The Guitar Solo

Powerful Essays
If someone mentions guitar solo to you, what comes to mind? A musical god commanding a stage? A puffy haired, spandex clad dude making silly faces? Do you see a duck walk? A burning guitar?

The guitar as an instrument evokes so many feelings, even for those not musically inclined. The guitar solo, is also a topic of heated debates. What makes a good solo? Is it the ability to compliment a song, or to be a showcase for self-indulgence?

And while the guitar solo seems synonymous with rock and roll music, its roots are embedded in jazz and blues.

Jazz is not only responsible for the birth of cool, but it also gave birth to the guitar solo. Guitars were originally acoustic. Because of their lack of volume they were rarely seen on a concert stage. If they were on stage they were stuck in the rhythm section.

It was George Beauchamp inventor and cofounder of Ro Pat In Corporation, which later became Rickenbacker, that changed the way a guitar would be heard. In 1931 he developed the pickup and the first electric guitar.

Besides George Beauchamp, another pioneer of the electric guitar was jazz guitarist Charlie Christian. Most famous for his work with The Benny Goodman Sextet, his string technique along with the amplified instrument brought the guitar to the forefront. Charlie Christian paved the way for Les Paul, Eddie Cochran, B.B. King, Chuck Berry, and T Bone Walker.

T Bone Walker did for the blues what Christian did for jazz. They changed the sound and style drastically. Walker took the electric guitar to the Mississippi Delta Blues and set the template for what would become known as the Chicago Blues sound.

Most electric guitars were hollow bodied. They gave the guitarist volume, but at a price. At high volume they woul...

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...of these are essential techniques. The 1980s rock sound was dominated by bands with guitarist that used this style of playing. Where much of the guitar work in the 60s and 70s was influenced by the blues, guitar shredding in the 80s showed classical music influence in their pieces.

Many of the guitarists that became popular in the 80s are considered some of the most technically proficient players ever. Guitar shredding has been used in a variety of musical styles. Neo classical, jazz fusion, progressive rock, heavy metal have adapted shredding to fit their genre.

Revered guitarists of the 80s Kirk Hammett, Dave Mustaine, Marty Friedman, Randy Rhoads, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Dimebag Darrell all mastered the art of shredding. In 2003 Guitar One Magazine named Michael Angelo Batio, Chris Impellitteri, and Yngwie Malmsteen as the fastest guitar shredders ever.
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