Rock Guitar Virtuosos: Advances In Electric Guitar Playing, Technology, and Culture

Jan Herbst, Alexander Vallejo

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


The guitar became an integral part of popular music and mainstream culture decades ago in many places of the world. This Element examines the development and current state of virtuosic rock guitar in terms of playing, technology and culture. Supported by technological advances such as extended-range guitars, virtuosos in the 21st century are exploring ways to expand standard playing techniques in a climate expecting ever-higher levels of perfection. As musician-entrepreneurs, contemporary virtuosos record, produce and market their music themselves, operate equipment companies and sell merchandise, tablature and lessons online. For their social media channels, they regularly create videos and interact with their followers while having to balance building their ‘tribe’ and finding the time to develop their craft to stay competitive. For a virtuoso, the working situations have changed considerably since the last century; the aloof rock star has been replaced by the approachable virtuoso-guitarist-composer-innovator-producer-promoter-YouTuber-teacher-entrepreneur.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages112
ISBN (Electronic)9781009052962
ISBN (Print)9781009055970
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023

Publication series

NameElements in Popular Music
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISSN (Print)2634-2472
ISSN (Electronic)2634-2464


Dive into the research topics of 'Rock Guitar Virtuosos: Advances In Electric Guitar Playing, Technology, and Culture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this