Top five greatest guitar influences with Opal Ocean

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Top five greatest guitar influences with Opal Ocean


Joe Satriani. Joe was my first guitar hero. When I saw him play at the 2003 G3 Concert it shook my world. For the first eight years of my guitar playing life, I based my whole approach to playing on Joe.

Biréli Lagrène. After the electric years I really got into Gypsy jazz, even ended up forming a trio back in NZ. It made me work on my picking technique and developed a lot of strength from it. Biréli is a prodigy of the guitar, he showed me the power of improvisation and how things work in the jazz world.

Rodrigo y Gabriela. When I heard RodGab for the first time I realised that acoustic playing didn’t have to stay so traditional and that it could be used from an electric guitar player’s point of view. Gabriela’s rhythm technique yields a lot of power and really brought me home to my metal roots. Opal Ocean wouldn’t exist without them, we’re even playing on their Yamaha guitar models.

Al Di Meola. Another great example of fusion, he showed me that taking an acoustic guitar and pushing the playing in unusual ways was totally a thing.

John Petrucci . Master of prog composition, he’s still one of my favourite guitar players of all time. His paying is out of this world and his compositions are even more unreal. I definitely strive to reach his level, without beating myself up over it of course, but I think I owe him a lot in terms of taste in music today.