You are here

Log in or register to post comments
Stephen Mejias
Stephen Mejias's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 2 days ago
Joined: Nov 7 2010 - 3:35pm
Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

With apologies to Jimmy Page, Jack White, The Edge, and women, here are the Top 5 Greatest Guitarists of All Time (for today, listed in alphabetical order according to the third letter of the player

Drtrey3
Drtrey3's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 8 months ago
Joined: Aug 17 2008 - 2:52pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

Hmmm, I have got to agree about Jimi. Add to your list one Phil Keaggy, a Nashvillian who can play amazing rock or amazing acoustic stuff. He has lots of records out, but is not well known because he is a Christian artist.

Jeff Beck can really play, as can Al DiMeola. Marc Ribot has never buttered my toast though.

Fun topic! I can't wait to see who else is mentioned.

Trey

Elk
Elk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: Dec 26 2006 - 6:32am
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

Bill Frisell

And we can't forget Les Paul for innovation in both equipment and playing.

RGibran
RGibran's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: Oct 11 2005 - 5:50pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

Lamont Sanford
Lamont Sanford's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 6 months ago
Joined: Mar 31 2006 - 8:32pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

Oh goodie!

Not in any order:

Jimi
Stevie
Clapton
Beck
Page

I'm a little prejudice on the genre.

Five that didn't make it on my list because they missed a note once:

Ritchie Blackmore
Joe Satriani
Check Berry
Duane Allman
Carlos Santana

Honorary notes:

Chet Atkins
Roy Clark
Marnie Stern
Ruyter Suys
Katherine Thomas

To hell with:

Eddie Van Halen
Ted Nugent
Peter Frampton
Nancy Wilson
Brian May

And now *drum roll*.... Who is this great guitarist (hint: Writes for NPR) And no peeking please.

smejias
smejias's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 years 2 months ago
Joined: Aug 25 2005 - 10:29am
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!


Quote:
Marnie Stern


Nice one!


Quote:
Ruyter Suys


Oh yeah! She kills. She also spit beer on me once!


Quote:
And now *drum roll*.... Who is this great guitarist (hint: Writes for NPR) And no peeking please.


Carrie Brownstein (hot!)

satkinsn
satkinsn's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 9 months ago
Joined: Aug 19 2008 - 4:23am
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

Sonny Sharrock - agreed, 100 percent. 'Ask The Ages' is one of the great albums.

Duane Allman - Very, very, very good guitarists can play lots of notes. Great guitarists can make beautiful, coherent music from them. Duane Allman sang above the notes.

Mississippi John Hurt - You can't find many people who would list him as a great guitarist, but if you look at the influence he had on everyone from John Fahey to Dylan, he is. And the proof of the pudding is...his stuff is a joy to listen to.

Robbie Robertson - Another Duane Allman kind of pick. The man does not waste notes. His solos fit the Band's (and Dylan's wild electric) music perfectly.

Steve Cropper - the best soul guitarist.

Another five:

Bruce Springsteen - what? Am I stupid? Nope. There is no better guitar player over the last 30 years in mainstream rock music, if you pick on the basis of taste, sound, concision, soul. He is severely under-rated.

Eddie Hazel - Was he better than Hendrix? Maybe.

Grant Green - His quartet recordings with Sonny Clark are my favorite jazz guitar.

Hank Garland - Where jazz and country met perfectly.

Neil Young - My reasoning here is exactly like Springsteen, only Young is weirder, deeper, noisier.

Elk
Elk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: Dec 26 2006 - 6:32am
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!


Quote:
Steve Cropper - the best soul guitarist.


Yes! Tasteful, serves the music, never phones in a performance.

Orb
Orb's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: May 28 2009 - 12:51am
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

Now this is a tricky one; do you go for those that managed a great career, experience, talent, or with a mixture of all of those.
From a talent perspective one that is usually missed is Peter Green (the original guitarist and co-creator of Fleetwood Mac), if it was not for his breakdown and drugs abuse beyond most others his could had been one of the most definitive careers.

Both B.B.King and Eric Clapton mention him as one of the greatest, amongst others as well.

