For what feels like eons, Marty Friedman, the former Megadeth guitarist, and devoted American breakfast cereal enthusiast, has stood as an unrivaled maestro of the strings. Lauded by none other than Dave Mustaine himself, who deems him the best collaborator he’s ever had, Friedman has carved out a legendary status in Japan owing to his extraordinary guitar prowess. Yet, paradoxically, he now contends that the traditional concept of guitar solos needs to meet its demise.
In the latest issue of Guitar World, Friedman mounts a compelling argument, contending that contemporary guitarists often veer into a realm of self-indulgence when presented with the opportunity to showcase their skills. Drawing a sharp contrast to his melodic soloing style, he posits that the current generation of guitarists has the potential to contribute so much more to the musical landscape.
While critiquing the conventional approach, he remarks, “Usually, the lead guitarist comes in, gets an eight-bar solo, plays a bunch of stupid licks, maybe adds something hot and fancy that will impress, and then they get out. But I’m replacing the vocalist when I’m soloing, meaning I sing with my guitar. So, rather than saying, ‘Here’s the obligatory eight-bar solo,’ if necessary, I’ll be selfish because that’s exactly what I want instead of a boring old solo.”
Friedman attributes his disdain for the contemporary solo to what he perceives as an egocentric mindset among guitarists. He advocates for a revolutionary shift, expressing a desire for the conventional guitar solo to undergo a slow and painful demise. In his vision, solos should be inventive, captivating listeners and evoking emotions, especially those who may not be musicians themselves.
The responsibility, according to Friedman, lies with guitarists to inject solos with substance that resonates beyond their technical prowess. He stresses, “We need guitar music that makes those people feel something. It’s the responsibility of guitarists to bring something to solos that will achieve that.”
In a reflective moment later in the interview, Friedman acknowledges a glimmer of hope, recognizing the potential among today’s younger guitarists. The conversation delves even deeper in the March 2024 edition of Guitar World, inviting enthusiasts to explore the full breadth of Friedman’s insights and perspectives. Don’t miss out – grab your copy as swiftly as humanly possible.