GUITARIST'S GUITARISTS. TABLATURE
Note-for-note transcriptions with tab for 16 searing songs from the gods of guitar! Includes an introduction by John Stix, founding Editor-in-Chief of Guitar for the Practicing Musician magazine. 160 pages.
Founding Editor-in Chief, Guitar for the Practicing Musician magazine
It was May 1983, during the earliest days of Guitar for the Practicing Musician magazine. Rock guitar tablature
was about to be joined with a magazine for the first time, and I had developed a mantra for selecting the songs.
The mantra, "It's the song, not the solo," was to remind me that great solos became classic because they
hitched a ride on great songs. We still marvel at the guitar parts and solos to songs like "Hotel California,"
"Stairway to Heaven," "All Along the Watchtower," "Black Magic Woman," and "Reeling in the Years" because
the songs still live as radio classics.
You and I know that the guitar parts and solos to these songs weren't just icing. The fact is, without them there
was no cake. They were vital ingredients for taste, texture, and form. The singer delivered the message, but in
these and in so many other cases, so did the guitarist. Has Jeff Beck ever been less a vocalist than the guy
standing in front of the microphone? Where would Ozzy be without Tony, Randy, or Zakk? How about Roth
without Van Halen or Vai, Plant without Page, Tyler without Perry, and B.B. without Lucille?
Now that we've established "the rule," let's forget it. We're all guitar players here. Let's just admit that we get
giddy because sometimes great guitar playing is just a joy to behold and we can have a blast getting off on
Allan Holdsworth's chops on full thrust or Steve Vai's double-jointed what-the-hell-was-that approach to just
playing the instrument. Let's admit that Jimmy Page's solo on "Since I've Been Loving You" is the best part
of that song.
So that's what this folio is about-the joy of guitar playing. That's the rush of gunning a hotrod down the
straightaway, taking the corners as fast as you can, or playing tooooomanynotes because it feels right. It's not
about complementing or supporting the singer or the song. It's about rocking out; it's about the solo; it's about
the guitar is king-and these are some of the players whom we have crowned at one time or another. It's about
guitarists getting high from great guitar playing.
So who have we got here? We've got the chops busters. There is no woodshed I know of that can turn out
superheroes combining the powers of the Hulk and the Flash. Yet no one hits you as hard and as fast as
players like Allan Holdsworth, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Steve Morse, and Steve Vai. How lucky can we get?
The combined imagination, strength, and agility of all these players is harnessed for the good of one segment
of mankind-other guitarists! Yeah, yeah; of course anybody can enjoy it, but we "get it" first.
We also have the melodic guys-they drive their Ferrari's mostly in 2nd and 3rd gear. We're talking about
restrained muscle, cool phrasing, good tone, and a lot of flair. It's a cry, not a yell. Sometimes it's a yell. So
here we've got everybody's favorite, Jeff Beck; the king of classy guitar playing, Larry Carlton; the man who
makes you know what he's feeling, Santana; phrasing and tone masters Blues Saraceno, Marc Bonilla, and
Steve Lukather; and blues maestro Stevie Ray Vaughan.
How-did-he-do-that playing can also be heard on the acoustic guitar. Naked and raw, flat-picked, or fingered,
the sound of strings on wood can blow you away just as easily as the push from a Marshall stack. Sure, AI Oi
Meola plays intricate melodic parts, but he also plays that fast because he can. And what about the how-manyfingers-
does-that-guy-have approach from Adrian Legg? He's got some sort of double-jointed, ambidextrous
thing going on, doubles on sax, and gets rid of embarrassing stains on nylon carpet pile!
This is a book full of tunes by guitarists who thrill other guitarists. They play rock, blues, jazz fusion, pop, and
acoustic music. They spend their days supporting the vocals and defining the song. And when they let loose,
these are the guys who make other people want to play the instrument-or maybe put it down. These are the
guys you read about in guitar magazines. They are why there are still guitar magazines today. And why in 1983
we started Guitar for the Practicing Musician magazine-so we could explore the trails they laid down for the
rest of us. There had to be more than the mantra, right? So let's agree that a great song will stand the test of
time, but a great guitar part or solo will give you the time of you life. We're guitarists; we can have our cake
and eat it, too.
STEVE VAI -The Attitude Song
ERIC JOHNSON -Cliffs Of Dover
STEVE MORSE -Highland Wedding
AL DI MEOLA -Mediterranean Sundance
LARRY CARLTON -Minute By Minute
ADRIAN LEGG -Mrs. Crowe's Blue Waltz
CARLOS CANTANA -Oye Como Va
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH -Road Games
STEVE LUKATHER -Rosanna
JEFF BECK -She's A Woman
STEVE VAI -Shy Boy
JOE SATRIANI -Summer Song
BLUES SARACENO -The Shakes
STEVE MORSE -Twiggs Approved
STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN -Wall Of Denial
MARC BONILLA -White Noise