Whos The Greatest Guitarist?

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  • IndianSummerIndianSummer Posts: 854
    It's when picked strings don't sound only like picked strings at a certain pitch but make a sound that is recognisibly warm and almost vocal. Enriched by vibrato or considered finger pressure and/or picking (while perhaps coloured by guitar effects also),guitar tone speaks with a quality that expresses the emotions and thoughts of the artist and therefore transcends the mere mathematics of melody and harmony.
    thats an awesome reply. typical finsy
    I have faced it, A life wasted...

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  • njnancynjnancy Northern New JerseyPosts: 4,957
    Read the first couple pages - 

    For me, Eddie Van Halen is number one. 

    He changed the way people play guitar. 
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 28,880
    I love thinking about this question because it is sort of a conundrum.  First, we have to define "greatest".  Do we mean "best"?  Most well known?  Most popular?  And then what about different styles of playing?

    I have to ask:

    Was Andrés Segovia the greatest classical guitarist or did he just have more name recognition than, say, Christopher Parkening? 

    Was Jimi Hendrix the greatest electric guitarist because he melded blues and R&B and spiced it up with feedback and psychedelia to create something new and magical or was Larry Coryell just as great because he combined jazz, rock, and classical influences delivered with emotive, blistering 16th note flurries to give birth to Jazz Fusion?

    Based on feeling and tone, is Neil Young the greatest stylist or J Mascis?  Neither are anything close to what you would call a virtuoso but what guitar player is better than Neil at creating a one note solo that makes the hair on your arm stand up, or which guitar player utilizes variable dynamics combined with highly melodic passages better than J?

    So I'll cop out and nominate Paul Westerberg because he said "I'm the best guitar player on my block and when I no longer am, I move."


    “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
    -Aldous Huxley
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.









  • helplessdancerhelplessdancer Posts: 4,738
    lenny breau needs to be mentioned but of course there is no winner...
    and you're welcome  ;)
    Lenny Breau solo guitar and trio (Bluesette)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhGjQ3QPydA
  • OffSheGoes35OffSheGoes35 Posts: 2,563
    edited May 30
    brianlux said:
    I have to ask:

    Was Andrés Segovia the greatest classical guitarist or did he just have more name recognition than, say, Christopher Parkening?  
    That's a damn good question. Segovia had sausage fingers, it's kind of hard to believe he would be hailed as the greatest, but he had so much confidence with that guitar in his hands. Same thing with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli on the piano, I know he isn't considered the greatest pianist, but I LOVE watching his live performances on YouTube. He plays as if he believes he's the greatest! 
    Post edited by OffSheGoes35 on
  • ed243421ed243421 Posts: 6,491
    When you take everything into consideration, there is only one answer.

    Pete Townshend.
    The whole world will be different soon... - EV
    RED ROCKS 6-19-95
    AUGUSTA 9-26-96
    MANSFIELD 9-15-98
    BOSTON 9-29-04
    BOSTON 5-25-06
    MANSFIELD 6-30-08
    EV SOLO BOSTON 8-01-08
    BOSTON 5-17-10
    EV SOLO BOSTON 6-16-11
    PJ20 9-3-11
    PJ20 9-4-11
    WRIGLEY 7-19-13
    WORCESTER 10-15-13
    WORCESTER 10-16-13
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  • dankinddankind I am not your foot. Posts: 14,598
    edited May 30
    Not one mention of Danny Gatton?


    Post edited by dankind on
    I SAW PEARL JAM
  • SmallestOceansSmallestOceans Posts: 13,186
    Sod craft. Allan Holdsworth has plenty of that, and he's as dull as ditch water.


    Now THIS is in touch with the great beyond:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqLh5s36_Jo
    About to scan through this thread from the beginning and I have to agree this  is definitely in touch with the great beyond. The account and any video evidence has been terminated never to be accessed by man ever again. :lol:
    Worcester1 13, Worcester2 13, Hartford 13, San Diego 13, Los Angeles1 13, Los Angeles2 13
    Trieste 14, Vienna 14, Gdynia 14, Leeds 14, Milton Keynes 14, Denver 14
    Central Park 15
    Fort Lauderdale 16, Miami 16, Tampa 16, Jacksonville 16, Greenville 16, Hampton 16, Columbia 16, Lexington 16, Philly1 16, Philly2 16, NYC1 16, NYC2 16, Quebec City 16, Ottawa 16, Toronto1 16, Toronto2 16, Fenway1 16, Fenway2 16, Wrigley1 16, Wrigley2 16


  • BentleyspopBentleyspop Craft Beer Brewery, ColoradoPosts: 6,735
    dankind said:
    Not one mention of Danny Gatton?


