Great Guitar Solos – Nirvana Plays Aero Zeppelin

Oh! Hello! How is everyone? Are y’all all right?

I’m better. Still angry, still fighting, but… better.

Decided that it was time to clear out the cobwebs and start this one up again.

This time around it’s… yes… Nirvana. Nirvana holds a rather special place in my heart. Before Nirvana, I pretty much listened to children’s music, boy bands, and mainstream pop crap. Then a friend introduced me to Nirvana, and that changed literally everything for me in terms of how I listened to music. Sure, Led Zeppelin’s my all-time favorite band, but they wouldn’t be if not for Nirvana.

We’re starting back up with the solo from their song Aero Zeppelin. It starts at 3:14 and ends at 3:44.


Great Guitar Solos – Stevie Wonder and Jeff Beck Play Superstition

Ah, Jeff Beck. One of the all-time greats. His playing is phenomenal and amazing.

Superstition has an interesting history, in that Stevie Wonder kinda sorta wrote it for Jeff Beck, who released it. Then almost immediately after, Stevie Wonder released it. So, of course, it makes a lot of sense for Jeff Beck to join Stevie Wonder for this amazing song (one of my all-time favorite songs, in fact), and Jeff’s soloing on guitar (and Stevie’s on piano) is incredible.

The guitar solo starts at 1:27 and ends at 2:22. And yes, there’s video to watch, here…


Great Guitar Solos – Pink Floyd Plays Careful with That Axe, Eugene

I had a time for a bit looking for a good post for today’s Great Guitar Solo. I even asked on Facebook back at the end of September. A spooky song with an appropriately spooky guitar solo and a generally spooky atmosphere…


Pink Floyd!

Careful with that Axe, Eugene!

This one features Pink Floyd at their decidedly creepiest. It features Roger Waters whispering some spooky nonsense, David Gilmour singing along with his guitar, Richard Wright providing the amazingly sinister atmosphere on his keyboard, and Nick Mason somehow making even the drums sound creepy.

It also features what I consider to be one of the greatest screams in all of music from Roger Waters himself, which I can only emulate by sucking in (and I’m almost positive that this is how he does it, as well). It’s a hard (and honestly painful) scream to emulate, but it makes this song.

As for Gilmour’s playing… I really shouldn’t have to explain why it’s so good. It’s frickin’ David Gilmour! He always knows the perfect solo to play in a song. And this solo is absolutely perfect. It also showcases his speed, too! Not a shredder, but I think this is some of his faster playing. His solo builds along with the song itself to an absolutely stunning climax that, if you aren’t paying attention, will absolutely be an auditory jump scare… and then slows back down. It follows the song all the way through absolutely perfectly.

I will say this, though… it isn’t on YouTube, but Dailymotion. I couldn’t find this on YouTube, unfortunately. So I apologize for the ad. I have adblocker, so I don’t see it, but if you don’t have adblocker, you will. Also, I don’t know how Dailymotion handles autoplay (I have a Chrome extension that disables autoplay for me), so I’m gonna put it below the fold.

The guitar solo is pretty much through the entire song. So… make sure it’s a dark and stormy night, turn off the lights, maybe light a candle or two, put this on the big screen, and enjoy.

[Read more…]

Great Guitar Solos – Anna Calvi Plays Love Won’t be Leaving Live in New York

I think at this point, expectations of where this series was heading have been, perhaps, broken a little bit. Some were expecting Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, Slash, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, etc. And don’t worry… you’ll see most of them (there’s one in there who I’m debating… he has a number of amazing guitar solos, but he’s racist, so… yeah). But I’ve decided to not just go in the obvious directions because doing that can be so limiting… it’s amazing what great guitar you can find in the perhaps not-so-traditional genres.

Anna Calvi is an amazing example. I find her voice mesmerizing, her style fun and intriguing, and her guitar-playing mind-blowing.

Here she is playing her song Love Won’t be Leaving live in New York. One of the most amazing things about this solo is how it starts off so slow, soft, and menacing, and then just builds into this face-melting amazingness. It’s an incredible use of the guitar, technique, and, yes, space, especially at the beginning. And then it just abruptly ends. Just like that. No come-down, no slow-down, nothing. Just… next verse, immediately, without a break.

