How Different Genres Have Used Guitars

Some of the most proficient guitarists in the world are not known to many people, because their versatility makes them ideal session guitarists or members of touring bands. If you can play the one style, but play it enormously well, then you’re one of life’s band members. But if you can play every style to a level of impressive proficiency, then a session role is something to consider. There will always be a band, in whatever genre, who need a guitarist like you.

The guitar has popped up in all kinds of music over the years. Of course it has a place in punk music, although there are many who would argue that anyone could be the guitarist in a punk band. A solo rock singer will need session musicians to play their songs when they go on tour, while the increasing number of dance acts who prefer to put on a live show rather than do a glorified DJ set means that there is a challenge for session musicians – you may well know how to play the entire back catalogue of Bryan Adams, but the skeletal guitar lines that pop up in a lot of drum ‘n’ bass music are a different kettle of fish.

The different genres that use the guitar all use it differently – some would compare the styles to different tools. A punk guitar style will be similar to using a hammer, and a rock guitarist will work more with a saw. The more intricate and fragile playing which is, strangely, familiar to both folk and dance music, is more like a paintbrush. It’s all the same instrument though – a wonderfully versatile one.

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