27 Listicle Series: Swirl

California rockers Swirl have kicked off the new year with a new song called “The Lift” which has reached #1 on Indie rock radio in the US and #4 on Banks RadioAustralia in just the first two weeks of 2018. “The Lift” comes to you fresh on the heels of a very successful 2017 campaign for the band`s 7 song EP titled ‘SWIRL’, of which the band has 3 songs featured in the award winning movie ‘Ditch Day’.
We caught up with Duane “DT” Jones to find out his ultimate listicle of guitarists that have influenced his career.

Top Five fave guitarists and then some (and why)


thumbnail_D and W backstage
DT and Warren De Martini of RATT

 Finally! Now I get to get into really the only thing that matters to me personally any way lol

 Jake E Lee

He is my all-time favorite guitar player. His technique is incredible. Watch him play the ride out solo to “Bark At The Moon” for an insane finger stretch. Jake`s rhythm playing, feel, phrasing and showmanship make him the total package for me. On top of all that his vibrato from a hard tail guitar is to die for. I will never forget watching Ozzy Osbourne live from Salt Lake City and seeing Jake play. Just listen with your eyes closed and remember this is a guitar with no whammy bar….just insane. Growing up in Alaska we didn`t get all the tours that the rest North America had the opportunity to see. Watching that performance opened me up to several LA guitar legends.

 If you are not familiar with Jake`s work with Ozzy, Badlands, his solo work and his new band Red Dragon cartel I highly recommend it.


Warren DeMartini-

 The best feeling legato runs in rock n roll for my money! “Torch” as he is known is very cool. Almost in that Joe Perry kind of vibe, but when he lets loose it is straight fire from his finger-tips.  His chord voicings are not traditional in rock n roll and I use some of that in my own playing.  Warren`s phrasing is very melodic and memorable. He also has a signature guitar I consider to be the most beautiful guitar I have ever laid eyes on. 

Warren has recorded one of my favorite guitar solos ever in the RATT song “You`re In Love”.


George Lynch-

 Of my top five George has the quickest and sickest fingers. Career with Dokken and Lynch Mob produced some of the top guitar parts of an entire era of rock n roll.

Everyone who knows of George knows him best for his “Mr. Scary” solo and deservedly so, but for me the solos in “The Hunter” and “Heaven Sent” are just master classes on what makes George such a highly regarded shredder.


Carlos Cavazo-

 The quickest, most accurate right hand of the LA Sunset Strip era players. He is a special talent. I have studied his right hand technique up close as he happens to be a very dear friend of mine as well.  He is my mentor in the music business and has been on hand to guide me in the studio as well. His pick holding technique is one I don`t recall seeing anywhere else. The pick is held between the thumb and 2nd finger with his pinky often anchored to the the pick guard. Check out the speed picking part of the “Bang Your Head (Metal Health)” solo (at the 3:05 mark) and you will see that has been part of his style from the very beginning of his career. Carlos` left hand is also very quick


He currently plays in RATT with Warren DeMartini and the two are very complimentary together where Warren plays with more left hand emphasis and Carlos having such a quick right hand technique.  Just watch the RATT “Eat Me Up Alive” video to see their contrasting styles and how well they complement each other.


 Matthias Jabs-

 My favorite guitar solo of all time for its tone, note selection, style and taste is his solo in “Rock You Like A Hurricane”. That`s an automatic turn up and air guitar anywhere song for me. The multitude of techniques used in that solo and how well they are out together….bend, vibrato, staccato ascending, legato ascending and the double stop bend at the end are just PERFECT!


Honorable mention-

No list of top players for me would be complete without mentioning the original guitar combination of Ace Frehley and Paul Stanley. Paul is a very underrated rhythm player while the influence Ace has had on a legion of guitar players is legendary! I am proud to be in that category.


Neal Schon-

Journey`s guitarist creates the most memorable solos at the end of songs. They are always very simple, very tasty, instant, classic hooks. “Stone in Love”,  “Any Way You Want It”, “Send Her My Love”, “Faithfully” and so many more that the list is endless and we have heard them all.



In the new Swirl song, “The Lift” I pay tribute to my influences listed above and some others at various times in the song.  I deinitely had my AngusEddieAce DeMarSchonLeeVaiLynchStanley moments in the track!!!

To date I have been blessed to share stages, tours and conversations with all of my biggest influences.

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