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Greatest American guitarist of all time

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Hatfield92, Jul 4, 2020.

  1. Hatfield92

    Hatfield92 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Something like this is always highly subjective and individual, but in my opinion, it’s a tie for first:

    Duane Allman and Mike Bloomfield

    The latter has started to receive a little more credit in recent years, especially after his box set was released. But was anyone more influential?

    I know Jimi’s gotta be way up there. He was a true paradigm shifter. But, although he was born and raised in Seattle (mostly), he did have to move to London to become a star. An argument could be made that Hendrix was the greatest British guitarist of all time.

    I’ve also gotten less high on Jimi the older I’ve gotten, and my tastes have mellowed. 20 year old me would have said Hendrix, hands down.
     
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  2. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    I bet this will be an interesting discussion, with no 'right' answer. How do you define 'great'? Technical ability, influence, quality of songs or other?

    That being said, it's hard for me to put anyone other than Jimi at the top spot, unless you can convincingly argue that he was in fact 'British' rather than American. I understand your argument, but I think he must still be considered American.
     
  3. Wallaby

    Wallaby Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Based on sheer mastery and publishing output and involvement - Chet Atkins.
    ,
    I might wake up tomorrow and prefer Leo Kottke, John Fahey, Doc Watson, Jerry Reed, Danny Gatton, Merle Travis, Scotty Moore, James Burton, Peter Lang, Jimi Hendrix, Duane Allman, Steve Morse, Eddie Van Halen, Buddy Emmons ... it's really not practical to keep listing them, and every time I list one I think of five more. I'm staying with Chet :)
     
  4. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Eric Johnson.
     
  5. tah1962

    tah1962 Friend of Leo's

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    ^^^This^^^
     
  6. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    Your title says greatest. Your post talks about most influential.

    Greatest? I wouldn’t really even venture a guess.

    Most influential, I’d say that it was close to being a tie between Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen. As soon as I think of a reason to give the nod to one of them, I think of a strong reason that the other one should get it.
     
  7. superjam144

    superjam144 Tele-Holic

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  8. burtf51

    burtf51 Tele-Holic

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    greatest leaves out most everyone, most influential lowers the bar tremendously
     
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  9. tery

    tery Doctor of Teleocity

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    Chet Atkins was pretty good .

     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
  10. Javier668

    Javier668 Tele-Meister

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    Chet Atkins or Roy Clark
     
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  11. Pickingthru

    Pickingthru Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    I’ll give you Chet, Jimi, and many others. BUT, having watched a few Bob Dylan videos and documentaries recently, I have to add Dylan for acoustic for certain. What many thought was complicated was not and vice versa. Add Prince for my electric choice.
     
  12. Manual Slim

    Manual Slim Friend of Leo's

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  13. Manual Slim

    Manual Slim Friend of Leo's

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    Degree of influence is a measure of greatness.
     
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  14. burtf51

    burtf51 Tele-Holic

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    The word greatest guitarist is not subjective...American greatest guitarist would more than likely be Hank Garland as he was such a virtuoso in so many genre's and few, very very very few possess that skill and knowledge
     
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  15. maggieo

    maggieo Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Charlie Christian.
     
  16. dkmw

    dkmw Poster Extraordinaire

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    Duane Jimi or Jimi Duane or Duanojimi
     
  17. MisterZ

    MisterZ Tele-Holic

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    Hendrix
    Chet
    Hank Garland
    Carlos Santana
    LES PAUL

    Any order you want.
     
  18. burtf51

    burtf51 Tele-Holic

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    Come on folks, he said GREATEST AMERICAN GUITARIST not who you like the most
     
  19. Steerforth

    Steerforth Friend of Leo's

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    Nah, that can’t be answered.

    It depends on what kind of music.

    I used to have a Norton 750 Commando. It was one of my favorite bikes, despite its inherent imperfection.

    But I’d have never tried to use it to race motocross.
     
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  20. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    I couldn't begin to compile a list of the "greater" one hundred American guitarists, without leaving off too many qualified ones.
    But Duane Allman wouldn't make the cut, IMHO. :(
     
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