    I'm shocked to see someone bringing up Danny Gatton.
    Growing up just outside DC I used to see him play on a regular basis. 
    As I got older and the inevitable "who's the greatest guitarest" topic would come up and people would name the usual suspects I would respond... "I guess you never saw Danny Gatton".
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 28,880
    brianlux said:
    I have to ask:

    Was Andrés Segovia the greatest classical guitarist or did he just have more name recognition than, say, Christopher Parkening?  
    That's a damn good question. Segovia had sausage fingers, it's kind of hard to believe he would be hailed as the greatest, but he had so much confidence with that guitar in his hands. Same thing with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli on the piano, I know he isn't considered the greatest pianist, but I LOVE watching his live performances on YouTube. He plays as if he believes he's the greatest! 
    Michelangeli -- oh man, yeah!  Great pianist!
    “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
    -Aldous Huxley
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.









  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 28,880
    ed243421 said:
    When you take everything into consideration, there is only one answer.

    Pete Townshend.
    No one has EVER topped the original windmill, that's for sure!  Also the first guitarist to successfully launch a guitar out of Atwood Stadium.

    “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
    -Aldous Huxley
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.









  • ed243421ed243421 Posts: 6,491

    The whole world will be different soon... - EV
    RED ROCKS 6-19-95
    AUGUSTA 9-26-96
    MANSFIELD 9-15-98
    BOSTON 9-29-04
    BOSTON 5-25-06
    MANSFIELD 6-30-08
    EV SOLO BOSTON 8-01-08
    BOSTON 5-17-10
    EV SOLO BOSTON 6-16-11
    PJ20 9-3-11
    PJ20 9-4-11
    WRIGLEY 7-19-13
    WORCESTER 10-15-13
    WORCESTER 10-16-13
    HARTFORD 10-25-13









  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 28,880
    Larry Coryell.  Certainly one of the most inventive and brilliant.



    “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
    -Aldous Huxley
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.









  • Spiritual_ChaosSpiritual_Chaos Posts: 16,783
    Isn't James Hetfield famous for him only downpicking?
    "Mostly I think that people react sensitively because they know you’ve got a point"
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 28,880
    Isn't James Hetfield famous for him only downpicking?
    "Extremely fast eighth-note downstroke picking was used in the mid 70's and beyond by famous punk guitarist Johnny Ramone,  who used the technique to play full live shows at fast tempos (usually around 180 to 200 bpm). This required extreme levels of stamina, but produced a very high-energy, aggressive sound. This extremely demanding, then-uncommon and somewhat innovative style contributed to Johnny Ramone's reputation as a legendary guitar player, and it influenced many now-famous rock guitarists."


    “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
    -Aldous Huxley
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.









  • tempo_n_groovetempo_n_groove Posts: 21,075
    I would think that Ledbelly and Robert Johnson would have to be in the conversation.

    Jimi Hendrix, Van Halen and SRV are also innovators that could be in there.

    Buckethead is the most technical guitar player I have ever seen.

    Morello is a modern innovator as is JW, hell even DR. Know from Bad Brains was.

    Dick Dale was another legend that started a genre.

    Bill Haley played faster than anyone during his time?

    Chuck Berry was always regarded as a great.

    Then there is Bo Diddley and the King's in BB, Albert and Freddie.

    I'd even throw Charro in the mix.  Yes, the Spanish actress Charro can play some mean damn guitar.




  • ed243421ed243421 Posts: 6,491
    edited June 4
    The whole world will be different soon... - EV
    RED ROCKS 6-19-95
    AUGUSTA 9-26-96
    MANSFIELD 9-15-98
    BOSTON 9-29-04
    BOSTON 5-25-06
    MANSFIELD 6-30-08
    EV SOLO BOSTON 8-01-08
    BOSTON 5-17-10
    EV SOLO BOSTON 6-16-11
    PJ20 9-3-11
    PJ20 9-4-11
    WRIGLEY 7-19-13
    WORCESTER 10-15-13
    WORCESTER 10-16-13
    HARTFORD 10-25-13









  • ed243421ed243421 Posts: 6,491
    The whole world will be different soon... - EV
    RED ROCKS 6-19-95
    AUGUSTA 9-26-96
    MANSFIELD 9-15-98
    BOSTON 9-29-04
    BOSTON 5-25-06
    MANSFIELD 6-30-08
    EV SOLO BOSTON 8-01-08
    BOSTON 5-17-10
    EV SOLO BOSTON 6-16-11
    PJ20 9-3-11
    PJ20 9-4-11
    WRIGLEY 7-19-13
    WORCESTER 10-15-13
    WORCESTER 10-16-13
    HARTFORD 10-25-13









  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 28,880
    I would think that Ledbelly and Robert Johnson would have to be in the conversation.

    Jimi Hendrix, Van Halen and SRV are also innovators that could be in there.

    Buckethead is the most technical guitar player I have ever seen.

    Morello is a modern innovator as is JW, hell even DR. Know from Bad Brains was.

