Friday, August 15, 2008

Some Guitar Heroes

I know it is cliche these days to mention who our favorite guitar players are. Especially when considering the wildly popular video game with the fake guitar. True, but as a guitar player, who has been listening to guitarists for longer then I've played, I have a few guitarists that I fondly admire. Some of them are well known and highly influential to most modern guitarists, and others are largely unknown yet hold a strong amount of respect for those who know them.

To start, I will begin with the lead guitarist of King's X, Ty Tabor. I first heard his band when I was about 10 years old. I received a gift certificate to Strawberry's Music Store and my uncle guided me to listen to King's X. Gretchen Goes to Nebraska was the first album I purchased of theirs, and to be honest, I didn't like it at first. It took a few listens, but it definitely grew on me. Summerland is a tune that is forever ingrained in my mind. I still hum the intro from time-to-time and find myself absently plucking it on my guitars when relaxing.

Tabor has some strong riff-sense. Meaning, his riffs are unparalleled in the hard rock\blues metal world. He is a master of the blues solos melded with hard rock and those who have found his music will appreciate his inspiring melodies. The man has soul. What can I say, but he has probably been the most influential guitarist for me. He's not always blazing fast, but he is such an accomplished musician, he leaves everyone else frustrated and awe inspired.

So please take a listen at some older King's X material. Faith Hope Love and Gretchen are two favorites of mine.

Now, moving in a somewhat different direction, I'll explain why Dimebag Darrel is another guitar hero of mine. Dime was the lead guitarist of Pantera. We all know his story, and if not, simply search his name, and you'll find his tragic story mentioned thousands of times. I was not a huge Pantera fan, but being into heavy metal as a youth (during the 90s) it was required of my peers to like this band.

He set the tone for modern day metal, and changed the way we think of Texas guitar players (I will eventually detail my respect for Mr. Vaughn). While he was a huge rock star, he seemed to be the most laid back guitarist of the entire 90s metal lot. Namely, the fame did not get to his head as much as it did his peers. I appreciate him for that, and I appreciate his wild sense of creativity. His riffs are copied everyday by mallcore bands around. This is in no way an insult to Darrel. He was in the forefront of modern day metal, and as usual, the artist who is influential and ground breaking will eventually become copied.

It was a sad day when he was shot. He was taken from fans of his music prematurely, but yet, his tone and sounds will continue on.

More to come later...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Power Chords on the Acoustic

Lately I've been enjoying the blissful simplicity of power chords on the acoustic guitar. From playing old Black Sabbath songs to punk riffs, it is all good!

While I enjoy more complex chords, the power chord will always hold a special place in my musical heart. So easy, yet so pointed is the power chord.

Do you find yourself playing songs intended for the electric on your acoustic, and if so, do you remain true to the song, or "acousticize" the song to your liking?