Wednesday Question: Most Overrated Guitarist

You asked for it, you got it! Name an axeman you're sick of getting so much praise.

Ultimate Guitar

Following a massive debate and an epic Top 20 list for last week's most underrated guitarist question, we decided to take your advice and bring up a slightly different matter for this week.

So instead of searching for hidden gems, we'll be focusing on the overexposed ones. Without further ado, this week's Wednesday Question is:

Who is the most overrated guitarist?

Basically, name an axeman you're sick of getting so much friggin' praise. All guitar-related genres apply, as long as the overrated factor is in the game.

Same rules as always apply - only one suggestion per comment, vote up the ideas you support and vote down the ones you dislike. We'll sum up your votes by Friday and bring you another traditional UG Top 10. You asked for it, you got it!

824 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Next week question: Most over-rated band
    If this thread is anything go by, expect: A7X, A7X, A7X. UG's lifeblood is the community's hatred for that band for some reason. Gates isn't THAT overrated as I'm led to believe.
    Gates is a killer guitar player in a popular band, I think that he deserves the attention that he gets. He's no Randy Rhoads or Paul Gilbert but he's great in his own right. Unfortunately, he's probably gonna be at or near the top of this list.
    Gates plays TONS of jazz scales over their music. Really interesting how he makes it come out so well in metal. Whether or not people think he's amazing, he's definitely talented.
    I have fallen out of A7X, but I would like to see half the people on this site play his riffs/solos
    KoRn. They cannot even stand in the same league as bands of the same "scene" (e.g. Deftones) who came out around the same time, and yet they're more famous than most of them. Although in fact it is quite impressive how they managed to get so big with a vocalist and guitar sound this annoying.
    Sounds pretty tight right here...
    My point is that their general sound is a cluster**** (and I'm NOT someone used to nice, pleasant and radio-friendly music), their guitar tone is generally just plain bad, and those one million albums into their career they still seem to be stuck at the same point they were at when they were 20 years old.
    Attention butthurt people: A nomination does not necessarily mean said guitarist sucks, its just means they get more praise than they deserve. I.E. Kurt Cobain, Slash, Zakk Wylde. They're great guitarist, bur not as great as they're made out to be.
    It doesn't even mean that. It just means that someone THINKS they get more praise than they deserve. It's all subjective, so the list is just going to be a popularity party, not an editorial from a person with a point of view. So since the opinion of the list is going to be non-uniform, the list isn't really worth investing any energy into. These lists are not the results of music experts or even music fans. It's just a shouting contest and whoever shouts the quickest gets their suggestion on the list.
    That's not the issue - The issue is that votes on fx. Cobain and Hammett are based on entirely different merits from what makes someone overrated. No one, not even the more hardcore Nirvana fans claim that Cobain was a great guitarist - The point of praise is songwriting, and that is not what this thread is about so it actually falls flat (and no, that Rolling Stone shoved him in one of their lists does not make a case to argue for the validity of his nomination). As with Kirk Hammett, people have nominating him for being sloppy, and far behind his peers - But this is what people have been saying for decades soon, so how does that make him overrated? Except for one who defended Hammett in this thread, I can't recall the last time I saw anyone praising or even merely defending him as a guitarist. To nominate him just shows that no one in this thread bothers to think over what "overrated" actually means. It's become a hollow word, a term generically thrown into mud-slinging without any thought into what lies behind the term, and that truly comes to light in this thread. People are just nominating guitarists that are mainly looked down upon technically beforehand, and UG users upvotes them, going against the entire point of the thread, because too many are incapable of swallowing the bitter pill of accepting ones idols and those whom one has been told are the greatest since taking an interrest in music are flawed, and overpraised. This list was doomed to begin with, as the nominations with most votes are nominees that everyone already agrees on is sub-par technically (meaning that they actually are ineligible), while those who vote for people considered "guitar heroes", those seen as infallible and legendary, will get downvoted. This entire thread and WQ is a disaster.
    Floyd Phoenix
    And everyone's definition of overrated on here just seems to be 'famous but doesn't have technical ability', which is really not what it should be...
    Mike McCready. Did you see him win that underrated list? So overrated...
    That would be hilarious if he won both lists
    Upvoting for this reason entirely. If he is known as both the most overrated and underrated guitarist ever, then it's a win for physics that he is two things at the same time.
    I'm pretty sure if that happened UG would be sucked into a vortex never to be seen again
    only to reappear with the headline "UG Slams The Laws Of Science, Reappears Out Of Nowhere With Several Spelling Errors"
    Ace Frehley. I know I may cop heat for that, but his solos all kind of sound the same to me. Don't get me wrong, I listened to Kiss a lot when I was younger and I also get that they're incredibly influential, I just personally find him overrated and I'll see if anyone agrees with me lol.
    i think he's a pretty good guitarist, but never have i heard anyone say he was anything spectacular. to say kiss is overrated is more like it. but as a guitarist he doesn't get enough praise to be over rated
    I completely agree. Ace is one of the worst guitar players on the planet. I know guitar students that can play circles around him. I loved kiss when I was 13 but then I grew up and started listening to real music. Kiss = bubblegum rock.
    He may be one of the worst guitarists on the planet but he fits Kiss perfectly. I haven't listened to anything they've done after he left. They're Destroyer album and anything before or around that period is pretty good. You just have to keep them in perspective because they're nothing special, just Kiss, but they're great!
