Hiroaki Tagawa

He is one of the my favorite guitarist.
When I first met him, I was drunk a little and that place was a music bar. This is bar located in Hachiouji and here, you can listen to music while drinking and eating. The bar’s name is “Live Bar X. Y. Z.→A” where we can watch famous musician’s performance and listen to it closely. you should go there if you are a music enthusiast.
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Then I was surprised by his playing style, technique and his guitar sounds were also really great. He was talking about funny stories during the interval of his tunes. Sometimes he is speaking very long time than playing. But it’s OK, I thought his talks are also part of his attraction. Meanwhile, I was drunk more with alcohol and his play so I tried to request him to play my favorite songs with loud voice like this “Hey! I wanna listen to some Alcatrazz’s song” “Try it!!!”. Maybe I was impolite then, but he was willing to accept my request and he played some songs. He was very kind and gentle, it seemed like that I saw him enjoy playing those songs. I drank with him after his show and we talked many things like favorite music, guitarist and band. It was a wonderful meeting experience at least for me. And then, I went his show many times and he always makes me happy.

*Hachiouji is located in western of Tokyo, it’s very nice place and my second home town.
*Live Bar X. Y. Z.→A

Hiroaki Tagawa’s profile and biography

Hiroaki Tagawa is a blind guitarist known for his unique style of playing with his left hand over the neck.

Tagawa started playing the piano at the age of 3.
Losing eyesight from congenital visual impairment by age 5, he got to devote himself in music more and more.

When he was 10, he met his lifelong partner, the guitar.
As any instruction books/videos didn’t tell him how to play through his eyes, Tagawa developed by himself a very unique playing style with his left hand over the neck while he tried to press the strings on the fretboard like the piano.
That’s where his project name “FretPiano” came from.

Through his late teens and early twenties, Tagawa kept on winning the prizes at so many contests and appearing on TV/Radio programs and articles.

In 1994 Tagawa formed the band “Colors”.
Colors did about 40 gigs annualy, and Tagawa’s songwriting and unique playing style attracted audience.

In 1995 Tagawa was involved in the project album entitled “Voo Doo Doll (B-Magic label)”, the compilation album of the unknown shredding guitarists in Japan.
Tagawa came to the attention and astonishment of a lot of people through the promotional activities and interviews/articles for the album.
In that year Tagawa got an opportunity to demonstrate at Gakki Fair (Musical Instrument Fair), the biggest musical instrument dealer convention in Tokyo, and performed an incredible shredding session with Rob “7-string Wizard” Johnson.

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After spending several years in”Colors”, Tagawa has been developing his music career as studio/live guitarist, composer of CM jingles, producer of local bands, etc.
Heavy Metal Syndicate, the most famous heavy metal radio program in Japan sponsored by the heavy metal magazine Burrn!, has been using Tagawa’s compositions as jingles for years.

In 2005 Minoru Niihara, the vocalist of the legendary Japanese heavy metal band “LOUDNESS” once shook the world with the album “Thunder In The East”, happened to find the audio of Tagawa’s play on the internet, and Niihara asked Tagawa to play in his forthcoming solo album.
The album is “Ashes To Glory”, released on February 22, 2006, in which Tagawa played all the guitars and keyboards, composed 5 songs and arranged all songs.
Joined with Jeff Pilson (DOKKEN, War and Peace, etc.)
on bass, Vinny Appice (DIO, Black Sabbath, etc.)
on drums and Wyn Davis as sound engineer(DOKKEN, John Norum, Great White, etc.).
The release of “Ashes To Glory” gave Tagawa the chance to be interviewed by a lot of TV programs, magazines, newspapers, etc. and attracted much more fans than ever.
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In November 2006 the band “X.Y.Z.-A”, which Niihara formed with the drummer Funky Sueyoshi (Bakufu Slump), the guitarist Fumihiko Kitsutaka (Kinniku Shojyotai) and the bassist Tatsuhiko Wasada (Bakufu Slump),
invited Tagawa to play as the guest guitarist at their gig in Tokyo. The jam, especially the guitar battle by Tagawa and Kitsutaka, made the audience much excited.

And now in 2007 Tagawa is still working actively as guitarist, composer, arranger, producer and engineer.
Source of a Quote :FretPiano 田川ヒロアキ HIROAKI TAGAWA Official Web Site

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