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Who are your biggest musical influences?

Dolphinado

Member
What it says on the tin - what guitarists, vocalists, bassists, bands, musicians, composers, genres are your biggest musical influences, personally?

Who / what are you channeling, tweaking, breaking down, and synthesizing when you write your own music? Who inspired you to pick up guitar? What about them inspires you?

(I was gonna include mine here to start, but I think I’ll chime in after the thread gets going a bit.)
 

lauke-lux

Fractal Fanatic
Dylan, Knopfler, Tom Petty...all a long time ago...hence Kenny Way Shepherd, Joe Bonamassa, Keith Richards, Joe Pass, a few country chicken picking guitarists. Strangely enough almost all US guys but no Hendrix, bought my first Hendrix CD 3 years ago only, and no Clapton at all; dunno why. If not..so much good music around, you end picking up a lot from everywhere. As you can understand I am not in the metal/hard thing.
 

trancegodz

Power User
The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck, Yes, Martin Carthy, Nic Jones, Dick Gaughan, Dervish.
Way too many to list.
 

Diego

Fractal Fanatic
Steve Vai for musical approach
Bruce Springsteen for songwriting
Tchad Blake for recording
Chris Lord Alge for mixing
 

Bman

Power User
Eddie Van Halen
George Lynch
SRV
Neal Schon
Jimi Hendrix

All but one were responsible for a genre that followed them. I spent my high school years worshipping Lynch. I had to rediscover SRV after his death which lead me back to Jimi.
 

TG3K

Power User
Glenn Campbell was my first guitar hero as a kid. Jeff Beck's Blow By Blow album was another huge influence years later. After that, I've continued to be inspired and influenced from a wide range of guitarists.
 

Dr. Dipwad

Experienced
guitar:
Trevor Rabin for some things, Steve Howe for others;
Eddie Van Halen for some things, Alex Lifeson for others;
3 flavors of pop with Mike Rutherford, Steve Lukather, and Roland Orzabal
then add David Gilmour, Eric Johnson, John Petrucci,
and the underrated Dave Bainbridge.

keys:
Tony Banks, Richard Wright, Nick Rhodes

song orchestration:
Yes, Rush, Iona, Genesis, Kansas

harmonic progressions and tone-axis modality:
Yes, Joe Satriani, Chicago, and Led Zeppelin's spookier side
 
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casperoff

Inspired
Roddy Frame
David Sylvian
Nuno Bettencourt
The Blue Nile/ Paul Buchanan
Steve Jansen
Ennio Morricone
Trevor Horn
 

reclavea

Power User
Chet Atkins
Django Reinhardt
Roy Clark
Santana
Neal Schon
Alan Holdsworth
Andres Segovia
Mahavisnu John McLaughlin
Tim Pierce
Charlie Christian
Greg Howe
Shawn Lane
Glenn Campbell
Satch
Brett Garsed
Robin Ford
Jerry Reed
George Benson
Norman Brown
Peter White
Larry Carlton
Al Dimeola
Steve Lukather
Don Ross
Earl Klugh
Stanley Jordan
Dan Crary
Doc Watson
Van Halen
Jimi Hendrix

....to name a few 😊

I know ...all guitarists 🤔
 

grandinq

Experienced
Has to start with the Beatles. I have an older sister who got a Beatles album for Christmas and that was was introduced me to rock music as a whole. Great start. To this day I marvel how in the span of 1963 to 1969 they developed as songwriters and created different sounds. There is no other band in history who has done this. They showed that anything is possible.

Kiss was my next one. I was a kid and the visual thing hit me big. Once again, my older sister was the influence. She got Rock and Roll Over for her birthday and I would just stare at the cover in awe. My first Kiss album was Alive. I wanted to play guitar because Ace looked so cool on the cover. I don’t remember actually paying attention to their songs, unlike I did with the Beatles. It was all about the show and the image. That’s a big part of rock music.

