Who is your overall favorite guitarist?

At 44 years of age, I personally feel fortunate to have lived in an era along with some of the finest guitarists who have ever lived. I have always had an overwhelming love of music. As I look back to my earlier years of music appreciation (I took formal piano training for 17 years) I remember how my instructor would suggest exposing myself to the many different styles and disciplines of music.

These were such valuable words of wisdom. Considering the fact that this suggestion, more or less, forced me to be more open to musicians other than those that played in strictly rock and roll bands.

Wow, was I surprised to find that I could be as entertained by Chet Atkins and Les Paul as I could be by Ritchie Blackmore or Carlos Santana. Just think about some of the finest from our time. Jimi Hendrix, John McLaughlin, Robin Trower, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Johnson, Steve Howe, Al DiMeola, the list could seem almost endless. All such incredible musicians.

Although it's very hard to pick one person or style in particular, let's remember the key words, "overall favorite".
I would probably have to say that my overall favorite would have to be Steve Morse (from Dixie Dregs fame).

Who is your favorite?
Stevie Ray, hands down...a monster, and boy can he make that guitar cry....
My favorite would probably not be the most talented. There are lots of musicians I like that are not on the top of the talent heap.
The most talented would be Phil Keaggy. The list of favorites could go on ad nauseum.
I second phil Keaggy as the most talented. I would have to say that Buddy Guy is my favorite though. If you've ever seen him live you'll know why he's my choice. He can play anything, and play it great.
If Allen Holdsworth is not at the top your not listening. He plays mostly progressive fusion that may not be to everyones liking. 9 out of 10 guitar players would agree. Impossible to imitate
I second Mitja with Ronnie Earl being my overall favorite living guitar player. Of those who are no longer with us I would have to choose the late Danny Gatton.
Jimmy Page. Not as many notes-per-second as a lot of other guys, but he absolutely channels the muse through that thing. Even slower and just as emotive is David Gilmore.
This is a first! I agree with Warrenh! SRV is my favorite too. His version of Kenny Burrell's "Chitlins Con Carne" from "The Sky Is Crying", which I have on a gold MFSL CD, is one of my reference cuts. I still can't believe that he's gone.
Duane Allman captured the feelings of the southern blues sound like none could. Johnny Winter on his good days (circa 1975) put on a spectatular blues show.
I'm sure everyone has their favorite, but over the years one guitarist whose work I've admired is Lee Ritenour. One of my favorite cds is one done in collaberation with Dave Gruisin and it's called Harlequin. Give it a listen!!
Let me say a word for my personal favorite, Wes Montgomery. Entirely self taught, he learned the guitar from listening to Charlie Christian records. A great natural talent. Those who knew him personally could attest to the fact that "the warmth and directness and spontaneity and love you seem to hear in his music was really there." Orrin Keepnews. His ballad interpretations are second to none. Listen and you will hear what melodic eloquence, intimate, warm sound and perfect rhythmic sense is all about. His blues playing is a flow of one original, tasteful idea after another. Listen to his "Four on Six -While We're Young - I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" sessions from 1960-62. You won't be sorry.
Max, I saw him in concert about 6 weeks before he died. He was a monster...and he finally sobered up, and got his life back in order....what a loss...
Ry Cooder is one not yet mentioned that i really enjoy and he takes me musical places i haven't been before.

last night i listened to a couple of Jimi Hendrix Lps....."Electric Ladyland" and "Are You Experienced".....it is hard to conceive of anyone that has expanded the Guitar art like Jimi.....the "Mozart" of guitar.
Hey Y'all,

Jimi Hendrix, one of the, if not the most influential guitarists to pick up a six string. There does not seem to be any rock guitarist that has gone untouched by this legend. I'm sure he and Joe Strummer and Janis Joplin are having a good 'ole time in the Cosmic All-Star Orchestra right now.
You already mentioned him. Ritchie Blackmore is my overall favorite, although I am extremely fond of many of the other players mentioned and others still. I'm kind of a guitar junkie. Extremely honorable mentions to Robert Fripp, Steve Howe, Richard Thompson, and Stephen Stills, who haven't been mentioned yet. The list goes on and on. . .
YAN AKKERMAN is a true virtuoso guitarist able to play any kind of music classical, jazz and rock with great techniques and feeling of the instrument.
Hendrix had the best tone and the best combination of rock, blues and jazz all wrapped into a sound all his own - mesmerizing.

Pat Metheny in concert is truly awesome, he builds his rythems into a giant cresendo and often the rest of the band is playing and building to that point as well, really nice.
Hmmm. How about Julian Bream, Andres Segovia, Pepe Romero, Eduardo Fernandez...
Dicky Betts and Duane Allman!Most of the solos were played by Dicky especially the Coltrane stuff.
It is impossible to limit to 1. Johnny Winter needs to be added to the list, I second the Melvin Taylor, add Otis Rush and '50s flat picking wizard Jimmy Bryant.
Doc Watson is my overall favorite, but he would (and did) give the nod to Merle Travis. My other favorites are BB King and Jorma Kaukonen (did you know there was an entire album of different takes of Embryonic Journey?).
Early Ronnie Earl before he cleaned himself up. Look for his stuff on the Black Top label. You can't go wrong.
David Gilmour. he can make me smile anyday. ever seen the video from Knebworth several years ago of him playing "Sorrow" in the pouring rain without missing a note?
As soon as I decide on one, I think of others.
I like Wes Montogmery A LOT.
But, overall, I gotta go with Steve Howe. Too many memories, and he is still going even stronger today.
I've seen Buddy Guy live and agree he's incredible, and I also like Ry Cooder. Not considered an "out front" musician, but over the last few years I have really come to appreciate the guitar play and musical talent of The Cowboy Junkies Michael Timmins. Cheers. Craig
Steve Vai. Steve Morse would be a close 2nd, maybe Bill Nelson ....Buscis, it's been my experience that Steve Morses's CD's are just horribly recorded, to the point where i can hardly listen to them. I don't think it's my system, since I have CD's from practically all of the people mentioned above, and theirs don't sound nearly as bad.
YES! all the above plus.. Michael Sheckner, Ronnie Montrose.
I cant pick just one!

And If anyone hasnt heard "G3 live in concert" its a must!



the version of "For the love of god" that Steve Vai plays
on that CD is pretty incredible. In my opinion he has to
be rated as one of the top "NEW SCHOOL" guitarists.

If i have to pick just one...
Oneprof, you are unfortunately, absolutely correct. The recording quality and sound quality of most of the Steve Morse material was horrific. The same thing stands for all of the Dixie Dregs recordings. It is an absolute shame considering the compositions and intricate progressions the Dregs were known for. I guess you just have to let your mind filter out all of the garbage.
Amorsby, if your a Benson fan, you may want to check out Norman Brown. He did an album titled "After The Storm" in 1994. Great licks with a Benson like quality.
Jeff Beck - favorite innovative guitarists

Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy - favorite blues guitarists

Jimi Hendrix, Roy Buchanan & Duanne Allman- favorite dead guitarists

Jeff Healey - favorite blind guitarist

Jimmy Page - favorite noisy guitarist

Eddie Van Halen - favorite overrated guitarist

Jerry Garcia - favorite missing fingers guitarist and favorite addicted guitarist, and favorite Dead guitarist.

Alvin Lee - favorite methamphetamine guitarist.