A guitarist (or a guitar player) is a person who plays the guitar. Guitarists may play a variety of guitar family instruments such as classical guitars, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and bass guitars. Some guitarists accompany themselves on the guitar by singing or playing the harmonica.
The guitarist may employ any of several methods for sounding the guitar, including finger picking, depending on the type of strings used (either nylon or steel), and including strumming with the fingers, or a guitar pick made of bone, horn, plastic, metal, felt, leather, or paper, and melodic flatpicking and finger-picking.
The guitarist may also employ various methods for selecting notes and chords, including fingering, thumbing, the barre (a finger lying across many or all strings at a particular fret), and guitar slides, usually made of glass or metal. These left- and right-hand techniques may be intermixed in performance.
Several magazines and websites have compiled what they intend as lists of the greatest guitarists—for example The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine, or 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time by Guitar World magazine.
The classical guitar is strung with gut or nylon strings on top and wound basses for the lower strings. It was often ornately decorated with mother of pearl. Many early classical guitarists played with their finger tips only but later guitarists play with a combination of finger nail and flesh to project a clear sound and allowing for many different changes in sound quality (or timbre). This guitar tradition dates back at least to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when a four course instrument was popular among aristocrats. In the early nineteenth century there the guitar enjoyed a surge of popularity when composer/performers such as Fernando Sor, Napoléon Coste, Mauro Guiliani, and many others published thousands of pieces for the concert hall and home gatherings. The classical guitar enjoyed another period of popularity in the twentieth century when recordings amplified the relatively quiet instrument. There are many classical guitarists listed as notable in their respective epochs.
One of the most renowned Flamenco guitarists in recent decades was Paco de Lucía. Flamenco music is a popular traditional music associated with the Andalucia region of southern Spain. It is characterized by intricate syncopated rhythms intimately informed by a gypsy dance style. Flamenco guitarists also often accompany flamenco singers performing "cante jondo" (deep song). Paco de Lucía was also one of the first flamenco guitarists to have successfully crossed over into other genres of music such as classical and jazz. Richard Chapman and Eric Clapton, authors of Guitar: Music, History, Players, describe de Lucía as a "titanic figure in the world of flamenco guitar",and Dennis Koster, author of Guitar Atlas, Flamenco, has referred to de Lucía as "one of history's greatest guitarists.".
Eric Patrick Clapton, is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and of Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time. Clapton ranked second in Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and fourth in Gibson's "Top 50 Guitarists of All Time". He was also named number five in Time magazine's list of "The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players" in 2009.
James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an American musician, singer, and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music".
Slide guitar is a technique for playing the guitar that is often used in blues music. It involves playing a guitar while holding a hard object against the strings, creating the opportunity for glissando effects and deep vibratos that reflect characteristics of the human singing voice. It typically involves playing the guitar in the traditional position with the use of a slide fitted on one of the guitarist's fingers. The slide may be a metal or glass tube, such as the neck of a bottle. The term bottleneck was historically used to describe this type of playing. The strings are typically plucked while the slide is moved over the strings to change the pitch. The guitar may also be placed on the player's lap and played with a hand-held bar.
Edward Earl Hazel was an American guitarist and singer in early funk music who played lead guitar with Parliament-Funkadelic. Hazel was a posthumous inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with fifteen other members of Parliament-Funkadelic. His ten-minute guitar solo in the Funkadelic song "Maggot Brain" is hailed as "one of the greatest solos of all time on any instrument". In 2015, Rolling Stone ranked Hazel at no. 83 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists.
Paco Peña is a Spanish flamenco composer and guitarist. He is regarded as one of the world's foremost traditional flamenco players.
John Graham "Mitch" Mitchell was an English drummer and child actor, who was best known for his work in the Jimi Hendrix Experience. He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2009.
Electric Ladyland is the third and final studio album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience and the final studio album released in Hendrix's lifetime before his death in 1970. Released by Reprise Records in North America on October 16, 1968, and by Track Records in the UK nine days later, the double album was the only record from the band produced by Hendrix. By mid-November, it had charted at number one in the US, where it spent two weeks at the top spot. Electric Ladyland was the Experience's most commercially successful release and their only number one album. It peaked at number six in the UK, where it spent 12 weeks on the chart.
