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"They are so fantastic."

Photo by Paul Haggard

In the heart of the 1980s shred era, a teenaged Jason Becker took the world by storm with his technically daring sweeps and tapping. Despite being diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) at a young age, Becker has continued to pursue his musical passion, inspiring countless musicians along the way. ALS may have robbed him of his ability to physically play, but his musical spirit remains undiminished. His 2018 album, Triumphant Hearts, was a critical and commercial success, and he is currently working on the next installment in his "Jams" series, Strawberry Jams.

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In a recent interview with Guitar World, Becker said that he is very inspired by contemporary guitar players like Tosin Abasi and Tim Henson: “When Herman Li and other fantastic artists helped me auction off three of my guitars, and some donated their guitars, I looked up Tosin Abasi and Tim Henson, and I was so inspired. I had to stop watching their videos after about three because I wanted to pick up a guitar and try playing their stuff. It hurt too much. They are so fantastic.”

He also explained why he doesn't mind being called a "shredder" anymore: “It used to bother me because I felt that my music was so much more than 'shred', but I have grown to appreciate that label because of all the young guitarists who have been influenced by what I did, and it feels good to hear that I may have had something to do with their talent and inspiration; so, it's definitely a positive to me now.”

Despite the toll taken on his health by Triumphant Hearts, whose completion spanned seven years, Jason is planning to release the next installment of his ‘Jams’ series soon: “The Strawberry Jams will be done soon. It will be so much fun for fans to hear. I recorded tons of stuff constantly until I couldn't play anymore. The first 'single' is going to be such a fun, big surprise for guitar players.”

Becker is more than just a guitar hero. He is a true hero in life, an inspiration to all who know his story. He continues to fight and has become a living testament to the power of music and the human spirit.

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