Asif Illyas - A Fleeting Moment

from by Pickers for Grinners

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It’s not often that I record a track that is wholly instrumental, unless it is part of score for a visual production, so this was a really fun experiment for me. I played my brother, Shehab’s, ’77 Rickenbacker 4001 Bass and the Stratocaster is a Custom Shop Custom Classic) . The guitar chain is a Fulltone TTE into an Empress Nebulus, Empress Compressor and Catalinbread Semaphore, into a Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister Head with Redbox out. It was recorded digitally but warmed by hitting a 1/2” Studer Tape Machine. The composition came together really quickly as a bed for a solo with a repeating chordal motif.

As for the lead guitar, I’m not a solo/lead guitarist by nature and, whenever I do solo, it tends to glow with the influence of Mark Knopfler - because I spent a great deal of time woodshedding to the legend. Knopfler also plays with a classical right-hand technique and that was very comfortable to me since classical guitar is what I studied in school. I always insist on solos being “one thought” or “one delivery” — so I played the lead guitar, from head to tail, as one take without any edits.

Thank you, John, for being the guy to get me into the Fender Stratocaster world. I love it and can’t believe, with Knopfler and Summers as such huge influences, that I spent most of my guitar-time NOT on a Fender guitar! Thanks for the opportunity and I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for listening!

For more music by Asif Illyas, please visit


from Pickers for Grinners vol. 1, released November 12, 2015

Composed by Asif Illyas

All Instruments by Asif Illyas



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Pickers for Grinners Halifax, Nova Scotia

Pickers for Grinners is a fundraising initiative by Long & McQuade Musical Instruments in Halifax in support of the Music Therapy Program at IWK Health Centre

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