Devin Townsend gets “chilled out and ambient” on new hour-long guitar instrumental

Devin Townsend has long been one of music’s most prolific electric guitar players, and it seems the coronavirus shutdown hasn’t slowed him one bit.

In addition to his recent home studio live concerts that have been raising money for healthcare workers around the world, Townsend has now released a 66-minute-long guitar improvisation, which can be heard in full above.

The atmospheric track, title Guitar Improvisation #1, shows a different side of the normally aggro Strapping Young Lad leader, who has acknowledged to us in the past that a big part of his childhood consisted of "hanging out on the roofs of my friends' houses swapping Van Halen licks."

As he explains in the accompanying text:  

“So, it’s been a strange week, and I have been writing a lot of strange music. Amidst the more tumultuous stuff that’s appeared, I often find it therapeutic for me to just simply play guitar in the mornings, and over the years I've kind of 'developed' (for lack of a better descriptor) a sort of chilled out, ambient guitar technique.

"This isn't meant to be focused on; it's meant to be a sort of wash that you can play while working, chilling, or creating something (that’s my hope at least).”

Townsend continues, “This improvisation is one take (with a bathroom break I edited out), and I used a Sadowsky Telecaster and a Fractal AX8 for the sound.

“Hopefully its helpful to some of you who need a sonic break. Thanks again for the ability to do this. I’ll release this in a physical form if there’s any interest. I really like echo. Peace. Dev.”

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.