    I don't think he's overrated. Yes, he was an inspiration for tons of guitarists but that was mainly due to his image, not strictly because of his skills.
    Who rated him highly? I love Ace but I never considered him a great guitarist and no one I know ever has either. Ace is Ace. He rules the stratosphere.
    For me personally it's probably Slash. Yeah, he's good at what he does, but I've only heard him do that one thing for years on end. No versatility at all. It's as if a cook can only do one dish wel, and is constantly named one of the best cooks ever.
    I never see anyone praise Slash anymore, all I hear is people saying he's overrated.
    He's considered so overrated now, he's actually become underrated
    He's considered so overrated now, he's actually become underrated
    that hat he wears is overated. who wears a top hat. they went out in the early 1900s
    Thrash Addict
    Slash has greatly improved his technique in stead of idling around in a tub of cash like other musicians. Most of the people that talk shit have only heard the GNR hits and Slither.
    Thrash Addict
    Disagree, personally. I think Slash is about as praised as he should be. Beyond the fact that he is a stellar guitarist responsible for some of the greatest songs AND solos of the 80's/90's, between Snakepit and his solo stuff, he is just great. Furthermore, he resurrected blues rock singlehandedly in an era of spandex and superstrats. We must give the guy props for that.
    In my opinion he was on top(hat[very funny]) of the/his game with snakepit or VR. Nowadays i kinda miss something. I don't know what it is, but his sound on Apocalyptic Love was just so polished (although he recorded in his mighty slash-box) Where's that dirty bourbon-soaked bluesrock in his playing gone? Makes me sad :'(
    I agree that his tone isn't as good as it used to be, and he's become more technical and less groove-based in his solos. But the riffs on AL were as good as Snakepit and better than VR IMO. Carolina could have been an AFD outtake, and the title song had a great riff. This is one of my favorite solos by him though:
    Floyd Phoenix
    People keep saying this but listen to his first solo album for crying out loud, he covers so many more styles than the one people give him credit for - hell, even his solos on Use Your Illusion all sound different and somewhat inventive, and has so much more versatility than what he is given credit for...
    I don't know if you're talking about his Snakepit albums, but if you're not you should check out his album, "It's 5 o'clock Somewhere" it's loose bluesy rock with a bunch of punk and heaving riffing. Great and very underappreciated album in Slash's discography.
    One must see Slash play live (as I am tonight). The man is incredible when he is ripping it up on stage. He will fast remind you as for why he is so highly praised.
    I considered him overrated until I saw him live. Really blew me away.
    Slash is actually more versatile than people give him credit him for. On his first solo album, he's very versatile. Also, his solos on Use Your Illusion are more inventive and experimental than anything off of the Appetite For Destruction album. Lastly, check out some of his lesser known stuff like the session work he's done.
    The Edge. Some people claim his talent relies on his use of pedals and what not. I find his use of pedals quite boring and pretty unimaginative; bands like Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine or Slowdive really know how to abuse pedals and get creative with them.
    Floyd Phoenix
    The Edge freely admits he's completely reliant on pedals and not a great musician, and that's literally all I ever hear people say about him, so I really don't think he was that overrated in the first place...
    Gotta take context into account. In U2's first decade, he did some pretty groundbreaking stuff with effects. I've heard so many poor versions of his stuff over the years until Line 6, et al. essentially stuffed his settings in a box. Even then, it's not quite as simple to do it *well* as some would have you believe. Compared to who came after him, yeah, it seems pedestrian in comparison. But most of those individuals who are breaking new ground with effects abuse were heavily influenced by The Edge.
    Kurt Cobain
    While I agree he isn't a great guitar player... does anyone really rate him high enough to warrant him being overrated?
    He's been on a handful of Top Guitarist lists. (Looking at you, Rolling Stone.)
    Rolling Stone fkn sucks balls.
    To be fair, in Rolling Stone's "Best Albums of 2013" list they ranked QOTSA's ...Like Clockwork just barely higher than Lorde's album. Just saying.
    Yeah I guess... but I think ranking Number One on Ultimate Guitar's Most Overrated Guitarist List would be the highest compliment anyone has ever paid Kurt Cobain's guitar playing because it's assuming that he was highly rated to begin with.
    link no1
    Or that he is so bad, the small amount of recognition he already gets for his playing is still too much praise.
    Cc Deville
    Has anyone ever mistaken C.C. Deville as a good guitarist? I'll give him his props, he can write a catchy pop tune (Check out his Samantha 7 side project), but no one's ever mistaken him for a good guitarist.
    To be fair that list takes into account more than just creativity and/or technical skill. But in retrospect he did write some okay riffs.
    Yngwie Malmsteen Technically he's good but the guys playing has no soul...
    Oh please. The old 'no soul' argument. That's just what elitists say to cover up that they don't like or understand the music. The same thing was said about progressive, bebop, and shred musicians when they first emerged. I understand he is a repetitive and closed-off improviser, but he has some fantastic compositions in his career. Learn to be more open-minded.
