The Best Guitarists


guitarist-on-stageI really enjoy “Best of…” lists. And I never shy away from the chance to do one for my blog. This one is rather difficult to pull off though. I mean, how do you compare Jimi Hendrix and George Harrison? They’re both great guitarists, but it’s like comparing your favorite burger to your favorite doughnut.

I’m going to try anyway.

I do realize I could just call this “My Personal Favorite Guitar Players,” but I worry that would take away all the controversy and I really enjoy when people comment about how I forget someone. Just rest assured that I did a lot of research into my personal preferences to compile this list. It was very scientific.

 

Johnny Ramone (The Ramones) – He may not have been the most skilled palyer, but not many musicians have had the impact he did. Before Johnny no one played guitar solely with fast down picking. After him, an entire genre of music that did nothing else was born.

Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, Solo) – He’s definitely not a traditional soloist, but he stands out in a crowd.

Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains, Solo) – I’m sure being the primary songwriter for his band forces him to look at the guitar in a different manner than someone who composes as part of a group. His solos always feel like they belong in the song and were written to make it just a little better.

Dimebag Darrell (Pantera, Damageplan) – One of the best guitar solos of all time starts at 3:50

 

Randy Rhoads (Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne) – A Randy Rhoads solo disc would have been awesome wouldn’t it? He was amazing at writing these great instrumental songs – but within the songs that he was playing with Ozzy.

Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman (Megadeth 1990-99) I’m not sure who was doing what in the band at the time. I’m not that interested really, but I know they made one helluva team.

John 5 (Solo, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Two) – So far there’s only been one guitarist able to maintain my interest throughout an album and/or live show by just playing his guitar. I should probably check out Vai or Satriani sometime to see how they compare, but I’m pretty sure Mr. 5 will always be my favorite shredder.

George Harrison (The Beatles, Solo) – He’s definitely not the flashiest or speediest musician on this list, but he always seemed to know the right notes to play. Come on, could you imagine Mick Mars doing a solo on “Helter Skelter”? Or Steve Vai doing “Hey Bulldog”? Or Type O Negative doing a Beatles melody. (You don’t have to here)

Photo Courtesy of Aces High Photography LLC

Photo Courtesy of Aces High Photography LLC

Jimi Hendrix (Solo, Band of Gypsys) – It really doesn’t seem right to include Hendrix on this list. He doesn’t come off as a guitar player to me. He really just sang through the instrument and like it was a part of his body. His voice and gyrating hips were his instrument, the guitar was just an extension of his body.

Dave Gilmour (Pink Floyd, Solo) – “Dave Gilmore can do more with one note than most guitar players can do with the entire fret board” (That’s a quote I read from Dave Mustaine in an old issue of guitar world. Never have truer words been spoken.

 

 

For more of these lists check out:

The Best Bassists

The Best Drummers

Advertisements

The Best Drummers


drum-2I’m not a huge fan of the “Name Four Musicians to Form Your Dream Super Group” game. I usually just rattle off the members of Alice in Chains or Tool. Sometimes it’s fun to pick a trio or quintet and add or subtract a member, but that was never my game.

I do really enjoy “Best of…” lists though. And I thought it would be a good idea to do some for this blog. That’s not because I’m running out of ideas or anything. I swear I’m not. I’ve got tons of ideas. Make sure you check in next week when I do this with Bass Players.

 

Brooks Wackerman (Bad Religion, Suicidal Tendencies) – Wackerman lands on this list not only because of his awesome chops and stamina, but also for his great last name. It’s like his ancestors knew that someday one of their brood would become the drummer for a great punk band so they picked the coolest surname they could think of.

Frank Beard (ZZ Top) – Yet again, here is a man who’s name is as great as his ability to keep a beat. He gets bonus points for being the guy without a beard but having the name beard. God, will that ever get old?

Jimmy Chamberlain (The Smashing Pumpkins) – The best of the pumpkins if you want my opinion. And you must or you wouldn’t be reading this.

sexy drum machineMax Weinberg (E Street Band, Meat Loaf, Max Weinberg 7) – I had to add someone to make this list ten names. He was the most obvious choice.

