“Guitarists appear to be caught in a paradox”: A new study by UK academics says the modern-day guitar virtuoso is torn between perfection and authenticity – and must be a cultural entrepreneur

Mateus Asato
Mateus Asato – a thoroughly modern guitar hero (Image credit: Amy Tran)

A new book examining the role of the modern guitar hero Rock Guitar Virtuosos: Advances in Electric Guitar Playing, Technology, and Culture has been published by UK-based academics Jan-Peter Herbst and Alexander Paul Vallejo – and, for a limited time, you can download it for free

Herbst and Vallejo’s study yields some interesting conclusions about the evolution of the electric guitar virtuoso and attempts to understand how and why the role has changed since the pioneering players of the 1960s first defined the trope.

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Matt Parker
Features Editor, GuitarWorld.com

Matt is Features Editor for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.