A lot of players seem to focus on speed ans technique rather than feel and soul- to me it seems as though the art of Rhythm Guitar has been overshadowed by how many notes one can play in a few short measures. Speed is, or should be, an essential part of any good guitar players vocabulary but there is a time and a place to use it for the max effect.
Listening back to some of my early influences :Joe Perry, Keith Richards, Jimi Hendrix and Davey Johnstone, I was blown away at how much attention these guys paid to Rhythm Guitar!! Solid chord structures and the various fragments of chords they employed were and are second to none. It is no wonder that their careers took off and maintained a height that few will ever reach.
Whenever I hear the term “Shredder” the first thing that comes to mind is self serving ego type songs. There are obviously the exceptions in players like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani & Reb Beach, these are shredders who serve the song while weaving skillful passages of musical brilliance. They are the exceptions.Each one of those players is an outstanding example of how rhythm guitar provides the foundation for shred.