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Earlier today we announced we’re running Instrumental Music Week for the next five days, and will be celebrating all things instrumental until the weekend.

Our intrepid instrumenteers will be with us all week, and here are their first of five favourite picks from their 10+ hour playlist!

Lisa [Basick Records/Hold Tight! PR]

Chimp Spanner – “Far From Home” [At The Dream’s Edge, 2009]

I have to say nice things about him because no doubt he’ll read this and if we don’t include him, he’ll throw a diva hissy fit and refuse to come out of his dressing room. I’ve chosen possibly my favourite track from his album At the Dream’s Edge for its dream like, soaring kick off. The thing I LOVE about Paul’s music is the ability to retain a certain ethereal feel throughout, whilst being remarkably heavy in places and having that feeling that every song is a journey. Mostly it makes me feel like I’m Xena, Warrior Princess and I should be fighting some orks.

Paul [Chimp Spanner]

Steve Vai – “The Audience Is Listening” [Passion and Warfare, 1990]

I love this song. This was actually the first Vai song my dad ever played me. I’d never heard anything like it before, and it’d be years before I’d even begin to be influenced by it but it really stuck in there. I always had this constant tug of war in my head between the industrial and nu metal stuff I was being exposed to, and the knowledge that there was this whole other level of playing and musicality I’d yet to explore. Not saying I’ve even come close to it now, but yeah, a hugely influential song (and album for that matter) for me.

Evan [Alaya]

Metallica – “Orion” [Master of Puppets, 1986]

No list of “guitar” songs is complete without something from Metallica, and considering the list is composed of mainly instrumentals, I insist “Orion” is on here! There is nothing particularly flashy about this eight and a half minute opus, but man, do they pack the melody in HARD. The entire middle section in all of its harmonious glory has to be one of the most inspirational guitar parts in my life. “Master Of Puppets” was my first cassette tape, purchased for me by one of my older brothers friends when I was in 2nd grade! I remember running home after school to try and figure out all the different parts to “Orion”. I actually had my dad record me playing it – on all instruments, in the basement on his reel to reel set up. I was completely infatuated with the song, and really anything Metallica did. They are definitely responsible for shaping most of my early guitar years.

Make sure to check back for the rest of the week to see which tracks are our intrepid guest columnists’ favourites, and see what else we have in store for Instrumental Music Week!