six strings, three chords, and the truth

so my top 5 today is one that i’ve approached before, but it is one that has morphed a bit.

this list is based on my personal opinion and style with little regard to technical prowess and speed. really for me it’s about line and musicality. there are many players who could go on this list, but this is where i am right now.

so here we go with my top 5 guitar players.

5. Jared Scharff


this guy is the lead player on SNL and basically he just rules everything he touches. he is one of the most versatile players i’ve heard and his solo work going to commercial breaks is amazing. i like how he approaches things with simplicity and his tone is amazing.

4. Gary Clark Jr.


Austin local and total badass. this guy can flat play. you hear shades of Stevie Ray in his playing, yet he takes things in a different direction. not just straight blues. it’s definitely his own signature sound. again tone and simplicity coupled with amazing creativity make GC one of my new favs.

3. Nels Cline


to say that Nels Cline creates musical magic would be an understatement. this guy has created several of my favorite moments in music and is equally adept with a lap steel or his ’59 Jazzmaster. the thing is, he’s not a hot shot soloist. he adds beauty, or power by the textures and lines that he plays. being as he is the lead player in my favorite band, Wilco, of course he makes this list. for pure musical goodness check out the solo starting at 1:46 in on the song Either Way from Sky Blue Sky.

2. Matt Bellamy


one word. MUSE. this guy is the genius behind that sonic goodness from England. in addition to being an incredible virtuoso on guitar, he’s also a classically trained pianist. MUSE continually makes music that is through composed and full of complex ideas, rhythms and textures. Bellamy’s use of effects is on par with all of the gear greats, and the built in KAOSS pad on his Manson guitar allows him a palette of sounds unavailable to lots of guitarists. oh, and the dude can sing too.

1. Jack White


if i ever get to make a real record, i would love to have Jack produce and play on it. he is the epitome of hard luck, hard work, blue collar American rock. all you need to do is watch “It Might Get Loud” to hear his vision for his music and style of playing. his idea of fighting with his guitar speaks to me. it is a battle and he plays every note like it might be his last. and that’s what makes him a favorite. he hits things hard with passion. it’s not about the notes or the technique, it’s about the blood left on the strings at the end of the night.

so who are your top 5 musicians right now?


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