Roger McGuinn will forever be recognized for his pioneering musical efforts in The Byrds and for being one of the first to recognize the potential of Bob Dylan's songs within a rock music context. However, his greatest and longest-lasting influence may be his development of two innovative styles of playing electric guitar.
McGuinn was not only responsible for introducing the jangly highly compressed ringing Rickenbacker sound, based on banjo finger picking, but he was also one of the first musicians to merge the free-jazz atonalities of John Coltrane into popular music by applying it to the electric guitar, a sound clearly heard on the Byrd's classic 1966 single, "Eight Miles High."
A gifted interpreter, as well as a talented songwriter, McGuinn has been at the center of several significant stylistic movements, including the initial electrification of folk music and the merging of country and rock 'n' roll music, both long before they were accepted or popular. McGuinn has also been ahead of the curve when it comes to technology, being one of the first musicians to embrace the internet and utilizing it to preserve the traditions of folk music, with his Folk Den Project on his own website.
During the 1980's, McGuinn devoted much of his time to touring solo acoustic, performing at intimate venues and college campuses. Without a record label, and traveling without a crew other than his wife Camilla, McGuinn continues to pursue his musical career on his own terms.