History of Reggae Guitar in Rock Music

Jimmy Page

Rock guitar players have been experimenting with the reggae sound since the early 1970’s. Jimmy Page recorded the reggae influenced song “D’yer M’aker” after listening to Bob Marley and the Wailers album “Burnin”

Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton was also influenced by Bob Marley and covered his famous song “I Shot the Sheriff” in 1974. I saw Clapton perform this song live off his North American Tour in 2006 and he played an insane 10 minute long guitar solo that rocked the place!

 The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones covered the reggae classic “Cherry oh Baby” in 1976 and Mick Jagger collaborated with Peter Tosh on “Walk & don’t Look back”. Mick Jagger recently made a reggae album with his band SuperHeavy featuring Damian Marley.

Jeff Beck

Jeff Beck rocked some reggae grooves off his “Live at Ronnie Scott’s” performance. Always an original, Beck’s signature tone is his disregard for the guitar pick in favor of his fingers.

History of Reggae Jazz with Ernest Ranglin

Ernest Ranglin is a Jamaican guitarist who is credited for inventing the ska guitar style of playing in the late 1950’s. He was also a session player at the famed Studio One where his guitar playing was featured on many reggae artist’s recordings including Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, and the Skatalites.

During the 1960’s & 70’s Ranglin continued to record classic reggae albums and blended the reggae and jazz music genre’s into his own style of guitar playing. He was inducted in the Jamaican Music hall of fame in 2008.

Essential Listening:

“Surfin” – Below the Bassline (1996)