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I don't know about the greatest ever' date=' but he's criminally under-rated IMHO. Tull was a great band, and outside of Ian Anderson, hardly anyone can name anyone else in the band.[/quote']

 

In fairness, because Tull were so off the wall, even in the UK at the time, and didn't fit into a pigeonhole, few of the prog guitarists got as much credit as they probably deserved.

 

Steve Hackett - technically gifted, able to create some of the most glorious and colourful soundscapes

Steve Howe - phenomenal artisan of the guitar, intense character, not fashionable

Robert Fripp - just wow! the understanding that guy has of music enable him to adapt a guitar to just about everything

 

All you have to do is look at the "heroes" and they're guitar eye candy or have a particular selling point, Page, Blackmore, Iommi, Hendrix, Peter Green, Santana.

 

The prog guys were perceived to be too geeky

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Totally agree Rat!

Hackett was basically the first to be credited with the two handed tapping thing as early as 73.

Howe was possibly the best in the genre, but I always felt the production kept him in the background way too much.

Fripp, was the Master of sustain, odd tunings, and the invention of the "Frippertonics" that made Bowie and others so noticeable.

 

Can't forget Anthony Phillips, also from early Genesis, who was more of an textural guitarist.

And of course, my hero, Bill Nelson. While not particularly Prog rock, more of early glam morphing into to prog pop, is still one of the most underrated guitarist ever.

 

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Another great IMO who is not a household name is Gary Green of Gentle Giant

 

My brother saw these guys play around the time this video was made. He said it was the greatest concert he had ever been to and there were only about 1200 people in a 10,000 seat arena but they played their butts off.

 

 

If he flipped the neck pickup around on that Les Paul it would look like Peter Green's guitar. Peter Green is a fine example of 'less is more' when it comes to playing the guitar (or any instrument for that matter).

 

I think sometimes we admire fellow musician solely for their technique but I believe technique is important in the sense that lack of technique can get in the way of the music. BB King was no Eric Johnson but his technique was certainly enough to allow his music to come through and touch our souls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by onelife
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Getting back to Martin Barre, here's one where he's playing some straight forward arena rock...

 

… although it shows all the signs of being mimed. There's more than one guitar part, he doesn't look like he's playing the same solo and Ian forgets to pretend he's playing the flute in a few spots.

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I think Martin's great virtue is understanding that he is playing in a band, not being a virtuoso. Stand Up was a very cohesive album with an even texture. They created a new folk- rock hybrid (British folk rather than US folk) that really worked smoothly with no grinding of gears. Andersons flute work is not to be underestimated though . Beautifully tracked up here:

 

[video=youtube_share;iybAyDFrhhI]

 

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Wonderful guitarist indeed. But how do you quantify "The Greatest"?

 

Terry Kath from Chicago is another under-appreciated rock guitarist. Chicago was a great horn band but without that great guitarist, I don't think they would have gone that far. He's definitely one of my favorites.

 

Hendrix? EC? Slash? Eddie Van H? Tommy Tedesco? Carlos? Page? Orianthi? Walsh? (the list goes on)

 

How can you pick "Greatest"?

 

As a sax player (who doubles on guitar) who almost "made it big" I've had the privilege to play with a few known "guitar gods" and some studio guys we've all heard on recordings My jaw doesn't drop easily. However when I saw "Jeff Beck Live At Ronnie Scotts" my jaw dropped. I saw him do some super-human things on camera, and I decided that he is probably one of the most if not the most technically competent rock guitarist currently playing.. But I still can't call him "The Greatest".

 

It's like choosing the most delicious food. Angus Steak is great, but what about lobster? Ice Cream? Cheddar Cheese? Cod? Donuts? Sweet Corn? (the list goes on).

 

So I say Martin is under-appreciated and one great guitarist, but I can't say Greatest. Nobody gets that award from me, but so many are appreciated for the great things they've done.

 

I just can't pick "Greatest".

 

Insights and incites by Notes

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I agree completely. There is no way to determine "greatest."

 

My comment in the OP is not a claim but just a comment that some people say…

 

As for Jeff Beck - I think he's an absolute monster on the guitar - so much so that I believe he is responsible for one of three quantum leaps in the history of the Stratocaster.

 

1. Leo and company designed it - it was played by Buddy Holly, Hank Marvin et al

2. Hendrix came along and showed us what else we could do with it - stuff that was never considered during the design of the instrument. There were other innovators but they were building on what Hendrix did.

3. Now we have Jeff Beck who broke out of the post Hendrix mould and took it to a whole new place.

 

That being said, I think George Harrison could be considered the greatest because of how he used his guitar talent to create bits that are timeless and as essential to the songs as the lyrics. The slide guitar in My Sweet Lord comes to mind.

 

 

So I agree, how could anyone possibly determine who is the greatest?

Edited by onelife
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I think Martin's great virtue is understanding that he is playing in a band, not being a virtuoso.

 

Great point! :philthumb:

 

Serve the song first and foremost. Your chops and what you decide to play should always be subservient to the needs of the song, and applied for the benefit of the band as a whole. I've never been a big fan of glory hounds who didn't play for the song, and with the band.

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Big Tull fan here - seen them a couple of times and yes Barre has had his share of tasty riffs and licks over the years. Kinda too bad he had to work with Anderson all those years though a guy that is notoriously flinty and basically stole all the songwriting credits even though Barre was a very prominent and active cowriter.

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OT When I lived in the mountains I had to drive down a winding to reach the main highway. I discovered that the flute intro to "Crosseyed Mary "was the perfect tempo and pattern for racing around the curves..And I never crashed...( at least not while doing that)

I still get a rush listening to it.

 

[video=youtube;M7jLiXeFm_E]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=M7jLiXeFm_E

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The guy was excellent, but certainly not the greatest (if there even could be one). In my band in the late 70's we played a few Tull covers...my favorite actually was Hymn 43 which I also sang (run!). Some of those songs were not as easy as they seemed, but we did a good job with a few of them.

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