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The greatest guitarist ever, bar none

Postby BJG145 » Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:53 pm

You might think that's speculative, but no, there is an answer, revealed in Total Guitar this month. It's Brian May.

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Hendrix was 2nd. I mean, he was good, but...Brian May.

They confront him with the fact that he's trumped several of the most gifted players to have ever tried the thing and to be fair he's very humble about it. I think what this shows is that people like tunes they can hum, and showmanship. (At least that's what Total Guitar readers want.)
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Re: The greatest guitarist ever, bar none

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:36 pm

Maybe I'm cynical but Brian is probably easier to get an interview with than Jimi, Django or Stevie Ray :D
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Re: The greatest guitarist ever, bar none

Postby desmond » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:09 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Maybe I'm cynical but Brian is probably easier to get an interview with than Jimi, Django or Stevie Ray :D

:lol:
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Re: The greatest guitarist ever, bar none

Postby CS70 » Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:04 pm

There's something fascinating about these "greatest" lists. They're mostly done on totally subjective things, and therefore are invariably bollocks, but they seem to attract great attention anyways, and therefore be great marketing devices.

It's like the morbid attraction to watch a train wreck video on YouTube. Not that I do of course ;) :shh: :lol:

Now, what about "the 100 lightest elements in the universe"? Strangely that seems to be relegated to chemistry books and never be particularly popular with anyone.

On the other side, that for once it's NOT Jimi Hendrix is strangely liberating.
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Re: The greatest guitarist ever, bar none

Postby John Egan » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:25 pm

Sam's already named him, and it's not Jimi. For me, Django is way ahead of the rest. The sheer brilliance of his improvisation puts him in a league of his own.
Regards, John
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Re: The greatest guitarist ever, bar none

Postby OneWorld » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:26 pm

CS70 wrote:There's something fascinating about these "greatest" lists. They're mostly done on totally subjective things, and therefore are invariably bollocks, but they seem to attract great attention anyways, and therefore be great marketing devices.

It's like the morbid attraction to watch a train wreck video on YouTube. Not that I do of course ;) :shh: :lol:

Now, what about "the 100 lightest elements in the universe"? Strangely that seems to be relegated to chemistry books and never be particularly popular with anyone.

On the other side, that for once it's NOT Jimi Hendrix is strangely liberating.

Actually any of these ‘greatest’ lists should be re-labelled ‘best English or American guitarist’ as they seem to labour under illusion that no one plays the guitar in any other but those two countries.
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Re: The greatest guitarist ever, bar none

Postby desmond » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:30 pm

They are just printed clickbait articles - they invite a purchase of the mag because you want to see whether a) your personal favourites are ranked and where, and b) who they picked at the top end, so that c) you can vehemently disagree with the choices.

You don't see SOS running these kinds of articles...
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Re: The greatest guitarist ever, bar none

Postby RichardT » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:36 pm

And also ‘how to play like them’, as it says on the cover, is totally ludicrous. Playing like any ONE of them is virtually impossible for normal beings. Let alone all 100.
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Re: The greatest guitarist ever, bar none

Postby blinddrew » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:49 pm

Might be time to break out this alternative cover again:
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Re: The greatest guitarist ever, bar none

Postby desmond » Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:02 pm

Hehe! :lol:
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Re: The greatest guitarist ever, bar none

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:18 pm

John Egan wrote:Sam's already named him, and it's not Jimi. For me, Django is way ahead of the rest. The sheer brilliance of his improvisation puts him in a league of his own.
Regards, John

:bouncy: :bouncy: :bouncy:

CS70 wrote:There's something fascinating about these "greatest" lists. They're mostly done on totally subjective things, and therefore are invariably bollocks.

Actually, any 'best [artisan of choice]' is a purely personal choice, and it changes from day to day. Some do emerge though (mine include Django, Jimi, Joe Pass, Hank, Eric, Steve Cropper and countless others) but it's probably fair to say that each generation has a few, Django was the Jimi of his day (and vice versa).

Currently though I'd find it hard to disagree with John that Django was the best ever, and more importantly, he inspired so many others (possibly even more than Jimi who I was, admittedly, too musically immature to appreciate back then).

Brian May is a brilliant musician and guitarist and I would acknowledge his right to be up amongst the best of the best but I will not be buying TG to find out where Peter Green, David Gilmour, John Martyn, Chet Atkins, Les Paul, Wes Montgomery, Tommy Emanuel, Albert Lee, Molly Tuttle......... Etc came
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Re: The greatest guitarist ever, bar none

Postby brucie » Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:48 pm

Surely Guthrie Govan should take the crown? The most proficient in all styles.
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Re: The greatest guitarist ever, bar none

Postby BJG145 » Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:55 pm

Guthrie does seem to be universally respected. Another guitarist who all others heap praise on ("unattainable perfection" according to Brian May in the interview) is Jeff Beck...clearly someone I need to listen to more of.
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Re: The greatest guitarist ever, bar none

Postby John Egan » Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:12 pm

BJG145 wrote:Guthrie does seem to be universally respected. Another guitarist who all others heap praise on ("unattainable perfection" according to Brian May in the interview) is Jeff Beck...clearly someone I need to listen to more of.

Back in the day, we did a gig with the Yardbirds when Jeff Beck was with them. I had never seen anyone with such ability before or since. He was unbelievably good.
It made the gig very difficult to play with any confidence.
Regards, John
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Re: The greatest guitarist ever, bar none

Postby zenguitar » Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:15 am

brucie wrote:Surely Guthrie Govan should take the crown? The most proficient in all styles.

Although you might be amazed at how many modern guitar techniques appear in the 30's & 40's recordings of Eddie Lang. And few modern players get even remotely close to this list of credits...

https://www.discogs.com/artist/301357-Eddie-Lang

And that extensive list makes no mention of his friendship with Rachmaninoff and performances of his work.

Andy :beamup:
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