Loading... Please wait...
  • Call us at 778.655.2263
  • My Account

Richard Smyth

MEAs/Richard_Smyth_guitarist.jpgRichard Smyth, a Toronto based guitarist extraordinaire, is the player behind Mack Music’s sound clips.  We think Richard's playing is killer and we couldn't be more pleased with his contribution. Richard plays a Skyraider SR-30C.

Richard is a consummate musician.  The Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of consummate is “extremely skilled and accomplished”.  In Richard’s case, that is a truly accurate description.  His instrument of choice happens to be the guitar.  For that, Mack Music is grateful.  To have a guitarist of Richard’s caliber graciously agree to create our sound clips is a true stroke of luck and greatly appreciated.

Richard’s natural playing style is reminiscent of the “monster” LA studio guitarist school of playing.  His soloing is highly melodic drawing from rock and blues usually interlaced with creative arpeggiated or modal sounds.  His rhythm chops are possibly more inspiring than his soloing abilities.  Heavy crunch chords to lightning-fast syncopated funk stabs to liquid toned jazz tonalities.  Whatever the part calls for Richard can provide the right style: classic rock, traditional blues, metal, reggae, bebop horn lines … you name it.

Richard began playing the guitar some 30 years ago by lifting songs and licks from his favorite albums and playing his gold-top Les Paul* in rock and roll cover bands.  Understanding the limited opportunities in his northern Ontario hometown, he moved to Toronto, Canada’s music capital, to create a career in music.  He’s never looked back.

Humber College, Canada’s premiere music school, accepted Richard into its diploma program for jazz performance, composition and arranging.  Three years later, armed with a strong base in music theory and now awesome performance technique, Richard landed on Toronto’s music scene.

Since then Richard has been extremely active.  His studio work includes performing on everything from jingles to commercials to adding his unique style and creativity to various artists’ recordings.  He has slugged it out as a pit guitarist for a number of theatrical productions and has led his own bands throughout the years. 

A master of virtually any style Richard has been a mainstay of live music in Toronto.  Whether he’s performing as a solo acoustic act, backing singers and touring headliners or playing casual social or corporate dates as a band member or leader, Richard always brings taste, passion, monstrous chops and above all professionalism to every gig.

Richard is also a gifted vocalist able to easily handle lead vocals or blend into background harmonies.  His vocal talents along with his abilities on the guitar and his encyclopedic memory of songs in all styles make Richard a huge asset in any musical situation.

However, he is not only a performer.  Over the last 15+ years, Richard has supported the music community as a teacher.  He has created and led improvisation workshops and teaches guitar at The East Alternative School of Toronto.  Richard’s Modenomics method for guitar is a clear, easy to learn introduction to adding modal soloing techniques to any guitarist’s bag of tricks.  As well, Richard has taught for over a decade at Canada’s most respected guitar pro shop, The Twelfth Fret.

Today in addition to maintaining a full book of teaching appointments and a constant stream of live gigs, Richard is focusing on song writing and composing.  He has numerous projects underway in his home studio that involve creating original compositions in a wide range of musical styles.

On a guitar gear-head note, Richard currently favors an Ernie Ball/MUSICMAN* Silhouette Special guitar as his main instrument.  Over the years, he has found a niche creating stunning tones from inexpensive Japanese Stratocaster* copies proving that tone can be as much a result of the player as the instrument.  Richard owns a vintage ES335*, a 70’s Stratocaster and various acoustic and bass guitars.  And, he still has his gold-top P90 equipped Les Paul!

Richard, thanks for your help in creating the Mack Music sound clips.  We wish you continued success.

*Les Paul, ES335; Ernie Ball/Musicman; and Stratocaster are registered trademarks of Gison Guitar Corp.; Ernie Ball, Inc; and Fender Musical Instruments Corporation respectively.  Mack Music is in no way affiliated with these trademarks or companies.