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Your "All-Time" Favorite Guitar Player

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Some great names being put out here for sure.

 

I have a list of probably 20 "favorite" guitarists so I'm hesitant to respond.

 

Zappa was absolutely an under-appreciated improvisational guitarist who defied convention in his playing the same way he did with other aspects of his composition. Like the best jazz musicians he knew the rules of music form and modality but also knew hat those rules were boundariess that were made most meaningful when they were willfully stepped over/compromised and/or occasionally obliterated. More than any other rock musician, Frank understood completely that it's all just notes, and there was no reason any note on the fretboard could not be followed by any other note on the fretboard regardless of what those Mel Bay primers told you as you were learning to play.

 

Three unreal guitarists who all did stints as the Zappa "stunt guitarist" deserve mention. Steve Vai has already been noted, but Adrien Belew is one of those once-in-a-generation player that should be a household name but isn't. Mike Keneally is another guy to seek out — especially the Californians who can catch him in very intimate clubs.

 

If Kid Gleason was on here more and saw this he'd justifiably ride me for not giving Eddie Van Halen more props. His talent, innovation, and (as someone said here) technical abilities as a rhythm guitarist and soloist are unquestionable. As far as changing the landscape of guitar playing though, think his historic contribution is still overstated. Eddie didn't invent tapping (in the rock world lots of folks suggest Caned Heat's Harvey Mandel did that), though he certainly refined it and perfected the harmonic component, and he's also very unusual with his detuned 2nd string to get around that quirky dissonant 3rd interval of standard guitar tuning.

 

Hendrix, on the other hand, did change the way the rock world approached the instrument. Sure, when it's all said and done, it's still primarily overdriven minor pentatonic blues scales he's employing, but he was the American rock musician who best understood and demonstrated what several Brits already figured out (Clapton and Alvin Lee included) — at it's heart guitar rock was blues. Jimi supposedly intimidated contemporaries with his playing, but he did the exact opposite for me when I was picking up the instrument. I couldn't explode the scales all over the fretboard, couldn't do the big left thumb thing, and stumbled over my fingers trying to get up to Jimi's speed. But I could play minor pentatonic scales and I could pick out keys and key changes in songs off of records and pretty soon I could do it well enough to hold my own. I sort of "outgrow" Hendrix over time, but as far as personal influence and inspiration, he's absolutely the guy that made me want to play the instrument.

 

Honorable mentions to SRV, George Harrison, Robert Fripp, Steve Morse, Steve Hackett, Charlie Christian, Elliot Easton, Danny Gatton, Roy Bucchanan, and a slew of others.

Edited by FlaSoxxJim

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QUOTE (FlaSoxxJim @ Jul 21, 2010 -> 07:31 AM)
Some great names being put out here for sure.

Honorable mentions to SRV, George Harrison, Robert Fripp, Steve Morse, Steve Hackett, Charlie Christian, Elliot Easton, Danny Gatton, Roy Bucchanan, and a slew of others.

 

wow....Roy Bucchanan.... :notworthy

 

Hendrix would surely top my list, then not necessarily in order...Page, Clapton, Townsend, Zappa, Jorma Kaukonen and one of my favorite underrated guys Eddie Phiillips (from Creation) who was the first guy to play with a violin bow. And then in a non-Rock vein Leo Kottke...the guy is amazing.

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um, Kirk Hammett?

 

Synyster Gates is pretty sick as well..

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No particular order love'em all

Zakk Wylde

Travis Meeks

Andy Mckee

Joe Satriani

Yngwie Malmsteen

Steve Vai

Eddie Van Halen

Jeff Martin

Eric Clapton

Stevie Ray

Slash

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QUOTE (The Critic @ Jul 21, 2010 -> 11:27 AM)
Gleason would probably choose Brian Setzer.

 

Critic is dead on right. Setzer is my man. He can be just as clean as Chet Atkins, and just as innovative as Atkins, but he can also bust out some of the dirtiest RnR heard. His cool factor is also light years beyond pretty much everybody else on the face of the earth. He has also proven to be a perfectionist in the learning of his craft, and a true guitarist. Again, much like Atkins.

 

My other faves are Andy McCoy from his first go around with Hanoi Rocks, and Brian Baker from his years through out Dag Nasty. McCoy was completely original, and was the ultimate example of how to take your influences, and pay respect to them, not rip them off.

 

McCoy adores Johnny Thunders, but you will never hear a Thunders style riff or solo anywhere in his material. He takes the nuances of Thunders, twists them around Keith Richards, and then turns them into his own creature.

