ELP's Greg Lake
Although ELP guitarist Greg Lake is known primarily as one of the worlds premier bassplayers, he still stocks a collection of acoustic guitars for songwriting purposes in his townhouse near London or at his new house on the south coast of England.
I write at home on my Martin 000-45 which I found in Nashville, Greg notes. Its a late 50s model and the guy who sold it to me had arthritis, so its almost like new. I also have a Martin 00-45 and the Martin New Yorker as well as my Gibson 2000 that I played Lucky Man on. I also write with my Steinway piano.
I dont really practice on my own with the bass, though, because I dont find it very rewarding. Bass guitar is an instrument that has to be played in relation to other instruments. Its really supporting and not very colorful on its own.
Greg suggests, however, when you are first learning to play bass that you do sit down on your own and commit yourself to mastering the basic techniques. But the sooner you can get to play with other people, thats the real education. I had a guitar teacher for a year when I was very young who put me on the right path, but the first thing I did when I was able was to join a band.
His first bass guitar was a Fender Jazz Bass and his first acoustic a Hofner President. Most of Greg Lakes current electric guitars are custom-built by Alembic. Greg has a six-string, a twelve-string, an eight-string bass, and a four-string bass, all with specially designed inlays. The latest addition to his Alembic basses is a set of LEDs Light Emitting Diodesplaced at intervals along the neck which light up so he can see fret positions in the dark when he is performing on stage.
On the road at the time, Greg Lake fondly recalled his collection of guitars at home. His first bass was a Fender Jazz Bass. Left, an Alembic custom.