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#1
Just as the title asks, what certain abilities about guitar players impress you? Is it their shredding skills, their phrasing, etc...?

And if you can, it'd be cool if you would provide any examples of well known guitarists who best demonstrate those abilities that impress you.

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#3
Heavy and sometimes fast riffing. Not core crap. Shredding just pisses me off now. Everyone and his cousin metal shreds now.
#4
Quote by griffRG7321
Vibrato, phrasing, composition/songwriting skills, orchestration.

this +1
#7
inb4 djent.

For me, its a guitarist that plays his leads and solos not as a form of wankery but as a solo should be, and being expressive at the same time. Rhythm-wise, just plain metal as **** riffs.

Jeff Loomis is the only guitarist that I know of that fits this description.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvfg0iLnzsw
#8
Good use/application of theory
Tone
Flow
Interesting ways of playing standard Rhythms

=

Robben Ford
#9
Note choice/phrasing, composition skills, ability to use less notes instead of more, vibrato, rhythm guitar skills, good tone. A few examples:

Free's Paul Kossoff

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rl51s5Osutg&ob=av3n

First off, he's just got great tone. I believe he does this by turning the volume/gain all the way up on the amp and rolling down his guitar's volume to about 5 or 6

I know that Kossoff didn't write the song (that credit goes to Paul Rodgers and Andy Fraser), but the riff was his. This shows his composition skills using the "less is more" principle, showing that something doesn't need to be super complicated to be awesome.

He begins the solo with a few basic blues licks, then moves into the major scale, mixing it with the minor scale, using great note phrasing. He builds a great solo into it's roaring climax, then comes diving back into the riff. It's like he's telling a story.

His vibrato is probably the best vibrato of any guitarist, up there with Leslie West and B.B. King.

Jimmy Page

You know, you love him, he's Jimmy Page

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9TGj2jrJk8

Jimmy Page's tone is pretty good, especially considering he relies on just that right guitar and amp instead of a bunch of pedals. For a better look at his tone, checkout Led Zeppelin II.

His rhythm skills may be better than he lead playing. He uses a ton of great chords in interesting inversions to make the middle section of the song memorable.

In the solo's beginning, he does use alot of fast runs, but as the solo gradually goes on, he throws in a bunch of tasteful licks that aren't super fast, but still kick butt. His vibrato is also wonderful, especially at the end of his runs.

I could do this for a few more guitarists: Hendrix, Beck, West, and B.B. King specifically, but these two guitarists really illustrate what a good guitarist is to me.

This is just my opinion, please do not take offense if your opinion differs. I also apologize if I messed up on any facts.
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Lets get this straight: Hendrix, Page, Clapton, Beck, Kossoff
#10
--==Complexity
--==Odd time signatures, patterns, etc
--==Heavy syncopation really impresses me if it's done "tactfully." If it takes me by surprise, I enjoy it. If it sounds like a 5-year old randomly flailing on a First Act guitar, then I don't enjoy it.
--==A blazingly fast solo that follows a slower and "familiar" melody from earlier in the song. This always impresses me. It makes me think that time and thought went into the solo rather than:

"hey guize look what I can do... *widdlywiddlywiddlywiddly*"
"Whoooaaa dude that's br00tal! Let's shove that randomly in this song where it makes no sense to place it!"
#11
Phrases, Vibrato, Musical Knowledge, Versatility (Styles; Can He/She play Country, Blues, Rock, Classical, Metal, Bluegrass, Jazz, etc.) and licks.

Phrases are important for making a statement or expression. It's the punctuation of Music. A guitarist or even musician who cannot phrase has no hope of being a Pro.

Vibrato adds that "emotion" feeling everyone seeks. Not only does it make things more tastiful. It makes a unique statement as not everyone has the excat same vibrato. You can identify guitarist and musicians easy by their vibrato.

Musical Knowledge is important. If you do not know or understand Music Theory you cannot communicate ideas as easy or at all. Reading sheet music falls under here too. A guitarist who can sight read will always earn my kudos.

Versatility impresses me a lot. If a guitarist can only play Metal then he/she is limted in their styles. Adding or incoporating other styles into a different genre can make a player stand out. If someone shreds the pentatonic scale it's not impressive. If someone shreds and lands on the bluesy notes and etc. and add that blues flavor in, it grabs my attention more. If someone is playing the Blues in boxes it's boring, but if someone is playing the blues in a Texas Shuffle or adds something like Melodic Minor, it's more interesting.

