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 Posted:   Jul 22, 2013 - 5:31 PM   
 By:   Reeler   (Member)

All things guitarists. Ode to the man Hendrix. Not everything he did was god, but when he was rolling he was pretty much untouchable IMO. His best bits at Woodstock are still jaw-dropping IMO. I also am a huge fan of Nick McCabe. He is not a riffer. Since he was more into synthesizers he wanted the guitar to do that. As Richard Ashcroft noted, his guitar "sounded like a whole nother world." His best moments are like a cosmic experience.

I've never been a big fan of technical guitarists. It sounds too clinical for my liking. A loose comparison would be my preference for Jimmy Page over Pete Townsend, or McCabe over Jonny Greenwood. (Greenwood's best is the keyboard IMO.) Not that I don't like or appreciate them but just not as much.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 23, 2013 - 2:57 AM   
 By:   jenkwombat   (Member)

I've never been a big fan of technical guitarists. It sounds too clinical for my liking. A loose comparison would be my preference for Jimmy Page over Pete Townsend, or McCabe over Jonny Greenwood. (Greenwood's best is the keyboard IMO.) Not that I don't like or appreciate them but just not as much.

I've always preferred Jimmy Page over Pete Townsend as well.

I think I know what you mean about technical guitarists sounding too "clinical". I prefer *performance* over *perfection*....

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 23, 2013 - 3:29 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I'm kinda the opposite of you guys. I prefer the big, dreamy blues sounds of David Gilmour. He's my alltime favourite. I agree that some of the wilder prog stuff of bands like Yes and Dream Theater can be a little too much, but when toned down a bit, that's the kind of perfection I love.

Let's not forget the brilliant CLASSICAL guitarists as well, like Chris Parkening, John Williams...

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 23, 2013 - 4:35 AM   
 By:   jenkwombat   (Member)

I like David Gilmour too.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 23, 2013 - 6:02 AM   
 By:   scrapsly   (Member)

I have to agree that many of the so called guitar wizards are definitely not that great. Speed doesn't equal talent. Skill, tone, passion, many things make a great guitarist or whatever instrument a musician may play. Being able to play well ANY kind of music is not the only indicator, but it is a good one. Popularity doesn't make one great either. When Metallica was in their hey day many thought their guitar player was the bomb, but I think it was just because they were popular. To each their own. The man who doesn't get the props he should is JOHN NORUM. He is a beast !

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 23, 2013 - 6:55 AM   
 By:   Timmer   (Member)

I like guitarists that have a distinctly unique voice, Dave Gilmour, Mike Oldfield, Pat Metheny all spring immediately to mind.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 23, 2013 - 9:02 AM   
 By:   Reeler   (Member)

I've never been a big fan of technical guitarists. It sounds too clinical for my liking. A loose comparison would be my preference for Jimmy Page over Pete Townsend, or McCabe over Jonny Greenwood. (Greenwood's best is the keyboard IMO.) Not that I don't like or appreciate them but just not as much.

I've always preferred Jimmy Page over Pete Townsend as well.

I think I know what you mean about technical guitarists sounding too "clinical". I prefer *performance* over *perfection*....


Page once said that his recording process was to do three takes and pick the best one. He didn't worry about if every note was spot-on cause he felt it added to the ambiance.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 23, 2013 - 9:14 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I like guitarists that have a distinctly unique voice, Dave Gilmour, Mike Oldfield, Pat Metheny all spring immediately to mind.

Aren't you supposed to be a big Jeff Beck fan?

 
 Posted:   Jul 23, 2013 - 10:08 AM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

A few of my favorites:
Gus G (For his work in Firewind, Dream Evil, and others)
Thomas Youngblood (for his fantastic work in Kamelot)
Paul Gilbert (for his work in Mr. Big)
Elias Viljanen (his solo albums are fantastic and better than his work with Sonata Arctica)
Hizaki and Teru from Versailles (Japan) It is hard to say which one I like more because I never isolated their parts in individual songs.

I tend to notice quality vocals more often so I don't have a very long list of guitar player favorites.

NOTE: This thread is amazing because in looking up the members of Versailles to see who the guitarists are I discovered that everyone but the singer from Versailles formed a new band and the single is actually out today. So amazing!

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 23, 2013 - 10:16 AM   
 By:   Timmer   (Member)

I like guitarists that have a distinctly unique voice, Dave Gilmour, Mike Oldfield, Pat Metheny all spring immediately to mind.

