Ace Frehley Calls Himself a ‘Sloppy’ Player, Admits He Should’ve Spent More Time Practicing: ‘There Are Times I Don’t Know What the Hell I’m Playing’ tt

“In retrospect, I should have practiced more. There are times I don’t know what the hell I’m playing, but it just comes out alright anyway!”

Ace Frehley Calls Himself a 'Sloppy' Player, Admits He Should've Spent More Time Practicing: 'There Are Times I Don't Know What the Hell I'm Playing'

Ace Frehley said that he thinks of himself as a “sloppy” player, and admitted that he should’ve spent more time practicing.”Sloppiness” is a perceived flaw that perpetually gets called out among guitarists, especially after the extreme precision and technicality of ’80s guitarists made sonic pedantry a prized quality in some guitar-playing circles. On the other hand, accusations of “sloppy” playing tend to fall flat, given that they’re often leveled against old-school guitarists whose raw power and influence left a large mark on rock music, with Jimmy Page being a prime example.

Speaking to Total Guitar in a new interview, the classic KISS six-string wielder Ace Frehley openly puts himself in that category, and appears to be completely unperturbed by his perceived “sloppiness”. He said:

“I’m a sloppy fucking guitar player! I’ll be the first to admit that. I make mistakes, and shit happens – especially live. I play the songs how they’re meant to be played. I deliver the classic Kiss songs and my solo songs how you remember them.”

On the other hand, Frehley thinks that an absence of such “sloppiness” didn’t help his successor Tommy Thayer an effort to uphold The Spaceman’s legacy:

“A guy like Tommy Thayer – who I like and is a great player – will play perfectly with no mistakes. But is that what you want? Tommy will never be me, and no one can play like me. I take pride in that. That’s rock ‘n’ roll.”

Speaking about his tone, Frehley says it’s the same on his latest solo effort “10,000 Volts” as it’s always been, noting that it never relied on any secret ingredients:

“It’s been the same since I was a teenager. I listened to all my favorite guitar players, who tended to be British Invasion guys like Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck… the list goes on. But as far as my tone, and the way I write my solos, I don’t fucking know! People tell me I’m so unique, but it’s just a matter of me clearing my fucking head and letting it rip!”

“In retrospect, I should have practiced more”

Similarly, Ace notes that there’s no specific method he follows in his creative process and playing style:

“If there was, I don’t think I’d remember it! When you hear my solos, you know it’s me, and you’ll hear little bits and pieces of those guys I mentioned, but I could never teach someone to play like me. I don’t think I’d want to! I’m a blues-based guitarist, like Jimmy Page, and that’s how I look at my solos.”

And while Ace Frehley might have freewheeled his way into rock ‘n’ roll royalty, he does admit that paying more attention to practice could’ve been beneficial in the long run. Asked about one nugget of wisdom he’d share with the world, Ace said:

“In retrospect, I should have practiced more. There are times I don’t know what the fuck I’m playing, but it just comes out alright anyway! I do my best work when I’m not thinking, when I just empty my head. I’ll be fine if I know the key and have a few takes. What can I say? I know how to make a good song. There’s no explaining it beyond that.”

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