Brian May Named Greatest Guitarist

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by drmilktruck, Jun 17, 2020.

  1. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Awesome young player!
    Waxhead likes this.
  2. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    I like that he adds a bit of his own touch to it. Neat kid.
    Waxhead likes this.
  3. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    I’ve seen any number of gifted young players, in my day, and usually they do not maintain that interest into adulthood, at least to the degree that they had when they were younger.

    One explanation is that to a bright youngster, music is one of very few activities that a child can participate in and attain a level of skill that is not restricted because of age. You may have had a strong interest in medicine, as a youth, but you had to live long enough to finish Medical School and serve your internship and residency before you were able to fully exercise that interest. A fairly small child can pick up an instrument and be taken seriously by an adult, if they are sufficiently skilled.

    But time marches on. I love the guitar and take it seriously, but to be honest, I’m a lot more interested in my profession than I am in music. This is a recreation, at this point in life, but 40 years ago, music was my life. If I was going to remain in the workplace another 20 years, I probably would quit playing altogether. As much as I love music, it’s not as important to me as it used to be, and I suspect that a lot of enthusiastic young players eventually outlive their most fervent interest in music.

    The odds of even a highly gifted youngster becoming a name artist with wealth and fame are not favorable. While a tiny handful of name artists “make it” in the business, to the point of being truly wealthy, and able to dictate the direction of their career, overall, music is not a good way to make a living. Especially these days.
    loudnlousy, drmilktruck and Waxhead like this.
  4. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Well check out the 2019 highlights of young Taj Farrant.
    He's already on the way and we'll see how he fares in future years.
    But he's one to watch out for :D

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    new6659 likes this.
  5. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    I'd love to see him stick with it.
    Waxhead likes this.
  6. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    PBS' Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour (on TV, go figure) always features young bluegrass players weekly. Some are phenomenal. I like how they promote the future artists. This week, a pair of teenaged sisters got to perform with Tommy E. As live venues are disappearing left and right, it's good to see that young folks' hard work is still appreciated by many.
    Waxhead likes this.
  7. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Hey, you never know. I'm would guess that Orange amp and all that gear isn't all hers, so maybe a parent plays and she wanted to do it as well. If musical parents, I would guess they are a bit laid back?
  8. r0de0

    r0de0 Synchromatic

    Jul 7, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    I respect his work as an astrophysicist however, as a guitar player and the first time I have ever used this word: meh.
  9. pmarinovich

    pmarinovich Electromatic

    Nov 17, 2018
    My mind goes back to practicing martial arts for so many years. The sifus often talked about the American mentality as being "childish" because we Americans want to make a competition out of everything-- with trophies and colored belts, etc. Many things are measurable....technical ability, speed, numbers of fans, numbers of streams, etc. But if you are a true artist, you only care about revealing your emotions in a tangible way for people to either identify with or not. Nothing else matters. We all want to be able to say that our personal favorite is the "best." But, really, that's nonsense. I refuse to rate anyone who's up there doing his or her thing for me to enjoy.
    Sid Nitzerglobin and drmilktruck like this.
  10. richopp

    richopp Electromatic

    Feb 9, 2009
    Uh, can he play Duane's live solo on Stormy Monday perfectly? Doubt many can. Walsh says that the duet on Hotel California is the "hardest part to play CORRECTLY" for him, and he's no slouch either.

    And Al Di Meola seems to be OK as well, with Chet (George once famously said that he wanted to play like Chet but did not have enough fingers) and Eric--OK, blues is a different category, but even HE had Duane come over and play the Layla parts--like George had Eric play the "Weeping" parts, so "best" means what exactly? Knopfler made a few good tunes, right, and Becker kind of had his own sound as well?

    This is silly. First, anyone who INVENTS the parts is, in my mind, "BETTER" than people who copy them later. A LOT of this is done in the studio as well, so...

    All those "unsung" heroes who play in the studio so bands can sound professional on recordings are mostly anonymous--Steve Cropper, Jimmy Johnson, Danny Kortchmar, Harold Bradley, Dan Ferguson, etc., etc., etc.

