Jas Morris | Guitar Family Instruments | Celtic Musical Instruments

Guitar Idol 2008 Finalist, the supremely melodic Jas Morris Tells All in this Me ga Interview!

Jas Morris was a late entry in the first Guitar Idol competition and although he was too late to make much of an impression on the voting public his combination of melodic and eloquent lead playing, stylistic versatility, groove and sheer c ompositional ability meant that as soon as he was heard by the pro panel of judg es his place at the final was assured. On the day of the Grand Live Final at The London International Music Show Jas had the daunting task of opening the show.. . and he performed superbly. For those yet to see the man in action check this out now! Welcome back! Now let's here about one of the finest guitar players to hit the U K scene in a long time! When were you born, and what age did you start playing? I was born on 3rd September 1985 in Torbay (Devon, England) and started playing properly at age 13. I think its cause I saw my dads band for the first time and it blew me away, I knew I had to play guitar right there and then. Who were your initial influences? My initial influences were my dad of course. I got really into the 70's classic rock band Wishbone Ash (I still am), I loved the way Andy Powell and Ted Turner were so melodic and rhythmic. I also had a Robben Ford instructional video (yes back when videos were everywhere!!) which I learnt incredibly a lot from. What albums and songs during this period were particularly influential? Argus by Wishbone Ash of course, it was an old record when I began listening to it but it was all new to me! I absolutely loved Queen greatest Hits 1 - Brian Ma y's playing and the awesome song writing of the whole band took me by storm; plu s after seeing Waynes World ...well you know, it's a great film! What age did you start to get serious? I was in a band at school with some good friends and planning on being a scienti st or something when I grew up, when my mate said to me.. you know Jas, we are g onna go all the way, right to the top' and it suddenly dawned on me at that mome nt that that was what I wanted. I wanted to make it. Well, that band disbanded a fter 6 months or so but hey, I'm still here playing my guitar and trying to clim b up the ladder of success... well, I like to think so anyway! Did you have guitar lessons, or were you self taught? Apart from the first few lessons my dad gave me (teaching me how to play Rebel Re bel' by Bowie was the first riff I learnt), I just kinda sat in my room and shov elled at it all myself, so yes, I'm self taught. Robben Ford's Playing The Blues' video showed me all the basics - like how to use pentatonics etc - and then I j ust listened and learnt all my favourite tracks of CD's. Can you read music? Or just learn particular songs? Or were these lessons techni que based? I never got around to learning how to read music, but it's something I may do in the future. My learning method was to just learn all my favourite tracks and a few tabs on technique. When did you start concentrating on technique? Can you remember any particular e xercises that helped? I think I began concentrating on technique when I got my first metronome, maybe when I was 15 or so. I'd start at low speed with a particular scale or lick then