    Velcro Man
    ^ Exactly, I always like to ask people like this to explain what "soul" in music is. The best excuse of a response they can muster up is just a few of their favorite musicians. There's no such thing as "soul", what I've discovered most people call "soul" is just simple, slow phrasing almost 100% of the time just utilizing pentatonics. Yngwie has excellent phrasing, but he also likes to toss in runs, arpeggios and typical shreddy things. Oh, and anything with a classical spin to it pretty much disqualifies music from being "soulful". More or less, the less technically proficient and musically diverse, the less soulful, mainly because change is veeeery difficult for most people and anything that doesn't sound like their main core-tastes is inferior. In my OPINION (which is all it comes down to, whether or not you connect with a musical piece) Yngwie has done some of the most beautiful shred stuff I've ever heard, though, Paul Gilbert can get hnnng at times as well, his cover of While My Guitar Gently Weeps was absolutely fantastic, though he's another one of those guitarists that "doesn't have soul".
    Having "soul" in a solo is basically saying someone can play a good solo in thr sense that it is melodic, well phrased, and is always progressing in a certain direction. A lot of guitar players can shred, but that doesn't mean the solo is good. A bunch of fast notes may be hard to play, but it isn't always interesting. Hendrix will always be the perfect example for a guitar player who puts soul into his solos. You can be technical all you want, but if the solo doesn't sound good then who cares?
    Listen to Black Star and tell me that main riff doesn't have soul. I'm not a huge fan of Yngwie but to say the man has no emotion in his playing is ridiculous.
    I would consider soul, what allows people to connect to a soloist who is not singing. A lot of soloing and even musical techniques I feel (and others do to I didn't come up with this) actually imitate the voice and make the sound more relatable (hence the idea sing what you play)) and when you see high level jazz soloist you hear phrasings that sounds like singers/ you might see them singing under their breath. When someone ONLY plays super fast arpeggios/scale shapes/sweeps etc, that's not singable and therefore not relatable (not that you can't do that but I think you need a balance of the two)
    Guthrie Govan disagrees with that. I don't think Yngwie is to everyones taste, and he can sure as hell bore the hell out of people but I don't doubt that he has feeling in his playing
    Logged in just to downvote you. Yngwie is one of the most soulful shredders in my opinion and he has an amazing vibrato.
    In his early days, he had more restraint. That solo is pretty good, a decent mix of feel and chops. But everything I've heard of his after, say, Odyssey, is just puking out as many notes as fast as possible. Another reason why people feel he's overrated is that he hasn't progressed much, if at all, as a player. Listen to what he did on his first album, it's pretty dang similar to what's on his latest.
    It's true that he hasn't aged well when it comes to his playing, but I wouldn't call him overrated because I think he really brought some musicality to the shred scene. It was far from being just wankery.
    I like his songwriting. That's it. He's never had to be a good guitarist to play it, and that's okay. Either way, Rolling Stone no longer exists to me, after that whole "The Bomber"-controversy.
    I guess people list him as a "greatest guitarist" because he wrote some pretty damn awesome guitar parts. He isn't great as a technical player, he just influenced a lot of people to pick up the guitar because he wasn't playing ****ing Eddie Van Halen-type difficult stuff. It was simple, and that's what was appealing to a lot of people. So, he isn''t technically great as a guitarist, but he was really influential and great as a songwriter.
    Great songwriter. Above average guitarist because he wrote great hooks. He was anti-van halen and like you said, that's why people love him. I think he's rated just about right to be honest.
    I don't think that Cobain has ever gotten much praise a guitarist. He was a great songwriter and has gotten plenty of attention for that but I don't think I've ever heard anyone claim to think that he was a great (or even good) guitar player. Cobain was a brilliant songwriter who also happened to play guitar.
    a drummer
    I have to disagree. I've seen the "solo" for Teen Spirit in countless best solos lists...which i might add is complete b.s...he is the most overrated guitarist ever
    But "best solo" isn't synonymous with "best guitar playing in a solo" This isn't anything new. That solo was just really effective, leading many people to regard it as being one of the best.
    The edge of U2. too much effects, too little technique.
    It's not Edge's job to show off his technique. His role is to support the rest of the band, to help drive the emotional resonance of the song he's playing. If that role requires him to play simple, arpeggio guitar parts through heavy doses of delay and reverb, I don't see that as a problem at all. If anything, I personally think Edge's playing shows the importance of restraint.
    I think the Edge is one of the most underrated guitarist. Between him, Johnny Marr and Peter Buck they practically wrote the book on alternative rock guitar. Listen to the guitar solo to "Until the end of the world" by U2 and tell me he's overrated. Fantastic song, and he made the song so much better with one of the most beautiful guitar solos ever recorded.
    Then why was he featured in It Might Get Loud?
    All that movie did was show how overrated he is in my opinion. He is a "sonic genius," fine, but he is beyond boring when it comes to his playing. And watching him try to keep up with Jack White and Jimmy Paige was laughable
    Disagree. There's a technique to mastering your effects. He said in It Might Get Loud that his guitar IS his voice, so he's got to do everything he can to make it sound exactly as it sounds in his head. One thing I felt watching that was that he's basically the opposite of Jack White, but that doesn't mean he's any less skilled. He's put time and effort into making it sound exactly as he needs it to. TLDR; I appreciate what he does.
