Everybody remembers certain songs for whatever reason, and catchy riffs and guitar solos make some songs stand out from the crowd. More often than not this is when the guitar lays down a solo that is memorable and it sticks inside your head. There have been some masters of the guitar, past and present, but who are the best of them? Here are some suggestions to debate the subject.
The maverick Jimi Hendrix was without doubt one of the most gifted guitarists that has ever walked on the planet. Love his music or hate it, you cannot doubt the raw and improvised talent that he had. Known mostly for rock music, Hendrix actually started playing on tour with the Chitlin Circuit and played with some of soul music’s brightest stars. Hendrix had a relatively short career and in recording terms one that lasted just four years, his impromptu technique made him an innovator, and he was one of the most influential guitarists in the history of popular music.
Clapton hails from England and has the distinction of being the only musician ever to be entered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, no other performer has ever had this accolade. His career will be most remembered for playing solo, but he also was part of two very successful bands namely Cream and the Yardbirds. Nicknamed Slow Hand for his effortless style of playing his best album was entitled the same and sold millions of copies.
Another English musician, Jimmy Page was extremely talented and could actually play a multitude of instruments. As lead guitarist of Led Zeppelin he was famous all over the world, he too played for the Yardbirds but in 1968 he founded one of the greatest rock bands ever, Led Zeppelin. Rolling Stone magazine tagged him as the pontiff of Power Riffing, and he was ranked number three in their 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Page’s experiences in the studio and with the Yardbirds were perhaps the most influential factors of the widespread success of Led Zeppelin.
Santana is a American / Mexican musician who bought a different sound to rock music in the late 1960’s, when he fused Latin American music with rock. His band were named simply Santana and they we renowned for melodic guitar themes set against powerful African and Latin rhythms. Santana is also known for his live performances and his epic renditions of some of his classic songs, and he has earned an amazing 10 Grammy Awards. Attending a Santana concert is like taking part in a samba festival and the sounds, colours and rhythms will keep you dancing all night.
The five guitarists are some of the best ever to step on stage, and as they say the proof is in the pudding, playing live they showed their extraordinary talents. Quite different in style they all contributed in their own different ways to forming the music we all hear today. Without their influences perhaps, music would have not evolved as much as it has, who knows if this is true. But one thing is for certain, and that is they have certainly bought much musical pleasure into many people’s lives.