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Ummm. Wouldn't this be a subjective thing? Indeed, for me it varies by the day. When it's someone who plays in this style, I personally prefer Johnny Winter (Johnny Winter And... Live, for example).

Actually, I'm a better guitarist too (though that also just might be a personal opinion :-).

At this blog, it's deterministic. Best = SRV.

[But in general: Best = f(blogger)]

If you are looking for the 'most talented', then SRV is definitely a good choice.

However, I'm disappointed that Eric Johnson didn't even make your short-list.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Johnson

This sir....is your finest hour...I too am a guitarist and worship at the alter of SRV.....he was and still is an open conduit to the blues.

I've always enjoyed your blog but now I know we're on the same page you and I!

Chinny

http://tinyurl.com/ahnp4d

what about bass guitarists?

Victor Wooten is my choice.

Well sir, you are now in my neighborhood. Been playing for over 30 years.

SRV was arguably the greatest blues guitarist of his generation. However, that time was tragically cut short. For a lifetime volume of blues it's hard to top Clapton.

But one should listen to some of the jazz greats to really get an appreciation for the talent it takes to play jazz guitar and the unbelievable licks and melodies produced. I'm talking about the likes of Wes Montgomery, Barney Kessel, Charlie Christian, Kenny Burrell, Herb Ellis and the incomparable Joe Pass.

Just another of the many ways I agree with you, Steve.

Would have to agree. As long as we're talking about best lead guitarist.

Best guitarist? Ever? That goes to Tommy Emmanuel. Hands down.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZNJf-h7F8s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmgwNyUcR8Y

Yes, you'll hear a lot of Chet in there. Chet gave Tommy his "CGP".

millhead:

If I could walk a bass line as in the video above, I'd join a band. As it is, it looks like my time for blogging is safe from gig intrusion.

I had the privilege of seeing SRV live with Double Trouble several times in the eighties. I can still feel him. More than once the police adjusted the volume on my turntable.

I discovered Valentine from a link to a jazz site I subscribe to. Never heard harmonics like the ones he plays on Rainbow. Sounds like a harp. Check out what we does with a Beatles medley while you're at you tube.

While you're there check out Joe Pass as well. I saw him and Ella F. in the seventies, live. Beautiful.

BTW, Roy Clark, though no Atkins, was no slouch with the axe. Yep, that would be the old "Hee-Haw" Roy Clark.

Okay, I'm dating myself.

Okay, finally a post where I feel educated enough to chime in on. Ha!
Steve, Steve, Steve.... There is one guitarist who you clearly omitted from your top selections. Although he may not be the best, it's all subjective anyway, he certainly deserves a mention.

CARLOS SANTANA!

I was fortunate enough to see him live in Madrid in 2003. It was simply genius. He was playing two guitars at once for this one song. He had a classical propped up on a stand and an electric hanging from his strap. He would swing the electric over and switch off between both guitars. It all flowed together so nicely and was just amazing to watch.

Yours is one of my favorite blogs and SRV is up there but I don’t think he is #1

There are quite a few names not even mentioned on your families starting list

In Alphabetical order only!

Dennis Agajanian - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RPaUKxo7-c

Dominic Frasca - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2BOApUvFpw&feature=related

Phil Keaggy - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0T3to3DHLIE & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EB9daFEtCcY&feature=related & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKqQXPPHK58&feature=related

Yngwie Malmsteen - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aS_IYe5JTZ4&feature=related & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sj3ec2cCaJw

Les Paul - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pb5_DEhmDAM&feature=related (Kudos to your friend who said Chet Atkins, but Les Paul was a better player then Chet and for his time he was THE BEST, hands down.)

Joe Satriani - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGNgcRwKW4Q & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibr47SqERes&feature=related

Angus Young - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSVecGNiTDg

While it’s a tough call my top is a four way tie between:

Keaggy, Malmsteen, Satriani, and Vai

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