Me and My Yamaha – Louisa Bartoli
Not only do the staff at Yamaha HQ in Milton Keynes just WORK for Yamaha Music, they are too, of course, keen musicians and lovers of the brand.
Name: Louisa Bartoli
Day Job: Central Operations – Yamaha Music UK
Out of Hours: Watch this space…
1) What got you into playing the guitar?
Like most little girls who express an interest in music (or in my case, enjoying making a loud noise on anything I could get my hands on) I was encouraged to learn piano. After a few years of long, tedious routine learning to read music; scales; and the rigid etiquette that goes with the piano I decided that grades and certificates weren't for me. It wasn't until I started middle school that I picked up the guitar. My teacher thought I had a natural flair for music but recognised I was a bit heavy-handed, and recommended the guitar. I fell in love straight away and have never looked back! I've never had any formal lessons, I was taught the basic chords and did the rest myself. I doubt that I have any real technical ability, but that doesn't really matter. What's important to me, is that the guitar allows me to express myself creatively and without restrictions.
2) Which Yamaha guitar do you use?
I have two: an LLX6A electro-acoustic in black and an SG 1000 in black
3) Why did you choose that model?
The best thing about Yamaha guitars, apart from all the attention they get when they’re made and the technology they cram into them so you know your getting your money's worth, is that they are just that little bit different from everything else out there. I’ve had the SG1000 a little over a year and it still surprises me what it can do, and just how versatile it is when you want to switch from different styles. The SG1000 has a silky smooth neck so it's great for getting around quickly and access to the higher frets for those haunting ringing tremolo harmonies. The sound of the guitar itself is very thick, but with the push-push switch on the tone pots means getting the exact sound you want is simple and has an incredible effect. I love the fact you can go from grimy blues; to clean; to deafening fuzz with no trouble at all. Its not too heavy either, which means even us girls can play it for a long period of time without any issues. Lastly, its looks. The SG is a very sexy little number in a very non-attention seeking way. You cant help but feel a bit special when you're holding one of these and you're always guaranteed to get a second look!
4) How does the guitar fit in with the rest of your rig?
The guitar does all the work, so simplicity is the key. Not wanting to upset the neighbours, I’m only using my Orange Crush 30R practise amp with Boss OS-2 overdrive/ distortion pedal.
5) What is the biggest gig you and your Yamaha have done together?
Unfortunately, I've not had a lot of chance to play gigs lately so I’ve not managed to unleash the SG onto the general public yet! Hopefully that’ll be changing in the near future, so watch this space…
6) If you could play in any line-up, of any band, playing any gig in history - what would it be?
I don’t know about line-ups…but I’d love to get this lot into the same room: PJ Harvey - an amazing musician and a constant source of new ideas , Biffy Clyro's Simon Neil - not just a pretty face but an underrated guitarist especially if you go back to the beginning of their career and front man - QOTSA Josh Hommes and Conrad Keely from …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead. I prefer intimate and messy, so we’d have to be tearing apart some dingy little student bar with the crowd clambering onto the stage!