Forum Settings
Forums

Who is the greatest guitarist ever and why do you think so?

#1
Feb 18, 2015 3:55 PM

Offline
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 8885
I was listening to django Reinhardt and for the first time in a while I was really impressed with someone's guitar playing. Haven't listened to a lot of music that old but he is damn good and inspired me to make this thread.


Please though for the love of God give a serious answer and reason!
 
#2
Feb 18, 2015 4:42 PM
Offline
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 57
When I hear Van Halen's melodic guitar riffs and solos I am always blown away. Nothing sticks in my head like this heavenly tune:



Notable mention:


 
#3
Feb 18, 2015 4:57 PM

Offline
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 1830
Robert Johnson. His skills came directly from the devil. Surely he had fair amount of talent when it came to the guitar.
 
#4
Feb 18, 2015 5:17 PM

Offline
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 3237
If we are talking about Rock guitarist then Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin. My reasons are:



If we are talking about overall best guitarist in ever. In my opinion, Andres Segovia. The guy was an absolute master, whether or not you like Spanish Guitar you can't deny his legendary skill.



Notable mention, Paco De Lucia

 
#5
Feb 18, 2015 5:32 PM

Offline
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 861
Joe Pass, Paco de Lucia, Wes Montgomery.

Personal favorites are: Les Paul, Chet Atkins, Wes Montgomery, Mark Knopfler, John Schofield and Charlie Hunter. Some blues guitarists, such as: Lightnin' Hopkins, B.B, Duane Allman, Muddy and Howlin Wolf are great as well, although I'm not an avid blues listener. I guess Hendrix deserves an honorable mention. Personally, not a big fan of Jimmy Page but he is widely claimed to be one of the best guitarists as well as Clapton and Stevie Ray. That being said, you have to appreciate the skills of a flamenco guitarist. They seriously surprise me every time.
 
#6
Feb 18, 2015 5:38 PM

Offline
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 3237
TaiyoToTsuki said:
Joe Pass, Paco de Lucia, Wes Montgomery.

Personal favorites are: Les Paul, Chet Atkins, Wes Montgomery, Mark Knopfler, John Schofield and Charlie Hunter. Some blues guitarists, such as: Lightnin' Hopkins, B.B, Duane Allman, Muddy and Howlin Wolf are great as well, although I'm not an avid blues listener. I guess Hendrix deserves an honorable mention. Personally, not a big fan of Jimmy Page but he is widely claimed to be one of the best guitarists as well as Clapton and Stevie Ray. That being said, you have to appreciate the skills of a flamenco guitarist. They seriously surprise me every time.


Yep, all those guitarist you mentioned are god tier. It's a tough choice for me between Jimmy Page and Clapton, they are both amazing. I just think Stairway to Heaven was as close to perfection as you can get. A bit of a side note, but I think people overrate Jimi Hendrix all the time. Yes, the man was insanely good with the guitar but better than Page or Clapton eh I don't think so.

And yeah, Flamenco guitarist are on another level. I know that most people immediately think of Rock guitarist when they are asked this question but in terms of sheer skill and tempo I can't think of a more impressive style. Not that I'm trying to diminish how amazing a lot of Rock guitarist are.

Also, I totally agree with B.B. King he's one of my favorite guitarist ever. I love his music.
Modified by FullmetalRaikou, Feb 18, 2015 5:43 PM
 
#7
Feb 18, 2015 5:59 PM

Offline
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 8885
Fullmetal89 said:
TaiyoToTsuki said:
Joe Pass, Paco de Lucia, Wes Montgomery.

Personal favorites are: Les Paul, Chet Atkins, Wes Montgomery, Mark Knopfler, John Schofield and Charlie Hunter. Some blues guitarists, such as: Lightnin' Hopkins, B.B, Duane Allman, Muddy and Howlin Wolf are great as well, although I'm not an avid blues listener. I guess Hendrix deserves an honorable mention. Personally, not a big fan of Jimmy Page but he is widely claimed to be one of the best guitarists as well as Clapton and Stevie Ray. That being said, you have to appreciate the skills of a flamenco guitarist. They seriously surprise me every time.


Yep, all those guitarist you mentioned are god tier. It's a tough choice for me between Jimmy Page and Clapton, they are both amazing. I just think Stairway to Heaven was as close to perfection as you can get. A bit of a side note, but I think people overrate Jimi Hendrix all the time. Yes, the man was insanely good with the guitar but better than Page or Clapton eh I don't think so.