I never have: but I'd love to be able to dedicate every day of the week to p laying guitar all day . now when I'll see or hear an awesome guitarist I t hink Am I crazy? THATS'S a real 'gifted guitarist'!! Are you known locally/internationally as a hot guitarist? I think so. I've been gigging regularly ever since my first gig back in 2001 . Wishbone Ash.how original! In the set was Badge' by Cream. Locally certainly. ACM. every now and then I'll get some wonderful compl iments from some nice people about my playing and that started happening back wh en I was 15 or 16.and I t hink my gig count at the moment is in the late 500's.if you're a musician and you want to get out there . However. We have also done numerous headline shows in various venues around Devon. Belgium. a solo piece by Gary Moore.and the great thing is that people are now paying good money to see us perform our own stuff. a few Wishbone Ash tracks and not to mention Dirty Fingers'.morrisbrothersband. Have you ever studied guitar at a guitar school (like Guitar-X... well all I will say is that most gigs we get paid! Check out www. covers. Chicken Shack. . one or two at a time. seeing which tracks worked best: thanks to t he exposure and experience that doing all that has given us. we've had CD orders over the net from the U S.you h ave no choice but to get in a covers band. we're now able to g o out as an original band. With r egards to getting paid.jump it up gradually until I reached my maximum.A and it was an incredible experience for me. France and even Australia .so we're getting there! Playing Live When did you play your first gig? My first proper gig was at a local music festival in Devon called Air Fusion' bac k in 2001.and I think Guitar Schools kinda allow that to happen. It's such a rush. Have you any tutorial books/videos/DVD's that you recommend? Yes. go and do the pub circuit.. the modesty question! Well. You have gained a really strong reputation on the south west UK live circuit. s o on that basis it's something I'd definitely like to have done.Morris Major' . The Troggs.com Do you/have you ever played in a covers band? Absolutely! I think .. When and how did you realise that you were a properly gifted player? Ah. We made front page news on our local newsp aper the day after. I have found recently the Creative Guitar range by Guthrie Govan to be very helpful. Well.such as Johnny Winter. Of course. Do you prefer playing live or recording? I find them to be two completely different things. We gradually began easing in o ur own songs..70's bands mainly . Germany. As for international ly. you tell me! Having said that. the Yardbirds and a few more. It was the first time I'd been on a big stage with a large P. I remember the headline . For the firs t 4-5 years in my band that's all we did.. We have a few headline shows coming up at the moment . Also you can't fault Paul Gilberts Intense Rock Complete for your shre d stuff. With my band we have suppo rted a few big names . I'd say that perform ing live is one of the best things you can do. The Guitar Institute etc)? No. the audience re sponse and the feeling of performing to so many people is incredible. I have been in the local and national press numer ous times and have sold several thousands of my bands CD's.

Jimmy Page . technical ability and feel. however I think these days I can control the e ffect of my nerves a lot more. I love Brian May's playing.Jeff Beck. That way I could top up my playing with some great melodic licks from Jeff and some intense shred stuff from Yngwie! I've always believed that you learn the most through e xperience . I think Guthrie Govan is an awesome player. all the nerves evaporate as soon as you've played those first few chords. This guy started a revolution: certainly one of my influences. Steve Morse.Made leagues and leagues of people want to pick up a guitar and pla y. but one of the most influentia l players ever. He has good feel and awesome phrasing. Yngwie Malmsteen . it's so perfectly melo dic and the way he always builds up to a climax is great! Eddie Van Halen .Do you get nervous playing live? I always get nervous to a degree. Eric Clapton . Dave G ilmour . If you could go out with a couple of other artists on a dream tour who would the y be? Artists still alive? I'd have to say Jeff Beck and Yngwie Malmsteen. It was fantastic learning about his climb to succ ess.I guess they don't call him God' for no reason! I read his biog re cently which I really enjoyed.and being on the road with these guys I'm sure would teach me a bag load of great playing! Have you ever auditioned/been connected with any big' bands that didn't happen (a nd you can tell us about!)? I've had offers from a few world touring bands but none of them have materialize d much more than that . Sorry.I would've loved to have joi ned a band like Thin Lizzy or Led Zeppelin. He has that sort of note clean-n ess' that only comes from sheer amounts of practise. Influences and Other Guitarists Which 5 guitarists have influenced you the most . his accuracy is incredible..another classic player. Richie Blackmore . As the old saying goes.I think its awesome the amount of music Satriani keeps on churnin g out. he ha s awesome accuracy and feel to go along with it.I'm sure you've heard this before. . Brian May . He's one of those players that always considers the melody (which you can probably tell I like) and then puts the shred over the top.or simply five players who you particularly admire (and why?) In no particular order . Eric Johnson.Queen's 'Greatest Hits 1' was one the records I listened to consiste ntly when I was starting out. I know that's six! Are there any newer players who you really rate? Yes. Steve Vai.The same about this guy. Great stuff! Can I throw a few guitarists at you and ask you to comment on them? Jimi Hendrix .and Joe Satriani.Such credit to this guy! Not only did he invent' tapping. It seems like he's got the whol e package.. I'm sure.yet! What band would you most like to join? It would have been great to be around in the 70's . and his speed is crazy! Joe Satriani .

