This is one of my favorite things to talk/write about. Let me begin by saying that I have been influenced, molded, sculpted by too many players to possibly name in one little page. I’ve not only been affected by guitar players but also saxophonists, pianists, violinists, trumpet is a big one…Equally, so many genres have moved me in one direction or another. I am a huge fan of classical music and old school Jazz. Most of my “at home” listening is to these worlds.  I am influenced by production quality (or lack there of) arrangements, album versions, B sides you name it! Of course I love the visual as well. Micheal Jackson had an amazing package of music and dance and custom. Like most musicians, my ear is always wide open, waiting for that next thing to make me go wow..ok! I love hearing new and unpredictable sounds and combinations of sounds. I think for this post, I will stick to my guitar guys and ladies who have made the biggest impact on me.

A few months ago I was listening to a, new to me, a Chet Atkins tune and realized that I was doing that sort of thing myself. That wouldn’t notable except for the fact that I had never heard this piece before! I quickly realized that it sounded like Eric Johnson (probably my biggest guitar influence). I had learned that specific technique through EJ! That’s how this influence thing flows. That’s so cool!

I have landed in a bit of a strange place, guitar wise, because I love so many genres and styles. Ultimately one has to choose what team they will play for and what position they will occupy. My landing zone is somewhere between the vibe of Hendrix,  balls of Van Halen, G3 guitar stars like E.J.and Steve Morse and  jazzier/bluesier  players like Larry Carlton and Robben Ford all the way to Pat Metheny. It seems like a wide net but it’s about as narrowed as my artistic pallet will allow. Maybe it may be best to list the people that have shaped my sound and direction the most. Not in absolute order: Eric Johnson, Steve Morse, Jimi Hendrix, Larry Carlton, Robben Ford, Steely Dan, Johnny A, Jimmy Page, the Beatles, Pat Metheny, Rik Emmett, Alex Lifeson, Eddie VanHalen, John Petrucci, Randy Rhoads, Nuno Bettencourt, Mike Stern, Steve Vai, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Neal Schon, Yngwie Malmsteen, Vinnie Moore, Joe Pass. Oh yeah, of course there’s Ace Frehley who started it all.

If you haven’t yet, please check out my latest album “Bold Horizon” by clicking on the link below  .

Click here to listen to my latest album “Bold Horizon”!

Thanks for taking a few moments to read about my favorite players who have shaped my direction. I would love to hear from you, who are your influences? How did these players change your guitar life?



  • Jay Neubauer says:

    as you know I am not a guitarist but a keyboard player. My influences over the years have run from Elton John, Billy Joel, Michael W Smith, and David Meece (all piano players) to Geoff Downes (Asia, Yes, the Buggles), Mike Pinder (Moody Blues), Steve Porcaro (Toto), David Paich (If I could play like any one person it would be this guy!) and Jim Gilmour (SAGA). Notable omissions would be Keith Emerson, Rich Wakeman, Jordan Rudess, Derek Sherinian, etc. The reality is that these guys play in a style that is just a tad outside my personal style. Not that there isn’t something to be gleaned from them, I would rather spend my time studying the lines of the above-mentioned players, and getting to know why they do the parts they do. Just my $0.02

  • Scott Gabrish says:

    id have to say Van halen, Duane Allman, Hendrix, Vai, Zakk Wylde had to push me to learn music. I remember being very angry and struggling with things in college and I Learned Zakk Wylde book of shadows 1 in a week didnt care what else was going on.

  • Dave Schieferstein says:

    A lot of the guys you mentioned. Those you didn’t include:

    Duke Levine
    Matt Rae
    Bill Frisell
    Kenny Burell

  • Theo says:

    Some of my fave guitar players would be Adrian Belew, John Abercrombie, John McLaughlin, Wayne Krantz, Mike Stern, Steve Lukather, Drew Zing, Rico McFarland, John Scofield, Scott Henderson, Greg Howe,Jeff Beck, Bill Connors, Hiram Bullock, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram.

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