Hello everyone, Glenn here with The Best Guitar World, bringing you some More awesome information about the Guitar World and all things related.
Today I want to touch base on a subject that is Highly Debated in The Guitar World. One that many – many experts have difficulty agreeing on. That subject “the BEST Guitar Players ALL TIME”
We all have different likes and dislikes when it comes to music. Maybe you love the sound of a Romantic Classical piece played on an Acoustic Guitar. Maybe you love the sound of a Guitar Player tearing up the fret board while performing a Rock & Roll classic, or maybe a recent Metal solo.
The truth of the matter is…to us it really shouldn’t matter what the experts think. We love what we love no matter what others think or say. We love it, because in one way or another it speaks to us. That PURE freedom of letting loose and sounding great.
Well, today I would like to take a look at a few of the Best in the World. I want to identify the ability of these Guitar players to touch people with their skills. Not just as a Musician, But also as an Artist. A great guitar player can show their true feelings and emotions through their style and technique. Being able to play a guitar is one thing, But, being able to express yourself through your guitar playing is another!
Some of The Greats:
OK, so here are just a few of the MANY greats that have blessed us with their talents, techniques, and stage presence over the years. Besides their actual guitar playing, they are pretty well-known for their techniques, stage performances, and over-all talent. In fact, some people may not even like the genre that a musician represents, BUT, they may very well enjoy the performance and abilities that the Guitarist portrays.
So, here is my list, compiled from 5 separate lists, and sources, with a touch of my own preferences. I wanted to add a little info about these Guitarists, so I am only listing the top 3. Here they are:
- Jimi Hendrix
- Jimmy Page
- Eric Clapton
Jimi Hendrix was born “Johnny Allen Hendrix” on November 27, 1942. Although his career was only about 4 years long, he is still considered the greatest Guitarist in the History of Music. He was born in Seattle and started playing Guitar at the age of 15. He enlisted in the US army in 1961, but was discharged the following year.
Before moving to England in 1966, when Chas Chandler – (Bassist for the Animals) – became his Manager, Hendrix played in the Backing Band ( the Isley Brothers ). He played with “Little Richard” and “Curtis Knight and The Squires” before becoming The Jimi Hendrix Experience and scoring
3 Huge top 10 hits:
- Hey Joe
- Purple Haze
- The Wind Cries Mary
After his performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, Hendrix released his final studio album Electric Ladyland that went to number 1 in the US. This was to be his 1 and only, number 1 album. Prior to his death on Sept.18, 1970, Hendrix headlined the Woodstock festival in 1969, and the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970.
Notable Awards and Achievements:
“Melody Maker” – readers voted him Pop Musician of the year in 1967 “Billboard Magazine” – named him Artist of the Year in 1968 The “Rolling Stone” – declared Hendrix Performer of the Year in 1968
He was honored with the World Top Musician of 1969 by “Disc and Music Echo”, while “Guitar Player” named him the Rock Guitarist of the Year in 1970.
He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. The “Rolling Stone” – named all 3 of the bands’ studio albums, Are You Experienced – Axis: Bold as Love, and Electric Ladyland among the 100 Greatest albums of ALL TIME, and, Hendrix, the Greatest Guitarist of ALL TIME!
Although his musical career was short-lived, Jimi Hendrix will Always be remembered as one of the Greatest Guitarists Ever!!
James Patrick Page, was born in a small suburb in West London called Heston, on January 9 – 1944. His musical career started as a Studio Musician in the mid 60’s, and soon became one of the most sought after session guitarists in Britain. Page was a member of the Yardbirds from 1966 to 1968 until they broke up, and he then founded Led Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin was both Famous and Active through the years from 1968 until 1980.
After the death of Led Zeppelin’s drummer, John Bonham, Page was a member of a number of different groups like: XYZ, The Firm, The Honeydrippers, and Page and Plant. Since 2000, he has performed in guest appearances for many different acts and performances, and participated in a one-off Led Zeppelin reunion in 2007.
That reunion concert was released as the 2012 concert in the film “Celebration Day“. Page also appeared with The Edge, and Jack White in a 2008 documentary called – “It Might Get Loud”. These are all amazing accomplishments, But, they are only a few.
