Roy Buchanan was a blues guitarist known for his exceptional technical skills and emotive style of playing. He was born on September 23, 1939 in Ozark, Arkansas, and began playing guitar at a young age. Buchanan’s career as a professional musician began in the 1950s, and he went on to perform with a number of notable artists including Neil Young, The Byrds, and Lonnie Mack.
Buchanan was often referred to as a “guitar hero” due to his ability to coax a wide range of sounds and emotions out of his instrument. He was known for his use of the “tapping” technique, in which he used both hands to play the guitar, and for his signature vibrato and vibrato bar techniques. Buchanan’s playing was also characterized by his use of volume control, which allowed him to create a range of dynamic levels within his performances.
Despite his talent, Buchanan struggled to find commercial success during his career. He released several albums, but they did not receive widespread attention. Despite this, Buchanan remained a popular live performer, and his concerts were known for their energy and passion.
Roy Buchanan is known for using a number of different guitars throughout his career, but he is perhaps most closely associated with the Fender Telecaster. He was known for using a 1952 Fender Telecaster with a sunburst finish, which he referred to as “Nancy.” Buchanan modified this guitar with a Gibson PAF humbucking pickup in the neck position and a Fender Stratocaster pickup in the bridge position, which gave it a distinctive tone. He also used a number of other Telecasters over the course of his career, including a 1964 model that he played on his album “When a Guitar Plays the Blues.“
In addition to his Telecasters, Buchanan also used a number of other guitars throughout his career, including a Gibson ES-345, a Fender Stratocaster, and a Gibson Les Paul.
Buchanan’s influence on the blues genre is undeniable, and he has been cited as an inspiration by many guitarists who followed in his footsteps. His contributions to the art of guitar playing were recognized in 2005 when he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.
Buchanan died on August 14, 1988 at the age of 48, but his legacy as a blues guitarist continues to live on. His unique style and technical skill have cemented his place as a true pioneer of the genre, and his influence can be heard in the playing of many contemporary guitarists.