“I looked up Tosin Abasi and Tim Henson, and I was so inspired. I had to stop watching their videos because I wanted to pick up a guitar and try playing their stuff”: Jason Becker opens up on his heroes old and new, career regrets and unreleased music

Jason Becker
(Image credit: Ross Pelton)

With technically daring sweeps and tapping as torrential as anything Edward Van Halen could muster, a teenaged Jason Becker took the world by storm in the heart of the '80s shred era.

Of course, Becker was often labeled a 'shredder,' which these days Becker himself sees as a term of endearment rather than a slight. And although he could tear up the fretboard like no other, Becker's inherent musicality and immersive compositional prowess set him apart.

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.