Alberto Barci is an 18 year old guitar player, composer, and solo artist from Lucca, Italy, now based in London, UK. Alberto started sharing guitar videos on social media starting in 2015, slowly gaining popularity and receiving positive feedback from all over the world; his video cover of “Altitudes” by Jason Becker received praise and was shared by Jason himself. This led him to enter the Brotherhood of Guitar when Alberto got his first Ernie Ball Music Man John Petrucci Majesty at the Winter NAMM Show in 2017 with which he recorded and published his very first single “Insomnia”, at the age of 16.
Alberto has collaborated and played with Chris Zoupa (Teramaze/Youtube Guitar Educator), Ciro Manna, Daniele Liverani, Madvice, and many others. His guitar contributions can be heard in Daniele Liverani’s “Worlds Apart” (2019), Madvice’s “Everything Comes to an End” (2018), and in Friedrich Thirtythree’s “Obsidian” (2020).
Alberto won the Italian national guitar contest of Guitar X-Perience with a live performance of his song “The Showdown” in 2018, which gave him the opportunity to play at Padova’s Guitar Show 2019, alongside Italian guitar legends, Andrea Braido, Cesareo and Massimo Varini. In 2020 he also won the international competition “Solo as Perfection” hosted by death metal legends, Fleshgod Apocalypse. In October of 2019, Alberto released his debut solo album, “A Matter of Priority”, make sure to check out the 7-track album below.
We had the opportunity to speak to Alberto Barsi about his influences, the first time he played an Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty, and much more.
Q & A
EBMM: When did you first learn how to play the guitar?
AB: I started playing when I was about 11 years old, going to a local school in my hometown Lucca.
EBMM: You’ve been around music since a very young age. Did you grow up with a lot of music in your family?
AB: Actually no, I was the first one in my family to have a real interest in music. Despite this, I’ve always felt attracted to electric guitar and rock music since I was a kid, but I can’t really recall a specific moment or event that triggered this passion at the beginning.
EBMM: When did you realize you wanted to pursue music full-time?
AB: When I listened to “Rust in Peace” by Megadeth for the first time I got immediately interested in developing my technique to a professional level and started investing even more time than before playing guitar; however, I didn’t take it as “work” or “practice” at first, it was just how I spent my free time, basically like playing video games. After a while however, it was evident that playing guitar had become the thing I could do best and loved the most and therefore it seemed like a natural decision to pursue that career path.
EBMM: You have had the opportunity to collaborate / play in some legendary moments. What’s been the most influential experience?
AB: Probably one of the biggest shows I’ve ever played was my performance at the Guitar Show in Italy, where I got to open for some of the most important Italian guitar stars and play in front of a huge crowd. I also met the guys behind some of the gear that I’ve always used, like the awesome people at Reference Cables, who lent me some of their newer models for my performance. Amazing experience without a doubt!
EBMM: Can you remember the first time you played an Ernie Ball Music Man instrument? How has your Music Man instrument(s) helped you grow as a musician?
AB: Of course! The first time I ever tried a Music Man guitar was at Guitar Center in Hollywood California, during NAMM 2017: it was a white Ernie Ball Majesty that I loved right away, and took with me back to Italy. The neck of a Majesty is about as comfortable as you can get and makes fast passages and wide vibratos much easier to come out. Also, it’s an extremely versatile guitar which encapsulates a wide range of sounds in just one instrument: this particular aspect taught me over the years to explore the guitar in as many of its sonic possibilities before thinking about pedals or effects.
EBMM: Tell us a little bit about your music style. How did you go about developing your unique sound?
AB: My music style draws a lot from metalcore: I’ve always enjoyed its blending of heavy riffs/breakdowns and catchy, pop-oriented choruses. I am also a huge fan of progressive metal, so some of my songs do have a very intricate structure with many time-signature changes, like “The Showdown”. I think my current style of writing is mainly a mix of these two genres, with hints of orchestral and electronic elements in the arrangements.
EBMM: What is your process like when creating new music?
AB: My process is different every time, although generally it always starts with me noodling on the guitar and finding interesting ideas. Then I usually either try to link different ideas together, or start from one single idea and let it inform the writing of the next section, and so on. I generally like being organized and scheduling my activities, but when it comes to writing music, I need to have the entire day and take my time with everything, since I hate doing any creative work with a time limit. It’s a very particular process.
EBMM: What is your favorite track to play live?
AB: “Insomnia”, without a doubt! It’s a very high-energy and angry song which is meant to be played with lots of adrenaline, so performing it live just enhances that. Plus, it’s probably the one I’m the most comfortable with technically-wise, so I can really enjoy the moment.
EBMM: Are there any artists/bands who inspire you as a musician?
AB: Players like Stephen Taranto or Jason Richardson nowadays really inspire me to keep pushing my boundaries as a guitarist every day and to be as creative as possible in my playing and writing. Jason Becker has also always been a huge inspiration both as a musician and as a person: he taught me, and everyone, to never ever give up no matter what.
EBMM: What can we expect from you in the near future? Any exciting projects we should look out for?
AB: I am currently putting material together a second solo release, which I’m planning to self-produce, while also working on a couple of new songs in collaboration with some amazing guitarists and musicians. Also, the debut album of my band Backfire, called “The Two of Us”, will come out next year, which is something I’m extremely proud of. Apart from that, I’m regularly uploading videos and collaborations on my social media and I’m looking forward to doing those a lot more!
Alberto relies on his Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty guitar in the studio and on the stage.
Watch the official video for “A Matter of Priority” from Alberto Barsi‘s most recent solo debut album.