I am an expert guitar player who prioritizes melody and adds power to songs through guitar accompaniment. I have years of experience utilizing my blues and rock influences to seamlessly add nostalgic flavors to modern music.
My name is Cliff Whitakker and my specialty is making songs better by adding interesting and legendary guitar parts. I was initially trained as a classical and flamenco player, but I eventually developed an interest in rock and blues. For years, I learned to imitate the styles of David Gilmour, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and John Mayer. Eventually, by creating my own songs and completing countless projects as a session player, I developed my own sound.
Before hiring me, you should be aware that I am an extremely melodic player. I will prioritize the main melody of your song when making musical decisions. If you choose to work with me, I will guarantee that the spotlight will be on you and your song. My only role will be to add to and improve whatever message you are creating. Whether you need a legendary, mind-bending guitar solo, simple rhymic instrumentation, or subtle psychedelic tones, I will utilize my guitar-playing skills to make your song better.
I have attached my song "Wish You the Best" below. This is some of my best work and features many of the services I can provide as a guitar player. Make sure to stick around until the ending, where I play a dramatic and powerful guitar solo. If you'd like more examples of my work, visit my Instagram page @cliffwhitakker.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
3 ReviewsEndorse Cliff Whitakker
- check_circleVerified (Client)
Working with Cliff has been a pleasure. I really enjoyed collaborating with his music and look forward for more future projects together.
- check_circleVerified (Client)
Cliff delivered very good mixes and was very attentive and communicative throughout the entire process. I'm glad we had the chance to work together again!
- check_circleVerified (Client)
Working with Alejandro was the most pleasant experience; we communicated often and achieved a great result in no time. Hope we continue working together!
Interview with Cliff Whitakker
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I am especially proud of my debut single "Wish You the Best." My roles for the single included producer, singer, guitar player and mixing engineer. I was especially proud of this project because I was able to combine my love for hip-hop and emo rap with my love for classic rock and blues guitar.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Currently I am working with several of my clients providing guitar for their songs as well as samples to inspire song ideas. Additionally, I am writing and producing my own music.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I would recommend Andres Mayo. He has mastered several of my songs and is very easy to work with.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. I like digital because it is convenient and cheap, but still sounds good especially with today's technology. I like analog because it is spontaneous, unique and warm.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: My promise is to do my very best in helping you create your desired sound that best serves your song.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: What I like most about my job is helping bring songs to life.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Can you send me the stems? Typical answer: yes Can you do less soloing and more rhythm playing? Typical answer: yes Can you do more soloing and less rhythmic playing? Typical answer: yes
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That it required little training and came mostly from innate talent.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What kind of guitar playing are you seeking? Are there any songs that come to mind that have a similar style of guitar playing? If so, what are they? Describe the guitar tone you are seeking. Is it sharp, warm, dirty, clean ambient, etc?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Make sure to check out their previous work. Get a feel for their sound and see if it fits your needs before you decide to hire them.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Fender Stratocaster, MacBook Pro, Mixing headphones, Apollo Twin, Neumann Microphone.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: My career was started on instagram. Even to this day I continue to display my work on instagram due to the amount of engagement I receive. I've been playing guitar for 12 years, but I've been doing it professionally for 8 or 9 years. Besides working as a session guitar player, I also write and produce my own music.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My style is concise, melodic, psychedelic and natural. I play guitar as if I am singing or speaking. I also commonly use effects like delay, chorus and reverb to add ethereal and ambient textures to songs.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would like to work with John Mayer because he is a phenomenal songwriter. Although he posses out of the ordinary guitar playing skills, he never makes that the priority in his songs. He uses his guitar playing skills to highlight the emotions created by the song's message/theme.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Don't make something bigger. Make what comes before it smaller. Often times adding more to a song will only take away from what you already have; It's important to keep things simple and to consider taking something away before deciding to add more.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I usually work on pop, rock and hip hop music.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skill is conveying feelings and moods through guitar playing.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I use the guitar to express feelings of happiness, confidence and sometimes sadness or aggression. This is what I bring to a song: my unique voice that represents my feelings and most importantly the feelings provided in the song.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: My typical work process involves listening to the song, considering the request of the client and then deciding how I can achieve the best possible result. I typically present the client with what I believe sounds best, but I use whatever feedback they have to guide me towards their desired sound.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My studio setup includes an Apollo Twin interface, three electric guitars, and three acoustic guitars. My fender Stratocaster has the ideal sound for genres like rockabilly, blues and R&B. I have a PRS Custom 22 that I use for both aggressive rock tones and thick/warm clean tones. I also have a Fender D'Aquisto semi-hollowbody that works for all genres, but has a particularly robust and jazzy sound. Additionally, I have 3 acoustics: 2 are handmade nylon strings and one is a Taylor GC8 metal string acoustic. To record the acoustics I use a Neumann TLM 102. All of my instruments are recorded into my Apollo interface and are processed using top of the line plugins. I have a diverse set of effects that can achieve almost any sound you can imagine.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I am inspired by guitar players like David Gilmour, Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Mayer. I am also inspired by producers like Kanye West and Mike Dean because of their ability to blend rock with modern hip hop and rap.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: My most common type of work is strengthening songs by adding guitar parts. This involves utilizing my knowledge of mixing to make sure that these parts fit into the track seamlessly. Based upon the request of the client, I use a diverse set of effects and plugins to achieve their desired sound.