Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Use of The Echo-Box in Guitar Solos

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Posted: 19 May 12, 07:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'm no technical guitar junkie, but I was just wondering if the experts on here could tell me whether Brian was the first with the echo-box guitar solo. Assuming this was already an established technique, can anyone also tell me know else used it beforehand and who was the first with technique.
Thanks for your help in advance.


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Posted: 19 May 12, 09:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I know Andy Scott of the Sweet was using an echo box in the very early seventies. Bands like Queen and Sweet with only one guitarist needed to fill out the sound and both Brian and Andy would regularly be heard playing with themselves at live gigs. It was in use 10 years earlier though. Hank Marvin used an echo box on the first Shads album recorded at Abbey Road. October 1960 the album was started and it was completed early 1961. BUT!!!!! Hank was given the echo box by JOE BROWN. So he had it before Hank. Hank's use of it made manufacturers increase production as it became more popular.

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Posted: 19 May 12, 11:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

it depends what youre thinking of when youre thinking of the use of echo or delay.

As Hat has pointed out,the use of echo was around a long time before Brian, however, what Brian did was too modify an Echoplex by increasing the delay time.The Echoplex was a tape echo machine, by fitting a longer tape rail and therefore a longer tape it produced delay rather than short echoes, which had never been done live before. using the longer delay sound Brian was able to play harmony and counter point melodies live on stage, at the time this was unique to him. the most obvious solo being Brighton Rock but the effect was also used on March Of The Black Queen, Keep Yourself Alive,White Man its late and a number of others.

Before Brian maybe the nearest effect to what BM used was Jimmy Page during Dazed And Confused however he used a standard echo time of about 600 mls and the effect wasnt a harmony line.



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Posted: 19 May 12, 13:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'm intrigued by the fact the technique was used on Tenement Funster which is Rogers song. Did Roger ask Brian to use echo or did Brian have free reign to do what he liked? Don't suppose we will ever know.

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Posted: 20 May 12, 00:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Great stuff! Thanks for the info guys. That really puts it in a good historic context with Hank Marvin and Joe Brown as much earlier users of the technique) yet also highlights Brian's significant advancement on stuff like Brighton Rock through the use of delay and those harmony and counterpoint melodies. (Now why doesn't that surprise me?)

I was thinking that Andy Scott had used echoes or something like it at around the same time on a live version I have of the track "Done Me Wrong Alright"), but I had not made the connection with Jimmy Page and Dazed and Confused a few years earlier. Although it seems rather obvious now in hindsight.

Must go and play Tenement Funster again and listen for the effect.


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Posted: 20 May 12, 02:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Pink Floyd anyone?...

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Posted: 20 May 12, 10:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Love Pink Floyd Marcos. It definitely seems like it might be their sort of thing too. But are there are any particular tracks yp which you are specifically referring?

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Posted: 21 May 12, 02:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think much of the earliest multitrack recording was done by Les Paul who didnt use delay as such, but the multiple versions of his guitar doubtless inspired Brian to later attempt similar effects using delay
Paul layered many guitars together after inventing the multitrack tape recorder, he was probably the person who inspired most of Brian's generation of guiatrists to try new sounds.


"It is better to sit in silence and have people think you're a fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt"
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Posted: 21 May 12, 10:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

think there's also some very early guitar-echo stuff that went on in "telstar" that the band (the tornados) didn't like...but joe meek went ahead with...he was a bit of a techno and miles ahead of his time....think he basically fed signals back thru signals back thru more signals in cluding guitars and keyboards...and all done in his studio flat in 1960...listen to the track...some of the "ideas" are amazing


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Posted: 22 May 12, 09:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

brENsKi knows it.. Watch this flic if you get the chance! 

A bit off topic, but totally worth it :)




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Posted: 26 May 12, 09:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hi Togg
Thanks for that. I knew of Les Paul but not a lot of about him.

Hi Benski and Dane
Interesting stuff on Telstar and Jpe Meek too. That movie defintely looks worth a viewing based on that tralier.