Whether you are setting out on your journey to become the greatest guitar legend of all time, or have a certain axe to grind with a fellow band member, the music scene plays host to all sorts of stereotypes. Whilst some of these labels are unfairly given to particular ‘musos’ others are rather typical of the type of characters and egos associated with musicians. Today we look at some of the typical characteristic of the average guitarist, and see if some of those stereotypes ring true in someone you are familiar with.
The first breed of guitarist that people may be aware of is the guitarist with no gear. Not only are they an excellent guitarist that plays better than you, knows all of the bizarre scales that only Beethoven’s long-lost cousin should be able to know but this guitarist doesn’t even have an amp. Hell, he even pawned his last guitar to pay for his legendary partying. Always the first to sign up to a gig but needs an amp, guitar and transport but always have a huge collection of picks, armbands and AC/DC shirts to bring along.
What with the guitarist that constantly needs to tune their guitars before, during and after each song during rehearsal a typical trait of the guitarist is obsessiveness. Whether it be an obsession to write the greatest song ever written, or to attach a mind-numbingly long solo onto the end of your favourite rehearsal song, this obsessiveness to succeed and to reach fame is often a good character trait when it comes to bringing the band together on projects.
There are two types of guitarist that the majority of bands often employ: the rhythm guitarist and the lead guitarist. Each has their own specific place to ensure the music comes together nicely, but as we all know, musical differences are just the start of the problems when it comes to the subtle balance of power between these two characters. Each guitarist feels they are the better guitarist, and whilst the rhythm player takes pride in help keeping the band together, the lead guitarist is given a little more freedom of expression.
Things start to go wrong when the lead guitarist feels that his parts should be played a lot louder than usual, and thus starts a battle of the loudness. To be in a band you must have a little bit of ego to help you with your stage presence, but a lot of guitarists tend to have a little more than most people. Not only should they be complemented about their skills on the axe, but also on the way they dress, the way they style their hair and also their extensive music collection that they are proud of.
From egotistical screeching soloists to shoe-gazing long-haired rockers and technical guitar freaks that can play faster than Yngwie Malmsteen; backwards, guitarists will live long in the memories of many fans and fellow musicians alike as a rare breed of gifted, charismatic, obsessive and downright cool band members that despite their shortcomings in musical differences and show-stopping performances, are a necessary character that gives your band that cutting edge you might need.