John DennerGerman Guitar Hero
Van Halen Eruption
I still remember the day I first heard John Denner playing Van Halen Eruption on the Howard Stern Show. I tuned in a little late and missed Stern’s introduction, so when John began playing guitar I had no idea he was doing it with only one hand. It’s difficult to express how fast and impressive John’s playing was that morining. When I found out how he was playing, I thought it was a joke?! Afterall a big part of Van Halen’s Eruption Guitar Solo is Two-Hand Tapping… Turns Out John designed a special arm/guitar sleeve with a pick at the end that allows him to play the way he does. Sadly John’s Performance on Howard Stern was never filmed, and there is no video to be found anywhere online. When you visit Howard’s Website all you get is a short headline reading:
Today on the Stern Show: Time to meet a true guitar hero — one-handed musician John Denner visits to shred some Van Halen. Plus, Richard Simmons bursts into the studio, Artie is the model of unhealthy living, and Don Imus is under the microscope.
World Class Guitarist
John C. Denner was born to a Jewish family in Hamburg Germany in 1974. Denner has become a world-class rock guitar player and inventor who designed and patented a special arm/guitar sleeve with a pick at the end that allows him to play guitar and then spent countless hours, days, and weeks mastering the instrument, challenging himself to learn Eddie Van Halens legendary instrumental guitar solo piece, “Van Halen Eruption.” John has been featured in countless guitar magazines shared the stage with the inventor of the electric guitar Les Paul, endorsed products for Dimarzio, Celestion Speakers, and Music Man Guitars.
It’s an honor to share the name Denner with John
– John Denner “All Things Denner”
Below are a few Online Articles I found about John Denner
Close Your Eyes, and You Hear Guitar. Open Your Eyes, and You’ll Be Amazed
To listen to John Denner rock out on his electric guitar, you’d simply think he had lightning-fast fingers and an amazing musical style. But watch him play, and you quickly realize he’s a bit different:
Read the Complete article at Happify
John Denner may have been born without a hand, but that didn’t stop him from railing on the guitar like Eddie Van Halen. After teaching himself how to play in his early 20s with makeshift picks, Denner began to capture the attention of audiences.
Read the full article below Guitarist With No Hand Flawlessly Covers Van Halen’s … – HuffPost
Why Guitars are so Special
Here’s something many guitarists are unaware of: We are a special breed these days.
And I’m going to tell you why. Guitar is one of the only instruments that keyboard companies and sample library companies have a hard time duplicating in a way that can be played in a believable manner on keyboard.
If you want a guitar on your recording, you need to hire a guitarist to make it sound believable.
Why is this so? Because of the infinite amount of variations in which the sound of a guitar is capable! Guitarists have the ability to slur, slide, hammer, pick up and down, finger, tap, bend, whammy, vibrate, play with your palm, play with your teeth, use a slide and play with so many types of dynamics and articulations that they can’t be replicated successfully. These are the things that make guitarists so special.
We have all heard robotic music played by a computer. Many times, this is done on purpose. But have you ever heard a guitar sample? And tried to use it to replicate a real guitar? It is one-dimensional. Piano or basic string sections or wind instruments are simple. A drum is even easier. Saxes are a bitch. They also have job security—just like us guitarists.
Let’s talk about what you should be working on in your practice sessions to make them smile when they hear you bring the printed page to life and call back.
If you do not know how to sight read, you can still have a successful career in the studio, but you would be limiting the amount of work you could accept, so everything I am about to say holds true if you do not sight read. Or you are just reading this and are trying to better your soloing. Just learn the melody of the song you want to practice by ear first. Then add the suggestions in the following paragraphs.
In the studio, when someone puts a piece of music in front of you, the expectation, you would think, would be to play the correct notes. But you would be oh, so wrong. Sure, you’d better play the correct notes and in the correct timing; however, in reality you are expected to bring that piece of music to life using your magical guitar powers!
That is why most of the time all we get are chord charts and a note that says “solo here.” Many composers, arrangers and producers don’t know how to notate for modern guitar. And I don’t blame them. Imagine transcribing the Jimi Hendrix version of “The Star Spangled Banner”! Not in tab. In musical notation. I couldn’t do it, and I couldn’t read it. Not if I never heard it before. I’m sure someone has, and there are many fine transcription pros, but I have enough on my plate!
Here’s how you want to practice as a sight-reading, session-playing guitarist. Start by taking a piece of music and sight read through with no errors. Bring the tempo up. Push it. Now you’ve got the notes. Time to add the magic. Try playing the same music using all the articulations in your box of articulations. Try bending to as many notes as possible. Half-step bends, whole-step bends, or further. In tune. Slide from note to note. Add vibrato to the longer notes. Play the shorter notes staccato.
Transpose the song up an octave so it sounds like a solo. And avoid only sight reading in the first position. (Although the notes do sound the purer in that area and I tend to stick to the first position as much as possible on acoustic guitar or clean guitar playing).
Try tapping to any note that can be tapped to. You will be combining guitaristic technique while building a melodic sense. This can only help you when it is solo time.
My personal practice sessions start with a warmup of finger patterns. Next I sight read. After that comes chords and rhythm. Then I start my soloing. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Try and develop your strong points. Try and better your weaknesses. Articulations are the key, however, to making your guitar sing, and the reason no other instrument comes close to the versatility and range of creativity of which the guitar is capable.
I’m a session guitarist from New York, now living in Connecticut. I started playing at age 6, sight reading right off the bat. That’s how I was taught, so I just believed everyone started that way! I could pretty much sight read anything within a few years, and that aided me in becoming a session guy later in life. I took lessons from anyone I could and was fortunate enough to have some wonderful instructors, including John Scofield, Joe Pass and Alan DeMausse. I’ve played many jingle sessions, and even now I not only play them but have written a few. I’ve “ghosted” for a few people that shall remain nameless, but they get the credit and I got the money! I’ve played sessions in every style, from pop to jazz.
Ron Zabrocki – Guitar Word Magazine
John and Kate Denner
John Denner began playing piano at the age of 3 and soon started using his gift at his local church at around the age of 8. He played in the Flint Youth Philharmonic for a while before joining a quartet from Burton, Michigan called the Harmonaires. He enjoyed playing with an all-star lineup of musicians in their live band for five years. Later, he traveled with The Foresters from Burton, Michigan for two years and enjoyed every single second. But, nothing could eclipse the joy he has ministering with his own family. It is a thrill every time he steps onto a stage with them.
Kate Denner began teaching music lessons at age 12, began college at 15 and had directed three full-production musicals before her 21st birthday. She has a degree in music education and uses it almost daily when she coordinates with John on their latest album, a new live adaptation of a song or just enjoying some down time singing with their three little girls. Kate is sincere, fun, intelligent and downright hilarious. Everyone needs a Kate in their life!
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