You Wanted to Get it Right, Let’s Get it Right

This video should be required watching for all musicians. If there was ever actually a class that taught you about actually making music and surviving practically in a tangible world as a musician; unfortunately, you have to learn that stuff through experience…and videos like this. In fact, ya…you know what? I’m doing it. This video is now hereby declared required watching in order to be a musician. The fact that I know how to play Stairway to Heaven (no stairway…denied!) gives me that authority, right? 😉

  • “I ain’t dyin’.”

I am now ending with this phrase every time I lose an argument.


  • “Leave the amp as I set it. That’s my amp, and I’m setting it the way I wish it.”

Ah, how many times have we wanted to say this to the singer. Or the sound tech at the hole-in-the-wall club. Or the worship leader. Or the drummer.


  • “And the way it’s going to sound if I am playing.”

This is actually quite true…individual touch has a good deal to do with tone. Have 3 people all sit and play a G chord on the same amp, guitar, and settings. It will more than likely sound surprisingly different.


  • “Don’t touch my amp.”

I think that’s pretty self-explanatory. 😉


  • “Why it’s being done is because it’s not recording well.”

If only more of us could get this. Sometimes our guitar tone needs to be ‘ruined’ coming out of the amp, so that it comes out well in the house or the recording. In a perfect world, yes, we would rewire the house system so that not so much tone is sucked, or bass is muddied, or whatever. But we don’t live in a perfect world, I’ve never played on a perfect house or recording system, and a little bump of the treble knob on the amp can go a long way in getting a good mic’d sound.


  • “It’ll be too much for you to sing and play the fills as well, right?”
    “Well it wasn’t.”

Best ever.


  • “The starts and stops is what we’re looking for.”

Oh my. So much wisdom here. As musicians, we tend to quite often overlook two of the most important areas of the song…the starts and stops. Those are the areas that make the song tight; and people who aren’t musicians notice that rhythmic tightness and ‘professional’ sound more than they notice almost anything else, including slightly pitchy vocals and wrong guitar notes.


  • “That slur starts…”

I would give my left delay pedal to be involved somewhere (and have the talent myself, haha) where we were that picky about the little parts of songs. Usually I’m just happy if I hacked through all the right chords. hehe The crazy thing is, you don’t really hear the difference at first. But when Keith finally nails it, you realize how much better it is to not play the initial up bend for that particular part.


  • “…if it takes me all niiiiiight and day.”

Love how Chuck picks on Keith’s guitar riff, so Keith picks on Chuck’s vocals. So classic, and so…uh…familiar. 😉 hehe


  • “You wanted to get it right, let’s get it right.”

I think that may now be my new musical motto. Not settling for “pretty good.” A little difficult in the real world, when you’re not two famous musicians recording on the studio’s dime. Especially in worship music…we’re on a limited time schedule, we don’t play the same songs every day, it’s mostly volunteers, and the music isn’t necessarily the overall goal. Still, something to strive for.


  • “(Words we are probably glad we cannot hear.)”

I love how mad Keith gets at himself when he can’t get the riff perfect. Makes me feel a little better about myself.


  • “(Silence.)”

The sound of Keith pulling the classic guitar player move, and messing with settings on his amp when he can’t get the riff right; as if they are to blame.


  • “Drrr-nrrr-er-nrrr-er-nrrrrr. (The sound of a beautifully nailed slur).”

To Keith’s credit though, as soon as he changes the settings on his amp, he nails the riff. It’s amazing how being happy with your tone can influence your playing. Also, it’s amazing how different settings on your gear can make such a difference in the different things you play. I really want to know my gear that well, and be able to make changes on the fly that fit any given part I’m playing.


So many incredibly useful things in this video. But most importantly, the passion they put into that song (well, all save for the piano player…haha…best looks ever), the release classic rock ‘n roll gives, and the gutsy beat-your-heart sound of being plugged straight-in to a cranked amp. This weekend, I happened to be at church all by myself after everyone had left one of the nights. Hmm. Plug straight in. Check. Flip the switch from 15 watts to 30. Check. Push in master volume knob to take it out of the circuit. Check. Turn up gain on EF86 channel until it breaks up into full harmonic bliss. Check. Play a few of the most gloriously swirling riffs and chords I’ve heard in a long time. I’m literally still pulling my heart out of my throat. Those of you who have the right-sized church, club, or home that’s not an apartment in which to do this on a regular basis, I envy you. And go do it right now. 🙂

I ain’t dyin’.


