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?
Wow, some great names on the list.
My picks would need to be Buddy Guy and Joe Satriani.

How about Leslie West a real guitar players guitarist, I have never heard anybody say somebody sounds like Leslie West,truly inovative and seldom copied those pinch harmonics are too much, I just think he deserves mention
Brian May - I think he can play any guitar-like stringed instrument on the planet masterfully.

Can't forget John Scofield now can we? Mark Whitfield also gets my vote-listen to the true blue cd.
Add John Williams to the list RIGHT THIS MINUTE!!!
Knopfler, and
Zappa are all favorites, and how about Leo Kottke for sheer innovation.

Favorite is probably Garcia for his ability to intuitively integrate venue acoustics into his sound and thus "play" the whole damn place, not just the instrument!
Agree with John Williams.Nobody mentioned John McLaughlin and Paco De Lucia.Are you feeling al right,people?
Growing up in the 60's ,I've heard and seen alot of great guitarist's,BUT there is one that when I watched him play in their video(The Dance)Fleetwood Mac!! I was just in awe to watch (Lindsey Buckingham) play the guitar.Amazing is just the tip of the iceberg.Do yourself a favor and go rent the video if you never heard him,you won't be dissapointed.
another great guitar player is (Stanly Jordan) with his unusual style.
I'll go with Grant Green since I'm a sixties jazz fan.
dekay's obvious pick of g.gobel ought not be lightly dismissed. but how about roy rodgers? boy, how i wish he were back in the saddle again (as would dale, were she still kickin'; if she ever had).

George Gobel??????????????????????????????????????????????
Overall favorite is Jeff Golub. Honorable mentions, Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour, Chuck Loeb, Al Di Meola, Jesse Cook, Buddy Guy, Carlos Santana, Neal Schon, David Gilmour, and Mark Knopfler.
Impossible to pick one overall. My picks by categories would be:
Jazz - Pat Metheny
Rock - Eric Clapton
Blues - BB King
Classical - Andre Segovia
Flamenco - Ottmar Liebert
Other Acoustic - Tie between Tony Rice and Tuck Andress
Danny Gatton - all the rest are also-rans. Successor to the throne - Johnny Hiland.
Having to pick one is as cruel and unusual as it gets. Our friend Buscis 2 oghtta' be flogged and dunked. No offense, but some of you guys are living on velveeta and wonderbread sandwiches. I'm with you Inna, kind of thought McLaughlin would pop up sooner. Here a few guys not yet listed, who have sustained the addiction and are making it impossible to pick just one:
Sylvain Luc
Sonny Sharrock
Greg Howe
Fred Frith
Ax Genrich
Peter Wolbrandt
Terje Rypdal
Jukka Tolonen
Egberto Gismonti
Andreas Willers
David Fiuczynski
Shawn Lane
Larry Coryell
Steve Topping
Michael Karoli
John Goodsall
Marc Ribot
Marc Ducret
Nels Cline
Christy Doran
John Abercrombie
Kido Natsuki
David Torn
Raoul Bjorkenheim
Steve Tibbetts
Brian Godding
Roman Bunka
Uwe Kropinski
David Tronzo
John Etheridge
After all that, still no one has mentioned Gabby Pahinui? For the younger set, try his son Cyril, or Keola Beamer.
Hey, Duanegoosen,
Question #1: Do you see the word "overall"?
Question #2: Who is the 2nd guitarist I mention?
Question #3: What the hell do you have against Velveeta?
And about the flogging, I've discussed it with my wife and she's going to take care of it.
Ahhh, Sayas you do bring back memories. When we first moved to Calgary there were these 2 guys busking in the parks - Oscar & Manuel. Then they started playing clubs and kept getting better. Oscar went solo and he's still amazing.

To add my votes to the continuing list, I've got to go with the trend and not go with one. Currently in the heaviest rotation are:
- Al Di Meola
- Leo Kottke
- Paco De Lucia
- John McLaughlin
- Jerry Garcia
- Pepe Romero
- Django Reinhardt
- Mimi Fox

I'm listening to Vince Guaraldi and Bola Sete right now while I eat a Velveeta sandwich on my favorite bread. OF COURSE IT'S WONDER! DO THEY MAKE ANY OTHER KIND?
Hey Bucsis,
1)I'm not the only lunkhead here who can't come up w/ one favorite guitarist. Does he/she have to wear the overalls or play them like an air guitar?

2)Didn't you put the overalls on Steve Morse?

3)Maybe I should try the Velveeta w/out the Elmer's glue and use Miracle Whip like everyone else next time. Y'know I probably also deserve a flogging...If my wife reads this I'm sure she'll agree.
Kind of funny that nobody has mentioned Michael J. Fox and Steve Martin (he also plays the guitar you know:-).

Seriously (even though I usually cater to electric guitar) my favorite to listen to is Bob Dylan (on acoustic) when he performs solo and orchestrates the music in his rambling/rough "train song" kind of way (I suppose that his lousy voice and artsy lyrics may have something to do with it).

For the creative surprise factor my vote would probably go to Alen Holdsworth (who has consistantly produced music for thought over the years).