Aren't you supposed to be a big Jeff Beck fan?


Yeap! Very distinct sound. I also didn't mention Carlos Santana, John McLoughlin, Eric Clapton, Gary Moore, Joe Satriani.................Jimi Hendrix goes without saying cool

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 23, 2013 - 11:22 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Santana, of course! Another fav of mine with an unmistakable sound.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 23, 2013 - 12:13 PM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

David Rawlins.

 
 Posted:   Jul 23, 2013 - 1:09 PM   
 By:   Michaelware   (Member)

Miyavi

http://youtu.be/qxeNRiuAGQs

 
 Posted:   Jul 23, 2013 - 2:06 PM   
 By:   MD   (Member)

Terje Rypdal

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 23, 2013 - 2:34 PM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

I like guitarists that have a distinctly unique voice, Dave Gilmour, Mike Oldfield, Pat Metheny all spring immediately to mind.


I'm the biggest Oldfield fan 'round these parts. Unfortunately I'm the only Oldfield fan 'round these parts. He's not just one of my fave guitarists, but nearly my fave all round composer/player. Astonishingly unique.

Amongst my family and friends, they all tolerate his style with near-distain. They find it too trebly. They have no appreciation for the players that came before him and influenced him as he developed--Hank Marvin, Bert Jansch and the like.

I remember when I first heard his sister Sally sing years ago. Suddenly it all made sense (actually, it always made sense to me... it just made MORE sense!). He plays the same way Sally sings. You usually get that musical sort of cross-pollination with siblings.

He can be a musical chameleon... whatever style suits the song. Some of his solos are just transcendent. I particularly love the ones where you can tell he had a real fire in his belly that day. "Family Man", "Shine", the ending of "Ommadawn (Part1)"... pieces like that. His bass-playing style was an enormous influence for me as I learned how to play. It's a very percussive style, probably born out of necessity as his early albums (with some brief exceptions) didn't have traditional drum kits to establish the rhythm.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 23, 2013 - 2:52 PM   
 By:   groovemeister   (Member)

Steve Lukather
George Benson
Snowy White
Boz Scaggs
Pat Metheny
David Gilmour
and one of the most underrated, or less known, my fave
Steve Rothery of Marillion

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 23, 2013 - 3:27 PM   
 By:   daj3674   (Member)

I would totally agree with Steve Rothery as being very underrated, I am a huge Marillion fan and I think Mr Rothery's Guitar work although straightforward is extremely tasteful (it certainly beats an over technical playing style in my book).

Dave Gilmour it goes withour saying, the man can say more musically with a couple of perfectly phrased notes than a guitarist who can sweep pick notes at a hundred miles an hour.

Alex Lifeson (Rush), Gary Moore, Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden) and Frank Marino (Mahogany Rush) are also amongst my favourites.

 
 Posted:   Jul 23, 2013 - 4:08 PM   
 By:   lexedo   (Member)

Well, I definitely do guitar. I saw Segovia play on Cape Cod when I was young. I have seen Dimeola and Mclaughlin and Holdsworth many times. Anyway, I was trying to summarize some of the entries posted, but they are coming too fast. So, here are some notes on some mentioned, and some others not mentioned. Please don't get mad at me if you don't like my summaries, but they are honest and objective as best possible.


Hendrix wasn't very good technically, and couldn't sight-read. Most good guitarists / musicians avoided him. He played out of tune very often, including the Woodstock and Monterey shows mentioned. But he is a loveable fellow, and I have just about everything with his name on it. My personal Hendrix favorite is Astro Man or If 6 Was 9. Hendrix played right-handed Fender Stratocasters exclusively. B-/C

Jimmy Page is very good. Decent technically, but not great. He invented the 5-phase circuitry that is still available on Les Paul Customs. He took lessons from John Mclaughlin in England, and sometimes used a Theremin (e.g., Whole Lotta Love). For the begining of In The Evening, he uses a RotoWhirl near the bridge. For Kashmir, he tunes the guitar differently, which I won't explain here, and uses a Danelectro, which used lipstick tubes for pickup casings and was made in Brooklyn. His biggest fault was his drug use, which reduced his ability to play dramatically. B

David Gilmour is not very good in any respect. His rhythm playing is OK, such as on Another Brick in the Wall, and many people like his solo on Comfortably Numb. He played Fender Stratocasters exclusively, and owns the first Strat ever produced at Leo Fender's factory, # 0001. D

