The music business is rife with self-promotional hyperbole and oft-inflated credentials. As such, it’s refreshing to see that John Taylor, guitarist/educator, is certified by Guinness World Records as the World’s Fastest Guitar Player.
Said status was first established via this performance in April 2010, in which Taylor blazes through “Flight of The Bumblebee” at 600 beats per minute, without missing a single one of its wall-to-wall 16th notes. He later broke this record in Hong Kong—this time performing the piece at a bewildering 620 bpm. That’s laser-class speed and precision!
Taylor has racked up an impressive YouTube view count, and his fast fingers and sound music theory have made him a sought-after instructor in rock and metal circles. He’s the guitar and bass teacher at the Westminster, Colorado, Dr. Hot Licks’ School of Guitar, where he has been passing on his fret-burning tradition for 11 years. He’s also a solo artist and has played in a number of Colorado-area bands over the years.
Taylor has chosen PreSonus products for his recording endeavors connected to these projects. He’s quick to offer his insights on the role PreSonus plays in his particular brand of alacritous metal.
“I’m currently using my PreSonus FireBox and Studio One to record all of the many ideas I have in my head,” Taylor explains. “I record the guitars with a click track for my drummer so he can practice our material for a two-man group we're working on. I chose the FireBox due to a recommendation at Guitar Center. I got Studio One after talking to a good friend of mine about recording. He talked it up pretty big, and now I'm the one talking it up! I absolutely love Studio One.”
Taylor’s reasons for choosing Studio One are varied. “My favorite feature of Studio One is Ampire,” he says. “It’s such a realistic amp simulator. Not only is it easy to edit but it picks up everything I put into it! I've used other amp emulators before, and when I start playing super, super fast, my notes start getting cut out. Ampire picks all of them up!”
Another advantage of Studio One, states Taylor, is ease of use. “Whenever I feel my guitar sounds needs some delay or reverb, I love how I can just drag-and-drop whichever effect I want to the track I want to modify it. Anything I add to a track can, of course, be turned off, modified, or simply removed altogether. I can basically click-and-drag anything to a track to help find new sounds.
“I'm no expert on mixing and mastering,” he continues, ”so I like how Studio One has presets to help me get the most out of my recordings. I don’t have to go to someone else and spend a ton of money. For a do-it-yourselfer like me this is a wonderful feature.”
Taylor closes by describing his use of Studio One as an educational tool. “I have a copy of Studio One on my laptop, which I take to my office where I teach guitar and bass. Studio One lets me set up backing tracks with drums and bass really fast so I can create on-the-fly jam session with students. It's really helped improve the learning environment. I wish I’d had this from the start of my business!”
Oh, and by the way, if the prior renditions were not fast enough, there’s a non-Guinness-recognized 800-BPM version of “Bumblebee” in a video published by Wired magazine.