    Dick Dale was another legend that started a genre.

    Bill Haley played faster than anyone during his time?

    Chuck Berry was always regarded as a great.

    Then there is Bo Diddley and the King's in BB, Albert and Freddie.

    I'd even throw Charro in the mix.  Yes, the Spanish actress Charro can play some mean damn guitar.




    Good choices, all.  I would add to that list of innovators Charlie Christian as a musician who helped develop bebop and cool jazz and was one of the first guitarists to be spotlighted as a soloist in big band jazz, and Larry Coryell as one of the founders of jazz/rock fusion.
    “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
    -Aldous Huxley
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.









  • Spiritual_ChaosSpiritual_Chaos Posts: 16,783
    brianlux said:
    Isn't James Hetfield famous for him only downpicking?
    "Extremely fast eighth-note downstroke picking was used in the mid 70's and beyond by famous punk guitarist Johnny Ramone,  who used the technique to play full live shows at fast tempos (usually around 180 to 200 bpm). This required extreme levels of stamina, but produced a very high-energy, aggressive sound. This extremely demanding, then-uncommon and somewhat innovative style contributed to Johnny Ramone's reputation as a legendary guitar player, and it influenced many now-famous rock guitarists."



    "Mostly I think that people react sensitively because they know you’ve got a point"
  • tempo_n_groovetempo_n_groove Posts: 21,075
    brianlux said:
    I would think that Ledbelly and Robert Johnson would have to be in the conversation.

    Jimi Hendrix, Van Halen and SRV are also innovators that could be in there.

    Buckethead is the most technical guitar player I have ever seen.

    Morello is a modern innovator as is JW, hell even DR. Know from Bad Brains was.

    Dick Dale was another legend that started a genre.

    Bill Haley played faster than anyone during his time?

    Chuck Berry was always regarded as a great.

    Then there is Bo Diddley and the King's in BB, Albert and Freddie.

    I'd even throw Charro in the mix.  Yes, the Spanish actress Charro can play some mean damn guitar.




    Good choices, all.  I would add to that list of innovators Charlie Christian as a musician who helped develop bebop and cool jazz and was one of the first guitarists to be spotlighted as a soloist in big band jazz, and Larry Coryell as one of the founders of jazz/rock fusion.
    Nice one.

    I didn't include any of the late 60's early 70's guitarists because they were all known to have "borrowed" from most of the earlier guitarists that I mentioned.
  • Spiritual_ChaosSpiritual_Chaos Posts: 16,783
    Ace Frehley looks funny playing. If that counts for something. It's like he never learned proper technique and it feels like it can go off the rails at any time. He also looks at his neck/chords a lot, but I guess that is more a "tick". But he is obviously a legend.






    "Mostly I think that people react sensitively because they know you’ve got a point"
  • tempo_n_groovetempo_n_groove Posts: 21,075
    Ace Frehley looks funny playing. If that counts for something. It's like he never learned proper technique and it feels like it can go off the rails at any time. He also looks at his neck/chords a lot, but I guess that is more a "tick". But he is obviously a legend.






    Watch Janick Gers from Iron Maiden.  He is entertaining.
  • rgambsrgambs Posts: 12,271
    I have to go against the Jimi love and claim Jimmy (Page, obviously) superior.
    There is no comparison to be made between the two when it comes to variety, and Jimi wasn't NEARLY as original as he is usually considered to be.  He didn't reinvent or change the blues at all, he openly admitted to borrowing a major portion of both playing style and stage presence from the great Buddy Guy.
    Not hating on him, but I do think that he gets a bias due to his untimely end.

    Page maybe never established himself as the greatest of virtuosos (among a very crowded field...Blackmore, Clapton, Beck, Hendrix, etc) but he did establish himself as virtuoso and he had a range that none of them can touch.
    Neither Clapton nor Hendrix can boast of a body of work that encompasses a range like that which separates The Rain Song from Rock n Roll.
    Monkey Driven, Call this Living?
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 28,880
    rgambs said:
    I have to go against the Jimi love and claim Jimmy (Page, obviously) superior.
    There is no comparison to be made between the two when it comes to variety, and Jimi wasn't NEARLY as original as he is usually considered to be.  He didn't reinvent or change the blues at all, he openly admitted to borrowing a major portion of both playing style and stage presence from the great Buddy Guy.
    Not hating on him, but I do think that he gets a bias due to his untimely end.

    Page maybe never established himself as the greatest of virtuosos (among a very crowded field...Blackmore, Clapton, Beck, Hendrix, etc) but he did establish himself as virtuoso and he had a range that none of them can touch.
    Neither Clapton nor Hendrix can boast of a body of work that encompasses a range like that which separates The Rain Song from Rock n Roll.
    What you've mentioned is an excellent example of why this is an impossible question. 

