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We haven't had one of these in a while. Name your top 25 list of guitar players considering: ones that you like to listen to the most, most influential, best technically, best artist/musician.


My list (in order):


1) Chet Atkins

2) Hendrix

3) Pat Metheny

4) Wes Montgomery

5) Jeff Beck

6) Joe Pass

7) Satriani

8) SRV

9) Tommy Emmanuel

10) Jimmy Page

11) Mark Knopfler

12) Kenny Burrell

13) Adrian Belew

14) Carlos Santana

15) Clapton

16) Danny Gatton

17) Richard Thompson

18) E. Van Halen

19) David Gilmour

20) John McLaughlin

21) Peter Green

22) Steve Vai

23) Warren Haynes

24) Gary Moore

25) Eric Johnson

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Here's mine...not in order...


1. Julian Bream

2. Johnny Winter

3. Segovia

4. Al DiMeola

5. Paul McCartney

6. Hank Marvin

7. Stephen Stills

8. John McLaughlin

9. Albert Lee

10. Chet Atkins

11. John Renbourn

12. Eric Clapton

13. Edge

14. Jeff Beck

15. Jimmy Page

16. Wes Montgomery

17. Joe Pass

18. John Williams

19. James Taylor

20. Duck Baker

21. Stephan Grossman

22. Peter Green

23. Mick Taylor

24. George Harrison

25. Pete Townsend





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My list:

1. Alex Lifeson

2. Steve Howe

3. Eddie Van Halen

4. Jimmy Page

5. Ted Nugent

6. Peter Frampton

7. Jimmy Hendrix

8. Joe Satriani

9. Mark Knopfler

10. Carlos Santana

11. David Gilmour

12. Eric Johnson

13. Tony Iommi

14. Steve Vai

15. Michael Schanker (spelling?)

16. Eric Clapton

17. Ronnie Montrose

18. SRV

19. Nancy Wilson

20. Sammy Hagar

21. Joe Walsh

22. Joe Perry

23. Robin Trower

24. Ian Anderson (Acoustic)

25. Dickie Betts

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Heres mine - i = indie artist


Matt Otten (i)

Jeff Healey

Brian May

Antonio Forcione

Logan Gabriel (i)

Carlos Bonell

Randy Rhoads

Janet Robin (i)

Marcelo Kayath

Robbie Krieger

Julian Bream

John 5

Johnny A

Chet Atkins

Jimmy Rossenberg

Robert Cray

Randy Rhoads

Howard Alden

Charlie Christian

Django Reinhard

Jimmy Page

Jimi Hendrix

Frank Zappa

Peter Green

Bernie Torme

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Great Topic...I'll give it a go.




1. Peter Green

2. Leslie West

3. Robin Trower

4. Mike McCready

5. Danny Kirwan

6. Stone Gossard

7. Neil Young

8. Danny Whitten

9. Freddie King

10 Clapton

11. Chuck Berry

12. Jimmy Page

13. Pete Towshend

14. Stephen Stills

15. Paul McCartney....learned how to fingerpick from Blackbird...influential as it taught me how to rap that thumb and get the bassnotes. =)

16. Malcolm Young

17. Kim Thayil

18. Saul Hudson

19. Dan Aurebach

20. Gordie Johnson

21. Joe Bonamassa

22. Angus Young

23. Neil Casal

24. George Harrison

25. John Fogerty













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After the first 3, it's in no particular order:


1. Jimi Hendrix

2. Jimmy Page

3. Stevie Ray Vaughan

4. B.B. King

5. Angus Young

6. Slash

7.Pete Townshend

8. George Harrison

9. Joe Pass

10. David Gilmour

11. Eric Clapton

12. Jeff Beck

13. Derek Trucks

14. Albert King

15. Feddy King

16. Tom Scholz

17. Billy Gibbons

18. Mark Farner

19. Duane Allman

20. Robert Johnson

21. Eddie Van Halen

22. Keith Richards

23. Chuck Berry

24. Buddy Guy

25. Mark Knopfler



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I think we have some problems here because in one sense, we're not talking about one instrument, but several.


The classical guitar as we know it today ... there's a long list of guys who did special things for the instrument, but certainly Segovia in the era of sound recording deserves the term, "Master."


Then there's a similar one in ways, Carlos Montoya who somehow managed to bring Flamenco into position of solo guitar apart from dance groups.


Steel string guitar? In ways you might make a case that the instrument(s) didn't really exist until the recording era, at least made as they're generally in use today.


But... Mother Maybelle for "folky-proto-country," dozens of better and lesser known guys for early acoustic blues and whatever you wanna call fingerpicked music that might range from what sounds like traditional early acoustic blues to stuff like Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever. Now add Django for jazz first on acoustic.


