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Thread: Really Good Lead Guitar

  1. #1
    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    Really Good Lead Guitar

    I have been trying to fill in some gaps in my listening experience and CD collection and have been talking with some of my students who claim to have an interest in rock, and I've been following up on some of their suggestions with mixed results.

    I'm specifically looking for outstanding lead guitar.

    I was talking with one of my students the other day, and the idea came up that you could number the really great guitarists (rock) on the fingers of one hand. We agreed on Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray. We couldn't agree on the final two. Actually we couldn't think of two more who were in that category. Our working definition of "really great guitarist" was playing that goes way beyond technical skill and musicality to this: when they play improvisationally they stun you with the sheer flow of ideas. There are lots of applicants. Outside of the field of rock I would put Django in that league and possibly John McLaughlin, although I'm not so sure about that, and in blues Robert Johnson. There are lots of guitarists who may have been great, but their playing seems to lose its creative edge and lapse into self-mimicry (B.B.King, for example)

    Anyway, this is an invitation to discuss "really good guitarists" who might potentially be upgraded to "really great." I would appreciate names, groups, recommended albums, even cuts. Performance DVD's would be of special interest. If you could say a little something about why you think your particular selections should be considered, that would be very helpful in developing a critical vocabulary.

    Thanks,

    David

  2. #2
    Senior Member kingjames's Avatar
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    Alvin Lee,Ten Years After "HELP ME" (Rock) Guitar solo awesome.
    Roy Buchanan "Messiah will come again" (Blues) make's his guitar cry.
    Eddie Van Halen (for the speed at which he plays) Just good.

    These are a few that I can recall.

  3. #3
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Leo Kotke - 6 and 12 String Guitar (nearly anything off this album - the guy serious has finger pickin' skills, even when quite young)

    Phil Manzanera - Diamondhead - Alma (guitar player from Roxy Music)

    Carlos Santana - Caravanserai - Song of the Wind (Most anything by Carlos ...)
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    Senior Member JBLRaiser's Avatar
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    Jimmy 'freakin' Page man

    Need I say more? Ok, I will...

    Duane Allman, Ry Cooder, Jeff Beck, Robert Cray.

  5. #5
    Senior Member porschedpm's Avatar
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    I don't know what else these guys did but Velvet Underground's Steve Hunter's and Dick Wagner's guitars on Lou Reeds "Intro/Sweet Jane" are classic and worth mentioning.

  6. #6
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    You've hit some good ones! How 'bout Derek Trucks (just ask Clapton), John Mayer (if you've not seen him on the Crossroads Guitar Festival DVD, don't pre-judge him, and oh yeah, ask Clapton...), and I'll toss Mato Nangi in there for good measure (Indigenous). Not saying this is his best, but it is a sample: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3sQptZcKr8

    Also:Mayer at Crossroads here.

    And probably anything from Al Di Meola, depending on your taste.

  7. #7
    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingjames View Post
    Alvin Lee,Ten Years After "HELP ME"
    OK on him. I'm replaying his cut on the Isle of Wight Album, and I think he can play. Would "Live at the Filmore East" be the album to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by kingjames View Post
    Roy Buchanan "Messiah will come again" (Blues) make's his guitar cry.
    Ya. I've listened to him some. I like it, but he's off in a corner of his own, I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by kingjames View Post
    Eddie Van Halen (for the speed at which he plays) Just good.
    This name has come up before. I plan to find something by him. What album would you recommend?

    Quote Originally Posted by hjames View Post
    Leo Kotke - 6 and 12 String Guitar (nearly anything off this album - the guy serious has finger pickin' skills, even when quite young)
    You mean the Armadillo Album? Yes, I have that (mine is on the Takoma label)

    I'm good there; have five of his albums. You're right--he can play.

    And that reminds me--iconoclastic acoustic stylists: You might like John Fahey--I have "Requia" and "Fare Forward, Voyagers"--and Peter Walker--I have "Rainy Day Raga."

    Quote Originally Posted by hjames View Post
    Phil Manzanera - Diamondhead - Alma (guitar player from Roxy Music)
    I'll look for him.

