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Unread 08-07-2009, 07:53 PM   #46
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IMO the most overrated guitarists would be whoever plays guitar in Dragonforce, Malmsteen, Satriani, Vai, people like that. Sure they're great technically, but they tend to play for themselves not for the song. I'm not going to say they don't have soul, I'm sure they're into what they play, but usually the only thing they can make me feel is bored.

EVH is good at what he does, but every stinkin' 13 year old guitar player in the world can play Eruption. I'd probably like EVH much better if it weren't for the fact that such a big deal is made out of the ability to tap among young guitarists. Ask any of those 13 year olds to bend a string (in tune) or figure out a song by ear and they'd look at you like you were crazy.

Clapton is also good, but he's definately not God and I actually know people who could play circles around him.
I never listened to Hendrix until recently because of how overrated I thought he was. Now I can see why he's so overrated (he's actually good), but as much as I like him I still think he's overrated.
John Mayer is good, but he's overrated too. Can he play anything that doesn't sound like Hendrix or SRV?

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Unread 08-07-2009, 08:32 PM   #47
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Tapping is awesome for 13 year old guitar players because it looks ridiculously hard, but it's really not. Before I played guitar I thought right hand tapping was like the epitome of good guitar playing.

Also, I'd like to nominate myself for over-rated. At least among people at school... I'm really not that good, I've only been playing for 2 years but I get so much praise for being an amazing player. It's kind of awesome, except I know it's not true.

As for famous people... Dragonforce and all the technical players who can play 10000 notes a minute but don't play anything all that interesting. I mean, yes it takes talent, but if you look at what they're playing it's usually pretty boring triplets arpeggios and scale runs. I don't buy this 'soul' thing. I'll best most of them could play clapton or hendrix perfectly. The issue I think is that they'd have no hope of writing music that good. They're exceptional players, but not exceptional writers.

Hendrix... yeah, I think he kind of has to be over-rated. There's no doubt he was amazing, but he gets so much praise, I don't think any human being could live up to it. (Although when you're acid tripping, I'm sure Hendrix was pretty magical live in the 60's )
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Unread 08-07-2009, 08:52 PM   #48
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I'm pretty sure that this thread proves that every great guitarist ever was overrated.



Some thoughts on the names being tossed around:

Segovia: Perhaps he didn't play anything other than classical, but that's hardly a criticism on the fact that he greatly increased what is considered standard repertoire for classical guitarists. I'd love to see a criticism of Django or Wes Montgomery for never playing bluegrass.

John Mayer: Perhaps overrated for the legions of fans fawning over him, but face it, the man's got chops as a great pop songcrafter, plus is guilty of the same gear/tone obsession and blues-lick-collectin' that the rest of us suffer. Why he has emerged as some sort of modern day Santana, sneaking his bluesy licks into absolutely everything else (the cover of Human Nature at MJ's memorial was a little pretentious of him to do it solo guitar, but can't blame him, Miles did it, too...).

(speaking of)

Santana: Yes, I'd agree, he's not a very inspiring guitarist. He emerged as a blues guitarist that somehow got a status of demi-guitar-god status for playing a very pop-accessible version of Latin Jazz. Now he throws his Santana licks over songs by the most fleeting of today's pop stars. The great about Santana? He's unmistakable. You hear Santana, he makes sure you knows it's Santana. His band has been one of the major Latin-musical influences in the music scene for over 40 years. He also has an uncanny ability of bringing musicians from everywhere together, and played at Woodstock, Live Aid, with all of the post-bop and fusion pioneers, and continues to work with the most high-profile musicians around. And besides, listening to any Santana is like a party in your headphones.

Cobain: I think he was a great songwriter, too. Not many people I know consider him a great guitarist...

Dragonforce: Yeah, they're just showy.

The Shredders:
Vai: Vai's always been a bit (understatement) of an oddball, but he really was one of the first big guitar instrumental rock guys to just make shredding tunes for the sake of making shredding tunes. He even makes fun of himself about it. Not the kind of stuff I'll listen to much of, BUT I will admit that there was a point in time where I was one of the guys listening through Alien Love Secrets, slowing down the licks, and trying to figure out what was going on. Emotional music? No, but neither is much music from the Baroque period of classical music, where technique was valued and prized. Vai is at least definitely at the top of the list, IMO, for technically skilled players; not only in his fingers, but the depth to which he understands the workings of music.
Satch: I think Satch is great. He has gone through a lot of phases in his music, but at heart, what I gotta love about him is he's still a hard rocker that probably still belongs in the 80s. I don't think instrumental rock is the right outlet for me to enjoy him. But he's definitely influential and highly skilled, and just a cool guy.
Malmsteen: I can't handle neoclassical metal.
Petrucci: I find him to basically be metal's version of Al Di Meola (another guitarist I'm not a huge fan of). He can play lots of notes really fast, and he sure lets you know it...

I will say this, though:
Al Di Meola: He just is one of those guys that annoys me whenever he plays. Return to Forever is one of my favorite groups ever, but Al just replaced style with notes. In RtF there is such a difference between what Chick did and what Stanley Clarke did and what Lenny White did than what Al did...
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Unread 08-07-2009, 09:07 PM   #49
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I don't like a lot of Vai's stuff, but For The Love of God is one of the most emotional pieces of modern music written. It really surprised me when I heard it because most of his other stuff is technically good but mechanical.

