Les Paul: Secret Behind His Little Black Box

In the previous post here at Acoustic Guitar Videos, I talked about Les Paul’s showmanship…

Well… this video is a prime example of how captivating he was on stage, talking about his little black box.

For many years and to this day, many people still don’t know how he was able to do this…

We’ll here’s how it was done…

The Black Box is a remote to his tape machine that contains pre-recorded guitar passages.

When his hits the switch, the tape machine starts. It’s really that simple.

But what makes this so special is the act…. making the audience believe he was recording and looping these parts on the fly. But listen VERY CLOSE to the first guitar riff he does live, and then notice when it is played back, the riff itself is played just a little bit different than what he just played including the tempo. Also listen to the tone and the volume level… it is slightly different.  So he put on tape all those parts and orchestrated his performance accordingly, giving enough room to talk (timing is well rehearsed) and then play the next riff.

Now even though people in the audience and you too might have already figured this out, it’s still so darn entertaining that really, who cares? Just to come up with that idea is so genius. It’s more than music, Les brought a magic act to the stage!



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