U.K. guitar virtuoso Rick Graham has built a rabid fanbase at home and abroad with his stunningly deft chops, which range from delicate chordal passages of gentle beauty to furious onslaughts of overdriven virtuosity and any musical shade in between.
Whether it’s writing and composing his own music, guesting with artists like Polyphia, Plini, Jason Richardson and Angel Vivaldi, or connecting directly to his global audience through his highly influential and educational YouTube channel, Graham possesses a unique perspective as to what he wants from his instruments.
Turned on to Charvel guitars originally through Vivaldi, Graham has since collaborated with the Charvel team on a new signature model that truly houses all the features he would want in a dream guitar.
“It’s been a wonderful journey working with Charvel, and the way that it turned out is absolutely fantastic,” said Graham. “I couldn’t be happier with the result. Not only is it aesthetically beautiful, but tonally, it’s just fantastic.”
Guitar actually came to Graham later than most, considering his prodigious ability.
As a child, he dabbled with the violin, keyboards and drums, but at 17, he finally picked up the guitar and something clicked.
“I don’t know, it was the uniqueness of the instrument, being able to bend strings and basically do things a piano can’t,” he explained.
But Graham never looked back and absorbed all the genres and techniques he could before starting his own YouTube channel to further educate and inspire other players.
“I love the fact that I can teach people how to play and give them ideas,” Graham said about his online presence. “It’s enabled me to create opportunities for myself. And anybody can do it. If you have the ability and a camera, you can create something and reach into people’s lives. It can change your life and other people’s.”
If you’ve been watching his videos lately, you’d have seen him tease his namesake DK24, clearly recognizable with a stunning Celeste finish and chrome hardware.
With the Rick Graham Signature MJ DK24 2PT CM available now to the public, Graham is happy to talk further about some of the premium features that set it apart from the rest.
The basswood Dinky body boasts a scalloped lower back bout and sculpted shredder’s cut heel for extreme upper fret access, while a 12”-16” compound radius caramelized maple fingerboard pairs perfectly with the bolt-on caramelized maple neck with graphite reinforcement. It’s the ultimate in comfort and perfect for any style of music.
What’s more, Graham teamed with Bare Knuckle for a set of custom pickups — a powerful humbucker in the bridge position and two snappy single-coils in the middle and neck positions — that he loves.
“The neck pickup, which I tend to use an awful lot, especially at high-gain levels, has this wonderful chirpiness to it when you’re picking,” he said. “I’m really addicted to that sound.
“This guitar has all the things I really need, in terms of performing and being a writer and composer. Those kinds of things that this guitar brings to me allows me to really flow in all those areas and be inspired. That’s essential. You’ve got to be inspired by the instrument you play.”
For a humble player who likes to keep things simple, Graham can’t help but be incredibly proud of having a signature instrument true to his own specs, and hopes that others who purchase it will feel also be inspired.
“Most guitarists aspire to have a signature guitar at some point in their lives,” he said. “So for me, I’m just so proud of it, especially when you put your heart and soul into it for many, many years, and a company like Charvel actually sees and recognizes that.”
Watch Graham break down his Made in Japan signature DK24 in the video below, and click here to find out where to purchase your own!