com goes back to 2002 and is a pproaching 40. I have done a few Guitar Workshops and Clinics in the past that had an entrance fee. Stevie Ray Vaughan . Much respect to this guitar ist for what he did for blues.morrisbrothersband. Please check my website . Guthrie Govan .jasmorris.jasmorris. If you teach how much are your rates and what do you specialise in teaching? (In clude your contact details so you can get some new business!) I do teach but not as regularly to be described as a guitar teacher'.Steve Vai . Guitar Idol . Who is your outright favourite guitarist?! I honestly can't say because my outright favourite e my outright favourite next week! I'd have to say p.Passion & Warfare' just completely blew me away when I heard it first .by far . I gu ess by the fact that I earn money from the guitar and I'm getting more widely kn own means I already have a career in music. Wh en the band is involved it is blended with modern and progressive rock.com) was set up properly about 18 months ago. I think Bonamassa has gre at feel and that classic bluesy sound with a modern edge to it. Joe Bonamassa . I spend many hours of practise learning that record. so from what sources: teachin Yes.com for any upcoming workshops I may have. Being a regular gigging musician. I believe that guitar rock will come back with a vengeance in the not too distan t future .000 visitors.As I've said before.and all those throwaway one hit wonders will begin to disappear.www. He's a great player and a heck of a showman.many more pro's than cons when it comes to bands and musicians.000 views and counting. It is such a fantastic and easy way of promoting and spreading your music and it has definitely helped my career. teacher and with a couple of albums on ou r merchandise stand it sometimes pays pretty good! What would you say is your style of music you play? In your style of music when do you think was the golden period? Do you think the current musical climate is favourable to your particular style? Do you think you can have a career in music ? I would categorise the style of music I play as melodic virtuoso guitar rock. however my bands website (www. I think Guthrie has the whole package of sh eer technical ability and feel all in one.It always amazes me that Stevie Ray Vaughan used to use rea l heavy gauge strings and still make the guitar cry. My plans are to keep in the industry and who knows where I'll come out! Has the internet helped your career or hindered it? The internet has .Already becoming somewhat of a legend. because he's the one that got me into guitar in The Business of Music and the Internet Are you yet making any money out of the guitar? If g/gigs/CD sales? guitarist this week may not b my dad would be pretty high u the first place. How many Youtube views have you achieved? I have never really been featured on You Tube a great deal until recently but th e few videos we have on there total up to about 15. When did you set up your website? How many visitors do you get every month? My personal website (www.

found your site and was listening to a few of the guitarists. definitely. How many votes did you get from the public? My vote counter topped at 21 before voting closed. Luckily I still had time to enter so I did that same night. flyers at gigs etc. Myspace. What steps did you personally take to get the public to vote for you (ie going o n forums. I think by the fact that it has now been done for the first time. considering that many of the finalists were spread far and wide around the world.How did you hear about Guitar Idol? It was approaching the closing date for entries when I first heard of Guitar Ido l. Facebook. where sometimes an audie nce vote can be slightly more impulsive and dependant on the moment'. Do you think it was correct that Guitar Idol had a pro panel of judges or should it have just been the public? I thought that having a pro panel of judges is the best and possibly the fairest way of tackling this situation. Has it helped your career so far? Yes. it was a little like following the world cup! I thought that it panned out bigger than I'd expected. I have gained many contacts and my band is in the stage of planning a few mini tours as the competition allowed us to get in contact with a few promot ers. I guess I'd explore those in a bit more depth. I'm in the process of making an online lesson with Lick Licklib rary. putting entry on Youtube etc) To be honest as I'd entered so late I didn't have the chance to formulate any ma ss voting promotion. My friend was browsing on the net. What are you're your opinions on the competition? Was it a good thing for guitar playing in general? Was it bigger or smaller than you thought it would be when you entered? I think Guitar Idol was a fantastic competition. If you enter again how will you improve on that? There are so many avenues of promotion on the net.com. I am also in the process of securing some pretty cool endorsement deals! Have you achieved any media coverage as a result of the competition? My Guitar Idol efforts were featured in a few regional newspapers and publicatio ns. I beli eve that in the coming years it will really spread its wings and turn into an ev ent that all the magazines will be raving about. It seems like it has been a whi le since the guitar and guitarists have been the focal point in a lot of people' s lives. mailing lists. Youtube. I think sometimes a selected panel of judges ca n look a little more deeply into the selection process. A few un expected hurdles' were encountered along the way but they were dealt with head on as soon as they arrived. But most of all.not to mention all the crazy forum activity! Everyday there would be something new up. It instantly caught my attention and I knew I had to be invo lved. Having a secure room during and after the competition would have been awesome as . the Guitar Ido l '09 organisers will know a lot more about what to expect and be one step ahead of the game this time. I reckon that Guitar Idol made a lot of players step up a gear . I told a few friends. What do you think could be improved upon for the next online Guitar Idol 2009? I thought the efforts of the Guitar Idol team this year were fantastic.

