Rare Electric Guitar
Albert King was largely responsible for bringing the sound of the blues into the 1960s and making it relevant to a young audience looking
for “revolution” and a psychedelic feel. His harsh metallic tone and skills at bending notes and producing vibrato made him unique among
blues players, as did his economical solos. He produced songs that were much more suited to radio play at about three minutes in length
than many of the other blues tunes of the era that relied on much longer solos and bridges.
Born in 1923 on a cotton plantation in Mississippi, King grew up singing gospel songs with his family in church. As a young adult, Albert
played with a variety of musical groups around the south. He was a drummer for a while with Jimmy Reed’s group and was a member of
a band called The Groove Boys in Arkansas.
He was nearly 40, however, before he had much commercial success. 1961 was the year “Don’t Throw Your Love on Me So Strong” was
released, which reached as high as 14 on the Billboard R & B chart. During the sixties, Albert released several singles that did well, but
when “Born Under a Bad Sign” came out in 1967, his audience grew rapidly. Great guitarists including Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and
Stevie Ray Vaughan all credited Albert King as a major influence on their styles.
King’s favorite guitar was a Gibson Flying V; in particular, he loved a 1958 Korina V that he named Lucy. As a left-handed player, Albert flipped his V upside down and played with the low E string on the bottom closest to the floor. He was a huge man
at six foot four, and had massive, powerful hands. His hand strength combined with the inverted position of his guitar made it possible for
him to bend notes by pulling down instead of pushing up on the strings like most blues players. This technique resulted in more control,
better vibrato and the ability to bend up or down as many as two complete steps on the scale.
Albert King was also an innovator when it came to tuning his guitar. He often used an open E-minor tuning, (CBEGBE) which required his thickest string to be tuned to a low C. At other times he would use open F with the pitches of
CFCFAD. It is said that his fondness for Hawaiian guitar music gave him the inspiration for these variations.
After King acquired his ’58 V, he didn’t play any other style of guitar. He loved the V for its ability to “sing” and he thought it was perfect for
his slow, smooth style of blues. He idolized bluesmen T-Bone Walker and Lonnie Johnson and followed their unhurried approach to soloing. Many of his best-loved songs had a type of call and response between the voice and the guitar, and his slow bending and wrist-quivering vibrato gave him his signature style.
Gibson still sells a guitar modeled after the 1958 Korina that Albert King loved so much. It is made from genuine korina wood for a
lightweight body. It comes equipped with classic Alnico and Humbucker pickups and a Tune-o-matic bridge with string-through tailpiece for incredible sustain.
Even though Albert King died in 1992, fans of the blues still love his music. More importantly, he put his mark on many musicians of today
who appreciate his soul and the musical “conversations” he was noted for. If you have a desire to play like Albert King, you may want to
consider getting a Flying V from Musicians Friend or other fine distributor. You should also think about honing your guitar skills with some highly recommended home study courses. Metal Method will help you learn all you need to know to create your own lead guitar solos.
Learn and Master Guitar is a terrific all-inclusive DVD-based system of study, and Guitars Tricks has hundreds of lessons from all genres available online. No matter which method you choose, you can expect to improve your
abilities with diligent work, hours of practice and little of the soul that can be heard in an Albert King solo.
If you want to own a guitar like this, pls contact us.