The capo is to guitars what sugar—or Stevia, if you prefer—is to food. It makes everything sweeter. Musicians started noticing the capo's inherent song-sweetening properties sometime in the early 17th century, when primitive versions of the handy accessory were employed to raise the pitch of a host of fretted instruments.
As a result of their world-conquering commercial success, it's easy to consider the Police mere "hit makers." But drawing that conclusion would undermine a truly phenomenal—and musically progressive—body of work. Though Sting's dark, brooding songwriting seemed to dominate the band, equally crucial were the musical contributions of the trio's soft-spoken guitarist, Andy Summers.
It's hard to overstate Van Halen's impact in the world of rock music. Led by Eddie Van Halen's ferocious, fiery and always innovative guitar playing, Van Halen carved out a niche in music that hadn't existed before, and spawned innumerable imitators.
Rarely can you point to a single musician and make a valid claim that they invented an entire genre virtually on their own. But that description isn't much of a stretch for Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi, one of the most influential and oft-imitated guitarists in the history of music.
Dixon, who—as we've implied above—was born July 1, 1915, was primarily a bassist and singer, but a bassist and singer who happened to write hundreds of incredible, often dark and eerie songs, several of which found their way in the catalogs of the biggest artists of the Sixties, Seventies, Eighties and beyond.
To say Les Paul was an innovator would be the greatest of understatements. Though we might take his inventions and ideas for granted today, his influence on the development of music, and the way it is recorded, is unparalleled.
Musicians can still be a little fuzzy when it comes to describing the sound of a fuzz box. Some guitarists will tell you it sounds like a 2,000-pound bee trapped in a sturdy metal box — perhaps with a potentiometer installed somewhere behind the wings. And while many early fuzz guitar tunes and tones did indeed make the most of the original fuzz buzz, fuzz actually has many facets, many sides, many fuzz faces, if you will.
As much as he might try to deny it, Eric Johnson is a member of that small group of players sometimes referred to as "guitarists' guitarists." Players—like Jeff Beck, for instance—whose skills are (secretly, perhaps) the envy of his peers. Johnson is, however, well aware of the dual trademarks that are likely to become his legacy: instantly recognizable tone and a painstaking pursuit of perfection.
Sure, we could've packed this list with songs with mind-blowing B-bender solos by Diamond Rio's Jimmy Olander, the Hellecasters' Will Ray or the Byrds' Clarence White. Instead, we've gone for a more well-rounded approach, attempting to include as many different guitarists as possible, not to mention a few super-accessible (even "classic") songs. We might've even thrown in an 11th song. Our math isn't too good.
What, exactly, is a headphone album? Well, the definition changes depending on who you are. For audiophiles, a headphone album is a work that is so exquisitely recorded that it demands that you have to listen to each beautifully recorded note under a sonic microscope. Something like Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue fits that bill.