When you hear the phrase ‘guitar legends’, who do you think of? There are hundreds of inspirational guitar players in our opinion. But we want to celebrate a select few that really shaped the way for music in history; those who transformed how we think, feel and interact with music. That’s right, this blog post is going to be dedicated to the guitar heroes who were not afraid to produce something different and as it turns out, groundbreaking. You never know, it may even inspire you to take some guitar lessons!
It’s no surprise that Jimi Hendrix is at the top of our list of guitar legends. No matter if you are looking at the technique or the emotion portrayed, Hendrix is considered the uncontested master of the guitar still today. This man of many talents was a self-taught innovator, he was never afraid to experiment with the guitar which made him the incredible soloist and melodist that he was. Jimi Hendrix was one of the pioneering musicians that married the genre of rock and blues together and by doing so, he helped reinvent modern rock music. Hendrix inspired and is continuing to do so, musicians and aspiring musicians all over the world. He even paved the way for left-handed guitar players by proving that being left-handed doesn’t stop you from becoming an outstanding guitarist. Jimi Hendrix is the ultimate guitar legend, even fellow hero Eric Clapton thought so after telling his manager “you never told me he was that good!”.
He may have admired Hendrix but Eric Clapton, also known as ‘God’ by fans, is one of the most infamous rock and blues guitarists and even after 50 years, is still playing. Similarly to Hendrix, Clapton was able to break barriers and push the boundaries of rock and blues, enhancing the sound that most were only beginning to listen to. Clapton grew up in a very musical household with his grandmother being a talented pianist and his mother and uncle often listening to band music, Eric Clapton had a lot of musical influence around him from a young age. He has had a lot of musical success with different bands such as John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, The Yardbirds and Cream amongst other musical endeavours. Not only this, but Clapton had an extremely successful solo career, with one of his most popular singles, a cover of Bob Marley’s ‘I Shot the Sheriff’. Eric Clapton has been a teacher and inspired so many to have guitar lessons, believe it or not, he is still doing so at the age of 73.
As one of the founding and leading members of the extremely successful rock band, Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page has more than earned his spot on this list of guitar legends. Page was also a band member of The Yardbirds for a period of time but found his true success when co-founding Led Zeppelin. Also known as ‘The Wizard’, together with fellow band member Robert Plant, they have produced rock masterpieces such as ‘Stairway to Heaven’, ‘Black Dog, ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and more. This riffmaster helped the band dominate rock in the 1970’s and did so by rewriting the rules of the music business and taking control of how the group’s music was created and marketed. Thanks to his work with Led Zeppelin, Page became one the most important and influential guitar players, writers and producers.
B. B. King
This true blues legend was the master of New Orleans blues and wrote an array of classics within his genre, filling his music with emotion and soul. B. B. King gave his guitar a personality and helped to influence fellow guitar heroes, Clapton and Hendrix. King was best known for his ability to tell a story through his music in the most heartfelt way. B. B. King was able to move with the times throughout his music career, right up until he sadly passed away in 2015. His ability to stay relevant was one of the many reasons he was so cherished.
As one of the leading members of The Rolling Stones, he is still known to be one of the most talented rock guitarists to date. Keith Richards has been called ‘The Human Riff’ but has made it clear that he would prefer to have “2 notes that kill rather than virtuosity for nothing”. As a rhythmic guitarist, Richards is up there with the best and has written and composed rock classics, such as ‘Paint it Black’ and ‘Sympathy for the Devil’. One to always appreciate and acknowledge other talented guitarists, Keith Richards is the quintessential guitarist.
Eddie Van Halen
If you are interested in guitar lessons, you should take some time to study some of Eddie Van Halen’s performances. Halen is renowned for making it seem as though a group of guitarists are playing whilst he is playing alone. Many nicknamed him ‘Superman’ as he became one of the most influential and original guitarists of all time. He was one of the guitarists dominating rock during the 20th century.
The list of guitar legends would not be complete without Slash. The Guns N’ Roses star established himself as an iconic rock guitarist, becoming the epitome of rock. A truly talented guitar player, if anyone can inspire people to consider guitar lessons, it’s Slash. Like any true guitarist, every performance of Slash’s was an honest and genuine one. It is apparent to anyone that observes, he is able to take incredible technique and put this together with raw emotion, the result… a masterpiece performance.
So, this completes our list of inspirational guitar legends. Of course, there are some big names missed off which have equally shaped the perception and experience of music over the years. But our top 7 are the inspirational names that spring to our mind when thinking of our guitar heroes. Are there any other guitar legends that you look up to? Let us know on Facebook!
If this blog has inspired you to take some guitar lessons in Birmingham, Progress Music Academy have professional and experienced teachers that can take your passion and turn it into skill! You can book online and receive 25% off your first lesson. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in contact, we are always happy to help!