Magazine article Guitar Player

Jason Becker on Creativity: Inspiration

Magazine article Guitar Player

Jason Becker on Creativity: Inspiration

Article excerpt

GUITARISTS OFTEN ASK ME who inspires me. Of course I was inspired by most of the great guitarists in my youth and beyond. I am in love with the guitar, but I can't play it anymore, so I rarely listen to instrumental guitar music these days. Many people relate to me as a guitar player, and that is an awesome honor, but I think of myself as a composer first. That is partly out of necessity, but keep in mind that I was a teenager when I recorded most of my guitar stuff. I was still developing my technique and style, and when I look back on those days, what I admire most are the compositions, feeling, and creative spirit that my albums had. Besides Marty Friedman, I have to thank Mike Varney for that. He allowed Marty and me to do whatever we wanted, and that is a rare thing for record labels.

Fairly recently I was getting into the Andrews Sisters. I was digging the tight harmonies and cool melodies. I rediscovered them through listening to different versions of one of my favorite songs from that era, "It's Only a Paper Moon." I posted their "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" on my Facebook page. Some people really dug it. Then I came across the Andrews Sisters-inspired tune "Candyman" by Christina Aguilera. I posted it and man, some people got pissed and thought someone else was posting instead of me, that I got hacked, or that I was drunk. It was pretty amusing. How could a metal guitarist like any pop music? I listen to absolutely everything. When I was in Cacophony and afterwards, I was often listening to Paula Abdul. No musician could come up with anything unique if they only listened to one kind of music.

Since people do still ask me about my guitar influences, here are some of the things that made a big impact on me, starting with rhythm guitar:

The first rhythm work that inspired me was Bob Dylan and also Robbie Robertson from the Band. …

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