The country superstar believes the guitar changed his life, and it can do so for many others.
If you’ve ever attended one of Brad Paisley’s explosive and energetic live concerts, you pretty much always go home with a huge smile on your face.
But lately, the Grammy Award-winner made his shows even more memorable for a select few lucky fans. Dating back to the start of the 2016 Life Amplified world tour, Paisley has given an audience member at each show the guitar off his back, picking one child out of the crowd and passing his just-played Fender Paramount acoustic guitar to them.
Each night, as Paisley made eye contact with the guitar’s recipient, he would make his message clear: “Take this guitar and learn how to play it.”
“I love the idea of starting a kid down the right path, or at least down a path like my grandfather showed me,” he said. “He taught me that learning to play an instrument will greatly enhance your life.
I think one of my favorite moments every night is when I get to give away a guitar. What’s been amazing is, the guitar that the kid is getting is better than the guitar I started with.”
Now, as Paisley continues on his Weekend Warrior World Tour, some fans might go home with one of his newest guitars—the Brad Paisley Signature Road Worn Telecaster.
Paisley worked closely with Fender to create his signature Tele, which boasts a lightweight paulownia core with spruce top and back, an eye-catching Road Worn Silver Sparkle finish and a custom-wound ’64 Tele bridge pickup and Twisted Tele neck pickup.
Needless to say, this Telecaster has plenty of country vibe, and Paisley will definitely have it close by when on the road.
“Out on tour you’ll see me playing one of these from time to time,” Paisley said. “I may even give a few away, because they’ve given me a few extras, and if there is the right kid on the right night and I get a sense that this is someone that needs this, they might get it.”
Paisley recently caught up with Fender to discuss his namesake Road Worn Telecaster, his love of the guitar and why getting others to play music is so important.
“I Was Heavily Involved [in the Guitar].”
“I picked everything from the wood that the body is made of to the pickup rating. We tested a bunch of different things with Fender, neck size and shape. This is like a, a soft ‘V’-neck, which I really like. Your hand isn’t a perfect ‘C’, so there’s something about ‘V’-necks that I’ve always loved. I also picked out, you know, the way it looks, the finish. This is based on a ’63 Tele that I have in this color. I can’t wait to see what people do with this instrument. It’s like what’ll be fun is if somebody says, ‘Hey, I wrote a song using your guitar.’”
“In My Case, the Guitar Gave Me an Entire Profession.”
“But no matter who you are, it’s going to enhance your life to learn how to play that instrument. Every time I hand a guitar away I say, ‘I want you to learn how to play this.”
”The Guitar is a Limitless Palette. You Can Create Anything You Want With It.”
“I don’t think anybody ever feels like they’ve mastered their craft. You really have to do the work. You have to first figure out the basics, but I always enjoy the process of trying to figure out who I am as a guitar player. I don’t care to copy that many people.”
“One Aspect of What I Think Is Important About Music Is People.”
“If you stand up and talk to people, they might listen or they might not. But if you have something you really want to say, make it rhyme and put a melody to it, you’ll have them.”
“Music Will Serve You in Life.”
“How tough are those breakups in high school or in junior high or college, when you’re searching and you haven’t found the right person yet? How tough is life in general? How tough is loss? And then there’s the things that you’re just happy about. The minute you pick this guitar up and you watch somebody light up or you get applause because of something you played, it’s addictive.”
By Mike Duffy (courtesy of fender.com)