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Strauss's avatar

Guitarists (and fans): Do you know anyone who plays like Jeff Healy (see details)

Asked by Strauss (20295points) February 10th, 2013

I’d heard Jeff Healy’s music for years, and always thought his style and talent were on a par with the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughn or Johnny Winter. It wasn’t until recently that I caught a video of him and his band, and noticed his unique playing style. At first I thought he was using a lap-slide style, which is not that unusual. But then I noticed that he was not using a slide, but fingering the fretboard from above! I have never seen anything like this!

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4 Answers

woodcutter's avatar

I think they call that style “open tuning.” I haven’t seen anyone do that before.

CuriousLoner's avatar

This seems somewhat similar

Honestly haven’t seen many players use that style, at least not exclusively for playing. I have seen it used before, but more of a gimmicky or guitar trick kind of thing if that makes sense.

Really though and I’m just thinking like literal here, he is just fretting the guitar from a different position.

EDIT: Also I checked a tab out and it seems like its in standard tuning, however it is possible he uses something different.

Seek's avatar

Jeff Healey was blind, and self taught. Many of the greats were self taught and thus have unique styles. Hendrix was right handed and played lefty because he learned on his brother’s guitar.

I’ve seen a few people use the fingers-over thing, but never exclusively. That was just how Healey figured out how to make the music he wanted to hear.

Strauss's avatar

@woodcutter I think Healey used a standard tuning, and as @Seek_Kolinahr said, that’s just the way he taught himself to make music. (It is pretty awesome, though). The link to Andy McKee by @CuriousLoner shows an open tuning, where the guitar is tuned to a chord that can be played without fretting. The style is called “Percussive Guitar, and McKee is very good at what he does. Although it is unusual, I have seen others, such as Uzman Riaz, and his mentor, Preston Reed. I originally saw these two on a Ted Talks presentation.

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