    Hendrix came from an R&B and blues background (and of course he never would have made any claim about reinventing the blues), paid his dues on the "Chitlin Circuit" and melded that base with his new found psychedelia.  And sorry, but I cringe at the mention his greatness having anything to do with his untimely demise.  There are those who believed Hendrix had already reached his pinnacle prior to his death (and I think that is a real possibility), so his death is a moot point.  And anyone who worships Hendrix at all for dying young is musically uneducated.

    Page developed his chops as a studio musician playing music based primarily on music that originated in the US- again, blues and R&B.  So in a way, his training was second hand and more derivative than practical.  Nevertheless, he too developed a unique sound- a beautiful and complex sound- more studied and with more technical virtuosity than Hendrix, only without the same kind of intense fiery feel Hendrix had. 

    Is one better than the other?  And who gets to make that call?  I would say, better to give them both their due and don't bother trying to place one above the other.  To me they are both guitar gods that stand on the same level, only with different styles.  And I would say the same about Larry Coryell.  He didn't achieve the same status, but mainly because his jazz influences aren't appreciated by people who are mostly into popular music.
    “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
    -Aldous Huxley
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.









  • tempo_n_groovetempo_n_groove Posts: 21,075
    rgambs said:
    I have to go against the Jimi love and claim Jimmy (Page, obviously) superior.
    There is no comparison to be made between the two when it comes to variety, and Jimi wasn't NEARLY as original as he is usually considered to be.  He didn't reinvent or change the blues at all, he openly admitted to borrowing a major portion of both playing style and stage presence from the great Buddy Guy.
    Not hating on him, but I do think that he gets a bias due to his untimely end.

    Page maybe never established himself as the greatest of virtuosos (among a very crowded field...Blackmore, Clapton, Beck, Hendrix, etc) but he did establish himself as virtuoso and he had a range that none of them can touch.
    Neither Clapton nor Hendrix can boast of a body of work that encompasses a range like that which separates The Rain Song from Rock n Roll.
    Not the greatest to me but what I think defines a "great guitarist" is having his own style.

    If you play anything by Adam Jones you know it's him, Van Halen, Morello, anyone I mentioned.  All the greats have a distinct sound.

    To me that is what separates the greats from the good.
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 28,880
    edited June 5
    Sometimes the greatest is what's greatest at the moment-- those times where you're playing a record and you think, "Damn!  Does it get any better than this?"  Like last night when I was listening to some Tom Petty and I thought, "Mike Campbell, man, he's the greatest!"  Well, he may not be, but Campbell surely is one of the best.

    “After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
    -Aldous Huxley
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.









  • hrd2imgnhrd2imgn Southwest Burbs of ChicagoPosts: 4,114
    edited June 5
    Not my pick, but Eric Clapton is as good as anyone.  SRV made Hendrix sound better when he covered him...go by sheer impact Jimi.....so many great ones we never even think of
    Jeff Beck
    Eddie van Halen
    Eddie Hazel
    Keith Urban 
    Brad Paisley
    Randy Rhodes
    Brian May
    David Gilmour
    PRINCE
    Post edited by hrd2imgn on
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  • njnancynjnancy Northern New JerseyPosts: 4,957
    Eddie Van Halen's  main influence was Eric Clapton, but Jimmy Page inspired his two handed tapping. He loved the 'reckless abandon' in Page's playing. His own unique mind inspired taking guitars apart and putting them back together so he could get the sound he wanted. What he was doing in the late 70's was completely new and awe inspiring. He didn't care if he fucked up because it was all an experiment with what a guitar was capable of producing. 

    He is considered to probably be the fastest strummer and his finger span is ridiculous, probably because of his years of taking piano lessons. But he was born to play, you don't learn how to change how a guitar is played, that is just inside of you. And he has gotten better with age, through all of his problems, he still has it. 

    He is a fantastic song writer,he wrote the majority of of the songs that Van Halen performs. 

    He also is an awesome rhythm guitarist, since Van Halen only had one guitar player he had to play both roles. That is overlooked when people consider his talent.So he would be playing the shit out of the song as the rhythm player, but then his solo's would be mind blowing. I was lucky enough to see them 9 times in the 70's and 80's and although I love Van Halen, I am always watching Eddie no matter what role he is playing, even his organ playing was first class.

    His talent could have been used in a much better way if he had been a solo player or if had played with equally talented guitar players instead of pop metal, but playing in a band with his brother was what he wanted.  

    There are many fantastic guitar players - I got to see Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, Townsend, etc...but no one has grabbed my soul as much as Eddie Van Halen. He uses his guitar as if it is a part of him, or an intimate partner and it is so compelling. He is always finding new ways to make his guitar sing in a unique way and he looks like he isn't even trying. He can also not go crazy and just play some awesome blues. 

    There are so many great guitarists, he just happens to be the one who has captured my interest since 1978. 






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