December 7, 2023

The Art of Guitar

Hair metal poodles and spandex clad rockers beware..!

There are ways to burn on the guitar that far surpass the egocentric simplicity and slavery to technique of that whole guitar school, speed focused, sweep picking, notes for notes sake playing that occurs in a vacuum devoid of taste, subtlety and emotion. A while back I posted here about tasty solos and in a way all of these are shredders in the following sense:

The guitar as an instrument is emotive, not mechanical, slick or polished unless it needs to be as part of the expression – e.g. a Freddie King Lick, an Albert King bend, a Clapton phrase, the Leslie West tone, Hendrix` sustain etcetera…..What makes these kinds of players special is the integrity and honesty in the ability of their playing to communicate something very human and powerful – emotion, character, experience and individuality.

it`s a combination of melody or lack thereof, timing, timbre, attack, tone, technique and more; imperfection, humanity, frailty, strength, ambition, fear and glory. It`s ALL FEEL playing the guitar, nothing else, especially if you`ve a great song to do it with! J.J. Cale is a great example of a musician whose delivery, content, songwriting and even message seems to consist almost entirely of feel, and feel alone – incredible.  Then again someone like Paul Gilbert really, really cooks up  storm! Find what you like and mix it all together.

SO, it IS up to you entirely – there is an entire genre of speed/technique worthy of admiration ranging from neo-classicists such as Yngwie Malmsteen or Gary Moore (try the album After the War) – who has incidentally “reinvented” himself as a blues player – to the insane dexterity and sweep picking of Batio below….one day it`ll be so fast you can’t even hear it!! Mark Knpfler always seemed fast enough for me….

But if you feel good shredding, get down to it and have look at the video below especially between 1.40 minutes and 2.20 minutes. Michael Angelo Batio fast, very, very fast; or J.J.Cale…very, very slow…..mmmm


Jake Edwards

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