As 2016 rapidly approaches, Guitar World is taking a nostalgic look back at the most popular GuitarWorld.com stories, videos, lessons and features of 2015.
Be sure to check out our other 2015 Year in Review content right here.
Today, we're revisiting the 10 most popular "viral" videos to be shared on GuitarWorld.com in 2015. How did we determine what was the most popular? Like most things in online land, it all came down to page views.
Note that while we usually keep this top-10 list to videos that do not feature famous, world-recognized artists, one or two famous faces have crept into this year's list. We feel that leaving them out would be misleading; therefore, what you're seeing here are the 10 most-watched viral videos of the year—without any "list editing" on our part.
That said, for the most part, you'll find videos that shine the spotlight on regular people whose skills captured the attention of a wide online audience in 2015. What can we determine from this list? GuitarWorld.com readers enjoy watching other guitarists—of all sexes and age groups (but, well, mostly females, it's safe to say)—shred.
On that note, sit back and enjoy the shredding!
P.S.: In the spirit of the holidays (and our poor math skills), we've provided a few extra videos for your viewing pleasure—for a grand total of 13! Enjoy!
13. Stevie Ray Vaughan Shows How He Plays "Rude Mood," "Superstition" and "Hideaway" — Video
In the fascinating 1989 video below, Stevie Ray Vaughan sits down for a frank interview with a U.K. reporter. During the interview, Vaughan, who is clutching his Number One Strat, launches into "Hideaway," an upbeat instrumental blues classic from 1960, demonstrating how Freddie King (who wrote it with Sonny Thompson) and Eric Clapton (who recorded it in 1966) played the song differently.
He also plays his own upbeat instrumental blues classic, "Rude Mood," while the camera catches almost all of his left-hand fingering up close. Later, he plays the main riff to his popular version of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition." Although this video is often mislabeled as a "Stevie Ray Vaughan Guitar Lesson" on YouTube (I mean, he's not saying, "OK, gang, put your index finger on the second fret"), it is among the best available footage of Vaughan's hands (well, fingers, to be more precise) in action.
If you don't want to sit through the interview, head to 1:02 for "Hideaway," 2:26 for "Rude Mood" and 6:16 for "Superstition."
12. Eddie Van Halen Tests New EVH Gear 5150IIIS Amp Head — GoPro Video
OK, this is kinda cool.
Check out this just-posted video of Eddie Van Halen testing the new EVH Gear 5150IIIS amp head. The catch is, everything is shot with GoPro cameras, so you're seeing things from some pretty interesting and revealing angles.
In the clip, which you can check out below, Eddie plays some of his most iconic Van Halen licks and riffs, from "Hot for Teacher" to "Dance the Night Away" and beyond.
While showing off the gear, Van Halen showcases the differences between the 5150IIIS and its predecessor, the 5150III. The latest version of the amp is the result of Eddie's desire to have a little "more gas in the tank" before Van Halen's successful 2012 tour.
For more about EVH Gear, visit evhgear.com.
11. Top 10 Fender Stratocaster Facts You Probably Didn't Know — Video
In this new video (posted to the Interwebs July 5), Mark from Guitar Nerds, a U.K.-based website for guitar fans (and nerds, we reckon), counts down the top 10 Fender Stratocaster facts that you probably didn't know.
For more Guitar Nerds videos, visit guitarnerds.net.
You also might want to try out The Six Coolest Strat Solos of All Time. Enjoy!
10. Truly Epic: Massive One-Man "Guitar Orchestra" Plays 'Star Wars' Theme — Video
In this brand-new video (posted to YouTube December 7), Cooper Carter plays all 31 orchestral parts heard in the original big-screen version of the Star Wars theme song—on guitar!
We're talking about the full orchestra here, including the oboe parts, the flute parts, the violin and viola parts, etc. And don't even get me started on the trombone parts!
"Forty-five tracks, 31 orchestral parts, 12 Star Wars shirts and a whole lotta guitars," Cooper says. "[It's] one giant tribute to the greatest saga of all time."
The iconic piece was, of course, composed by John Williams, and Carter arranged this "guitar orchestra" version himself.
In terms of the comments and general reaction to the clip, it's off to a strong start. Viewers have referred to it as "epic" (a fitting modifier, yes?), and the thumbs-up-to-thumbs-down ratio is truly remarkable.
By the way, Carter used Fractal Audio's AX8 amp modeler to dial in the many different sounds heard in the clip, which you can check out below.
09. Meet 15-Year-Old Blues Guitarist Christone "Kingfish" Ingram — Video
If you frequent the interwebs, you might've come across a few recent news items about a 15-year-old blues guitarist named Christone Ingram—a young shredder better known as "Kingfish."
Last November, Kingfish performed for the Obamas at the White House as part of the Delta Blues Museum band.
Of course, you don't get to perform for the president of the U.S. overnight. Christone started playing gigs in his hometown of Clarksdale, Mississippi, when he was in seventh grade. A short time later, he had developed a local fan base, not to mention a good deal of street cred.
"I got hooked," he told My Fox Memphis, which created the top video (below). "This is what I am going to be playing for the rest of my life." He's off on the right foot; his upcoming tour of France starts very soon.
Below, you can check out two videos of Kingfish in action. For more information, visit christonekingfishingram.com.
Christone "Kingfish" Ingram of Friars Point Mississippi has played the White House and is about to go on a tour in France...he is 15 years old. - Tom Dees FOX13 MemphisFULL STORY: http://www.myfoxmemphis.com/story/27750240/kingfish-plays-the-blues-at-t...
