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 is a Japanesemarker guitarist, producer, arranger, composer and songwriter. In addition to guitarist and lead composer for the hard rock band B'z, he has also had a successful solo career.


Tak's formal education in jazz was minimal, but when he started working as a session musician, and supporting many tours like TM Network, his musicianship was cemented. His exposure to a myriad of styles helped him to meld his own unique blend, incorporating elements of his jazz training, blues (his incorporation of the style known as "Kansai Blues" is well known), classical, metal, rock, and ska.

Tak continued his session work throughout the early and mid-1980s until deciding to jump on the emerging solo instrumental trend catching on in Japan at that time. He recorded "Thousand Wave" and working with future globe headliner Tetsuya Komuro. "99", a simple instrumental incorporating some blistering fretwork, is considered one of his finest works.

After the solo album he decided to try his hand at starting his own band. With his session work behind him, and a burgeoning production career, he started to search for a singer. After being presented with a tape from an unknown session singer known as Koshi Inaba, Tak was blown away. Their first recorded session was a rendition of "Let It Be" of the Beatles fame, and even though the amp blew out, Tak knew he had his new singer. Tak and Koshi formed the band B'z and debuted in September 1988. B'z has continued to be one of the most successful bands in the history of Japanese music, helped by the pairing of two very different musical directions. Tak always drew his tastes from blues, classical, and jazz, while Koshi preferred rock music. Tak has ongoing friendships with musicians such as Barry Sparks, Marty Friedman, Billy Sheehan, Eddie Van Halen, Eric Martin, Jack Blades, Joe Perry, Pat Torpey, Shane Gaalaas, Steven Tyler, and Steve Vai, with whom Tak and Koshi recorded the song "Asian Sky" from the 1999 album, "The Ultra Zone". Billy Sheehan recorded tracks for 1999's "Brotherhood" album, as well as touring (along with Shane Gaalaas) as support musicians for 2002's Green Live-Gym Tour.

In 2002, Tak Matsumoto contributed music to two songs ("Don't Stop Music!" and "Koiuta") in Misia's fourth album, "Kiss in the Sky". She invited him to be a part of the album after discovering his solo work.

In 2004, Tak formed the "Tak Matsumoto Group" with Eric Martin on vocal, Jack Blades on bass, and Brian Tichy on drums, forging ahead with his own brand of musical genius. Tak played guitar, produced the album and wrote songs while Eric and Jack wrote lyrics. On March, the single "Oh Japan ~Our Time Is Now~", was released. The album TMG I that made Tak go back and forth to US for the recording, was released on June 23. Tak has had this project idea for a long time, the album mixes rock and oriental sound. The album topped the chart on the first week.Tak energetically kept working. On July 18, 19 and 20, Tak had a collaboration concert with Tokyo Symphony Orchestra at Suntory Hall. At this special concert named Tokyo Special Collaboration 2004 Matsumoto Takahiro -HANA-, Tak played B'z hit Love Phantom and solo number HANA with his only guitar and the Orchestra.

Soon after, TMG started its tour rehearsal. From July 30, the "Dodge The Bullet" tour started at ZEPP Fukuoka. Chris Frazier who played songs on the B'z album Big Machine joined as drummer for this tour. TMG had 16 shows in 8 locations including the last show at Nihon Budokanmarker.

In November, Tak established his own label "House of Strings" which emphasizes guitarists and string musicians. He recorded again at a studio the songs played with orchestra in July, and released it as the first House of Strings CD with the same title on the album. It is an instrumental album including Christmas numbers such as "Itsukano Merry Christmas" and "HOLY NIGHT".

Tak has said over the years that he has many favourite artists, from whom he has drawn much inspiration, such as: Aerosmith, Deep Purple, Eddie Van Halen, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. He has also cited a love of classical music, which was the catalyst for the incorporation of strings into many B'z compositions. He has also worked with Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra for many years, and their work often appears on many of the earlier B'z albums.

