Blog Archives

Billy Duffy

Born in Manchester in 1961 Billy Duffy began his playing career with various punk bands in the late 1970’s.  It was in this period that he introduced Morrissey and Johnny Marr to each other and encouraged them to get together in a band.

When the punk scene started to dwindle it was at this point that Duffy began playing with darker more gothic sounding bands.  He then met Ian Astbury who was singing for the band Southern Death Cult, Astbury was so impressed with Duffy’s playing he left his current band and formed a band with Duffy that would eventually become The Cult.

Playing a 1970’s Gretch White Falcon and making use of the flanging effect Duffy created his own trademark sound within The Cult.  His guitar sounds becoming noticeably heavier as The Cults career progressed.  The early albums have a swirling almost clean sound to them while the later albums still contained that swirling feel but also added huge walls of distorted multi tracked guitar lines.

Billy Duffy has recorded nine albums with The Cult as well as recording his own solo work and performing live with Sammy Hagar.  The Cult have split up and reformed twice and remain active to this date.

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Yngwie Malmsteen

Born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1963 Yngwie Malmsteen is the guitarist credited as being the first of the neo-classical rock guitarists popular in the 1980’s and 90’s.

Discovered by Mike Varney of shrapnel records he was flown to the U.S. in 1982 and had brief recording stints with the bands Alcatrazz, and, Steeler before releasing his first solo album, Rising Force, in 1984.

Rising Force won the Guitar Player Magazine’s award for Best Rock Album and was nominated for a Grammy for ‘Best Rock Instrumental’, achieving #60 on the Billboard album chart. The guitar playing on the album was like nothing that came before. Rapid fire arpeggios, dark sounding harmonic minor scales and modes combining to produce a totally unique, dynamic, and exciting sound.

Malmsteen is famous for his use of Fender Stratocaster guitars and Marshall amplification and has signature series guitars and amplifiers. His guitars have scalloped fretboards and brass nuts to improve playability and sustain.

Malmsteen spawned an almost new style of playing and as such influenced many guitarists to learn theirs scales and improve their technique. His influenced can be heard in a lot of guitarists from the late 80’s and 90’s and continues to this day. He has released a number of studio and live albums and continues recording and touring as a solo artists and also as part of the G3 tour.

Albert Lee

Albert Lee is an English guitarist known for his hybrid picking technique and rapid fire phrasing. He left school at 16 to play guitar full time and has been playing professionally ever since.

His playing credits read like a who’s who of music. Too many to list but they include Bo Diddley, Eric Clapton, and the Everly Brothers. He has also recorded a large number of solo albums under the names “Albert Lee” and “Albert Lee & Hogan’s Heroes”

He is known as the guitar player’s guitar player because of the presence of so many guitarists, famous or unknown, everywhere he performs. Albert Lee is also referred to as “Mr. Telecaster”.  Lee has been described by his peers who include Jimmy Page and Ritchie Blackmore, as a complete gentleman who does not know the meaning of the word ego.

His song “Country Boy”, shown in the video above, helped to redefine country guitar for a whole generation of players.

Albert Lee can be seen live touring with “Albert Lee & Hogan’s Heroes” at the time of writing, July 2012. If you get chance go see him play.

Vinne Moore

Vinne Moore was discovered by Mike Varney after playing professional gigs since the age of 12.  His connection with Varney led to him featuring in a Pepsi advert and then releasing the albums Minds Eye and Time Odyssey on Shrapnel Records.  He has since appeared on albums by Alice Copper, Vicious Rumours, and, UFO.  He is currently playing for UFO who released their latest album in 2012.

Moore is known as one of the earliest “Shred” guitar players and his early albums feature a neo classical style utilising fast picking, sweeping, and, some pretty cool acoustic playing.  Check out the track above for a wide selection of Moore’s techniques and also his compositional skills.