Cheers
Orb

Freako
Freako's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 6 days ago
Joined: Jan 17 2010 - 8:29am
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

Are you all nuts? Have anybody heard of Jerry Douglas? Duh!

Lamont Sanford
Lamont Sanford's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 6 months ago
Joined: Mar 31 2006 - 8:32pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

That's not a real guitar.

Drtrey3
Drtrey3's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 8 months ago
Joined: Aug 17 2008 - 2:52pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

Bruce and Neil are great additions.

And that is a guitar whar I cum from. (Nashville.)

And Albert Lee can really pick too. So did Jerry Reed for that matter.

Trey

lionelag
lionelag's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: Apr 18 2007 - 9:40am
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

Just to put out some names that haven't come up, but are worthy of consideration:

Robert Quine (freakiest guitarist/tax lawyer ever)
Ollie Halsall (so unknown that it's a tragedy. One of the best ever-- if you don't know the name, run it through Youtube and be stunned)
Tom Verlaine
Richard Lloyd (He and Verlaine on Television's album Marquee Moon are just incredible)
Albert King (every lick that Stevie Ray Vaughan didn't rip off from Hendrix came from Albert King)
John McLaughlin
Buck Dharma/Don Roeser (Blue Oyster Cult)
Django Reinhardt

Drtrey3
Drtrey3's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 8 months ago
Joined: Aug 17 2008 - 2:52pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

Well said Lionel. I totally agree with all those great guitarists that played with Matthew Sweet! That was some power pop you can believe in!

Trey

Elk
Elk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: Dec 26 2006 - 6:32am
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!


Quote:
Are you all nuts? Have anybody heard of Jerry Douglas


He is indeed excellent!

(While it is a dobro, it is a type of guitar.)

wgriel
wgriel's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 years 11 months ago
Joined: Oct 28 2006 - 6:59pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

While it's hard to leave Jimi off any such list, my (perhaps more unusual choices) include:

- Earl Hooker
- Peter Green
- Rory Gallagher

and for something completely different:
- Lenny Breau

Dr. Spivey
Dr. Spivey's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 5 days ago
Joined: Sep 18 2009 - 5:21pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

Electric:
Jimi Hendrix
Johnny Winter
Roy Buchanan
Barney Kessel
Warren Haynes

Acoustic:
Leo Kottke
Doc Watson
Ed Gerhard
Kenny Sultan
Tommy Emmanuel

j_j
j_j's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 8 months ago
Joined: Mar 13 2009 - 4:22pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

Chet Atkins
Les Paul
Norman Blake
Mark Knopfler.

Honorable mentions to:
Eric Clapton
Jimi

wgriel
wgriel's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 years 11 months ago
Joined: Oct 28 2006 - 6:59pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!


Quote:
Dr. Spivey wrote:

Roy Buchanan

Ooh - forgot about him. Great guitarist and one of my favorites.

Orb
Orb's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: May 28 2009 - 12:51am
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!


Quote:
Are you all nuts? Have anybody heard of Jerry Douglas? Duh!

Hey I am not one to disagree with BB King/Santana/Eric Clapton who have said the same thing about Green
But, his career never matched his talent and that was a shame so if that is part of your criteria I can understand.

Cheers
Orb

Lamont Sanford
Lamont Sanford's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 6 months ago
Joined: Mar 31 2006 - 8:32pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!


Quote:
Oh yeah! She kills. She also spit beer on me once!

We would like to hear that story...

tomjtx
tomjtx's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 11 months ago
Joined: Nov 12 2006 - 2:53pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

No classical guitarists ?
WTF is wrong with you plebe , beer drinking low culture nuts !!!!

