Monday, September 22, 2008

Richie Kotzen Guitar Ibanez

Richie Kotzen (born February 3, 1970 in Reading, Pennsylvania) is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter.

At a young age, Richie Kotzen was taken by music and first began playing piano at the age of five. At the age of seven he was inspired by New York City band KISS to learn the electric guitar. Relentlessly developing chops and his own unique voice on the guitar, he started his career in a band named Arthur's Museum. Kotzen was eventually discovered by Shrapnel Records' Mike Varney, and he recorded his first album by the age of 19. During that same year, he also graced the cover of several publications including Guitar World Magazine. He created the video Rock Chops for REH video in 1989, highlighting many of his formative techniques, including using wide-intervals and fluid sweeping.

In 1991, Kotzen made his big break when he joined the rock band Poison at age 21, co-writing and performing on the album Native Tongue. This album produced two top twenty singles which Richie co-wrote, "Stand" and "Until You Suffer Some (Fire & Ice)". In 1999 Kotzen replaced Paul Gilbert as guitarist in the mainstream rock band Mr. Big. Kotzen maintained the band's enormous success, performing on the Mr. Big record Get Over It, which sold more than 175,000 copies in its first two weeks in Japan, eventually reaching platinum status. Kotzen also contributed guitars to Mr. Big's subsequent release Actual Size. The record included the Kotzen song Shine, which debuted at number one on Japanese radio charts. Following the disbanding of Mr. Big, Kotzen released the solo album Change, in 2003. The title track, and the song Get A Life were featured in TV commercials throughout Japan.

In 2002 Kotzen bought a commercial building in Los Angeles and established a recording Studio/Production company. He has since been producing acclaimed solo albums and collaborating with various figures in rock, jazz, and fusion including jazz legend Stanley Clarke.

In mid 2006 Kotzen was the opening act in Japan for the Rolling Stones on their Bigger Bang tour.

He has also covered various songs from the Gundam franchise including Soldiers of Sorrow, The Beginning, and Fly! Gundam.

Richie Kotzen has used Fender electric guitars for most of his career. His most notable instruments are his signature model Telecasters and Stratocasters, as well as other custom made models. Currently, there are two Richie Kotzen signature models, made by Fender Japan - a Stratocaster (STR-145RK) and a Telecaster (TLR-155RK). Both guitars feature ash bodies with flame laminated maple caps, maple necks and one piece maple fretboards with 22 super jumbo frets. The Telecaster model features a DiMarzio Chopper T pickup in the bridge position (single spaced humbucker) and a DiMarzio Twang King in the neck position. The Stratocaster is fit with three custom made DiMarzio single coil pickups.

At the beginning of his career, Richie Kotzen used Ibanez guitars and Laney amplifiers, later moving on to Fender guitars and Marshall amplifiers in the early 1990s. He used Marshall Super Lead, JCM800 and JCM900 models.

In 2005, Cornford Amplification issued a Richie Kotzen signature model - RK100, a single channel tube amp head developed and designed in collaboration with Kotzen to suit his expansive playing style. There is also a matching signature model speaker cabinet, equipped with four Celestion Vintage 30 12" speakers. Both the amplifier head and the speaker cabinet are the only Cornford models fit with Kotzen-style black tolex covering. However, if on tour, Kotzen will use amplifiers supplied by the venue, as requested, most likely Cornford models or Marshall JCM900 master volume heads.

Kotzen prefers not to use many pedals (effects in general) when playing live. Therefore, currently he only uses a Boss TU-2 pedal tuner and a footswitch to control the gain level of his Cornford amplifier. However, during his career, he has used Sobbat DriveBreaker distortion pedals (DB-1, DB-2 and DB-3), a Guyatone Wah-Rocker, a Dunlop Crybaby and Rotovibe pedal, a Boss DD-3 delay, Boss OC-2 octave and Boss CE-5 chorus pedals, etc.

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