This week’s featured artist is Prince! Born Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016), he was an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, dancer, and actor. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest musicians of his generation. On his first five albums he played nearly all the instruments, and is considered a guitar virtuoso and a master of drums, percussion, bass, keyboards, and synthesizer. He was well known for his eclectic work across multiple genres, flamboyant and androgynous persona, and wide vocal range which included a far-reaching falsetto and high-pitched screams.
Prince’s innovative music integrated a wide variety of styles, including funk, R&B, Latin, country, rock, new wave, classical, soul, synth-pop, psychedelia, pop, jazz, industrial, and hip hop. He pioneered the Minneapolis sound, a funk rock subgenre that emerged in the late 1970s. He was also known for his prolific output, releasing 39 albums during his life, with a vast array of unreleased projects left in a vault at his home after his death; it is believed that the vault contains dozens of fully produced albums and over 50 music videos that have never been released, along with various other media.
Prince’s music synthesized a wide variety of influences, and drew inspiration from a wide range of musicians. He has been compared with jazz great Miles Davis in regard to the artistic changes throughout his career. As a guitar virtuoso, Prince was also known to have a very stylish and flamboyant custom guitar collection, which consisted of 121 guitars. One notable series is his Cloud Guitars (pictured here), which were commissioned and released in colored versions of white, yellow, and purple.
Check below for a live performance of his hit Purple Rain at the SuperBowl in 2007, and a tab of how to play it!
What’s your favourite Prince song? Has he or his guitar playing been an influence on you? We offer in-home lessons and Video Conference lessons if you’d like to learn about the ongoing history of music with a professional!
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