Jennifer Batten Interview & masterclass
Guitar Techniques|June 2020
After 30 years on the road, Jennifer found time away from her deliriously busy touring schedule to talk to Dave Mead about her musical life, and deliver a masterclass that is a technique thriller!
Dave Mead

Jennifer Batten’s continent-hopping career means her diary is always full: a clinic tour here, her renowned solo show there and, recently, she’s found herself in demand from Michael Jackson tribute acts, having toured with the man himself for 10 years back in the 80s and 90s.

“Yes, I’ve done so many different things,” she tells us as we settle down in the GT studio. “It’s like you never know; when you wake up, there can be an email that shows up and I go, ‘Okay. Well, that’s what I’m doing in March.’”

Spending so much time travelling has meant that she has refined her gear to be flight-friendly – we were impressed by the fact she knows the weight of everything she takes with her on tour. As an example she points to her Boss FV-50 volume pedal and says, “It weighs 1lb. It’s plastic and if it breaks I’ll just buy another one. You know, weight is everything when you travel.”

In clinics around the world she’ll spend a while detailing to guitar hopefuls all the unexpected trauma of touring, such as “broken guitars and missing luggage, and the ‘not joys’ of travel”. All the stresses and strains of the modern-day itinerant minstrel aside, the clinics bring together Jennifer’s vast and impressive experience.

“Three years ago I put together a seminar called Self-Empowerment For The Modern Musician. I wanted to base it on TED Talks, where it’s 20 minutes and then move on, and that was inspired from having students that just shocked me from what they didn’t know. I went out with a buddy of mine for six weeks in my motorhome and we just stopped in every city, did a clinic for Fishman TriplePlay one day and then did this other seminar the next day. I put a lot of effort into doing that: it’s four hours and it’s hard to get through everything. There’s so much ridiculous content. It’s crazy.”

What sort of subjects do you cover?

“One of the things that I had in there was an instructional on the app called ‘Transcribe!’ [by Seventh String Software]. I could start a church with that app because I’ll fly over to Europe, or wherever, and play with a band I haven’t played with before and, obviously, the songs are talked about in advance and files are transferred, and, invariably, we’ll start running it through and I’ll go, ‘Uh-huh. That’s not how it goes. I just wish you had this app where you could loop things and slow it down and do karaoke mode, get rid of the lead instrument and do an automatic bass drop-out so you could really hear what’s going on there…’ because it just drives me nutty. So I turn everybody on to the app that I can.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM GUITAR TECHNIQUESView All

SESSION SHENANIGANS

The studio guitarist’s guide to happiness and personal fulfilment, as related by session ace Mitch Dalton. This month: The Pen Is Mightier Than The Chord.

4 mins read
Guitar Techniques
February 2021

INSTRUMENTAL INQUISITION !

Guitar instrumentals have supplied some of music’s most evocative moments. We asked some top guitarists for their take on this iconic movement. This month we meet that phenomenon of modern blues guitar, the great Kirk Fletcher.

6 mins read
Guitar Techniques
February 2021

JAM TRACKS TIPS

These handy tips will help you to navigate our bonus backing tracks

1 min read
Guitar Techniques
February 2021

THE CROSSROADS Pt2 From Charlie Christian to Chuck Berry

Continuing to connect the dots between blues and jazz, John Wheatcroft shows how a saxophone cliché helped define the sound of swing, jazz, blues and rock and roll guitar.

4 mins read
Guitar Techniques
February 2021

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Justin Sandercoe of justinguitar.com lends GT his insight as one of the world’s most successful guitar teachers. This month: Arrange For Success.

4 mins read
Guitar Techniques
February 2021

BEING MORE EXPRESSIVE With The Blues

John Wheatcroft shows us that ‘it ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it’, as he demonstrates how to put more expression into your solos.

4 mins read
Guitar Techniques
February 2021

Edward Van Halen Interview & Tribute

In 1991 Guitarist magazine was offered a rare interview with Edward Van Halen. Master of the EVH technique, Phil Hilborne leapt at the chance and here it is, 20 years on, to mark Eddie’s sad passing...

10+ mins read
Guitar Techniques
February 2021

SESSION SHENANIGANS

The studio guitarist’s guide to happiness and personal fulfilment, as related by session ace Mitch Dalton. This month: Clear? Huh!

4 mins read
Guitar Techniques
January 2021

Mick Taylor

This month Phil Short checks out Mick Taylor, the musical catalyst who helped launch the Rolling Stones’ second wave of success.

2 mins read
Guitar Techniques
January 2021

Neil Young

This month Martin Cooper uncovers the quirky ‘country-meets-rock’ sound of an enigmatic Canadian music legend...

2 mins read
Guitar Techniques
January 2021
RELATED STORIES

Black Magic Woman

A conversation with ORIANTHI: Her new album, “the biggest guitar gig in the world,” trading licks with ROBBY KRIEGER, marvelling at JEFF BECK — and, oh yeah, gear galore!

10+ mins read
Guitar World
February 2021

I SPY… THREE-NOTE SEQUENCES

Hey there, bass players! Welcome back to our game of ‘I Spy’. Let’s take a moment to recall the rules. In this game, our goal is to refine the most essential tool in our musical arsenal: Our ears. By highlighting a particular theme and attempting to spy it on a record, we’re actively listening for something that lies beneath the surface of the songs that we love. Our goal is to draw attention to it, to call it by its name, and to recognize it in its natural habitat.

4 mins read
Bass Player
November 2020

YOU'VE GOT ALL DAY

Even on a lowkey dayhike, good gear can be the difference between a forgettable outing and a fun one.

2 mins read
Backpacker
Fall 2020

BAGS & PADS

Whether you sleep hot or cold, up high or down low, there’s a system here that will unlock the ZZZs.

7 mins read
Backpacker
March - April 2020

Nili Brosh: From Concept to Reality

HER NEW RECORD, SPECTRUM, IS A CONCEPT ALBUM THAT WORKS JUST AS WELL FORWARDS AS BACKWARDS, OR AT THE MERCY OF THE “SHUFFLE” BUTTON

4 mins read
Guitar World
April 2020

Jeff Beck

It’s hard to ignore. ¶ Almost every time we ask a guitarist to name his “biggest influence” or “the reason you got into guitar,” the name Jeff Beck invariably pops up — along with three or four glowing adjectives, adverbs and exclamation points. ¶ In the following interviews, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Steve Stevens, Vince Gill, Carmen Vandenberg and Tyler Bryant explain why the ever-evolving Jeff Beck is the guitar hero’s guitar hero.

10+ mins read
Guitar World
Holiday Special 2019

FENDER STRATOCASTER

A true American icon

4 mins read
Total Guitar
December 2020

'Tis the season to be GLAMOROUS

Rosie Sweeney was determined to slim down to make her children proud

4 mins read
WOMAN - UK
November 09 - 16, 2020

The grass is greener

Lawn care is really important to wildlife, says Peter

2 mins read
Amateur Gardening
October 03, 2020

Free Your Mind… And Your Ass Will Follow!

Funk legend James Brown used to call himself ‘the hardest working man in show business’. In 2020, that guy is cory wong, the modern funk master who’s made five albums within a year – four solo records and one a collaboration with pianist Jon Batiste. Here, in his own words, cory outlines his ever-expanding “artistic journey” via 10 key tracks...

8 mins read
Total Guitar
October 2020