OK, just joking.
But how about <rather than "best" we talk about about "favorite" guitarists.
And how about categories:

FAV:

Rock guitarists

Blues (electric)
Blues (acoustic)

Folk

Jazz

Classical

Flamenco

OK here are some classical:

Segovia
John Williams
Pepe Romero
David Russel
Eliot Fisk
Manuel Barrueco
Alvaro Pieri
Pavel Steidl

Composer Guitarists:

Leo Brouwer
Roland Dyens
Carlo Domeniconi

michaelavorgna
michaelavorgna's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Sep 26 2007 - 5:40pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

Here's an interesting bit of news on Robert Johnson from The Guardian -

"We've been listening to the immortal 'King of the Delta Blues' at the wrong speed, but now we can hear him as he intended"

At least 20% faster is the claim and this incorrect speed includes the original 78s. I wonder if I'll like him better with a slow-er hand?

tomjtx
tomjtx's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 11 months ago
Joined: Nov 12 2006 - 2:53pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

Flamenco:

Paco de Lucia
Gerardo Nunez
Manitas de Plata
Paco Pena

tomjtx
tomjtx's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 11 months ago
Joined: Nov 12 2006 - 2:53pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

Folk/Acoustic:

Michael Hedges
John Fahey
Michael Chapdelaine

satkinsn
satkinsn's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 9 months ago
Joined: Aug 19 2008 - 4:23am
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!


Quote:

and for something completely different:
- Lenny Breau

Very good pick.

s.

bertdw
bertdw's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: Sep 18 2007 - 5:41am
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

Perhaps he belongs in the "my favorites" category instead of "the greatest," but...

Steve Hackett

mmole
mmole's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Aug 31 2005 - 7:29pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

Jazz (improv. and experimental):
-Derek Bailey
-Keith Rowe
-Nels Cline
-Masayuki Takayanagi
-Pete Cosey

Folk (English Premier League)
-Richard Thompson
-Bert Jansch
-Davy Graham
-John Renbourn
-Wizz Jones

tomjtx
tomjtx's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 11 months ago
Joined: Nov 12 2006 - 2:53pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

The coolest thing about this thread is the guitarists I haven't heard about.
Time to hit Rhapsody , youtube etc. to take a listen.

Great thread, Stephen

smejias
smejias's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 years 2 months ago
Joined: Aug 25 2005 - 10:29am
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!


Quote:

Quote:
Oh yeah! She kills. She also spit beer on me once!

We would like to hear that story...


Have you ever seen Nashville Pussy play live? If you're anywhere near the stage, you're definitely going home (if you go home at all) covered in beer. And maybe with a few burns.

That band is exhausting!

smejias
smejias's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 years 2 months ago
Joined: Aug 25 2005 - 10:29am
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!


Quote:
Honorable mentions to:
Eric Clapton
Jimi


This is surprising to me. Why do you only give Jimi an honorable mention? I think he's one of the most innovative and influential guitarists.

smejias
smejias's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 years 2 months ago
Joined: Aug 25 2005 - 10:29am
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!


Quote:
At least 20% faster is the claim and this incorrect speed includes the original 78s. I wonder if I'll like him better with a slow-er hand?


Awesome. I need to hear those slower versions!

Orb
Orb's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: May 28 2009 - 12:51am
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!


Quote:

Quote:
Honorable mentions to:
Eric Clapton
Jimi


This is surprising to me. Why do you only give Jimi an honorable mention? I think he's one of the most innovative and influential guitarists.

You lose points for forgetting that a guitar is played with hands - never teeth, and its meant to be played from the front - never over head

Definitely one of the most influential, but then from that perspective you also have Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Page and also Nirvana with Kurt Cobain, IMO.

Cheers
Orb

smejias
smejias's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 years 2 months ago
Joined: Aug 25 2005 - 10:29am
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!


Quote:

Quote:

Quote:
Honorable mentions to:
Eric Clapton
Jimi


This is surprising to me. Why do you only give Jimi an honorable mention? I think he's one of the most innovative and influential guitarists.

You lose points for forgetting that a guitar is played with hands - never teeth, and its meant to be played from the front - never over head


Of course! What was I thinking?


Quote:
Definitely one of the most influential, but then from that perspective you also have Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Page and also Nirvana with Kurt Cobain, IMO.


Yup. Good points. I guess what I'm saying is that Jimi Hendrix is and, I believe, will continue to be, more influential than either Jimmy Page or Kurt Cobain. (Edit: I don't mean to take anything away from those guys, though. They are extremely important and awesome players.)