Along with being widely considered one of the greatest guitarists of ALL TIME,
The “Rolling Stone” – describes Page as “the Pontiff of Power Riffing”, and ranked him number 3 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of ALL TIME. Only Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton ranked higher. “Gibson’s” list of the Top 50 Guitarists of ALL TIME, ranked Page as number 2 in 2010. In 2007, Page ranked number 4 on “Classic Rock’s” 100 Wildest Guitar Hero’s.
Page was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice: once for being a member of the Yardbirds in 1992, and again in 1995 as a member of the late great “Led Zeppelin”
Jimmy Page was, and still is, a Rock & Roll Icon. His experiences through the years in pretty near every aspect of music, and his unforgettable, amazing talent on guitar, will keep him in the hearts of many for years to come.
Born in Ripley, England, Eric Patrick Clapton was, and is, an iconic Rock, and Blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter.
After playing in a few local bands’ back in his day, Clapton joined the Yardbirds in 1963. Clapton wasn’t happy with the style of music, more of a radio – friendly pop rock sound. So, in 1965, he left the Yardbirds to play with the Bluesbreakers where he recorded only 1 album with them. He left the Bluesbreakers in 1966 and formed the more well-known Power Trio “CREAM” When Cream broke up, Eric Clapton formed another band called Blind Faith.
It wasn’t until 1970 that Eric Clapton started his own Solo journey. During this time, he performed with Delaney & Bonnie, and Derek and the Domino’s, with whom he recorded one of his most Popular songs….LAYLA. Clapton continued to have solo success with such recordings as: I Shot The Sheriff in 1974, a Bob Marley cover that helped Reggae reach a Massive Market. His Slowhand album in 1977, and August in 1986 were Huge solo albums.
In 1991, Eric Clapton’s son, Conner, died. Clapton expressed his grief through one of his Most recognized and cherished songs to date – Tears In Heaven. This song appeared on his Unplugged album in 1996, and he had another top 40 hit with the R&B Crossover – Change The World. In 1998, Clapton released a Grammy Award-Winning song called My Father’s eyes. Since 1999, Clapton has recorded a number of Blues, and Blues Rock albums. He has also hosted the Crossroads Guitar Festival. Eric Clapton’s latest studio album was in 2018 – Happy Xmas.
Clapton has often been referred to as one of the Most important and influential Guitarists of ALL TIME! These are just some of his accomplishments during his career:
The “Rolling Stone” ranked him as number 2 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of ALL TIME.
“Gibson’s” Top 50 Guitarists of ALL TIME ranked him number 4
“Time” magazine’s list of The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players – named him number 5 in 2009.
He is the ONLY “3 Time” inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Once as a solo Artist, once as a member of the Yardbirds, and once as a member of Cream.
There is much too much to say about Eric Clapton. He has been an Icon in the Industry for many years, and has been an influence to many guitar players. He will always be one of my favorites, and the favorite of millions of others I am sure!
Obviously there have been many – many other great guitarists over the years. Both male and female. There are many lists of the greatest guitarists of all time, but I haven’t seen 2 the same. There are always lists of the Best Guitarist of the Year, or of All Time, the Best electric Guitarist, the best acoustic guitarist, the Best Lead guitarist, rhythm guitarist……etc, etc, etc. The actual rankings of these guitarists all depends on who is ranking them obviously. In fact, my 3 favorite guitarists of all time didn’t make the top 5 on any of the lists I used to research the top 3. – Stevie Ray Vaughan, Angus Young, and Neil Young.
Just because your favorite guitarists haven’t been ranked number 1 or 2, or even in the top 10 on any of these lists, doesn’t mean they aren’t great. Your tastes and your likes are simply based on different criteria than they use to create these lists. I couldn’t help but include pictures of a few of my icons here as well. I think these guys are every bit as good as any. But, that’s my opinion, which is why I’m probably not helping create these lists ????
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You may not sound like one of these guys, BUT, you could sound GREAT!
As always, I’d love to hear feedback and comments. Please feel free to drop me a line below.