I would certainly consider entering agai n. It was awes ome being on the inside' of such a great music show as the London International G uitar Show. Will you enter again? Based on the awesome experience it was. I was really impressed with the speed and skill that the guys in the band lear ned everyone's track in such a short time .it was a great show! Did you see any of the star guitarists (Yngwie. It was certainly enough to have a decent crowd surf! When that's possi ble you know you have a good audience size! Which of the fellow contestants did you really rate? Each of the finalists had something which I thought was awesome. The Institute seemed to be a great place. I felt that I didn't play as well as I would have done had those initial problems not existed. Did you play well on the day of the show? What about the backing band? Due to the short amount of time for sound check on the actual performance mornin g and a few technical difficulties that go along with being the first on. However I enjoyed every minute of it. Paul Gilbert. Joe Satriani etc) play? I caught a few tracks by Guthrie Govan and Dave Kilminster who went straight on after the Guitar Idol performances. Unfortunately I had to scoot off pretty quick as I had a gig the same night as the finals over 250 miles away. Also dedicated sound checks for each of the contes tants would have enabled us all to feel a little more at ease. Dave Kilminster. Did you stay at a hotel on site or with friends? I stayed at a nearby hotel that overlooked London City Airport's runway! It was pretty rad seeing planes take off up so close! How did you find the rehearsals at The Institute of Contemporary Music? It was good to meet everyone in advance and the rehearsals were certainly vital.that would have allowed a lot of us to have a relaxed look around the show with out the burden of heavy gear.much respect! Did you meet the Alloutguitar and Licklibrary team? If so did you have a beer wi th them?! I met most of the guys from both. however it was pulled together pretty quick and no major harm was done. however I would have really liked to have a beer with everyone as they were top notch guys. I have been truly inspired by some of the fantastic gu itarists I met during the competition and it has opened a lot of doors for me. all the oth er finalists and the guys from All Out guitar were excellent people. Are you glad you entered? I am very glad I entered. What are your memories of playing at the Guitar Idol 2008 Final? My memories consist of the many great people I met during the event. Were you impressed by the size of audience or disappointed? I was very impressed at the amount of people that flooded in as soon as the door s opened. I was very insp ired by Danielle Gottardo's fluidity with his tapping technique and I thought Gu stavo DiPadua rocked out with the best of them. Both are fantastically awesome players and i t was brilliant to see them live. . it had a very nice musical vibe to it . Guthrie Govan. What was the London International Music Show like? All that gear and all those great players . As a band we encountered a little mix-up in the middle of the track.