Licks are impressive if they are unique to a player. Not only can they inspire ideas, they can be used as interesting ideas. I love to see a player with a archive of licks in their head or are able to improv. quality licks. If someone has the "stock" Van Halen licks or Stevie Ray Vaughan licks, it's boring and generic. If they take that lick and change it to represent their own unique playing then it's interesting to see the twist.

There's tons more but they are the ones I look for most.
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#12
I've always been impressed with George Lynch. He was the first guitarist that made me say "I want to play like that." My favorite thing about him was how he could pick a note that you didn't see coming. His note selection worked, but not in the way that you would expect. There are plenty of good examples of this on the first two Lynch Mob albums.

To me, listening to that stuff is almost like listening to good jazz. The music goes somewhere outside the lines.
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#13
Gary Moore
Adrian Smith
Michael Schenker


Excellent vibrato, Good chops and knowing when when to use them, phrasing, Outstanding melodic control and songwriting skills
#16
Quote by Sean0913
Taste-

Note choice, melodic ability. That's why I really dig Alex Hutchings.


#17
Quote by Sean0913
Taste-
I also like hints of Jazz in blues soloing, ala Larry Carlton and Robben Ford!

Ah yeah
#18
Playing: Spot-on rhythm guitar in terms of time-keeping, accuracy, and consistency, e.g. Hetfield, Mustaine, Malcolm Young.
#19
Good performace ability [including things such as staying in tune] and the ability to use articulations to make an idea seem more interesting. Also, I like good repetition. Inversions, augmentation/dim...etc.
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#21
The guitarists that I like tend to be the ones that don't think solely from their own instrument. In the end that has more to do with composition than with how good of a guitarist you are, though.
#22
Not enough love for Johnny Marr in here. The man knows his place in the band better than any other guitarist I've heard - in the Smiths his job was to create the soundscape for Morrissey's voice. He's all about playing in the background, making the guitar as much a part of the band as the rhythm or vocals instead of wanking in the forefront all of the time, yet his parts are technically challenging and beautiful sounding. A great player.

More broadly, versatility, and the ability to surprise me. Any guitarist that can do something unexpected and pull it off - much more interesting than playing the same old cliche's. I hate when I'm listening to a song for the first time and I can already anticipate the whole thing.
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#23
Guitarists that impress me are ones that have good technique, but are able to use it in a solid, soulful way. They can orchestrate their songs, or the songs that they wrote with a band, in a way that has dynamics, both musical and emotional.
Above all else, they need to show confidence in what they're doing. I'd much rather hear a great rhythm guitarist play with total confidence in his ability to transmit his emotions to the audience, and do what it is that he CAN DO, than a mediocre lead player who's unsure of himself try things outside of his range and fail to give me any sense of a connection.

Devin Townsend is a great example of this. He's a a solid rhythm guitarist, if nothing else. Yeah, Strapping Young Lad was more extreme than his solo stuff generally is, but a song like 'Deadhead' is able to take a very simple chord progression and, through the way it's played and orchestrated with the other instruments, it hits you really hard.

On the lead side of things, I enjoy a guitarist who has a wide range of techniques that they can utilize to forward the best interests of the song. I like Joe Satriani's song 'Rubina' as an example of this because it's so simple but so beautiful. Satriani is an incredible technical machine, but on this song he shows simple beauty in the melody, and applies light touches of subtle vibrato when appropriate.


A great example of both combined in a guitarist is Steven Wilson. In Porcupine Tree he serves as main composer, singer, and guitarist, and he plays guitar in a way that is both subtle and extreme. He weaves his rhythm parts in a way that drives the song forward, and when he does solo, it's not as if he's trying to make the show about him, but rather to add another layer to the song. It's about the music, not about him being the star of the show.
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Last edited by kumamilesbear at Jan 3, 2012,
#26
Economy of movement and ability to improvise.
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#27
Quote by speedy1330
Just as the title asks, what certain abilities about guitar players impress you? Is it their shredding skills, their phrasing, etc...?

And if you can, it'd be cool if you would provide any examples of well known guitarists who best demonstrate those abilities that impress you.

phrasing, vibrato, bending with ease, and basically showing control and playing with ease.
#28
Quote by speedy1330
Just as the title asks, what certain abilities about guitar players impress you? Is it their shredding skills, their phrasing, etc...?

