Fender signature artist Eric Johnson returns to the cover of Guitar Player magazine’s March 2011 issue. As its inside six-page spread notes, it was after his appearance on the cover of their December 1982 issue that Johnson ascended to the rarified realms of guitar greatness that he continues to occupy nearly 30 years later.
The article highlights Johnson’s latest studio album, Up Close, and includes a breakdown of each of its tracks by the famed guitarist. For instance, Johnson reveals that the song “Traverse” includes 16 or more recorded guitar parts!
Since he mostly used an array of Fender Strats to record the album, GP threw out a question about whether the Strat the best solidbody electric guitar ever made?
“Conceptually it really is in terms of being able to cover as many bases as possible,” answers Johnson. “The stock models from 50 years ago don’t really work for me as is, so I like to change them up a little — but you have three pickups that can range from bass-y to treble-y, with several different rhythm sounds and two good lead sounds. I find it easier to get a good lead tone from a single-coil than to get a good rhythm tone from a humbucker. Some instruments can do specific things better, but as a universal instrument that works as a tonal home base it is best. And you could say that about old Fender Twins and Twin Reverbs, too. If I had to, I could play an entire gig on one of those, and I can’t say that about many other amplifiers.”