"Imagination has no rules."

Michael Wahl Berardi spaceman2 Fix 1My guitar technique can be called Two Hand Tapping, Guitar Tapping, Tapping…or as I like to call it PianoGuitar. I started playing guitar when I was eight years old. I used to buy guitar and music books from the 50 cent rack at Howard Herbert’s, a local mom and pop music store in Philadelphia. When I was about eleven, I serendipitously bought a book entitled The Touch System for Electric and Amplified Spanish Guitar by Jimmie Webster. The book was published in 1952 and is all about tapping. I just worked my way through the book and incorporated tapping into my playing, which was everything from the old standards to Bach to original ideas. Bach’s Preludes are still part of my warm up. As a young player I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if an orchestra could jam, not just a single soloist, but the whole orchestra?” I kept practicing and experimenting with sounds, effects and amps in the quest for rich, polyphonic voicings. I learned how Jimmie Webster used a stereo guitar, the Gretsch White Falcon, which at the time was a noble leap. So, why not two guitars: one on a rigged keyboard stand and one on my shoulder. I believe Harry DeArmond did that in the 1940s. As guitar synthesizers developed, I utilized them more and more; honestly, I had to wait for them to catch up. OK, I’m still waiting, but I found ways to improve them or at least get around their drawbacks. It only took years of experimenting, a handful of patents, and a technique that would make a brain surgeon envious. But hey, an orchestra is jamming! My real objective was and still is - freedom. Both hands free to move effortlessly and independently around the fretboard, chords, scales, arpeggios, double stops, either hand at will; Free to jam with a plethora of sounds creating music indeterminately. There are pieces of music that finger positioning must be worked out and memorized at first, but then I play over the parts, motifs, or work them into original pieces. 'January’s Icy Slopes' is a good example. Although the piece sounds orchestrated and memorized, it wasn’t. Dave and I played the song live in the studio and that’s it! Freedom! Twelve minutes of incredible intricate improvisation. By the way, “January’s Icy Slopes” was recorded in 2001.