John Williams inherited the mantel from Andres Segovia. He is Australian. He is as good as they come. Cavatina from The Deer Hunter won an Oscar, and is the only straight-guitar piece that has ever received such recognition. I believe he also produced an instructional guitar lessons series of CDs and books that are well noted amongst axemen. He's recorded just about every guitar piece from the classical canon, and even has made records with jazzman/composers like Andre Previn. A

Pete Townshend is a decent rhythm guitarist. He was not capable of playing lead too well, but could write. I think he was best when he was writing the "big-band" stuff, like 5:15. C+

Pat Metheny is an American treasure. He plays big old Gibson hollow-bodies. Amazing technique. His first real band was with Jaco Pastorius. He's played with everyone that matters. Legend. His show with Joni Mitchel and Michael Brecker is must-see-TV. I also enjoy his sets with Gary Burton. A-

Jeff Beck wasn't very good technically, and couldn't sight-read. He invented the vo-coder, which Peter Frampton made famous. He is also the first guitarist to record "guitar-feedback" on the track Heart Full of Soul with the Yardbirds. He isn't technically great, but when he is on, you will hear things that you've never heard before. Listen Check: Led Boots or Definitely Maybe or Blue Wind or Hello Jeff (Stanley Clarke). They say his late-70s Japanese tour with Stanley Clarke and Narada Michael Walden were jaw-droppingly incredible, and I have a few of these shows as boots. B+

Carlos Santana is a very good guitarist. He helped bridge the music of South America with Rock-n-Roll and Jazz. His sets with Mahavishnu John Mclaughlin are legendary - like Love, Devotion, Surrender and the 4-hour Chicago shows that followed. Very emotional guitarist, who could sight-read, write, etc. He "discovered" Neal Schon. Check his take of Tito Puente's Para los Rumberos or Singing Winds, Crying Beasts. Santana played a Les Paul in his hey-day, but uses PRS now. B+

John Mclaughlin is probably one of the ten most important figures in music over the last 100 years, easily more important than Duke, Louis, Coltrane, and Miles. Very few on any instrument in any genre are capable of that which Mahavishnu John is capable of. He actually makes the guitar sound like saxes and trumpets as tribute to the old-schoolers. Check his rhythm lines on Jan Hammer's Sister Andrea. He also began sitting with Indian musicians in the 70s (e.g., Shakti, Shankar), and also played scalloped guitars, which have the frets carved-out above the 12th fret. Listen check: The Wish (Shakti - notice volume control) or Desert Song (Stanley Clarke). He established the "definition" for Acid-Jazz in the early 90s, and it's not that "fusion" definition you see on Wiki. No one better. His use of 12-string double-necked Gibsons inspired Jimmy Page, and subsequently Joe Walsh, to do the same. A

Al Dimeola is the best electric guitarist, generally speaking. During his prime, he won 5 Guitar Player of the Year awards - no one has ever repeated this feat, which was during the Eddie Van Halen era. His technique is absolutely flawless in every respect. He used to play Les Paul Customs, but now uses a Paul Reed Smith. Pure American. Listen Check: Egyptian Danza or Tango Suite. His Race with Devil on Spanish Highway is the piece all guitarists dream of being able to play. It is "guitar legend" that he used to practice 12-hours a day. Attended Berklee in Boston. A

Eric Clapton isn't a very good technical player. But he is wildly loved across just about all genres. His 461 Ocean Blvd and Slowhand are classics, and may be of the best rock recordings ever made. My favorite Clapton recordings are the aforementioned titles, and his late 70s kind of country/western stuff with Duck Dunn on bass (viz., bassist from The Blues Brothers). Mostly played "Blackie," which was a black Fender Stratocaster that was assembled from a few different Strats. B-

Steve Howe of Yes is very good, but cannot sight-read. He plays nice lines on a big old Gibson ES, which is his standard axe. He experiments often, and can physically control his instrument well. My favorite of his is the closing solo in Parallels or his pedal-steel playing during the finale of And You And I. B-

George Benson is a great player who is most noted for being able to scat his solos. He is very well known for his take of On Broadway, which is used in All That Jazz. He actually came-up with the Purdie brothers in the 60s. Sometimes his 70s stuff can crossover to R&B. He is a fine player, and generally plays Gibson ES guitars. B+

