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Underrated Guitar Slingers!


kaleb

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Hey guys! It's time for the second episode of the Throwdown!

 

Of these five guys, choose who YOU think is the most underrated. I realize that there are many underrated guitar players out there, and I just listed MY personal favorites.

 

My vote goes to Mr. Lynch!

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I dunno, but all the players mentioned on the poll, at one time at least had thier recognitiion during their prime and they were certainly not "underrated". These players just kinda faded as they haven't really put out new material or their guitar playing just not suited for today's guitar playing style.....ex... speed sweeping and anti pentatonic...blues. I've seen each one of those players during thier prime and they were/are great players IMHO....certainly not underrated IMHO. So to me the poll is a null.

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Interesting posts here.

 

I've always felt that there is a distinction between not being well known and being underrated.

 

Alex is known, but in guitar magazines his work doesn't get much mention (especially compared to EVH, Page, Hendrix, Clapton, Beck, etc). And I feel that he is the most underrated one in Rush. Neil is not in any way underrated, but I don't necessarily think he's overrated. Geddy is known for his high voice, bass playing (like in YYZ), and for playing multiple instruments onstage. And his nose too!

 

It always amazes me that all the guitar players (maybe with the exception of Eric Bell) that went in and out of Thin Lizzy get most of the attention while Gorham was there most of the time (I know he wasn't there when Eric Bell was). His solo in "Dancing In The Moonlight" is one of my favorite solos of all time.

 

Alvin Lee is probably the most underrated one here. Ten Years After was pretty big (not Zeppelin/Stones big though) in their time, and everyone knows of their brilliant performance at Woodstock (the best band there IMHO.). Now that I think about it, I probably should have voted for him rather than Lynch....

 

Matthias is obviously well known (cause' he brought the Scorpions to the big time!), but I've always felt he was kind of shadowed by Michael Schenker and even Rudolf Schenker (cause' he wrote most of the riffs!).

 

Lynch definitely had his prime, but it boggles me why he doesn't get the recognition some of his peers do. Everybody knows what EVH did, and I think that Mr. Scary is a work of art that isn't as recognized as say, Eruption or Satch Boogie. I think Mr. Scary should be a monumental solo. But, sadly, Dokken faded away.

 

Maybe it is a stupid poll, but it is for UNDERRATED guitar players not LESS-KNOWN guitar players.

 

To me, underrated in this case is a guitar player in a band that did well that never gets their due. Scott Gorham is the prime example IMHO.

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Just a comment from an interested old guy who doesn't recognize any of the names in the poll... <grin>

 

I think under-rated or over-rated has a lot to do with taste assuming both are roughly - both of how the guitarist's better-known material is played and whether or not one prefers that material to that of another picker.

 

From old jazz guys... I really don't know how you can even consider a "rating" between a Joe Pass and a Herb Ellis. Both great, but even if they did the same piece, there was such a difference in arrangement that it is simply a matter of taste...

 

And then... at what point might raw technical capability overcome another player's understated lyric?

 

Bottom line is I don't think so much in terms of rating other than "I like a lot" down to, "Not really..."

 

m

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To me, overrated could mean the same thing as over appreciated. Which doesn't necessarily mean you like or dislike the subject being bantered about.

 

For instance, Muddy Waters could be considered overrated while Memphis Minnie could be considered underrated. Even though I prefer Muddy's songs and playing, Minnie was fronting a blues band with an electric guitar before Muddy thought about it. She inspired many of her peers to do the same thing, but Muddy gets all the historical kudos. In that respect I'd say Muddy is overrated and Minnie is underrated.

 

By the same token it could be said that Alex Lifeson is underrated because he's often overshadowed by his monster band mates and the birth of the "Shredder" Movement. Even though playing one Rush song is like playing two whole Van Halen albums, Eddie gets all the "Creativity" kudos from the late 70's. But if you ask me Lifeson's chord voicing and off time rhythm figures, not to mention his avant garde lead style, is far more creative and difficult to play than EVH's little bag of tricks. However, if you're comparing speed and accuracy EVH is perfectly rated over Lifeson.

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Just a comment from an interested old guy who doesn't recognize any of the names in the poll... <grin>

 

I think under-rated or over-rated has a lot to do with taste assuming both are roughly - both of how the guitarist's better-known material is played and whether or not one prefers that material to that of another picker.

 

From old jazz guys... I really don't know how you can even consider a "rating" between a Joe Pass and a Herb Ellis. Both great, but even if they did the same piece, there was such a difference in arrangement that it is simply a matter of taste...

 

And then... at what point might raw technical capability overcome another player's understated lyric?

 

Bottom line is I don't think so much in terms of rating other than "I like a lot" down to, "Not really..."

 

m

Well, "interested old guy" you are a great guy with a lot of experience, but not that old

that you do not remember Alvin Lee .Google him and you will remember for sure.

Cheers,

C.J.

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To me, overrated could mean the same thing as over appreciated. Which doesn't necessarily mean you like or dislike the subject being bantered about.

 

For instance, Muddy Waters could be considered overrated while Memphis Minnie could be considered underrated. Even though I prefer Muddy's songs and playing, Minnie was fronting a blues band with an electric guitar before Muddy thought about it. She inspired many of her peers to do the same thing, but Muddy gets all the historical kudos. In that respect I'd say Muddy is overrated and Minnie is underrated.

 

By the same token it could be said that Alex Lifeson is underrated because he's often overshadowed by his monster band mates and the birth of the "Shredder" Movement. Even though playing one Rush song is like playing two whole Van Halen albums, Eddie gets all the "Creativity" kudos from the late 70's. But if you ask me Lifeson's chord voicing and off time rhythm figures, not to mention his avant garde lead style, is far more creative and difficult to play than EVH's little bag of tricks. However, if you're comparing speed and accuracy EVH is perfectly rated over Lifeson.

 

I've always thought EVH was a pretty basic player with a few tricks up his sleeve. That is not an insult in any way, mind you.

 

Alex Lifeson is one of the most creative and "different" guitar players of all time IMHO. Eddie was creative too, but his playing is pretty easy to understand, even if it is a little hard to play.

 

Alex is a higher order of playing. Rush is a step ahead for me, as is Michael Schenker, Randy Rhoads, and George Lynch. Eddie incorporated a lot of cliches in his playing; those other guys didn't. Again, that is not an insult to Eddie. Maybe Eddie is faster than Alex, but Alex is just as accurate as Eddie IMHO.

 

But compare Schenker's solo in "Rock Bottom" (the live version from "Strangers In The Night") to anything off of the early VH records. They're all great solos and take some skill to master, but while Eddie blows me away, Schenker is still much, much harder to grasp, at least for me. I've always felt his lead style was a bit different too.

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I've always thought EVH was a pretty basic player with a few tricks up his sleeve. That is not an insult in any way, mind you.

 

Alex Lifeson is one of the most creative and "different" guitar players of all time IMHO. Eddie was creative too, but his playing is pretty easy to understand, even if it is a little hard to play.

 

Alex is a higher order of playing. Rush is a step ahead for me, as is Michael Schenker, Randy Rhoads, and George Lynch. Eddie incorporated a lot of cliches in his playing; those other guys didn't. Again, that is not an insult to Eddie. Maybe Eddie is faster than Alex, but Alex is just as accurate as Eddie IMHO.

 

But compare Schenker's solo in "Rock Bottom" (the live version from "Strangers In The Night") to anything off of the early VH records. They're all great solos and take some skill to master, but while Eddie blows me away, Schenker is still much, much harder to grasp, at least for me. I've always felt his lead style was a bit different too.

Maybe "accurate" wasn't the best adjective, but Eddie's notes in his leads are so crisp and sharp, Lifeson has that laid back legato approach.

 

Lead playing aside, EVH never wrote anything with a complex bass line or very difficult riffage. His rhythms and riffs are pretty basic (and cool sounding), while everyone else in the poll has very creative and difficult rhythms to deal with. Eddie is all about his lead breaks.

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Maybe "accurate" wasn't the best adjective, but Eddie's notes in his leads are so crisp and sharp, Lifeson has that laid back legato approach.

 

Lead playing aside, EVH never wrote anything with a complex bass line or very difficult riffage. His rhythms and riffs are pretty basic (and cool sounding), while everyone else in the poll has very creative and difficult rhythms to deal with. Eddie is all about his lead breaks.

 

I agree! I think that's why Van Halen were more successful than their counterparts...

 

One of the things I love about Alex's playing is the way he forms his solos with chord patterns. I think he is one of the best rhythm players around! He helps make Rush sound HUGE!!!!

 

My favorite Lifeson solos are the ones in: Working Man (Zeppelin/Page type riff rock), Anthem, The Necromancer, 2112-Presentation, Xanadu (heavy prog!), The Trees, La Villa Strangiato, Freewill, Natural Science, Red Barchetta, YYZ, Limelight, The Analog Kid (his most complicated and best solo IMHO), and Kid Gloves.

 

Back to EVH, I give him props for making VH sound huge with no double tracking, and with the simple bass lines (by Michael Anthony!). I also think Alex's drumming and Eddie's simple-yet-huge chord work were the big parts of it.

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Yeah, it ain't so much my age per se, but what I was doing musically at various points in time.

 

Alvin Lee... the name itself meant nothing. I vaguely recall TYA but... They were hitting the US about the time I was making the switch to getting paid to do older style country stuff and had a lot of book to memorize.

 

Then it was classical for personal playing and country and old-time/bluegrass for some money and to help folks out a bit... and in the '80s and 90s it was just plain a lotta day job and travel so I listened to almost no "new" music at all, let alone care much who the players were.

 

So... yeah, it ain't old age but more lifestyle.

 

Gotta admit that I've tended to do my listening by what was paying me one way or another, and/or by some relatively arcane sorta considerations that I sorta like on a totally personal basis regardless of "popularity."

 

m

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I agree! I think that's why Van Halen were more successful than their counterparts...

 

One of the things I love about Alex's playing is the way he forms his solos with chord patterns. I think he is one of the best rhythm players around! He helps make Rush sound HUGE!!!!

 

My favorite Lifeson solos are the ones in: Working Man (Zeppelin/Page type riff rock), Anthem, The Necromancer, 2112-Presentation, Xanadu (heavy prog!), The Trees, La Villa Strangiato, Freewill, Natural Science, Red Barchetta, YYZ, Limelight, The Analog Kid (his most complicated and best solo IMHO), and Kid Gloves.

 

Back to EVH, I give him props for making VH sound huge with no double tracking, and with the simple bass lines (by Michael Anthony!). I also think Alex's drumming and Eddie's simple-yet-huge chord work were the big parts of it.

Yeah, I like Lifesons early solos a lot. He was still playing his blues rock roots and showing off his "Clapton on a Mission" style jamming.

 

I have to agree with you on Alex Van Halen, his drumming a a major part of making the sound huge. Rush, ZZ Top, Van Halen, Zeppelin...All that sound coming from 3 guys (vocals aside). Just like Peart and Frank Beard, the drums are a big part of a trios sound. Bass players, too. Without Micheal Anthony making simple quarter notes sound like a pile driver, or Dusty Hills massive bottom end Van Halen and ZZ Top would be pretty sparse sounding. I love hearing a trio make all the noise.

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Yeah, I like Lifesons early solos a lot. He was still playing his blues rock roots and showing off his "Clapton on a Mission" style jamming.

 

I have to agree with you on Alex Van Halen, his drumming a a major part of making the sound huge. Rush, ZZ Top, Van Halen, Zeppelin...All that sound coming from 3 guys (vocals aside). Just like Peart and Frank Beard, the drums are a big part of a trios sound. Bass players, too. Without Micheal Anthony making simple quarter notes sound like a pile driver, or Dusty Hills massive bottom end Van Halen and ZZ Top would be pretty sparse sounding. I love hearing a trio make all the noise.

 

I would describe his early playing more like Page without the sloppyness....

 

In a trio, everyone has to do extra work, which makes you a better musician IMHO. The Who is a good example. Pete had to play a lot of chords to fill out the sound, John was always a monster bass player (and the tones he got filled a big void!), and of course Keith's thunder-drumming were a big part of the sound.

 

Drumming makes a big difference in a trio. For example, Charlie Watts/Peter Criss type drumming is suited to what the Stones and KISS were: twin guitar bands. As is Brian Downey of Thin Lizzy, etc. But it wouldn't suit a trio as well. Bonham/Moon/Peart/Anton Fig style drumming fills out a trio better IMHO. Cause' both Bonham and Anton Fig have/had that "groove" that few other rock drummers have, which gives the music a wider sound. Keith Moon simply played A LOT in Who songs! (like Pete...). It wasn't always refined, but it filled out the sound for sure. Neil Peart uses odd time signatures, and also plays a lot in Rush songs (Keith Moon influence). I would describe him as Moon/Bonham/Baker/Rich in one guy....

 

Drummers that just play straight make trios sound small. Drummers that either play behind the beat or play a lot within the songs (or BOTH!) make trios sound huge.

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I would describe his early playing more like Page without the sloppyness....

 

In a trio, everyone has to do extra work, which makes you a better musician IMHO. The Who is a good example. Pete had to play a lot of chords to fill out the sound, John was always a monster bass player (and the tones he got filled a big void!), and of course Keith's thunder-drumming were a big part of the sound.

 

Drumming makes a big difference in a trio. For example, Charlie Watts/Peter Criss type drumming is suited to what the Stones and KISS were: twin guitar bands. As is Brian Downey of Thin Lizzy, etc. But it wouldn't suit a trio as well. Bonham/Moon/Peart/Anton Fig style drumming fills out a trio better IMHO. Cause' both Bonham and Anton Fig have/had that "groove" that few other rock drummers have, which gives the music a wider sound. Keith Moon simply played A LOT in Who songs! (like Pete...). It wasn't always refined, but it filled out the sound for sure. Neil Peart uses odd time signatures, and also plays a lot in Rush songs (Keith Moon influence). I would describe him as Moon/Bonham/Baker/Rich in one guy....

 

Drummers that just play straight make trios sound small. Drummers that either play behind the beat or play a lot within the songs (or BOTH!) make trios sound huge.

I was definitely thinking Cream era Clapton, and Page for sure.

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Hey guys! It's time for the second episode of the Throwdown!

 

Of these five guys, choose who YOU think is the most underrated. I realize that there are many underrated guitar players out there, and I just listed MY personal favorites.

 

My vote goes to Mr. Lynch!

 

I don't think Alex Lifeson is underrated at all. He's respected as a skilled craftsman of his instrument by anyone with a basic education in music.

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I think the reason this thread is interesting is the mystery in it, the search to understand what it is about.

 

None of the guitarist listed have anything that would be considered "underrated". In each case, thier accomplishments are well known and well documented. If you know the names of any of them, chances are slim you don't know what they are regarded for or even don't have regard for them yourself.

 

You couldn't have picked a more unlikely list of "underrated" guitar slingers.

 

If it is about attempting to find anything about any of them that would be under-rated, then perhaps I could see it as a list of guitarist that is least likely to have something about them that is under-rated.

 

So I put the throwdown right back at ya: Name ONE thing about any of these on the list that would get them considered "underrated".

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