A handfull of the names mentioned above are studio session/technical players (who have also done solo work) and these are my least favorites as they tend to be quite boring in the long run. People who play themselves know where I am coming from.
let's not forget the guys in the trenches........
p.w. long (mule)
philip lithman (snakefinger)
thurston moore (sonic youth)
jim thomas (merman)
king buzzo (melvins)
brandon ross (harriet tubman)
reeves gabrels (tin machine)
donald roeser (blue oyster cult)
Neil Young had a few good riffs over the years
DK, what is it with you and ukulele players?
Dekay: So many good guitarists; this is why I went the dead guitarist-live guitarist route as you have now down. What a wild combination! George Gobel and Bob Dylan! When I read those I immediately conjured up an image of a duet music video, kind of like that Natalie Cole/Nat King Cole thing with "Unforgettable". Now we'll just have to get Bob to go for it and pick out an appropriate tune. ROFLMAO!
Duanegoosen, trouble with you again Huh? I agree. You are well deserving of a flogging. And just so you know, my wife already saw this posting today. That's when she took out her "Miracle Whip"
I have a list of guitarist that have lots in common and I want someone's PO on which one is the best from that list. Certainly the above mentioned by me Akkerman is better but still I want to hear from other people...

Here is the list:

Larry Corryel, Mike Stern, John Scofield, John Mclaughlin
Hey: I don't think anybody has mentioned Lenny Breau.
Johnny Marr, of Smiths, Electronic, The The, and now Healers fame.
How about Earl Klugh, He writes all his own stuff to boot! Great DVD of him in concert available.
Jimi Hendrix is one that stands out to me. Another one is Lindsey Buckingham. Also, SRV, Eric Clampton, and Eddie VanHalen. B.B. King and Prince both deserve an honorable mention as well. All of the aformentioned guitarists impress me with their talent on the guitar and musically in general.
Walter Trout or Otis Grand
Michael Hedges
Leo Kottke
David Bromberg
John McLaughlin
Andres Segovia
Doc Watson
Buddy Guy
Duane Allman
The Geo. Goble reference is rather apt, really. Well, maybe not in the context of guitar virtuosity, but.... My uncle has often told the story of being in the military and being stationed with George Gobel. Apparently, he carried around a beat up gitter nearly everywhere and entertained with his deadpan humor at every opportunity. Guess there was more than a few grunts who found life at least bearable given the "stylings" of Gobel. Probably more than could be said about many other listed here! :-)

All right, GO Gobel!!!

I always lusted after his Blonde archtop while playing my cheap Harmony, as a kid (the guitar, not the crewcut:-).
Lee Ritenour. The most versatile jazz/rock/pop guitarists of all time! This guy is unbelievable. I can't believe nobody has mentioned him (or did I miss it?. I like Clapton too, but no one can do it all like Rit.
There is noone who could play that well in so many styles as John McLaughlin.Not all his albums are great,but it changes nothing.And speaking of technique,only Paco De Lucia can compete. Classical guitarists John Williams and Andreas Segovia or some other named jazz guitar players cannot.
Ritchie Blackmore...Jon Squire of the Stone Roses...
Dead: Jimi Hendrix and Joe Pass
Alive: George Benson (Honorable Mention-Jimmy Bruno)
Keith Richards - RULES!

He may not be the best lead guitarist, but he's the epitome of the rock guitarist.
Well, I have to put my two cents in on this one. Here is a partial list of my favorite guitarists. There is no order to the list and from all genres of music..Wes Montgomery,Pat Martino,Herb Ellis,Jim Hall,Joe Pass,Grant Green,Kenny Burrell Emily Remler,John Renbourn,Bert Jansch,Terje Rypdal,Mike Bloomfield,Sonny Landreth,Ry Cooder,Peter Green,Chris Smither,Tommy Emmanuel,Phil Keaggy,John Fahey,Richard Thompson,Ronnie Earl.... Many others as well!!
As for blues guitarists... How about Earl Hooker? He was so great and unfortunately died early of TB. Also Hubert Sumlin is not give the credit he deserves!

1.- Mick Taylor
2.- Mick Ronson
3.- Earl Slick (David Bowie)
4.- Frank Zappa
5.- Robin Trower
6.- Pat Travers
7.- Johnny Winter
8.- Brian Robertson (Thin Lizzy)
9.- Peter Haycock (Climax Blues Band)
10.- Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple)
Well, you hit a couple right off the bat. Santana, for depth and mystical, even cosmic proportion(yup, I'm from the 6's). Jeff Beck had it, I don't know what happened to him, he's still playing, but I don't follow him these days. His best (IMO) were Blow by Blow, and Wired; absolutely fantastic. Jimmy Herring doing Jerry Garcia, very tasty! Steve Howe...
Best to you all,
How 'bout Robben Ford? This guy has technique, versatility, and above all, musicality. He can play in just about any genre of music. A true musician as opposed to a "guitar player." His forte is blues played with jazzy sophistication. Check him out. Larry Carlton is another guy at this level. There's a reason why so many musicians have these guys on their records.
By genre: Classical-Julian Bream, Jazz-Wes Montgomery, Rock- Stevie Ray Vaughn

Best concert I ever saw was Stevie Ray on his Couldn't Stand the weather tour. No opening act, 70 minutes including encore, but what a 70 minutes. Voodoo Chile into Third Stone from the Sun as an encore. My wife (girlfriend then) gave me the tickets for Valentine's day. I sure do love her.