and then I reckon I could certainly handle a country gig. On that topic. but then I'll practise overkill until it's not a weakness any more. I thought Guerra was t he right man. Other than that. Could you handle a country gig? If I had a country gig in the pipeline. I'd go home and learn every country lick I could . I think that sometimes my weakness is that I practise too much on one thing and end up going beyond doing my playing any good!! Do you think your physical playing technique is still getting better and better? Absolutely! However I do believe that the nearer you approach your limit on phys ical strength and speed that your physical technique may slow down its speed of improvement! I still that I have some distance to go before reaching my limit th ough. . What areas in your playing do you want to improve on? I would like to improve upon all aspects of my playing. It probably averages at about 2 hours a night. I dabble on various instruments but that's usua lly it. How proficient are you at music reading? Unfortunately not very much! Being self-taught it has never been a necessity or requirement. It's something that I'd like to be proficient in.. and if so to what level? I sing lead vocals on all the material that my band produces and we seem to get by pretty good. Did you see any of the Alloutguitar team playing at the stands? I caught a little of Nick Andrew's take on Flight of the Bumblebee'.. He was playi ng it with considerable skill and gave a great performance! Playing and Technique What are your strengths as a player? I have always preferred to have good melody and to retain the fact that the guit ar is a musical instrument and not an arm fitness tool! So I believe my strength s lie in melody and feel.so that is my next venture as regards to improving my technique. There is no harm in learning to read the language of music! Do you play any other instruments.. What are your weaknesses? I always discover weaknesses in my playing when listening back to recordings of myself. the days of me doing 6 hours a day are quite hard to achieve now.. Danielle Gottardo's use of 8 finger tapping was incredible . As said before. just a dabble! How much do you actually practise nowadays? Not as much as I'd like to! It seems like the more success you achieve from play ing guitar the less you play it! With admin and promotion demands taking up time . What is your ability like at playing over jazz' changes? It's not something I've really attempted seriously before. What do you think could be improved for the Guitar Idol 2009 live show? Just a chance for all the guys to have a dedicated sound check on the performanc e day and maybe a larger crew of helpers to shift gear on and off between finali sts.Do you think the eventual winner was the right man? For what the judges were looking for in this competition.

Sometimes nothing beats the spontaneity of just playing somethin g that sounds good. But I always strive to have a real sense of groove so my rhythm playting is very important to me: these are the main areas which I prefer to practise.maybe I'd have to top up my pla that area a little before-hand .What about a blues rock band? A lot of the r local club lped develop How about an I could ying in reckon What is material I played in my band in its early days of doing very regula gigs consisted of a lot of blues/rock tracks. and doing that has he how I am as a player these days. Melodic Rock Phrasing? Steve Lukather . Great stuff . I'd probably say that in most situations with myself I've done it in a reverse order.very melodic. using theory to explain something as opposed to using it as a tool to create. Who are your top players for the following techniques? Alternate/speed picking? Paul Gilbert String skipping? Eric Johnson Legato? Satch! Tapping? Mr Eddie Van Halen. and which I feel my playing concentrates on. sweep.. Extreme Technique? Bumblefoot is pretty crazy! Trem Use? Jeff Beck is the absolute musical master of trem technique! Rhythm Guitar? Nuno Bettancourt has an awesome funky rhythmic feel.and drop tune my guitar! .and a real influence of mi ne. I I'd cope OK! your knowledge of theory like . extreme Metal gig?! definitely lay down some serious metal . without abiding to rules.. Outside/Fusion Phrasing? Guthrie Govan seems to be incredibly versatile and outs ide/fusion phrasing seems to be something he does with incredible finesse. but I also use a lot alternate/speed picking as well as a a bit of that tapping. perfect phrasing with impr essive technique on his solos . yeah. Melodic Phrasing? Brian May Bluesy Phrasing? Stevie Ray Vaughan .and how much do you apply it? My knowledge of theory is something that is gradually growing as my playing is p rogressing. Do you still/have you ever used a metronome? .but. Sweep Picking? Yngwie Malmsteen.or a guy that played with Paul McCartney f or a while called Robbie Macintosh: when I heard his take on the Let It Be' solo during his time with McCartney's band in the early 90's it completely re-wrote t he meaning of bluesy phrasing and feel.particularly in songs like Rosanna'. Equally. legato a nd skipping stuff. how do you think your playing is in all of those categories? I think my playing focuses on Melodic Rock and Bluesy Phrasing.