    How can the guitar be his voice, when you can't hear the guitar over all those effects? He could be playing a damn cardboardguitar and sound the same. His voice is his effects (still a better voice than that million dollar prick Bono tho)
    That's the point, have you seen all the effects? It's incredible how he blends them. That kind of perfection and attention to detail takes serious time and dedication. He's not that great with respect to structure or theory or speed, but in terms of dedication and passion, he has put in the work to make his sounds exactly as he wants them.
    bill bailey put it best:
    What's really funny is mixing bands that try to incorporate this type of effect, but sound like a train wreck. Or bands that just can't play a simple 3 chord progression, tight.
    I've worked with so many guitarists, from legendary to amateurs. One thing I find with a lot of amateurs, is they don't know how to use their FX right, or let alone, set it...get the levels right. They also can't play a tight 3 chord progression with their band. Yes, The Edge uses a lot of FX, and his techniques are simpler, but at the same time I see a lot of "garage bands"/weekend warriors musicians that sound like train wrecks, playing the same type of chord progressions. If the song calls for a type of sound, then so bit it. Less is more, not every song needs a hundred notes squeezed into a bar. The Edge plays for the song, not to show off how fast or complicated he can play. You'd be surprise how much respect he draws from a lot of the guitar virtuosos. Proof, they play their songs at soundcheck.
    Technique is not always a determining factor of one's greatness. Technique can inhibit creativity and individuality. The Edge is a great example of that. His approach to guitar is in an entirely different mindset. To him, the effects are his own technique, not his crutch. He's not trying to hide anything.
    I disagree - while I'm not necessarily a U2/Edge fan, and he isn't a shredder, his use of effects as an "instrument" of their own was pretty dang innovative and influenced quite a few guitarists back in the day.
    The Edge is an amazing guitarist. His guitar work does not have a lot of difficult technique, but it has more soul and musicality than most prog "guitar gods" like Satriani, Vai, Malmsteen etc. could ever dream of playing. Playing the guitar, just like playing music in general, isn't about BPM's and shredding scales, it's about creating emotions through sound, and The Edge is among the best in rock history at that (especially during the 80's).
    Playing guitar should at least be a little about hearing the actual guitar? He just should have picked up the keyboard instead, that's the crap he plays anyway.
    You must be deaf. So all guitarists must play with a clean signal in order to for us to hear "the actual guitar" and call them "great"? Every distortion sound ever is an "effect". Guitars don't make distortion, amps and pedals do.
    YES. Thank you! Think of the difference between Jeff Hanneman and David Gilmour. Which would you rather listen to? I suppose that depends on your current mood, but for the most part, Gilmour elicits far more emotion in me than Hanneman. I deeply respect both, but for personal connection and communication on a higher plane (via music), Gilmour takes the cake.
    For me Jimmy Hendrix is overrated. When he's playing there's really too much effects.
    Velcro Man
    Hendrix did a lot of stuff that we cringe at today, but it was experimental back then, it was also mainly live stuff. His normal songs on albums are absolutely superb, his rhythm playing is what set him apart and placed him lightyears ahead of other guitarists at the time, the only other guitarist with the musical technicality of Hendrix when it came to chords, arpeggios and such was Pete Townshend.
    didn't lemmy once say even he thought he wasn't a good PLAYER?, just something unique and great at working with effects and such, And we all know who Lemmy is.. god.
    seriously, you have the audacity to put the greatest guitar player of all time on this list. he slept with his guitar at night...played it as he walked to the kitchen to grab breakfast...they should kick you off this site.
    Too much effects? I believe he mainly used wah and a couple of fuzz pedals, oh and univibe. It's little compared to other players
    Thrash Addict
    Bruce Springsteen If I remember correctly, Rolling Stone scored him higher than Randy Rhoads and many other legends!
    this will be a predictable list. kurt cobain and kirk hammett will get torn to pieces for sloppiness by a panel of people who all learned how to play guitar by learning power chords from nirvana and how to tap from metallicas One. yay. Never anything positive, just jealousy. kurt cobain sucked in a technical sense but innovation-wise he created an entire new spectrum of music. i havent listened to nirvana for many years now and probably never will but even i know if kurt cobain could shred then none of their "hits" would be hits at all.... the world needs more innovators, not music students with laptops and a degree in sweep arpeggios.
    I'm pretty sure Kurt himself said he wasn't a great guitar player, and pretty much everyone agrees with that. He doesn't exactly fit the definition of "overrated".
    Yeah. He explicitly stated at least once that he couldn't care less about excelling at guitar. He only cared about writing songs.
    Zakk Wylde. He lives off his badass persona. I think he is great technically but really lacks the ability to do stuff on his own. He is a fantastic at covering Randy Rhoads and Jake Lee.
    Have you actually listened to this man play guitar? Sure, he plays a lot of pentatonics, but he is still an amazing guitar player.
    You're insane if you're gonna put zakk in this catagory. Go listen to anything of stronger than death alone. Great riffs and solos, I understand if you think the pentatonics are repetitive but the guy is outstanding. Also plays with way more soul than 95% of the shredders out there
    Velcro Man
    Could you define "soul" for me? I've always found Zakk Wylde's leads to just be absolutely repulsive, though he can pull off some pretty great riffs. I do like No More Tears, but mixing shred with pentatonics just...doesn't sound very good to me. It's not often that I'll listen to a song and beg for the guitar solo to just hurry up and ****ing finish, but it's the case for almost every song Zakk has ever done. Excellent example:
    I love this song, but **** if that's not one of the worst solos I've ever heard.
