Percussive acoustic playing has been around forever, and it’s easy to see why. The guitar is essentially a drum with strings stretched over it. (Its cousin, the banjo, uses a drumhead to cover the body.)
When it comes to shred, few guitarists can rip like Paul Gilbert. As the driving force behind shred-progenitors Racer X and the chart-topping late-Eighties outfit Mr. Big, Gilbert dazzled with his unhuman fretboard range that included wide stretches and intervallic leaps.
In his new autobiography, Honestly: My Life And Stryper Revealed, guitarist Michael Sweet bares his soul. Within its pages, the Stryper frontman details everything from his humble upbringing and troubles with the law to the rise, fall and rebirth of Stryper.
With a lot of talent and a little bit of luck, a new generation of acoustic guitar fingerstylists are blazing a new style of percussive, alternate-tuned shred. In the Eighties, radical fingerstylists like Michael Hedges and Preston Reed pioneered an acoustic guitar style based on an alternate-tuned, percussion-heavy, new age–tinged sound.
If you agree that guitars and women are two of the sexiest things in the entire universe, then the Marilyn guitar is for you. It considerably ups the ante by combining the two, with a hand-carved body that perfectly duplicates every curve and detail of Marilyn Monroe’s famed pinup photo in the 1953 debut issue of Playboy magazine.
This is the music I grew up on. My first guitar was a Gretsch 6120, and I just loved listening to artists like Elvis, Chuck Berry and Stray Cats. But when I wanted to go make records, it was hard. I couldn't really be on the show [Drake & Josh] and then go in and do a three-piece rockabilly-type record of Fifties music.