Here's the latest entry from our awesome guitar teacher Jason:
Rock History 101 (the Atomic History)
One of the questions I get asked most from the ladies is, "Why do you like "Metal" so much?" Or something similar to needing a way to find out what I'll call "Rock Appreciation".
It basically starts out as a "who's who" list and goes back into a bit of history. So without giving you the official history of rock and roll, I'll give you the insight on what's exactly taken place to get you up to speed with this whole rock gig.
I grew up listening to my fathers blues tapes which gave me a glimpse of such artists as Robert Johnson, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, John Mayall, Jimmy Thackery, Stevie Ray Vaughn, ZZ-Top but didn't really get into rock until I hit 14. The blues background is a great start for any guitarist as it resonates a feeling I think most people can relate to.
At 14 it hit, Metallica. From there it opened up the doors to Pantera, Ministry, Megadeth, Anthrax, and White Zombie. It's important to know the guitar players from these bands rather than just think "agro". Metallica has James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett, Pantera had Dimebag Darrell, Ministry had Al Jorgenson, Megadeth has Dave Mustaine and a former Marty Friedman, Anthrax has Scott Ian, and White Zombie had J.Yeunger. These are still very important players even in todays culture. I believe it's important to see what these guys have to offer.
Around the same time I started discovering other bands. Nirvana, Soundgarden, Hole, the Smashing Pumpkins, Alice in Chains, and Primus. Nirvana had Kurt Cobain, Soundgarden had Chris Cornell and Kim Thayil, Hole had Courtney Love, the Smashing Pumpkins James Iha and Billy Corgan, Alice in Chains had Jerry Cantrell, and Primus has a bass player named Les Claypool.
It was at this time, circa' 97 that music really started taking a dive. Record labels dropped most of their bands and there was no myspace yet to discover anything new so all you had to go on was MTV and they were doing this whole competitive thing between genres that was just really stupid. I got into the whole rockabilly thing for a about a month which was just long enough to learn Brian Setzer is a great guitar player and there was another great guitarist named Danny Gatton who was a like minded country-blues shredder.
Guitar wasn't around much again for a few years… sure you had Godsmack and Orgy, but they were following the industrial trend started by Nine Inch Nails (one of the great pioneers of industrial metal).
Now that you've got that solid background I can mention a few other bands that you can discover just by being fans of the previously mentioned:
Motorhead/Deftones/Darkest Hour/Obituary/Shadows Fall/Children of Bodom/Dope/Opeth/Powerman5000/Guns and Roses/ACDC/the Misfits/Dead Kennedys/Between the Burried and Me/Prong/Opiate for the Masses/Machine Head/Trivium/Queens of the Stone Age/Slayer/Exodus/Marilyn Manson/Black Sabbath/Deep Purple/Iron Maiden/Black Label Society/John5/Die Krupps/Butthole Surfers…. the list doesn't really stop, but this should be a good jump start.
I didn't really mention much in terms of classic rock like the Rolling Stones or Queen just cause that wasn't the route I took. To me the Metal genre players have always had a bit more edge and a sort of excitement about their playing. Regardless of whether or not it was rebellious most of the riffs are just really awesome to play. And many times that riff is all you need before you realize that nothing else matters.