Forums > Queen - General Discussion > Where is Brian May on the list of greatest guitarists of all time?

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rove user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 07 Nov 05, 02:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I was wondering how good you thought Brian May is compared to the all time greats.

Most people would agree Jimi Hendrix is the best of all time. I personally think Jimi Page of Led Zeppelin is the next best, he was the original heavy riff player and some of his solos where great, not to mention Stairway to Heaven.

From there it is all up for grabs. It might be Eric Clapton, Eddie Van Halen, Slash, David Gilmour, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Chuck Berry, Keith Richards, Ritchie Blackmore, Pete Townshend or our own Brian May.

I tend to think that Eddie Van Halen is better then Brian May, and Eric Clapton is probably a technically better guitarist although it could be close. Also Angus Young, although isn't technically as great as the others is the most energetic and entertaining of them all if you ask me.

What does everyone on hear think? how good is Brian May at guitar compared to the all time greats?


im growing my hair like Brian May...
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Posted: 07 Nov 05, 16:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Number One! May created his own guitar and invented a couple of new concepts while at it. The Red Special is like no other guitar ever made, and there's nothing Brian can't do with it. All of this may be BS, but as a Queen fan on a Queen board, I have the right to make such allegations. Besides, no one else was going to.


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Posted: 07 Nov 05, 16:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

For my money Brian is the best overall. None of the others have his artistry, though their technical skills may be better.

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Posted: 07 Nov 05, 17:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Brian May is respected by his peers. His artistry speaks for itself. You can't measure who the best is because music is not measured by objective means (we can all tell the worst LOL).
For my money I'll listen to him any day even though my favourite guitarist is Jeff Beck.

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Posted: 07 Nov 05, 18:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

1. randy rhoads (listen to Blizzard - and you'll see)
2. jimmy page
3. tom scholtz
4. ritchie blackmore
5. eddie van halen
6. pete townsend
7. brian may

oh. and hendrix....? do me a favour...being stoned out of you head doesn't make you great...if yu;re stoned then everything WILL sound different



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Posted: 07 Nov 05, 19:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I don't recall where I saw the list but I saw one where Brian appeared at #5... ahead of people like Eddie Van Halen and Angus Young.


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Posted: 07 Nov 05, 20:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

To answer this question as a group, we would have to agree on what makes a guitarist "great". Is it technical skills? The ability to play the widest variety of music(blues, rock, country, flamenco, classical, etc.)? Is it the ability to convey emotion thru the instrument? Does it include the ability to blend/mesh/complement the band as a whole? Is it the ability to lead other musicians? Or, it is something that should be measured by popularity with the fans? (One could easily make the argument that the best guitarist is the one preferred by the most fans.)

Most of my favorite guitarists have already been named in various postings on this thread. But for me, the greatest guitarist is Brian May. Not because he has the best technical skills or can play the widest range of music. Rather, my vote goes to Brian because I love his music, because I prefer to listen to his music and playing over all other artists, and because he never ceases to be amaze me at how well he plays his guitar. The man is a master in his musical genre.

I admit to being biased on this topic, as I love Queen's music. And I have very high regard for Brian May as a human being, where he stands head and shoulders above most other artists.



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Posted: 07 Nov 05, 20:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

<font color=green>Bren<font color=orange>ski wrote:



oh. and hendrix....? do me a favour...being stoned out of you head doesn't make you great...if yu;re stoned then everything WILL sound different


You're entitled to your stupid opinion I guess... lol

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Posted: 08 Nov 05, 13:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

i would say......
1: david gilmour
2: brian may
3: stevie ray vaughn
4: Slash
5: jimi Hendrix

thats just my weird oppinion however :P althoguh i think its acurate for my tastes lol!


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rove user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 10 Nov 05, 01:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"oh. and hendrix....? do me a favour...being stoned out of you head doesn't make you great...if yu;re stoned then everything WILL sound different"

I don't care if he was stoned or not, listen to Hendrix, the man was a freak, i mean people still trying to figure out how he did some of that stuff. Also i heard (might not be true) that he could play the guitar upside down as well ie. left hand plays right hand and vice versa. I've seen Eric clapton do this too so this for me puts these two along with Jimi Page right at the top of the list.




im growing my hair like Brian May...
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Posted: 10 Nov 05, 02:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yeah Cmon man.

Hendrix deserves every bit of the legendry status he's attained.

For just three years he was around the scene, and he single handedly re-wrote the rules as far as electric guitar is concered.

To me, Hendrix was fundamentally a blues player, and a great blues player at that.
I had a live "Hear My Train A Comin" on an LP years ago that was just absolutley brilliant! The name of the LP escapes me now. It was a live album released in the 80's.