    He was my first thought. Saw BLS with Judas Priest a few years ago and I was not impressed.I don't know how someone can shred and pinch for twenty minutes straight and think it is enjoyable to listen to. Yeah, technically, the man is skilled. But he is effing boring.
    Well if we're talking about overrated in general than yes. I think if you were to ask guitar players (such as us) almost no one would rate him as a good player. It's just MTV, Rolling Stone etc. that put out these stupid lists
    Love Nirvana, but you're right. Their songs could be meaningful to a lot of people ( me included) but in guitar technicity he is just another common guitarist.
    Dimebag Darrell. Great guitarist, no doubt, but most of his praises are only sang because he's dead and there are far better guitarists out there.
    I've heard this a lot from people too young to have been guitar players when Dime was alive and in his prime. When I was growing up Dime was a huge influence on any of the serious guitarists I knew. He had a ton of fresh sounding Texas swing inspired licks, those sick EVH inspired symmetrical runs, and a fantastic sense of melody and form in his solos. He had a real "all you need to hear us one note" amount of personality in his playing. Not to mention a great songwriter, great acoustic playing, and classic huge groovy riffs for days and days. When Dime died I was woken up at 6am by a couple friends who had heard and we were devastated, and opinion of him as a musician didn't inflate because of that, it was already about as high as it could be.
    "I've heard this a lot from people too young to have been guitar players when Dime was alive and in his prime." Sorry, but that doesn't apply to me.
    Mr. Skull
    everybody stoppped caring about you when you cried about your comment getting downvoted.
    I agree he's a great guitarist but overrated as I've seen plenty of people calling him the greatest guitarist of all time and greatest metal guitarist of all time. Phil Anselmo was the best part of Pantera and since Dimebag Darrell got murdered I think it enhanced his reputation.
    Why is it that you pretty much said the same thing I did and got up voted?
    Knee-jerk reactions to strong words. HammetIsKing's response in comparison has the initial impression of being apologetic about what he's about to say, and that probably softened the blow for some people. I think it's the way you just said "Dimebag Darrell" first thing, and that rustled people's jimmies because you didn't ease them into it. I don't have a problem with anything you guys said, but I'm pretty sure that's why this happened.
    Couldn't agree more. The fanboys have been sending you to downvote hell though.
    He may not be a great guitarist, but he was a genious musician.
    Matt Bellamy, Jack White, Synester Gates, Edge, Kirk Hammett in no particular order
    Matt Bellamy is pretty much what the Edge fans THINK that the Edge is. Bellamy is a guy who knows how to use effects and plays simpler than most other rock guitarists.
    Not really rated as a great guitarist, no, YES, no, a little
    From wiki: "In the January 2010 edition of Total Guitar, Bellamy was named 'Guitarist of the Decade' and was proclaimed to be 'the Hendrix of his generation'" "In 2010, BBC Radio 6 conducted a survey where Matt Bellamy came third as the best guitarist of the last 30 years" I would say that he is "rated" as a pretty great guitarist...
    For the people saying that Jack White/Matt Bellamy are bad guitarists, just check this out...
    John Mellencamp, he has some decent stuff, but nothing really epic. I'm probably gonna be kicked out of Indiana for this.
    He never claimed to be the best guitarist, and was good within his limitations... The Edge... now he's overrated.
    He's a great reference to beginner guitar players to learn all of his songs up there with twinkle twinkle little star.
    All you people who think Kurt is overrated as a guitarist are ignorant of what a metalhead he was when he was younger. He CHOSE to play poppier, chordy songs rather than being a "guitar hero".
    I don't think you can say he is overrated because it is widely acknowledged that he was not the most technical player (just do a broad google search). Also, his creativity and live performance abilities are often understated.
    In an interview, you may find that on YouTube as well, Kurt himself said that he want's to be recognized as a song-writer and his current ability was all that he needs and doesn't thinks of improving it. Fuck Ass Dildo Faced Bitch, know the damn story. Seriously the worst generation of all time.
    Angus Young! I really, really like AC/DC. They are awesome at what they do. BUT Mr. Young is overrated. He is good at what he does and the back and forth between the brothers is great and well thought out. But his playing gets too much praise for what we get. Stealing the cooking reference somebody used above, he cooks the best burger in town, no doubt about it. But it is still a burger.
    FINALLY! I almost got lost searching for this comment. Everybody's like "Slash this, Synyster Gates that, Kurt Cobain the other...". Angus has been using nothing more than the pentatonic scale for over 40 years and people praise him like a god! Don't get me wrong I love AC/DC but if Slash is overrated for doing the same "hard rock thing" since GN'R split then Angus should be in the same spot
    Angus impressed me in concert... it may have more to do with his energy while playing than his virtuosity.
    I don't think anyone really thinks AC/DC is anything more than a really good bar band, even AC/DC themselves. Angus gets the job done. I don't see him complaining about not getting invited to do masterclasses.
    Jack White. Burn me I'm a witch.
    "He lacks soul, I'm not hearing a tight groove. He has no Motown thing going... DEY TAWK ARR JAWBZZZ"
    Jack White is very good-overrated possibly, but he constantly throws my OCD off about having guitars properly tuned
    Haha...I don't think Jack is overrated...but I do think Jack thinks he is underrated
    Which is beyond me. Look at what Rolling Stone mag has to say about him. You'd think he IS Jimi Hendrix or something.
