Guitarists – the true artists of the music world. They are the ones who create the beautiful melodies and heart-wrenching solos that we all know and love. Whether sitting in a dusty old bar or playing in front of a vast stadium crowd, the guitarist is always the one who steals the show.
Where do they get all the inspiration for their masterpieces? From other guitarists, of course! If you’re a guitarist who needs to develop your sound and style, you must explore various music genres and sounds.
However, there are a few essential albums that every guitarist should check out. These albums will expand your musical horizons, whether you’re into blues, rock, metal, or jazz.
So put those headphones on and listen to some fantastic music!
Smash Hits By Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix was an authentic electric guitar pioneer, and this album is a perfect example of his groundbreaking style. From the iconic opening riff of “Purple Haze” to the searing solo in “Fire,” Hendrix’s playing is guaranteed to send chills down your spine.
Jimi Hendrix was anticipating funk long before it became a genre. – Fire and Foxy Lady are auditory examples of how playing guitar may help you get laid.
Before you purchase that wah-wah pedal, listen to Hendrix’s use of it on “Voodoo Child (Slight Return).”
Jack Orion By Bert Jansch
You can’t be anything below a virtuoso by living in Boulder’s crowd-cheering, a climbing city with famous and talented guitarists like Trace Bundy.
If you want the crowds to chant your name as you play the Black Water Side at the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder this year, you must be able to play like Bert Jansch.
You can take music classes in the Boulder area or binge-watch YouTube guitar instructional videos. Still, you’ll never reach guitar god status unless you put in the extra effort to listen to and study Jansch’s album, Jack Orion.
Even if you don’t want to play like Jansch, his use of an EBow on the title track will show you how to get creative with your sound.
Green Onions By Booker T & The MGs
If you want to achieve guitar greatness, you need to know your history. Booker T and the MGs’ ‘Green Onions’ is one of the most influential instrumentals. It features some of the most iconic guitar licks ever played.
The simple yet catchy riff that drives the song is the perfect example of how less can be more. It’s also a great example of the power of the groove. When you listen to this song, you can’t help but tap your foot and nod your head.
If Jazz is more your thing, check out “Comin’ Home Baby.” The guitar work on this song is simply stunning.
Elephant By The White Stripes
The White Stripes are an influential rock band of the last 20 years, and their 2003 album Elephant is a modern classic.
The opening track, “Seven Nation Army,” features one of the most recognizable guitar riffs. The semi-acoustic guitar tone gives the song a unique sound, and Jack White’s use of slide guitar is simply incredible. The rest of the album is just as good, with plenty of excellent guitar work.
If you’re looking for some exciting and unconventional guitar playing, check out “The Hardest Button to Button.” You won’t be disappointed. Whites can make variously-tuned guitars sound like a whole band.
Led Zeppelin IV By Led Zeppelin
No list of essential albums for guitarists would be complete without Led Zeppelin IV. This album features some of the most iconic guitar riffs, including “Black Dog” and “Rock and Roll.”
The opener, Rock’n’Roll, is a perfect example of how to write a great rock song. It’s catchy, fun, and features some incredible guitar work from Jimmy. The Battle of Evermore features the folk-rock queen Sandy Denny on vocals and an acoustic guitar.
But it’s not just the guitar riffs that make this album great. Jimmy Page is a master of dynamics. He uses his guitar to create some truly beautiful moments in songs like “Stairway to Heaven” and “Going to California.”
If you want to excel in the art of making your guitar sing, this is your album.
Hatful Of Hollow By The Smiths
The Smiths were one of the most predominant bands of the 1980s, and their 1984 album Hatful of Hollow is essential listening for any guitarist.
The album is a collection of BBC radio sessions. It features some of the band’s best-known songs, including “How Soon Is Now?” and “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.”
Although Johnny Marr’s guitar work primarily drives the album, it also features some great bass playing from Andy Rourke. Marr had the potential to make the guitar sound like an excitable animal one minute and a melancholy violin the next.
If you want to learn how to create an atmosphere with your guitar playing, this is the album for you.
Marquee Moon By Television
Punk may have been the primary musical force in New York City in the late 1970s, but there was another scene brewing that would have a significant impact on the guitar world.
Television’s 1977 debut album Marquee Moon is a true guitar classic. The interplay between lead guitarist Richard Lloyd and rhythm guitarist Tom Verlaine is simply incredible, and the album’s overall sound is unlike anything that had been heard before.
While the rest of the punk world was content to make a racket, television created something extraordinary. Expressive, emotional solos abound on this album, and the guitar work is astounding.
Guitarists of all levels can learn something from these essential albums. Whether you’re a beginner just starting or a seasoned pro, there’s something for everyone. So get hold of your headphones, crank up the volume, and enjoy!
You can feel the tufts of grass under your feet and the sun’s warmth on your face as you lay in a meadow and listen to these essential albums. Let the sounds of some of history’s greatest guitarists wash over you and transport you to a different place.
Of course, it isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s a great starting point for anyone looking to explore the world of guitar music.