Some may make the mistake of thinking that instrumental shred guitar is “dead” but in reality, it’s still here. The genre is still alive and well. It may not be big and mainstream like it was in the 80’s but shred guitar is still huge and successful.
I first got turned on to shred guitar when I was young and it was Joe Satriani’s “Surfing With the Alien” which was the first shred guitar album that I ever heard. It was my guitar teacher in the past who recommended me that album so I took it and I was hooked to that album. It’s a masterpiece of a shred album and I got hooked to Joe Satriani music ever since.
Of course, I try to listen to other guitar shredders like Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Eric Johnson, Jason Becker, Marty Friedman, Al Di Meola and guys such as those but Joe Satch will always be my favorite.
One thing for sure, though, I’m so sick and tired of people saying “shred” guitar music is boring. Just a bunch of fast notes, just noodling and never sounds musical. I laugh when people make that argument. I try to listen to all the shred guys listed above and they all sound very “musical” to me. Playing shred can sound musical and tasteful.
I’ve been listening to instrumental shred guitar for years ever since I was in my 20’s and still do listen to that genre today. While a lot of the old shred guys are still releasing new albums even to this day, there are a bunch of new up and coming shredders… like Tosin Abasi (who plays in Animals as Leaders and I love that band), Nita Strauss and Lari Basilio to name a few. I’m sure there are plenty more of new shred guitarists that are around but can’t think of ’em right now.
Anyhow, I love instrumental guitar music. Always had. It just relaxes me, ya know? It’s fun and enjoyable to listen to. One day I would love to start making instrumental guitar music myself ’cause I always wanted to. Maybe that’s what I was meant to do all along, ya know? I was never the best singer in the world, I just did it for fun but I don’t have to sing if I don’t need to. Not saying I’ll give up singing but I just want to try writing instrumental guitar music myself some day. Make my own backing tracks and just jam along to it and see what I come up with.
Shred guitar is still around. Before the pandemic hit, shred guitarists go out on tour and still sell out shows all the time. Even if there’s no live music, these shred guys keep coming out with new records which is great. People still love this stuff. The new Joe Satriani album, “Shapeshifting” is really good, though… and can’t stop listening to that one. The new John Petrucci solo album, “Terminal Velocity” is an excellent record too and there’s plenty of shred on that album.
I still buy shred albums even to this day ’cause I just love that type of guitar playing. Yeah, admittedly, I do want to become that guitar player myself and really working on it. It’s a slow process but the more you keep at it, you will get there.