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The Ultimate Guitar Players of All Time [ Part 1 ]

Updated: Jul 3, 2021

We list the ultimate guitar player with these incredible musical innovators, best jazz, rock, indie, metal and acoustic players in the guitar world - and today's top guitar player.

These are the people who made it on our list ;

Pete Townshend

There are few solos Pete Townshend plays, which could be because so many people don't know how well he really is. But rock is so important – he is a visionary musician who has really illuminated it all. His rhythm-guitar is very exciting and aggressive – in a way, he is a wild player. He's a marvelous, fluid guitar physicality that you often don't see, and his performance reflects who he is as a person – an intense guy. The first one on stage to destroy a guitar , that's him , the original punk – a breathtaking statement at this moment still no one can forget. He is a literate and articulate person too. He listens to a lot of jazz and he told people what he wanted to do. You can hear from "Substitute" the influence of Davis' modal approach on how his chords move against the open D string. He was using feedback early, which people think was influenced by European avant-garde music like Stockhausen – an art-school thing. The big ringing chords he used in the Who were so musically smart when you consider how busy the drumming and bass playing were in that band – it could have gotten chaotic if not for him. He more or less invented the power chord, and you can hear a sort of pre-Zeppelin thing in the Who's Sixties work. So much of this stuff came from him.

Duane Allman

Duane Allman was far more precise than anyone who had come before. It was strange when you hear him first with those old-school Allman Brothers records because the sound was so similar to what most of us had grown up listening to. Pay attention to "Layla," especially when it enters the outro. Duane is slidin' all over that tune. We all sit and practice our guitars, but this is one of those records where you want to put the guitar down and just listen. According to Eric Clapton he knew working with Duane would take guitar music to a whole new level; this man had a vision, and has achieved it. Clapton admitted that he was nervous about two guys playing guitar, but Duane was the coolest cat, saying, "Let's just get down!" Unfortunately Duane died when he was young, and it was just one of those things. You could tell he was going to improve 50 times over. But God has a way of working things out, and that is the legacy he has left behind. Even so his legacy and passion will remain. Listen to Allman Brothers' music.

Eddie Van Halen

Eddie is a riff master: "Unchained," "Take Your Whiskey Home," and the beginning of "Ain't Talking 'Bout Love." He gets sounds that aren't necessarily guitar sounds – a lot of harmonics and textures that occur simply as a result of how he picks. There's a section in "Unchained" where the riff sounds like it's being played by another instrument. Much of it is in his hands, such as the way he holds his pick between his thumb and middle finger, which allows for finger-tapping. When people discovered he played that way, some tried it themselves, but it was too strange. Eddie, on the other hand, has soul. It's like Hendrix: you can play the songs he wrote, but there's an X factor missing. Eddie still has it. We saw Van Halen on their reunion tour two years ago, and the moment he came out, We all felt the same way all of us did as a kid. When you see a master, you know it.

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