A Drum Machine (Too Many To Name) – I was in a band with one of these for a while and I have a ton of praise for these guys. He was always on time (both for and during practice), never got too drunk to play, never had girlfriend drama and never threatened to quit. Aside from his lack of stage presence and sleeping with my old lady he was perfect.

Tommy Ramone/Marky Ramone (The Ramones) – I’m not sure if the trophy should go to Tommy for inventing the Ramones’ drum beat or to Marky for perfecting it.

Raymond Herrera (Fear Factory) – I’ll just let his feet do the talking:

 

Tim ‘Herb’ Alexander (Primus) – Both he and Larry LaLonde are pure geniuses just for being able to work with Les Claypool.

Sean Kinney (Alice in Chains, Jerry Cantrell) – Do you know anyone else who could come up with those great intros to “Angry Chair” and “No Excuses”? I don’t.

Neil Peart (Rush) – I’m honestly not a huge fan of Rush. I like them, but I can’t say I love them. Still, Neil deserves a spot on this list.

Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Nine Inch Nails, Probot, Scream) – I read him saying in an interview once that he is completely overrated as a drummer. And that may be true. He isn’t flashy, over the top or as machine gun fast as some other guys. But he has been very prolific as a timekeeper and has a knack for playing beats that accentuate the song without overpowering it. Sorry dude, you may be the best drummer ever.

#top15onthe15th


I love a great list post. They’re easy to do and usually get a respectable number of views. So when I read about the Top 15 for September 2015 over at 1001albumsin10years I was ready to go. I immediately began compiling the list of my favorite albums of all time (at this particular moment). This was a massive undertaking that took me about the same amount of time as any other post.

And don’t try to argue with me about the order and/or inclusion/exclusion of any particular album. I used the highly scientific method of my own personal preferences so you can’t argue with me! The only condition I set was that I wouldn’t include two albums by the same band. Looking back, I wish I’d set a limit on years (It’s almost exclusively 1994 and 1996).

But enough preface – Let’s Go!

 

the offspring smash cover15 The Offspring Smash (1994) The crown jewel in the early 90’s punk revival.

14 Acid Bath Paegan Terrorism Tactics (1996) The crown jewel in southern-sludge-doom metal.

13 Pink Floyd The Wall  (1979) This was one of my favorite albums in high school. Does everyone go through a time in their lives when this album describes everything you feel about the world? It sure seems to touch on some pretty universal themes.

12 Queens of the Stone Age Songs For The Deaf (2002) Oddly enough, I’ve never been able to get into any QOTSA albums aside from this one. It’s just so great that all of their other work pales in comparison. It’s definitely one of those ‘lightning in a bottle’ albums.

11 Pantera The Great Southern Trendkill (1996) You know the big 4 of 80’s thrash metal? Fuck ’em. Pantera could chew them all up and spit them out. Trendkill makes this list because I find it to be the most cohesive of their albums and it contains Dimebag’s best solo, “Floods.”

 

10 Soundgarden Superunknown (1994)

9 Pearl Jam Ten (1991) – I can still remember the first time I heard this album. I’d already heard a lot of hullabaloo about Pearl Jam and after listening I just though ‘So that’s what all the fuss is about.’

8 Weezer S/T (The Blue Album) (1994)

Electric Larryland7 The Butthole Surfers Electric Larryland (1996) This album is the greatest mixture of noise rock and pop punk ever recorded. I did have Nirvana in this slot, but I think I like the Butthole Surfers better.

6 The Beatles S/T (The White Album) (1968) The Beatles should appear on every best of list. The trouble is that it’s extremely difficult to pick just one Beatles album to put on a best of list. I cheated by choosing the double album.

5 Elton John Tumbleweed Connection (1970) I find it extremely difficult to choose between this, Madman Across the Water and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. I could have easily put them all on this list, but I didn’t want it to just be a list of my favorite Elton John albums. This one wins because there are no songs on it that I don’t love. I don’t love “Indian Sunset” or “Gray Seal.”

4 Nine Inch Nails The Downward Spiral (1994) I was a really depressed teenager. This album helped me to make it through those dark years by letting me know I wasn’t alone in feeling the way I did.