Lamont Sanford
Lamont Sanford's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 6 months ago
Joined: Mar 31 2006 - 8:32pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!


Quote:
Have you ever seen Nashville Pussy play live?

I wouldn't go anywhere near that swamp....

smejias
smejias's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 years 2 months ago
Joined: Aug 25 2005 - 10:29am
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!


Quote:
Jazz (improv. and experimental):
-Derek Bailey
-Keith Rowe
-Nels Cline
-Masayuki Takayanagi
-Pete Cosey


Excellent! As far as "experimental" guitarists go, I want to add to the list Sarah Lipstate (aka Noveller). She really impresses me.

lionelag
lionelag's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: Apr 18 2007 - 9:40am
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

Experimental? Add Henry Kaiser to the list. (Lots of his live work is available for free in high-res on archive.org, incidentally. Being a trust-fund baby means that he gets to release lots of freebies for his fans. )

Influential is an odd concept. Every one of the UK guitarists mentioned in this thread would mention Hank Marvin of the Shadows as an influence, but I doubt the Shadows even had a gold record on this side of the pond. Chuck Berry, who is considered pretty much the founding rock guitarist in the US, will tell anyone who asks that he learned everything he knows from T-Bone Walker records. And he's right, except that T-Bone could have played circles around him. Likewise, there isn't a jazz guitarist in the world who wouldn't cop to a Charlie Christian influence, but Christian (who died of TB in his early 20s) has such a small body of recorded work (mostly backing up Benny Goodman) that most non-guitarist jazz fans have never heard of him, and if they have, it's because of a really crappy-sounding bootleg acetate where he's jamming with Thelonius Monk and playing bebop years before the term was invented...

j_j
j_j's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 8 months ago
Joined: Mar 13 2009 - 4:22pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!


Quote:

Quote:
Honorable mentions to:
Eric Clapton
Jimi


This is surprising to me. Why do you only give Jimi an honorable mention? I think he's one of the most innovative and influential guitarists.

From me an honorable mention is pretty good, I'm told.

But why? To me it's the sense of effortless performance. And it's hard, hard, hard to beat Chet for that.

I think "folk" myself, with a drift into the real "country" music (not the Nashvile (sic) version) when I think guitar.

If you said "electric guitar" I'd include Jimi, Page, Fripp, Clapton, perhaps Les Paul (yeah, it is electric, but not what you youngsters think of as electric )... I'm probably leaving somebody out, but that's what comes to mind.

King Krimson, LZ, Dire Straits (but that's already mentioned), Uriah Heep (surprise!), Green Day come to mind as bands that use guitars well.

Pink Floyd I put into its own catagory, ditto Queen. Hard to characterize a band that did "I'm in love with my car" and "39" on the same album.

j_j
j_j's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 8 months ago
Joined: Mar 13 2009 - 4:22pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!


Quote:
Jazz (improv. and experimental):
-Derek Bailey
-Keith Rowe
-Nels Cline
-Masayuki Takayanagi
-Pete Cosey

Folk (English Premier League)
-Richard Thompson
-Bert Jansch
-Davy Graham
-John Renbourn
-Wizz Jones

Isn't one of those a flautist?

j_j
j_j's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 8 months ago
Joined: Mar 13 2009 - 4:22pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!


Quote:
The coolest thing about this thread is the guitarists I haven't heard about.

You're not the only one taking notes.

Freako
Freako's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 6 days ago
Joined: Jan 17 2010 - 8:29am
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!


Quote:

Quote:
Are you all nuts? Have anybody heard of Jerry Douglas


He is indeed excellent!

(While it is a dobro, it is a type of guitar.)

Thanks! At least one who understand!

tomjtx
tomjtx's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 11 months ago
Joined: Nov 12 2006 - 2:53pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

Allow me to expound a bit on my list of Composer guitarists;

Rolan Dyens has a lot of jazz influence in his composing.
His arrangements of some jazz standards are unbelievable. You can hear a trio with "vocals" all from one little classical guitar.
He wrote an homage to Frank Zappa that is very interesting.

