Underrated and overrated guitarists

Guitar Tricks Forum > Famous Bands and Artists > Underrated and overrated guitarists

Dan809

Registered User

Joined: 05/22/17

Posts: 1

Just managed to run through this entire thread... Wow. A lot of varying opinions.

One thing that struck me as very odd was someone claiming Paul McCartney was an overrated guitarist. Why did his name even come up? He mostly plays bass, piano, and is known for his songwriting. I don't believe I've ever seen anyone claim that he's a guitar virtuoso. He may have played acoustic guitar on some of his solo stuff, but I don't remember ever seeing a six-string in his hands as a Beatle. His bandmate George Harrison on the other hand was definitely underrated as a guitarist.

As for overrated vs underrated, I'm not a huge fan of shredding, so not much of the Satch/Vai/etc stuff appeal to me. Overrated? I'll leave that to others.

Hard to say too many guitarists are underrated, but one that strikes me as flying under the radar of a lot is Joe Walsh (solo, James Gang, Eagles). His solo stuff and his band work, his lead and his slide work, the guy makes anything he's playing sing - Tele, Strat, LP, Gretsch, or his more recent guitar, a custom Carvin - doesn't waste notes. To me, most of all, he does this and appears to be having fun doing it and doesn't take things too seriously (listen to Life's Been Good - you might be able to find the film clip somewhere). Saw him on two Eagles tours of Australia and really regret not being able to go the last time they were out here in 2015.

While I won't say he's underrated, John Fogerty (Credence Clearwater Revival) surprised me when I saw him live a number of years ago. Strapped into a Music Man of some sort and shredded like Vai. His CCR and solo stuff though was good at fitting the song.

Dan George

Brisbane, Australia

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1996 Maple Sunburst Fender Standard Stratocaster (Mexico)

2006 Ebony Epiphone Les Paul Custom

2008 Maton EM325C Acoustic

2010 Maple Sunburst US Deluxe Stratocaster

2011 Vox AC15C1 Valve Amp

Zoom G9.2tt Effects Set

On Order:

Hagstrom Super Viking

Boss Katana 100

#181

Just managed to run through this entire thread... Wow. A lot of varying opinions.

One thing that struck me as very odd was someone claiming Paul McCartney was an overrated guitarist. Why did his name even come up? He mostly plays bass, piano, and is known for his songwriting. I don't believe I've ever seen anyone claim that he's a guitar virtuoso. He may have played acoustic guitar on some of his solo stuff, but I don't remember ever seeing a six-string in his hands as a Beatle. His bandmate George Harrison on the other hand was definitely underrated as a guitarist.

As for overrated vs underrated, I'm not a huge fan of shredding, so not much of the Satch/Vai/etc stuff appeal to me. Overrated? I'll leave that to others.

Hard to say too many guitarists are underrated, but one that strikes me as flying under the radar of a lot is Joe Walsh (solo, James Gang, Eagles). His solo stuff and his band work, his lead and his slide work, the guy makes anything he's playing sing - Tele, Strat, LP, Gretsch, or his more recent guitar, a custom Carvin - doesn't waste notes. To me, most of all, he does this and appears to be having fun doing it and doesn't take things too seriously (listen to Life's Been Good - you might be able to find the film clip somewhere). Saw him on two Eagles tours of Australia and really regret not being able to go the last time they were out here in 2015.

While I won't say he's underrated, John Fogerty (Credence Clearwater Revival) surprised me when I saw him live a number of years ago. Strapped into a Music Man of some sort and shredded like Vai. His CCR and solo stuff though was good at fitting the song.

Dan George

Brisbane, Australia

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1996 Maple Sunburst Fender Standard Stratocaster (Mexico)

2006 Ebony Epiphone Les Paul Custom

2008 Maton EM325C Acoustic

2010 Maple Sunburst US Deluxe Stratocaster

2011 Vox AC15C1 Valve Amp

Zoom G9.2tt Effects Set

On Order:

Hagstrom Super Viking

Boss Katana 100

wolfsmg

Registered User

Joined: 07/05/17

Posts: 29

None of the guitarists that make me want to learn to play guitar seem to make any of the "greatest lists" (okay, maybe a few). So I feel that a lot of my favorites are underrated. Most of favorites are on my list because they make solid music.

Daniel Ash - Yes, he experimented a lot, but he was willing to push his boundaries.

Steve Kilbey, Marty Wilson-Piper, Peter Koppes - The second I heard their playing as The Church, I was hooked and "Under the Milky Way" is on my "Learn to Play" list.

Robert Smith - I feel that he wrote solid songs.

