Friday, 20 July 2012

The Rhythm Is In The Guitars

So said The Beatles before they had a steady drummer.

I'm starting to believe that I prefer short lists to longer ones. For example, Gibson's 10 Greatest-Ever Rhythm Guitarists, has less to take issue with than Guitar Player's 50 Greatest Rhythm Guitarists.

Maybe it's that on a shorter list, you lower your expectations; like, gee, there's only room for 10 so I can't expect all my favourites on the list, right? So the Guitar Player list is easier to pick apart.

For starters, John Lennon doesn't make the Top 50? You kidding me? (He is on Gibson's Top 10. Well done, Gibson.)

And is the Guitar Player list the 50 greatest guitarists who happened to do some cool rhythm work, or the 50 greatest guitarists who specialized in the role? I mean, does anyone seriously consider Jimi Hendrix a rhythm guitarist? Sure he played chords, and yes he had some funky rhythmic chops, but Jimi's idea of chords was to hint at one while he hammered on, pulled off, slid up, skipped down and bent into all kinds of notes decidedly not in the chord. His idea of not soloing was to solo less, not play rhythm. Jimi was Jimi.

Both lists have Chuck Berry, Angus Young, Pete Townshend, Jimmy Page and of course Keith Richards - although Guitar Player ducks the issue of who's in the top 10 by listing the players alphabetically.

I guess the longer list does allow for more names, so it was nice to see Bo Diddley, Steve Cropper, The Edge and Bob Marley on the Guitar Player list. In fact, I would argue that they all belong on Gibson's top 10 list.

Oops! Just argued with the shorter list, didn't I?

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