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  1. #51
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    Funkadelic, "Maggot Intro"

    Spoken intro, yeah, but still an instrumental. Eddie Hazel's guitar work here is beloved by many.

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  2. #52
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    "Beck's Bolero"

    Nipple Warning: the footage includes a pretty woman without much on....

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  3. #53
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    Santana, "Samba Pa Ti"

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  4. #54
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    Santana, "Europa"

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  5. #55
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    Van Halen, "Eruption"

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  6. #56
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    Miles Davis, "Right Off"

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  7. #57
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    Incredible Bongo Band, "Apache"

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  8. #58
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    Rhys Chatham, "Guitar Trio"

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  9. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by KirkP View Post
    My dad brought the Jørgen Inmann album home in the early 60’s and I played the dickens out of it. Wish I still had it. I think Echo Boogie was my favorite track. That’s probably the seed that prompted me to take up guitar a few years later.


    Echo Boogie was the flip of Apache and is a great tune--I think it was the original A side of the disc.

    Danny W.

  10. #60
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    Stevie Ray Vaughan, "Stang's Swang"

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  11. #61
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    Something much more recent...

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  12. #62
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    Earl Hooker, "The Hucklebuck"

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  13. #63
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    3 versions of "Ode To Billy Joe" (plus the original, w lyrics)

    This came out in 2002 on the "Junk Yard" album. I was living in NOLA at the time and heard this often of 'OZ. Retain a soft spot for it.



    Here is Clint Strong playing it just a few years ago.



    Here's the Joe Pass version



    And the huge hit by Bobbie Gentry from 1967

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  14. #64
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    Axe master Johnny A has built his modern solo career on instrumental pop tunes, and nobody does it better, IMO. BTW, was hired as lead guitar for Yardbirds reunion tour.




  15. #65

    Instrumental Pop/Rock

    I like that Joe Pass version on Ode to Billy Joe. His pop work often sounds called in, but he seems into this tunes. I’ll post a few.

    Rod Cook is one of my favorite rock/pop/blues guitarists in the Seattle/Tacoma area, and can burn the house down on this tune. (This is from a jam. I didn’t find a video with his own band.)


    Danny Gatton.


    Patricia Barber has a nice version with vocal, bass, and finger snaps. I’ve tried this feel in duet with bass, and it’s kind of fun.
    Last edited by KirkP; 04-03-2019 at 12:55 AM.

  16. #66
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    I am afraid I cannot see the point of an instrumental version of Ode to Billy Joe. It is a song, and it is all about the lyrics: the black-eyed peas, the biscuits, Choctaw Ridge, and the news that Billie Joe jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge. But each to his own.

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick View Post
    I am afraid I cannot see the point of an instrumental version of Ode to Billy Joe. It is a song, and it is all about the lyrics: the black-eyed peas, the biscuits, Choctaw Ridge, and the news that Billie Joe jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge. But each to his own.

    Well, here's another one, Lou Donaldson's trick. It's a nice groove and catchy melody (for a groove tune).

    I wonder who did the first instrumental version of this song.

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  18. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    Axe master Johnny A has built his modern solo career on instrumental pop tunes, and nobody does it better, IMO. BTW, was hired as lead guitar for Yardbirds reunion tour.



    This is great stuff!

    I met Johnny in the Gibson booth at the Winter NAMM in 2004, and got a chance to play one of his personal guitars. I immediately ordered a slightly custom version and bought another soon after. These are fabulous guitars, and I found Johnny to be an amazing player. These are still my favorite stand-up guitars.

    Danny W.

  19. #69
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    No, wait, there's MORE...

    That's Tom T Hall (great songwriter) introducing Boots Randolph here.



    Dexter Gordon takes a low-key turn at it



    A studio-jam version...



    A curious approach taken by Oscar Peterson here...

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  20. #70

    Instrumental Pop/Rock

    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick View Post
    I am afraid I cannot see the point of an instrumental version of Ode to Billy Joe. It is a song, and it is all about the lyrics: the black-eyed peas, the biscuits, Choctaw Ridge, and the news that Billie Joe jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge. But each to his own.
    To me it’s a blues. Yeah, 24 bars instead of 12 and unconventional chords (for a blues) in the last 8 bars, but I think blues when hearing it.