Nuno Bettencourt - He seems to make a lot of older lists as an "Honorable Mention", but I love his range of playing.

I totally agree with Dan809, Joe Walsh is a very underrated player. I've also had to explain to fellow guitarists that Paul McCartney was mostly a bassist (although he is one heck of a writer).

My overrated list would mostly include shredders (but I grew up listening to classic rock then switched to 80s "progressive/alternative" and "gothic" rock. (Not that modern "gothic" rock garbage.)

What is this "strumming" of which you speak?

Fender Squier Affinity HSS Stratocaster "Kelli"
Epiphone Les Paul Special-II LE "Callie"
Rogue RA-090 Concert Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar "Theresa"

#182

None of the guitarists that make me want to learn to play guitar seem to make any of the "greatest lists" (okay, maybe a few). So I feel that a lot of my favorites are underrated. Most of favorites are on my list because they make solid music.

Daniel Ash - Yes, he experimented a lot, but he was willing to push his boundaries.

Steve Kilbey, Marty Wilson-Piper, Peter Koppes - The second I heard their playing as The Church, I was hooked and "Under the Milky Way" is on my "Learn to Play" list.

Robert Smith - I feel that he wrote solid songs.

Nuno Bettencourt - He seems to make a lot of older lists as an "Honorable Mention", but I love his range of playing.

I totally agree with Dan809, Joe Walsh is a very underrated player. I've also had to explain to fellow guitarists that Paul McCartney was mostly a bassist (although he is one heck of a writer).

My overrated list would mostly include shredders (but I grew up listening to classic rock then switched to 80s "progressive/alternative" and "gothic" rock. (Not that modern "gothic" rock garbage.)

What is this "strumming" of which you speak?

Fender Squier Affinity HSS Stratocaster "Kelli"
Epiphone Les Paul Special-II LE "Callie"
Rogue RA-090 Concert Cutaway Acoustic-Electric Guitar "Theresa"

JeffS65

Full Access

Joined: 10/07/08

Posts: 1308

Don't think I ever added to this thread.

Underrated -

-Steve Stevens (Though a rock guitar player worth his salt would probably not argue it either)

-Neil Geraldo (Pat Benetar). Seriously, there is genious in his playing. Not from a technician's standpoint but his ability to phrase and adapt styles is really something.

-Nancy Wilson (Heart). Go ahead, just whip up that acoustic intro to Crazy On You and tell me that isn't something...

Overrated -

Harder to do cuz who really wants to rip on another guitarist...Well, LOTS of guitarists do but they shouldn't. Maybe Vinnie Vincent (if anyone recalls him)..Was in Kiss and Vincent Vincent Invasion. Good songwriter but that tone and the almost atonal overplaying was not my bag.

#183

Don't think I ever added to this thread.

Underrated -

-Steve Stevens (Though a rock guitar player worth his salt would probably not argue it either)

-Neil Geraldo (Pat Benetar). Seriously, there is genious in his playing. Not from a technician's standpoint but his ability to phrase and adapt styles is really something.

-Nancy Wilson (Heart). Go ahead, just whip up that acoustic intro to Crazy On You and tell me that isn't something...

Overrated -

Harder to do cuz who really wants to rip on another guitarist...Well, LOTS of guitarists do but they shouldn't. Maybe Vinnie Vincent (if anyone recalls him)..Was in Kiss and Vincent Vincent Invasion. Good songwriter but that tone and the almost atonal overplaying was not my bag.

Matthias Hornstein

Registered User

Joined: 07/20/17

Posts: 50

I think Danny Gatton is underrated or lets say at least unknown to a lot of people...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyjtW-rvWoQ

#184

I think Danny Gatton is underrated or lets say at least unknown to a lot of people...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyjtW-rvWoQ

Medalleon

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Joined: 07/21/17

Posts: 7

I don't know how well known he is on the world stage, but there is a local guitarist who I think is amazing... John Butler.

I remember watching on in awe many times back when he was still street busking in Fremantle, Western Australia. The guy has serious talent and now passes on his knowledge to up and coming new artists through his production company.

Check him out on his beaten up old 11 string electric acoustic... one of his older tracks "Ocean" https://youtu.be/jdYJf_ybyVo

#185

I don't know how well known he is on the world stage, but there is a local guitarist who I think is amazing... John Butler.

I remember watching on in awe many times back when he was still street busking in Fremantle, Western Australia. The guy has serious talent and now passes on his knowledge to up and coming new artists through his production company.

