Riley Clendenin 9/22/11 1st British lit. Rock Research For my senior project I will be starting a small business teaching guitar lessons to any beginnermusician. I’ve been playing guitar for several years and have been around music my whole life. Before Iexplain my business and plans for my project I want to give a brief history about guitar. Although, theprecise origin of the instrument is still unknown, many believe it descended from other ancientinstruments. Such as the Greek kithara, European lutes, and Spanish Vihuela. During this time period thetype of music played on guitar is what we now know as classical music. One famous style of classicalguitar was baroque guitar. Through the years guitar evolved and so did its styles and genres. Any smartguitarist will tell you that every genre of an instrument is just one that has branched off of a previousone. Classical guitar is at the top of the musical family tree in this matter. Blues was influenced byclassical pieces and songs. And much of what we hear today comes from blues. Blues was arevolutionary time period for guitar. Robert Johnson is known as the king of blues because he recordedthe first ever southern blues album. He recorded 30 songs before he died and became a guitar legend.He influenced thousands of guitarists one of which was Chuck Berry. Chuck was a guitarist of which theworld had never seen his rapid pop licks paved the way for rock blues guitarists in the 60’s. Jimi Hendrix,Richie Blackmore, and Pete Townshend started a new world of guitar originality. Around this time waswhen amplifiers and stereos were evolving rapidly and guitar had a new raw sound that shocked theworld. The 70’s were more of the experimental decade for guitar and music overall. Jimmy Page of LedZeppelin made guitar sounds that made people question his instruments. Thus, birthing the shock rockand hair metal bands of the 80’s. This was when guitar equipment and techniques had evolved higher
than ever before. Van Halen birthed many of these shock rockers with his incredibly fast licks and heavydistortions. He is what some refer to as the god of shred. Each decade a new form of rock guitar isproduced or takes over, each one branching off from the last. Today guitars are getting morecomplicated, more efficient, and more unique as well as their players. Joe Satriani has been called a guitar god, a musical wizard, and a technical genius, but he isnothing short of a genius musician. Born on July 15, 1956, the 55 year old rock god has changed theworld of guitar and guitar equipment. He was born in Westbury, NY he started playing guitar at agefourteen soon after hearing about the death of Jimi Hendrix. He was in football training when heconfronted his coach and stated he was quitting to become a guitarist. Satch studied music with jazzmusicians, Billy Bauer and LennieTristano. Tristano being a strict, technically demanding teacher, heinfluenced Satriani to be a music teacher. One of his first notable students made famous was Steve Vai.In 1978 Satriani moved to Berkely, California to pursue music, where he taught guitarists Kirk Hammettof Metallica, David Bryson of Counting Crows, Kevin Cadogan from Third eye blind and many moretalented musicians. Joe satriani now suffering with an enormous credit card debt from his first album,joins a small band from San Francisco called the Greg Kihn Band which helped him pay some of it off.Meanwhile his most prized student, Steve Vai scored a record deal playing with David Lee Roth of VanHalen. Vai raved and ranted about Satriani’s skills and talent thus giving high recognition to produce hissecond most popular album, Surfing with the Alien. It was the first all-instrumental album release tochart so highly since instrumental jazz records in the Harlem renaissance. This album really sky rocketedhis career and Guitar World magazine featured him frequently, and the 1989 film Say Anything...featured a song from his newest album, Flying in a Blue Dream. A highly influential guitarist himself, hehas many influences of his own, including Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, and Ritchie Blackmore.Joe is highly influenced by blues rock but has made effort to make music covering all types of genresfrom classical to death metal. He is the ideal definition of a true guitar virtuoso.
