The Fastest Guitar Player in the World!
Band: John Taylor
By: Mohsen Fayyazi - 2012-02-17
John Taylor also known as "Dr. Hot Licks" is a guitar teacher from Colorado but not the usual kind of teacher, He is the FASTEST GUITAR PLAYER IN THE WORLD! John set a new world record for speed on the guitar in both the Guinness Book of World Records and in the Universal Records Databank.
The previous world record was held by Tiago Della Vega, a Brazilian rock guitarist. He set the record in 2008 by playing the “Flight of the Bumblebee” at 340 bpm But Dr. Hot Licks played it at an amazing 600 bpm. The song is originally played at 170 BPM and the piece can hardly be recognized anymore as the music is played at 600bpm but i believe the technical proficiency is great.
JZ: When you did start playing guitar? And how did you choose this instrument?
JT: I started playing when I was just under 3 months away from turning 14. My dad is also a guitar player. He had stopped playing for a while and put his electric in my closet for storage and my mom suggested I ask him to teach me to play it. At the time it was just a "what the hell, why not?" kind of thing. The main thing I wanted to learn how to play was the main riff of Machine Head by Bush.
JZ: How much do you practice per day? Can you tell us more about your typical 24hour day?
JT: I hardly ever practice anymore. The first half of my day I'm typically at my job teaching guitar and bass. Then I go home to be with my soon to be wife for a few hours. After she goes to bed for work in the morning I'll head out to the gym to work out so hard that I'll nearly puke.... seriously, the last two times I finished my weight training I felt like I was going to vomit! Then I'll come home and answer e-mails and look at a few things online before going to bed and doing it all over again. Sometimes throughout the day I may work on a new piece of music. That's about all the "practice" I do; just getting a new song perfected. I don't run up and down scales like I used to or have religious metronome sessions anymore.
JZ: Who influenced you as a Guitar player in your career?
JT: Iron Maiden, Helloween, Mercyful Fate, Slayer, Morbid Angel, Opeth, Buckethead, Yngwie Malmsteen, Type O Negative, Summoning, Stratovarius, Cryptopsy, Darkthrone, In Flames. I may be forgetting some names at the moment, but that's about right. Maiden is the biggest influence.
JZ: You succeeded in setting a new world record for Fastest Guitar Playing, but can you tell me what is(are) the reason(s) of your success?
JT: Hard work and determination. It sounds cliche but that's really it.
JZ: Can you tell us what techniques you use for playing fast guitar?
JT: Alternate picking is a must. Practicing to the point of pain to help develop more muscles is also important to do; this also goes hand in hand with training with weights. Without the muscle you just won't have what you need in order to play that fast.
JZ: Tell me how you felt when you broke that record! What was the feedback that you got from people?
JT: It felt fantastic! I was shaking and in tears when I got the news. It didn't seem real and still doesn't. Most people I talk to are very positive and supportive of what I've done. There are of course the usual people online who just have to be jerks about any kind of achievement one makes for themselves, but it's not too bad from what I've noticed.
JZ: Do you have any plan to set a faster record in the future?
JT: By the end of the year I think I will submit 700 bpm to Record Setter. I don't intend on doing anything for Guinness any time soon or possible ever again because of how difficult it is to get anything done with them.
JZ: Tell me about your guitar school, especially about your goals and your wishes!
JT: Dr. Hot Licks' School of Guitar is my business. I teach guitar and bass, and my friend, Brent Boutte', teaches drums. I'm also working on getting students for one of my students so he can start teaching too. We specialize in teaching rock and metal. I've started working on instruction books to sell digitally and will eventually accompany them with video footage as well. Aside from making myself financially comfortable through this business I hope to inspire people to be the best musicians they can be and help create new and original music.
JZ: Tell me about the "SIK PIK", who designed it and what's the reason behind you using that special pick?
JT: Frank is the man behind Sik Pik. He contacted me after watching my world record video and asked if I would like to try out his product. It took me a week of using the pick to get used to it's unique design, but I'm hooked on them now. Playing with a traditional flat pick just doesn't feel right anymore.
JZ: Do you have any plans to form or join a band?
JT: I'm already in the band Envinity. We're talking about being ready to play shows again and should be ready to start booking come January 2012.
JZ: How do you see yourself 10 years from now?
JT: Hopefully I will still be the fastest on the planet for playing guitar. My business will be known worldwide and I will be financially comfortable with plenty of free time to pursue more creative endeavors such as writing and recording my own music, and perhaps get into web comics. I had also better be one ripped and large bodybuilder!
JZ: How much do you know about Metal music in the Middle East? Are there any Metal bands from Middle East that you like?
JT: I've been told in some areas that metal is illegal. The only band I know of that seems promising is Arsames.
JZ: Any final words?
JT: Thank you for the interview!