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#58821 by Daniel Towsley
Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:15 pm
Besides some the greats already mentioned. I would like to add : Darrell Lance Abbott aka "Dimebag" Darrell and Saul Hudson aka "Slash"

#58940 by ColorsFade
Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:29 pm
I think Van Halen probably had the most influence (not going to answer the "best" part of that question).

When you hear guys like Vita Bratta talk about how much Eddie influenced them you being to realize the reach Eddie had. He probably affected more guitar players than any other single individual.

#58946 by Andragon
Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:31 pm
Nah Hendrix "reached" more, I think. And he still does.

#59184 by PhrAiLGuitarist
Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:15 pm
Just my 2 cents on the matter, I feel both are highly subjective. In regards to the most influential guitarist, how could you not pause to make exception for the guy who invented guitar? Likewise, the founders and pioneers of each genre that has formed since? There's no question that the 80's were the years of guitar heros, giving birth to techniques far beyond anything anyone had ever envisioned. Guys like EVH have completely lost everything that made them what they were. His composition and technique are down the drain, but that doesn't detract at all from the mark he left when he hit the scene and blew everyone's mind!

I mean, you have the Jimmy Page's, the Jimi Hendrix's, the Yngwie Malmsteen's, the Django Reinhardt's, the B.B. King's, the Albert Lee's, the Andres Segovia's, and so on and so forth. Because of this, there is absolutely no way in my mind that you can quantify even a handful of, "most influential" or, "best" guitarists! Not by a long shot. Now, everyone has their favorite guitarist(s) and I'm all for that, but the ability to influence or to be considered, "the most influential" is only as good as the reach an artist has. I think this is even more important to recognize NOW than it's ever been!

With the birth of the internet and the ability to put yourself out there, "the best" is only as notable as the musicians you've been exposed to at any given point in time. I am constantly under the impression that I've just about seen it all in regards to everything from the most astonishing technique to the most beautifully crafted compositions. Then, I hop on YouTube or surf around on MySpace and there's some nobody sitting in his bedroom who bests even some of the most current influential big named musicians! I can't help but take that into consideration in regards to the past and who might've been considered absolutely groundbreaking but they just never had the contacts or abilities to make a name for themselves.

Take, for instance, Shawn Lane in 1978 when he joined the southern rock band, Black Oak Arkansas at the ripe old age of 14. If you hop on YouTube and pull up some old footage of Shawn doing his solos with that band when he was 16 and 17 (thus putting the year at 1980 and 1981), right there is a kid who is already absolutely pioneering his own voice on the instrument. I mean... if you had put him and EVH in a room together in 1980, you would've easily had a jaw-dropping performance from two completely different guitarists leveraging their very own techniques not used by anyone before them (that we know of) in the capacity they were. Granted, those days were arguably the pinnacle of Eddie's writing and technique, but Shawn was FAR from done and his reach wouldn't truly start until he hit his early 20's during the burst of flashy guitar technique being the holy grail of the measure of a guitarist. Even still, his following was (and still unfortunately is) somewhat underground, but there he's been since 1979; a musician with the capacity to move mountains with technique who would become an INCREDIBLE composer and force to be reckoned with. And that's just Shawn Lane!

Anyway, I'm a 27 year old guy who has been playing for something like 11 years. My first influence was Kirk Hammett. From there, it was Marty Friedman, Dimebag Darrell, Yngwie Malmsteen, and the list grows every day, it seems. While I appreciate where they were in their time and the effects they had on MANY people, guys like Hendrix just don't do it for me. I appreciate and acknowledge where they stand in the line of influences, but just because, say, Nuno Bettencourt is influential to me doesn't automatically make Hendrix an influence of mine due to Hendrix being an influence of HIS, you know what I'm sayin'?

