JACKEL PUN on Playing Guitar, Teaching, Aristides & More

Jackel Pun

Jackel Pun is a self-taught guitarist and teacher based out of Hong Kong. In an interview for Guitar Sphere, Jackel tells us about his musical beginnings, getting into playing a guitar, his connection with Aristides Instruments, technique, and more.

How would you describe your initial exposure to music?

I start learning classical piano at 5 years old, and violin too few years later. I just loved music when I was little, I was really into classical and hiphop music at that time, my father got an acoustic guitar at home so sometimes I would pick it up and just play, even if I was just an idiot with guitar at that moment. And I always loved to learn some new music just by listening to it. So my parents thought I really love music and that I’m talented so they just let me try to start learning piano and violin.

Were you in the music programs in school while you were growing up?

Nope.

How did you get into playing guitar?

As I said, my father got an acoustic guitar at home. I loved playing video games and then I bought a game called Guitar Hero, and I got introduced to many rock and metal songs through this game. I found out that I really love rock and metal, and that I really wanna try and learn how to play an electric guitar. So I started a part-time job beside going to school and bought my first electric guitar when I was 16. That’s when I started self-learning.

Did you start to listen to music differently once you discovered guitar?

Yes, I explored more about it on YouTube and Guitar Hero. I used to be very much into classical, pop, hiphop stuff, and then when I started playing a guitar, rock and heavy metal replaced it all.

Who were some of your early guitar influences?

Slash, Synyster Gates, Matt Bellamy, Dimebag Darrell. And lately Misha Mansoor, Mark Holcomb, Jake Bowen, Steve Vai, John Petrucci, Jeff Loomis, Jason Richardson, Aaron Marshall, Marc Okubo, John Browne, Tosin Abasi.

Jackel Pun

Tell me about your guitar technique.

Since I love modern progressive bands like Periphery, Monuments, Tesseract, Intervals, Veil of Maya, Animals as Leaders, their styles include a lot of down picking skills, sweep picking, alternate picking and some very fast 16th notes. So basically my technique is based around it.

It’s known that you play Aristides guitars. What made you gravitate to this brand?

I saw Ola Englund and Misha Mansoor played this guitar on YouTube, and I thought that the design is super modern, special and cool. Also the guitar has no wood, it’s made by a material called Arium. So I went to try their guitar at NAMM two years ago, and I felt like I never played a guitar. Aristides guitars sounds huge and there is lots of resonance. It totally beats most of the wood-made guitars, so I was really down for an Aristides guitar.

Tell me about your Aristides collection. Which models do you own? Give us some specs.

I own 010, 020, 060, 070, and a 080S coming soon, which is a fanned-fret 8-string. Most of my Aristides guitars don’t have really big differences. For example, this are my specs for my 060/070/080S:

  • Body and neck one piece construction, integrally layered with Arium
  • Hipshot Hardtail Brigde
  • Hipshot Griplock open gear locking tuners
  • Richlite Fretboard
  • Luminlay side dots
  • Graphtec Black Tusq Custom Nut
  • 24 Jescar FW57110 Stainless Steel frets
  • Scale: 25,5’’
  • Bareknuckle Aristides Custom Pickups
  • Electronic components: MEC Electronics
  • Switch: 5 way blade switch + Volume Knob, no tone knob
  • Satin finish on the neck

JPS

Besides your strong relationship with Aristides, what other guitars are in your collection?

  • Musicman Neptune Blue JP6 – BFR with Roasted Maple neck, Quilted Maple top 2014 Limited
  • PRS Custom 24, fade blue finish with a flamed maple top
  • Schecter Synyster Gates Custom S, Black/Gold stripes

Tell me about your home studio. What do you use for tracking at home?

I don’t have a home studio, so I’m renting a place in an industrial building as my studio. I use Axe-FX II XL for tracking most of the time, also a MacBook Pro 15” running with Logic Pro X as my DAW and a pair of Yamaha HS-8 speakers. Beside Axe-FX II XL, sometimes I use my EVH 5150 III with HESU 2×12” V30 cabinets. It’s my favourite amp and cab, and also a perfect combination in my opinion.

With the advancement of the technology and amp/effect simulation, do you still use pedals?

I seldom use pedals now as the drives, FX effects in Axe-FX II are already doing a really good job. Also it saves my money, so I don’t have to buy a bunch of pedals, and I don’t need to bring an amp head and a big pedal board for shows. Axe-FX II is really convenient for now.

studio

How did you get into guitar teaching? Does it feel as a big challenge or responsibility to teach someone? 

I started teaching since 4 years ago after I graduated from high school. As I didn’t like going to school, I really wanted try my best to make a living from playing music and teaching. At the beginning, it was a big challenge as I had no experience. I didn’t know if I can teach people to play in a good way. It often happens that we know how to play good, but it doesn’t mean that we know how to explain or teach people, so I bought a lots of books, made a lots of research for some good teaching material and started making my own teaching material. Also I needed to be a patient/talkative guy to all students, trying to let them enjoy playing during my lessons, but I did have a hard time in the beginning. [laughs]

In your opinion, what are the three skills that every guitarist must bring to perfection?

  • 1. Groove
  • 2. Touch (Like Vibrato and Strings bending)
  • 3. Play every note super clean

How did you work on perfecting your rhythm and solo parts?

I used to practice a lot of songs, almost 400 songs in these six years since I started playing guitar. I learned a lot of rhythm and solo parts from different songs. It helps a lot, as every song have different riffs and solos.

When I started making covers, I found out that it’s not hard to record a song at once and play it perfect. Also I could notice a lot more mistakes from what I record on the computer more than just playing along with a song. So I started to record a lot more, I worked on my mistake and improved so quick when I kept recording different songs. It was really a big help.

Jackel Pun 1

Back to music… You’ve been covering all kind of metal songs over the past few years through your YouTube channel. Do you have any plans to release something on your own any time soon?

Yes. Actually I released my instrumental single two months ago which name is “Humanatee.” You can check it on my YouTube channel right now!

Also I started working with my band again after two years since we stopped. You can check out some of our old songs on YouTube too. New album will be released at the end of the year or early next year. Keep an eye on that!