Ramones_-_Ramones_cover3 The Ramones S/T (1976) The prototype for the greatest American rock and roll band… and for the thousands who would imitate them.

2 Alice in Chains Jar of Flies (1994) This album makes it onto this list for the same reason as The Downward Spiral, but appealed to a different part of depression.

 

1 Temple of the Dog S/T (1991) May not be the #1 album ever, but it’s definitely the best album from the 90’s. And probably the 80’s too.

 

So there’s my list. What do you think? I love this event and I’d be down to doing it every few years. Mainly just to see how these lists change. And the best part is that now I have a pretty cool list of albums to review in the near future.

Make sure you stop by Lebrain’s site as he did the heavy lifting and linked to all the sites of people participating in this event.

 

SYWSAB 10


Free Shitty AdviceSo You Wanna Start A Band? Part 10

I’ve a lot playing in bands over the years to have some wisdom to pass on. I see bands pass rudeness off as normal behavior and hope I can make the world a better place by helping prevent this. I don’t know everything, if I did I would be writing this from a tour bus and not my apartment. If you disagree with my views I encourage you to share your own. If you have another way of doing things which brings more success I’d love to hear it.

Grow Up

As I’m sure some of you know, I was in a band called Bastard Friendly. Since that band dissolved I’ve been looking for a new band. I love playing in bands; it’s a lot of fun, a great way to express myself artistically and a great way to meet new people.

Unfortunately, most of the people you meet replying to craigslist adds are not the types of people you really want to meet. The first guy I met didn’t seem to know anything about rock music. He liked Nickelback and had an apartment that reeked of pot smoke. I don’t think we’re a good fit. I jammed with a Christian band about a month ago, but I wasn’t quite Christian enough for them.

black-white-little-girl-crying-middle-fingerThe last person I met was the worst. We did the prerequisite emailing and I listened to some demos. They were really bad demos; recorded on a boom box tape deck. They sounded awful, but the songs were pretty good and the type I would love to play.

Then I met the person putting the group together.

I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. You might meet someone on a bad day. Just because a person rubs you the wrong way on the first phone call or first meeting doesn’t mean they’re an immature, loudmouth, drifter. There were a few red flags: The ad said ‘punk band getting back together,’ which was completely untrue. She was starting a completely new band in Northeast Ohio but using the same name and songs as a band formed years ago in Austin, Texas. A moot point, but something that bothers me.

I also wondered why there was so much moving and bouncing around from Los Angeles to Colorado to Kansas City to Canton, but I never did get an answer. It was hard to get a word in edgewise. She was quite boisterous and loud.

But, in spite of singing so loudly in the restaurant I manage to feel a twinge of embarrassment (something quite difficult to do, but obviously not impossible. (Also something I thought may have been a sign of a good front woman.)), name dropping all sorts of celebrities, brushing aside any ideas I may have had for the bandand generally coming off as a total flake, I was still interested in jamming.

I’m getting pretty desperate for a band and the guitar player seemed like a cool guy. I even checked out his other project and found them pretty good.

But then I woke up the next morning and found a disturbing text. Screenshot_2015-07-26

My first reaction is to think people are joking. That’s usually what I do. But something about the way the word ‘dumb ass’ was stretched out for nearly two lines told me this was a serious message.

I wanted to respond, but found myself speechless. Was my offhand comment saying “Hey, that’s the Ramones” when “I Wanna Be Sedated” came on the jukebox that big of an insult? I hadn’t thought so, but apparently it was. And I hadn’t meant to come off as negative. I like to think of myself as a realist. I’ve played a few shows and have learned a few things over the years. I don’t expect the world handed to me on a silver platter and know I have to work for it.

I also think I’ve already accomplished a few good things in my life. I’m very proud of that Bastard Friendly EP. I’m also very proud of this blog.

This is the first time I’ve ever had a ‘bitch you don’t know me so don’t be telling me how to raise my kid’ moment, but I’ve thought about it and realize I’m just glad my daughter isn’t being raised by someone who’ll get so upset by an offhand comment that they’ll get drunk and text someone at 3:30 in the morning.

