Great Guitarist – Keith Richards

Keith Richards, born on 18 December 1943 in Dartford, Kansas, is the only child of his parents. His mother from the very beginning gave Richard the encouragement to pursue music as a career, but his father was never supportive of it. Richard also got inspiration from his grand father Augustus Theodore Dupree, who toured Britain as part of a jazz band. His mother gave him a guitar at a very early age which gave him a direction to follow.

Incidentally, his Rolling Stones fellow Mick Jagger was his class mate in Wentworth Primary School where they became good friends, but had to part as Keith’s family shifted in 1954. Keith joined Dartford Technical School for about 5 years where his unique talent was spotted by the choirmaster. In 1959, due to regular absence from classes Keith was expelled from the school, and later joined the Sidcup Art College where he devoted his energies to becoming a master guitarist. Here he along with his friends worked hard at his guitar skills till late night and had to take the help of drugs to remain in his senses to be able attend the classes in the morning.

In 1961, on one fateful morning Richards hit upon his old friend Mick Jagger when they stepped into the same carriage and recognized each other. Both of them having common interest in music stuck together and Jagger invited Richards to join his band ‘Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys’ with a friend Dick Taylor. Soon the three of them joined Brian Jones and Ian Stewart to start the legendary rock band “The Rolling Stones” and thus, Richards embarked upon a journey of music and fame of which he never dreamt of. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills 

Richards was largely influenced by Chuck Berry through the course of his career, while Jimmy Reed and Muddy Waters were the source of inspiration behind his style of lead and rhythm guitar. He played with Brian Jones, Mick Taylor and Ronnie Woods through different periods in the band but describes time spent with Woods as special. Richards normally plays with open tunings, which allow for syncopated and ringing I-IV chording which he has exhibited in the tracks “Street Fighting Man” and “Start Me Up”.

Keith often favors a five-string variant of open G tuning inspired from Don Everly using GDGBD supported by a monotone low 6th string which is felt striking on many Rolling Stones tracks, including “Honky Tonk Women”, “Start Me Up” and “Brown Sugar”. Although Richards mainly employs standard tuning he describes the adoption of open tunings as a “rebirth” to his musical career. At that stage Richards even experimented with Slide guitar, a technique mastered by Brian Jones.

Along the way Richards continued his solo music as well and also contributed with vocals and song writing to the Stones. Since the album, ‘Between the Buttons’, Richards has featured his vocals in every album contributing to many hit tracks. He alongside Jagger wrote many songs that hit the top-ten charts. Richards has always believed that a song written by two persons is better than one written by only one. Richard released his first solo track in 1978 but generally refrained from working other than his band mates. But after Jagger decided not to accompany the Rolling Stones to a tour in 1986, he formally started to work on his solo music. Next year Richards joined forced with X-pensive Winos to release several hit tracks in the coming future.

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