Article by Declan Lamour-Boyle
While live performances may be on hold for the foreseeable future, one thing never stops; the Internet. These days you don’t need to be an Eddie Van Halen playing to thousands on people on stage to be a guitar hero. All you need is a good camera, scary chops and the ability to promote yourself through captivating content. In basic terms, the philosophy of a guitar hero is the same, just with a different skill set. I myself have no trouble finding excellent players online. A simple search on YouTube and all of a sudden some of the best playing you’ll ever hear is at your fingertips. However, a select few have caught my attention.
1. Rick Beato
A true legend in the music industry, Rick Beato made a name for himself as one of the biggest producers situated in Atlanta, Georgia. However, with the advent of YouTube, Rick has amassed one of the best channels on the platform. While known as a producer with videos describing what truly makes songs great and tutorials on music production, Rick is also a ferocious guitarist. With a style ranging from jazz greats Pat Martino and Joe Pass to rock chops ala Tom Scholz of Boston, Rick is one of most diverse players out there. His tutorials on playing over passing chords are a personal favourite of mine. While not necessary a guitar hero, if you want to expand your knowledge of music and become a more diverse guitarist, Rick’s channel is definitely worth checking out.
You can check out Rick’s channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJquYOG5EL82sKTfH9aMA9Q
2. Cameron Cooper
Anyone that knows me is aware that I have a deep love for anything 80s Metal. I truly believe that the players back then had a remarkable talent for crazy chops but also top-notch compositional skills. Cameron Cooper, hailing from the UK, is the best channel I’ve come across that truly showcases the best of that era. A truly disciple of EVH, Cameron’s channel ranges from improvisational solos utilising the best tricks in a true 80s vein, to showcasing his collection of Charvel guitars and love for anything Floyd Rose. As a young player, its great to see the styling’s of EVH and Zakk Wlyde live on through to a completely new audience. Cameron’s chops are truly out of this world, a definite must watch.
You can check out Cameron’s channel here: https://www.youtube.com/c/CameronCooper/featured
3. Rabea Massaad
Also hailing from the UK, Rabea Massaad is most known from his association with Rob Chapman, one of the first YouTube guitarists on the scene. Rabea plays lead guitar with Rob in the band Dorje, a great mix of progressive metal with grunge vocals. However, Rabea’s channel is a great source for classic guitar playing mixed with a modern edge. You can clearly hear his love for players such as Nuno Bettencourt in his solo style, mixed with truly crushing riffs that are bound to get you moshing in your desk chair. Rabea is also a fan of traditional tube amplifiers and has great tutorials on using them in your home studio. Check out his rundown of the new Boss Waza Tube Amp Expander. He also has a sick afro, what’s not to love!
You can check out Rabea’s channel here: https://www.youtube.com/c/RabeaMassaad/featured
4. Pete Thorn
Another legend of the YouTube scene, Pete Thorn has had a truly remarkable career before his channel commenced. Pete is one of LA’s highest profile session guitarists, playing with the likes of Melissa Etheridge and the late Chris Cornell. However, Pete has successfully married this career with one of the best channels on YouTube. Pete uses his channel to both demo new products and give amazing advice to the younger generation of guitarists. His series of videos on wanting to be a pro musician are some of the best content out there for your budding muso. Pete has chops for days, which is clearly shown in his product demos. Instead of the usual fiddling with controls, Pete writes a complete song to showcase how the newest pedal can work in a mix. Truly one of most diverse guitarists out there, Pete is a legend of YouTube and most definitely worth your time.
You can check out Pete’s channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/sinasl1
5. Rick Graham
Now we find ourselves looking at one of the scariest players you’ll ever see, not just on YouTube but in the whole damn world. Rick Graham, also hailing from the UK, is shred monster. Definitely one of the cleanest, most precise lead guitarists you’ll likely ever hear. You can clearly hear virtuosic chops that’ll remind you of such players as Jason Becker and Paul Gilbert, with clean sweeps and a right hand that’ll truly scare the living daylights out of you. However, Rick is more than willing to share his secrets on YouTube, with amazing tutorials diving into what makes his playing so precise. If you want to feel both equally intimated and motivated, Rick’s channel will definitely be for you.
You can check out Rick’s channel here: https://www.youtube.com/c/RickGraham/featured
In summary, while we can’t go out and see our favourite players rip up the stage, there are plenty of amazing players at your fingertips. YouTube is an amazing platform for discovery, with content that will likely both amaze and inspire you.
Blog by Declan Lamour-Boyle (August 2020)