And yeah, Flamenco guitarist are on another level. I know that most people immediately think of Rock guitarist when they are asked this question but in terms of sheer skill and tempo I can't think of a more impressive style. Not that I'm trying to diminish how amazing a lot of Rock guitarist are.

Also, I totally agree with B.B. King he's one of my favorite guitarist ever. I love his music.


Jimi Hendrix was more innovative with the guitar than Jimmy Page. He played the guitar with his teeth and found new sounds and stuff like that. I like both Page and Hendrix about equal though. I think Michael Karoli was better than both though.
 
#8
Feb 18, 2015 6:05 PM

Offline
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 3237
Waifu_Strangler said:
Fullmetal89 said:


Yep, all those guitarist you mentioned are god tier. It's a tough choice for me between Jimmy Page and Clapton, they are both amazing. I just think Stairway to Heaven was as close to perfection as you can get. A bit of a side note, but I think people overrate Jimi Hendrix all the time. Yes, the man was insanely good with the guitar but better than Page or Clapton eh I don't think so.

And yeah, Flamenco guitarist are on another level. I know that most people immediately think of Rock guitarist when they are asked this question but in terms of sheer skill and tempo I can't think of a more impressive style. Not that I'm trying to diminish how amazing a lot of Rock guitarist are.

Also, I totally agree with B.B. King he's one of my favorite guitarist ever. I love his music.


Jimi Hendrix was more innovative with the guitar than Jimmy Page. He played the guitar with his teeth and found new sounds and stuff like that. I like both Page and Hendrix about equal though. I think Michael Karoli was better than both though.


Meh, I guess I'm just tired of seeing him as number 1 in all the "Top 100 Guitarist" charts out there. I don't dislike his music, I just don't find him as good as some other guitarist of his time. I will say that he was definitely an iconic figure of the era. He embodies the 1960s better than anybody else.
 
#9
Feb 18, 2015 6:32 PM

Offline
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 8885
Fullmetal89 said:
Waifu_Strangler said:


Jimi Hendrix was more innovative with the guitar than Jimmy Page. He played the guitar with his teeth and found new sounds and stuff like that. I like both Page and Hendrix about equal though. I think Michael Karoli was better than both though.


Meh, I guess I'm just tired of seeing him as number 1 in all the "Top 100 Guitarist" charts out there. I don't dislike his music, I just don't find him as good as some other guitarist of his time. I will say that he was definitely an iconic figure of the era. He embodies the 1960s better than anybody else.


I can see where your coming from for sure but I wouldn't say he's necessarily overrated. His impact is undeniable.
 
Feb 18, 2015 6:35 PM

Offline
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 6
I think a lot of great guitarists have been posted above. Hendrix obviously is the first person on anyone's mind when this topic comes up as he was an absolute revolutionary.

HOWEVER, I'd have to say that a top contender would have to be John Petrucci. Technical mastery of nearly every technique that exists on the guitar, some of the best songwriting that exists in rock and metal (and I daresay in general), and a world class audio engineer.
 
Feb 18, 2015 6:38 PM

Offline
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 4411
Andres Segovia, because he was mentor of some of the best guitarists ever like John Williams and Narciso Yepes. Plus he was a fine interpreter himself.
 
Feb 18, 2015 7:29 PM

Offline
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 743
Like I said in the drummer thread, I don't think it's possible for there to be a "best" at any aspect of music, but I can come up with a list my person favorites.

1. Agata Ichirou (Melt-Banana)
2. Robert Frip (King Crimson)
3. Leo Kottke
4. Fred Frith (Henry Cow, Art Bears, etc.)
5. Christopher Arp (PsyOpus)

Honorable mentions to Steve Howe, Adrian Belew, Nick Reinhart, Omar Rodríguez-López, and Frank Zappa.
私のホバークラフトは鰻でいっぱいです
 
Feb 18, 2015 7:40 PM
otaking
Offline
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 24959
cui jian
tomoyasu hotei
Iwasaki Takafumi
Jimmy Page
pete townshend
HIDE
Yasu
Yamashita Kazuhito [ The best guitarrist Japan has ever produced and one of the top 20 ever
"If you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine"

When the union's inspiration through the workers' blood shall run
There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun
Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one
For the Union makes us strong
 
Feb 18, 2015 7:56 PM

Offline
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 861
Fullmetal89 said:
Waifu_Strangler said:


Jimi Hendrix was more innovative with the guitar than Jimmy Page. He played the guitar with his teeth and found new sounds and stuff like that. I like both Page and Hendrix about equal though. I think Michael Karoli was better than both though.