    Maybe, "Guitarist person xxxxx likes the best" would be a better category. Nothing against Mr. May, but, uh, he is following a LONG LINE of players who made his job possible.

  11. hippdog

    hippdog Electromatic

    Jul 23, 2013
    NW Arkansas
    Maybe the question is: Who is on Brian May's top 10 list of best guitarists.
  12. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Apr 5, 2014
    May's early influences included Cliff Richard and the Shadows, who he says were "the most metallic thing(s) out at the time." Many years later he gained his opportunity to play on separate occasions with both Cliff Richard and Shadows lead guitarist Hank Marvin. He has collaborated with Cliff Richard on a re-recording of the Cliff Richard and the Shadows (then known as the Drifters) 1958 hit "Move It" on the Cliff Richard duets album Two's Company which was released on 6 November 2006.

    May always stated that the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the Who and Jimi Hendrix were the greatest influences on him. On the Queen for an Hour interview on BBC Radio 1 in 1989, May listed Hendrix, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton as his guitar heroes. In a 1991 interview for Guitar World magazine, May referred to the Who as "my inspiration", and on seeing Led Zeppelin stated, "We used to look at those guys and think, 'That's the way it should be done.'"May told Guitarist in 2004: "I don't think anyone has epitomized riff writing better than Jimmy Page – he's one of the great brains of rock music".

    May also cites Rory Gallagher as a major influence, saying "He was a magician. He was one of the very few people of that time who could make his guitar do anything, it seemed. I remember looking at that battered Stratocaster and thinking, 'How does that (sound) come out of there?'" According to May, " was Rory that gave me my sound, and that's the sound I still have." May was also influenced by Steve Hackett, guitarist of the progressive rock band Genesis, in particular his harmony guitar solo at the end of the band's epic 1971 song "The Musical Box". Hackett said of May, "Equally, his energetic approach to guitar inspired me."
    Waxhead and Sid Nitzerglobin like this.
  13. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Englishman laid it all out. In the article in Total Guitar, May gives props to Jimi Hendrix, Clapton, Page especially. He and Page and two other Yardbird members went to the same school growing up.He also recognized EVH, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai.

    He admitted on technical merit alone he didn't deserve such a ranking. He also said it's impossible to say that so-and-so is the greatest.
  14. Johno99

    Johno99 Electromatic

    Feb 24, 2017
    Haslemere, UK
    Oh dear. How sad. I saw Queen at Wembley and they were quite frankly dreadful. Mercury treated the audience with distain and May was appalling, couldn't string two notes together.
    They were totally upstaged by the support band INXS, and they knew it.
    Best guitarist? Not by a long country mile.
    So, David Gilmore, Hendrix, Mark Knopfler, Robben Ford, not to mention Eric Clapton, Larry Carlton, Pat Martino, Lee Ritenour. Need I go on?
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2020
    Trash Kidd and MrAstro like this.
  15. MrAstro

    MrAstro Gretschie

    Mar 5, 2015
    Sydney, NSW
    I'm not sure I've seen any credible guitar magazine ranking of guitarists ever - they are all ridiculous. Apples have been voted the best fruit over bananas, oranges and plums. Give me a break.
  16. lapdog

    lapdog Newbie

    Jul 16, 2016
    Melbourne Australia
    Not even in my top 20. Influential but hardly set the world on fire. English magazine?
    Waxhead likes this.
  17. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    Yes, it’s the UK equivalent of Guitar World.
  18. englishman

    englishman Gretschified

    Apr 5, 2014
    I take it you're not a fan? Are you saying your ability is greater than his?
  19. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    That’s the point. I say Clapton and someone else says Hendrix. I say Chet, and someone else says Django. Take out the word best and replace it with favorite, then suddenly it all makes sense. Chet Atkins is my favorite guitarist and I have great respect for his skills, but that still leaves room of the opinions of others.
    Alanqa likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.