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  • Writer's pictureAnthony June-Dubois

My Favorite Guitar Players, Guitar Riffs and Solos

Updated: Feb 3

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My journey with the guitar has spanned most of my life, and there are countless guitarists out there that have influenced my own playing (more than I realize) since I began playing the guitar when I was 9 years old. Here are my favorites...

Favorite Guitar Players

Akira Takasaki

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I first heard of Loudness from my older cousin Mark's stash of tapes on one of our regular family trips to Dallas when I was about 10. I would take a tape out, open the cover and look inside and read the credits and my cousin would often put the tape in for me to hear if nothing else was playing. As I looked at the names of the band members inside the cover of the Crazy Nights tape, I noticed they weren't English and my cousin said they were from Japan. Another cousin there with me closer in age, "Chaps", was fascinated by that, as he was obsessed with Asian culture from martial arts to anime. So Mark put the tape in and from the first note of the Crazy Nights song I was immediately blown away. The guitar sound was huge, precise, and commanding. The solo was undeniably monstrous, and the guitars didn't give way throughout the whole album. I knew I had to get this tape when I got back to Houston.

Soon after, I bought the tape and...

Vinnie Vincent

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I remember the first time I saw Vinnie Vincent. It was on a magazine cover that KISS on it, and there were all the members except this mysterious, androgynous person that was quite conspicuously in Ace Frehley's place. He had a very cool and almost scary Egyptian persona, and I'd soon find out he had a monstrous guitar style to match.

From time to time I would see him in photos in Hit Parade and Circus magazines, but it wasn't until I got the KISS Lick It Up on tape for Christmas in the 1st grade that I actually heard him play. He had a smooth yet aggressive style along with extremely precise technique and finesse.

Before long it came out that it was...

Yngwie Malmsteen

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I saw the name Yngwie Malmsteen in a humongous tape collection of that my older cousin had, but never heard a song until a Masters of Metal compilation tape that I bought in about the 4th grade that had the song Fire on it. I soon asked my cousin how to pronounce the name (he said it was pronounced "Eeng-wee Mom-steen" like many Americans pronounced it at the time, unlike the "Eeng-vay Malm-steen" as pronounced on the radio a few years later when he got bigger).

Yngwie truly is a one-of-a-kind guitarist...

Joe Satriani

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As an occasional guitar teacher myself, one of the things that endeared me about Joe Satriani is that he too was a guitar teacher to many amazing guitarists including Steve Vai, Kirk Hammet of Metallica, and Alex Skolnik of Testament (another of my favorite guitarists).

My introduction to him was hearing Satch Boogie at around age 13 on the radio on 101 KLOL in Houston. The first thing that struck me was that the song was an instrumental which was really cool and unusual for rock radio, and it had a very catchy swing to it.

But what stopped me completely in my tracks though was...

Julian Swales

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I was a sophomore in high school and was in the middle of a tumultuous time in my home while at the same time experiencing a huge influx of discovering new music I had never heard before. This was largely due to my beginning to play in Desoxyn Dog, a band that exposed me to playing in numerous clubs and a bursting Houston music scene, as well as influence my song writing and open me up to musical experimentation.

After playing in the band a few months...

More of my favorite guitar players:

Chet Atkins - Black Mountain Rag

George Lynch - Kiss of Death (Dokken)

Steve Stevens - Rebel Yell (Billy Idol) Isolated Guitar Part - Yes, even the parts I always thought were keyboards at 3:00 are actually guitar synthesizers by him, mind blowing

Roy Clark - Twelfth Street Rag

John Norum - Eternal Flame

Eddie Van Halen - Eruption

Dimebag Darrel - A New Level (Pantera)

Carlos Santana - Oye Como Va

Vernon Reid - Cult of Personality (Living Colour)

Favorite Guitar Riffs

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Scorpions - The Zoo

U2 - Bad

Babylon A.D. - Bang Go the Bells - I have played this riff at countless soundchecks and have never been called out for it

Winger - Hungry - Also played at many soundchecks

Soundgarden - Outshined

Stone Temple Pilots - Plush, Interstate Love Song

Marty Robbins - El Paso

Metallica - Master of Puppets

Depeche Mode - Enjoy the Silence

Doobie Brothers - Long Train Runnin'

Tom Petty - Breakdown

KMFDM - Godlike (sample of Angel of Death guitar riff by Slayer)

Pink Floyd - Hey You

Led Zepplin - Black Dog

Favorite Guitar Solos

(Click link to listen)

Joe Satriani - Satch Boogie (Solo)

John Norum - Too Many Hearts (Solo)

Loudness - Lines Are Down (Solo), Crazy Nights (Solo), Clockwork Toy (Solo)

KISS - Love Gun (Solo)

Vinnie Vincent Invasion - Boyz R Gonna Rock (Solo)

Megadeth - Tornado of Souls (Solo)

Hubert Kah - It's Me, Cathy (Solo)

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