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I wouldn't call surf guitarist Dick Dale (1937-2019) a great songwriter or composer, but he was unquestionably a great instrumental innovator. How many musicians are able to create a signature sound/technique on their instrument that remains instantly recognizable, and still commonly copied, 60 years later?
 

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King of Surf Guitar. As a teen in the '60s growing up at the beach in Southern California, he will always be a fond part of my misspent youth.

 

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It seems like all of my heroes are dead. You can say what you want about Dick, playing nothing but beach music, but his accomplishments were outstanding. His desire to play big fat strings really really loud caused Mr. Fender to strengthen his amps - they were catching fire from Dicks playing and use of reverb. A lot of the things many of us love about music were heavily influenced by Dick. Like Adam says, since his family was Lebanese Dick started as a child on the balalaika, and played the guitar like a balalaika, frustrating many guys that wanted to copy his style. Now I'm sad.
 

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I was fortunate to see him live several years ago and still have a signed t shirt and c d by him. He always put on a great show. He will be missed by many , RIP
 

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Like Adam says, since his family was Lebanese Dick started as a child on the balalaika, and played the guitar like a balalaika, frustrating many guys that wanted to copy his style. Now I'm sad.
More likely he played the balalaika because his mom was from Polish-Belarussian descent and the instrument is widely played in that region, but not in Lebanon. He did also play the Ud apparently, which is. Through his Lebanese family he probably was familiar with the maqam system which explains the scales he sometimes used.
Great player, RIP.
 

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Geez, how I loved that sound back then. I was just a kid, so I don't think I knew his name. He's the reason a red Strat (copy) hangs on my music room wall.
 
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