    Rolling Stone hasn't had credibility since like 1970
    Read through the comments while lunching and this comment about the Rolling Stone was the most entertaining and indeed truest statement of them all! thank you!
    Floyd Phoenix
    Jack White is rated far too highly by the media who don't actually understand what makes a technically 'good' guitar player, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't rate himself too highly as a musician, and gets way too much criticism for being a stripped back blues/garage rock guitarist who doesn't even try to be a good one... And, also in his defence, he writes pretty badass riffs, and I'm pretty sure it must take a lot of skill to still put on the show he does as drunk as he normally is...
    He's actually a pretty good guitarist. Just not as good everyone makes him out to be.
    His guitar playing is made more interesting by fuzzy effects than actual skill, and I've been hearing him play the same basic riffs for years. I too happen to be a witch.
    Hes written better riffs than pretty much anyone else in rock since Soundgarden's initial breakup in the 90s. Seriously? Whos been better?
    I think he's special because he did what he does first, before anyone else. But when you really analyze what he's doing, it isn't way too special. He's got some pretty killer songs, though.
    Santana. Abraxas and other of his earlier stuff is just amazing and you can tell he has lots talent, but seriously, in recent years all he does is play very similar solos in similar scales with ridiculous guest stars, as if he has lost all of his creativity.
    This heavily depends on whether this question is asking overrated now or overrated for their whole catalog. Because if it's for all time, you could not be more wrong. Santana is a flawless guitarist who is able to play in any and every style of music.
    I agree, most of his recordings from the 70's and 80's are quite versatile and impressive. But c'mon, for the last 20 years it seems as if he just plays the same song over and over and over again.
    matteo cubano
    his instrumentals are good however but otherwise, yes. however I wouldn't say he is overrated. He's the only guitarist where if I hear a solo from any point in his career i know exactly who is playing.
    Just because he hasn't done anything fantastic in the past 20 years, it doesn't take away from what he used to do. I personally haven't been that impressed by anything that Dave Gilmour has done in the past 30 years, but he's still my favorite guitarist of all time.
    santa is almost laughable while improvising nowdays.but his tone still rocks
    Please notice the difference between "Overrated" and "Incompetent" before making your tribute, just saying
    Yngwie Malmsteen. Can't stand his tone, his songs all sound the same and his playing is sometimes the sloppiest crap you can ever imagine. And he's a douchebag who thinks because he plays a Strat, that he's better than Jimi Hendrix
    You may dislike him, but Yngwie is one of the least sloppy players ever, AT HIGH SPEEDS. That's what he is known for :S
    The guy is a monster guitar player, too bad his playing doesn't sound intriguing
    Yeah, he's really only known for his incredible speed, and clean playing.
    Well, and introducing sweeping to the vocabulary of lead guitar playing, which has today become the benchmark of one's skill as a guitarist among other guitarists. I can't tell you how many times I've had the following exchange: Dude: "Oh, you play guitar?" Me: "Yeah." Dude: "Cool, man. Do you know how to tap?" Me: "Yes." Dude: "Oh, nice. Do you know how to SWEEP???" Me: "...Yes." Of course, now even our grandmothers can do six-string arpeggios. Gotta bust out the finger nubbin' to seem interesting.
    Yngwie Malmsteen, he's nice for one track but playing fast for the sake of playing fast doesn't do much for me.
    Kirk Hammet
    I don't find Kirk overrated at all. He's a very complete player, although he goes a little too far with the wah. But come on, stuff like One, Unforgiven and Fade to Black are impeccable. Some of his solos on Load are amazing too.
    I love how Kirk gets shit for overusing the Wah, but Jerry Cantrell, who uses it in riffs (I can't remember Kirk ever using it in a riff) and solos doesn't ever get blamed for overusing it, I think it's a cover people use because Metallica is sort of entry level...
    I think it has more to do with the way he uses the wah. From what I've seen (not a fan here. I've maybe heard ~25 of their tunes and got sucked into going to a show once), his wah work seems to have this attitude of: "Wah sounds cool. Lemme get some of that wah on this solo" rather than using it expressively. That's just what I gathered from experiencing his wah-gasms.
    And some songs are ridiculous. Listen to the solo in The End of the Line...
    I actually love Kirk's use of the wah. Never understood the hate.
    Agreed. Hammett is a good metal lead guitarist who got a gig with a great band. His leads are fairly solid and pretty memorable but are light years behind most of his peers. I still like him though... learning Kirk Hammett solos helped me when I was a kid just starting to try to play metal lead - his solos weren't as intimidating as Marty Friedman's or Chris Poland's at the time.
    Velcro Man
    Idk about that, the whole band is about on an even level as far as technicality goes. The weakest person in the band is definitely Lars Ulrich. Kirk Hammett isn't the best guitarist in the world, but he gets way more hate than deserved, so definitely not in the overrated category. It's kinda hard to expect older dudes to sound as good live as they did in the studio 30+ years ago.
