Clapton, Hendrix, Gilmour, Page, Beck, Van Halen, Clapton (again), Hendrix (again), SRV, Satriani
Every single guitarist on this list was influential in their own way. Some have influenced more than others and some are still influencing guitarists today. The list is obviously subjective but I believe it’s a good list. It’s in no particular order and I could have easily put the same ten guys in a different order and still been correct.
The point is that there are hundreds of great guitarists out there and it’s truly impossible to rank them effectively. No matter who you pick for a “top 10 list” or “top 100 list” people are going to argue about it. People will say things like – “What the hell? How could you leave off Joe Blow?” Or “Did you forget about John Doe?” And the answer is I didn’t forget them, they just aren’t one of my top 10.
1. Joe Satriani
Joe Satriani is a well renowned guitarist, who was born on July 15, 1956 in Westbury, New York. His first album came out in 1986 entitled “Not of this Earth”. The album had no lyrics and was instrumental throughout the entire length of the album. He then went on to play in a band called Deep Purple as their lead guitarist, he remained in that position until 1994. During his time with Deep Purple he was able to release another solo album entitled “Flying in a Blue Dream”. Since then he has released several more albums and has proven himself to be one of the most talented guitarists of all time.
2. Steve Vai
Steve Vai is another great guitarist who was born on June 6, 1960 in Carle Place, New York. He started playing guitar at a very young age and by the time he was 18 years old he had already began working for Frank Zappa. In 1990 Vai released his first studio album entitled “Passion and Warfare”. Since then he has gone on to release several more albums and has been given multiple awards for his work as a guitarist including: Grammy Awards, Best Rock Instrumental Performance; 2006 Guitar Player magazine reader
1. The Edge, U2
2. Jimi Hendrix
3. Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin
4. Keith Richards, The Rolling Stones
5. Eric Clapton
6. Jeff Beck
7. B.B. King
8. Eddie Van Halen, Van Halen
10. David Gilmour
“The first mistake of art is to assume that it’s serious.” – Lester Bangs
I love guitar playing. I love it as much as I love music itself. But I also hate guitarists. Let me explain.
I love the pure human energy that goes into playing, because it comes from the heart, not the mind. It’s a hard thing to do well, and when someone does it right, it can make you laugh and cry, or just feel like you are flying with Superman on a moonless night, riding the void between stars…you know what I mean.
But I also hate guitarists because they have made that instrument so hard to play well. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, when musicians were set free by technology and genius to explore uncharted musical territory, they made a mess of it all — they muddied up the waters so badly that we will probably never make sense of what happened during those years ever again. The good news is that we don’t really need to understand what happened back then in order to enjoy what’s happening now.
Picking is the name given to playing individual notes (as opposed to strumming a chord). That said, most guitarists use a pick when playing. There’s nothing wrong with that, and it’s a good idea to start out using one.
Holding the Pick:
There are two common ways of holding the guitar pick. One is by pinching it between your thumb and index finger:
The other way of holding the pick is by pinching it between your thumb and middle finger:
When you’re picking individual notes (as opposed to strumming chords), there are 3 ways in which you can pick the strings. These three ways are called downstrokes, upstrokes, and alternate picking. Let’s take a look at each method in detail.
The easiest way is to use only downstrokes. This means that you strike a string by moving your hand from above (towards the ceiling) towards the floor. A downstroke will always be played on a beat or rest. Here’s an example of how this works on Guitar 1 in “Jingle Bells” (the numbers represent beats).
1. Django Reinhardt
2. Jimi Hendrix
3. B.B. King
4. Eric Clapton
5. Wes Montgomery
6. Robert Johnson
7. Keith Richards
8. Chuck Berry
9. Eddie Van Halen
10. Stevie Ray Vaughan
1. Charlie Christian