Since rock music began, the guitar has played many roles. In the early days, it was mainly a rhythm instrument, keeping the song going. But as the years passed, the guitarist got more and more chances to step to the front of the stage, assume the position — and shred.
The history of the guitar solo is full of heroics and complex guitar figures. This video from cdza, a collective that "creates musical video experiments," traces the journey of the solo from the early days to John Mayer, with many stops along the way.
Of course, no history of the guitar solo would be complete without a little Slash. His classic solo from Sweet Child O' Mine appears at the 3:14 mark, and Slash himself is in the red chair tonight, Monday October 7 at 7pm on CBC.