    Nah, James and Rob are pretty great at what they do. James can still sing great (He has had patchy years from when he ****ed his voice back in the early 90s but his 2013 shows were amazing) and is a monster guitarist. (I'd honestly say he's better than Kirk, even at solos) Rob on the other hand is just ridiculously good at bass, although his song-writing leaves a bit to be desired IMO.
    agreed. he wrote some good stuff dont get me wrong. but hearing him live now it honestly sounds like he hasnt practiced since. i used to think "wow that guy can play" now i think "jesus whos kid is butchering master of puppets?"
    I thought he eas pretty damn good up to a point, he did a lot of interesting leads and solos on all the albums in the 80s and 90s but on Death Magnetic he just seems to be going through the motions, his solos has become so boring lately (Though Beyond Magnetic showed a bit more creativity on his part) and he keeps making mistakes live, like playing out of tune and butchering the solos in classic songs.
    Kirk was very good in the 80s & 90s. He won many reader's poll at the time. It's only afterwards that he has rested on his laurels. His live playing is so sloppy now like he doesn't care and got nothing to prove. There has been a horde of guitarists who have continued to raise the bar since then that Kirk is now out of the league. Btw James Hetfield continued to improve - Kirk can't even do the SKOM riff!! In my opinion, i think everyone knows he's no longer the fine guitarist he used to be. If anyone still thinks he is, then he's overrated!
    Just typical anti Metallica crap. Just because they sold out doesn't mean they weren't great. Who cares if he uses a wah, he's one of the greatest guitar players of all time and without him Metallica would not be the legendary band that they are. If it was him that died and not Cliff (I love Cliff) people would not be saying the shit about Hammett that they do.
    I don't mind his use of wah so much, it's the nervous, uneven vibrato that kills me.
    Also, Kirk plays his solos live, identically as he wrote them on the record.
    With a lot of wah to cover up his mistakes during it.
    Wah doesn't cover up mistakes...
    Yes it does. Go check Creeping death live, he doesn't play the final of the solo identically before the final verse, he just steps on the wah and do whatever, he mostly does a Kerry King-esque dive bomb, plus wah.
    There's a pretty popular Zakk Wylde quote out there about Wah wah's. He basically says that he's tired of hearing people use the wah as a way to cover up mistakes instead of to be creative with it like Slash on Sweet Child or a good Jimi Hendrix song. So yeah, the wah covers up mistakes
    Have you guys ever played a solo with wah-pedal? I have, and no matter how sloppy you play the solo, the sloppyness gets covered by wah. It's just plain truth and every guitarist who has been jamming out with wah must have seen it.
    You gotta be kidding me. On the record he's usually fine, but he's one of the sloppiest pro guitarists I've ever seen live. Don't get me wrong, in the early years he was just fine and I enjoy his work, but during the last years he sounds as if he only ever picks up a guitar on stage and has forgotten how to play cleanly.
    Watch Kirk's solos on the S&M performance of One, and you'll realize how wrong you are.
    No, he doesn't. And I'm not talking about mistakes. He changes up some parts, adds some things, etc.
    He does his job. Neither more nor less (just my opinion) He became a better live-player (again) and fits perfect for Metallica. Just like...oh man, Lars Ulrich (yeah, i'm serious ))) Saw Metallica (that old Festival-B-tch) 6 times live, btw.
    I think Kirk is great. But I agree. People that know nothing about music say he's the best and fastest and whatever. Because they haven't heard of anybody else. It's the same as if you listed Metallica, Iron Maiden, AC/DC and Led Zeppelin as your favorite bands. I mean, they are all great but it just sounds as if you hadn't listened to enough music. I also think Kirk gets way too much hate (though I think the reason for hating him is that people overrate him). So I would say he's both under and overrated. Many people also forget the fact that Kirk has inspired so many people to start playing the guitar. So I kind of understand why he is rated so high.
    I sure I'll get downvoted but Jeff Hanneman. I kinda feel like he got a little too much praise after he died.
    Well, while we're at it... Kerry King
    "if i just play these notes really ****ing fast they'll all think i'm good..." Love some of the riffs he and hanneman wrote but king's solos are garbage.
    I think that he never got enough praise when he was alive. Underrated in life, overrated in death.
    why?everybody knew that he was behind the best Slayer songs.He wrote some really epic riffs and great lyrics.Fast player as well.Alright,his solos were not good,but nobody ever praised them.As for the "praising after death",it is because now it is really,really obvious that no Jeff,no Slayer.I would be a real pitty to see him on this list. On the other hand,some Kerry King guy would fit in here...
    Slash every single day of the week
    I dont understand the hate Slash is getting. If anything hes gotten alot better over the years. I saw him a year ago do like a 10 min solo and he can play super fast now.
    It's not hate. People give him more praise than he's worth. Sure he can play guitar like a mad man, but is he as good as people say he is?
    Yeah this is my point, he's an icon to heavy metal and inspired tons of kids to play guitar, but he is way overrated, people make it sound like he broke new ground or started something totally new and original, if anything his image and being in Guns n Roses has made him so recognisable, not his guitar playing
    Synyster Gates
    He did a masterclass where he played, and he is a very good guitarist (I'm not a massive fan of A7x but listening to him play, it was hard to say he has no talent).
    He is great as is the other guitarist in the band but talk to many fans of A7x and you'll see why people call him overrated.
    Velcro Man
    I agree, I always hated A7X, but when I found out he was a student of gypsy jazz, I developed a much larger respect for the guy.