35 thoughts on “You Wanted to Get it Right, Let’s Get it Right

  1. lol this video is great. I love the Keith Richards is drinking a beer the whole time. I feel like church practices would go better if I had access to beer the whole time.

    It is so interesting to see two greats like this working together. You can see how each wants it perfect and they each have their own idea of what that means! Great entertainment and lessons learned.

  2. i think this is part of the Rolling Stones documentary that I saw on TV long time ago … it was fun watching them go at each other LOL

    I can’t be mad like Keith when he couldn’t pull the the lick right away, otherwise, I’ll just be mad at myself all the time! 🙂

  3. Josh:

    lol this video is great. I love the Keith Richards is drinking a beer the whole time. I feel like church practices would go better if I had access to beer the whole time.
    It is so interesting to see two greats like this working together. You can see how each wants it perfect and they each have their own idea of what that means! Great entertainment and lessons learned.

    Getting it right seems to be a big deal to musicians. It took me a while to figure out why when I first started out. I found that people may not notice when you are right, but just about everyone will notice when you are wrong.

  4. I’ve had moments like this. Also, Chuck Berry’s tone sound pretty good–me thinks it’s his attack.

  5. dude, where do you FIND this stuff? Just awesome, how cool would it be to see more behind the scenes rehearsal stuff from other bands? I also like how you can really see the fire is still in Chuck’s eyes. He’s still 20 years-old and playing to packed dance halls with no PA in his mind…

  6. This video is fantastic! Imagine all the musical wisdom you would soak up just from being around Chuck Berry in a recording session. And yea “You wanted to get it right, let’s get it right.” Is probably gonna be used by me in the near future. lol

  7. Josh–for sure! They both know what they want, but end up being able to both rock anyway. 🙂

    Rhoy–oh, that’d be cool to see the whole thing! Ya, and it was such a subtle difference on the riff…but totally made it!

    Shawn–I think everyone has their own personal line of what’s acceptable and what’s not. For most of us, an out of tune chord is unacceptable, but a stop a sixteenth of a beat too late is fine. However, it’s amazing when you actually get those little things right…all of a sudden everything else you’ve been doing starts to sound wrong to the audience or congregation. All in my humble opinion, of course. 🙂

    Caleb–ya, I really dug his tone in this video. Nice and raw, but still thick.

    Mark–awesome point! I totally agree! And my dad sent this to me. He’s quite a tasteful musician, as well as quite a Stones fan. 🙂

    Nate–haha You should just go for it!! 😀

    Zach–same here! And ya…I’d give anything to hang out with either one of those guys in the studio for just an hour!

    Gtr1ab–hehe Me too!!

  8. I really liked how the other musicians in the room were just waiting on Chuck and Keith. If one of them started playing the riff the drummer and piano were right there playing their parts. Now if only I could get the starts and stops right I think the stuff in the middle will fall in to place.

  9. It looks like after the first couple of times Keith messes up that slur Chuck says something to him and then after that Keith plays the first part of the riff and Chuck comes in and plays the slur. Watch form about the 4:10 mark.

    • Yeh I thought that too – Chuck plays the slur through most of the final version of the song.

      Awesome video. Those old blues/rock guys really can play!

      Also like Josh’s idea of beer at music prac. That would be great… at least until some gets spilt on the stage carpet!
      I have changed our worship team leadership meetings now so we now have them at the local tavern – that’s a step in the right direction for sure!

  10. Now that was funny. Truthfully I think Keith should stick to acting like a pirate in movies.

    “give my left delay pedal” Which one of the five on the left?

  11. Whats cool about this is Chuck shows us all how that riff actually goes you rarely here it correct and now we know that the slur starts on the up….

    I actually like that part when he says “well it wasn’t”

    • I found this video on my own a couple days ago and watched all 9 parts, what a coincidence huh. lol. But yea its a fantastic seminar, I would of loved to of been there. John Mayer is really smart musicly and it shows when he teaches on it. I love how open he is about all the topics, especially about making it big, Its great to hear some honesty from an artist who pretty much just fell into the gig.

    • I bought “Where The Light Is” on DVD and CD after watching it–been enjoying Mayer lately. Also got a Jimi Hendrix documentary too. I’ve been a on a guitar heroes kick lately.

