|my favorite guitar players|
Enjoying music I particularly listen to the singer and the guitar player. As a player myself I have developed a certain taste, as my list of favorites testifies. Personally I am not easily impressed by guitar players who are confined to / specialized in blues, punk, pop or jazz. I like players who know how to combine an emotional approach with a good sense of melody, apart from the ability to play fast, varied, precise and powerful. That's why my list consists of (almost) merely hard rock- and metal guitarists. This list is not exactly hierarchical, although there is no discussion about the top 3!
Ritchie Blackmore. The founder of Deep Purple and Rainbow is one of the true fathers of modern day heavy metal. It's not only his ability to play different styles and genres, but his signature sound that defines him as my number one: passion, attitude, dedication and emotion kept together by that inexplicable 'Blackmore'-sound. Blackmore is, through his legacy and impact, larger than life.
Listen to: Stargazer.
Eddie van Halen. This American guitar hero from Dutch origin proved there are a million ways to play the guitar. He expanded the range of possible techniques and sounds to the maximum. Gifted with unique technical skills he developed an explosive style that still sounds very natural and misleadingly easy. I really like his fluid and energetic style, combining blues, rock, jazz/improvisation and a lot of bravoure.
Listen to: Hot for Teacher.
David Gilmour. Pink Floyd's introvert force is the most restraint and expressive player on the globe. His sound is sometimes turbulent and glowing, sometimes soothing and calm, but always otherworldly Deep, Transcendent and Moving. He is an alchemist when it comes to emotional depth.
Listen to: Comfortably Numb.
Ron Jarzombek is best known for his guitar acrobatics in Watch Tower, Spastic Ink and Blotted Science. Being a six string wizard he conjures up strange, intricate, but always emotionally motivated melodies and harmonies. His playing style is jazzy and bizarre, but still firmly rooted in heavy metal. He certainly is not a boring dime a dozen shredder.
Listen to: A Wild Hare.
|5||Michael Schenker Group|
The Michael Schenker Group
Michael Schenker, former member of UFO and Scorpions, has always been one of my favorite guitar players. He has a great feeling for melody, orchestration and harmony. He really plays his solos with dedication and attention.
Listen to: Into the Arena.
|6||Paco de Lucia|
Fuente y caudal
Paco de Lucia without doubt was one of the best flamenco virtuosos. He reinvented and expanded the style and was able to play literally everything, flowing and barbarically fast and precise, normally with his eyes shut in concentration. 1973's 'best guitar player of the world' Jan Akkerman played with him and later remembered being blown away ('like by a jet fighter') by De Lucia! That pretty much sums it up.
Listen to: Entre dos Aguas.
Jason Becker is a prodigy, famous for his vulcanic, powerful and complex playing style in Cacophony, David Lee Roth and on his own album 'Perpetual Burn'. Beside I admire him greatly for his positive and gallant fight against the terrible disease ALS which ruined his career as a great guitar player.
Listen to: Altitudes.
Rust in Peace
Marty Friedman is not only the counterpart of Becker in the project of Cacophony, but contributed with his amazing guitar solos to one of the best metal albums ever: Rust in Peace. His later solo albums are characterized by a more laid back, orchestral style, blending Western with Eastern music. Friedman knows how to shred and improvise, but never gets lost: his music shows emotional depth and a great sensitivity.
Listen to: Valley of Eternity.
Images and Words
John Petrucci is omnipotent when it comes to metal/rock guitar. Technical challenges are no burden, nor seems music theory to impede him. Apart from that he knows how to include emotion and variation into his playing style.
Listen to: Metropolis - Part1.
No Parole from Rock 'n' Roll
Yngwie Malmsteen is one of the most debated guitar players in rock history. Largely the discussion revolves around his persona (arrogant poseur) and his playing style (baroque and overdone). But still I admire his skills, self assurance and compositional qualities. His early work sounded very promising, but his mature style in the band Alcatrazz is just amazing.
Listen to: Kree Nakoorie.
Let There Be Rock
Angus Young is a living legend, a true rock 'n roll icon. I particularly like him because he performs with an almost religious dedication, completely devoted and passionately involved while playing his outrageous riffs and solos, running, jumping and headbanging. Of course his style is predictable and variety not his trademark, but who cares? I don't!
Listen to: Whole Lotta Rosie.
Toni Iommi is the godfather of a multitude of ominous riffs and great solos throughout his long career. He is the first guitar player who made his instrument sound really evil and thundery, using simple power chords, but in an unexpected way, leaving behind the blues roots.
Listen to: Falling off the edge of the World.
Jimmy Page's approach balances between blues, rock, folk and jazz. Add his eager attitude and there's his signature sound, a kind of proto hard rock resulting in a few all time classics. I appreciate his deep insight in music and his abilty to alternate between electric and acoustic guitar.
Listen to: Achilles Last Stand.
Jeff Waters' playing style is insane. It's fast, melodious and overwhelming. Althouth this applies to a lot of modern day metal musicians, Waters adds something special that I must describe as gambolling and capering.
Listen to: The Trend.