Jennifer Batten

Performer, author, collaborator with Jeff Beck, Michael Jackson and more, with a savvy musicianship and highly original approach to the electric guitar, Jennifer Batten is a longstanding proponent of MIDI guitar. Her main instrument, a Washburn Parallaxe, is fitted with a Fishman TriplePlay. We sat down with Jennifer to get her take on MIDI, creativity and TriplePlay.

Why TriplePlay?
“I like that I’m not tied to any one guitar. The TriplePlay attaches via the strap button and double stick. I can take it on and off as I please. And of course, there’s the whole wireless thing. Depending on what show I’m playing I may need to move around a lot (laughs), it’s so cool that I’m completely unencumbered. Until this technology came along I’d pretty much given up on triggering synth sounds since my Jeff Beck tours, due to the multiple hassles of the old school technology. I’m now re-inspired and am incorporating the Triple Play more and more in my performances. Being able to hit the audience with new sonic surprises in every song keeps them engaged at every turn.”

As a Creative Inspiration
“One thing I like to do is urge singer-songwriters to add the TriplePlay to their creative arsenal for inspiration. Flipping through sounds, beats, noises… It only takes one great sound to inspire a whole song sometimes. There’s no need to depend on another player in order to compose and record all the elements of a tune. In fact you can split the fretboard into drums bass and 2 extra synth sounds all at the same time, so when inspiration hits, you don’t have to check your calendar to see when someone can help you, you want to dig it right then!”

Any Tips and Tricks?
“You have the choice of putting your mind into the particular instrument-sound you’re triggering or not, which can lead to a new creative and unusual take on a sound. For instance, you can trigger a saxophone sound and focus on how a sax player would phrase, or go completely wild with it, doing things a sax player couldn’t even attempt. You can even double some wicked synth runs with your guitar sound. You can really lose yourself in a sound to the point you’re not even aware of playing the guitar any more. You become more like a conductor controlling all the elements you choose to have access to. It’s also a great exercise for expanding your voicing chops if, for instance, you want to sound like an authentic pianist.”

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