History question - what is the origin of the term 'shred'?


Hi hi

because I am historically interested, I would like to find out how the career of the term “shred” for virtuoso guitar began. Since when people called virtuoso guitar shred? Where does it come from? Who said it “first”? Was their a music magazine or guitar magazine that helped to establish the word for virtuosity? TV? By word of mouth in subcultures and music scenes? How common was it? Did you use it for other instruments back in the days, too?

So many questions, but maybe you all have a clue (especially the 80s veterans here :wink: ) or an advice where I could look it up and find an old mention

I am looking forward to reading your ideas :slight_smile:



I don’t remember hearing ‘shredding’ much in the 80s. Not like I hear it used now.


If I had to guess, I’d say it has some sort of association with the Shrapnel label…?


No idea, but I like to think it has something to do with this guy:


Think you’re right. Mid-to-late 80s is when I recall first hearing the term shred, right around the time Shrapnel Records started getting popular.


im going to go out on a massive limb here and say it probably dates back to the 50s lol. Seriously. I bet it came out of jazz. Blowing, ripping, shredding.

“Charlie Parker we really shredded that joint” etc

Yngwie on the term ‘shred’


Interesting stuff here. My guess is it’s some extension of the “wood shed” musical practice analogy. Like wood shedding evolved to wood (i.e., musical instrument) “shredding”?