Duane Roland of Molly Hatchet fame was a big supporter of Rhythm, Art, and Groove magazine published monthly out of Cambridge, Ohio. Duane wanted to write a column for the magazine and he thought that an "Ask Duane" column would work where musicians or fans could ask him questions about the music business. This was Duane Roland’s first column as it appeared in the July 2006 Issue of Rhythm, Art, and Groove. Sadly, Duane passed away between handing in his column and the street date of the magazine. He never got to see the column and unfortunately, the column ended up being part of a tribute to Duane. Here is Duane’s column….
ASK DUANE …. Q & A with Duane Roland
RAG would like to welcome our newest monthly columnist…Duane Roland (former Molly Hatchet guitarist and current guitar player for Gator Country). Duane will do his best to answer any music related questions RAG readers would like to submit. Send your questions to "Ask Duane" at …..
I’m a beginner guitar player. What should I learn first?
Duane: I would suggest to first learn basic guitar chords. You can learn from a book, or take lessons. Just learn to get around on the guitar easily. I played drums in a teen club band and one day the second guitar player did not show for practice, and I asked the lead guitar player to show me a few chords. Two weeks later he quit playing. If you have a natural ability, you can go at it on your own. I got very lucky in that music ran in my family.
My son wants to start playing guitar. Should I pay for lessons or let him learn himself?
Duane: Some basic lessons would not be a bad thing. Again, if he starts to show a natural ability, I would let him go at it on his own. I've never paid for lessons, and I got lucky. If he really wants this, he will make it happen. I think that sometimes it's better for his creative side, to not be too influenced by any one person. The one person that made me want to play was Johnny Winter, but that was just me. I was at West Palm Beach Festival, I think it was 1969, and he was catting across the stage with those pink fingers just ripping, that's when I said I want to do that. Been working at it ever since.
I want to upgrade my guitar. Some people suggest Fenders; others Gibsons. What are the differences?
Duane: It's like "Do I want to drive a Chevy or a Ford?" I have played and enjoyed both. My first guitar that I bought was a Fender Stratocaster, I was playing that when I was asked to join Hatchet. But have leaned towards Gibsons lately. My fav is the Flying V's. The best thing to do is go to the local music store and try each and see what feels best in your hands.
I've been playing guitar for several years. What is the best way to preserve my calluses?
Duane: Don't go swimming before you play. Keep your hands dry and practice, practice, practice. I have a problem with that same thing. I tear my fingers up pretty often. I have even used that stuff called Liquid Skin on my fingers..came off after the first song. Practice...
Feel free to ask any questions, I'll do my best to answer....Duane. Also, please check my website....www.GatorCountryRocks.com...Thanks....