Introducing Ritchie Blackmore

He doesn’t need introductions, I know, but since this blog has got a wide audience, old and young rockers, and old and young hip hop lovers, or just music fans, I suppose that not everybody knows Blackmore. He was Deep Purple’s guitarist since 1968 to 1975 and 1984 to the mid 90s. In the mid 70s he founded Rainbow (originally with Ronnie James Dio) and since the mid 90s he’s a member of Blackmore’s Night. He’s my main influence as a guitarist, so I know his style pretty well. A style that incorporates jazz (he studied Wes Montgomery a lot, in his youth), blues, rock n roll, distorted riffs and wild tremolo, precise bendings, vibratos, fast runs with neo classical phrasing (I think he’s the first ,or one of the first guitarist in rock history, to blend classical music and rock) – His style is very difficult to explain, because he is always creating something new , in every single work he does. Hard Rock riffs like smoke on the water – fourths chords that anyone can play -after one month or less of study- are only a little fragment of all his body of guitar work- if you just listen to the guitar solo in this song, you will immediately feel the presence of a great, huge guitarist, one of those who can make his guitar “sing”- the solo is bluesy , mainly, but it’s got a personal phrasing and tone that makes a hell of a difference from the masses (of mediocre musicians). Listen to Highway Star ‘s guitar work: heavy rock chords are just the beginning of this long ride. The building of the song is incredible, as the band play at their best to give us pure energy and melody. In the second part of the song you will listen to one of the best solos of Rock history: it starts bluesy, but there’s an amazing part with neo classical phrases that seem to create a tension exploding in an eargasm of pure energy. It was the early 70s, and a technique like this was really innovative and over the top. Listen to Burn and you will immediately feel like head banging, with its fast riff and amazing chorus (Coverdale and Hughes). The solo is another one of those great, great pieces of rock history: wild bendings, tremolo bar, fast pentatonic phrasing in different octaves, to end up with a neoclassical melody (doubled by the late Jon Lord) . What can I say : one of my top 10 (probably the numero uno)

 

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