Interview – Guitar Enthusiast Chris Alvarado

by Omar on June 15, 2011

in Education, Podcast, Videocast

Audio only of interview with Chris Alvarado

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Sometimes, you think you know someone.  Other times, you’ve known someone all your life, yet there’s still much to learn about them.

Such is the case with my older brother, Chris Alvarado.  Although we grew up together, there were aspects to his interest in music, and guitars in general, that I didn’t know, nor did I get around to asking.  I know he started off playing saxophone while in middle school, but when did he change over to guitar, and why?

In addition, over the years his guitar collection has grown quite a bit (almost 30 now).  And it seemed like every time I’d visit him in sunny Florida, he’d have a new one, with some sort of crazy story behind it.  Well now I said, ‘Enough’s enough!  Let’s document this crazy collection!’ has always been about the drums, even when not directly talking about them (check out, for example, “Not Just About the Drums” and “Cheering Them On”).  However, I saw this as an opportunity not only to talk about another great instrument (the guitar), but also to record my first ever videocast.

So one day I got the crazy idea of sitting down with my guitar enthusiast/collector brother and have him explain his guitar collection.  I ran this by him and he thought it was a great idea (good!).  So I flew down to Florida, we sat in his living room, turned on the camcorder, and we had a little guitar chat.  Amazing what happens when you chat with someone you’ve known all your life:  you find out things you didn’t know before!  I really didn’t know how much a philosophy of guitars my brother had developed over the years – quite refreshing.  Not only that, but he’s become a pretty good guitar player (finally!  :)).

As we chatted, in my mind I was realizing that you don’t have to be a professional or famous musician to provide a good story or impart some practical knowledge.  Everyone has something interesting to say, and Chris certainly has a few:

  • The drummer’s role in allowing the guitarist to play better
  • Details on his amplification gear
  • How to get the guitar sound of your favorite artists on the cheap
  • Why having a ‘luthier’ for an acquaintance is a good idea
  • …and much more!

Of course, then there’s the guitar collection.  There a few flashes of his guitars in the video, and I’ve also included a pic of some of them below, with a brief description.  Pics of his entire collection are posted on The Paradiddler Facebook page. If you have any questions on any of his guitars, you can contact him at

By the way, this is the first in a new series of articles I’m calling “Not Just About Drums”.  We’ll see how far we go with that, but in the meantime, hopefully you'll enjoy this interview. There’ll be more to come!

1996 Gibson Les Paul Classic

EVH Wolfgang Special

Agile - Gibson Les Paul copy, maple neck, EMG 85/89

Agile Cool Cat, Bigsby & GFS pickups

Fender Deluxe Players Stratocaster, EMG pickups

1996 Fender Stratocaster, 50th Anniversary

Fender Squire Telecaster Custom, GFS pickups

Agile - PRS copy, EMG pickups

Breedlove Passport Plus, acoustic/electric

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Khaled November 20, 2012 at 11:03 am

I’ve owned this guitar for over eight years now. I spent a3350 in 2003 and never rertegted a penny. It sounds great plugged or unplugged and I’ve gigged extensively with it. I recently bought a Martin dc-1e for a31100 and, other than the string spacing (narrower on the Yamaha) and playing lead lines (both easier and sounds nicer on the Martin) there’s not a lot between them. When strumming/finger-picking I can’t justify the extra a3750 other than on the Martin logo. There’s no way I’d ever sell it


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