|UserReviews 3Approval 97%Soundoffs 20News Articles 11Band Edits + Tags 129Album Edits 442Album Ratings 2351Objectivity 75%Last Active 07-17-14 10:19 pmJoined 01-14-09Forum Posts 114Review Comments 3,828
Over the last few years, I have developed a love/hate relationship with the
guitar. Studying music (performance) has not exactly helped in this
regard, as it has made me focus on all the negative aspects as much as
the positives, and especially in playing jazz, the drawbacks of choosing
guitar. I have come to hate guitarists and guitar culture, though every now
and then a glimmer of hope is shown in certain players.These are the
guitarists (yeah there are not too many) that continue to inspire and give
me hope that not everybody will sound like clapton or hammet or page or
A giant in free-improvisation, Bailey left an indelible mark on guitar playing, and
improvisation in general. Taking cues from Webern's musical pointillism, Bailey
expanded the sound palette of the guitar through a range of extended techniques,
while still keeping a somewhat "traditional" approach to the instrument. His mastery of
timbre and melodic inventiveness is something that has greatly changed the way I
play the guitar.
Probably the best introduction to the man you will get:
Keith Rowe. The man who took the guitar and thought "fuck that" and put it on a
table. Doesn't seem like a big deal, but take one listen to his work with legendary
improv group AMM, or any of his various other projects, and you will realise just how
powerful this separation of player and instrument became. Rather than playing the
guitar, Rowe treats it as a sound source, extracting wildly unorthodox sounds through
various techniques. Rowe really introduced the prepared guitar, after Cage's
experiments with the prepared piano, and opened up an entire new world of sound
creation for the guitar. I like to think of Bailey and Rowe as the two main figures in
avant-garde guitar (well they kind of are irrespective of my opinion) who represent
two different paths; Rowe, with the frightening emancipation of instrument from
player, Bailey as the logical endpoint for "traditional" playing.
Keiji Haino. One of the greatest Japanese artists of the past 50 years, and perhaps
the best guitarist from the land of the rising sun. His output runs the avant-garde
gamut, and he has collaborated with many other important free-improv players from
around the world, though his best guitar work would have to be with the heavy
psych-noise giants Fushitsusha. Noise, feedback, emotion, and that fucking hair.
|4||Les Rallizes Denudes|
Mizutani Takashi. As with Haino, the noisy stylings of Mizutani is overwhelming and
beautiful. All it takes is a couple of notes, and you have a fucking hailstorm of
blissful, feedback ridden beauty.
Everything is Fire
Mike Hoggard. Taking death metal riffing to the extreme, Hoggard's dense
contrapuntal style is awe-inspiring. He is incredibly proficient technically, though the
real power lies in his melodic sensibility, and treatment of dissonance. This album
has left a real mark on my approach to playing and listening to metal.
Horror Illogium and Aphotic Mote. Well, what the fuck. Harmony has never been
treated the same way in metal before. It took me a while to wrap my head around the
idiosyncratic style of Horror Illogium, and Portal's music in general, though I can
easily say they have become a huge influence on me, much like Ulcerate. They are a
band who make me feel as overwhelmed as I used to as a little kid being exposed to
metal for the first time.
Another Japanese icon, this time combining the world of noise with free-jazz.
Takayanagi's style ranges from quiet, melodic statements, to complete sonic
Ask The Ages
A jazz guitar player who really stands out, for having a style that really is not just
playing the usual bop lines on a guitar, being one of the few jazz guitarists to achieve
a distinct sound. Sharrock harnessed noise freak-outs and interspersed them
between beautiful melodic phrases, achieving a real dynamic variety that had been
lacking in jazz guitarists.
Thurston Moore and Lee Ronaldo. I really can't leave these two out, because whether
I am a massive fan of them or not (I do definitely enjoy them), I probably take a
huge amount of influence from them. It took until I started playing in a band of a
noise rock/post punk/whatever direction to notice their impact.
From Wisdom to Hate
Luc Lemay. A riffing force to be reckoned with, opening up death metal to new
sounds. He has such a strong melodic voice as a guitarist, even in the weirder or
more brutal sections of their music.
The Inalienable Dreamless
Rob Marton. Such a beautiful use of odd harmony in grind, a genre usually content
with the bare basics. This album has always had a weird effect on me, and the more
I have listened, the more I have come to realise how perfectly suited the artwork is.
Pat Flegel and Christopher Reimer. Great use of noise elements, and highly intriguing
melodic sensibilities. These guys take indie riffing to new heights.
He really was obsessed with guitar, but holy shit did he get some great sounds out of
it. A noise enthusiast and guitar symphonist, his treatment of texture especially
piques my interest.