    Quote Originally Posted by hjames View Post
    Carlos Santana - Caravanserai - Song of the Wind (Most anything by Carlos ...)
    Ah, yes. I should have mentioned him. I have the half-speed mastered Abraxas on vinyl and the guru era collaboration with John McLaughlin, "Love, Devotion, Surrender." Actually, I've considered adding Caravanserai in the past; I should go get it.

    Thanks,

    David

  8. #8
    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBLRaiser View Post
    [regarding Jimmy Page] Need I say more? Ok, I will...
    Yes, you can tell where to hear Jimmy Page undiluted by Robert Plant's screaming style of vocals. Not my cup of tea. I just got the digitally remastered first album, and jeez . . . . (but I do like Pages' guitar).

    Quote Originally Posted by JBLRaiser View Post
    Duane Allman, Ry Cooder, Jeff Beck, Robert Cray.
    Duane Allman, yes. I have the Allman Brothers at the Fillmore. Jeff Beck--I recently bought Blow By Blow, and thought it a real snoozer (this is why I'm asking for help, actually) Is there anything else? Ry Cooder--pretty artistic, yes--I'll try some more of him. I don't know if the stuff I have is what you mean. I have Jazz, which I like, and a Water Lily CD of him playing with vina player V.M. Bhatt (whom I heard play live in India a couple of weeks ago), and of course I love what he did with the
    Buena Vista Social Club musicians. Robert Cray--that name has come up. What albums?

    Thanks,

    David

  9. #9
    Senior Member edgewound's Avatar
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    Good thread, Dave.

    Can taste, phrasing, and timing and not overplaying be considered?

    I think most people underestimate the musicianship of David Gilmour.

    His solo in Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" is a composition in and of itself that defines that song. It has all the great ingredients of a guitar solo...beginning that comes out of main song...a build up...a crescendo...and then ends masterfully back into the main tune...all with great taste...tension...melody...technique...not playing too many notes in the right places.


    Another all time great, legendary guitarist is Larry Carlton. Most all of his recorded solos were improvised at the time of recording.

    He palyed guitar on many Steely Dan songs, including the great solo on "Josie".

    I'd say less than five great guitar players is too short of a list.

    Vince Gill is another great player that was the only "country" player invited by Eric Clapton to join the "Crossroads" tour.

    Oh yeah....listen to the early ZZ Top....Billy Gibbons is a very underappreciated player too.
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  10. #10
    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edgewound View Post
    Good thread, Dave.

    Can taste, phrasing, and timing and not overplaying be considered?
    Yes, please!
    Quote Originally Posted by edgewound View Post
    I'd say less than five great guitar players is too short of a list.
    Well, maybe that's a casual listener's list!
    Quote Originally Posted by edgewound View Post
    I think most people underestimate the musicianship of David Gilmour.

    His solo in Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" is a composition in and of itself that defines that song. It has all the great ingredients of a guitar solo...beginning that comes out of main song...a build up...a crescendo...and then ends masterfully back into the main tune...all with great taste...tension...melody...technique...not playing too many notes in the right places.

    Another all time great, legendary guitarist is Larry Carlton. Most all of his recorded solos were improvised at the time of recording.

    He palyed guitar on many Steely Dan songs, including the great solo on "Josie".

    Vince Gill is another great player that was the only "country" player invited by Eric Clapton to join the "Crossroads" tour.

    Oh yeah....listen to the early ZZ Top....Billy Gibbons is a very underappreciated player too.
    This is great. This is one of the things I was hoping for--a player's player list.

    Thanks

    David

  11. #11
    Senior Member edgewound's Avatar
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    Ah yes...there's more...

    Lee Ritenour's "Feel the Night", "Wes Bound" tribute to Wes Montgomery, "Larry and Lee" with Larry Carlton, anything by Wes Montogomery, Dickie Betts' work with the Allman Bros, esp. "Live at the Fillmore East", and with his own band, Jeff Beck's "Wired", Steve Lukather and Larry Carlton "Live in Japan", Robben Ford...anything by him really, Peter Frampton's "Frampton Comes Alive" and with Humble Pie "Rockin' the Fillmore", George Benson with Vido Musso...awesome.