Carlo Domeniconi wrote an Homage to Jimi Hendrix and check out Carlo's most known piece; Koyambaba on you tube.
Tons of classical guitarists have put their performances of Koyambaba on you tube. Johns Williams recording of that piece is exceptional.

Check out Leo Brouwer's El Decameron Negro.

I forgot about Sergio Assad's "Aquarelle"

David Russel's recording of that is superb
on that same Cd David records Ben Verdery's music.
In fact that whole CD is music written for David by other guitarists.
David won the Grammy for best solo classical album in 2004. He records for Telarc.

I think you guys would like most of these recommendations............let me know if you hear some of them.

tomjtx
tomjtx's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 11 months ago
Joined: Nov 12 2006 - 2:53pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!


Quote:

Quote:

Quote:
Are you all nuts? Have anybody heard of Jerry Douglas


He is indeed excellent!

(While it is a dobro, it is a type of guitar.)

Thanks! At least one who understand!

The dobro is one cool instrument.

tomjtx
tomjtx's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 11 months ago
Joined: Nov 12 2006 - 2:53pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

OOPS, forgot about Pavel Steidl's composing.
When Pavel plays 19th century music he seems like the reincarnation of Paganini.
His amazing virtuosity takes back seat to the organic musicianship.
Scales don't sound like scales, they sound like melody sung through the guitar.

He learned to do dual tone humming with circular breathing.
He wrote a piece for guitar that uses that technique.

When Pavel plays Domeniconi's Homage to Hendrix you have the feeling he is channeling Hendrix as a classical guitarist...........it is uncanny.

mark evans
mark evans's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: May 5 2010 - 4:06pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

1. Eric Johnson
2. Pat Metheny
3. Tuck Andress
4. Shawn Lane
5. Sabicas

tomjtx
tomjtx's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 years 11 months ago
Joined: Nov 12 2006 - 2:53pm
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!


Quote:
1. Eric Johnson
2. Pat Metheny
3. Tuck Andress
4. Shawn Lane
5. Sabicas

Don't know Shawn Lane but I really like all the rest, I'll have to hunt for Shawn.

Tuck's arrangement of somewhere over the rainbow is killer.
One of my students adapted it for classical guitar and he plays it very well.......hhmmm I've got to learn that piece , I had forgotten all about it.

ncdrawl
ncdrawl's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 years 9 months ago
Joined: Oct 18 2008 - 9:18am
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

Doc Watson
Clarence White
Elliot Smith
Jerry Reed
Merle Travis
Buster B. Jones
Thom Bresh
Pat Donahue
Rev. Gary Davis
David Bromberg
Earl Klugh
Peppino D'Agostino
Mississippi John Hurt
Don Alder
Pierre Bensusan
Peter Finger
Martin Taylor
Richard Thompson
John Fahey
Robbie Basho
Bill Fay
Tommy Emmanuel
John Renbourn
Buddy Emmons
Speedy West
Bert Jansch
Cindy Cashdollar
Derek Bailey
jack Rose
Anne Briggs
Sabicus
Leo Kottke

ncdrawl
ncdrawl's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 years 9 months ago
Joined: Oct 18 2008 - 9:18am
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!


Quote:
Jerry Douglas

you must buy this album, Keld

http://www.amazon.com/Great-Dobro-Sessions-Various-Artists/dp/B000000EYC

Freako
Freako's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 6 days ago
Joined: Jan 17 2010 - 8:29am
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!


Quote:

Quote:
Jerry Douglas

you must buy this album, Keld

http://www.amazon.com/Great-Dobro-Sessions-Various-Artists/dp/B000000EYC

Just did! Thanks for the heads-up

Freako
Freako's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 6 days ago
Joined: Jan 17 2010 - 8:29am
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

I am absolutely crazy about the double CD: Alison Krauss + Union Station LIVE, especially CD #2 where Jerry starts the session with 2 wonderful tracks: "A tribute to Peador O'Donnel" and "Monkey let the hogs out"

rvance
rvance's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 5 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2007 - 9:58am
Re: Top 5 of All-Time: Guitarists!

Two disparate types who haven't been mentioned (or great guitarists with matching initials ):

Steve Stevens
John Jorgenson

Pages

  • X