About Guitar: My Influences Change on a Daily Basis!

Not Always The Same Old Song and Dance

Guitarists are often asked who their influences are. Depending on the style of music, they typically name a lot of the same people and bands, and for good reason. The more influential musicians are the ones who have made the most impact with their music and consequently have gotten the most recognition in the form of radio play, album sales, and touring. But what about the slew of unknowns? The vast multitude of incredibly talented musicians flying under the radar of mainstream recognition? Thanks primarily to guitar magazines and iTunes, my ears have been opened to amazing guitarists I may otherwise have never come to know.

There are numerous publications dedicated to our favorite 6-stringed wonders: Guitar World, Guitar Player, Premier Guitar, Guitar Edge, and Acoustic Guitar to name just a few. And there are more including some killer mags from overseas. You’ll see many of the same high profile musicians over and over but these magazines also do a great job highlighting new talent and old but recently discovered or even rediscovered talent. Each one has a different focus. For example, Guitar World is primarily dedicated to rock from classic to contemporary heavy metal whereas Guitar Player covers the spectrum from rock to jazz to world to funk. I find this particularly valuable because even if you’re a straight up metal head, you will be blown away by some of the artists performing in other genres. There’s a good reason these people are given recognition in major national publications.

Check Out Guitar Magazines

Every month as I pore through the stack of magazines I subscribe to, I have my laptop by my side. As I come across musicians I haven’t heard of before and those I may have heard of but never paid much attention to, I punch their name into the search box on iTunes and listen to 30-second samples of their music. As a result, my music collection has grown exponentially, my taste has broadened, and my love of music and guitar in particular has grown. And I love spreading the word to friends when I’m introduced to killer music that I’m sure is fresh to their ears as well. Influentially these discoveries have enlightened me to greater possibilities in my own playing.

Some of my recent favorites include Eric Sardinas, Monte Montgomery, Greg Koch, Indigenous, Oz Noy, Ike Turner, Pat Travers, Michael Gulezian…I could go on and on.

So get out there, treat yourself to handful of mags, download a basket of music you’ve never heard before from musicians you didn’t know existed or fell completely off your radar, and enjoy this lifelong journey of music nirvana – there’s never been a better time.

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