Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The #87 Guitarist of the Rock Era: James "Munky" Shaffer

Inside the Rock Era looked at some of the other lists of top guitarists as a basis to go on.  Then we listened and listened to each of the top guitarists of the rock era.  We evaluated them on their overall ability, the sound of their guitar-playing, their popularity, their longevity, their experience, their guitar riffs, the ability to play a melody, their speed, creativity, their entertainment ability and live stage presence.  We narrowed it down to about 160.  Then we listened some more, continuing to evaluate each on the factors above.  We ranked them then re-ranked them, doing our best to compare each guitarist and rank them where they truly deserved to be ranked.  

The guitarist that places at #87 scores high with the melodies of his solos--he knows how to make that guitar sing.
#87:  James "Munky" Shaffer, Korn
active guitarist for 24 years

James Christian "Munky" Shaffer was born June 6, 1970 in Rosedale, California.  He began guitar as part of a rehabilitation when he severed the tip of one of his fingers at age 13. 

In high school, Shaffer met guitarist Brian Welch..  They asked singer Jonathan Davis to join them and the band was initially called L.A.P.D.  Welch left the band in 2005. 

In 2008, Munky worked on a solo album backed by Fear and the Nervous System. 

James uses Ibanez guitars, including his signature model Ibanez Apex100 and a seven-string model.  Shaffer also uses a Fender Telecaster and Gibsons.  He likes a Diezelguitar amplifier and many pedals and effects.  James uses several from BOSS, including digital delays, a harmonist, a metal core and several reverbs and shifters.  He also has the Dunlop Cry Baby, the Ibanez Tube Screamer, the Mu-Tron Bi Phaser and the Digitech XP100 Whammy Wah, among others.  

Schaffer's strength is in his experimentation; he loves creating new sounds.  And that helps expand the boundaries for guitarists.  Plus, he puts some thought into his solos rather than just mindlessly playing any note he can the way some of the shredders do.  In other words, there's a melody there--Schaffer has some of the most beautiful solos of his time.

Munky Shaffer--The #87 Guitarist of the Rock Era*.

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