The solo starts at 3:18 and ends rather suddenly at 6:25.


Great Guitar Solos – Chantel McGregor Plays Led Zeppelin’s Tea for One

I just realized that I have a good bit of covers in this series… I need to rectify that, but not right now. And don’t worry… you’ll be seeing more of Chantel McGregor in this series. But first, I wanted to introduce you to her the way I was introduced to her…

Although this is a song with lyrics, Chantel never really stops soloing… even under the verses, it’s got a more lead feel than a rhythm feel. So it’s throughout the whole song.

Also, again, this is live, so there’s something to watch, here.


Great Guitar Solos – BB King

You thought I was just gonna skip over the Blues?


Come on. I play guitar. Skipping over the Blues is an actual crime, and I’m not looking to go to guitar jail any time soon.

So here’s one of the greatest Blues guitarists of all time, BB King, playing great Blues guitar. Unfortunately, the sound mix here is pretty crap, so you’ll basically just hear BB King and the drums, with the keys adding just some atmosphere that makes it hard to tell what the music itself is, and whether it’s in major or minor… plus, the bass guitar is non-existent.

But don’t let that kill your enjoyment of one of BB King’s amazing guitar performances. Sit back, relax, and enjoy:

Great Guitar Solos – Orianthi Plays Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

Just to prove that I’m not inherently anti-shredding, I present to you Orianthi. She is a mind-blowing guitarist and a great singer. I’ve been a big fan of her work even when she’s played with artists whose music I don’t listen to so much.

Here, she plays the late, great Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Child (Slight Return). She only sings the first verse, not the second, but that doesn’t bother me at all because this is all about the guitar, here. The solo is the entire thing. Also, this is a live video, so definitely watch to see her play.


Great Guitar Solos – Porcupine Tree’s Shesmovedon

Here’s a band that was popular in the 90s, often considered the logical progression of what Pink Floyd started. Sadly, they seem to be relative unknowns today, including the amazing musician, composer, singer, and guitarist Steven Wilson. You’ll be seeing Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson (with his solo work and other projects) relatively often in this series, because I’m such a huge fan.

Porcupine Tree was even more the quintessential angsty teenage band than Nirvana. Hell, they have an entire album, called Fear of a Blank Planet, that is literally about “two typical neurobehavioural developmental disorders affecting teenagers in the 21st century: bipolar disorder and attention deficit disorder, and also with other common behaviour tendencies of youth like escapism through prescription drugs, social alienation caused by technology, and a feeling of vacuity—a product of information overload by the mass media.” So it’s kind of funny that I discovered, and fell in love with, their music when I was already well into “adulthood”.

Anyways… this one doesn’t come from Fear of a Blank Planet, but from their album Lightbulb Sun. The lyrics are almost sort of nice guy bemoaning, sadly. They’re basically the dude (not necessarily Steven Wilson himself, as the vast majority of his albums are concept albums, so they tell stories with characters) bemoaning the loss of a girlfriend who he thinks was just using him. The lyrics are… fine… but the guitar solo is what makes this song. It’s so powerful, and I adore it.

As usual, there’s no video to this one, just audio. The solo starts at 3:25 and ends at 5:05.


Great Guitar Solos – Steve Howe “Masquerade”

I don’t like everything Yes, but I do enjoy their more progressive/symphonic stuff. And I consider Steve Howe to be one of the greats. This was first released on the Yes “Union” album, which I own. It’s a full-on instrumental guitar solo… no other instruments or singing or anything. It’s a bit more simple than other solos, but I absolutely love it. Years ago I tried learning how to play it, but I wasn’t good enough then, and I haven’t tried again in years. I think I’d have a much easier time picking it up now if I tried… and I think I very well might.

This video is from Steve Howe’s own Youtube channel. It shows both his fingering hand his picking hand, so you can see exactly how he plays it. I find it really nice, simple, and atmospheric. I hope you like it, too.