Electric? Yeah, Charlie Christian and such, but functionally the electric guitar didn't get going until after WWII when there came an avalanche.


Then there was a gush of incredible talent playing the electric in many different ways. I'd say Les Paul not because he was a great player, which he was, but more that his messing with electronics opened everyone's eyes to the possibilities of messing with the signal from pickups and microphones.


Blues? Too many to mention with guys doing their own thing to create their own musical persona.


A batch of early rock "lead" guitar players to me best can be epitomized by Chuck Berry. Link Wray wasn't the best picker, but his concept of angry tortured tone in "Rumble" has to be considered a foundation of a lotta today's guitarists who insist on heavy fuzzing and effects use, even though he didn't have the current equipment.


Jazz? Too many with too much talent, although the 50s have to be seen as the golden age of such with guys like Ellis, Roberts, DiMiola, Tal Farlow, Mundell Lowe, Charlie Byrd oddly playing on a classical guitar, Kessel... and my favorite Joe Pass... I don't know how to class Roy Buchanan who did jazz, rock, country, blues...


Overall? Both musically and in terms of influence, Chet Atkins and Merle Travis.


No, I didn't mention more modern players, even those of the Brit invasion.


I don't wanna sound like an old guy - which I am - but for what it's worth, it seems that what I've heard since maybe 1970 is a matter of great talents building on a foundation brought to us by innovative giants in the field of guitar playing.


Will our own Matt Sear, for example, be "the next Segovia?" Heck no, and that's no insult. If Matt catches the right winds I see no reason why he might not be as well known in 100 years as many others who have taught and performed over the centuries.


How about the pop guys - yeah, I know uwanna call it "rock," but it's still today's "pop." I dunno. How much do we hear of pickers a century ago, even though there was a bit of crude recording of them? Not much.


I'd almost suggest ditto jazz and blues and country as done today will at best be remembered by the 20-somethings of 2111 as something along the lines of how many 20-somethings today could talk about Larry Clinton's orchestration or Fats Waller.


And I don't think I'm being cynical. Each generation will have guitarists who do something to reinterpret how the instrument can be used, whether it's a classical acoustic or some variation of electric - and the younger generations by the nature of younger generations will glom onto that, except for a very few who will dig into what recordings remain available to find inspiration from generations long gone.



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With all due respect, I think lists by some of the younger guys proves my point. "We" get tied up in our own generation's music and if we're a musician, the top musicians of the day.


As we age and experience more pickers, those of our own era have added to them some newer and some older players we have encountered on recordings.


For me, as a history nut...


I don't see anything that spectacular about most pickers since around 1960 in terms of real innovation. Greater skills, greater talents, in many cases better taste? Yup. But innovation that has affected everything all guitarists alive today and who will live tomorrow, nope.



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My top 4 favorites (would take too long for thinking about 25). Also I wouldn't presume to say who the best players are in the world. But here are 4 of my favorites to listen to:


1. Frank Marino

2. Robert Smith (The Cure pre-1992)

3. Kazuhito Yamashita (classical, utterly revolutionized classic playing techniques and tone/ volume and repertoire:

Pictures at an Exhibition, Scheherazade, New World Symphony, on guitar ?!?!?!etc.)

4. Michael Hedges.


Other favorites:

Carlos Santana: his first LP and Woodstock performance.

Buffy Sainte-Marie

Cornelius (on Kahimi Karie records)

David Gilmour

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Jeff Tweedy

Dallas Green

Nels Cline

Jack White

Dan Auerbach


Neil Young

Josh Homme

Omar Lopez

Craig Fox

Brendan Benson


Evol (I've been listening to his CD a lot, and since we jammed, I have taken bits and pieces and he has influenced my sound quite a bit, not going to lie)

Dave Grohl

Kevin Shields

Jimi Hendrix

John Lee Hooker


Jim James

Kurt Cobain

Pete Townshend

Johnny Greenwood

Tim McIlrath


Shaun Morgan

the guy from Silversun Pickups

Billy Corgan

Jay Bennett

Johnny Cash

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True, m, but the electric guitar was still relatively new circa 1960. I think you can argue that there are innovators in most modern genres (post 1960). I think it is very likely that guitarists like Dimebag, Beck, Clapton, Iommi, etc, will be remembered for their influences for decades. Consider, too, that Chet Atkins did much of his memorable stuff after 1960. And consider, too, the parameters set forth in the OP.


I like these lists because it gives me an opportunity to go and listen to some of these people that I'm not that familiar with on you tube.


Steve, what goes around comes around. All in good fun, eh?

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