January 17, 2014 via Pepsi
10 Songs To Practice Your Air Guitar Skills To
There are countless songs out there that are catchy, and plenty still that can might make you want to strum an acoustic on a college quad. We could’ve left this list at that. But we thought we’d dig past the requisite “Smoke on the Water” and “Sunshine of Your Love” that all guitar students seem to learn, and find songs that poke and prod that insatiable urge to participate in the music, to strum, wail, and shred along with the artists on record. Whether you play guitar or not, these select tunes by iconic artists will inspire you to plug in and turn up.
1. Pixies, “Where Is My Mind”
Catapulted into pop consciousness thanks to the iconic closing scene of Fight Club, the Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind” is instantly infectious. Lead guitarist Joey Santiago does his thing, employing a Tao-like minimalist appreciation of the guitar solo, making every note count. Layered with Frank Black’s charismatic rhythm guitar and Kim Deal’s backing “oo-ooos”, this song is a timeless representation of how awesome the Pixies are. Just bring Kim Deal back on bass please.
2. Delicate Steve, “Butterfly”
Relatively new to the scene, Delicate Steve is a somewhat-reclusive guitar virtuoso who released two albums on David Bryne’s Luaka Bop label. You could compare him to worldly sampling riffers Rattatat or now defunct Baltimore exuberant math-rock duo Ponytail, but his guitar playing is utterly unique. A friend recently described his style of playing as making his guitar sing, and I couldn’t agree more. The complexity and soul that he’s able to convey in his guitar-playing is straight up electric.
3. Chic, “Le Freak”
This disco-funk classic is all about iconic producer Nile Rodger’s dexterous matter-of-fact funk chords. Rodgers employs his signature chord inversions technique, playing chords in different shapes to emphasize different notes. Practically the entire second half of the song is instrumental, graciously leaving you space to practice your best guitar solos. And if you somehow get tired of playing guitar, do the obvious, and just boogie.
4. Queens of the Stone Age, “No One Knows”
Queens of the Stone Age hit their stride with the release of breakthrough album “Songs For The Deaf,” confidently striking the elusive bullseye between the textural, heavy grind of stoner metal and the melodic dexterity and propulsion of more popular rock. A perfect example may be “No One Knows,” which has the arid up-down jaunt of a desert jackrabbit, transforming into a charging bull of a riff during the chorus, only to bleed into a roaring solo the second time through, with Josh Homme reminding the listener why he is untouchable when it comes to guitar-playing.
5. Modest Mouse “Ocean Breathes Salty”
One of Modest Mouse’s more accessible cuts, it also remains one of their strongest, and pits their signature Pacific Northwestern existential angst against a super catchy major chorus backed by a cheap-sounding keyboard riff. The song is also one of those rare tracks secretly loaded with solos throughout that add plenty of melody but never get in the way. “Ocean Breathes Salty” still finds Isaac Brock as an equally-talented lyricist and guitarist, peppering solos with his signature whammy bar bends that softly burn his name into the track itself.
6. Radiohead, “2+2=5”