What are your current top metronome speeds at (clean technique and honest answer s please!) at 16th notes (ie 4 notes per beat) and sextuplets (ie 6 notes per be at) do for scale sequences not chromatic runs! I'm not a Metromome junkie by any stretch of the imagination . I still regularly use a metronome. mixed and produced at my home studio. They are absolutely fanta stic guitars. Number one is a Musicman Silhouette Special (Blue) and the second is a Musicman Silhouette Standard (Silver). but I definitely should be. it has fallen off the side of the stage once. What are your main guitars? I have two main guitars. hi nt. For increasing speed. Gear & The Future What picks do you use? Dunlop Stubby 2mm What gauge strings and make do you use? I used to use 10-46'S. 2 meter fall. Hopefully a lot more people will know of and hear us in the not to distant future. I'm no t at present endorsed by Ernie Ball / Musicman. have wonderful tone and look great. hint! What effects/pedals do you use? My pedal board consists of a Boss TU-2 Tuner.I don't get that deeply involved. The band will be returning to the studio at the latter part of this year early n . but also accuracy and timing..I reckon the metronome is one of the best tools you can use to become a better p layer. just whacked it back on the cab and hey presto. they feel like a dream. I also have a few Clinics and Master Classes tha t I will be doing in the coming months. it r eally rocks and is rugged enough to withstand numerous falls and knocks.What are you plans now? We have a few very exciting plans in the pipeline with the band. So.I'm endorsed by DR strings.. my strings of choice. moving onto Gear and what the future holds for Jas Morris. They feel and sound great... Yes. Very versatile. a Mo rely Bad Horsie Wah and a Boss CE-5 Chorus What amps? My main amp is a Marshall TSL100 Head and a 1936a 4x12 cab. As far as myself is concerned.com by late Oct mid November. I have just returned from the Lick Library Studio s in London after recording a web lesson which is due for release on lick librar y.all of my CD releases by my band have been fully recorded. No damage at all. a Line 6 Delay Modeller DL-4. it was fine! Do you use computer recording? Very much so . What program/software? We use Cubase SX based on a Windows XP platform.. I am also in communications with a few companies regarding endorsement deals. Lets talk about the Future . Nowadays I prefer the nuances you can achieve from 9-42's .. but I can play the fast bit in my track Revelation' at about 180 -190 BPM.

I'm looking forward to its release and hearing it.jasmorris. How do you sell them? Gigs. 1 EP and a few compilation albums released. I had just turned 18 and didn't expect to win. How many recordings have you released? I currently have 4 albums. What's the proudest moment of your career to date? And why? Probably when I won Guitarist Of The Year in 2003 at the NEC. We've just supported legendary guitarist Stan Webb with Chicken Shack. Do you think being on the Guitar Idol album will help? I think any outlet to spread and promote real musicians music is a fantastic hel p. The a lbums generally feature a selection of instrumentals and songs.ext year for our next album release. When are your next gigs? Please check www. Considering the high quality of guitarists involved and the worldwide success of the Guitar Idol competition I'm sure it'll be very successful. are you planning on doing this? I am definitely considering on entering again. We all hope you will enter Guitar Idol 2009. So it's all depend ing on that really. Tickets are available via my websites. I was quite pleased with how it all turned out. Birmingham. .morrisbrothersband. Have got/you tried to get a record deal? It's probably the goal of a lot of aspiring artists . Fo llowing that we have a mini 3 date tour of the Cambridgeshire area planned for m id January next year (see web for update) and on the 31st January 2009 we will b e doing a real special headline show at the Exeter Phoenix in Devon. That was when I supported Wishbone Ash at their Annual Conven tion in Nottinghamshire in 2007. I remember bunking off college to finis h recording the track I used to enter with. Have you let all your fans know about the Guitar Idol album? Yes I have. What's the biggest audience you've ever played to? About 1500 people. The first album we released was back in 2004 and the latest was released last June.we (Morris Brothers Band) are currently in negotiations with a few people regarding a record deal. However I have a few things in th e upcoming future that may clash with it. website and numerous independent Record shops seem to be the best outlets for selling our albums. time schedule wise..com for updated gig lis tings.com or www.

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