Together with the singer Steven Morrissey, Marr began writing songs in 1982, recruiting Marr's friend Andy Rourke for bass, and soon adding Mike Joyce on drums.
Marr, in the Smiths, was known for a delicate, angelically sweet guitar style that could evoke musicality from just a few well-chosen notes. Contrasted with the common punk and rock guitar flashiness and speed of the time, Marr's playing was out of place in the usual pop mainstream; like Rachmaninoff performing at a fast-food restaurant. In fact, all of the Smiths, in their own way, represented tasteful departures from the typical music of the time, increasingly becoming less about music, and more about business.
Morrissey's lyrics, often morose and self-pitying, were perfectly matched with Marrs upbeat, lilting, and seemingly carefree music, to create, in the Smiths, an incarnation of musical irony; as if the spirits of Dr. Who, Oscar Wilde, Benny Hill were rolled into one.
After the demise of the Smiths, Marr played guitars for The The and also teamed up with New Order singer/guitarist/keyboardist Bernard Sumner to form Electronic. His first solo work Boomslang, with his band "The Healers", appeared in 2003.