    That's what I'm talking about, man. The gypsy jazz influence is well-incorporated into Syn's lead work. I remember learning the "Beast and the Harlot" solo and noticing the well-placed chromatic passages throughout. His technique is really clean, too. A7X may be an overrated band but Gates is the guy that really makes them shine: he transformed the band's sound entirely.
    He has talent but when you listen to his solos it all relys on the same six string sweeps there's not much change
    I would say that very few solos have six string sweeps , most of them are melodic stuff, listen to this example at 2:45:
    well that's much of the problem with sweeping is there are only so many shapes, unless you are creative with it like Marty Friedman or Glenn Tipton it gets stale fast.
    And that's precisely the point. Syn is a good player - he could shred my sorry ass into the ground warming up, most likely - but he's not as great as many rabid a7x fans will tell you, and well, that puts him into overrated territory.
    Synyster Gates is a TERRIBLE guitarist. All those sweeps you hear him do are practice exercises. He's sloppy. If you wanna listen to a real guitarist sweep pick listen to Frank Gambale.
    As a fan of A7x, so commonly hated here, and guitarist with may influences i have to say I completly disagree. Firstly, he's here cause u probably do not know any of his solos thats true i guess, pick any a7x song and u will hear a beautyful solo in it. Secondly, he improved his technique a lot since '00, so maybe you just have to update your informations. For me he is just one of the best guitarist. You will find somebody faster etc. but his guy can compose briliant songs. Even if you dont like Avenged Sevenfold music, even if u call them overrated, u can't deny his skills and passion. This is what makes true musician for me. Call me fanboy, i wont care. And sorry for my english, just in case.
    Putting feelings for the band aside.... If anything, Gates doesn't get the respect he deserves. Avenged might play their influences a little too close as of late, but at the same time, I'd love to hear Slash or Hammett try and play a Gates solo... There is no way. Gates is an interesting player, who knows who to appropriately apply his techniques to what the material calls for. He's fluent in jazz and classical, as well as gypsy jazz. I think he's just been too conservative with his skills over the last few albums... because "City of Evil" is unreal. In fact, the whole band has been pretty conservative with letting loose like they used to. His playing has feeling. He knows when to be melodic, when to be fast, when to hang back... He has a filter, and THAT is saying a lot in itself.
    actually !! but i disagree on the last part, in their self titled album he did a lot of crazy stuff (afterlife) nightmare was good and in hail to the king he gave in scale complexity to compensate for the speed, phenomenal player and in the master class he told a thing not every guitarist in a band says "first and foremost im a guitarist " usuall players stick to a style, he keeps on adding new ones
    Have you watched him do gypsy jazz? I initially thought he was overrated too but seeing how proficiently he played it made me realize he might be more diverse/ a more complete guitarist than I thought he was (although i guess from what is presented from A7x I guess saying he's overrated isn't so bad)
    8 or 10 years ago I'd have agreed with you, he was really terrible and sloppy as hell. But around 2005-2006 I guess he finally realised he couldn't go on like that and started taking his playing seriously, and nowadays I'd say he's pretty good. Not a "guitar god" like A7X fans say, but he's definitely better than many people give him credit for.
    I thought that until I saw him solo over gypsy jazz. And he was actually pretty good at it. Soooo... My opinion changed
    He's a great guitar player for whom I have great respect for and who can outshred me any day of the week. Also, he can compose great music and he's always trying to get better at playing guitar but he's overrated. Side note: I think he is this generation's only guitar hero so far. If you know of another, please tell me because I would like to hear great guitar playing that'll inspire me to play.
    He's a great guitar player for whom I have great respect for and who can outshred me any day of the week. Also, he can compose great music and he's always trying to get better at playing guitar but he's overrated. Side note: I think he is this generation's only guitar hero so far. If you know of another, please tell me because I would like to hear great guitar playing that'll inspire me to play.
    With respects to everything Tony Iommi did for metal guitar, 40 years of innovations have passed between the two players. Iommi is a classic, but I would say most metal players out there today are beyond him. It's just natural. Everything builds upon itself through time, while never forgetting where it ultimately came from. There's just a lot more technically going on with metal today, for better or for worse. I have nothing but respect for Iommi and the classics, but let's be real...
    Yeah, good point. Not to mention that if you read the comments section on that page it's filled with hilariously elitist comments saying "IF U DIDNT VOTE 4 IOMMI THEN U SHULD BE DED CUZ U LIEK POSER SELLOUT MUTULZ"
    I hate his guitar tone quite strongly, but his playing isn't bad at all. It's just a fat whack of bass and low mids.
    As risky as it is to say this I nominate Misha 'bulb' Mansor yeah he is a really good guitarist, but holy hell do people worship him!
    Considering this is a band where they all like to joke about how the best and most knowledgeable guitarist is actually their bass player, I agree.
    I don't recall seeing him all that widely praised for his guitar work per se outside of his fanbase/old Sevenstring forums. Seems like he usually gets more credit for his productions, kind of the Prog version of Adam D.
    Erm, what the flying ****? He definitely does have a dedicated fanbase, but 1) at least just as many haters, 2) he really IS damn good, and very, very versatile. Not to mention pretty much inventing a new style of playing guitar. He's moderately-highly rated, and compared to how good he really is, calling him overrated is retarded.
    Kerry King. I mastered all his solos the first time I dropped my guitar on the floor.