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My list of some of the best guitarists in the Philippines

/ 01:04 AM February 21, 2015

Living in a country rich with people gifted with diverse musical talents never ceases to inspire me to reach out to some of them so that they can be rightfully acknowledged and others can also learn about them.

In this article, I am turning my attention to some of the best guitarists we have in terms of their skill level and influence among their peers.

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To the serious music aficionado, you would be well aware of the individuals featured below as they have raised the bar of excellence when it comes to our definition of a guitarist.

For those interested to learn how to play the guitar, you will be reading about some personalities who happen to belong to the upper echelon in their profession. Hopefully, you may draw inspiration and insights from the unique and individual experiences they are sharing with us.

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To be fair, I have asked the guitarists—featured in no specific order—the same three questions.

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BONE PAGLIGARAN

BONE PAGLIGARAN

Bone Pagligaran

Why is playing the guitar so important to you?

I don’t have any logical explanation to it other than it is the primary instrument I use to connect myself to the metaphysical realm via music. I have been playing since I was eight, long before I could understand any concept of being cool. Music to me is like a sanctuary and the guitar is the best tool that can help me meditate.

What style do you most often play?

The music that I fancy growing up is rooted in the Afro-American brand from the Baby-Boomers era, maybe because the type of music is highly spiritual and has a strong meditative and emotional feel. I also got into new wave, punk, rock, funk, blues, pop, soul and R&B. Naturally my style is an amalgamation of all these many styles and since I am more dictated by my subconscious mind, I couldn’t pursue and develop any particular style in a “purist” sense. I guess I am one of those “jack of all trades, master of none” guys.

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What advice can you give to aspiring guitarists?

For 23 years in the local scene/industry I have seen many players come and go as well as many scene changes and trend shifts that facilitated their coming and going. The ones that stay given the fact that it’s getting harder and harder to make a living out of playing guitar are the ones who are doing it for love and deeply rooted passion. The kind of love and passion that border obsession is what drives many players to dig deeper, discover more, and become the best as they can be regardless if they get to become famous or underground heroes.

This is an exciting era to learn anything because of the Internet. It makes technical learning a lot easier but playing guitar is an art form so that means one must have to learn it on the metaphysical level and that can never be taught because it’s a personal discovery via experience. Too much technical information and unlimited access to gear render guitar playing empty if it’s not driven by a spirit of genuine inspiration.

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Chad Robles

CHAD ROBLES

CHAD ROBLES

Why is playing the guitar so important to you?

Guitar playing lets me tap into an altered level of consciousness. It allows me to channel my creativity to certain heights that still puzzles me to this day. I am not really good at a lot of things to the point that I screw up at the end. Playing the guitar is like putting on a super hero costume to make things right and at times, save the day.

What style do you most often play?

I find it difficult to stick to a certain style because my playing is like a fur ball with various strands of “musical hair.” Does it make sense? I guess it is because I am a huge music fanatic. I own hundreds of records from antiquity to modern music. I’m fascinated by the elements and structures of different musical styles which trigger my curiosity and lead to the study of these. “Fusion” might be the proper term to best describe my playing style. Not the Allan Holdsworth or Wayne Krantz type of fusion. Errr … make that “chopsuey”!

What advice can you give to aspiring guitarists?

Chad Robles : Advice??? From me? Seriously? Hmmm … keep an open mind. Come out of the closet este … box and play your heart (and guts) out. This will help you cover new grounds which may lead to discoveries and realizations that would define your musical persona. Should you screw up, never say “It’s over,” because your journey through music never ends.

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Fayeed Tan

FAYEED TAN

Fayeed Tan

Why is playing the guitar so important to you?

Making music has always been a huge part of my life. Before I even learned how to play the guitar, I have been hearing unknown melodies at the back of my head. What makes playing the instrument essential for me is that it serves as an avenue to express my feelings. My stand is that profound happiness generates inspiration for melodies that make music. Playing the guitar and making good music is a gift of expression and I can’t imagine my life without it.

What style do you most often play?

I play hard fusion. It’s like jazz and rock in harmony. I have been following different guitar players for years and I’ve been influenced by blues to death metal guitarists. Through the years, I have learned to establish my signature sound in writing guitar solos and still discovering.

What advice can you give to aspiring guitarists?

Stay passionate with guitar playing. It’s a day to day learning process. Practice, be patient, learn by ear and heart, have fun and repeat. Like what the great Frank Zappa said to a young Steve Vai, two things you should remember, one is “keep going” and two, “don’t stop.”

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TAGS: Bone Pagligaran, Chad Robles, Fayeed Tan, Guitarists
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