    One could argue that the most important feature of any blues is the vocal, but that hasn’t stopped people from playing them as instrumentals.

    I think the most difficult tunes to make compelling as instrumentals are in the Beatles repertoire, due to the complex arrangements that audiences might have difficulty deviating from.

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick View Post
    I am afraid I cannot see the point of an instrumental version of Ode to Billy Joe. It is a song, and it is all about the lyrics: the black-eyed peas, the biscuits, Choctaw Ridge, and the news that Billie Joe jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge. But each to his own.
    I think I can see the point, but I agree, seems nobody in posted clips managed to do anything worth mentioning with this song. Though, Dexter Gordon was on the right track, somewhat, after a while, for a while. The only truly great version is the original.

    EDIT: Note to my self: Make instrumental version worth mentioning, if you can.
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  22. #72
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    NPR feature on why "Ode To Billie Joe" was covered by so many jazz musicians

    'Ode To Billie Joe' Was A Surprise Hit That Prompted Dozens Of Jazz Versions : NPR

    Not all the versions mentined in the radio interview / feature, but maybe three-fourths.











    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  23. #73
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    In the spirit of the avant-garde, I played them all at once.

  24. #74

    Two shocking omissions so far

    Very different from each other:
    Joe Satriani
    Sonny Landreth

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil59 View Post
    Very different from each other:
    Joe Satriani
    Sonny Landreth
    Yup, they be pop rock icons, said no one ever.

  26. #76
    This seems to be the most recent article surveying the vast styles of instrumentals that were hits:

    Rewind the Biggest Instrumental Hits of the Past 50 Years

    I imagine if they said songs older than half-a-century more surf songs (Wipeout, Walk Don't Run) and a deserving nod to Santos and Johnny's Sleepwalk would be on here.

    If another pop culture wave (surfing), dance craze, hit film comes along that uses an all instrumental pop tune (who knows, maybe with some great guitar work) non-vocal music will just be in the background for the average listener.

  27. #77
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    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  28. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    Yup, they be pop rock icons, said no one ever.
    Confused. What are you saying here? Is it that, in your view, neither Joe Satriani nor Sonny Landreth measures up in instrumental composition, lyricism, pure chops, influence, popularity, etc.? Is it that neither is a pop icon? If so, does that matter? Many of the favorite instrumentals cited in this thread were not performed by pop icons, including your favorite, the little-known Johnny A.

  29. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil59 View Post
    Very different from each other:
    Joe Satriani
    Sonny Landreth
    I didn't know who Sonny Landreth was until I moved to New Orleans. I like him a lot.

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  30. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil59 View Post
    Confused. What are you saying here? Is it that, in your view, neither Joe Satriani nor Sonny Landreth measures up in instrumental composition, lyricism, pure chops, influence, popularity, etc.? Is it that neither is a pop icon? If so, does that matter? Many of the favorite instrumentals cited in this thread were not performed by pop icons, including your favorite, the little-known Johnny A.
    It's about the repertoire.

  31. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    I didn't know who Sonny Landreth was until I moved to New Orleans. I like him a lot.

    That was the first tune I ever heard of him on a slide guitar sampler.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A long journey starts with the first step...and although I have long forgotten about my destination I'm still enjoying the journey.

  32. #82
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    Joe Satriani, "Satch Boogie"

    I was never a big fan, but he certainly became famous playing instrumental rock...

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  33. #83
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    Nobody's mentioned Mickey Baker yet, so:


















    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A long journey starts with the first step...and although I have long forgotten about my destination I'm still enjoying the journey.

  34. #84
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    The "little-known" Johnny A has his own Gibson model. Just sayin'.

  35. #85
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    His surname is little known: Antonopoulos. I had to look it up.

  36. #86
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    Paul Jackson, Jr., one of my all time favorites for instrumental pop/rnb/funk/fusion.

    Check him out playing his composition, appropriately called "The Workout".


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