92 PREMIER GUITAR NOVEMBER 2009 www.premierguitar.com
Fender Buddy Guy Signature Custom Shop
Stratocaster, blonde finish, Fender Noiseless
pickups, serial number 0042.
Fender Mexican black and white Buddy Guy
Signature Polka Dot Stratocaster, Fender
Jerry Jones Electric Sitar
Martin JC Buddy Guy Signature
Buddy has also been known to use a
Telecaster on occasion.
Two Chicago Blues Box Buddy Guy Signature
amps, built to replicate the look and tone of
a vintage Fender Bassman, both with four
10" Jensen speakers and fitted with Groove
Tubes. Buddy turns everything up full, except
the bass, which is cranked down. He also
uses Fender Vibroverb, Twin Reverb and
Bassman reissues, depending upon what’s
available from backline rental companies.
Dunlop Buddy Guy Signature Wah.
Shure UR-4D Wireless.
Radial JD- 7 Signal Splitter.
Ernie Ball strings .011–.048.
Dunlop medium triangular picks imprinted
with Buddy’s name.
Jodi Head guitar straps.
Vic Firth 5A drumsticks (used for birdlike
effects on the strings).
[The author wishes to thank Buddy’s tech, the very friendly and gracious Gilbert Garza, and
Are there any young blues guitarists you like?
Buddy’s Remy Martin Cognac for their combined help in preparing this article.]
John Mayer and I are the best of friends. I know
he had a lot of pop hits, but he’s a blues player
at heart. He played on my last record, with
Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi. There’s a
10-year-old kid named Quinn Sullivan who can
really play guitar. We’re making a record on him
right now. I brought him onstage one night,
and he sat with B.B. and I and matched every
one of our licks. You’ve got to hear this kid.
Do you have any advice for young
guitarists who want to pursue a
career playing blues today?
Don’t ever put the guitar down; just keep playing it. I used to put my guitar down in the corner
and stare at it when it got too hard or I’d get
frustrated, but then I’d pick it up and start again.
You can’t give it up. If you believe in yourself and
the music, then do it until you are successful.
Growing up in Louisiana, coming to Chicago
dead broke and hungry, through the tough
years and finally to well-deserved stardom
today with all the benefits, did you ever
think your life would turn out this way?
No, man. I could never see that far ahead. I’m
very lucky to be where I am today. I can’t read
or write music at all, and people used to tell
me I had to learn scales and all this technical
stuff, but I never did. If you have heart and soul
and believe in what you’re doing, keep doing
it. I figured I’d get a job, play a little guitar and
someday retire. I didn’t see no future in playing
the guitar. But things happened that I didn’t
plan, and it was a once-in-a-lifetime deal for
me. I still don’t think I’m good enough.
The Buddy Guy Signature Wah pedal from Dunlop