 

Brian Baker was just doing Punk unlike anybody else. He was a very good guitarist, who happened to play Punk. So you had incredibly catchy riffs, great bursts of solos, without ever falling victim to (what my friends all called) Metal-damage. When every other Punk band was infusing Heavy Metal into their stuff, Baker just added killer guitar work.

 

I like Eddie Van Halen, but I actually am NOT a Metal fan, nor a Hairmetal guy. I do like Van Halen, and find EVH amazing. He and they just are nto faves of mine. I do find it criminal that on that Rolling Stone "Greatest Guitarists" list from a few years ago, EVH was number 70, or something ridiculous like that. He SHOULD be in the top 10 list on something like that.

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Guys I haven't seen mentioned who probably should be for the sake of completeness:

 

Duane Allman

 

Carlos Santana

 

David Gilmour

 

Chuck Berry

 

Angus Young

 

The following aren't what I'd call guitar heroes or virtuousos, but are very solid and underrated, probably due to the commercial success of their bands:

 

Mike Campbell

 

Neal Schon (seriously)

 

Lindsey Buckingham

 

These guys also deserve a mention because of their completely unique styles:

 

Joe Walsh

 

Mark Knopfler

 

The Edge

 

My personal faves are Townsend, Van Halen, and SRV. To me, Stevie stands out because of his session work. He could contribute incredble licks to other people's records that would mesh with that artist's style, yet still be undeniably his own. His solos on David Bowie's "Cat People" and Jennifer Warner's cover of Leonard Cohen's "First We Take Manhattan" are prime examples. They are totally different from the Blues guitar he was justifiably known for, but still incredible.

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Surprised no one's mentioned Jack White. So I'll give him his props - everytime I've seen him live he's been great.

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Omar Rodriguez Lopez

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I'm adding Django Reinhardt, just because he is unfrigginbelievable.

Also Chet Atkins, since I did mention him, but not as a fave, which he is.

Eddie Cochran also gets mention. His studio work and goofing around outtakes were mesmerizing.

Pete Chramiec, guitarist with Verbal Assault, was also a fave of mine. He added little things to their songs that elevated them above the norm.

Charro is also an amazing guitarist, though, I own nothing by her.

 

It's been a long time since I have heard a guitarist that really caught my ear.

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I completely agree that Brian Setzer is amazing, and his evolution as a player has been really impressive.

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QUOTE (PlaySumFnJurny @ Jul 22, 2010 -> 10:29 PM)
The following aren't what I'd call guitar heroes or virtuousos, but are very solid and underrated, probably due to the commercial success of their bands:

 

Mike Campbell

Neal Schon (seriously)

 

Lindsey Buckingham

 

I've been waiting for someone to mention him. TP and the Heartbreakers are definitely one of my favorites and I'll agree that he isn't a guitar legend but he is very underrated if you ask me.

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QUOTE (PlaySumFnJurny @ Jul 22, 2010 -> 10:29 PM)
Neal Schon (seriously)

 

Lindsey Buckingham

 

As horrible as Journey became during the Steve Perry Reign of Terror, there's no denying Schon's greatness as a guitarist. I really liked his HSAS side project with Sammy Hagar.

 

I LOVE Buckingham's finger-picking style of playing, and no one does an outro solo like him.

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QUOTE (MEANS @ Jul 23, 2010 -> 07:30 AM)
Omar Rodriguez Lopez

 

oh yes

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The guy wasn't a super stud guitarist, but he was fun to listen to with all of the effects that he used from his VAST ARRAY of "MANY" pedals. Anyone remember Frank Marino from Mahogany Rush?

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Shame on me for forgetting to mention Neil Young. His long solos on "Cowgirl In The Sand", Like A Hurricane", "Down By The River" to name a few blow me away every time. He's always been great fun to see live.

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QUOTE (BigEdWalsh @ Jul 24, 2010 -> 08:43 PM)
Shame on me for forgetting to mention Neil Young. His long solos on "Cowgirl In The Sand", Like A Hurricane", "Down By The River" to name a few blow me away every time. He's always been great fun to see live.

 

Yeah, I love Neil's one-string and muddy/overdriven chorded solos as much as anyone, and he's a good example of the difference between a favorite guitarist and technically proficient one. His guitar work fits his songs though for sure.

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Stevie Ray Vaughan!! The man! Also Stevie Vai is awesome.

Edited by EvilJester99

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