    I'll list more as I think of them...

    Al DiMeola was in "Return to Forever" with Lenny White on drums, Chick Corea on keys, and Stanley Clark on bass....this is some of the most incendiary, monsters-technique-laden, and technically incomprehensible musicianship ever recorded....what they do is simply mind boggling.

    Don't forget Frank Zappa, Steve Vai and his guitar teacher at Berklee College of music, Joe Satriani.

    Ritchie Blackmore is another....you know, Deep Purple and Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow.

    Joe Walsh and The Eagles work with Randy Meisner, Don Felder.

    Eric Johnson has a very interesting technique, Steve Morse from the Dixie Dregs and also tours with the latest version of Deep Purple.

    The two guitarists for Styx, Tommy Shaw and James Young complemented each other quite well on "The Grand Illusion"

    Another two guitarist band that are still going strong after 30+ years is Aerosmith with Joe Perry and Brad Whitford
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  12. #12
    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edgewound View Post
    Ah yes...there's more...

    Lee Ritenour's "Feel the Night", "Wes Bound" tribute to Wes Montgomery, "Larry and Lee" with Larry Carlton, anything by Wes Montogomery, Dickie Betts' work with the Allman Bros, esp. "Live at the Fillmore East", and with his own band, Jeff Beck's "Wired", Steve Lukather and Larry Carlton "Live in Japan", Robben Ford...anything by him really, Peter Frampton's "Frampton Comes Alive" and with Humble Pie "Rockin' the Fillmore", George Benson with Vido Musso...awesome.

    I'll list more as I think of them...

    Al DiMeola was in "Return to Forever" with Lenny White on drums, Chick Corea on keys, and Stanley Clark on bass....this is some of the most incendiary, monsters-technique-laden, and technically incomprehensible musicianship ever recorded....what they do is simply mind boggling.

    Don't forget Frank Zappa, Steve Vai and his guitar teacher at Berklee College of music, Joe Satriani.

    Ritchie Blackmore is another....you know, Deep Purple and Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow.
    Man, this is a rich vein. Let it flow!

    I do listen to the Mothers. I have Hot Rats, Freak Out, Only In It For the Money, and One Size Fits All on vinyl. These are treasures. Great antidotes to the after-effects presidential news conferences.

  13. #13
    Senior Member edgewound's Avatar
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    More...

    Pat Travers, Ted Nugent(also Amboy Dukes), The Outlaws...I don't know the 3 guitarists names.

    Old Lynard Skynard and post mortem "Rossington-Collins Band"

    The 1980's big hair band, NightRanger had two great guitarists Jeff Watson and Brad Gillis.

    Two legendary players probably no one ever thinks about anymore are Roy Clark and Glen Campbell.

    And then there is of course the great Chet Atkins.

    Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits.

    Kenny Wayne Shepherd who was a child prodigy influenced from Stevie Ray Vaughn, but is accused of being too much like SRV. Whatever....he still tears it up.
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  14. #14
    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edgewound View Post
    More...

    Pat Travers, Ted Nugent(also Amboy Dukes), The Outlaws...I don't know the 3 guitarists names.

    Old Lynard Skynard and post mortem "Rossington-Collins Band"

    The 1980's big hair band, NightRanger had two great guitarists Jeff Watson and Brad Gillis.

    Two legendary players probably no one ever thinks about anymore are Roy Clark and Glen Campbell.

    And then there is of course the great Chet Atkins.

    Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits
    Edgewound! Edgewound!

    I listened to Chet Atkins when I was a kid (what happened to those albums, and my Duane Eddy, too?)

    I've got Hot Rats on now. Zappa's playing on "Son of Mr Green Genes" is outstanding. I'll hear that cut again.

    David

  15. #15
    Super Moderator Hofmannhp's Avatar
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    you forgot someone

    Hi folks,

    wonder why he's not that well known in the US...
    take his Album "live at Tampa Bay Blues Festival 2000"
    the following link lists him as No. 6 in the guitarists billboard of BBC UK

    http://www.waltertrout.com/top20.htm

    HP
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