Welcome to part 4 in my series of my favorite guitarists. This time I will be listing my favorite shredders. So, what is shred? How do we define shred? Well, it is a very subjective term. Many people have differing opinions on this subject. There is also some debate as to who were the first players to exhibit this playing style and in turn created the term "Shred".
I'll get to my opinion in a moment. In the meantime, here are some common definitions or descriptions:
- Many consider any form of guitar playing with fast solos as shred. You may have heard the expression "that guy can really shred!!!!" when a listener describes someone's playing.
- Some consider playing as shred when guitarists use specific techniques like (listed in the parentheses are players that are known for each technique):
- Sweep-picking or sweep arpeggios (Yngwie Malmsteen)
- Two-hand tapping (Eddie Van Halen)
- Diminished and harmonic minor scales (Yngwie Malmsteen)
- Many think only instrumental guitarists can be considered shredders
Most "shedding" involves more complex compositions than the regular playing heard in "normal" guitar oriented music, not just the usual pentatonic and major scales usually heard.
Many believe the term is exclusive to rock and heavy metal music. This is short-sighted if you ask me.
Here's my "definition" of shred and my top 10 favorite shredders (read more):
Before I get to my description of shred, I mentioned earlier that there was also debate as to who was the guitarist that introduced shred to the world. Some say Uli Jon Roth (Scorpions) because he used many of the techniques considered shred as early as 1974. Some say Eddie Van Halen after "Eruption" came out in 1978. Other consider Yngwie Malmsteen the father of shred as although he didn't invent sweep arpeggios, he certainly popularized them. He also played music that was heavily influenced by classical music like J.S> Bach and Nicolo Paganini. There are many other opinions. Do you want to know who I think was the first?
WHO KNOWS and WHO CARES!!!!!!! Let's just enjoy the music and be done with it, shall we???
Ok Shred - My defintion:
I, like many, believe that fast, complex solos are a key component of shred. However, I do not think the term is confined to rock and heavy metal music. I also agree that the techniques mentioned earlier can be components in a shredders repertoire but not exclusively. Many of the shredders on my list are in fact players that have released instrumental albums or mostly instrumental albums, but once again, I don't consider that to be a necessity either.
Wait a second, my definition seems to be pretty vague.....LOL. Anyway, here are my favorites.
As usual, Their primary band and essential albums are listed next to each:
10. Marty Freidman (Cacophony, Megadeth, Solo) - Dragon's Kiss, Speed metal Symphony
9. Vinnie Moore (Solo) - Mind's Eye, Time Odyssey
8. Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple, Rainbow) - Machine Head, Rising, Long Live Rock 'n Roll
7. Randy Rhoads (Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne) - Blizzard of Oz, Diary Of A Madman
6. Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen) -Van Halen 1, Fair Warning
5. Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs, Deep Purple, Solo) - The Introduction, High Tension Wires
4. Steve Vai (Alcatrazz, Whitesnake, Solo) - Passion & Warfare, Where The Wild Things Are
3. Joe Satriani (Solo, Chickenfoot) - Surfing With The Alien, The Extremist
2. Al Di Meola (Solo) - Elegant Gypsy, Kiss My Axe
1. Yngwie Malmsteen (Alcatrazz, Solo) - Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force, Marching Out, Magnum Opus
As usual, I am interested in differing points of view or reminders of who I may have forgotten.