But yeah. That's how I see it. The people who influence you had people who influenced them and so on and so forth. I'm all for making a massive list of influential guitarists and someone actually putting forth a STUDY (not just asking people their opinion) in attempt to quantify the true reach of any given guitarist - actually, I think that would be quite interesting - but none-the-less, there's my opinion of the matter... for what it's worth. lol. :wink:

-Stephen

#59346 by Kramerguy
Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:30 pm
Hey Phrail-

I kind of took at as "who influenced you the most" vs. "who is the bestus of the bestus".. But maybe I took some artistic freedom in my interpretation of the question 8)

That being said, Alex lifeson, David Gilmour, and Yngwie probably influenced me the most (think I already said that earlier, but figured I'd repeat it), oh... and whoever the guitarist was for Robert Plant's band the Honeydrippers.. Dude had an amazing clean tone and groovy/dreamy style/technique, and while I never learned any of the actual music, I find myself replicating the style all the time.

#59454 by philbymon
Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:30 pm
It was me, so there! You're all wrong!

#59674 by ratsass
Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:58 pm
I noticed someone earlier mentioned Joe Bonamasa but didn't expound on the subject. Currently, he is one of my favorite to listen to. Loved the CD "Bloodline" and knew he was young on it, but CD came up missing a few years back. I got to missing it and last year went online to find it again. Read the story on Bonamasa and found that he was only 14 when Bloodline was recorded. Blew my mind so I googled Bonamasa and found that he had about 7 CDs on his own. Got most of them and still haven't got tired of listening. I think I still enjoy his overall playing on Bloodline more. His chops have gotten better (I think) now, but back then it was like he had the talent of a much older person but the playfulness of a kid. That's what his solos were back then...playful. And that makes it fun to listen to. Also liked that someone mentioned Jason Becker. Wasn't in to the shredding of Cacophony so much but could definitely see the talent. Blew my mind when I got David Lee Roth's "A Little Ain't Enough" and found that Becker did all the guitar stuff. I thought, "Hell, this sounds more like Van Halen than Van Halen." But the guitarist that influenced me most at the most impressionable age...John Fogerty. Gonna show my age, but at the time, I was into the Monkees and being self taught, I played the notes along with the vocal melody line (probably why I play lead guitar now). My brother took me to my first concert in Memphis and it was Creedence Clearwater Revival. I was in awe of the music coming from that stage and I said to myself, "Oh, that's what chords do." The next day I dug out a guitar instruction book that had been gathering dust and started learning chords. Then got ahold of every CCR record (45 rpm) that I could and played along with them until my family went crazy. The rest is history (or hysteria).
#104851 by guitarman514
Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:18 pm
everone's comments are true but in the last 60 years or so, there are only three hallmark guitar players that have bridged every generation and musical genre on a global basis. You must keep in mind that these musicians are responsible for the way people play right now, as well as when they were in there hayday, and I know this because I have met them all.

Wes Montgomery, everybody plays octives!

Jimi Hendrix, for his rock style that everybody on the planet uses in some manner.

George Benson for scat guitar playing and triads.

I have left out country music because I never met Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Carl Perkins, and the many forefathers of todays great pickin'
Dave Lavender

#104858 by Cretindilettante
Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:33 pm
I don't know if anyone's mentioned him, but Steve mother f**k Albini.

#104940 by Kruliosis
Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:45 am
I can't answer that without a long list and obviously forgetting somebody. I would have to go over every style of music there is. There's just way too many contributors.

#105410 by jsantos
Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:32 pm
Jimi Hendrix. I feel that his impact on the electric guitar and popular music was quite extensive, to the point where his influence is still present today. Many artists (Satriani, Van Halen, Vai, DiMeola, SRV... etc.) consider Hendrix as the blueprint to the modern guitarist.

Image

#109115 by G-sharp-M9th
Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:42 am
Andy Summers. His musical choices and sonic coloring reflect a deep knowledge of music, virtuoso technique, avant garde adventure and appreciation for cutting edge effects and technology. Legendary and unique.

#110052 by ryckykay86
Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:10 pm
now this is only my opinion lol

best:stevie ray vaughan

most influential:jimi hendrix

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