Doc Watson was the finest guitar picker of his time.
Paul Natkin/Archive Photos via Getty Images
Doc Watson’s popularity and influence came from his virtuosic guitar playing, powerful voice, broad musical taste, folksy storytelling and lack of pretense.
Jeff Beck performs on stage in 2014.
Two guitar experts break down the techniques and creative expression that led Beck to be known as the ‘guitarist’s guitarist’.
Photo by Carlin Stiehl for The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Joni Mitchell’s performance at Newport Folk Festival defied the ‘permissible’ ways older women ‘should’ behave.
David Vincent of death metal band Morbid Angel in Washington, D.C., in September 2012.
Not unlike gospel music, death metal seems heavily preoccupied with spiritual matters. Does this mean Death Metal is a form of spiritual music?
Clay figurines of musicians, by Samuele Makoanyane.
Kirby Collection, University of Cape Town
Clay figurines of musicians, made in the 1930s, are being exhibited along with a new film of actual musicians playing the traditional instruments.
The Tempos band were known for their political songs.
Ghana’s history shows a strong connection between music and politics that has evolved over six decades.
Eddie Van Halen performs in 2004.
AP Photo/Tom Hood
Eddie Van Halen has died aged 65. He will be remembered for his virtuoso playing, particularly his groundbreaking, two-handed, finger-tapping technique.
Pedro Ruiz/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
His single Yeke Yeke was the first African song to pass a million in sales, but it’s meaning was best understood in Guinea, home of the griot and kora star.
You can’t make a guitar without some STEM know-how.
More than 20,000 American high school students have made their own guitars in school over the past decade. Many of them have wound up more into learning about STEM disciplines.
Hendrix’s version of the National Anthem combined reverence and revolution.
Before an exhausted crowd, Hendrix fused protest and horror with patriotism and optimism.
Matt ‘Airistotle’ Burns performs during the 2017 Air Guitar World Championships in Finland.
Eeva Rihel/Lehtikuva via AP
An ethnomusicologist traces the origins of the practice, from early 20th century ‘air conductors’ to Joe Cocker’s air riffing at Woodstock to the rise of international competitions.
There are some great women guitarists but they struggle to make it into the rock canon.
There are numerous women guitar virtuosos, from Joan Jett to Orianthi to St Vincent. Why are they so conclusively excluded from the rock canon?
The guitar of choice for some of rock'n'roll’s biggest names.
St Vincent performing with Dave Grohl (at rear) after Nirvana was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in New York in 2014.
The airwaves were once dominated by rock gods delivering blistering guitar solos. Times have changed but a new crop of electric guitarists are strumming their way to glory.
A detailed look at one of the musician’s most celebrated performances gives a glimpse of the dedication which allowed talent to flourish.
The US version of the Rollings Stones’ 1965 LP Out of Our Heads featured Satisfaction.
Fifty years ago, the Rolling Stones released their breakthrough single (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, which debuted in the US during the first week of June 1965. The band’s previous singles had done well…
How blue can you get?
Yui Mok/PA Archive
There are those who believed that BB King wasn’t the world’s greatest guitar player, including the man himself.
Remarkably, Rodriguez has not released any new material since his first two albums in the early 70s.
Searching for Sugar Man (2012) brought worldwide attention to the music of Detroit singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez. The academy award-winning documentary focused on the efforts of South African fans…