Dave Martone: Breathing New Life Into Guitar

Anyone who is a fan of instrumental guitar music should know the name Dave Martone. Dave is not only a brilliant shredder but a great composer. His music always sounds fresh and exciting. Dave fuses all of the modern techniques, right hand tapping, alternate picking, sweep picking, extended legato playing and string skipping with an amazing sense of melody, style and phrasing that transcends the boundaries of instrumental guitar playing. When you watch Dave play you can tell he is not only shredding your face off, but having a blast doing it. We thanks Dave for this great interview.

1. You are known for being not only an amazing guitarist, but also an amazing composer. Out of all your musical accomplishments, what are you most proud of?

Dave: Thank you…I’m glad I read the question closer, I first thought you were asking what my favorite composition is, but it mentions accomplishments. I would have to say, after all this time, it would be having opened for Joe Satriani on his last tour with my band Martone. We did all the Western Canadian dates. I mention this because my relationship with Joe has been a slow burning ember. After years of keeping in touch, doing certain recordings and videos with him, it finally worked out. I always mentioned and told myself I would do that one day… and the day happened!

2. What qualities do you feel define Dave Martone as a guitarist/musician?

Dave: Well, humor for sure. I can’t take myself to seriously, or I stress myself out. I would say as well, constantly trying new things, as well as trying to simply as well. I’m trying as well to generate as much $$$ as I can to try and have a comfortable life. The life of a instrumental guitarist is im sure just a little different then the life of .. hmmmm a Justin Bieber.

3. Let’s talk about your latest CD, “Clean”. This release, in our opinion, sets new standards in composition for guitar instrumental music. What are some of the ways that you approach writing and planning a guitar instrumental release?

Dave: That record was about trying to simplify things. I know there are songs like Dinky Pinky that are there for shock value, but in general, songs like Coming Clean are more where my heart lies at the present time. I really don’t plan anything. I don’t force anything, and it has to all feel natural. That is the best way to get the most out of what I do. Songs come and go, ideas as well, the good ones should give you a zing or a jolt and give you a goose bumpy kind feeling. I look for that in songs, and if it is doing that, then I should continue working on it. Others hit the floor, but could still be good. As you can see, its never quite the same. Tone will give me inspiration to write a song. That is most important. If the tone is there, then the song will come from it. Eg, Coming Clean came from a slightly smooth overdriven clean sound using a Fender Strat position 4. Love that. The song came from the sound. Other times, ideas come from jamming in my guitar room, and working with my Yamaha GW50 sequencer pedal. I usually work on techniques and then.. BAMM!!! Idea hit out of the jamming with the technique!

4. What drives you to keep going and releasing great instrumental guitar music?

Dave: Who knows.. Stupidity? Or could it be the millions of dollars in my account? Or could it be the thousands of screaming girls at my concerts? I just really love the sound of the guitar. Honestly, the sound of the nylon guitar, with some reverb is like heaven to me. Almost as close as the sound of a grand piano played my a great musician. That gives me so much pleasure, and that is why most of the time, you here my creep nylon guitars into many of my songs. Some days I just laugh at what a great time I’m having playing, and say out loud.. “ I love playing guitar!” I think I feel the best when I feel confident in my playing skills. When I’m working it hard and feel like the sounds come out like rolling water.

5. Do you feel the Internet has helped musicians? What are some of the best ways to take advantage of the opportunities it has to offer?

Dave: Well, that is a huge question I could write a book on, so I will try not to do that here and keep it brief. It has helped and killed at the same time. Youtube in general is a blessing and a curse. People can find you and see you play, and you can get great exposure etc, You can find anything on youtube, however, I think it has killed the Guitar Workshops I have done for the last 15 years for the National Guitar Workshop. People can get anything on line, and learn anything from the comfort of their own home. However, then I do skype lessons which gives people the opportunity to study with me online where they could never do that before. As well, people can by my music through Itunes with one click and there it is… I think it’s a double edge sword. However, if one has the time, the promo you can do can be endless, and you can generate a huge following, due to your ingenious marketing skills.

6. Is there anything that you want to say about upcoming projects or releases that are in the works?

Dave: The next things coming out are the “Live at Metalworks” Concert DVD out from my record company Magna Carta Records. Here is a sample of a song… Looking forward to that DVD. All shot in HD with Killer Sound! As well I will be having my 2nd book/DVD out from Alfred Publishing called “Shredding the Blues” I have one other book out from Alfred.

For more information on Dave visit his website