This is one of my favorite things to talk/write about. Let me begin by saying that I have been influenced, molded, sculpted by too many players to possibly name in one little page. I’ve not only been affected by guitar players but also saxophonists, pianists, violinists, trumpet is a big one…Equally, so many genres have moved me in one direction or another. I am a huge fan of classical music and old school Jazz. Most of my “at home” listening is to these worlds. I am influenced by production quality (or lack there of) arrangements, album versions, B sides you name it! Of course I love the visual as well. Micheal Jackson had an amazing package of music and dance and custom. Like most musicians, my ear is always wide open, waiting for that next thing to make me go wow..ok! I love hearing new and unpredictable sounds and combinations of sounds. I think for this post, I will stick to my guitar guys and ladies who have made the biggest impact on me.
A few months ago I was listening to a, new to me, a Chet Atkins tune and realized that I was doing that sort of thing myself. That wouldn’t notable except for the fact that I had never heard this piece before! I quickly realized that it sounded like Eric Johnson (probably my biggest guitar influence). I had learned that specific technique through EJ! That’s how this influence thing flows. That’s so cool!
I have landed in a bit of a strange place, guitar wise, because I love so many genres and styles. Ultimately one has to choose what team they will play for and what position they will occupy. My landing zone is somewhere between the vibe of Hendrix, balls of Van Halen, G3 guitar stars like E.J.and Steve Morse and jazzier/bluesier players like Larry Carlton and Robben Ford all the way to Pat Metheny. It seems like a wide net but it’s about as narrowed as my artistic pallet will allow. Maybe it may be best to list the people that have shaped my sound and direction the most. Not in absolute order: Eric Johnson, Steve Morse, Jimi Hendrix, Larry Carlton, Robben Ford, Steely Dan, Johnny A, Jimmy Page, the Beatles, Pat Metheny, Rik Emmett, Alex Lifeson, Eddie VanHalen, John Petrucci, Randy Rhoads, Nuno Bettencourt, Mike Stern, Steve Vai, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Neal Schon, Yngwie Malmsteen, Vinnie Moore, Joe Pass. Oh yeah, of course there’s Ace Frehley who started it all.
If you haven’t yet, please check out my latest album “Bold Horizon” by clicking on the link below .
Thanks for taking a few moments to read about my favorite players who have shaped my direction. I would love to hear from you, who are your influences? How did these players change your guitar life?