Mark Knopfler

Mark Knopfler was the guitar player and singer in Dire Straits from their beginnings in 1977 to their break up in 1995, selling over 120 million albums worldwide they are one of the worlds most popular recording artists.  Since 1995 Knopfler has had a successful solo career covering a diverse range of musical styles.

Mark Knopfler is left-handed, but plays right-handed, and fingerpicks  instead of using a plectrum. Fingerpicking is usually associated with the acoustic guitar, but Knopfler usually (though not always) plays an electric guitar. He revealed during a French interview that he uses a pick for his rhythm work during recording sessions. He surprised the interviewer by pulling a pick out of his pocket and saying that he usually carries one. He has long favoured Fender Telecaster and Stratocaster style guitars. Fender carries a Mark Knopfler Artist Series Stratocaster. During the 1980s he came to appreciate the tone of the Gibson Les Paul and his original 1958 has been used regularly in the studio and on stage.

Paul Gilbert


Paul Gilbert is one scary guitar player.  Awesome technique, Phenomenal speed coupled with a strong melodic sense combine to make him one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time.

At age 15 he contacted Mike Varney, head of shrapnel records, asking for a gig with Ozzy Osborne.  The gig with Ozzy did not happen but Gilbert was featured in Guitar Player magazine at age 15.

After spending three years at GIT Gilbert then joined Racer X. This is where Gilbert gained his reputation as one of the worlds fastest guitarists.  Gilbert then formed the band Mr Big who had a number one hit with the acoustic tune “To be with you”.   Gilbert left Mr Big in 1997 to pursue a solo career.

He continues working on solo projects as well as holding guitar clinics around the world.  He is also a teacher at GIT and is well-known for his instructional videos.

Jaco Pastorius


Jaco Pastorius is probably the most influential Bass player of all time.  Playing a Fender Jazz with the frets removed Jaco had a unique and instantly recognisable style making use of harmonics, false harmonics, legato, and punchy lines .  Jaco recorded with Weather Report, Herbie Hancock, and, Joni Mitchell amongst others as well as recording his own solo projects.

Jaco had two Grammy Award nominations for his self-titled debut album. He won the readers’ poll for induction into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in 1988, one of only four bassists to be so honored (the others being Charles Mingus, Milt Hinton, and Ray Brown), and the only electric bassist to receive this distinction.

Andres Segovia

Andrés Segovia, was a virtuoso Spanish classical guitarist from Linares, Jaén, Andalucia, Spain. He is widely considered to be one of the best known and most influential classical guitar personalities of the 20th century, having a considerable influence on later guitarists, particularly because of important guitar works that were dedicated to him by composers such as Federico Moreno Torroba.

Segovia is credited for his modern-romantic repertoire, mainly through works dedicated to him by modern composers, but he also created his own transcriptions of classical works that were originally for other instruments. He is remembered for his expressive performances: his wide palette of tone, and his distinctive (often instantly recognizable) musical personality in tone, phrasing and style.

Steve Vai

Steve Vai recorded and toured in Zappa’s band for two years, from 1980 to 1982. He began a solo career in 1983, has released eight solo albums and won three Grammy Awards. He has also recorded and toured with Public Image Ltd., Alcatrazz, David Lee Roth and Whitesnake. Vai has been a regular touring member of the G3 Concert Tour which began in 1996.  One of the greatest ever guitarists with a seemingly total mastery of the instrument and command of music theory and composition.  A great example to other guitar players of the benefits of practice and total dedication Steve Vai is known for his long practice routines including his legendary 10 hour guitar workout.  Also famous for his connections with Ibanez guitars, his Jem series is one of the most sought after and popular signature guitars ever produced.

Joe Pass

One of the greatest jazz guitarists of the 20th century Joe Pass was known for his chord melodies, walking bass lines, and, outstanding knowledge of chord inversions and progressions.  New York Magazine said of him, “Joe Pass looks like somebody’s uncle and plays guitar like nobody’s business. He’s called “the world’s greatest” and often compared to Paganini for his virtuosity. There is a certain purity to his sound that makes him stand out easily from other first-rate jazz guitarists”.