Good day all,
Have you ever plugged an electric guitar into a distortion pedal and then into an amplifier? If you have and you then played a chord, what did it sound like? More than likely it sounded just like noise. There was nothing to the tone just a distorted chord that could have been used as white noise in a sound machine. But that is not a bad thing, I have done the same thing and have gotten the same results, it’s what makes me a common man. What is amazing is that there are people in this world who can do the exact same thing as mentioned above but make it sound like music, and personally I think metal musicians do it the best.
I am lucky that I was born when I was and have been able to live through a time when some of the greatest guitar players in the world have graced us with their music. From Eric Clapton, to Brian May, to Eddie Van Halen, to Yngwie Malmsteen, to Steve Vai to Slash to Kerry King to Scott Ian, these guys have made amazing music using the simple instrument presented to them early in their lives. Metal is a unique music and because of the speed and power of the music the metal guitarist has to be nimble and agile with his fingers as well as have a knack for the hook and the solo.
The solo of a metal song is an amazing thing to me, as I have said before and will say again, I have no idea how to structure a song, but to hear an amazing solo in a song is one of the great things about music. How a guitarist even starts to come up with a solo is beyond me, or even a really great intro to a song that is guitar heavy. But the solo is still what baffles me. How these great guitarists come up with a solo for a song and are able to remember how they played it time after time after time. I realize after a while it is muscle memory for them and their fingers but in the beginning to be able to come up with a riff and stick to it is impressive to me. Think about your favorite metal song and how the solo actually enters the song. The melody, tempo, rhythm has to stay the same or close to the same for the song to work and the guitarist is able to slip that solo in without breaking the stride of the music. Now, on the other side, there are the bands that have not been able to do this as well, but I’m not sure many of them are around anymore.
So if being able to create a solo is this impressive, and to me it is, then having two guitarists trading solos is doubly impressive, right? If you look at bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Slayer, and others who are able to trade solos back and forth and literally not miss a beat, Awesome! Not only do they have to know what they are doing but they have to know what their partner is doing and when to step in and take over. Nothing better than seeing that in action at a concert. When two guitarist are so in synch that it almost seems impossible for them to do what they do it seems like they are one.
I mentioned earlier how I also find a great guitar intro to be almost as fascinating as the solo. One of the great innovators of the guitar intro is Mr. Eric Clapton, his work with a guitar is nothing other than phenomenal and his ability to start a song with a strong guitar intro is amazing. Two songs that stick out immediately to me from Mr. Clapton are Layla (the original not the slowed down version), and Bad Love. The intros to those songs will stop me in my tracks and I have no choice but to listen to the songs. Really, the pull of the intros of these two songs will force my body, whether I like it or not, to stop whatever I am doing and listen to these songs. Slash is really great at the guitar intro as well (see Don’t Damn Me and Sweet Child ‘O Mine) he seems to be able to find just that right combination of chords and sounds that allows him to pick up on a sound and use it to make these incredible intros. Not to mention his solos, watch him work with his current band and you will find what he is doing awfully impressive.
Yes, I know what I am talking about here is not groundbreaking or anything new but at least it is a break from the ongoing Randy Blythe saga that doesn’t seem to want to be resolved. Speaking of Randy, his band Lamb of God, who I am not a huge fan of but I appreciate their music, have a pretty good team of guitarists that take full advantage of their abilities to craft a driving solo that can feel like a punch in the gut. They along with Pantera’s fallen guitar player Dimebag Darrell are really great examples of how you can infuse a really groovy feel into a solo without losing the feel of the song overall. So today’s homework assignment is to take some time and really listen to the guitar solos of some of your favorite bands and marvel at the abilities of these musicians to creat these sonic sounds.
Since I can’t think of just one great song with a great solo I have chosen one of my favorites that is a great intro and a great solo ENJOY!
Song of the Day: http://youtu.be/XDhkVTKTBoY
Until Later, Peace,