy metal guitar”. Here’s a free video where I teach Bill’s signature guitar part and my bridge guitar part… I added  a solo that I certainly would’ve played if they had given me the opportunity 🙂 For the full story of that day, the rhythm lesson, the solo lesson, the jam track, and the tabs, click the link and take the 14 day free trial for the master class. Happy new year!!!

Led Zeppelin – Capitol Studios – Fender Princeton

Last night I was driving in rush hour and I got a call from Rob Cavallo. “Please come down to Capitol studio C and overdub!” So I hustled back to my house, grabbed a couple of Les Pauls, my pedal board, and got back on the freeway. Rob had a Fender Princeton borrowed from Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance. I was reminded again that a small amp with an overdrive pedal can sound like a huge Marshall stack. I recorded with my totally beaten and devalued 1968 black beauty Les Paul. The project is called Rock Mania. It’s a hybrid of Led Zeppelin songs and symphony orchestra. I’ll let everyone know when the record comes out. It’s turning out great! Here are Rob, and Doug McKean listening back. Rob and Doug recorded Green Day’s “American Idiot” and Gary Clark Jr.s “Bright Lights”, along with countless other great rock records. Here are the YouTube videos from the tracking sessions  earlier this year. Here’s the link to the 14 day free trial for the masterclass. Happy holidays,Tim

New Blog Post! My Amazing Teacher

Hi everyone, I’m starting a new blog and i’m super excited to share it with you! My only training as a guitarist was from age 12 to 14, with an amazing teacher named Steve Maase. Here’s a photo of Steve. He passed away on October 1st. Steve taught me in this small building just a few blocks from my home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was not only a teacher but a mentor, and always cared for his students. The teaching was brilliant but he also took the time to make sure that his students were doing ok in all aspects of their lives. Though Steve passed away last October, he had just finished a theory book. In January It will be released by his daughter Lily. She is quite an accomplished guitar player herself and currently resides in New York. Steve’s simple approach to theory has gotten me very far in my musical life. I basically know just enough theory to understand playing pop, rock ,country, and R&B…   I’ve spent my life working with musicians who are far more educated than I am. If you are wondering how much theory you need to know, please let my path be in inspiration to you. You only need to know what is practical and useful, to play the music you love!!! For me that was two years of lessons at age 12, and then the ongoing experience of playing with as many musicians as I could, in as many different situations I could find. I’ll let everybody know when Steve’s book comes out in January. The title says it all: “Music Theory You Can Use”

Black Dog Led Zeppelin Guitar Lesson

Here’s a guitar lesson on Black Dog by Led Zeppelin. The solo is in a blues rock style, the foundation of my lead playing. My research told me some amazing things. Jimmy Page was not using a guitar amplifier. Andy Johns had him plug into a pair of 1176 compressors in series, and distorted the mic pre and the compressors before going to tape. Each guitar line is tripled, and it all makes sense when you hear it. It sounds so impossibly grungy and wrong in that singularly Jimmy Page sort of way. And from SoundFacts.com: Black Dog was written around a riff John Paul Jones brought in, something that he says was inspired by the Muddy Waters album “Electric Mud”. Black dog is deceptively complex…The notion that Jones made a challenging arrangement to discourage cover bands from playing it is just a myth. The title refers to a black labrador that wandered the area of Headly Grange, a mansion in Hampshire England where Led Zeppelin four was recorded. A big thank you to all you site members and subscribers… Thanks for watching, ENJOY, Tim

Eddie Kramer Tim Pierce Edstortion PhazeVibe Guitar Pedals

Eddie Kramer Edstortion PhazeVibe Guitar Pedals

Eddie Kramer came over for a visit and brought his Edstortion and PhazeVibe Guitar Pedals. Eddie Kramer brought his new Signature Stompbox Guitar Pedals over to my studio recently. He and his partner, Francesco Sondelli, who is the founder of F-pedals, are creating some great new products. The two pedals I tried were the Phazevibe and the Edstortion. I used my Nash Stratocaster, through my Divided by 13 RSA 23 head, recording through an SM 57 microphone. The mic went straight into a BAE mic pre and then through Apogee converters and into ProTools Eddie Kramer is a very talented, and meticulous producer and engineer. He hires me to play on projects somewhat regularly. I’ve known him for quite some time. You have to go to the Eddie Kramer Website and look at his discography. Every Hendrix record! Five Led Zeppelin records, including Led Zeppelin II, and Houses of the Holy. You’ll see Beatles records, Rolling Stones records, Frampton comes alive… Eddie recorded Woodstock!! Discussing Jimi Hendrix with Eddie is one of the greatest pleasures I’ve ever had. I’m talking to the man whose pictures and name I saw on the records that literally changed my life when I was a kid. If you had told me when I was 12 years old that someday Eddie Kramer would be hiring me to play guitar and that we would be friends, I would have passed out right in front of you… Please check out Eddie’s Facebook Page, and his website, and the F-pedals website. I can tell you firsthand, Eddie is better than ever at recording music and capturing performances. Subscribe to Tim’s newsletter and get access to a private collection of videos and more. There are lots of lessons on soloing, a beginner strumming video, at a studio tour where…