April is International Guitar Month and we’re looking at 10 guitarists to peep out during quarantine! Happy jammin’!
Ted Nugent once told Steve Black he loved Jack’s “Attitude and gross irreverence”. That stuck with him as Jack consistently defies the norm and just as consistently finds success. His tone is all in his fingers as he gets the same maniacal sounds out of a plastic $100 guitar as he does with a $5000 vintage Fender. Songs to Sample: “Ball and Biscuit” (White Stripes), “Little Cream Soda” (White Stripes), “Lazaretto” (Solo) Guitars associated with Jack: 1964 Airline, 1957 Gretch White Penguin, Fender Telecasters and Peavey EVH Wolfgang.
Lzzy started the band Halestorm at age 14 with her brother Arejay. If you’ve ever met her or have seen the band live, you can feel the Rock and Roll coursing through her veins. Her guitar riffs are full of power and sex appeal, and provide the perfect setting for the band’s sassy, take the bull by the horns philosophy. Songs to Sample: “I Miss the Misery”, “Apocalyptic”, “Killing Ourselves to Live” Lzzy’s Signature Guitar: Gibson currently makes the Lzzy Hale Signature Explorer, usually in alpine white with gold pickguard and hardware.
Jason is a true lead guitarist and a former session player with all the skill and diversity any songwriter could ever hope for. The guitar balance between Jason and Zoltan has been the secret ingredient to the success of Five Finger Death Punch. He can shred with the best of them. Songs to Sample: “Lift Me Up”, “Wash It All Away”, “Dot Your Eyes” Jason’s Signature Guitar: Gibson currently makes the Jason Hook M4 Sherman Guitar.
Slash is one of the few guitars of the 80s who is just as popular now as he was back in the day. So popular in fact he currently serves as the Global Ambassador for Gibson Guitars. Slash survived as a guitarist by keeping his playing real. He knows how to mix fiery leads with simple melodies. Perhaps most importantly Slash seems like an everyday guy, weather he’s in a stadium with G&R or a club with his solo band. Songs to Sample: “Nightrain” (Guns N’ Roses), “World on Fire” (Solo), “”Slither” (Velvet Revolver) Slash’s Signature Guitars: Gibson and Slash have collaborated on 17 signature Les Paul models over the years.
Mark is a throwback guitar player who practices three hours a day while on tour. His evolution over the years allows him to be a song first player in Creed, a power player in Alter Bridge and a metal inspired shredder in his solo band Tremonti. He is among the most skilled guitarists you’ll find in the current rock scene. Songs to Sample: “Black Bird” (Alter Bridge), “Dust (Tremonti)”, “Cry of Achilles” (Alter Bridge) Mark’s Signature Guitars: Mark was only the second artist to have a Paul Reed Smith Signature guitar. PRS have made several Tremonti model guitars during their 20 year relationship.
Alice Cooper calls her “a force of nature”. Nita has been the lead guitarist for Alice since 2014 and has wowed audiences all across the globe. In 2018 she became the first ever female to have her own signature Ibanez guitar. Nita provides a wonderful blend technique, feel and showmanship. Songs to Sample: “Pandemonium”, “The Quest”, “The Show Must Go On” (Queen Cover) Nita’s Signature Guitar: Ibanez currently makes the JIVA 10 Nita Struss Signature Guitar.
It is easy for Metallica fans to think of Kirk Hammett first while talking about guitarists. We get it, but the signature sound of Metallica are those skull crushing rhythms and James voice. James as a rhythm guitarist belong on a Mount Rushmore of players with Malcolm Young, Ritchie Blackmore and Eddie Van Halen. Metallica might just be the most important band of the last 30 years and it all starts with those bulbous guitar riffs. Songs to Sample: “Of Wolf and Man”, “Sad But True”, The Entire Master of Puppets album Hetfield’s Signature Guitars: ESP has created six James Hetfield guitars since the mid-90s. Including ESP Vulture Guitar and the ESP Snakebyte.
I love that such a young guitarist draws most of his direct influences from the late sixties. Cream, Blue Cheer and of course Hendrix and Zeppelin can all be found in the dynamic guitar playing on Jake’s records with Greta Van Fleet. Jake is among the finest groove players live as well, often slipping into a guitar trance during a lead and taking all of us along with him. Songs to Sample: “Lover Leaver (Taker Believer)”, “Black Smoke Rising”, “Highway Tune” Guitars associated with Jake: 1961 Gibson SG Les Paul Standard, Gibson ES-335, Vintage Fender Stratocasters
Rival Sons are the poster children for the New Dirty Blues movement in Rock. The music gets much of it’s raw, honest, pure yet greasy sound from Scott’s guitar playing. Rival Sons are also one of the rare bands that are equally effective both live where they deliver like rabid maniacs every night and as a recording artist turning out top 10 radio hits. Songs to Sample: “Too Bad”, “Hallow Bones”, “Electric Man” Guitars Associated with Scott: Gibson Firebird, Fano GF6, Fender Jazzmaster, Kauer Banshee
Of all the major bands to emerge from the 90s Alice In Chains most prominently kept edgy guitar solos as a key element in their songs. But, Jerry’s value is so much more than soaring leads. He has written some of the very best dark ballads in rock history. To balance that Mr. Cantrell has also authored some of the most crushing riffs in modern music history as well. Songs to Sample: “Check My Brain”, “We Die Young”, “Phantom Limb” Guitars Associated with Jerry: G&L Signature Rampage Guitar, G&L “No War” Signature Model, Gibson Les Paul Standard, Gibson SG and Gibson Flying V