Jimi Hendrix is said to have been god’s gift to rock music. His life story and musical message captivatedhis audiences by the thousands. Born on November, 27, 1942, Hendrix was arguably the greatest rockguitarist in music history. This is said because he basically taught himself everything he knew by listeningto music that was played in those days such as Chuck Berry, Chubby Checker, and Elvis, but this does notexplain how he created his revolutionizing sound that was pure Hendrix. Hendrix lived a hard childhood,of the 4 other siblings he had 3 were physically disabled. His parents were drunks and fought frequentlyuntil their divorce when he was only 9, his mother died from rupturing her spleen when he 16. Aroundthe time his mother died his father bought him his first guitar which replaced his air guitar broomstickand ukulele, until he got his electric guitar, a white Supro Ozark with no amplifier. His love for blues wasinfluenced from listening to records his father owned by Muddy Waters, and B.B. King. In 1961 Hendrixhad a choice of doing jail time for riding in stolen cars or join the army, he of course joined the army.However, Hendrix was not a conformist to society so he did the smartest yet simplest thing to get out ofthe army. Nothing, and by doing absolutely nothing they told him to do, they saw him as wasted gunsand discharged him from the army less than a year later. He met his long friend and bass player Billy Coxin the army. They lived in Nashville and played in many different bands Including little Richard and Ikeand Tina Turner before starting The Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1966. The Jimi Hendrix Experience gotstarted when Hendrix befriended the girlfriend of The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards who then got him arecord deal with Chas Chandler. Chandler liked his song “Hey Joe” and turned it into his first hit single.Now a big name in the music industry, Hendrix was going on all sorts of tours with new albums andother radical bands from the sixties such as Cream, The Who, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and manymore. He recorded some 5 albums in between 1966-69 and performed most of hits at monumental rockshow Woodstock. Since The Jimi Hendrix Experience broke up months before Woodstock festival, Jimiwas just playing as himself and flew some of his old jam buddies in to be his band. Since this was hiscomeback concert, the audiences grew to well over a hundred thousand people, and Jimi and his band
had only practiced for 2 weeks and performed off no sleep for 3 days. Hendrix’s career slowed downuntil his death in September 17, 1970. He died from over dosing on his girlfriend’s sleep medication andchoked on his vomit in his sleep. Many rumors spread about his death saying that he was murdered byother competing Rockstars, that his girlfriend murdered him, but one stayed true even in his death,Hendrix was a musician with talents of unimaginable proportions and he was worshipped for his love hegave to music. Eddie Van Halen was known as the second best guitarist only to Jimi Hendrix by many. He is bestknown as the lead guitarist for Van Halen a band he and his brother started in the late 70’s. Herevolutionized heavy metal guitar and introduced guitar techniques in ways the world had never seenbefore. His first album titled, Van Halen, was released when he and his band members were roughly 18years old and it took them straight to the top of record sells. His brother and he started playing musicyoung. Their parents bought Alex a guitar and Eddie drums, but when Alex acceeded him on drums hedecided to take up guitar in spite of his brother. Eddie had remained in the top charts whether it be aVan Halen song or Michael Jackson song whom he also laid down the guitar tracks for. Soon after there1984 album the band decided to kick their singer, David Lee Roth, out of the band due to his cockycontrolling personality. He was replaced by Sammy Hagar until their come back tour in 2008 which theytoured using Eddies son, Wolfgang Van Halen as their bassist. Eddie is still playing at guitar shows andproducing his patent guitar equipment. His most famous solo “Eruption” still remains the secondgreatest solo of all time by Guitar world magazine. May he Rock until death take him from it. Many people think a great song is just a certain tune or riff that a musician stumbles upon andmakes a great song out of it. This is the amateur way of making music. A much more efficient way takesa lot knowledge and practice. There two main things to learning to play music on an instrument,technique and theory. No matter what the instrument, you need to know how it works. What makes
certain sounds and why those sounds happen. This is just so you can physically play a song, the otherpart requires much more thinking. Music theory is basically like musical math. If music could be put intoa formula just like completing a math problem, then that is a perfect example of music theory. Musictheory teaches you keys, notes, patterns, modes, and so forth to show you how to make a song andwhat sounds go together make a certain tone or stroke a certain feeling. All the great guitarists didn’tjust wake up one morning with incredible technique and knowledge of music. No, they had to practice itand study theory, because theory is how you make a song and if you know how all the formulas to makemusic then you’ll be able to make hit after hit like all the great artists and bands have done. These arethe basic necessities for making music.People have taken guitar to levels no matter ever saw coming. Guitar is such a popular instrumentbecause of the many different wonders you can do with it. No matter how much music is out there,there’s always more to be made. It is a perfect instrument to represent music theory and technical uses.50 years ago, people couldn’t have imagined what guitar would’ve sounded like just a decade after thatand so on for every decade since. Each decade breeds a new generation of guitarists with their ownunique tastes and abilities and I speak for every guitarist and musician out there when I say I’m lookingforward to what’s next.