Posted by FOX13 Memphis on Friday, January 2, 2015
08. "Ultimate Guitar Fails Compilation" — Video
Someone—or something—named Laugh2LiveTV has complied and posted a semi-charming six-minute video called "Ultimate Guitar Fails Compilation."
As its title suggests, it's a compilation of a mess of "guitar fails"—those horrible things that happen when you're trying to look so cool on stage (or in your basement). Like when you try to flip the guitar around your back and it (or you) wind up on the floor.
Most of the "failures" in the video are regular folks, but there's also an appearance by Satchel of Steel Panther.
Enjoy! And tell us which one you like the most! I'm partial to the first one, which looks genuine. There's something staged-feeling about it, but it's got to be real ... right?
07. Terrible Guitarist Mistreats His Cat, Is Repaid with a Flower Pot to the Head — Video
It's a shame it wasn't a bowling ball!
06. Gabriella Quevedo Plays All Parts of The Eagles' "Hotel California" on One Guitar — Video
At GuitarWorld.com, we've gotten used to the sight of talented young women performing impressive six-string feats without even batting an eye.
Which is the perfect segue to this late-2014 video of a Swedish-born fingerstyle guitarist named Gabriella Quevedo performing Tomi Paldanius' arrangement of the Eagles' "Hotel California."
Something that will start to sink in at around the 3:01 mark is that Quevedo, who is 18, isn't just playing the vocal melody and guitar parts; she's also throwing in a bass line, some percussive moves and the backing melodies. She even handles the arpeggios from the iconic Don Felder/Joe Walsh guitar solo—while playing some of the other parts mentioned above.
That's a entire band's worth of parts in one Taylor guitar.
05. Bride and Groom Play Loud Electric Guitar Duet Before Getting Married — Video
Below, check out a 2-year-old video of a couple who performed a guitar duet before getting hitched. And if that sounds normal (and we admit it does sound somewhat normal), be sure to check out the video.
Jordan Strauss taught his bride-to-be, Andrea Strauss, how to play a few chords so they could perform something together on their wedding day (at the church).
"We wanted to do something we knew would stand out and put our own personal stamp to make it even more memorable," Jordan Strauss told Yahoo.
The ceremony took place at a church in Long Valley, New Jersey. Jordan is playing Pachelbel's "Canon" with one of his groomsmen as the priest stands nearby. Andrea enters in white, with a guitar strapped on, and joins in (Note: She seems to be tuned to an open D chord, not that there's anything wrong with that!). At one point, there are four guitarists playing the song.
"She was an easy student to teach. She's a natural. I told her that from day one," Jordan said.
04. 15-Year-Old Guitarist Tina S. Plays DragonForce's "Through the Fire and Flames" — Video
Tina S.—everyone's favorite teenage French shredder—is back with another new video, her first of 2015.
This time, Tina—who has covered everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Eddie Van Halen to Steve Vai to Gary Moore—tackles (or, in this case, plays along to) DragonForce's "Through the Fire and Flames."
The original version of the song is from DragonForce's third album, Inhuman Rampage, and features rapid twin guitar solos by Herman Li and Sam Totman. Tina plays both herself.
Tina, who'll be turning 16 this spring (if it ever gets here; more snow in NYC today), posted the video to YouTube today, March 5. She was taught and filmed by her guitar instructor, Renaud Louis-Servais.
Tina has become well known to readers of GuitarWorld.com for her effortless covers of Van Halen's "Eruption," Vai's version of Paganini's 5th Caprice, Dream Theater's "The Best of Times" and her shred tribute to Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi.
You also might want to check out her take on Yngwie Malmsteen's "Arpeggios from Hell," which she performed and posted last March.
03. Three Sisters' Cover of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" Takes Over the Internet — Video
Three sisters from Monterrey, Mexico—better known as the Warning—have been turning up on a lot of monitors and iPhone screens lately.
Why? It's probably because of their pretty impressive cover of Metallica's "Enter Sandman."
Even though the video below was posted to YouTube in July 2014, it's getting noticed now, thanks to multiple social-media shares and the sisters' respectable goal. Daniela (guitar), Paulina (drums) and Alejandra (bass), who were 14, 12 and 9 when the video was made, are working to raise funds in the hopes of attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
They’ve already raised more than $9,500 of their $30,000 goal.
The girls are trying to get the attention of Ellen DeGeneres, but they'll have to settle for GuitarWorld.com for now. Enjoy!
02. How to Be a Jerk Guitar Player in 10 Easy Steps — Video
Here's a handy lesson video by the guys at Texas Blues Alley.
It's called "How to Be a Jerk Guitar Player in 10 Easy Steps." Of course, it's meant to be sarcastic, yet it does spotlight a lot of unfortunately common behavior among, well, jerk guitarists.
In fact, if you already follow any of these 10 guidelines, you might have a problem. You might actually be the problem. Enjoy!
For more about Texas Blues Alley, visit texasbluesalley.com.
01. 8-Year-Old Girl Covers Paul Gilbert/Racer X with "Scarified" — Video
We thought we'd share this late-2013 video of an 8-year-old girl named Li-Sa-X covering none other than Paul Gilbert.
Below, watch her perform an instrumental Racer X tune called "Scarified." The track originally appeared on Racer X's 1987 album, Second Heat, and was written by Gilbert and Scott Travis.
No, it's not perfect, but it's impressive for an 8-year-old (or a 48-year-old)!
Below Li-Sa-X's video—for a bit of context—we've included a video of Gilbert performing the song.
If Li-Sa-X looks familiar, it's because she appeared on GuitarWorld.com when she covered Guthrie Govan's "Fives." (Watch it here.) Enjoy!