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The First Shredder


gibsonfan159
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1 hour ago, Zepfan2001 said:

Playing fast in the 64th and 32nd note range goes back to at least the early classical period when violins were particularly popular.

I believe Gibson was referring to the contemporary period, non-classical. However you are correct and one could argue the first, true shredder was Paganini. Though I am sure there were a few seriously bad ass Lute shredders back in the 15th century no-one will ever know about...lost to time.

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The first, as far as I know, was Jimmy Page on Heartbreaker. This would be the first instance of shredding, not the first shredder, per se...then again, what he was doing live in '68 and '69 very often sounds like shredding to me... D&C solos, CB solos, HB solos.

The best, as far as I've heard, is Shawn Lane. He's the fastest guitarist who's ever lived, and the musicality he interweaves throughout his shredding is second-to-none.

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 "Shredding" is a relatively recent term "late 80s/early 90s ?", the first guitar player  to be a so called shredder would be iirc Yngie Malsteem (however his name is spelt). Tuneless noise if you ask me, just a horrible style, nothing clever about it at all..

Edited by JTM
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Let me be a little more specific; Involving an electric guitar with noticeable overdrive/distortion, who do you think was the first to play something that fit the mold of "shred guitar" before it was actually coined as a term? As in not just something blues-scale oriented, but more modal. Were there any jazz guitarists to fit that description?

The Communication Breakdown solo is certainly a contender although it's mostly just a pentatonic run.

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2 hours ago, gibsonfan159 said:

Let me be a little more specific; Involving an electric guitar with noticeable overdrive/distortion, who do you think was the first to play something that fit the mold of "shred guitar" before it was actually coined as a term? As in not just something blues-scale oriented, but more modal. Were there any jazz guitarists to fit that description?

The Communication Breakdown solo is certainly a contender although it's mostly just a pentatonic run.

I would have to go with, under that criteria, either Uli Jon Roth or Michael Schankar as they were both doing what you describe by 73'. To narrow it down between the two I would say Schankar as the first, however Roth experimented with more modes especially by 75'. 

Personally, I believe these two guitarists are not only the first shredders in contemporary rock, but, responsible for the whole subgenere of the virtuoso, shred guitarists such as EVH, Randy Rhodes, Malmsteen, etc. Unfortunately, the ability to be a shredder and still emote well and project emotion is all but impossible and was completely lost on this group by the 80's when speed and sweep picking were all that was important. Both Roth and Schankar were able to shred and emote well and as such I put both miles ahead of those who would come later including EVH & Rhodes as both of their playing never really moved me, even though I respect their talents.

Edited by IpMan
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2 hours ago, IpMan said:

 Unfortunately, the ability to be a shredder and still emote well and project emotion is all but impossible and was completely lost on this group by the 80's when speed and sweep picking were all that was important. 

I don't agree with this. Most people don't understand that there is more than one emotion. They say that if you aren't whining and crying then there is no emotion. Some emotions are incredibly high and a lot of virtuosos express those feelings through 1000 notes per minute. Personally, I don't care for overly emotive music. I like dynamic music with lots of depth, skill and great arrangements but usually, I wouldn't give a hyperdramatic musician much of a listen and would quickly change what I am hearing.

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14 minutes ago, Zepfan2001 said:

I always thought that the term "shredding" was about loud fast guitar soloing, not merely loud distortion. Now I know and knowing is half the battle.

 

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If you didn't include an overdriven tone then some of the old jazz guitarists like Django would qualify. But I think you have to include it.

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  • 2 years later...

I guess it all depends on how shredding is defined.  Jimmy Page broke new ground in lead playing going back to the Yardbirds Think About It solo which was incorporated and developed further in Dazed and Confused.  Good Times Bad Times and Dazed studio solos broke new ground.  And watch what he does in HMMT on the Danish TV clip.  My goodness.   Then have a look/listen to Dazed from Supershow.

I am also thinking about Blackmore.  The studio records before Deep Purple in rock don't show much in this area, but listen to his work on the gig recorded with the orchestra in Sept 1969.    You have Child in Time there, and it is amazing, fully developed well before its release in June 1970. You also have a killer Wring that Neck which is light years beyond the 1968 studio version.  Finally, listen to his breaks in Movements 1 and 3 of the Concerto for group and orchestra.  Wow.  And it was a one off gig done in Sept 1969.  

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6 hours ago, John M said:

I must say, after reading this thread again I am surprised no one mentioned Hendrix.

