Slash Explains His Ultimate Desire As A Guitarist

Guns N’ Roses lead guitarist Slash opened up about having a distinctive sound during a recent conversation with Conan O’Brien. According to the musician, the essential thing to have as a guitar player is identity rather than speed or technique.

There are many aspects to Slash’s legacy as a guitar player since he’s considered one of the greatest guitarists in rock history. Perhaps the biggest secret behind his unique sound is his approach to making music. Unlike numerous other guitarists who focus on playing faster or with intricate techniques, Slash’s primary concern has always been the spirit of his solos and riffs.

In fact, the musician opened up about this matter during an interview with Music Radar a couple of years ago. In addition to acknowledging the importance of technique, Slash stated that expressing some kind of emotion through music is truly important while making music.

Slash once stated the following about his technique:

“Technique can become the main aspiration for people, and I don’t want to rain on their parade, but for me, it’s more about expressing some sort of emotional content and finding melodies that fit the whole thing. It’s important to have that side as well as the technical side. It’s all about how you mix it all together, you know?”

During a recent interview, Conan O’Brien touched upon this distinguishing aspect of Slash’s guitar style. The host stated that he defied everything other guitarists wanted to achieve by ignoring the speed and technique, which ultimately led to the creation of his unique sound that can be easily recognized.

Slash said that having an identity may be the most splendid compliment a musician can hear from a listener. Moreover, the guitarist said that if he could pick one quality to have as a musician, it would be being recognizable to his audience instead of a shredder or technical instrumentalist.

When Conan said he has a recognizable guitar style, Slash said:

“The fact that you said that… Because that’s really the ultimate compliment as a musician is to have an identity, some sort of personality. As an artist, I can’t define that myself. I can’t listen to myself and go, ‘Oh, that’s me.’ I know it’s me, but I can’t have that perspective. If there’s anything I ever wanted to get out of being someone who puts music out is that somebody could identify your playing. It’s not how fast you play; it’s not how complicated, it’s that how you have personality.

You can listen to the entire podcast below.