Classic Rock: The Roar of the Electric Guitar

From the sound of Chuck Berry’s first overdrive guitar to the golden tones of Eddie Van Halen, classic rock guitars are studies for themselves in the evolution of popular music for decades. Naturally, amplification and technology have something to say about voices that were opened from the 60s to 90s, but cataloged elements of virtuoso players such as Jimi Hendrix, Alex Lifeson and Van Halen mentioned earlier who were brought to the party also important.

While Scotty Moore sparked recordings of Elvis and Chuck Berry giving us some of the first riff-rock, the Beatles and The Who carved a niche for themselves with electric Rickenbacker and a 100-watt stack of Hiwatt amplifiers, respectively. The Beatles lead bands such as Byrds, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and others to mine Ricky-based voices they originally pioneered (before finding their own ways for early overdrive sounds in the studio).

The Who continued to improve the sound of their guitars with Pete Townsend sticking out his Les Paul through a pile of direct amps and in the studio. Bands like Cream will find Eric Clapton and solo artists like Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page from Zeppelin, and Jeff Beck shooting their own reinforced rig to make distinctive sounds on songs like ‘Sunshine of Your Love’, ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again ‘and’ Communication Damage ‘. From there, Black Sabbath’s metal thunder, Judas Priest, and Rush were only one step away.

When the 70s saw the stomp-box effect of the sound of rock and metal from Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore, the tone that was influenced by Michael Schenker and the great and crazy sound of Edward Van Halen, the guitarist began to redefine what it meant to have gold tones and reach the status of ‘guitar god’ that is difficult to understand. But the 80s, although rich in sound and effect boxes that could be achieved, proved that songwriting and sound were still key, because thousands of bands began to emulate without the taste of the pioneers who had gone before, but without the tone, taste or ability of the compositions has made bands like Zeppelin and Van Halen great.

Like all eras, there are still outstanding artists with extraordinary voices such as U2’s The Edge, Defender Phil Collen and Steve Clark, Journey’s Neal Schon and, of course, Alex Lifeson and Eddie Van Halen. The sounds of the guitar will continue to grow over time, and if you spend half an hour on a classic rock radio station, you will hear extraordinary sounds and guitar styles that describe growth in technology and ability. for decades.