Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #14129  by MO Head
 Sun Mar 18, 2007 7:04 pm
That is like saying what is the best color or what is the best smell... 8)

 #14134  by bodiddley
 Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:21 am
Not sure if anyone mentioned Brian Setzer...maybe not the best, but he's pretty damn good.

 #14143  by mttourpro
 Mon Mar 19, 2007 12:44 pm
Just an FYI...Allan Holdsworth, one of the greatest guitar players on the planet, is touring. I'm going to see him in a small theatre in Pittsburgh this Friday. If you play guitar and have never heard or seen him, it might behooove you to see if you can catch him while he's here. He hasn't been in Pittsburgh since the earlym 90s....oh, and he has Zappa's last drummer Chad Wackerman and Jimmy Johnson on bass with him as well. :cool:

 #14217  by KaCey0211
 Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:03 pm
I think MO head has it exactly right: trying to pick "the best guitarist" is like trying to pick the best color. All anyone really picks are the people who appeal to them.

I like Garcia, obviously, but I don't think he's the "best." I don't think he thought he was the best. What I like about him is how distinctive he was, and that trait, his voice, is really more important than anything else. Put on a blindfold and ask 100 well-known guitar players to improvise eight bars on a borrowed guitar and chances are you'll mistake a lot of them for someone else. Stevie Ray Vaughn often sounds like Hendrix, Clapton or Bloomfield like B.B. King. But no one with even a passing familiarity with Garcia would ever mistake him for anyone but Jerry Garcia.

There are others as well that I like for the same reason, although they are not ncessarily anyone's common idea of a "guitar god." Willie Nelson has a wonderful, idiosyncratic, sort of arpeggiated, strumming lead style. Steve Cropper of Booker T. and the M.G.s is a rhythm machine, and I don't think he's played more than three solos in his entire career. Weir is a great rhythm player with a style all his own.

Then there are others who leave me cold. I'm not a big fan of Eddie Van Halen, although I'll admit I'm not as familiar with his body of work as I might be. I recognize what a huge talent he has, and after one of his solos I feel like I've been through a ringer, it's so fast and furious. But I'd like to hear him just play a solo some time, without the all the feedback, the tapping, and the blazing through every scale to man over a 2-bar break. He always sounds like he's showing off, which is a big problem with a lot of rock musicians, in my view.[/i]