Meh, I guess I'm just tired of seeing him as number 1 in all the "Top 100 Guitarist" charts out there. I don't dislike his music, I just don't find him as good as some other guitarist of his time. I will say that he was definitely an iconic figure of the era. He embodies the 1960s better than anybody else.


I agree with this so much. I also wouldn't necessarily say he is overrated, but half of the votes for Jimi Hendrix are just sheep who vote for him as the best guitarist just because he is iconic, which is commonly seen with Slash as well.

Yeah, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page is hard to compete. Comically enough they both have similar titled song which are both very iconic: Tears of Heaven and Stairway to Heaven. Although Lalya might be Clapton's biggest hit.

B.B was extremely influential figure. His blues will heal someone...
 
Feb 18, 2015 9:41 PM

Offline
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 3237


Yeah, I know it's kind of a petty thing to criticize Hendrix over. Especially since the poor guy couldn't even live long enough to enjoy his fame. I think that's part of the reason he has that legendary status. Nobody will ever know how he would have transitioned through the decades. He died in 1970s, so we never really got to see his style evolve. A lot of great musicians have failed to adapt to the changes in music and never recover. I think that's important when looking at 'the best' of anything.

B.B. King is the guy I make people listen to when they tell me 'they don't like blues music.' Speaking of which I also highly recommend Bill Withers and Marvin Gaye.
Modified by FullmetalRaikou, Feb 18, 2015 9:44 PM
 
Feb 20, 2015 3:38 AM

Offline
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 2735
It's difficult to say who is the greatest, it depends on the evaluation criteria.
Frank Zappa sure is important, but he's more important as a composer rather than as a guitarist.
Allan Holdsworth deserves a mention. His experimentations with harmony and with the SynthAxe are truly interesting.
Another nice guitarist whose name is well known but his music isn't, is Shawn Lane. I would have liked to hear more of his music.
 
Feb 21, 2015 9:55 AM
Offline
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 10
Even I think that there cannot be a "greatest guitarists". I find Roy Buchanan's and Rory Gallagher's works really moving. They're definitely worth checking out -



 
Feb 21, 2015 12:31 PM

Offline
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 15
From an objective standpoint I'd say Jimi Hendrix.

Personally my favourite would be Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age or J Mascis from Dinosaur Jr.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IC9CZyHLn3M
 
Feb 21, 2015 5:27 PM

Offline
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1667
I'm partial to American Primitivism: Fahey, Kottke, Basho. Bishop and Blackshaw for newer stuff.

 
Feb 21, 2015 11:10 PM

Offline
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 73
I don't know about "greatest" since it's all subjective, but my favorites would be Kevin Shields, Eric Clapton, and St. Vincent (Annie Clark). All three of those people are really inspirational for me personally.

Everyone knows Clapton but here's two great videos of Shields and St. Vincent talking about guitar playing:
 
Feb 22, 2015 12:29 AM

Offline
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 3354
Allan Holdsworth... in terms of technical skill/knowledge and complexity, on a different level than everyone else (guys like Frank Zappa and John McLaughlin have said as much too):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMi2mCe7CKg

Roine Stolt... the greatest melodic player ever, in my view. He combines many of the best aspects of Hackett, Fripp, Zappa, Gilmour, Howe etc.:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTLTtCkvkAk

Frank Zappa... a virtuoso and genius composer, enough said:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUja5B8ei2U

Steve Hackett... the best tone and some of the best melodic playing ever. Mainly he's a great composer, but the key is that he's a great composer for guitar (this one's a Genesis tune so the chord progression probably isn't his, but the solo undoubtedly is):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLTlAnVUx3A
Modified by Altairius, Feb 22, 2015 3:25 AM
 
Feb 22, 2015 12:49 AM

Offline
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 7954
it's impossible to know who the best is, purely in terms of technical skill. and if you also factor in songwriting abilites, innovation, etc. it just turns into a popularity contest.
that said i think these guys are pretty good. i'm not even into prog metal or shredding but can't not appreciate skill when you see it.



Chikaji said:
i, personally, would gladly be fisted by every single strong female character until my asshole explodes, permanently rendering me into a coma
 
Feb 22, 2015 12:50 AM

Offline
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 914
If we're talking about pure technical skill, then I don't really give a fuck who's the best. But if we're talking about riff-writing ability, then Chuck Schuldiner.

