Uffe Steen

Danish guitar-virtuoso and local hero, Uffe Steen, is slowly but surely making his presence felt on the internet with his absolutely breathtaking chops and imaginative playing.

As a lefty, growing up with only a right hand guitar around, Steen wasted no time – he just flipped it and got busy playing upside down. By the time he learned that the strings were supposed to go the other way, he was already neck-deep in developing his own style. This pragmatic approach to the instrument might be part of what makes his playing so unique.

As a young man, Steen actually studied the clarinet, not the guitar, at the Royal Academy of Music in Denmark.

Luckily for us, he chose to devote his attention to the guitar after finishing his studies. Though he sees himself as a musician first, Steen has taught guitar at the Royal Academy since 1982, where he is also an associate professor. He has authored several instructional books for the guitar on blues and jazz playing. It’s difficult to describe Steen’s playing style. It has the same feel as when David Gilmour plays, where nothing ever sounds rushed or difficult. His bends are wide and clear with an almost vocal-like phrasing a bit like the great Albert King. Even with those great masters in mind, Steen still doesn’t really sound like anybody else and no one else sounds quite like him – a hallmark of the truly great musicians. He uses different edges of the pick, picks in different positions along the pickups, and switches from pick to fingers for a plethora of tones. By using his volume and tone controls, he gets a wealth of dynamics and tones from his simple guitar-into-an-amp setup.

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