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Bill Gathen @

No Thrashing, Just Thrashing About

Welcome! I'm an on-again-off-again guitarist who's been noodling around for a small percentage of the last fifteen years, periodically drifting off into torrid, short-lasting affairs with keyboards, harmonica and bass.

I've spent about equal time on acoustic and electric, but sold my last electric when I graduated from college awhile back. Now I'm all-acoustic (Ibanez Performance), though a Tele could be in the near future. I'm not much of a soloist, being more fascinated with chords and rhythm playing, mainly in the pop and rock veins.

Bottom line is, I still stink after all these years. I'm awestruck at this site, and hope I can apply even a fraction of the knowledge to my playing. It's difficult to tell anyone "I play guitar" for fear they'll hand me one and say "play something". Obviously, having a repertoire would allay this fear quite a bit, so I am focusing on that, but playing nothing but straight-eight strumming gets dull real quick, so I'm focusing on that as well. We shall see.


I was a devoted classic-rocker in high school and college, but never got very good at playing much of any of it, due most to impatience and lack of attention to detail.

Recently I've been almost completely devoted to bands and artists that focus on their songwriting while minimizing the histrionics. Guess I'm just getting old... :-)

However, jazz is still too smooth for me: I like the "corners" (to quote the "Commitments") found in rock/pop/country/funk too much. Besides, those "evocative" chords aren't dominant enough for me: it all washes out. Maybe when I'm forty...

Musical Influences

  • Soloing monsters: Santana, Gilmore, Allman, Clapton, Page
  • Songwriting geniuses: John & Paul, James Taylor, Ed Robertson (Barenaked Ladies), Clint Black, Carol King, Pete Townsend
  • Acoustic experts: Tim Reynolds, Dave Matthews, Leo Kottke, Pete Townsend

Favorite Recordings

  • Barenaked Ladies - Gordon
  • Clint Black (anything at all)
  • Dave Matthews - Live At Luther College