Marty Friedman Responds To Backlash Over His Wish For Solos To Be Dead

In a new conversation with Guitar World, Marty Friedman addressed the controversy sparked by his previous comments on the future of guitar solos, explaining the depth behind his bold wish for a transformation in guitar soloing.

Featured in the March 2024 issue of Guitar World, the guitarist sparked considerable debate with his remarks on the evolution of guitar solos. Friedman was quoted as expressing a desire for the traditional guitar solo to ‘die a slow and painful death,’ advocating innovation and a deeper melodic connection in guitar play.

Seeking Innovation In Solos

When asked if he was suggesting eliminating guitar solos entirely, Friedman elaborated on his initial statement, emphasizing the need for them to be inventive and engaging for listeners beyond just those learning to play. He shared:

“Oh, absolutely. I would never say anything like that. You’re spot on. I mean, I think I would prefer a song with no solo rather than a solo that’s just there for the obligation of putting a solo in there. And I think that there’s… what’s the English word – phenomenon, of just putting a flashy solo in the middle of a song. I think that might be something that turns off a lot of people and mainstream music listeners.”

Clarification And Vision

Reacting to the backlash and potential misinterpretation of his comments, Friedman took to social media to clarify his stance, stressing that his critique was not aimed at abolishing guitar solos but rather at encouraging a shift towards more meaningful and innovative expressions. In a detailed follow-up interview, he presented his vision for the guitar solo’s evolution, focusing on the distinction between mere guitar playing and true musical artistry.

His initial comments on the issue were as follows:

“I hope the traditional guitar solo dies a slow and painful death. Guitar solos need to be inventive. They need something to keep listeners involved, especially those who are not learning to play and only listen. Because when you’re learning to play, you tend to be impressed with anything you can’t do, right? And if you’re young and just catching the guitar bug, that excitement can be magical. It’s, like, ‘How do they do that!?’ That element is awesome… but it means less than zero in everyone else’s eyes.”

Friedman’s comments have reignited a conversation about the essence of guitar solos in the 21st century. The guitarist is presently touring North America, making stops in cities such as Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Kansas, and Chicago.