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The Ultimate Guitar Players of All Time [ Part 2 ]

Here's another list of legends that we are going to talk about in this part 2 of the Ultimate Guitar Players of All time Series.


Chuck Berry

He has named it 'The Fathers of Rock and Roll,' refined and developed rhythms and blues into the key elements that distinguished rock and roll with songs such as 'Maybellene' in 1955, 'Roll Over Beethoven' in 1956, 'Rock and Roll Music' in 1957 and 'Johnny B. Goode' (1958). He likes to write lyrics focusing on the teenager's life and consumerism and to develop a musical style that included guitar solos and showmanship. With many records of hits, movies and a profitable touring career, Berry was establishing a star. He had set up also his own Berry Club Bandstand Nightclub St. Louis. Berry's contributions to rock music were three: an irresistible swagger, a focus for the guitar riff as the primary melodic element and a focus on story writing. Though not technically completed, his style of guitar is distinctive, with electronic effects simulating the sound of blues bottleneck guitarists and influencing guitar players like Carl Hogan.



B.B. King

B.B. King used equipment typical of the various periods in which he was playing. Early in his career, he played guitars made by different producers. In most of his recordings, he played a Fender Esquire with RPM Records. It was however most famous for the Gibson ES-355 variants. B.B. King was a blues singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer from the United States. He pioneered a sophisticated soloing style based on fluid string bending, shimmering vibrato, and staccato picking that influenced many subsequent blues electric guitar players. AllMusic named King as "the single most important electric guitarist of the second half of the twentieth century." He is regarded as one of the "Three Kings of the Blues Guitar" and one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, earning him the moniker "The King of the Blues" (along with Albert King and Freddie King, none of whom are blood related). Throughout his musical career, King worked tirelessly, performing more than 200 concerts per year on average until he was in his 70s. He performed at 342 shows in 1956 alone. B.B.'s influences were established early on. He grew up in Indianola, Mississippi, and remembers the sound of field hollers and blues legends such as Charley Patton and Robert Johnson. T-Bone Walker's single-note phrasing was something else entirely. Those influences can be heard in the melodies he not only sings vocally but also lets his guitar sing instrumentally. I was particularly interested in two of his actions. He invented this one razor-sharp phrase in which he hits two notes, then jumps to another string and slides up to a note. And then there's that two-or three-note thing where he bends the last note. Both figures never fail to get you up and moving – or out of your seat. It's that potent.


Jeff Beck

Jeff Beck is one of three well-known guitarists who has worked with the Yardbirds (the other two being Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page). Beck also founded the Jeff Beck Group, as well as Beck, Bogert & Appice with Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice. Jeff Beck has the combination of brilliant technique with personality. It’s like he’s saying, “I’m Jeff Beck. I’m right here. And you can’t ignore me.” Even in the Yardbirds, he had a tone that was melodic but in-your-face – bright, urgent and edgy, but sweet at the same time. You could tell he was a serious player, and he was going for it. He was not holding back. Playing with and around a vocalist, answering and pushing him, takes real artistry. That's the beauty of his two albums with Rod Stewart, Truth (1968) and Beck-Ola (1969). Jeff isn't getting in the way, but he's keeping up. And he pushed the blues to new heights. Truth's "Beck's Bolero" is un-bluesy but still blues-based. On Truth, one of favorite songs is the cover of Howlin' Wolf's "I Ain't Superstitious." That wah-wah growl indicates a sense of humor. Not sure if Clapton, as great as he is, plays with the same sense of humor. Jeff has it in spades.


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