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What it takes to be a Guitar God

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posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 11:33 PM
I've been playing guitar since I was 12, about 11 years now. It's always been my favorite past-time. No matter how bad things got in my life I could always count on my little Peavy Raptor international series (about $300 back in '96 lol) to be there (even when my first couple of crappy little amps died on me!). I still play on that same guitar, but its had a lot of work done on it since then. What can I say? Its my baby, I'll jam on it till the body splits.

Anyway, since I've started, the art has changed a lot. Back in the days most players (including myself) were self-taught. Nowadays GIT and other institutions are churning out prodigies left and right, not to mention the mass amount of online material that seems to be streamlining the learning process.

The thing that bothers me though is that it seems like emotional playing has been abandoned for speed, precision, and technical complexity. Now dont get me wrong, these are major factors in making a great guitarist. But without the emotion, the soul, it just seems hollow. I try talking about Stevie Ray or Slash and it's countered with Yngwie and Romeo. "Oh yeah so and so is pretty good but this guy can play a million notes per second all while doing sweep arpeggios". What I have to say is, so what? To me, the fact that David Gilmore can play like 6 notes over half a minute and make it sound brilliant far outweighs any amount of speed.

So the purpose of this thread is to reach out to any newbies to the art and let them know that there's a lot more to becoming a great guitarist than speed. IMO there are four elements to making a guitarist great: Speed, technical ability, creativity and Emotion. A lot of the newer prodigies have the first two but seem to be lacking in the latter.

So with this said I would like to give a list of solos demonstrating what it takes to be a true guitar god:

Time by Pink Floyd
Cemetery Gates by Pantera
Little wing by Stevie Ray Vaugh (if you have to pick only one pick this one!)
Estranged by Guns n Roses
Welcome Home (Sanitarium) by Metallica (all 4 solos)
The Four Horsemen by Metallica
Ashes in your mouth by Megadeath
Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd (the outro solo)

This list could go on and on. Actually I'd like to invite any experienced guitarists here at ATS to add their recommendations.

Jam on!

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 11:48 PM
Another vote for "Little Wing"!

I know how you feel about your Raptor, because I feel the same way about my old Strat.

Iv'e said it before here on guitar threads that I would rather hear a kid play from the heart 3 chords, on a piece of junk guitar, than a kid play shred exercises he learned from his teacher on a 3k les Paul.

But what do I know, I'm playin bass now.

Rock on my brothers of wire and wood.

posted on Dec, 15 2007 @ 12:56 AM
You forgot to mention one guy. This is passion, desire and pure talent. (RIP).

This is just amazing.
gives me goose bumps.

And this just makes me sad.

(Dee, studio out takes).

Not forgotten Randy.

Give me passion over technical ability anyday. But then some have both.

posted on Dec, 15 2007 @ 01:17 PM

Your list reflects your age, your preferred style of music and the period during which you learnt to play guitar.

You should listen to other guitarists and guitar music, from other periods and styles, so as to educate yourself about your chosen instrument and the many different ways in which it can be used to make beautiful music. Believe me, if you're truly a lover of music and the guitar, you will find something to admire and be inspired by in all of them.

I suggest you check out some of these guitar players. The list is not exhaustive, but nobody calling themselves a guitarist can afford to be ignorant of these artists.

  • Django Reinhardt
  • Charlie Christian
  • Robert Johnson
  • Lightning Hopkins
  • Leadbelly
  • Chet Atkins
  • Les Paul
  • Chuck Berry
  • Albert King
  • B.B. King
  • Scotty Moore
  • Dick Dale
  • George Harrison
  • John McLaughlin
  • Pete Townshend
  • Ry Cooder
  • Duane Allman
  • Steve Cropper
  • Neil Young
  • J.J. Cale
  • Jerry Garcia
  • Curtis Mayfield
  • Nick Drake
  • Bert Jansch
  • John Martyn
  • Mark Knopfler
  • Robert Fripp
  • Andy Summers
  • Johnny Marr
  • Pat Metheny
  • Bill Frisell
  • Marc Ribot
  • Paco de Lucia
  • Roderigo y Gabriela
  • Kurt Cobain
  • Jonny Greenwood
  • Jack White



posted on Dec, 15 2007 @ 01:46 PM
reply to post by Astyanax


truly a great list but I just have to add some of my earliest influences and guy's that helped shape my sound that has stayed with me through out my career. Basic Raw Boogie and shuffle blues. Not the greatest guitarist, but style and soul. May they Rest in Peace

John Lee Hooker

Jimmy Reed

also Thanks for remembering Lightnin'

[edit on 15-12-2007 by whaaa]

posted on Dec, 15 2007 @ 02:59 PM
Allan Holdsworth

Django Reinhardt

Scott Henderson

posted on Dec, 15 2007 @ 07:11 PM
Not much of a player myself, but one would have to mention Tommy Emmanuel.

posted on Dec, 15 2007 @ 08:42 PM
yeah SRV is the shiizznit

posted on Dec, 15 2007 @ 10:30 PM
I notice one name that usually never makes it onto a list. I personally think he is one of the greatest guitarists to ever grace the stage. He has energy, his fingers dance across that fret board, and even at the age he is today, I haven't seen him slowing down any time soon.

