2011 marked the 40th anniversary of the formation of Queen in 1971, and it’s been a wild ride for the rock extraordinaires. Over the course of their career, Queen has sold more than 300 million albums, including 16 No. 1 albums, 18 No. 1 singles and the U.K.’s top-selling album of all time. And after 40 years, the band is still well-known – at the MTV Video Music Awards back in August, guitarist Brian May performed “You and I” live with Lady Gaga, and Adam Lambert channeled Freddie onstage with the rest of the band members during the MTV Europe Music Awards in November. Academics have even deemed Queen’s “We Are The Champions” as the catchiest song of all time.
Going beyond the band’s accomplishments, this got us thinking about the late Freddie Mercury’s amazing stage presence - how can you not have fun while watching videos of him on stage? So, we wanted to have a little fun ourselves today.
As a singer, you usually have tons of freedom and space on stage to move around, but as a guitarist, you may be a bit more restricted. So how do you one-up a lead singer as flashy as Freddie Mercury? Ladies and gentlemen, we give you… the art of the guitar spin! Here are some helpful tips from Guitar World about learning the craft and how to avoid ending up in the Rock & Roll Hall of Shame:
1. Make sure the guitar is correctly attached to the strap.
This probably is the most useful tip to execute the perfect guitar spin. Guitars can fly pretty well, but the landing is always a problem.
2. Find your center.
Guitar spinning is not a martial art, but you can apply principles from martial arts. Find your center of gravity. Be sure you are focused on your center. Are you focused enough? Ready … steady … spin it!
3. Employ your coordination.
Guitar spinning is a serious matter. You don’t want to get fancy until you are sure you’ve mastered the gist of the guitar spin. Never try to dance when you flip your guitar – especially if you didn’t find your center yet.
4. Establish a security perimeter!
Guitars can be as dangerous as any blunt object. You don’t want your singer to end up at the emergency room. It doesn’t matter that your singer is a tough one to knock out. Please make sure you have enough space around you when you spin your guitar.
5. Never use your most expensive or favorite guitar.
You don’t want to end up crying just because you wanted to show off. That’s against that rock star attitude you are desperately trying to achieve.
Check out the full article here, complete with several videos of guitar spin fails (trust us, you’ll want to watch these). Awe your audience with this stage trick, and who knows – maybe you’ll make it to the Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list just like Brian May.
Readers, have you tried this trick? Any tips for avoiding a guitar spin fail? Click on over to our Facebook page and let us know how you take charge of the stage! Like these posts? Sign up to receive daily updates right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe.