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View Full Version : Max TVs top 20 (well, 13) guitarists


Greg W
20-05-2007, 04:04:35
Some interesting selections for a Max TVs show I just watched on the top 20 guitarists of all time. Didn't catch them all, but the last 13 were:

13: Neil Young
12: Eddie Van Halen
11: Prince
10: Slash
9: Angus Young
8: Brian May
7: Keith Richards
6: BB King
5: Jimmy Page
4: Eric Clapton
3: Jimi Hendrix
2: Carlos Santana
1: Dave Gilmour

I do know that Mark Knopfler was in there somewhere between 14 and 20, but that's about all I noticed.

C.G.B. Spender
20-05-2007, 06:33:57
So you missed the interesting selections ... I bet #14 was Jeff Beck!

Scabrous Birdseed
20-05-2007, 14:56:53
Neil Young would be my pick off that list.

Debaser
20-05-2007, 17:33:42
Everyone who plays guitar knows that Hendrix and Prince are far and away the best on that list, and Slash? I don't get why anyone rates him at all, there are thousands of better guitarists.

Lazarus and the Gimp
20-05-2007, 18:20:22
It's a bit electric-fixated. Nick Drake and Bert Jansch should be up there. And Richard Thompson.

Scabrous Birdseed
20-05-2007, 18:21:08
And those of us who don't play guitar rate the sonic experience the guitar conveys rather than the difficulty of a particular passage. Sometimes, of course, things that are difficult to do on a guitar sound fucking brilliant, but at other times it's just self-indulgent and boring (cf. Brian May).

Debaser
20-05-2007, 18:51:19
Yes, and Hendrix and Prince are both technically excellent and musically excellent, and do both flash and simple things always for the benifit of the music rather than showing off. Ok, Prince might show off a bit...

Lazarus and the Gimp
20-05-2007, 19:07:47
A bit? I'm surprised his palms aren't hairy.

Foetus
21-05-2007, 12:26:21
Agree with Scab.

It's refreshing to see the top slots filled by guitarists that produce music that stirs the emotions rather than the usual rash of technically superior guitar widdlers playing a million and one soulless notes per second.

novacane
21-05-2007, 12:35:01
I can't see past Hendrix.

The BBC kicked off a new series called The Seven Ages of Rock or something like that over the weekend. Beginning in the sixties, focussing greatly on Hendrix. It retold a tale of Hendrix showing up to jam with Cream (mmmmm!!) after recently landing in London - apparantly, no-one asked to jam with Clapton at that time. But Hendrix did and blew them all away, especially Clapton. Jack Bruce was interviewed and said that afterwards, Clapton was lighting a cigarette, his hands were shaking and he asked Bruce "Was he really that good?".

Funko
21-05-2007, 12:50:06
It's not just his playing, he rewrote the rules about what sounds an electric guitar could make.

MoSe
21-05-2007, 13:27:54
Originally posted by Foetus
rather than the usual rash of technically superior guitar widdlers playing a million and one soulless notes per second. Wasn't Alvin Lee rated the fastest, once?

old trivia apart, I agree with Scabby, mostly.

I have to say tho, that I have to pick most of my listening from distant memories...
1. I know all of the abovementioned ones, this means they're all dinosaurs. Nothing more recent?
2. many of them play(ed) in groups, and apart from occasional solos it's sometimes difficult to isolate their individual guitar prowess

would a guitarist who perfectly blends in his band and contributes to its distinctive sound be a top one although he doesn't particularly stand out individually?
(EDIT) for instance, Gilmour #1???
I mean, I also like him a lot, but I only see him as a PF member, and I don't even identify PF sound with him...
Move him down 5 or10 places, please
/EDIT

sparse considerations:

- re acoustic:
I once saw an acoustic set concert by Paco De Lucia and John McLaughlin and a 3rd one I forgot.
all I remember is thatit was technically impressivebut a bit boring, and I can't recall a single passage I heard there, leave alone a song

- I agree they won't probably deserve to be in the top 20 (particularly one I bet most of you wold find him rather terrible), but oddly enough there was a moment when I appreciated 3 guitarists for they played in bands I fancied, and I went as far as to get their solo album(s)...: they are all named Steve H., what a coincidence.
QUIZ: would you like to guess who they were?


- I almost never listen to them, but IIRC I had once copied several CDs both by Steve Vai and Joe Satriani... I guess they were good to listen to during long car journeys...
;)
I wonder how would you serious listeners and musicians rate them

- I'm surprised Scabby didn't mention his fellow countryman Malmsteen

- to me, Jimi is #1 and out of reach by several laps...
...closely followed only by Robert Fripp, who albeit at times a tad on the cerebral and cold side :cute: , is a giant who traversed several decades always renweing himself, a paramount omission in this thread imho

- I'd like to add something in the end about Daevid Allen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_David_Allen), but I'll leave you look it up by yourself if you want

Wiincent
21-05-2007, 15:57:20
This seems to be mainly a list of posers ... Brian May built his guitar from all kind of junk, some very innovative ideas. I read a very interesting wikipedia entry about it. Usually Les Paul is in those lists too.

I watched a Zappa concert and was amazed about his bizarre way to play soli. He even got a Grammy or something for one of his guitar albums.

Donīt expect me to post links here on planet WII. Even "typing" is hell.

Funko
21-05-2007, 16:25:01
Even amongst people who like widdly guitarists Malmsteen is a bit of a joke.

Lazarus and the Gimp
21-05-2007, 16:43:58
Dave Gilmour should not be at number 1. No way.

Peter Green (early Fleetwood Mac) should be in there somewhere.

C.G.B. Spender
21-05-2007, 20:35:03
Jimi Hendrix should be number one. I don't know if he is the best guitar player ever, but if you think of an electric guitar you think of Jimi Hendrix. They say he copied T-Bone Walker, but listening to T-Bone Walker I say it's different. Hendrix made the electric guitar sexy.

Gilmour brought the electric guitar to the hi-fi Bose/B&O living rooms.

C.G.B. Spender
21-05-2007, 20:41:42
The Rolling Stone has - of course - a list as well.

http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/5937559/the_100_greatest_guitarists_of_all_time

Even though it's an old guy on a harley magazin, they don't have Scofield on that list ... strange ...

I wonder what a "great" guitarist is anyway ...

Foetus
21-05-2007, 21:34:34
If a guitarist can consistently send a chill up your spine, make you want to dance like a loon, or just make you drop your head and bathe in the waves pouring from his picking fingers, then he's a good guitarist.

Then you take your pick from those that meet these criteria to make the "greatest" list.

Greg W
22-05-2007, 00:35:20
I must admit to having always admired Jimmy Page. Being a non-muso type, he seemed to be able to do some pretty amazing things with a guitar. Though the fact he had some pretty amazing musos around him certainly didn't hurt.

I was also under the impression (don't ask me where from - maybe a doco I watched?) that he changed the way electric guitars were played and sounded?

C.G.B. Spender
22-05-2007, 06:41:22
Originally posted by Foetus
If a guitarist can consistently send a chill up your spine, make you want to dance like a loon, or just make you drop your head and bathe in the waves pouring from his picking fingers, then he's a good guitarist. Sounds like a dildo

MoSe
22-05-2007, 11:38:22
Originally posted by Funko
Even amongst people who like widdly guitarists Malmsteen is a bit of a joke.

had I added a ;) it'd have been too overt

Foetus
22-05-2007, 16:16:51
Originally posted by C.G.B. Spender
Sounds like a dildo

Well many of them are up their own arses, so quite possibly an apt analogy? :)

Lazarus and the Gimp
22-05-2007, 19:55:19
There's flashy great, and there's understated great. When I first heard Nick Drake (the intro to "Cello song"), I thought two guitarists were playing with remarkable cohesion. Then I found out it was just him, and I started wondering how many fingers he had on his right hand.

Yes Hendrix was great, and innovative too- but for pure finesse and technique Drake had him beaten. Ultimately Hendrix spent too much time having a life and adult relationships, whereas Drake was a reclusive obsessive who only came alive when he was playing.

It may not sound earth-shattering, because it's understated, but just try copying it. He's got all four fingers and thumb freely at work, alternating between flesh and nail with perfect control and timing. Pure virtuoso technique.

Lazarus and the Gimp
22-05-2007, 20:00:10
That Rolling Stones list is depressing. Bert Jansch at 94, Kurt Cobain at 12....

jsorense
22-05-2007, 20:44:05
Originally posted by Wiincent

I watched a Zappa concert and was amazed about his bizarre way to play soli. He even got a Grammy or something for one of his guitar albums.

Yes, Frank is one of the greats.