And if you can, it'd be cool if you would provide any examples of well known guitarists who best demonstrate those abilities that impress you.


For me it's the ability to not be overly concerned with what other people think is impressive.
shred is gaudy music
#29
Quote by speedy1330
Just as the title asks, what certain abilities about guitar players impress you? Is it their shredding skills, their phrasing, etc...?

And if you can, it'd be cool if you would provide any examples of well known guitarists who best demonstrate those abilities that impress you.

The ability to play great rhythmic accompaniment. These are the guys that get a lot of the work.
Last edited by mdc at Jan 3, 2012,
#30
Quote by GuitarMunky
For me it's the ability to not be overly concerned with what other people think is impressive.


Lighten up. He's just asking an innocent question. If you think it's wrong to discuss what you like in music then don't bother posting your pretentious dribble in the thread.
#31
Quote by griffRG7321
Lighten up.


????? Gimme a break man


Quote by griffRG7321

He's just asking an innocent question.


and I gave an honest answer


Quote by griffRG7321

If you think it's wrong to discuss what you like in music then don't bother posting


Were not talking about "what you like in music" we're talking about what you find the most impressive in guitarists. I gave an honest answer. You don't have to agree with it, or like it.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jan 3, 2012,
#32
Quote by GuitarMunky
...and I gave an honest answer


So that's what you find impressive about SRV for example... ok
#33
Quote by griffRG7321
Lighten up. He's just asking an innocent question. If you think it's wrong to discuss what you like in music then don't bother posting your pretentious dribble in the thread.

i dont think that was what he was doing. theres a valid point in there. usually i find players who are not too concerned being "impressive" tend to be more relaxed and focus on playing a lyrical solo that fits the song really well. someone like doyle bramhall II comes to mind. not a lot of flash in his playing but his solos always fit well.
#34
Quote by speedy1330
Just as the title asks, what certain abilities about guitar players impress you? Is it their shredding skills, their phrasing, etc...?

And if you can, it'd be cool if you would provide any examples of well known guitarists who best demonstrate those abilities that impress you.

Crazy intervals and funny fingerings. See: Ron Thal, Guthrie Govan

Use of simple ingredients to cook various dishes. Namely using only a couple of pedals yet being able to create a ton of tones by getting creative. See: Tom Morello, Adam Jones
#36
i like when a guitar either a) sounds nothing like a guitar or b) isn't present

unless it's a bass, then low mids + bass -> 11, everything else in the back
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#37
My recent crap in my pants moment - Buster B Jones.... and Scotty Anderson. Simplicity on steroids. They don't aim to impress, they just play and get it on (not with each other, I doubt Scotty is a necrophiliac - then again... with that hair, hmmm - typical country boy look).

John Claude van griff... chill buddy. Pedobear hug for you
#38
Definitely versatility, technique and ability to play in key yet keep things interesting. My favourite example of this is John Petrucci. Guy has the technical ability to play just about anything he wants but he can rip out some of the most soulful shit I've ever heard.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Psdcy1Dw94g

This is what I was listening to while reading this thread. I couldn't think of a better example.
#39
What I look for is either very good, aggressive, tight metal rhythm playing, or the ability to hold back and make their playing fit the song. Phil Demmel's solo on Darkness Within is a good example; he can play much faster and shred, but instead he plays a slower and well phrased solo with a great tone and nice vibrato.

I also hugely respect guitarists who aren't tied to one genre. One of my favourite players is Alex Skolnick, who is known for playing in Testament, but now plays in a jazz trio. I love it when players do this, but sadly not enough do.
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#40
There are just a lot of different factors that can contribute. Here are some big ones:

Versatility - the ability to play with a variety of styles, feels, and modes of expression.

A Voice - that a player has some unique characteristics to their playing that defines them as a musician. When I hear Eric Johnson, I know it's Eric Johnson.

Ears and Attentativeness - the ability to follow and interact with other musicians in an ensemble (as opposed to being off in your own world).

Technical control - the ability to significantly control things like dynamics and intensity; a good player can do a good build-up, or a light dynamic breakdown.

Wit - a healthy dose of the ability to be musically witty or even humorous, usually on the fly. Did you just quote Mary Had A Little Lamb in your blues guitar solo? I caught that!
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