And fuck yeah:
Unavoidable, really. I am only really starting to appreciate him more these days.
Great melodic mind.
Chair Beside A Window
Just listen. Hypnotic, calming, and totally fucked up.
Other respectable, non-boring guitarists
John Fahey, everybody who played with Captain Beefheart, dude from Deathspell
Omega, John McLaughlin (sometimes), James Blood Ulmer (again sometimes... some
of his stuff is awful), Fred Frith, Marc Ribot, Kevin Shields.
Artists who influence me more than any guitarist
John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Morton Feldman, Arnold Schoenberg.
|I think you missed the point of this list.|
|you have Mike Hoggard on here but not Robert Vigna? the fuck|
|I'm gonna be that guy and say Kristian Matsson (The Tallest Man On Earth) is super underrated.|
guys got chops
|fuck yes 5 and 10|
|Hoggard is much more advanced harmonically compared to Vigna, and as much as they strive for similar atmospheric effect, the approach is different. I still love Vigna's playing, but I don't take much from it. Should have mentioned him but yeah.|
|sweet list, i used to play guitar a lot but i got to a point where i was no longer getting better at it so i sort of stagnated and picked up other instruments|
i picked up a few guitar heavy jazz records recently, my uncle's favorite instrument is the guitar so he gave me a django reinhardt collection and bireli lagrene cd as well as a stan getz comp that has a pretty heavy guitar presence. ive grown to appreciate the guitar in jazz a little more than i used to
|lol no Hendrix wtf is wrong with you bro?|
|Interesting read. Gonna check out 2, I actually found and dld it yesterday|
|What, no Petrucci?! etc|
Also, have a feature
|I've been studying music since beginning high school and I can relate to your feeling towards guitarists and the culture. I usually ignore the feeling though and tolerate the douchebags never improving and playing the same old popular rock and metal, there's nothing you can do about it. |
|derek bailey, fushitsusha, les rallizes denudes, sonic youth, women, jandek? u r my fav user|
|Great list. I feel a bit remiss now for not having included 4-7 or Jandek on my own.|
|Thanks dudes. Yeah I agree with you there Relinquished, at some point you just have to block it out haha. I do my best to avoid it, but every now and then you get a dose of reality...|
Hyperion jazz is what really annoyed me about guitar though. As soon as I got heavily into playing jazz, all I wanted was a sax. There are things you just can't do on a guitar, and in a bop setting the guitar just gets shit on a lot of the time but sax, trumpet and keys. Hearing Coltrane scream out one note is enough to make me want to trade in guitar sometimes.
|and cheers Dev.|
|this list did need to be made, props man|
|nice list liled rules|
|Just listened to The Ascension and its fantastic. Ahead of its time.|
|there is no way you had any idea what was going on so why would you say that|
|The album was an influence on the noise rock bands of the 80s. Especially Sonic Youth. Lee Ranalda played on the damn |
|holy shit all of ur lists alwas kick ass|
|holy shit I like so many of these cuz sputnik showed me them thanks guys |
|no love for fugazi?|
|Never been hugely into them to be honest.|
|i really like their late albums.|
|bump for liled|
|I like this list. But I'll always love guitar because I play it, and those can move past it's drawbacks and turn it into amazing instrument deserve respect, and I don't mean by fucking soloing. The standard tuning itself is where the drawbacks begin imo, where as with a piano you are free. |
|Yeah since I finished my course I have been a little bit more positive with guitar which is nice. Not having the pressure of recitals or being forced to play bad shit really helps keep things fresh, that's for sure. And playing in a band helps. I'm actually finding lately that I'm still really digging standard tuning, and feeling totally free to create from it with no resort to cliche or whatever. Sonic Youth style tunings are nice for forcing different sounds out, but after building up my knowledge in standard tuning for all these years I find it limiting to change to something else.|
|I guess it really isn't the standard tuning that's the problem. It's that people get stuck into simple and easy musical keys, just break free from all that shit. Write your own rules on playing if it sounds good. |
|Nice list but not enough Agata from Melt-Banana.|
|Agata is a magician|
|Randy Rhoads made me pick up a guitar when I was 12|
|a big peeve for me nowadays is giant pedalboards - a lot of the time they're just so useless. You'll see big name guitarists with 30+ pedals on their board, and yet some of those might be used for just one riff on one song|
I was a culprit myself, with about 20 pedals on my old board. But recently I downsized everything I own; two guitars, two amps, and six pedals. Could it be simpler? Sure. But this gives me everything I need for any genre and any song I want