Mike Oldfield is a decent player, but comes more from a folk style than anything else. I used to like his Tubular Bells when I was young. He's a Brit, and he plays bass too. (As a note, in the history of music, very few, if any, guitarist can actually play a bass properly. The only one example is Walter Becker of Steely Dan. Vai, Oldfield, Hendrix -- these are not bassists in the least.) Generally not my thing, but I can see why people dig him. C+

Larry Carlton is a fantastic American studio player. He did the solo on the Magnum PI main titles, and also played in Tom Scott's LA Connection bands. He plays many different axes, and has played on hundreds of recordings. Super-clean player. B+

Lee Rittenour is a fantastic American studio player. He plays on the Gator ST, and also played on Stevie Wonder records in the 70s. He plays what is basically a customized Strat with his own electronics, and has played on hundreds of recordings. Super-clean player. B+

Steve Lukather is also a fantastic American studio player. He is most noted for playing in the band, Toto, with the famous Porcaro brothers, whose father was a studio drummer on hundreds of STs. Very excellent technically, and really of the new school that started to emerge in the 70s - guitarists educated in music at the university level. Good west-coast player that you would learn from just by listening. B+

Frank Gambale is also a great American studio musician. He plays on the newer Italian Job ST. He has played in Chick Corea's bands on GRP, which is Grusin's label. Very clean player. B+

Wes Montgomery is a classic Gibson ES player that started to make his own records in the 60s on Blue Note. His innovation is simple, but so important: Wes used to play everything in octaves. He did this bc his wife wouldn't let him plug his gear in late-night, so he would use octaves on top of the root so he could actually hear himself play. He is a wonderful spirit, very gracious, and a giving musician. He could not sight-read at all. I love Wes. B

Tal Farlow is known for his ability to solo on one string, which he used to do when he was a kid and broke a string, but couldn't afford a new one to replace it. He has played with everyone of merit in the jazz world, and you can hear his lines on the Ren and Stimpy cartoon from time-to-time. Great great influential player. Mostly played Telecasters. A-

Joe Pass, like Farlow, was very adept at soloing on one string. He also played noted sets with Elle Fitzgerald, and hundreds of others. Definitely the typical old-school clean player you would expect. Mostly played Telecasters, like Farlow. A-

Les Paul is the reason this thread exists. Way way back, he was very skilled technically, and my grandfather used to go see him and his wife play in NYC. He was playing up until he passed a few years ago. A

Bucky and John Pizzarelli are a father and son pair of guitar masters from NJ. Bucky came up in the Golden Age, and can actually be heard on the Hamlisch Bananas ST. Young John is all the rage these days with swing guitar, and he sings very well also. Each are noted for customizing their respective guitars to be 7-string instruments, which would give them more room to solo in the upper registers. A-/A-

Stanley Jordan took the technique invented by Eddie Van Halen, and perfected it. He plays the guitar like a piano, in that he uses both hand to affect pitch. He mostly releases on Blue Note, and I believe legend has it that he was discovered in the NYC subways, where he was playing for change. Very technically amazing and innovative player. A-

Alan Holdsworth is a very excellent 70s guitarist. He is noted for his initial adoption of synth-axes, and for his incredible reach (like 2nd fret to the 12th - yeah, like that). His lines are generally very long, fluid, and super-fast. He's a very academic player. I saw him play with the Breckers and Stanley Clarke in NYC. He, Mclaughlin, and Dimeola defined electric guitar excellence in the 70s. Eddie Van Halen cites AH as an influence. AH will use his left hand to complete chords in the upper register, which gives his music very large spaces. A


Messrs Vai-Satriani-Johnson are the modern day heirs to the legacy of eletric guitar. They are all incredibly talented musicians.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 23, 2013 - 4:24 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

David Gilmour is not very good in any respect.

I don't think I've ever disagreed more with anyone in my life.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 23, 2013 - 4:32 PM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

David Gilmour is not very good in any respect.

I don't think I've ever disagreed more with anyone in my life.



Yeah, I think that was a bit strong too. Gilmour is not a speed player. In most cases speed does not equal talent. Gilmour has the uncanny knack of getting the right feel for whatever song he may be playing and that is infinitely more important than impressing the other musicians in the room. There comes a point where technique stops being musical and it is a talent all unto itself to be able to balance those 2 aspects effectively.

Lex's list is pretty detailed, which is a heck of a lot better than just saying "I don't like this, I only like that". I would disagree with a lot of his opinions, but he worded them pretty well and that is appreciated.

 
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