Check him out on his beaten up old 11 string electric acoustic... one of his older tracks "Ocean" https://youtu.be/jdYJf_ybyVo

snojones

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Joined: 04/17/13

Posts: 178

Just found this discussion, and I just have to say it..... NEIL YOUNG IS NOT A GUITAR PLAYER!!!!!!!! A good preformer, a voice for reason in a world gone mad, and a great song writter, but one of the worlds 100 best guitar players????!!!!! Maybe in an Elvis oriented universe......

#186

Just found this discussion, and I just have to say it..... NEIL YOUNG IS NOT A GUITAR PLAYER!!!!!!!! A good preformer, a voice for reason in a world gone mad, and a great song writter, but one of the worlds 100 best guitar players????!!!!! Maybe in an Elvis oriented universe......

ghostjf13

Registered User

Joined: 08/30/17

Posts: 1

Underrated: Bill Nelson of Be Bop Deluxe. Frank Marino of Mahogany Rush. Rick Derringer. Listen to his Guitars & Women album.

Overrated: Eric Clapton. He was a pioneer and certainly great in his day, but he reached his peak years ago and has flatlined since. By his own admission he goes weeks without touching a guitar these days. Jack White. I had to laugh when I saw some writer's top 100 guitarists that left out Steve Lukather but included Jack White. And finally, The Edge. He owns his own style but that;s about it.

#187

Underrated: Bill Nelson of Be Bop Deluxe. Frank Marino of Mahogany Rush. Rick Derringer. Listen to his Guitars & Women album.

Overrated: Eric Clapton. He was a pioneer and certainly great in his day, but he reached his peak years ago and has flatlined since. By his own admission he goes weeks without touching a guitar these days. Jack White. I had to laugh when I saw some writer's top 100 guitarists that left out Steve Lukather but included Jack White. And finally, The Edge. He owns his own style but that;s about it.

fuzzb0x

Full Access

Joined: 04/02/13

Posts: 480

Originally Posted by: ghostjf13

Underrated: Bill Nelson of Be Bop Deluxe. Frank Marino of Mahogany Rush. Rick Derringer. Listen to his Guitars & Women album.

Overrated: Eric Clapton. He was a pioneer and certainly great in his day, but he reached his peak years ago and has flatlined since. By his own admission he goes weeks without touching a guitar these days. Jack White. I had to laugh when I saw some writer's top 100 guitarists that left out Steve Lukather but included Jack White. And finally, The Edge. He owns his own style but that;s about it.

I used to agree with the comment that Eric Clapton was overrated until I heard the album Me and Mr Johnson which was recorded in 2004, then my opinion about Clapton completely changed. His playing on that recording is incredible. I rate Robert Johnson as a highly skilled guitarist in the purest of forms and Clapton managed to record an entire album covering his songs and do it justice in many ways. I'm still not a fan of his other recordings but that album alone shows how talented he really is.

#188

Originally Posted by: ghostjf13

Underrated: Bill Nelson of Be Bop Deluxe. Frank Marino of Mahogany Rush. Rick Derringer. Listen to his Guitars & Women album.

Overrated: Eric Clapton. He was a pioneer and certainly great in his day, but he reached his peak years ago and has flatlined since. By his own admission he goes weeks without touching a guitar these days. Jack White. I had to laugh when I saw some writer's top 100 guitarists that left out Steve Lukather but included Jack White. And finally, The Edge. He owns his own style but that;s about it.

I used to agree with the comment that Eric Clapton was overrated until I heard the album Me and Mr Johnson which was recorded in 2004, then my opinion about Clapton completely changed. His playing on that recording is incredible. I rate Robert Johnson as a highly skilled guitarist in the purest of forms and Clapton managed to record an entire album covering his songs and do it justice in many ways. I'm still not a fan of his other recordings but that album alone shows how talented he really is.

stevetucker

Registered User

Joined: 10/21/17

Posts: 34

Under rated, for me Definitely Tony Bourge of Budgie

Rory Galagher I wouldn't say was under rated but sometimes over looked

#189

Under rated, for me Definitely Tony Bourge of Budgie

Rory Galagher I wouldn't say was under rated but sometimes over looked

snojones

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Joined: 04/17/13

Posts: 178

Originally Posted by:
most underated
Neil Young

Mr Young is absolutly the worst guitar player ever! I am always floored when anybody mentions him in the same sentence as "Guitar Player". A good song smith, but that is it.

#190

Originally Posted by:
most underated
Neil Young

Mr Young is absolutly the worst guitar player ever! I am always floored when anybody mentions him in the same sentence as "Guitar Player". A good song smith, but that is it.