Guitar World Year in Review: The Top 10 Stories of 2017

2017 has been quite the year, any way you look at it. From the unexpected losses, to the unexpected reunions and wild new music and gear, we've enjoyed bringing all of it to you.

So, to look back on the year, we bring you the year's 10 most popular stories on

Enjoy! And be sure to sign up for our free daily newsletter HERE.

10. John Petrucci: “My Favorite Chord Is ‘The Alex Lifeson Chord’”

John Petrucci recently went out for a drive with the folks from Cosmo Music. In the resulting Rockstars in Cars video, shown below, the Dream Theater guitarist talks about his favorite solo to play live, his mix of technical and emotional guitar playing, and more.

Best question in the video: “Desert Island Chord: You got one chord you can play forever. What is it?”


9. These Are 10 of the World's Wealthiest Guitarists

(Image credit: Roberto Panucci/Getty Images)

In a recent-ish article, Total Guitar counted down the 10 wealthiest guitar players in the magazine’s home country, the U.K. We should note that £500 million shown for the Edge is actually the total worth for U2. If that were to be split equally, the Edge would be worth £125 million, or roughly $153 million, placing him at number 4 on the list.


8. Study Finds the Bass Guitarist is the Most Important Band Member

A study conducted at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, set out to determine the importance of low-frequency information on music listeners. Their results, published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, were revealing.

The study notes that music contains streams of tones throughout the auditory spectrum and is polyphonic, or multi-voiced. And you don’t need this study to tell you (but it does) that the most important melodic information is carried by the highest voice, such as the lead singer or lead guitar, and the most vital rhythmic information by the lowest voice, i.e. the bass.


7. Ozzy Osbourne Hears Isolated Randy Rhoads “Crazy Train” Solo for First Time in 36 Years

Ozzy Osbourne recently heard the raw, unmixed master tape of his hit song “Crazy Train” for the first time since he recorded it on March 22, 1980. And by all appearances, it was an emotional moment for the heavy metal legend.

The occasion was captured on an episode of Ozzy and Jack’s World Detour, the History TV show featuring Osbourne and his son.

Osbourne became visibly moved as he listened to the guitar work of Randy Rhoads, the young virtuoso guitarist who cowrote the song with him.


6. The 50 Greatest Guitar Solos

Guitar World ranks the 50 greatest solos in rock and roll history.


5. The 25 Best Gear and Music Apps

Nowadays you can find almost anything on your phone. There are apps that will teach you how to play guitar, record songs, simulate amps and more. If you’re wondering where to start, read this list! Here are 25 of the best guitar and music apps.


4. 10 Easy Acoustic Guitar Campfire Sing-Along Songs

It’s summer—time to pull out the guitar and pull up around the campfire, backyard fire pit or friend-hang just about anywhere. When it comes time to lead the sing-along, you need some easy acoustic guitar songs that are known and loved by all.

Here are a few that will get the crowd going and make you look like a genius...even if they only are three chords!


3. 10 Beginner Guitar Songs That Are Easy and Fun to Play

The idea of beginner guitar songs can often seem extremely limited. Unfortunately there are a lot of places where you’ll see lists of easy songs that don’t give you much variety. In fact, a beginner guitar song is often dreadfully boring to play, which doesn’t do much for inspiration or for pushing an aspiring guitarist to continue learning.

But the truth is, many of the songs you’ve heard (and know) are actually quite easy to play. Qnd some are more interesting than others. But how do we know they’re easy? If you focus on just the chord progressions for each song, what you play on the guitar can become as simple or as difficult as you want.

It’s often a matter of placing only a few chords. This means that most of the songs you’re used to hearing are probably much easier than they sound. In other words, you can learn them.


2. 10 of 2017's Best Roots Albums: Rock, Blues and Country

Rootsy American music—for lack of a better name (although some people are calling it Americana or Ameripolitan)—is pretty much all I listen to these days. It calms me down, keeps me going when things get unsavory and streams out of my guitar (and/or iPhone) every time I pick it up.

In its seeming simplicity, I hear countless nuances, bottomless sadness and joy, winks to the past and nods to the future. I hear new and old pickup sounds and effects that often send me sprinting to eBay, not to mention guitar riffs and solos that sometimes send me back to the drawing board (especially when it comes to Cousin Harley's new album).

Anyway, if you've spent your year listening to, well, something other than "rootsy American music," and if you'd like to catch up on what you've been missing, you'll find 10 solid recommendations below. Enjoy!


1. 10 Easy Acoustic Guitar Love Songs

Here are 10 wonderful love songs that you can work out with ease. In fact, most of them only have three or four chords. These might be simpler versions than the original, but trust me, the object of your affection won't care. So pull out that guitar and take a few minutes to strum along—and let the serenading begin!


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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.