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Greatest guitarist of all time??


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IMO to be considered a truly great guitarist you'd need to be versatile and highly proficient in several genres or at least capable of playing well  in a range of styles if demanded. Could prince play chickin pickin country style, do Travis picking on an acoustic, flamenco, jazz? I don't know for sure but none of his albums feature these.  Players who were/are top notch in several styles include Eric Johnson, Danny Gatton, John Jourgensen, Steve Morse, Buckethead, John McLaughlin, Tommy Emmanuel and Guthrie Govan. I've heard nothing done by Prince (including that tribute to George Harrison) that's on the same level as these guys.

Edited by Barking Spiders
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What is "best".  Harrison played simple-ish guitar in a massively popular (in my mind overrated) band, Clapton, Peter Green et al were good blues players who made popular music, Gilmour played with more passion and feeling than both in an innovative band.   don't rate any of them as being technically great compared to some others.

EVH was a truly innovative player, Randy Rhodes reinvented metal playing and put the flash into melodic soloing but Satriani, Malmsteem and Jennifer Batten were probably more technically gifted and are virtually unknown outside of guitarist circles.  

 

 

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35 minutes ago, Nicko said:

What is "best".  Harrison played simple-ish guitar in a massively popular (in my mind overrated) band, Clapton, Peter Green et al were good blues players who made popular music, Gilmour played with more passion and feeling than both in an innovative band.   don't rate any of them as being technically great compared to some others.

EVH was a truly innovative player, Randy Rhodes reinvented metal playing and put the flash into melodic soloing but Satriani, Malmsteem and Jennifer Batten were probably more technically gifted and are virtually unknown outside of guitarist circles.  

 

 

'Best' for many people voting in any kind of poll equates with what they know and like the most. Objectivity doesn't even come into it.

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I always find these greatest guitarist of all time articles to be interesting but a bit pointless. Malmsteem Is definitely a more technically  accomplished player than Gilmour but Floyd would sound crap with Malmsteen widdling all over the place. 
It’s all very subjective.

Edited by tegs07
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I do like most of the usual top Rock, Country and Fusion suspects, mainly because they have been around during my life Journey. But to be honest, I always get drawn back to the likes of Wes Montgomery, early George Benson, along with the great Flamenco and Classical players. I can quite easily listen to whole concerts on YouTube of these players with no problem.

Pat Martino is a favourite of mine at the moment:

 

Edited by lowdown
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15 minutes ago, lowdown said:

I do like most of the usual top Rock, Country and Fusion suspects, mainly because they have been around during my life Journey. But to be honest, I always get drawn back to the likes of Wes Montgomery, early George Benson, along with the great Flamenco and Classical players. I can quite easily listen to whole concerts on YouTube of these players with no problem.

Pat Martino is a favourite of mine at theoment:

 

Sorry.

He’s sat down!
His left thumb position!! 🤦🏻‍♂️

He’s probably got a music stand just out of site!

That shirt!

No “passion” (ie no histrionics/face pulling/he obvs doesn’t “mean it”)!

Pedals anyone? Where are the pedals??? 
 



 

 

ps I love Pat Martino

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11 hours ago, Count Bassy said:

For those who say Hendrix, and I don't dis-agree, he famously reckoned that it was Rory Gallagher.

 

 

This for a long time has been regarded as an urban myth. Hendrix was supposed to have said it in an interview, after the Isle of Wight festival in 1970, even the type of interview is in question, some say it was audio, others swear blind it was a written article. The great man himself (Rory) didn't believe Jimi had said it. No one has ever been able to find the interview.

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23 minutes ago, leftybassman392 said:

Anybody care to set out the assessment criteria? I mean, assuming there are any of course...

9_9

Precisely. Presumably is well known and plays a lot of solos. Making Joe Strummer a 2 out of 10 despite being exactly what The Clash needed.

Edited by tegs07
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Malmsteen. But also this:

2 hours ago, tegs07 said:

I always find these greatest guitarist of all time articles to be interesting but a bit pointless. Malmsteem Is definitely a more technologically accomplished player than Gilmour but Floyd would sound crap with Malmsteen widdling all over the place. 
It’s all very subjective.

 

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1 hour ago, leftybassman392 said:

Anybody care to set out the assessment criteria? I mean, assuming there are any of course...