  12. My church put in iso cabs back stage a couple of weeks ago. Last week, we were practicing and I hit my boost pedal and the volume out of the mains didn’t change. I asked the sound man if he could reduce the amount of compression he had on my channel. He said he didn’t have any on it. Ha! I had my amp pretty much cranked and it pushed it into natural tube compression. I hadn’t heard that in church…well…ever. Infinite sustain and harmonics out the wazoo. Very nice….uh….Splendid in fact.

    • we have isolation cabs too. I don’t love the sound that I hear in my in ears but I love that I can control how much I can hear of everyone else and I love that the congregation gets my amp how it’s supposed to sound and not just me hearing it on stage.

      • The guitarist in my church never gets heard! He is incredible, but he never gets turned up…It would sound so much better.

        I feel like saying something, but they might think I am trying to be a now-it-all…afterall, I’m just the electric guitar player for the youth band. (The youth band has it cranked though! haha)

  13. Don–hahaha 😉

    Justin–is that a young Steve Jordan?! Oh, that would put this video into the legendary category! 😀

    Dave–ya, great point. Pretty awesome!!

    WideAwake, KennyG, and Zach–haha I think I have that video posted on here somewhere. It’s called ‘Don’t Mess with Keith.’ Best video ever!! Thanks for posting that!

    Dan W–oh, you might be right! I went back and watched again, and I can’t tell for sure if Chuck’s playing it, or just really into making sure Keith gets it right. Very interesting…

    Randy–lol On a few different points!

    And you’re right…there’s a couple delay pedals on the left. haha

    Sal–me too!! He says it so perfectly…

    Caleb–oh, cool! I’ll watch that in just a sec. Thanks!

    Mark–envy. That’s all I can say. 😀

    Although, I do like having my amp on stage with me. So then there’s the question…cranked amp where you have to hear it through monitors only, or toned down amp but it’s on stage with you? Not sure where I stand…

  14. I fought the whole iso thing…but the powers that be won out. However, our sound system and sound people are top notch and really make sure that my tone is coming through in both the in-ears and the mains.

    You used to have your speaker cab in a closet at one of the churches you served at….right? Was it difficult for you to get used to? It was for me the first week…. cause nothing beats the feel and sound of a 4×12 flapping your jeans in the winds of tonal bliss.

  15. We recently put the amps in a back room. I was taking a passive stance. I use the fx loop on my amp and both channels so I told them I need 4 40 foot cables for it to work. They bought them so I couldn’t really argue!

  16. Baggas–hmm, you may be right! 🙂 Watching it again.

    Mark–gotcha. Ya, I used to do the closet thing, too…and still will at certain churches (few and far between). The main problem, besides the obvious lack of feel that you just won’t be able to get around, is if you don’t have extremely gifted sound crews like you mentioned. When I used to do it a few years back at my home church, we had improperly set up Aviom’s, and I ended up hacking through everything because there was no sustain and I thought my guitar wasn’t carrying.

    Josh–wow, they were serious! There are so many great mods these days that can allow amps to sound good at low volumes…is it really that things are too loud on stage, or is that pastors watch Mars Hill’s Vimeo channel, so no amps on stage, and hence decide that that is the only way to do things? I’m not trying to make a statement here, just curious as to the reasoning at individual churches.

    Mark–ya, that’s a really nice way to do it. Then you can still channel switch and make adjustments. 🙂

  17. for us at my church our room is too small and too “live”. As in big windows and boomy acoustics. When we started going all direct the difference for the congregation was remarkable. The only place it sounded better was to me playing guitar. For me to refuse a change like that because “i’m not as comfortable” IMO would be extremely selfish considering the difference (for my situation) was huge for the congregation.

  18. This. Is. Wonderful. There’s nothing as frustrating as working with someone to get something right, and I absolutely love that some of the greats feel that, too, maybe even moreso than we do because they know exactly how they want it. Awesome.

  19. Sorry, I can’t respond to everyone as there’s too many threaded ones for me to keep track of! But for these below ones:

    Dan W–I definitely agree on the selfishness thing. In the end, it’s not about us. 🙂 I’d probably go with a 1/2 watt amp first out of an 8 inch speaker, but I’m also crazy. hehe Respect for what you did!

    Brandon–agreed! 🙂

    Ben–I totally felt the same way watching it! They’re frustration made me feel so much better! haha

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