Underrated guitar players

Tom Bradovich

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Jul 24, 2021
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383
Nice to see Martin Barre mentioned so much here. Most definitely under appreciated but deserving of lots of praise. From his rhythmic riffs like in Locomotive Breath to his soaring lyrical leads in Nothing to Say, and with tone for days. Tull was always a good band, and Barre elevated it to great.
 

11top

Cousin Eddie's cousin
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Apr 26, 2012
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Wow! Thanks for that - Damn, that boy knows his way around a fretboard! Loved the rhythm pops and slaps too. And, everything in perfect time, at least as near as I could tell.

He has performed at many NAMM shows. First time I saw him, Patrick Cummings of Brian Moore guitars told me, “You have to see this guy endorsing our guitars!” I was blown away.
 

ElrytNamrogo

My name be scrambled
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Aug 2, 2013
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Kansas City
Read an article this morning talking about Randy Rhoads and EVH that had an interesting point. Back in the 70's and especially 80's, A LOT of bands were basically judged off of their guitar players. People being able to really deliver on the guitar front was very important back then....the age of "Guitar Heroes."

That being said, I feel like we are kind of out of that movement right now. Sure there is absolutely no shortage of amazing guitar players out there (where truthfully, we have access to way more than we did back 30, 40 years ago) but with "guitar heroes" going by the wayside it's hard for me to determine what an "underrated" guitar player might be.

All that said, I'll go with Guthrie Govan as one guy I feel like, any time I bring him up to somebody, they have no idea who I'm talking about. To me he's reached Grandmaster level of guitar playing....absolutely phenomenal technique, improv, genre-spanning chops that always makes me drop my jaw, rewind the video and try to figure out what the heck he just did.

Japanese guitarist Ichika Nito is also a guy who blew me away when I first saw him. I had never seen somebody create music like he did at the time.

 

trisd

Grumpy old man in training
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Aug 11, 2022
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UK
All that said, I'll go with Guthrie Govan as one guy I feel like, any time I bring him up to somebody, they have no idea who I'm talking about. To me he's reached Grandmaster level of guitar playing....absolutely phenomenal technique, improv, genre-spanning chops that always makes me drop my jaw, rewind the video and try to figure out what the heck he just did.
I somewhat agree with that. I would not say he is underrated so much as little known. To my mind he has taste and a quality of expression as well as chops which elevates him. I don't rank musicians so to speak but I group him with Shawn Lane and Holdsworth.

TBH I think Holdsworth is underrated, in a sense. I know that sounds mad but I'll explain my reasoning. Even to this day I don't think that we have really caught up to Alan, he was ahead of his time and his music still is ahead of our time! As a comparison Hendrix was of his time but he was ahead of his peers.
 

Silvertree

I love the smell of a PRS case in the morning.
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
345
Read an article this morning talking about Randy Rhoads and EVH that had an interesting point. Back in the 70's and especially 80's, A LOT of bands were basically judged off of their guitar players. People being able to really deliver on the guitar front was very important back then....the age of "Guitar Heroes."

That being said, I feel like we are kind of out of that movement right now. Sure there is absolutely no shortage of amazing guitar players out there (where truthfully, we have access to way more than we did back 30, 40 years ago) but with "guitar heroes" going by the wayside it's hard for me to determine what an "underrated" guitar player might be.

All that said, I'll go with Guthrie Govan as one guy I feel like, any time I bring him up to somebody, they have no idea who I'm talking about. To me he's reached Grandmaster level of guitar playing....absolutely phenomenal technique, improv, genre-spanning chops that always makes me drop my jaw, rewind the video and try to figure out what the heck he just did.

Japanese guitarist Ichika Nito is also a guy who blew me away when I first saw him. I had never seen somebody create music like he did at the time.

I truly believe that Guthrie Govan is the best guitarist in the world. I feel like there isn't anything he can't do. And you are right about him not being as well known as he should.

I realize that's a controversial statement so I should add the caveat that he isn't my favorite guitar player in the sense that I don't listen to his music for long periods of time. I just believe he is that good.

I still don't think Nuno Bettencourt gets his due outside of certain circles.
 
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