Strings of Passion: 10 Must-Watch Guitarist Documentaries

28 de març de 2023

"The guitar is a vehicle for expressing the things that can't be expressed in language." - Eddie Van Halen

From classic rock to blues, jazz to heavy metal, the guitar has been an integral part of the music industry for decades. Guitarists have been able to capture the hearts and souls of millions with their music and their passion for the instrument. We present 10 of the most compelling documentaries, docuseries, and films about guitarists and their craft.


The Art of Shredding: The Guitar Heroes

Digital pop art of some guitarists

Whether you're a fan of blues, jazz, rock, or metal, there's a documentary that will appeal to your musical tastes. From classic films to new releases, there's something for everyone. Some of the documentaries offer an intimate look into the lives of the artists, while others focus on their music and techniques.

The guitar is a stringed musical instrument that originated in Spain in the 15th century. It evolved from the ancient lute and the vihuela, a guitar-like instrument popular in the Renaissance period. The guitar became widely popular in the 19th century and evolved into various styles, including the classical guitar, acoustic guitar, and electric guitar.


A guitar collection

Today, the guitar is one of the most popular musical instruments in the world, played by musicians of all genres and skill levels. Its versatility and range of styles have made it a beloved instrument among music lovers everywhere.


Here are 10 of the most important documentaries, docuseries, about guitarists:


It Might Get Loud

Black and white photo of Jack White, Jimmy Page and the Edge

This documentary brings together three generations of guitarists, Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White, to explore the magic of the guitar and its impact on their music.


The Devil and Daniel Johnston

 A colored drawing of a man with black stripes coming out of his head

Although not primarily about guitarists, this documentary about the life and music of Daniel Johnston features some of the most heartfelt and emotional guitar playing ever put on film.


Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin

Jimi Hendrix performing

This documentary tells the story of the iconic guitarist's life and music, with rare footage and interviews with those who knew him best.


The Blues

A drawing of a silhouette of a man with a hat and a guitar

A groundbreaking documentary series produced by Martin Scorsese in 2003, delves into the rich history and profound influence of the blues genre. With a focus on the guitarists who shaped this musical style, the series takes us on a journey through time, exploring the origins of the blues in Africa, its development in America, and its enduring impact on music worldwide. Through rare footage, insightful interviews, and electrifying performances, The Blues offers a comprehensive look at the artists who defined this musical genre, from B.B. King to Robert Johnson to Muddy Waters and beyond. This captivating documentary is a must-see for anyone interested in music history and the enduring legacy of the blues.


Keith Richards: Under the Influences 

Keith Richards with sunglasses, a hat and a guitar


A documentary film that provides an intimate look at the life and music of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. Directed by Morgan Neville and released in 2015 on Netflix, the film follows Richards as he discusses his influences and creative process, and explores his enduring love for blues music. Through interviews with Richards, his family, and fellow musicians, viewers gain insight into the making of his latest solo album, "Crosseyed Heart," and his legendary career as a member of the Rolling Stones. With its candid interviews and raw footage, "Keith Richards: Under the Influence" is a must-watch for any fan of Richards or the Stones.



 An old bald guitarist with a black guitar

The Journey of a Veteran Guitarist" is a captivating documentary that explores the life and music of Lanny Gordin, a legendary guitarist of the Tropicália movement in Brazil. The film takes us on a journey through Brazil and China, where Lanny was born and spent much of his life, revealing his unique compositional process and the cultural influences that shaped his music. Through interviews and performances, we gain a fascinating insight into the creative process of one of Brazil's most influential musicians.


None of Your Business

 men pose in suits on a street at night

Is a captivating documentary by Iranian filmmaker Kamran Heidari that unveils the enigmatic life of Ebrahim Monsefi, a legendary composer and guitarist of southern Iranian music. The documentary celebrates Monsefi's contribution to Iranian music and invites us to discover the hidden gems of a talented and enigmatic musician.


Everything Is Forever

 A performance by two women in colorful dresses

Is a lively musical documentary that follows the irreverent Croatian rock star Nenad Bach as he navigates his way through the American music scene. Despite rubbing shoulders with famous Americans like Bill Clinton and Whoopi Goldberg, Bach's music remains largely unknown in the US. Through live performances and personal anecdotes, the documentary captures Bach's colorful personality and celebrates his enduring spirit as an artist. A heartwarming tribute to a talented musician whose music deserves wider recognition.


Sidemen: Long Road to Glory

 A musician playing drums

Is a powerful and intimate portrayal of the remarkable lives and legacies of Pinetop Perkins, Willie 'Big Eyes' Smith, and Hubert Sumlin, legendary sidemen of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. The documentary captures their final live performances together, along with some of their last interviews before their passing in 2011. Through personal insights and performances from blues and rock stars like Bonnie Raitt, Gregg Allman, and Joe Bonamassa, we witness the profound influence that these sidemen had on the music industry. Sidemen: Long Road to Glory is a moving tribute to these jazz invisibles and a celebration of their enduring impact on the music we know and love today.


In Arte Roed Roza

An inspired guitarist

Is an inspiring documentary that showcases the life of Roed Roza, a South American migrant who left his homeland in search of a better life in Milan. With his guitar in hand, Roed finds solace in his music and uses his talent to earn a living in his new home. The documentary captures his unwavering spirit and infectious smile as he navigates the challenges of being an immigrant in a foreign land. Roed Roza is a symbol of hope for millions of migrants around the world and his story is a powerful reminder of the resilience and determination of the human spirit.

 A guitar player with long curly hair and Jimi Hendrix


The world of guitarists is a rich and fascinating one, and the documentaries and docuseries mentioned above offer a glimpse into the passion and dedication that goes into mastering this instrument. From legends like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton to up-and-coming musicians, these films showcase the power of music and the guitar to inspire and connect people from all walks of life. Whether you're a seasoned player or simply a fan of music, these documentaries are sure to leave you inspired and awed by the incredible talent and artistry of guitarists around the world.

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