At first I felt a little angry, but the more I thought about it my feelings turned to pity. I hope she gets her shit together and grows up a little. And I have ways of dealing with this stuff. I may write a song using that text as lyrics. And of course, you’re reading another big way I deal with this kind of negativity.

I have to agree with her though, attitude is everything. Make sure yours is good.

 

 

More Shitty Advice:

Part 2 – So You Wanna Join A Band?

Part 9 – No Excuses

Part 8 – The Covers Debate

Part 7 – Take Advice

Part 6 – Learn to Play an Instrument

Part 5 – People Love Stupid Costumes

Part 4 – Stop Trying To Look Cool

Part 3 – Get Over It

Part 1 – The Right Reasons

 

Musical Friends – July 2014


Companies like Musician’s Friend and American Musical Supply do a great job of connecting aspiring musicians with instruments, accessories and amplification, but they don’t connect these future rock stars with what they really need to make it big: Bandmates!

The real money is to be found not in selling $2000 guitars to rich kid who will just get bored and let it collect dust in the corner of the bedroom, but to sell the perfect vocalist, guitarist or drummer to that guy who really wants to make it in a band and just needs another person who shares his enthusiasm, determination and complete and utter lack of talent.

Now that you’ve contacted all of your friends, put up a flyer in the local music store and posted your ad on Craigslist it’s time to try the one way to guarantee you find the right musicians for your project.

Welcome to: Musical Friends

 

 

Guitarists-

 

Yankee Ingstrom

Yankee Ingstrom

The shredder (can’t play rhythm) – This guy can sweep pick arpeggios, slide, squeal, hammer on and pull off like all the masters! He can shred like Dimebag, Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Zakk Wyle, Van Halen or Ingvee Milmsteen!

Just don’t have him play rhythm. This dude can not play rhythm. Even “Smoke on the Water” is too much for him.

Comes complete with a volume pedal to turn him down (off) when he’s not soloing.

MSRP- Just take him. He’s constantly playing neoclassical crap in our warehouse and driving us all crazy.

Eric & Pattie_468x354The Steal Your Girlfriend – Perfect for emulating the sounds of Johnny Ramone or Eric Clapton! We all know at least one guy on the scene that will fuck anything he can get his hands on! This is the guy that you don’t want to leave alone with your girlfriend, wife, mother or daughter or any other vagina that is not tied down.

Comes with complimentary chastity belt so you don’t end up like Joey and George Harrison.

MSRP- No Alimony!

I have no idea who this guy is. He looks cool though.

I have no idea who this guy is. He looks cool though.

The Swede – To be perfectly honest… I have no idea how this guy sounds or if he can even play. He just looks the part.

MSRP – $200?

 

 

You know I can't play guitar until I put my makeup on.

You know I can’t play guitar until I put my makeup on.

The Fall Out Boy – A great player for power pop-punk. Just don’t make fun of his hair. He’s really sensitive about that.

MSRP – $800

 

 

 

Bassists-

 

Some guy.

Some guy.

That guy – Yeah. Him. You can have him play bass for you. It’s not hard.

MSRP – It doesn’t matter what we charge you it will be too much.

Your friend from elementary school – You probably talk to this guy more than you talk to the last guy you had play bass in your band, so might as well have him.

MSRP -$750.99

paul-mccartney-bassA Former Guitar Player Willing To Give The Bass A Shot – It could go either way: he’ll either perfectly compliment your guitar and drums with tasty fills and lay down a cool groove using licks his years of guitar playing has taught him or he’ll completely overplay distracting licks that differ so much from what the guitar and drums are doing that it’ll sound like a different song.

MSRP – $900

The Guy Who Couldn’t Get A Gig Playing Guitar So He’s Decided To Give Bass A Try – There’s probably a reason this dude couldn’t get a gig playing guitar. Is it his complete lack of talent? Or is he an insufferable dickhead? Order now to find out!

MSRP- $700

Your Girlfriend/Boyfriend – I’ve seen it done both ways. They’re already going to be at the show to make sure you don’t get any strange so why not?

MSRP – $40 (Hey, it was our idea.)

 

THIS MONTHS SPECIAL:

Keyboard Players – Wait… we’re still looking for these ourselves.