Tak was given his own Signature Model Les Paul from Gibson in 1999. Tak Matsumoto was added to the Gibson signature artist club as the first and to date, the only guitarist from Asia. He currently holds the record with 4 different signature models produced, including a new tiger-striped, offset double cut model, which incorporates his new, specially wound TM-1 pickups. His Les Paul model was also adapted into an Epiphone made for commercial sale in the US.

Tak wrote the music of "Real Face" for KAT-TUN. "Real Face" became the Japanese best-selling single in 2006.

Musical equipment

Early career

  1. 'Tak' Matsumoto Yamaha MGM Signature Model (1986–1989)
  2. 'Tak' Matsumoto Yamaha MGM-II Signature Model (1989–1992)
  3. 'Tak' Matsumoto Yamaha MGM-III Signature Model (1993–1995)
  4. Gibson les paul standard gold top (1991-1998)
  5. Music Man EVH Signature Model (1995–1998)
  6. (Mesa boogie) Mark III head amp (1985-1991)
  7. VHT 100 watt rack-mounted heads (1985–1991)
  8. (mesa boogie) 2 channel Dual Rectifier 100 watt (1992-1995)
  9. (mesa boogie) 4 X 12 celestion speaker (Rebadged to a Ferrari emblem)
  10. Rockman preamp (1988-1997)
  11. Marshall JCM 800 100 watt heads (1994)
  12. Marshall 4x12's with Celestion speakers (Rebadged "Matsumoto") (1992–1997)
  13. Peavey 5150 guitar amp (1996–2000)
  14. Peavey 5150II 100 watt amplifier (2000–2002)
  15. EMB Audio Remote wah system


  1. 'Tak' Matsumoto Gibson Les Paul Signature Model (4 types)
  2. Bogner Ecstasy Classic 100 watt Amplifiers
  3. Bogner Uberschall 100 Watt Amplifiers
  4. Bogner "Rei" 4x12 cabinets (with specially voiced custom speakers)
  5. Budda Budwah
  6. Digitech Whammy Pedal
  7. Taurus Distortion Pedal
  8. Dunlop 1.00 Guitar Picks
  9. Sadwasky tokyo stratocaster type (2006,from the dvd monsters garage)
Tak has also amassed a substantial guitar collection, including the following:

  1. 1870 Martin C-7 Acoustic Guitar
  2. 1937 Martin 000-18 Acoustic Guitar
  3. 1952 Fender Telecaster (Butterscotch Blonde)
  4. 1954 Fender Stratocaster (Tobacco Sunburst)
  5. 1956 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop (with 'Soapbar' pickups)
  6. 1959 Gibson Les Paul Flametop (with PAF pickups)
  7. 1962 Fender Stratocaster (Fiesta Red)
  8. 1962 Gibson SG

Tak is also an avid collector of older guitar amplifiers, as well as being an accomplished bass player. Aside from guitars, he also owns other instruments, such as a few sitar, electric and otherwise.


With B'z

Solo works


  1. Thousand Wave (May 21, 1988)
  2. Wanna Go Home (April 22, 1992)
  3. Knockin' "T" Around (April 14, 1999)
  4. Dragon From The West (February 27, 2002)
  5. 華 (Hana) (February 27, 2002)
  6. Rock'n Roll Standard Club (May 15, 1996)
  7. Thousand Wave Plus (October 7, 1996)
  8. The Hit Parade (November 26, 2003)
  9. House Of Strings (November 24, 2004)
  10. Ultraman Original Soundtrack(July 20, 2005)
  11. Theatre Of Strings (October 19, 2005)


  1. '88 ~ Love Story/Love Ya (September 25, 1991) (8th in oricon)
  2. #1090 Thousand Dreams/LIFE (March 18, 1992) (3rd in oricon)
  3. 異邦人 (Ihoujin) (August 27, 2003); features Zard (2nd in oricon)
  4. イミテイション・ゴールド [Imitation Gold] (October 8, 2003); features Mai Kuraki (1st in oricon)

TMG (Tak Matsumoto Group)


  1. TMG I (June 23, 2004)


  1. "Oh Japan ~Our Time Is Now~" (March 31, 2004)


  1. Dodge The Bullet (December 15, 2004)


External links

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