Recommended to listen to one song per day
• Jimi Hendrix “If 6 was 9” from Are You Experienced
This riff has to be one of the heaviest things ever created!! People often associate distortion with riffs being heavy when really it’s the melody. This is a prime example. The moment the guitar starts playing a heavy feeling just takes you over. It’s contrasted so nicely by the chaotic chorus.
• Bo Diddley “Bo Diddley” from Bo Diddley
I’m not sure a more infectious rhythm has ever been created. The way he uses the amp tremolo to augment the rhythm is deep. You almost can’t tell it’s on until he starts playing open chords. If you listen closely you can hear it randomizing the rhythm hits. Brilliant!! This is one song T Bone Burnett took special note of for the Plant/Krauss record. Just listen to the instrumental section. Those sustained chords sound familiar?
• Black Sabbath “NIB” from Black Sabbath
I like how the guitar, bass and vocal all play the same melody in this tune. It’s such a direct approach. It makes the sparse instrumentation sound huge. The solo is very composed. The first half is perfectly double tracked. Midway through it starts to vary between the two parts before meeting up again for the last segment. You don’t usually hear guitarists approach double tracked leads this way. A very similar thing happens during the second solo too.
• Lulu “Dirty Old Man” from Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective
This track opens with some chicken pickin’ on a rig you wouldn’t normally associate with that technique. Great guitar intro. The hard panning of the guitar really let’s you hear what Duane was doing. The sound of his guitar just stings on this track. Really tasteful fills too. All the wonderful things you would expect from Duane.
• Fiona Apple “A Mistake” from When the Pawn
The fuzz tone on this track is so harsh and nasty. It’s the kind of sound you wouldn’t think would work, but because of the placement on the mix and the part being played its absolutely perfect. It’s sparse in the song too. Clear example of a little dab will do ya. I’ve always thought it was a ZVex Fuzz Factory direct to the board. Which for people that know is sooooo nasty. The composed solo really stands out. Jon Brion always plays things I want to sing. It’s abrasive and singable at the same time. Killer!!
• Freddie King “Same Old Blues” from Getting Ready
This has always been a very special song to me. His vocal and guitar performance are so heartfelt. There are some players that have this amazing ability to completely tap into this utopian place where music theory or technique need not be present. Freddie is clearly playing what he’s feeling and hearing. If you listen to his phrasing you know he didn’t sit in his room for hours practicing his performance. It’s clearly a personal conversation he’s having. In my book this is the highest level of playing. Not through study, but through living.
• Guns N’ Roses “Mr. Brownstone” from Appetite for Destruction
I’ve been a big fan of this record since it came out. There is some of the best hard rock guitar on this album. It’s Slash at his finest. What people don’t talk about much is Izzy Stradlin’s guitar playing. He was a fine guitar player often overshadowed by Slash. Al lot of his guitar parts are quite intricate. It’s not clearly Slash plays lead and Izzy plays rhythm, the parts intertwine a lot. The guitars dance with each other all over the album. In this song the rhythm guitar isn’t just for background support. The rhythm structure is harmonically rich. The chord movement is just as singable as the riff.
Previous Guitar Songs of the Week