I am going to let you all in on a little secret, even though I might get crucified for it: I don't think Jimmi Hendrix is as good as he's made out to be. There I said it.
While I do think Jimmi innovated guitar playing all over the world, compared to who's come and gone and stood the test of time, I think there have been and are better. With that said, I wanted to create a topic and hear everyone's voice and opinion. No one is right or wrong, just different. I would also like this thread to be a reference for all the guitar lovers, players and fans out there. The guitar is my favorite man-made musical instrument, so I know I will certainly be using this thread to explore and discover new talent that I've never heard before. I hope you'll do the same.
To kick things off I'd like to voice my opinion on who I think the best is (are).
My number one choice is John Petricci
from a band called Dream Theater
. Dream Theater
is a progressive hard rock/heavy metal band that started in the mid 80's under the name Majesty.
Upon learning that name was already taken, they change it to Dream Theater.John Petrucci
studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston along with two of his other band-mates. His style is very technical, perhaps being the most technical player that I know. His influences were bands like Rush, Journey, Deep Purple, Cream, etc. To these ears Petrucci
has the ability to play anything he wants to, sometimes better than the original artist. For example, Dream Theater
has played other band's entire albums at live shows such as Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon
, Iron Maiden's Number of the Beast
and Metallica's Master of Puppets
. In some instances, John's
reproduction was better than the original artist in my opinion.
generally sticks to one style, he's my favorite. His ability to nail every note, bring tears to my eyes and "write every chord, note and riff as God intended it - the way it was meant to be" (as my brother always says) is why I feel he is the best at what he does. Many will disagree, but that's okay with me. In fact, I encourage it because I want other's opinions and recommendations. The more, the better.
My second choice (actually, tied for first) is Joe Satriani
started playing guitar in his early teenage years and has since never stopped toying, writing and jamming. In the mid 70's Joe
started studying music with jazz guitarist Billy Bauer
and with jazz pianist Lennie Tristano
; both greatly influencing his playing style. He also was greatly influenced by Jimmi Hendrix
, Jimmy Page
(another one of the best IMO) and Jeff Beck
toured with Mick Jagger
and was also the lead guitarist with Deep Purple
before moving on to being an instructor and finally going solo. Satriani
has instructed many of the greats such as Steve Vai, Eric Johnson
and Kurt Hammett
I love Satriani's
music because he has many different styles, plays many genres and has a certain flow and vibe that blows my mind. In my opinion no one plays the guitar better and easier than Joe
, though Petrucci
is still my "favorite." Hmm...to differentiate between the two, I'd say that Putrucci
has the kind of style that inspires you to play, while Joe Satriani's
style makes you drop the guitar and say "forget it! I'll never be that good, so I'd rather just listen and watch him in awe." Satriani
makes it look so easy...I just don't know how he does it.
So there you have it; my top two. Some others who I think deserve recognition but aren't always widely known are Greg Koch, Duane Allman and Eric Clapton during his Cream years. It's also worth noting that I think Hendrix, Allman, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page were the most innovative guitarists to walk this earth.
I look forward to your thoughts, reasoning and recommendations. Lets keep it civil because no one is right or wrong. Bring on the opinions!
P.S. Check out John Petrucci's
work with Dream Theater
, such as Images and Words
, as well as Liquid Tension Experiment
and Suspended Animation
solo album). His live performance with Jordan Rudess
pianist) called An Evening with John Petrucci & Jordan Rudess
is also quite amazing.
Check out any of Joe Satriani's
albums. He does it all, from blues and jazz to rock and metal.
Edit: I forgot about Beck. DOH! He's in my top 5 innovators as well.