That man is Angus Young of AC/DC.

The solos on Let There Be Rock, Thunderstruck, You Shook Me All Night Long, Whole Lotta Rosie, and many many others put that man at or near the top. When he played, he had that look of pained ecstacy. I'm always in awe from the moment he starts until well after he's done.

I think he's an amazing guitarist and gets overlooked alot.

posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 12:34 AM
Well, I don't play guitar, but I do have a question or two for a guitar player.

In the scale of 1 to 10 how difficult is this piece (acoustic)? (I'm dying to ask this question to someone that plays guitar, curious about their answers)

And how about the electric?

About this thread itself, why no Jimi Hendrix?

[edit on Sun, 16 Dec 07 by Jazzyguy]

posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 12:56 AM

Originally posted by Jazzyguy
Why no Jimi Hendrix?

Speaking for myself, I left out the obvious rock guitar heroes everyone is familiar with: Eric Clapton, Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck. That is because my post had a different intention.

posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 08:43 AM
reply to post by Icon_xof

I think that your view of how playing has changed is simply reflective of how society is today. Everything you say may be true (I wouldn't know about guitarists as I can't play that well), but it is the same across the board. Most facets of society is breaking down into things that require less passion. Art, for example comes to mind. Don't get me wrong. We have technology now that can create Rembrandt's on any home computer, but it has replaced the ability to pour out one's soul by manually putting paint on a canvas. Now, any idiot can somewhat easily become an artist.

Society just dictates that things be faster and more accurate, not necessarily of any meaningful significance.

posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 11:13 AM

Originally posted by ben91069 Now, any idiot can somewhat easily become an artist.

Just because you make something and call it "art" doesn't make it "art" and it doesn't make you an artist.

The real artist is more concerned with process rather than product.
Intent and motivation I feel are the determining factors in the creative process.

Aesthetics is very tricky.

but what do I know; I'm playing bass now.

posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 11:23 AM
reply to post by whaaa

Well, that was my point, but you said it way better than I could. Since I am an excellent artist (you wouldn't know it from my cheesy avatar), I was trying to use that as an example. I do not think about those things though, because they come naturally. But today, you do not have to be skilled to create "artwork", just the ability to be good at using photoshop.

posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 12:08 PM
reply to post by Jazzyguy

I would give different marks depending on whether a learner or an experienced guitarist is playing.

I'd give the acoustic performance 5 (amateur) and 3 (experienced).

I'd give the electric performance 4 (amateur) and maybe 2 (experienced). The lower rating is because so much of what you hear in this video is coming from the backing track.

The piece played by both guitarists is not technically, emotionally or stylistically demanding in any way, which makes me curious to know why you chose it.

posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 01:15 PM
I really don't think Curt Cobain is a Guitar God. Everyone i know who plays guitar learned on Nirvana songs because they are so easy to play and repetitive.
I think it takes originality and technique to be a guitar god. My list has Hendrix, Dimebag, Jimmy Page, Kurt Hammett, SRV, Blues Saraceno, drawing a blank. I've been listening to Buckethead recently, hes pretty damn good.

posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 01:32 PM

Originally posted by hikix
I really don't think Curt Cobain is a Guitar God... easy to play and repetitive... originality and technique... Dimebag... Kurt Hammett... Blues Saraceno... Buckethead...

You have a long and winding road ahead of you, my friend.

Fortunately, the scenery along the way is very interesting.

posted on Dec, 18 2007 @ 08:04 PM
Here is some of dimebags work

The first time I ever heard of him was on ATS. He definitely had some chops man.

posted on Dec, 18 2007 @ 10:44 PM
reply to post by Astyanax

I don't think it's difficult either, but people comment (in youtube) as if it is. That is why I ask.

posted on Dec, 19 2007 @ 08:02 AM
What? No Steve Vai! Erik Johnson! Joe Satriani! Along with all the others already mentioned of course. I'm not a guitarist but am a techie for a band with the most awesome guitarist I've ever seen in real life. Can't give names but he's real good.

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