Top 10 Reasons There is No Such Thing as "The Best Guitarist"Hi, its been so long. I didn't make lists in many days. So, I thought making a list.
I am not saying there are no great guitarist. But all I am saying is there is no best guitarist. There are guitarists who fall on top tier. There are also many guitarist who fall on bad tier. The Tier system is more accurate than the individual ranking system. Like Tier 1- Hendrix, Blackmore, Clapton, Gilmour etc. Tier 2 - Kurt Cobain, Billie Joe Armstrong, Johnny Ramone etc.
The Top Ten
Every guitarist was inspired by guitarist before them. There would be no great guitarist if he/she wouldn't inspire by someone. Jimi Hendrix is considered as the greatest guitarist of all time. But if guitarists like Buddy Guy, Robert Johnson or Howlin' Wolf wouldn't exist then he couldn't have become Jimi Hendrix as of today. Same thing goes for many guitarist. Every great guitairst gathers something from the old.
It's all a matter of personal tastes, anyway.
Yes, and popularity doesn't mean the best. Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath is more popular than Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple. But Ritchie Blackmore is much better.
Also, very often some incredible guitarists are almost completely underground.
Some guitarists become famous and some don't. Page or Hendrix became famous. But Rory or Mike Bloomfield didn't become famous. But they were very talented. Like these many gutiarist become mainstream and start gaining popularity but good guitairsts reamain in the shadow and don't get attention.
No guitarist is perfect. Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Ritchie Blackmore etc. Many great guitairsts have some bad sides. Some of them are sloppy or some of them are technically restricted. Or some of them can't get melodic as others can. For example, Jimi Hendrix was quite sloppy on stage. So was Jimmy Page. On the other hand Joe Satriani is very technical but many of his songs are written based on random techniques or notes.
Genre is very important. Classical, blues, metal or jazz. Many guitarists focus on specific things. Classical guitarists are very talented but they hardly bother to focus on electric guitar. On the other hand, jazz guitairst don't bother to have high amps or distorted sound.
Each great guitarist has his/her own special ability. Jimi Hendrix was good in many techniques but he wasn't best in all. He couldn't play by fingerpicking like Mark Knopfler or Tommy Emmanuel. While Mark Knopfler can't get good effects like David Gilmour.
I have an idea for a detailed comparison of guitarists - you can make a list of the most important aspects of guitar playing and compare the guitarists by these aspects. By doing this you can get a more objective and comprehensive idea of their skills. Example:
Shawn Lane vs Michal Angelo Batio breakdown
1 alternate picking - Shawn Lane (he takes this)
2 speed - Michael Angelo Batio (he takes this)
3 sweep picking - Michael Angelo Batio
4 technical versatility (how many techniques they use) - Michael Angelo Batio
5 improvisation -?
A good example is Shawn Lane vs Michal Angelo Batio. Michael Angelo Batio can't alternate pick like Shawn Lane. But Shawn Lane can't pick fast like MAB. Whom would you consider to be the better?
Many guitarists don't get the opportunity to glow theirselves. There are many guitarists who never seen electric guitar in their lives. They were born before invention of electric guitar. So, what would happen if they got electric guitar.
Actually, number 8 is the only relevant reason why there is no BEST guitarist, or BEST anything. In terms of objectivity, there's no such thing as the BEST, because BEST is completely subjective.
Many critics make lists based on other lists. And those ranking systems usually include influence, popularity, technical ability. But like I said, no guitarist is perfect or not eveyrtime you could compare guitairst. So, ranking the list is not always right. What would happen if there was a rule of "less sloppy". Would Hendrix be there so high?
Many guitarists like Randy Rhoads, Buddy Holly or Hendrix passed away quickly. What would happen if they lived longer. Couldn't they be greater (except Hendrix) and surpass other guitarists?
Yes, and the opposite also applies. Would their skills/music degrade to the point where they are not respected?
For example Buckethead. He is a very talented guitairst. But he is not included in many ranking charts cause not every people listen to his music. Even if some do they can't get their music properly. So, they don't wanna rank guitarists like these. Especially the instrumental guitarists.
Yes, for example, metal guitarists are usually ignored and underrated.