9_9

 

41 minutes ago, tegs07 said:

Precisely. Presumably is well known and plays a lot of solos. Making Joe Strummer a 2 out of 10 despite being exactly what The Clash needed.

Don't get me wrong: I have my own personal favourites just like everybody else, but that's all they are. They change from time to time too...

Threads like this can be great fun as a vehicle for argument informed discussion and debate (and occasionally expose us to players we may not be aware of), but they shouldn't be taken too seriously (not least because - and here's the serious point as set out above - people are unlikely to even agree what might count as valid selection criteria, never mind who best fulfils them).

However, in a spirit of 'just give us a name ffs!' (and using my own secret selection modelling), I've come up with a shortlist:

 

If you ask me again tomorrow it'll probably be 5 different guitarists. :)

Edited by leftybassman392
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Paco Pena is fantastic... “Friday night in San Francisco” would have 3 contenders for the title...Another Paco along with McLaughlin and Di Miola

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4 minutes ago, tegs07 said:

Paco Pena is fantastic... “Friday night in San Francisco” would have 3 contenders for the title...Another Paco along with McLaughlin and Di Miola

I saw Paco Pena up close and personal in a very imitate gig, he was indeed, as you say, fantastic.

That Friday Night album is jaw droppingly good, I’ve liked DiMeola from the first time I heard him on his Casino album (borrowed from the local record library [anyone remember those?] which I I selected because his Les Paul looked like my Aria copy and our spectacles were similar [I was young and shallow]).

Perhaps, when these polls and journalistic pieces go out, they shouldn’t use the word ‘best’ and should go with ‘most widely known for their talent’ or ‘most influential’. Not as catchy in the way ‘best’ is click bait, but would probably result in a more accurate result.

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2 hours ago, steve_p said:

T-Bone Walker. He wrote more of Chuck Berry's classic phrases than Chuck himself, and helped get the ball rolling. He influenced a lot more people than Slash and his pals.

But did he? There are way more people playing guitar today because Slash and his playing caught their imagination. Certainly more than have been directly influenced by T-Bone Walker. However, the reason that Slash sounds the way he does is because he was influenced by many players who came before him, who were in turn influenced by the likes of T-Bone Walker! 

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28 minutes ago, peteb said:

But did he? There are way more people playing guitar today because Slash and his playing caught their imagination. Certainly more than have been directly influenced by T-Bone Walker. However, the reason that Slash sounds the way he does is because he was influenced by many players who came before him, who were in turn influenced by the likes of T-Bone Walker! 

It didn't say influential, it said best.  I don't think Slash could be regarded as "best" by any reasonable measure.

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48 minutes ago, peteb said:

But did he? There are way more people playing guitar today because Slash and his playing caught their imagination. Certainly more than have been directly influenced by T-Bone Walker. However, the reason that Slash sounds the way he does is because he was influenced by many players who came before him, who were in turn influenced by the likes of T-Bone Walker! 

At the risk of sounding young and switched on, I do believe this is where the proverbial mike-drop occurs...

(a term obviously phrased by someone who has never had the eye-watering experience of having to pay for one themselves)

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20 minutes ago, Nicko said:

It didn't say influential, it said best.  I don't think Slash could be regarded as "best" by any reasonable measure.

Hmmmmm.

Without Slash, there would be no Guns n Roses?

Explain your answer clearly. Justify concisely. Show your working out.

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12 minutes ago, MHMSWC#03 said:

At the risk of sounding young and switched on, I do believe this is where the proverbial mike-drop occurs...

(a term obviously phrased by someone who has never had the eye-watering experience of having to pay for one themselves)

I’ve dropped this one a few times at band rehearsal and gigs. F5758053-C9E7-40D4-AF8D-52715C765672.thumb.jpeg.6832268ca1aa82841f01ebf20edcca7b.jpegNever won any arguments though😃!

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8 minutes ago, MHMSWC#03 said:

Hmmmmm.

Without Slash, there would be no Guns n Roses?

Explain your answer clearly. Justify concisely. Show your working out.

And without the Rolling Stones, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck Slash would be a different player. 

Would music as we know it have reached where it is without GnR a simple throwback to stadium heavy rock featuring pentatonic blues licks?  Probably.  Has Slash really done anything that pushed the boundaries of guitar music.  No.  Is Slash any good? Undoubtedly but he ain't no virtuoso.

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