 
Feb 22, 2015 10:42 PM

Offline
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 8889

Paul Gilbert and buckethead
I prefer buckethead since he is more buckety


 
Feb 23, 2015 4:13 PM

Offline
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 43
In terms of fingerstyle, I've got to say it's Tommy Emmanuel, hands down.
 
Feb 24, 2015 10:55 AM

Offline
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 387
J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.)
Johnny Mar (the Smiths)
Jan Akkerman (Focus)

They are all very good
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
 
Feb 24, 2015 11:26 PM

Offline
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 997
TaiyoToTsuki said:
Joe Pass, Paco de Lucia, Wes Montgomery.

Personal favorites are: Les Paul, Chet Atkins, Wes Montgomery, Mark Knopfler, John Schofield and Charlie Hunter. Some blues guitarists, such as: Lightnin' Hopkins, B.B, Duane Allman, Muddy and Howlin Wolf are great as well, although I'm not an avid blues listener. I guess Hendrix deserves an honorable mention. Personally, not a big fan of Jimmy Page but he is widely claimed to be one of the best guitarists as well as Clapton and Stevie Ray. That being said, you have to appreciate the skills of a flamenco guitarist. They seriously surprise me every time.
 
Feb 25, 2015 12:03 AM

Offline
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 938
So how he's evaded this thread I haven't the slightest clue but; Joe Satriani. 15 time grammy winner as a 'instrumental guitarist', making him the most decorated guitar player in his category ever.

He has taught some of the most well known guitarist of todays time; Steve Vai and Kirk Hammet just to name some. He also had extreme influence over shreading/virtuoso guitarists like Yngwie Malmsteen, David Scott(Megadeth lead), Tom Morello(Rage Against the Machine) and Eric Johnson(Artist of 'Cliffs of Dover'). Which are also other guitarist that I haven't the slightest clue have not turned up on this thread.
I am on the edge ! The edge of the edgiest edge ever edged by edgekind !
я умерте ужасну депрессии...

 
Feb 25, 2015 12:37 AM

Offline
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 1276
Dave Mustaine and Angus Young are in my opinion the best guitarists ever!


I draw stuffzzz 》》Deviantart《《


 
Feb 25, 2015 3:07 AM

Offline
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 2735
MorsPulchra said:
So how he's evaded this thread I haven't the slightest clue but; Joe Satriani. 15 time grammy winner as a 'instrumental guitarist', making him the most decorated guitar player in his category ever.

He has taught some of the most well known guitarist of todays time; Steve Vai and Kirk Hammet just to name some. He also had extreme influence over shreading/virtuoso guitarists like Yngwie Malmsteen, David Scott(Megadeth lead), Tom Morello(Rage Against the Machine) and Eric Johnson(Artist of 'Cliffs of Dover'). Which are also other guitarist that I haven't the slightest clue have not turned up on this thread.

Few metal virtuoso guitarists have been mentioned. I used to like them but now I think they're pretty boring.
Between the guitarists you mentioned, Eric Johnson is my favorite.
 
Feb 28, 2015 5:52 AM
Offline
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 18
Fullmetal89 said:
TaiyoToTsuki said:
Joe Pass, Paco de Lucia, Wes Montgomery.

Personal favorites are: Les Paul, Chet Atkins, Wes Montgomery, Mark Knopfler, John Schofield and Charlie Hunter. Some blues guitarists, such as: Lightnin' Hopkins, B.B, Duane Allman, Muddy and Howlin Wolf are great as well, although I'm not an avid blues listener. I guess Hendrix deserves an honorable mention. Personally, not a big fan of Jimmy Page but he is widely claimed to be one of the best guitarists as well as Clapton and Stevie Ray. That being said, you have to appreciate the skills of a flamenco guitarist. They seriously surprise me every time.


Yep, all those guitarist you mentioned are god tier. It's a tough choice for me between Jimmy Page and Clapton, they are both amazing. I just think Stairway to Heaven was as close to perfection as you can get. A bit of a side note, but I think people overrate Jimi Hendrix all the time. Yes, the man was insanely good with the guitar but better than Page or Clapton eh I don't think so.

And yeah, Flamenco guitarist are on another level. I know that most people immediately think of Rock guitarist when they are asked this question but in terms of sheer skill and tempo I can't think of a more impressive style. Not that I'm trying to diminish how amazing a lot of Rock guitarist are.

Also, I totally agree with B.B. King he's one of my favorite guitarist ever. I love his music.