John McLaughlin is an English guitarist, bandleader, and composer. A pioneer of jazz fusion, his music combines elements of jazz with rock, world music, Indian classical music, Western classical music, flamenco, and blues. After contributing to several key British groups of the early 1960s, McLaughlin made Extrapolation, his first album as a bandleader, in 1969. He then moved to the U.S., where he played with Tony Williams's group Lifetime and then with Miles Davis on his electric jazz-fusion albums In a Silent Way, Bitches Brew, Jack Johnson, and On the Corner. His 1970s electric band, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, performed a technically virtuosic and complex style of music that fused electric jazz and rock with Indian influences.
Robert Alan Krieger is an American guitarist and singer-songwriter best known as the guitarist of the rock band the Doors; as such he has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Krieger wrote or co-wrote many of the Doors' songs, including the hits "Light My Fire", "Love Me Two Times", "Touch Me", and "Love Her Madly". After the Doors disbanded, Krieger continued his performing and recording career with other musicians including former Doors bandmates John Densmore and Ray Manzarek. He was listed by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.
Paul Francis Kossoff was an English blues rock guitarist. He was most notably a member of the band Free.
Albert Laurence Di Meola is an American guitarist. Known for his works in jazz fusion and world music, he began his career as a guitarist of the group Return to Forever in 1974. Between the 1970s and 1980s, albums such as Elegant Gypsy and Friday Night in San Francisco earned him both critical and commercial success.
Edwin H. Kramer is a South African-English recording producer and engineer. He has collaborated with several artists now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, including the Beatles, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, the Kinks, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, John Mellencamp, and Carlos Santana.
Francisco Gustavo Sánchez Gómez, known as Paco de Lucía, was a Spanish virtuoso flamenco guitarist, composer, and record producer. A leading proponent of the new flamenco style, he was one of the first flamenco guitarists to branch into classical and jazz. Richard Chapman and Eric Clapton, authors of Guitar: Music, History, Players, describe de Lucía as a "titanic figure in the world of flamenco guitar", and Dennis Koster, author of Guitar Atlas, Flamenco, has referred to de Lucía as "one of history's greatest guitarists".
Leroy "Roy" Buchanan was an American guitarist and blues musician. A pioneer of the Telecaster sound, Buchanan worked as a sideman and as a solo artist, with two gold albums early in his career and two later solo albums that made it to the Billboard chart. He never achieved stardom, but he is still considered a highly influential guitar player. Guitar Player praised him as having one of the "50 Greatest Tones of All Time." He appeared on the PBS music program Austin City Limits in 1977.
Axis: Bold as Love is the second studio album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Track Records first released it in the United Kingdom in December 1, 1967, only seven months after the release of the group's highly successful debut, Are You Experienced. In the United States, Reprise Records delayed the release until the following month. The album reached the top ten in the album charts in both countries.
"Little Wing" is a song written by Jimi Hendrix and recorded by the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1967. It is a slower tempo, rhythm and blues-inspired ballad featuring Hendrix's vocal and guitar with recording studio effects accompanied by bass, drums, and glockenspiel. Lyrically, it is one of several of his songs that reference an idealized feminine or guardian angel-like figure. At about two and a half minutes in length, it is one of his most concise and melodically focused pieces.
"Sunshine of Your Love" is a 1967 song by the British rock band Cream. With elements of hard rock, psychedelia, and pop, it is one of Cream's best known and most popular songs. Cream bassist and vocalist Jack Bruce based it on a distinctive bass riff he developed after attending a Jimi Hendrix concert. Guitarist Eric Clapton and lyricist Pete Brown later contributed to the song and drummer Ginger Baker plays a distinctive tom-tom drum rhythm.
Doyle Bramhall II was born December 24, 1968 and is an American musician, producer, guitarist, and songwriter best known for his work with Eric Clapton and Roger Waters. He is the son of the songwriter and drummer Doyle Bramhall.
Carles Benavent is a flamenco and jazz bassist.
Michael Laucke is a Canadian classical, new flamenco, and flamenco guitarist and composer, and a music industry businessman. Starting at the age of thirteen, Laucke gave professional snooker demonstrations and his winnings allowed him to take trips from Montreal to New York City to study the classical guitar with Rolando Valdés-Blain. Still active in a career spanning five decades, Laucke began performing in 1965, recording the first of 16 albums in 1969, and has toured in 25 countries. In 1971, he performed his first of many concerts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. His first concert in New York, where he also first met Senator Claiborne Pell, took place in 1972.
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