Today it is simple – Jazz Guitarists – and a top 50 list of the best Jazz Guitarists ever. Before you say, “urrgghh, Jazz” – have a look and a listen. Some of these jazz guitar players have played on the some of the most important records ever!
What I got out of the list was a reminder of the continuing influence of jazz guitar in modern music. Not only the style and licks, many of which you’ll recognise and hear throughout all types of music, but also the use of the guitar as a solo instrument. As the piece points out, guitar wasn’t always a solo instrument, rather more of an accompanying instrument which took over from the banjo in a number of band in the 1920s-1930s.
Guitar Technology improves
With the improvements in guitar technology, notably pickups, and then semi-hollow and solid body guitars, the instrument went from background to foreground in almost every type of popular music. So thank Jazz for that!
As one example of the players’ influence on guitar technology, the first person that comes to my mind is Charlie Christian. I have a couple of Charlie Christian style pickups from Lollar in my guitars – absolutely amazing single coil pickups. The sound of them is so full and round. Check out great guitarist Tim Lerch demonstrating how they sound in a Telecaster.
In A Silent Way
So, even if the jazz isn’t quite your thing, it is still worth having a look through this list. Have a listen to some tunes and discover many of the guitarists who were absolute pioneers of the guitar. If you listen to just one of these guitarists – check out John McLaughlin’s work on Miles Davis’ In A Silent Way. Of course, it’s on YouTube… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQKt7DTKyJU
Til next time, oh and here is that list via uDiscover (Universal Music’s music blog). If you fancy trying to play along and need some warm-ups before you take on the jazz giants, try these 11 warm-up exercises. Guaranteed to make your hands zing!