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Jimmy Crabtree



Getting started: Originally from Ohio, Jimmy began playing guitar in 1979. He joined his first band in 1981, called Voyager. Their first gig was at an arcade/pool hall, and the pay was free soda. The passion for writing and recording began around the same time. Over the years he has studied music theory from various books at libraries, and has always been interested in learning different styles and techniques. Whether it's the fun of learning a cool riff, checking out a new gtr., or hearing a great band, it's all part of the motivation.

Gear owned over the years:

Acoustic guitars: Go-Go "student" model, Hofner 12-string, Charvel, and an Ibanez A/E.
Electrics: Telestar, Fender Musicmaster, (4) Fender Strat models, PRS, and a "customized" Kramer.
Amps: Telestar, Holmes, Peavey Heritage, Peavey Stereo Chorus, and a Peavey Studio Pro 40.
Effects: Maestro Fuzz-Tone, DigiTech Whammy II, Morley Wah, Boss CS-3, Boss Flanger BF-2, DOD DFX9, and a Mesa/Boogie V-Twin.
Gigs: "On most weekends, I'm playing the clubs doing covers. It's a mix of country, blues, and classic rock. In order to stay booked, you have to play what the audience and club owners want. This will apply to volume too. It's really cool (and important) to throw in an original from time to time, though. Depending on the club, will depend on how much of your own material you are allowed to play." 
Teaching: "I've taught music for about 8 1/2 years. Teaching can be very rewarding and a lot of fun, especially trying to answer some of the questions. The main thing is getting your point across, and having patience. Since there is always something new to learn though, I want to always remain a student, too. It's important to take advantage of any new ideas, to "sharpen" your axe skills."
Industry: Worked at Al's Music Service learning musical instrument repair with Al Burnside (Oak Hill, W.V.)
Being a musician: "Stay focused and trust in yourself. Only play if you love it, work to develop your own style, and always try to be original. Believe in what you play, and your playing can be unbelievable."

Info: Awarded a scholarship to Atlanta Institute of Music, based on a demo tape sent to A.I.M. and Nite Driscoll. Appeared in Guitar World, Guitar FTPM, and Guitar Player magazines in Oct. 1993, Oct. 1994, and Oct. 2005. Won first place with Terry Gunther and the Ramblin' Band, at a local talent show. Released two independent records: The Draw (Connection) and String Stew. Performed on a taped program for the Fort Hood, Tx. television station. Received airplay on numerous radio stations around the U.S., with an original song on Utopia Network's "The Instrumentals Of Rock" program. Performed live on WTNJ radio.                                            

Influences: Eddie Van Halen, Steve Morse, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Chet Atkins. "When I started playing, groups like Rush, Molly Hatchet, ZZ Top, Dire Straits, AC/DC, and Lynyrd Skynyrd were an inspiration and influence too. To me, an influence can either be a playing style, technique, or just attitude."

Has worked with these bands: Voyager, Strike III, Borderline, Countdown, Terry Gunther, Clear Creek, Randy Gilkey, Southern Draw, Citizen Kain, George Whittaker II, The Draw, Riverchase, Bitter Creek, Brooklyn Bottom, County Line, Overpass, and Buddy Allen's Cheat River.

Has opened for these artists with different bands: David Frizzell, Bill Anderson, Stonewall Jackson, Lone Star, Ty Herndon, Dan Seals, Connie Smith, Billy "Crash" Craddock, Highway 101, Marshall Tucker Band, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Eddie Raven, Confederate Railroad, Johnny Staats, Kentucky Headhunters, and The Amazing Rhythm Aces.

Has done session work at these studios: Media Productions, Nova Tech, Fence Post, MacArthur Bark, Dream Mountain, E & D, and Moonlight.

Favorite Artists/Bands: Steve Morse, Van Halen, Def Leppard, G3, Greg Howe, Dokken, Ratt, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Heart, Journey, Jake E. Lee, Vinnie Moore, Al DiMeola, Jimi Hendrix, Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Andres Segovia, Miles Davis, Brad Paisley, and Johnny Hiland-just to name a few.

Practice tips: "The traditional way to practice scales is to start on the root note, stay within the octave, and play each note until you reach it's octave. Here is a different way of working on your scales. The idea is to go "outside" the standard position and pattern of a scale. This helps in learning the fretboard better, and is a good exercise for stretching, accuracy, and string skipping.
 One example is to play the G major scale: G, A, B, C, D, E, F#, and G. Start by playing the G note on the 6th string/3rd fret. Now things change. Next, play the A note on the 4th string/7th fret. Next, the B note on the 5th string/2nd fret. The C note on the 3rd string/5th fret. The D note on the 5th string/5th fret. The E note on the 3rd string/9th fret. The F# note on the 4th string/4th fret. Finally, the G note on the 2nd string/8th fret. You have now spanned two octaves! Now, try descending with the same pattern. Make sure to rotate your picking.
 Another way to practice is using "one minute drills." Play a riff or exercise for one minute straight without any stops. This helps to develop endurance. Using a metronome is very helpful too. Always start slow, and work to gradually increase speed. Keep in mind, the two components of timing are, rhythm and tempo. Timing is instinctive, but it is a skill that can improve with practice.
 All the best, have fun, and make the most out of every session."

Reviews. Located on the "message board" at this link: 


MP3's of originals. "You'll Always Be A Part Of Me" and "Both Sides Of Pain" were written by Connie Williams. Jimmy wrote the other tunes, and played all guitars and bass. Rob Hull is on drums. Connie is on vocals.


You'll Always Be A Part Of Me

Talkin' Ain't Workin'

Advancing The Non-retreatable Exit

I'm A Drifter

Both Sides Of Pain

Bumble Bee In Flight


Sunset Hero