Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

One song or piece of music that influenced your playing...


Recommended Posts

Of course we all have artists or songs that have influenced and inspired us. But was there one piece you learned that flipped a switch for you in terms of learning?

For me, I think it was Lenny by Stevie Ray Vaughn

I never really thought about it before. Until the other day I was giving some tips to a young kid who I work with. I was trying to show him the Major and Minor Pentatonic positions and as an example I brought up Lenny by SRV.  It uses both. It occurred to me that was the song which really made a lot of things "click" for me. It taught me how to get a Wind Cries Mary style, country style, straight blues or even rock style. Once I understood that, I could apply it to so many other places. Even if I'm not directly playing a Major or Minor Pentatonic scale, I almost always think where I am in relation to those positions. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know it may sound strange, but this song contributed strongly to my development as a guitar player. 

The requirement to learn it inside and out some years ago, and to perform it at an old folks home for a group of ladies who had requested it, was daunting. 

A decidedly non-guitar-type song, and a difficult one for the average singer to sing; man oh man. 
But I delivered the goods, and in the process, something gelled in me as regards to the importance of the song, (over any particular technique or scale or riff) and what it will mean to bring each song to the audience. 



Edited by sparquelito
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hell.  Over the years many influences for different things.  First

SANDY NELSON'S :Teen Beat" and "Let There Be Drums" inspired me to want to be a drummer.  [omg]

That not working out, then those prominent electric guitars in his records and the Ventures' "Walk Don't Run" put the guitar bug in my ears.  But it wasn't until I was about 13 that my step-sister and her great record collection had a multiple effect.  Some folk, some country (Hank Williams' "Move It On Over" was the first song I learned to play all the way through,  and Eddie Cochran's "Cut Across Shorty"  influenced my early strumming style), and lots of Carl Perkins and some old blues discs were a treasure trove for me( I was already "into" the blues-long story-but at that point had no records).   In other words....

No one song was the only influence.  They kept popping up.  From Sandy Nelson to Chuck Berry, The Ventures, then those old records of my step-sister's, then Lonnie Mack's "Memphis", to Travis Wammack's "Scratchy",  then The Beatles, Hendrix, Clapton and on and on.....


Edited by Whitefang
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are too many songs too list, but probably the 1st one, and possibly the topper is off Machine Head.  Highway Star.  I bought that album the day it came out, and wore out about 5 copies stealing (or trying to steal) all Ritchie's licks.   It was an absolutely brilliant album.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Probably one of the most dramatic at the time was Talk Talk by Music Machine, one of my earliest influences.

I used to frequent the Griffith Park Zoo in the background as a kid.

There were quite a few tunes that hearing them when they came out, I just had to hear more like; Rock Mountain way, Good Times Bad Times, Funk 49, I'm Your Captain, White Room, Aqualung, Hocus Pocus, Blue Wind, Mississippi Queen and not to forget the Bohemian Rhapsody..

Edited by mihcmac
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well.....sort of......Dave Edmunds - "Sweet Little Lisa" with Albert Lee on lead. 

I saw the doc of them recording it on TV awhile after it came out  '78 or '79 - this must have been it though I remember it differently.  Evans stringbender with a Strat neck.   Sorry it won't embed.


I actually wrote to Gene Parsons (who advertised in Guitar Player) and sent him the money to buy a Tele from Westwood Music and fit a string bender, then I went to L.A. in early 1980 to pick it up.  I flew on the Pan-Am 747 that was later brought down at Lockerbie.  The guitar, a 1967 Fender Tele, was delivered to the address I was staying at and I brought it back with me.  I remember I paid less than £300 for the guitar and mod, then about £20 duty on return.  I still have the guitar which is now insured for £xk.

Here's Albert scorching it on a string bender Tele - I don't think this is a Parsons-White:


Of course I still can't play like that, but....I have a lot of fun.  [thumbup] 


I got a 6-saddle bridge back in the day, and had Kent Armstrong rewind the front pickup too.  It's been refretted and the neck revarnished.  It was my main teaching guitar for over a decade. The original scratchplate is white and now back on.

Edited by jdgm
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, Guns N' Roses version of Live & Let Die was probably the most influential song for me back when I saw the video for the first time in 1991. I was only 7, but if it wasn't for that I might not have taken up the guitar.  In terms of learning, it was probably when I learnt the intro to Civil War a while later. I also remember spending the summer of 1998 playing along to Page & Plant's 'Walking into Clarksdale' album and thinking my guitar playing was getting way better by that time. Hard to pin down just one song though.


Edited by cody78
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/10/2021 at 12:17 PM, DanvillRob said:

Probably The Ventures' "Walk Don't Run".

Now that you (and Hall) mention it ...   I can't nail my 'AHA' guitar moment to only one song,  but The Ventures probably were the band...  which song"  Pipeline, Wipe Out, Hawaii 5-0,  Apache ... or Walk Don't Run?  My musical taste moved forward and upward. several steps because I was apparently ready for it to .   And not so much as an influence to my playing.   Just my love for the instrument.  My  'playing'  specifically ???    I'll have to confess -  probably  "Malagueña"  when I took lessons.  The first serious, difficult full piece of music after snippets and scales. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...