John Mayer is John Mayer. He's got chops and is a better Blues player, but Blues guitarists tend to starve.

Santana's new stuff stinks. His tone is generally awesome on his older stuff.
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Unread 08-07-2009, 09:43 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainer. View Post
I'm pretty sure that this thread proves that every great guitarist ever was overrated.



Some thoughts on the names being tossed around:

Segovia: Perhaps he didn't play anything other than classical, but that's hardly a criticism on the fact that he greatly increased what is considered standard repertoire for classical guitarists. I'd love to see a criticism of Django or Wes Montgomery for never playing bluegrass.

John Mayer: Perhaps overrated for the legions of fans fawning over him, but face it, the man's got chops as a great pop songcrafter, plus is guilty of the same gear/tone obsession and blues-lick-collectin' that the rest of us suffer. Why he has emerged as some sort of modern day Santana, sneaking his bluesy licks into absolutely everything else (the cover of Human Nature at MJ's memorial was a little pretentious of him to do it solo guitar, but can't blame him, Miles did it, too...).

(speaking of)

Santana: Yes, I'd agree, he's not a very inspiring guitarist. He emerged as a blues guitarist that somehow got a status of demi-guitar-god status for playing a very pop-accessible version of Latin Jazz. Now he throws his Santana licks over songs by the most fleeting of today's pop stars. The great about Santana? He's unmistakable. You hear Santana, he makes sure you knows it's Santana. His band has been one of the major Latin-musical influences in the music scene for over 40 years. He also has an uncanny ability of bringing musicians from everywhere together, and played at Woodstock, Live Aid, with all of the post-bop and fusion pioneers, and continues to work with the most high-profile musicians around. And besides, listening to any Santana is like a party in your headphones.

Cobain: I think he was a great songwriter, too. Not many people I know consider him a great guitarist...

Dragonforce: Yeah, they're just showy.

The Shredders:
Vai: Vai's always been a bit (understatement) of an oddball, but he really was one of the first big guitar instrumental rock guys to just make shredding tunes for the sake of making shredding tunes. He even makes fun of himself about it. Not the kind of stuff I'll listen to much of, BUT I will admit that there was a point in time where I was one of the guys listening through Alien Love Secrets, slowing down the licks, and trying to figure out what was going on. Emotional music? No, but neither is much music from the Baroque period of classical music, where technique was valued and prized. Vai is at least definitely at the top of the list, IMO, for technically skilled players; not only in his fingers, but the depth to which he understands the workings of music.
Satch: I think Satch is great. He has gone through a lot of phases in his music, but at heart, what I gotta love about him is he's still a hard rocker that probably still belongs in the 80s. I don't think instrumental rock is the right outlet for me to enjoy him. But he's definitely influential and highly skilled, and just a cool guy.
Malmsteen: I can't handle neoclassical metal.
Petrucci: I find him to basically be metal's version of Al Di Meola (another guitarist I'm not a huge fan of). He can play lots of notes really fast, and he sure lets you know it...

I will say this, though:
Al Di Meola: He just is one of those guys that annoys me whenever he plays. Return to Forever is one of my favorite groups ever, but Al just replaced style with notes. In RtF there is such a difference between what Chick did and what Stanley Clarke did and what Lenny White did than what Al did...
Interesting.
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Unread 08-07-2009, 10:16 PM   #51
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I agree on Zakk Wylde.
Yeah... Zakk needs to try to play a song, just one little song, without a pinch harmonic. I think he might just die trying.


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Originally Posted by Rainer. View Post
I'm pretty sure that this thread proves that every great guitarist ever was overrated.
Hahaha... probably.

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Originally Posted by Rainer. View Post
The great about Santana? He's unmistakable. You hear Santana, he makes sure you knows it's Santana.
This is true, although I'd call it anything but great. It's unmistakable because no one else has quite the blanketed-speakers-crappy-tone effect that he does. Seriously man. Turn the 'presence' knob to the right.... it won't kill you.

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And besides, listening to any Santana is like a party in your headphones.
A party with a blanket over it...


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Unread 08-07-2009, 10:29 PM   #52
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Honestly, I consider the great guitarists to be the ones who are unmistakable - would U2 be who they are with another guitarist? Would Nirvana have had the same impact with a technically great guitarist?
This whole underrated/overrated discussion is stupid... and a hell of a lot of fun
Here's my picks:
Kirk Hammett
Dave Navarro
Jim Root and Mick Thompson
Van Halen, though I hate to admit it.
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Unread 08-07-2009, 10:31 PM   #53
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The only other one that comes to mind is John Mayer. He's a great player with great tone but his playing just sounds like a rehashed amalgamation of other guitarist before him, not in an influential sort of way but a formulaic sort of way . The licks he plays doesnt seem to be his own, or he doesnt seem to make them his own. Or it could be that I just have gotten repulsed by all the fawning over him. Havent decided which one it is yet lol.
Totally agree with how you put this. If he would stop with the blues thing and expand his vocabulary, I think I would like his playing way more, 'cause the dude can write great stuff.

