ICMP Selector Playlist: Pete & Vinnie

ICMP's guitar heroes put together an essential playlist to inspire you while staying at home...


Staying inspired during the lockdown has been a challenge for all creatives, especially musicians and songwriters. 

To keep us going during these strange times, we've been asking the ICMP community to put together selections. 

This latest from BMus Popular Music Performance students Pete and Vinnie is a playlist full of guitar legends. Here's what they had to say about their choices and tuck into this fest of riffs below... 

These are all songs that make us reflect in one way or another, through lyrics, music, and powerful guitar playing, upon the challenges we all face in life, and the current unprecedented challenge we are all currently facing with isolation.

Through these songs, we find inspiration to keep pushing forward through the power of the guitar, music, and lyrics contained within, and we hope our list can inspire other guitarists at home to keep their instruments close and keep playing no matter what!" 

As the lyric in Pink Floyd's 'Time' goes: "You are young and life is long, and there is time to kill today. And then one day you find, 10 years have got behind you, no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun." A powerful reminder to value our time and to make every moment count, no matter the circumstance or situation we are faced with!


Pink Floyd: 'Time' (Vinnie)

To me, this song represents our journey in life. It was the first song to take me someplace else while listening to it. The message is so strong this track will never get old. Also, it has one of the best guitar solos of all time, no pun intended.

Nick Johnston: 'Remarkably Human' (Pete)

This instrumental track by Canadian modern guitar great Nick Johnston never fails to inspire me as a guitarist. Nick Johnston is one of my favourite players. He has an amazingly unique sound and playing style and continues to carry the torch forward for guitar-driven music. This particular song, the title track from his 2016 album 'Remarkably Human', is everything Nick does best in one song: beautiful melodies, a strong groove, virtuosic licks, and unparalleled atmosphere, taking the listener on a journey through sonic euphoria. 

Racer X: 'Technical Difficulties' (Vinnie)

This track represents challenges and how to overcome them. Learning this tune on the guitar took me on a journey of discovering my potential and changed my self-perception. It opened many doors into the future and taught me a lot about the rewards we get for working hard to achieve something.

Killswitch Engage: 'In Due Time' (Pete) 

'In Due Time', the fourth song from Killswitch Engage's 2013 record 'Disarm the Descent', contains lyrics that discuss struggle and hardship, and finding the strength and the will power to push through and prevail. I find these lyrics so incredibly relevant and applicable to everyone in today's circumstance of quarantine and isolation. The world and human society as a whole are being put through a test, a trial of our strength as a collective, and of our will to push forward and display our inherent resilience as a species. The crushingly heavy guitar riffs and drums add to this track's inspirational power by getting the adrenaline flowing, and awakening the strength within.

Steve Vai: 'For the Love of God' (Vinnie)

This one is the biggest instrumental guitar hit of all time. The track has one of the most beautiful melodies I’ve ever heard, backed by a very tasteful harmony. Notice how the track slowly grows to the point that by the end you should be holding on to your chair and thinking: "How did he do this to me?"

Eric Johnson: 'Cliffs of Dover' (Pete)

Eric Johnson is an American guitar virtuoso from Austin, Texas whose 1990 album 'Ah Via Musicom' contains this instrumental masterpiece. This song won a Grammy award for 'Best Rock Instrumental Performance' in 1992, and any guitarist will know that this is one of the most difficult songs one can attempt to learn. Eric's playing on this track speaks for itself and is inspirational on its own, but the song is in a major key and is incredibly upbeat, bound to put anyone in a good mood and lift the spirits.

Dream Theater: 'Pull Me Under' (Pete)

This classic prog-rock anthem from Dream Theater's 1992 album 'Images and Words' also contains lyrics relevant to today's situation. The way I interpret the words are about feeling lost in the fast pace of life, feeling like the world is spinning and time is passing at an exponential rate, and we are unable to slow it down. Despite this, we must not accept defeat, we must soldier on and make the most of every moment we have. Guitar-wise this song features John Petrucci's world-famous alternate picking technique and some brilliantly crafted riffs. All these ingredients create a song that never fails to inspire me. 

Jimi Hendrix: 'Little Wing' (Vinnie)

I chose this track as an ode to the man that showed us all how to play the guitar. I remember the first time I heard the intro I thought it was the most creative bit of guitar playing I’d ever heard. And then there’s the solo...

Yngwie Malmsteen: 'You Don't Remember, I'll Never Forget'

Yngwie Malmsteen is preceded by his notorious reputation for his playing speed in the guitar-world, and his famous quote "More is more!"

But Yngwie doesn't just play all the notes because he can, he fully means every single note he plays. This is a song about heartbreak, a topic that every single one of us can relate to at one point or another. Midway through the song Yngwie's classic face-melting licks and screaming guitar tone make a full appearance in what is, in my opinion, one of the most heart-wrenching guitar solos I've heard. It's almost as though you can feel the pain, the longing, the heartache in his playing. Makes me want to pick up my guitar every time. Yngwie never ceases to inspire guitarists around the world, which is why he is hailed by many as 'The King.'

Become one with your Guitar

If you’d love to become an in-demand session shredder, rock-solid rhythm player, or creative all-rounder, ICMP’s Guitar courses will get you started. You’ll be taught by exceptional tutors, absorbing their knowledge of everything from instrumental technique and performance to production fundamentals, theory, business, marketing and more. You’ll also get access to our studios, practice rooms, masterclasses, special events, and world-class equipment, while building your network of contacts, collaborators, and friends.

Call our friendly Admissions Team on 020 7328 0222 or email enquiries@icmp.ac.uk and start your career in music today.

Guitar Courses
by ICMP staff writer
May 27, 2020
Back to Blog Home