Van Halen, Jimmy Page and Zakk Wylde Make Top Guitars That Don't Sound Like Guitars List

12/29/2010
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(Gibson) The guitar is so suitable for rock for the simple reason that guitar itself sounds great, but it can also be much more than that. In the right hands, it can be a string instrument, an organ, or even a zoo full of animals. Here are the 10 best examples of guitars that were not afraid to share their identity crisis with the rest of us.

7. Van Halen, "Baluchitherium": Eddie Van Halen has never recorded a solo instrumental album and it doesn't look like he plans to do so any time soon, so "Baluchitherium" from 1995's Balance might just be the closest thing we'll get to such a release. A huge, stomping track named after a lumbering prehistoric creature (also known as Paraceratherium or Indricotherium, for the paleontology buffs), "Baluchitherium" boasts a veritable menagerie of animal sounds during its end section, most of which appear to have been achieved by combining volume knob swells with natural harmonics and the whammy bar although Van Halen noted to Guitar World at the time of Balance's release that this section of the song does include one real animal his dog, Sherman.

3. Ozzy Osbourne, "No More Tears": Zakk Wylde throws a wide range of techniques into "No More Tears," including slide, a dropped tuning and fast arpeggios, but the song is also notable as one of the more famous examples of a guitarist who not only wails, but whales, too. During the orchestral-sounding interlude before the guitar solo, Zakk turns his volume control down, hits a note, turns the volume up and bends the string for a series of mournful, moaning notes which reinforce the lonesomeness of the track's theme. They also set the listener up for a killer build-up before the solo's rapid-fire blues licks.

1. Led Zeppelin, "Dazed and Confused": Jimmy Page has always been a master of presenting the guitar on a silver platter in all its raging glory, from Led Zeppelin right up to Coverdale-Page and his 1998 album with Robert Plant, Walking Into Clarksdale. But Page was also adept at making the guitar sound like something else entirely, as he did on "Dazed and Confused," where he used a violin bow (with the effect emphasized with some generous reverb) to make the guitar sound like an eerie, two-tone violin. Page's violin bow solo was also a live showstopper, as you can see in the concert movie The Song Remains the Same. Check out the full list here

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