About instrumental music



  • inmyhandsinmyhands Posts: 11,586
    It may be odd but, when I'm writing music with lyrics, I do my very best when I'm depressed, sad, hurting inside. When I'm writing an instrumental guitar song I do my best when I'm pumped, focused, feeling adventurist. Style doesn't seem to matter all that much. A blues instrumental turns out better when I'm in the game rather than ready to bite the bullet. Depression seems to increase my lyricist insight no matter what the style I'm writing in and a feel of "freedom to fly" is the choice emotional state for great instrumentals.

    I have no reason why it works this way for me. It just does.
  • Seven MoonsSeven Moons Posts: 8,697
    edited October 2019
    I love the occasional instrumental amidst songs with vocals, but I'm not a huge fan of full albums of instrumental rock guitar. They seldom grab my attention for more than a handful of tunes. In the worst cases, I find they fall into one of the two following categories:  1) elevator music, 2) shredding over a totally uninteresting backing. 

    Random comments on the instrumental output of some favorite players: 

    Chris Poland is the guy who does it best in my book. Ohm's "Circus of Sound" is a perfect example of what I'm looking for in an instrumental album. Chris has an immensely personal style (you hear a 3 seconds legato lick and you already know it's him), fantastic tone, lots of melody, and the bass/drums backing is super interesting, in particular Roberto Pagliari's bass absolutely shines and interacts with the guitar. Last but not least, although this is jazzy rock, it is also very metal in attitude and assertive spirit, with huge balls. 

    Jeff Loomis can be hit or miss to me, although he's always technically jaw-dropping, and musically much more intense than guys like Vai or Satriani. His first album was a bit too much in the standard "shred music" mould IMO. I enjoyed the second one more, I thought it was more diverse. But so far, the best thing I've heard of him is the "Conquering Dystopia" album he did with Keith Merrow, because the backing was more interesting. This one was an excellent instrumental release IMO. 

    Wolf Hoffmann: I like his first "classical" album a lot. Wolf covers the worn out "classic classics" that everyone has already heard a gazillion times on answering machines or TV commercials, but he succeeds on the strength of tasty playing and irreverence put in well thought-out arrangements: he really turns these tunes into rock  (unfortunately his much more recent second classical album was nothing like the first one: I thought it was ham-fisted and pompous -- and the orchestral pieces he did at Wacken a few years ago were downright horrid, it sounded like Mozart played by a drunken bavarian brass band IMO).    

    Uli and Schenker:  some of their instrumental pieces ("Sky Overture", "Into The Arena") represent the best rock guitar music I can think of. But their fully instrumental albums didn't do much for me. Schenker's "Adventures of The Imagination" has its moments, but overall it's almost as edgeless as a Satriani album. As for Uli's "Transcendental Sky Guitar", it takes quite a bit of dedication to go through... 
    Post edited by Seven Moons on
  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 17,473
    edited October 2019
    I agree with Vincent. 
    Hoffman's first album, Classical was great within the context it was meant. But the follow-up was everything Vin said it was. I hadn't heard much of it, but when the orchestra came out at Wacken, I went from fascinated to appalled pretty quickly.

    Similarly, I am a huge fan of Schenker's first acoustic album, Thank You!  IMO, it's brilliant, and I still enjoy it every time I bust it out.  He did SEVERAL follow-up Thank Yous, and they're all terrible.  Electric-wise, I think Adventures of the Imagination is probably the last Schenker album featuring great, old-style lead moments from Michael, set in wonderfully melodic instrumental songs.

    This album by Ben Woods I enjoy a whole lot. It's Dino metal classics (we all know and love) played instrumentally, flamenco-style, buy a guy who's a motherfucker of a player. He plays the vocal melodies and the solos.  I find this to be great mood music when sitting outside at night sipping a whisky.  

    After finding myself listening to it a LOT, I felt compelled to buy a copy (and vol 3) to support the artist. 

    As for the depression thing. I am not clinically depressed, but rather situationally depressed. It's not that I'm not motivated to PLAY -- I practice plenty and make good progress under these circumstances. But if it's about riff or songwriting, the well tends to be dry for me during these phases of life. 
    Post edited by Dinosaur David B on
    I ain't falling for no banana in the tailpipe.
  • It looks for most people 'Passion and Warfare' was a turning point for Guitar Instrumentals.  I remember seeing Steve Vai at the Guitar expo in Seville in '91 playing FTLOG for the 1st time live with Neil Murray, Rick Wakeman and Cozy Powell and was completely gobsmacked.

    As an unashamed fanboy of Jan Akkerman, he has been making guitar instrumental music for over 50 years and though dino is only a part of his eclectic mix of styles, I never get bored of him.

  • Seven MoonsSeven Moons Posts: 8,697

    This album by Ben Woods I enjoy a whole lot. It's Dino metal classics (we all know and love) played instrumentally, flamenco-style, buy a guy who's a motherfucker of a player. He plays the vocal melodies and the solos.  I find this to be great mood music when sitting outside at night sipping a whisky.  

    Wow, this is indeed very cool, with excellent arrangements and top-notch playing.  He also does flamenco on electric guitars - amazingly so:

  • StitselStitsel Posts: 1,963
    I love instrumental guitar music as much as regular guitar based songs with vocals, if it's done right. Love all the usual suspects, but to me Satch is tops..... he makes music, not just guitar wank shredfests, IMO.I respect others' opinions, but I truly think he's an incredible songwriter & in a class of his own.

    Other fave Dino instrumentalists: 

    Dharma (Buck's Boogie!)

    etc. etc. .....

    love guys like Friedman, Gilbert,Becker,Loomis etc. but I just tend to to either want to hear straight up metal/hard rock or primo instrumentals ala Satch or older Dinos....


  • AgrippaAgrippa Posts: 5,871
    I listen to a bunch of James Byrds records these days.
    Prefer his "Son Of Man" album, since it´s all instrumental.
    When the vocals come on, on the other albums, I tend to lose interrest, not too keen on "power metal".
    But what a guitarist.

    Besides that I like Satch, and my fave instrumental albums are, Becks Guitar Shop, Stu Hamms Kings of Sleep, Joe Satrianis Joe Satriani, Yngwies Rising Force and James Byrds Son Of Man

  • I wish Uli's Electric Sun albums were instrumentals.
    I ain't falling for no banana in the tailpipe.
  • Duojett71Duojett71 Posts: 9,314
    I wish Uli's Electric Sun albums were instrumentals.
    Yeah....that would have been a big improvement. His solo Electric Sun albums were one thing....because that was his band and project.....but who the hell had the bright idea of letting him sing Scorpions' songs? Rudi and Klaus didn't learn after the first one? Sorry I know that's off topic.....but geez...
  • BytorBytor Posts: 1,547
    edited November 2019
    I did 2 instrumental cds. Was working on a third when we started up Ariel's Attic and I contributed all the instrumental tracks I had done. We just took most of my solos and melodies off and altered them slightly for vocals.
    This was "Undercurrents" before lyrics and vox.. I haven't been to this page in ages.. I'm surprised it's still up :o

    Post edited by Bytor on
  • DonthegreekDonthegreek Posts: 2,750
    This is a one off side project. Love this album.

  • This is a one off side project. Love this album.

    Oh, yeah, I loved it!
    That's the kind of thing I would love doing, but it's imposible on your own.
    The drummer has some chops! Remind me of Pat Torpey from Mr. Big.
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