Except for Machine Gun & parts of Voodoo Chile, Hendrix was not really into the hyperdrive playing. In the instances he does fly its rare and short. Never would consider Hendrix a shredder and thank god for that as shredding for shredding sake does nothing for me. Give me Eddie Hazel over Blackmore any day, and I like Blackmore for the most part.

There are some amazingly fast country pickers such as Chet Atkins & Roy Clark who were wringing that neck in the early 60's and possibly earlier. Though they always used that clean country tone and country shredding is much more playful sounding to my ear than metal shredding. Same with Les Paul, some amazingly fast runs but always clean. For me that is the difference between the fast country & jazz players (John McLaughlin & Larry Carlton, that's you) and the rock / metal shredders. The metal shredders are like Kill, Kill, Kill aggressive sounding solos, the country / jazz players always work with what the song needs and are much more lyrical IMO.

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  • 9 months later...

The image I have in my head of an archetypal "shredder" is a guy playing guitar with a high-gain (but not fuzz) distortion tone, using a fair amount of non-pentatonic leads in his playing, possibly playing a strat or a super strat style guitar as well. If we're judging by that stereotype the first player to truly fit that description is Blackmore. He was one of the first in rock guitar to incorporate classical style leads in his playing, and he's also just a very technical player in general. He also has all the showmanship and flashy playing characteristic of the typical image of a shred player. Blackmore was the guy who paved the way for others such as Uli Roth, Malmsteen, Rhoads, etc. Essentially players like Blackmore started to codify the tropes that would later be known as "shred" in the 70s, and the style fully developed by the time Rhoads and Van Halen came on the scene.

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On 10/15/2020 at 8:54 AM, John M said:

I am also thinking about Blackmore.  The studio records before Deep Purple in rock don't show much in this area, but listen to his work on the gig recorded with the orchestra in Sept 1969.    You have Child in Time there, and it is amazing, fully developed well before its release in June 1970. You also have a killer Wring that Neck which is light years beyond the 1968 studio version.  Finally, listen to his breaks in Movements 1 and 3 of the Concerto for group and orchestra.  Wow.  And it was a one off gig done in Sept 1969.  

Even in Blackmore's work before Deep Purple can you hear the beginnings of his later style, just listen to his leads from the records he made with Screaming Lord Sutch. You can tell it's him straight away

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On 7/22/2021 at 9:35 PM, MKuznetsov said:

The image I have in my head of an archetypal "shredder" is a guy playing guitar with a high-gain (but not fuzz) distortion tone, using a fair amount of non-pentatonic leads in his playing, possibly playing a strat or a super strat style guitar as well. If we're judging by that stereotype the first player to truly fit that description is Blackmore. He was one of the first in rock guitar to incorporate classical style leads in his playing, and he's also just a very technical player in general. He also has all the showmanship and flashy playing characteristic of the typical image of a shred player. Blackmore was the guy who paved the way for others such as Uli Roth, Malmsteen, Rhoads, etc. Essentially players like Blackmore started to codify the tropes that would later be known as "shred" in the 70s, and the style fully developed by the time Rhoads and Van Halen came on the scene.

Regarding rock guitar I have to agree, Blackmore was the first. That being said though, check out some of Glen Campbell's live playing from the late 60's & 70's. Now THAT is fast playing, as in crazy, super fast, clean playing. Glen Campbell was one hellofa guitar player.

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On 7/26/2021 at 1:12 PM, BobDobbs said:

That being said though, check out some of Glen Campbell's live playing from the late 60's & 70's. Now THAT is fast playing, as in crazy, super fast, clean playing. Glen Campbell was one hellofa guitar player.

Yes indeed.  Here he is in 1963.  He gets a blistering intro, and a great break after the fiddle break.  Too bad they don't give him a few more choruses, but that was country music.   Glen even gets to sing a bit here.

  And here is Glen 19 years later, and he gets a slightly longer break.  Country cooking.

 

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On 8/3/2021 at 5:18 AM, John M said:

Yes indeed.  Here he is in 1963.  He gets a blistering intro, and a great break after the fiddle break.  Too bad they don't give him a few more choruses, but that was country music.   Glen even gets to sing a bit here.

  And here is Glen 19 years later, and he gets a slightly longer break.  Country cooking.

 

I remember this one time I was at a gig and played just as good, better actually. I was a combination of Page, Hendrix, Campbell, Joe Pass, and Larry Carlton all rolled into one. Man I was on fire! Then I woke up 😞 

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