The Interviews - PETE HUTTLINGER INTERVIEW - By Ace Batacan (a.k.a. Eiko)
The Collings Forum Home

July 11, 2004, Pete’s home (Nashville area)
Question and Answer session conducted by Ace Batacan (a.k.a. Eiko).

Ace: What got you started playing and when did you start playing the guitar?

Pete: When I was around 7 years old, I took lessons with my brother. Then we stopped for a while. When I was 12, I started playing the banjo. I picked up the guitar at around 14.

Ace: What was your first guitar?

Pete: I have no idea what brand it was. It’s too long ago.

Ace: What was the first Collings guitar you played and bought?

Pete: Cotten Music always carried Collings guitars. There was an OM2H that I kept picking up to play. After a while, I asked Richard Cotten if I could take it to a session and if it worked out, I’d buy it.

Ace: How did you and why did you like the guitar?

Pete: It was the first guitar that I did not have to think about intonation.  And the tone, it has a great tone.

Ace: What was your first Collings guitar?

Pete: The OM2H.

Ace: Who were your early influences?

Pete: When I was a kid, I played banjo so I listened to all the bluegrass guys like Clarence White, Tony Rice, Doc Watson, and others. Later on, I heard Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, America, James Taylor, and Carlos Santana on the radio all the time. When I got older, there was Steve Morse, Al Di Meola, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Chet Atkins, and Merle Travis.

Ace: Tell us about your practice regimen and any suggestions you may have for us.

Pete: I’ll spend about 15 to 20 minutes for warming up.  Then I would work on whatever it is I need to work on like prepare songs for a project.  I suggest that you have a goal in mind. Get something out of each practice session. Sit down and work on the ones that really need the work. Don’t play the 30 songs you already know unless you’re going over them to keep them fresh on your repertoire.

Ace: And follow the Chet commandment: Learn and play the whole song through. No half songs?

Pete: Yes or you’ll get half a check for the gig, if you even get that.

Ace: Tell us about your first gig.

Pete: When I was a kid, I used to go to Shakey’s Pizza in Concord, CA. They always had a band playing and I would sit in with my banjo. Then in High School, my guitar teacher had a family band and he had me play with them sometimes. We would do community dances and other functions.

Ace: How many guitars do you own?

Pete: About 10.

Ace: Do you have a favorite?

Pete: It’s hard to say because they all have a purpose. I like my acoustic guitars for what they do, and my electrics for that they do. I do play my Collings more than any of the others.

Ace: What is your style and how did you develop it?

Pete: I developed my style from listening to the players I mentioned earlier. I listened and learned what they did. When I wanted to start arranging my own songs, influences from these guys would come in.

Ace: What is your stage set-up?

Pete: I have a Fishman Matrix pick-up and an I-Beam. Sometimes I blend them but usually I’m using the Fishman. I have it going through a Lexicon MPX-1. That has a nice reverb, chorus, and delay. I use an AER Compact 60 amplifier.  I have two of those in case I stereo out and connect to two of them.

Ace: What is your latest album?

Pete: It’s called The Santa Rita Connection, just recently released. It contains mostly my own songs except for a few cover tunes (Sunny, I Got Rhythm, and Superstition).

Ace: Do you have a personal favorite album?

Pete: I really like the latest one a lot.

Ace: How did you record it, what was your set-up like?

Pete: I used two vintage Neumann KM-84 microphones. They went into a UA 2610 pre. and straight into Pro-Tools that I run in a MAC G4.

Ace: Which guitar(s) did you use for your latest CD?

Pete: The song Kim Sherman’s Intro was with my Taylor 810. That was recorded a while back for a different project. I didn’t see any reason to re-record it. The rest of the project I used my Collings OM1A.


Ace’s notes:

I would like to thank my good friend Pete (who is so busy these days) for his hospitality and for taking the time to meet with me to do this interview for the Collings Forum members. He welcomed me into his home and even showed me the nice recording studio he had built. Pete’s latest cd project was done there. He definitely believes in Collings guitars. If you have ever seen him perform, you can tell that the player and the guitar were made for each other. I hope you all enjoyed this brief interview. Ed, special thanks to you for letting me do this.


Please visit Pete’s website:

His new CD is called The Santa Rita Connection.

He also has a new book out called The Pete Huttlinger Collection (arrangements for fingerstyle guitar) that contains all the songs from his latest CD and some songs from Naked Pop and Catch & Release.

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