Thank you for taking the time to talk to us.

My Pleasure, I have a long journey on a tour bus across Sweden today, so this and finishing a transcription gives me something to do!  

Who are your musical influences?

I started to play guitar very young, around 5 years old. My first influences were Brian May, Carlos Santana, Jimmy Page and Joe Walsh, mainly because of my father. I then discovered more progressive artists such as Yes, Genesis and Pink Floyd, David Gilmour become a huge influence, and someone that I have studied in depth with my transcribing and touring with the Australian Pink Floyd Show. I then discovered a UK guitarist called Francis Dunnery from a progressive/pop rock band called It Bites. He had an amazing legato technique, similar to Holdsworth and that's where a lot of my style came from. Van Halen also made a huge impact on my playing, as did many of the 80's "Shred" era guitarists such as Vai, Satriani, Jason becker, Greg Howe and Richie Kotzen. I also love Ty Tabor of Kings X, plus all of his side projects The Jelly Jam, and Platapus. These days I am still listening to progressive music, Dream Theater, Opeth, Floyd and lets not forget Hendrix and Jeff Beck!  


 
How did you discover Music Man guitars?

My first experience was seeing Steve Morse with his in a guitar magazine advert, I loved the 4 +2 machine head configuration. After that it was EVH, my dream guitar was an EVH model. I would stare at the window of a store in Denmark Street in London, at this row of every EVH available. I started getting more involved with guitar transcription and backing track work, and at the same time I got approached by Strings and Things (UK distributor) about doing some demo work. I had known the guys since I was pretty young. Eventually I got a contract from the US offering me a deal, that was 14 years ago, and I have been using the guitars ever since....I love them!

 

 

You well known in Australia for your transcribing work, how did you get into it?

Basically my guitar teacher Phil Hilborne, was well known for that in Guitarist Magazine, and also helped setup Guitar Techniques. I have always had good ears, I have perfect pitch, and he helped me to develop the skill, and helped me to understand written notation. Phil offered me my first transcribing job for GT, who I have been working for since 1996. He also introduced me to Total Accuracy, who later became Lick Library. I transcribed around 20 "Jam With" book and CD packages for them. l also got approached by Sanctuary, and wrote 3 book/CD packages for them Giants of Rock, Giants of Metal and Crash Course Electric Guitar. I have done over 70 instructional DVD's now for Lick Library, and have had transcription work also in Guitarist, Total Guitar and Guitar World.  

How long does it normally take to transcribe a song?

Depends on the track, when I did Altitudes by Jason Becker, it took over a week, I kept going back to it and re listening. I am working on Hotel California right now, and I guess fully transcribed that has taken a day in total. I have done 2 tracks in a day before. it just depends on the length of the track and how intricate or messy the playing is.



Would it be fair to say the English seem to be more relaxed in their approach to transcribing, as opposed to the Americans approach being at times overly accurate (including mistakes etc)?

I think the English are much more accurate that the Americans, sorry! I transcribed Mr Scary not long ago, and checked mine against one from an American Magazine that was sent to me, and we were quite different. I checked my version against a video of George and my fingerings were correct and also in some places some of the stuff in the US magazine just wasn't even there. I don't believe in transcribing mistakes, unless it adds a certain amount of authenticity or charm to the piece. At the end of the day, my job is to present a guitarists with an accurate, but playable piece of music

 
Have you ever had feedback from the Artists that you’ve transcribed?

Yes I have. I was blown away this year by a message I got from Jason Becker, he saw my transcription of Altitudes, and told me how accurate it was, and that I was one of the only people to have got his arpeggio fingerings correct. That gave me a huge sense of satisfaction. Pro Tone pedals now use my version of Altitudes to demo Jason's signature pedal!!

 

Besides teaching work, you’re in high demand for session work and I believe you've just scored a cool gig with Brian May?

Yes! Now that was a buzz. I played Hyde Park with Brian may the other week at the BBC Last Night of the Proms. We played to 50,000 plus several million listening and watching on BBC TV and Radio. Brian is one my hero's, and to work with him is amazing. He is such a gracious person to work with so humble, yet his sound and command of the guitar is incredible. I should be out on tour with Brian hopefully in the new year. I am currently on an Arena tour in Sweden called Champions of Rock, more Queen with Neil Murray (Whitesnake and Black Sabbath bassist), and my friend/teacher Phil Hilborne. When I return I am back to more studio work. I do quite alot of "Spotting", which is recording guitar on TV shows. I did all the guitar battles in a BBC cartoon called Freefonix, as well as playing on The Hustle (a BBC drama), and the Fixer (an ITV thriller). I also get the occasional bit of top 40 work. I played on a track a few years back called Rocket by an act called Braund Reynolds. It was a dance/rock cross over track that reached number 15 over Xmas 2005. It was used on loads of TV shows as well, so I did pretty well out of it. I have just sold a track of mine "Ceremony", an instrumental to EMI, for an album called Guitar Heros, which is aimed at TV and Movie producers so I prey it gets picked up and used.

How can we find more about you and purchase your music and lessons?

You can get my album from iTunes, Amazon, CD baby, Lick library. Simply go to www.jamiehumphries.com for details and links. I am also running 1-2-1 guitar lessons via webcam on skype. Its great! I am teaching people now from all over the world. I run it really high quality, and people who i could never normally see can have a lesson without leaving the house. You can find out more info on the lesson section of my site, and email me there. We are working on a new one click book and pay system on the site which will be up and running really soon.