“What are you doing TheBuddha?” You might ask.
“Writing an intro.” I’d answer.
“For what?” You might inquire.
“My bitchin’ list of guitarists better than Hendrix.” I’d probably answer.
“Hendrix was the greatest guitarist ever!” You’d say, while being the most wrong one could ever possibly be.
“Bitch, please! I’ve shown you THIRTEEN DAMNED TIMES ALREADY!” Is pretty much exactly how I’d reply.
I have seen a few opinions and a few comments that make me think people aren’t actually paying attention. I’m gonna say it one more time!
Hendrix was a fine guitarist, an excellent musician, a great composer, and a stunningly brilliant performance artist. If we also consider the era, he was a wonderful gift to music.
That said, he was only a “fine” or “good” guitarist. Rating heavily weighted for a subset of guitarists who are performing or recording artists who are strictly professionals. In other words, Hendrix played better than you – probably. Hendrix did not play better than our next musician.
This is a list based on technical prowess, above all other things. Also taken into considerations are things like difficulty in replication, innovation, understanding of music theory (even if unschooled specifically in such), and things like that.
If you’re offended, you’re just offended because you’re fucking wrong.
Seriously, I’ve shown 13 guitarists who are, by those metrics, better than Hendrix was – even on his best day. I’ve shown guitarists who are better than him – even on their worst day.
Some of it is subjective. However, I’m qualified to hold an opinion. In fact, I’d say I’m eminently qualified to opine. Frankly, that’s me calling myself a damned expert on the subject. As such, the other people (like the worst pack of savages to ever pound a keyboard over at Rolling Stone Magazine) are just plain wrong.
When they put Hendrix as “the greatest guitarist” on a list, they do me a big injustice. It’s fucking personal! Alright! Seriously, it’s an injustice. I don’t want you to think I’m an egomaniac, but I’m pretty fucking positive that I play guitar better than Hendrix. I’ll prove it, too.
So isn’t this next guy. In fact, he’s got some connections to a number of other people on the list.
As a matter of those metrics, the ones that are important for “guitarist,” these people are all better than Hendrix. If they’d just called that list, “Greatest Rock Artist,” I’d never have a word to say.
Well, that’s not true. I’d argue that went to Jim Morrison, but I’d be willing to accept it’s entirely too subjective. This, on the other hand, is much less subjective.
This is about people who have put raw amounts of skill into the industry. This is about people who have formed entire genres. This list is about the true power players of guitar and masters of their instrument.
You’re still encouraged to like Hendrix. I do. I love to riff off his stuff. I can play Hendrix for hours. However, I’m pretty positive that I can play Hendrix better than Hendrix played Hendrix.
Also, listen to this while you read – I think you will understand. I have a lot of faith in you, my dear readers! I have lots of faith in you! You’re obviously smart, or you’d not keep coming back! So, give this a listen and read the next entry on our list.
Without further ado, here’s the next guitarist better than Hendrix! 😉
#14 Joe Satriani
You knew he was going to be on the list. (If you didn’t, you have absolutely no business even offering an opinion!) The question was where do I put him.
The answer is here.
Why? Because I couldn’t put him closer to Malmsteen, else someone would start arguing – and, besides, he really isn’t as hard to cover as Malmsteen. But, if I had to pick an album by either of the two, I’d probably pick Satriani. His understanding of theory seems to be less, but his ability to compose is higher. I’d say that Malmsteen wins technicality-wise, hands down.
Besides, write your own damned list. This one is mine. Your list will just be wrong! I kid… I kid… I’d love to see your list – so I can crib off it, of course.
Of all the artists you can get to come play with you, Satriani will. It’ll cost you $50,000, but he’ll come play your private party. If you’re nice, he’ll let you on his stage – maybe. I don’t actually know, I just feel like obligating him to say yes to everyone, in hopes that I can someday call him and have him play with me!
He’s really good. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, I highly recommend seeing if your ear enjoy more than what I share with you today. But, we’ll get to that. Just settle down. Beside, you’re still listening to the song I linked above.
So who the hell was this guy? Oh, he’s just some guy. You might know him as “Satch.” Let me tell ya all about him.
Satch was born in 1956. That was the year the BMW 507 was released and flopped due to price. The few that exist are magical – and rare. They’re not too dissimilar to Satch.
Like the BMW 507, Satch would teach people. Some of them would turn out to be better than him, just like roadsters since the 507 have turned out to be better than it. If you recall correctly, Satch taught Steve Vai.
In a way, he reminds me of someone not yet on this list (but mentioned a few times and will be on this list) named Ritchie Blackmore. In the genre called neo-classical metal, I’d say that Blackmore is probably the father and that Satch might have been the one to make it digestible.
See, in the year 1970 and Jimi Hendrix died. Satch heard about it while he was at football practice. He took his helmet off, stomped over to the coach, and quit – saying he was going to learn to play guitar. And he did.
If you want to trace his style, he studied with two very adept jazz musicians, one a pianist and the other a jazz guitar player. I think knowing this will explain a bit of the results of his years – and his impact. He’s actually taught quite a few people and played with a whole slew of ’em.
The man is the #1 best selling rock instrumental artist. He’s sold more albums than anyone else in that classification. He’s been nominated for something like fifteen Emmy Awards.
Guitar World’s Thirty Great Guitarists included him and I don’t recall where he ended up in their Reader’s Poll. I do know they had this to say during the process:
As mentioned above, Joe Satriani laid the groundwork for other guitarists to really break out on their own.
Which, you know, really sums it up much nicer than I do. Those are high quality writers, right there.
Guess what the pack of drunk hyenas that call themselves writers at RSM did? They left him completely off the list. That’s how wrong they are. They can’t be much more wrong and they had 100 chances to get it right. Yup… Rolling Stone forgot to include the guy who laid the groundwork for other neo-classical metal guitarists.
It’s like a list of best roadsters without the beloved 507! It’s just wrong!
Click the damned links. I’m pretty much done typing. I want to get you on the road to an orgasm of sound. Put on your best earphones and ogle the spouse, ’cause you’re gonna be in the mood for love tonight.
Let’s share some Satriani!
When you watch this, remember that Satch isn’t really known for being cool. No…. He’s a little spastic on stage. You’ll get used to it. Close your eyes, if you must. Let’s go surf with an alien!
He kinda starts off spastic and then realizes he’s there to play a bitchin’ solo. So, he plays a bitchin’ solo and then sort of forgets it’s supposed to end, so he decides to throw in an ending – and it’s a bizarre choice for what he was previous playing. Which is sort of why he doesn’t rate higher on my list.
Let’s continue, shall we? This is pretty much what you can expect from him. Yeah, it kinda gets old after a while – but that doesn’t make it any less impressive for the technical merit.
Which, well… You might already be noticing a pattern. It’s pretty much a collection of jointed bitchin’ solos. If anything, y’all should be happy I don’t give extra credit for making a whole song a bitchin’ solo.
And, if there’s absolutely one song you have to hear, it’s probably Satch Boogie. He does love himself some vibrato and he’s never seen a pick slide he didn’t like. He’s also an insane beast of a guitarist. I’d call this his best song. (I have opinions!)
And there you have it. Yet another guitarist better than Hendrix. This one is even hard to quantify and be subjective about. It’s just that he’s amazingly skilled. It doesn’t get much better.
As you know, I like to leave you with one for the road. Well, today, I have one that’s special ’cause you’ve probably never seen it and, ’cause you’re here so often, I feel I should gift you with something special. I’m not going to introduce this. I just am going to link it.
Feast your ears on that, my good readers. Feast and be sated until next time…
Now, shut up and play us a song!