Psych-out

Live!

Steve Vai, The solos of a genius

In the electric guitar world there are few who wouldn’t consider Steve Vai as the pre-eminent virtuoso of our times; a walking legend consumed by an internal force of creativity and skill that only few mortals enjoy. At 12 he was learning technique from one Joe Satriani, at 20 was accepted into madman/genius Frank Zappa’s band where he became a...

Britpop's fundamental guitar players

If we had to draw a robot portrait of a ‘Britpop' guitarist it would end up looking something like a mix between a mod and a football hooligan, have a Gibson ES-335 or a 355 painted with the Union Jack around its neck, be playing some power chords taken from the notebook of some legendary British band like the Kinks, the Small Faces or the...

The Amazing Robert Fripp

Robert Fripp, King Crimson’s headliner, had a tone-deaf ear when he started playing at age 11, which has served him well, for he is famous for his cross-picking, with roots in avant-garde jazz and classical veins. He has amassed over 700 releases over 40 years, including contributions on classic progressive rock albums such as David Bowie’s...

Rock stars behind bars

On May 3, 1969, Jimi Hendrix was arrested as soon as he arrived at Toronto airport, in his suitcase there was found heroin and hashish. The biggest guitarist of all time was released two days later after posting bail of $ 10,000 and declaring, a few minutes before giving a concert at the Maple Leaf Gardens, that he did not know how the drug...

Mick Ronson’s 10 best solos

Mick Ronson is remembered as David Bowie’s right hand man in his period of 'Glam' splendor, which is understandable if we consider that his guitar can be heard on masterpieces of the caliber of Hunky Dory or The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars; but Ronson is much more than that. He is, quite simply, one of the most...

Top 10 progressive guitarists

Today we celebrate some of the world’s most remarkable progressive guitar players and the gear with which they reached the peak. We’ve chosen 10 masters at their craft, listed in no special order, it’s subjective afterall. But first, let’s define ‘progressive rock’. It is “a style of rock music popular especially in the 1970s and...

The main figures in Chicago blues

Chicago is to blues what Brazil is to football, perhaps they didn’t invent it, but that’s where they best practised it. In the Chicago case their main figures were black emigrants from the South who went North to escape racial discrimination and lack of opportunities in what was known as the Great Migration. This is where the Delta blues was...

Eric Clapton’s eight most famous guitars

The history of the electric guitar has many marked dates in its evolution and there may be no other guitarist who has starred more than our protagonist today, Eric Clapton. Since his appearance in the Yardbirds Clapton became the beacon of light for many subsequent British guitar players, but his enormous influence in the USA should not be ignored...

David Gilmour’s best collaborations

David Gilmour is best known for his career in Pink Floyd but his wonderful guitar has appeared on countless songs by many other artists, from studio albums to live performances. From Guitars Exchange we would like to celebrate his 73th birthday by highlighting ten of the most interesting.   Syd Barrett - Baby Lemonade...

The most traumatic firings in rock history

Pete Best of the Beatles Popular wisdom often gives Ringo Starr the role of the luckiest man on planet Earth, which makes Pete Best one of the unluckiest, the man who stayed behind the doors of glory and saw his band members become the most famous band of all time. His entry into the band came by chance, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George...

Johnny Winter - Some of his best licks

The “Texas Tornado” Johnny Winter did to rock/blues what bees do to honey; make it dripping delicious. In a career that started in 1968, releasing almost twenty studio albums, and nine live copies, he played up until the very end of his life, in 2014, on tour in Zurich, where he was found dead in his hotel room, it was thought to have been a...

Do You Remember Rock'n'roll Radio?

The history of rock & roll cannot be told without its biggest ally, the radio. It was from its airwaves it got its name and where the public listened to Elvis and Chuck Berry, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones for the first time. Radio was the propagator of the rock pneumonia and the boogie woogie flu, causing, for the first time, to break...

Special 60th anniversary of the ‘day the music died’

“A long long time ago I can still remember how That music used to make me smile And I knew if I had my chance That I could make those people dance And maybe they'd be happy for a while But February made me shiver With every paper I'd deliver Bad news on the doorstep I couldn't take one more step I can't remember if I cried When I...

Eddie Van Halen: A Treasure of Solos

Dutch/American rock giant Edward Lodewijk Van Halen or Eddie was the force behind his band Van Halen, together with his brother Alex on drums, bassman Michael Anthony and singer David Lee Roth. On their self-titled debut album Van Halen (1978) Eddie newly codified electric guitar playing with his amazing blend of tone, technique and unnatural...

The Beatles on the Rooftop

This week instead of focussing on the long career of an artist, we’re going to turn our attention to some very concrete temporal space coordinates: those of the morning of January 30, 1969 on the roof of #3 Avile Road in London. This would be where the Beatles would play their first gig in years, and even more significant, the last of their...

Mick Taylor’s best solos

Mick Taylor was technically the best guitarist who passed through the Rolling Stones - doing solos that Keith Richards, Brian Jones and Ron Wood could only dream of - but his personality did not suit the band, and eventually that led to his departure. However, few would argue that his years in the Stones (1969-74) coincided with the band’s...

Ozzy Osbourne’s Iconic Axemen

Ozzy Osbourne had incredible persuasive talents and the good fortune to attract some very fine guitar players to join his lineup in his solo career after Black Sabbath. Here we will put together a list of some of the shredders he employed and had an impact on his work. (in no particular order) Randy Rhoads Rhoads was a giant force in...

The guitars in Elvis Presley’s music

As we enter the world of who without any doubt is the best singer in the history of modern music (Author's note: I am looking forward to reading your comments on this statement), it is necessary to talk about three people who have to be mentioned from 1954, when Elvis joins Sun Studio in Memphis for the first time, until his death in...

Top 10 bass players in history

Ladies and gentlemen, we here at Guitars Exchange are going into a predicament which is likely difficult to sort. Why? Because we have decided to launch on the web our list of top 10 bass players in history. This list, like all lists, relates to a very special time frame, which correspond to the present, the time when this piece is written; it’s...