Led Zeppelin was next. I think every 14 year old boy back then got entranced by them. My older brother got Led Zeppelin II and the raw power of it smacked me. The energy on there is so intense. Heartbreaker remains my favorite guitar solo for its attitude. As I got into more of them I was taken in by the mystery. What did Zoso mean? Did they make a deal with the devil? What did the lyrics of Stairway to Heaven mean? A friend got a VHS copy of Song Remains the Same and I was dumbfounded by Jimmy using the violin bow. Man, I wanted to be that guy.

Iron Maiden was next. I thought Zeppelin was as heavy as heavy got and then my drummer played me The Trooper. How could they play so fast, and in harmony? For about a year every song I wrote was a Maiden ripoff. I tried to found fantasy themes they hadn’t done yet and I remember I did a song about this Greek myth and these creatures with a hundred arms who were thrown into Tartarus by Cronus. They were called Hechatonchares so that’s what I called the song.

At the same time I discovered Yes. I had heard Roundabout on the radio and it blew my mind that someone could put together such a complicated song. It took me two years to hunt down all the albums on vinyl as record stores didn’t carry much Yes. I remember triumphantly finding Tales From Topographic Oceans in a Strawberry’s. Steve Howe was like no other guitar player I had heard. He didn’t do blues rock and he didn’t quite do jazz; he played combinations of notes I didn’t think were possible. I used to listen to Yours Is No Disgrace over and over and over trying to work out his playing. Alas in those days I couldn’t slow things down, there weren’t any Yes tabs, and my guitar teacher didn’t really know Yes (although he did show me plenty of Jimmy Page secrets).

So there’s my “brief” history, brought to you by not going to work because I am a teacher and schools are shut down. This was fun!
 

socalguitar

Inspired
In order.

Ace frehley
Jimmy Page
Randy Rhodes
Jim Coche
Kerry King / Jeff Hanneman

I'd say that was my top 5 early influences. Even though I don't play or sound anything like those guys, they are in there somewhere.
 

ElectricPhase

Power User
Christopher Parkening
Jimmy Page
Neil Schon
Alex Lifeson
Eddie Van Halen
George Lynch
Joe Satriani

...and a supporting cast of thousands.
 

Muad'zin

Fractal Fanatic
The Edge (for delays and stuff)
Tony Iommy (for walls of sonic guitar riffs)
Ritchie Blackmore (for middle eastern scales during his Rainbow years)
Tom Morello (for pterodactyl noises and thinking outside of the box)
Them dudes of Radiohead (for thinking outside of the box and weird noises)
Matt Bellamy (for over the top crazyness, guitars with gizmos in them and inspiring me to take up the piano)
David Gilmour (for helping me discover fuzzy leads and the Big Muff)

I reckon my playing style is an amalgam of them all for those reasons.
 

BaronVonGrim

Experienced
We have musical heros
The one and only Eddie..
I've practiced his stuff over the years... but I dont know that he influenced my style. I couldn't ever really play like him, so I played some if his licks the best way I can.
Do these people influence our playing?
I may do a little Jeff Beck thing... that I learned from Jeff Beck... but I dont play like Jeff Beck, and I would give him credit for the thing... but I put it together my way.
I may play like Clapton.... but I never listened to any Clapton. so do I play like me.. or like Clapton... one could say, I would never play that way, if there wasn't a Clapton or Hendrix... and that makes sense... but I influenced the way I play the most
 

ElectricPhase

Power User
We have musical heros
The one and only Eddie..
I've practiced his stuff over the years... but I dont know that he influenced my style. I couldn't ever really play like him, so I played some if his licks the best way I can.
Do these people influence our playing?
I may do a little Jeff Beck thing... that I learned from Jeff Beck... but I dont play like Jeff Beck, and I would give him credit for the thing... but I put it together my way.
I may play like Clapton.... but I never listened to any Clapton. so do I play like me.. or like Clapton... one could say, I would never play that way, if there wasn't a Clapton or Hendrix... and that makes sense... but I influenced the way I play the most
My theory is that what we listen to influences us far more than what we emulate on our instrument. Executing the same passage of music with the same timing, feel, and nuance as someone else is very difficult. What we capture (hopefully) is the spirit of the thing.
 
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