The Parker Guitars Forum

Parker Lounge => ON MUSICIANSHIP AND THE ART OF PLAYING => Topic started by: prjacobs on April 19, 2008, 11:09:02 AM

Title: Guitar genres
Post by: prjacobs on April 19, 2008, 11:09:02 AM
I'm wondering what people think are the major stylistic influences in guitar playing over the decades.  For me, I guess it started with instrumentals from the 50s, surf music, the Ventures, the Beach Boys.. Lots of Fender guitars played through tweed fender amps. Than the Beatles, Stones, etc., still basically a clean guitar sound.  Hendrix, who suddenly changed everything. The whole overdriven sound of the 60s guitar heroes.
Then, for me, fusion, although at the beginning, none of the "jazz" guitarists had any feel for rock, at all.  And then the whole finger tapping style.  (I've just came back from a piano lesson, talking about German, Viennese, French and Russian styles of playing and thought it would be fun to pose this question to my fellow guitarists).
Title: Guitar genres
Post by: 908ssp on April 19, 2008, 07:32:54 PM
...I'm wondering what people think are the major stylistic influences in guitar playing over the decades....

Do you mean in a general sense or to me in particular?

In a general sense I am sure stuff happened before my time that I am unaware of. I recently heard that Robert Johnson is credited with inventing the turn around and solo in blues I thought that was pretty amazing. Link Ray being responsible for distortion this again was unknown to me till recently. Etc...

I grew up in a house hold where classical music was played for hours almost every day. Then as many kids of that time I got my first transistor radio and Motown was what they played until the Beatles and the sound of music changed nearly over night. Bands like the Kinks and the Who were important guitar centric rock sounds, even more so than the Beatles or Stones to me. Jimi Hendrix and Clapton and Cream took guitar to a new level. Hendrix really was a quantum leap in guitar sound because I hadn't ever listened to the music in his circle of influence. His tying pop and radical blues together just sounded so new. Many of the late 60s early 70s bands were where I really listened to music, bands like Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, Nugent, Pink Floyd etc. Then I started listening to the early fusion Mahavishnu, Return to Forever, Ravi Shankar, Jeff Beck, Roy Buchanan. For me those were my most formative period. By the time EVH came around I wasn't paying all that much attention, the whole act took away from the seriousness of the music. Eddie was a huge innovator and influence but after my time. I still rather go back and listen to roots music.


Title: Guitar genres
Post by: jefsummers on April 19, 2008, 10:09:10 PM
I think all of us can name a variety of folks, different styles, as influences. But as far as mainline popular guitar playing, I would tend to suggest Chuck Berry, BB King, then the Beach Boys, Beatles, Hendrix, then guitar went acoustic for a while with the singer songwriters movement (even the current singer songwriters remind me of the late 60s and early 70s). EVH then in the late 70s, another lull, then Grunge and, have to admit it, Cobain et al. One of the sad things about rock music is that the big names currently are mostly my age or older (50+) - Radiohead may draw big crowds, but as far as stadium fillers, it is still players like Clapton, Elton John (keys, obviously), Stones, Paul McCartney, Aerosmith, Tom Petty...

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1999 Danelectro Hodad 12 string electric
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Title: Guitar genres
Post by: prjacobs on April 20, 2008, 10:15:26 AM
Alex, I mean genres in a general sense, and the different requirements to achieve that sound. I guess I was thinking about electric guitar. At a certain point, we went from the clean sound of the 50s to the overdriven sound of the 60s, to the finger tapping techniques of today, etc.  Certainly in the old days we couldn't get the sustain that we now routinely get with master volumes or pedals and because of that new techniques came into play. When I worked with Roy Buchanan, he told me that in the old days, he used to take a pin and make holes in the speaker cones to create distortion.
Title: Guitar genres
Post by: 908ssp on April 20, 2008, 10:56:10 AM
OK I think my opinion differs some from the generally excepted categories. I think some of the influential guitarists probably were outside the mainstream. People like Link Wray while having one hit himself made a much larger impression by those who he had influenced. Link Wray's one of the most influential guitarists of all time.

Jimi Hendrix not much to add took blues and mixed in psychedelia for a totally original new sound and his fluid rhythm lead playing combining the two things at once. Chording the low E with his thumb allowed him to play lead with his pinky and he could do that and sing all at the same time just amazing. After that I think Rock started to fragment or specialize more. Page continued what Jimi had started he added acoustic guitars and layering but his psychedelic playing was second to none. I give Toni Iomi credit for metal not Page. Toni first introduced classical chord and arpeggio playing which Blackmore and then Yngwie continued on. The people following Page were bands like Aerosmith and later all the hair bands and Van Halen, rock, hard rock but not metal. Van Halen was another quantum leap he stole from many players McCarty, Hendrix, Mandel he put it all together with an amazing sense of rhythm and flash along with a real grasp of good tone. On the fringes you have players like Buchanan who influenced players like Beck. Santana who brought Latin rhythm and melody. McLaughlin opened peoples eyes to electric guitar in jazz in a new way. etc.


Title: Guitar genres
Post by: prjacobs on April 21, 2008, 05:32:54 PM
I know that for me, without my Bosstone fuzz that plugged directly into my SG Special, I never would've been able to play all of the Hendrix, Clapton and Alvin Lee stuff from the 60s.  It died a long time ago, but I recently found someone to repair it, and now it's working again!  It sounds pretty wimpy compared to what's out now, but definitely gave me the ability to sound great in it's day.  Finding the right combination of dirt vs. clean, guitar volume vs. amp volume, etc., still can make a huge difference.  We all want to sound huge, but not lose impact with too much processing.