I'm sure I'll make some people mad, but I'm going to add Eric Johnson to this thread. I always hear about guys (usually gear snobs) going on and on about how great EJ is. Which, undeniably, he has some cool ideas, and the way he's able to manipulate pentatonic scales are cool... The problem is that the dude is so inconsistent. 9 times out of 10 his live performance sucks so bad that it detracts from whatever other cool stuff might be in the music. Couple that with him recycling the same licks over and over and you've got yet another overrated guitar player.

Might post thoughts about some of the guys mentioned like Jon did tomorrow, 'cause that seems fun.
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Unread 08-07-2009, 11:24 PM   #54
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Totally agree with how you put this. If he would stop with the blues thing and expand his vocabulary, I think I would like his playing way more, 'cause the dude can write great stuff.
Actually, I think getting more into blues would benefit him as well. He should dig deeper than B.B. King, SRV and Hendrix and listen to some really old and/or obscure stuff. There are forgotten blues licks out there, you just have to go back far enough.
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Unread 08-07-2009, 11:29 PM   #55
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I realize I've been gone all day so I wasn't in most of the conversation, but can you guys who are saying that the delay usage that the Edge popularized was something he took from other famous guitarists before him find me some clips? I'm not trying to disprove you guys, I'm just genuinely interested, because I always had the idea that the Edge really pioneered the sound that he uses.
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Unread 08-08-2009, 12:07 AM   #56
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I realize I've been gone all day so I wasn't in most of the conversation, but can you guys who are saying that the delay usage that the Edge popularized was something he took from other famous guitarists before him find me some clips? I'm not trying to disprove you guys, I'm just genuinely interested, because I always had the idea that the Edge really pioneered the sound that he uses.
I'd think Gilmour's "Another Brick In The Wall" and "Run Like Hell" are similar dotted eighth patterns...
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Unread 08-08-2009, 06:23 AM   #57
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I'm pretty sure that this thread proves that every great guitarist ever was overrated.
Too true. It does seem like the guys that don't get an abudence of talk are really the guys I like to listen to.
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Unread 08-08-2009, 08:21 AM   #58
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I tend to like everyone, however the one thing thats hard to stomach are the dudes who blow alot of smoke in the studio ala Dragonforce. If you can pull it off for real cool but I imagine with them theres alot of splicing and dicing on those records. Or it could be that I just got a bad impression of them because theyre to hammered to play there stuff live.
I agree with this.

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I tend not to regard rock guitarists as overrated or not. Instead, I consider whether or not their playing works in the context of the song. Kurt Cobain may not have been the most technically proficient player but his playing worked
I also highly agree with this. I think what matters most is how the players work fits into the music. The coolest players out there are the guys who underplay because it's what the song calls for. Those are the type of players I have the most respect for.

I think it's funny when guys start talking about how shredders have no soul and their music is empty because there's too many notes. I'm a firm believer that art is in the eye of the beholder. One mans soul is another mans garbage.
Personally I find a lot of depth in Vai's music especially but also in Satriani and Petrucci. Personally I think that being technically proficient often just gives the player a better ability to express himself/herself. When you have that kind of mastery of the instrument then you aren't held back by anything. You don't have to think so hard about what you are playing and you can just let go and feel it. I've heard Vai talk about this before and I honestly think that he is conveying the thoughts and emotions he is feeling in the song when he is playing. It just may not be what you are thinking and feeling when you hear it.

A very well known amazing guitarist once told me "it's easy to be Beavis & Butthead and just say everything sucks and everything is overrated, but a true artist can find something to admire and appreciate in everything he hears." I think that is a very true statement, and I've always tried to keep it in mind when I'm listening to music...
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Unread 08-08-2009, 08:45 AM   #59
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I agree with everything you said metropolis. Although, I do believe there are some guitarist that are overrated. Let's look at Cobain...I LOVED Nirvana! I've heard people say he is one of the greatest guitarist that ever lived. Great song writer...yes. Great performer...yes. Great guitarist...not so much. Anyone can play what he played with minimal knowledge and effort. But not everyone has the talent and imagination to create the things he did. That's were his greatness was. The same goes for The Edge. Both players are STILL great inpirations to me.

Santana, great guitarist...meh. Passionate guitarist...yes. Carlos can play one note and you know it's him but it's not that he's technically amazing, it's because he pours himself into his music.

I believe there are players that are astounding artists and phenomenal idealists that achieve that status while being mediocre guitarist.
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Unread 08-08-2009, 11:37 AM   #60
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How do you rate a guitarist anyways? Is it by the number of notes per minute he can play? How soulful he is? etc. etc. etc. etc.? If all guitar players could agree on some sort of rating system, I'd be shocked. Then again, I wouldn't see the point of it anyways.

I'm really neutral on the Edge. I don't particularly like or dislike his playing. I can appreciate that he has influenced many, many guitarists though. So have some of the others that have been listed here I'm sure. That should count for something in a ratings system.
I can see it now "YESSSS!!! Geuss what, guys! I just gained four points!"
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