Jimi Hendrix overrated? Are you fucking kidding me?
The guy reinvented the goddamn electric guitar...he's pretty much responsible for any type of guitar music genre that came after his death in some way or another because of that
Even Clapton himself would laugh if you told him he was better than Jimi

If anything Jimi is underrated nowadays because most people only listen to like 5 of his most popular songs and don't dig deep into his discography at all
Jimi ain't overrated...none of the American Musicians from the 60s are overrated at all compared to the freaking British Invasion which is overrated as hell
You don't see people talk nearly as much about Bob Dylan,Jimi Hendrix,Jim Morrison/The Doors etc. as they do about The Beatles(most overrated band of all time),Clapton,Rolling Stones,Black Sabbath,Led Zeppelin(even more overrated than The Beatles) or whatever Popular British Band at the time

Jimmy Page and fucking Clapton better than Hendrix? There's retarded and then there's absolute retarded
 
Feb 28, 2015 6:00 AM
Offline
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 18
One of the best Jams ever
 
Feb 28, 2015 11:38 AM

Offline
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 8885
damn1 said:
Fullmetal89 said:


Yep, all those guitarist you mentioned are god tier. It's a tough choice for me between Jimmy Page and Clapton, they are both amazing. I just think Stairway to Heaven was as close to perfection as you can get. A bit of a side note, but I think people overrate Jimi Hendrix all the time. Yes, the man was insanely good with the guitar but better than Page or Clapton eh I don't think so.

And yeah, Flamenco guitarist are on another level. I know that most people immediately think of Rock guitarist when they are asked this question but in terms of sheer skill and tempo I can't think of a more impressive style. Not that I'm trying to diminish how amazing a lot of Rock guitarist are.

Also, I totally agree with B.B. King he's one of my favorite guitarist ever. I love his music.


Jimi Hendrix overrated? Are you fucking kidding me?
The guy reinvented the goddamn electric guitar...he's pretty much responsible for any type of guitar music genre that came after his death in some way or another because of that
Even Clapton himself would laugh if you told him he was better than Jimi

If anything Jimi is underrated nowadays because most people only listen to like 5 of his most popular songs and don't dig deep into his discography at all
Jimi ain't overrated...none of the American Musicians from the 60s are overrated at all compared to the freaking British Invasion which is overrated as hell
You don't see people talk nearly as much about Bob Dylan,Jimi Hendrix,Jim Morrison/The Doors etc. as they do about The Beatles(most overrated band of all time),Clapton,Rolling Stones,Black Sabbath,Led Zeppelin(even more overrated than The Beatles) or whatever Popular British Band at the time

Jimmy Page and fucking Clapton better than Hendrix? There's retarded and then there's absolute retarded


Can't take you seriously after calling The Beatles overrated. British made better music than Americans that's a fact.
 
Feb 28, 2015 12:02 PM

Offline
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 87
As a musician, songwriter, and guitarist of ten years now, I have to disappoint everyone and agree with almost all of the experts in this area: Jimi Hendrix. I have simply heard nobody since who approaches not just the freeflow originality and skill of this man, but his recording artist skills and his ability to tie lyrics and music together are also a pure ten out of ten. There is a reason he's always top of the list, lists made by musicians for musicians, these people know what they're talking about(argument from authority I know). I do not like how the question is posed, I'd rather it be "Who is the most interesting guitarist in your opinion", because I simply will not argue that Hendrix was not the best.

However, Doc Watson and plenty of other guitarists possess technical skills that Jimi Hendrix did not, though I am thinking of the overall product of sound involved and not merely how skilled someone is at playing the thing. Hendrix's originality and the pure emotion and thoughts he conveys with a guitar are unmatched.

I don't even listen to Jimi anymore, got burnt out on that when I was sixteen, I'm much more interested in the works of Daniel Rossen and Pete Huttlinger, I have been playing guitar for ten years and I idolize these two guitarists much more than I idolize Hendrix. I'm just recognizing the fact that they do not have the raw unimaginable, unrealistic talent that Jimi possessed for a constant stream of absurdly beautiful and emotionally inspiring sound.
 
Feb 28, 2015 1:17 PM

Offline
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 87
retrogamer32x said:
Well look, if we're going on raw innovation, Les Paul wins hands down. But, where are these lists "by musicians for musicians"? I know plenty of critics (who I might not agree with) that would take Albert King over Hendrix, it all comes down to individual taste and perception.



Don't pretend that Hendrix doesn't sit at the top of almost every single best guitarist list.
 
Top