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Posted: 10 Nov 05, 13:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

eatch one of them have his own kind of playing and his own music whick he know to play

we cant say that this one is better than this one



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Posted: 11 Nov 05, 00:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hendrix unfortunately burned out and his playing deteriorated after 1968 due to drugs(namely LSD and heroin) and eventually drugs would kill him. Clapton is a legend and luckily got sobered up in 1973 or so after Townshend masterminded his return from drug addiction. Jimmy Page rocked but then after Presence, he started using heroin and his guitar work became somewhat sloppy in live performance and he barely was functional on the ITTOD album as Page and John Bonham were strung out and drunk respectively. Then, Page got sober in the early 1980s and his playing slowly came back to pre-drug abuse levels.
My favorite guitarists are the ones who got better and were not heavily or didn't take drugs and alcohol and got better with age.
1) (tie)David Gilmour and Brian May(both guitarists got better as they got older and Gilmour picked up the Strat mantle when Hendrix died IMHO and May goes without saying)
2) Jimmy Page(he is a genius and a killer player)
3) Alex Lifeson
4) Steve Hackett
5) Steve Howe
6) Eric Clapton
7) Ace Frehley
8) Rik Emmett
9) Stevie Ray Vaughan
10) Jimi Hendrix


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Posted: 11 Nov 05, 00:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

NOTWMEDDLE wrote:

Hendrix unfortunately burned out and his playing deteriorated after 1968 due to drugs(namely LSD and heroin) and eventually drugs would kill him.



Do you think it makes you sound smart to say such stupidity? Hendrix wasn't close to peaking when he died.

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Posted: 13 Nov 05, 12:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think Brian is a guitar genius but I would just like to put a case for Mick Ronson as I think he deserves to be on any "great guitarists" discussion. I see people with their lists and no mension of Mick so i better had.

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Posted: 13 Nov 05, 14:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Considering how dificult it is to play their stuff i'd say...
Brian May is solid like Mark Knopfler, Richie Blackmore, The Edge, Angus Young (though very different style),
a little better than Slash, David Gilmour,
more better than Bruce Springsteen, Keith Richards, Kurt Cobain or Peter Buck
but not as good as Eric Clapton, Nuno Bettencourt, Phil Collen, Kirk Hammett, and maybe Eddie van Halen, Jimmy Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Steve Vai, Steve Morse,... (I cannot judge the last few well, 'cause I'm not familiar enough with their Music)

Considering how it sounds over all...
Brian May is top like David Gilmour, Keith Richards, Mark Knopfler, Angus Young, Richie Blackmore followed by Kirk Hammett, Phil Collen, Slash, Eric Clapton, then Edge, Bettencourt ...then Kurt Cobain and Peter Buck

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Posted: 13 Nov 05, 15:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

C`mon people, to include the EDGE on the list is worst than including the solo of Nirvana`s "Smell like teen spirit" on the top 100.

Everyone has a right to an opinion, but can you really have a sober opinion without that fan criteria?
For the posts i read so far you don`t, because you can talk about whathever makes a guitar player great but to get Brian at number 1 you have to be a fan.

The question here is : Who`s the greatest, not Who`s your favourite.

OK, my favourite is Brian May, but i tend to be a guitar freak and i could never ever say that he`s number 1, because it is too disrespectfull for guitarplayers that have dedicated so much time in developing the instrument technique as a way of expression.

In no order, here it goes:

Eddie Van Halen
Satriani
Steve Vai (I saw this guy last week i even took a pic with him. He played for 3 hours).
Uli Jon Roth´
Yngwie Malmsteen
Allan Holdsworth
Michael Angelo Batio
Paul gilbert
Shawn Lane - Probably the most amazing guitar player ever.
Frank Gambale
Jason Becker
etc

And even though i don`t like the music i have to include John Petrucci.


Get the idea? You have to be a little literate on this matter, otherwise it`s just an opinion without basis at all!

Take care

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Posted: 13 Nov 05, 15:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Ok ...i have to apologize for overrating The Edge.
It was in my mind that the Tab for "Sunday Bloody Sunday" was quite tricky...but i haven't watched them for a long time now...

And to your list...
As I wrote before...
I m not very interested in Touch-Tapping Freaks...


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Posted: 13 Nov 05, 15:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Oh that fucking ranks again!
For me, this endless lists the most embracing thing in rock music. There CAN'T be best group or guitarist or vocalist or whatever. This is only matter of somebody's tastes. Tastes can't be objective. That's why I try to keep it to myself and not to make any statements...
...Or wait

Let's start another list.
What is the best fruit?
1. Apples
2. Oranges
3. Peaches
5. .......
6.........
..........
..........
..........
100. Avocado

Stop this endless bulshit.


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Posted: 13 Nov 05, 20:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Brian May is the greatest guitarist to me by far! He built his GODLIKE guitar, he is the master of solos, he uses wah pedals incredibly, he is a master song architect.

my list:

1. Brian May
2. Jimmy Page
3. Marco Pirroni
4. George Harrison
5. Jimi Hendrix
6. Edge
7. Steve Clark
8. Vernon Reid
9. Steve Vai
10. Eddie Van Halen