Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt has been with the band since day one and in that time has become a much loved celebrity. He is regarded as half of the British Institution that is Status Quo, along with Francis Rossi. Rick has developed a trademark over the years which can be best demonstrated by simply listening to the introduction to the all time classic song Caroline.
Bar chords, or barre chords as they are sometimes called, are a difficult type of chord to play. Once they have been mastered they can add body to an otherwise empty sound. Rick has added this to Quo’s sound over the years and is part of the reason why they are such a force in their live performances.
The rhythm guitarist is an often unsung hero when it comes to being recognised for their musical contribution to a band, but somehow Rick has been duly recognised.
When you look at AC/DC the whole world seems to know about Angus Young, but Malcolm has a much lower public profile. He is another great guitarist that adds body to the band’s sound, particularly during Angus’ solos.
If you are looking to learn bar chords and want to develop the more powerful side of their sound, Rick Parfitt’s live performances show you what can be achieved.
He uses very thick strings on a 14 gauge or higher so that he can be confident that they won’t snap or go out of tune with the battering that they get. If you have ever tried bending a note with a string on this gauge, it’s almost impossible.
Also, in order to reduce the number of picks that he inevitably drops during a live performance, he pierces the pick several times with a bradawl around the area where the thumb and forefinger clasp the pick in a pincer style. Try this if you find that you drop the pick often.
Rick Parfitt has had a 40 year career from largely playing bar chords, so they may prove to be well worth the effort.