Home » Dave Matthews Reflects on Trying to Emulate Robert Fripp: “I Was Ignorant”

Dave Matthews Reflects on Trying to Emulate Robert Fripp: “I Was Ignorant”

Dave Matthews Discusses Drawing Inspiration from Robert Fripp’s Unique Finger Techniques In a recent interview with Guitar World, Dave Matthews opened up about his admiration for King Crimson and the distinctive finger techniques of Robert Fripp. While Matthews may not embody the typical image associated with a Fripp disciple in terms of appearance and sound, he revealed the profound influence the prog guitarist has had on him.

Despite incorporating Fripp’s influence into his own guitar style, Matthews humorously speculates on Fripp’s potential reaction: “He would probably look at my guitar playing and think, ‘You’re a moron,’ but he has this tuning where he plays in a really formal way [with his hands spread out].”

Matthews’ “Ignorant” Emulation Resulted in a Hit Song

The 1995 Hit “Satellite”: Matthews’ Inspired Yet ‘Ignorant’ Imitation The chart-topping 1995 song “Satellite,” released as the fifth and final single from their LP “Under the Table and Dreaming,” drew significant inspiration from Robert Fripp. However, Matthews acknowledges that his attempt to emulate the King Crimson guitarist might have had some unintended consequences. Describing his imitation as both an attempt to replicate and an act of ignorance, Matthews reflects:

“I was just trying to imitate him, and I was also ignorant. So it was a combination of those two things. I was trying to play what he was playing by looking rather than listening, like ‘What is he doing?’ So I tried, and it didn’t sound anything like what he was doing, but it was nice.”

“Satellite” Presented a Challenge for Matthews

Matthews Unveils Influence of Robert Fripp on the Challenging “Satellite” In shedding light on the inspiration behind his now-hit “Satellite,” Matthews acknowledges the song’s complexity in both composition and execution. The guitarist found the challenge invigorating, pushing him to experiment with melodic concepts and steering away from conventional rock scales. Reflecting on the difficulty, Matthews explains:

“Satellite was a challenging lick. I liked to watch Robert Fripp and how he played. But he has got this crazy way of playing – his hands are all spread out and he gets this coverage. Which is unnecessary if your guitar is tuned traditionally.” For a firsthand experience, you can listen to “Satellite” below.

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