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It could be someone contemporary whose playing you love, but it doesn't have to be. It doesn't have to be anyone who was "best" in some way. It could be someone whose accomplishments in another decade you view as pivotal. It could be somebody who inspired a movement or genre. It could be someone who changed your view of what guitar was about forever; someone who thought differently about guitar. It could be someone whose playing set a benchmark in some manner that many others have aspired to. It could be the artist that first got you to pick up a guitar, or want to practice. It could be a lot of different things. People identify their personal heroes for many different reasons.

I'll start it off. One of my all-time guitar heroes is Steve Cropper. Not flashy. Always tasteful, and any song he ever played on you simply couldn't imagine it being played any differently than the way he did it. The guy who consistently provided the last missing piece to the song that completed it. When I saw Booker T and the MGs at Bluesfest a decade or so back, I listened carefully to Cropper and kept thinking "Man, that is exactly the note I would have played, right there." I hadn't realized prior to that evening how much I had been influenced by him and tried to model my own approach after his.

So who are your personal heroes?
 

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Page - he made me want to play guitar. From the riffs to the image to the production abilities, he was the 'first guy', for me. That scene in "It Might Get Loud", where he starts playing Whole Lotta Love and the other two guys respectfully put their guitars down and just bask in the glory says it all to me. That's what I woulda done, too.

Steve Howe - he (and Yes) showed me where a rock band could go. They got me out of the '3 versus and out' stuff that I was mostly listening to at the time. I think the fact that he won Best Overall Guitar Player 5 years in a row in the late 70's says a lot (something GP mag didn't think would happen, with the eclectic votes they got for that category).

Brian May - he defined tone to me. He had that majestic, harmonized sound that just got me (or that I just got). No one really duplicates it. I don't know how much he had to do with their production, but they were kind of doing their own thing there, as well. At least until they got sucked into that synthesizer world they resisted for so long.

There are others, from Alex Lifeson to Steve Morse to ....... well, I could go on but I'll never remember them all.
 

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Not my only hero, of course, but this is what I'm aiming for. The notes, easy; the quality, hard to match.
Vince Gill.

 

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I got started on Page - my friends older brother gave me a taped copy of Houses of the Holy and that was my first real exposure to rock - but my hero was Hendrix. I had a large collection of vinyl including some imports and bootlegs (that I gave away to one of my sons friends last year), full of concerts and obscure studio stuff both early pre-fame, and later Electric Lady stuff. It wasn't all amazing, but enough of it was to inspire my worship.
 

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In high school I discovered the solo work of David Lindley and Joe Walsh. I think the thing that struck me about their solo stuff was how different it was from the stuff that they were known for. As a result, I learned to broaden my musical horizons a bit. Not sure that makes them "heroes", per se, but I always respected both players, not only for doing stuff that wasn't particularly commercial or popular, but also for putting their own tastes aside and contributing to a more collaborative effort.
 

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Hands down for me it has to be Andy Timmons. To me, he has the perfect blend between technique and taste. Every note expresses something, even in a quick run. If I was half the player he is, I'd be pretty stoked! Even when he is just messing around and improvising melodies, they sound heart-crushingly good.

Sadly, unless I'm covering a song of his, I sound nothing like him when I play. :(
 

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J. S. Bach ~ baroque
Rory Gallagher ~ blues/rock/folk
Roy Buchanan ~ blues/rock
Jimmy Page ~ rock/folk/blues
Joscho Stephan ~ modern gypsy swing

Lots of others like Leslie West, Martin Barre, Pete Seeger, John Renbourn, David Gilmour, Keith Richards...but Bach and Gallagher, and I'm in heaven.
 

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J. S. Bach ~ baroque
Rory Gallagher ~ blues/rock/folk
Roy Buchanan ~ blues/rock
Jimmy Page ~ rock/folk/blues
Joscho Stephan ~ modern gypsy swing

Lots of others like Leslie West, Martin Barre, Pete Seeger, John Renbourn, David Gilmour, Keith Richards...but Bach and Gallagher, and I'm in heaven.
Stupid Question of The Day!

Did Bach play guitar or just write for guitar. It seems intuitive that he would have to play to write for it, but I don't really know. And the level of genius he had, maybe not?
 

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But was he a proficient guitar player? I think all of these guys were quite good keyboard players, but I've never given guitar playing a second thought. Again, sorry if it's a dumb question, but I don't really know.
 

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jimi hendrix of couse, not only his, and his alones, other worldly playing, also his " spiritual " and evocative,- and also inspiring lyrics ",scuse me while i kiss the sky......................" or if i dont see you no more on this world Ill meet you on the next one----and dont be late
the living rock guitar king goes to KEEF fn RICHARDS !!! ^)@# this is not fake news !!
 

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I guess Clapton if i have to choose a well known guitarist just cause i always liked his style. But my real guitar hero has to be Steve Pittico just cause i had a chance to play a gig with him. True gentleman and all around great guy.
 

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Absolutely none. I am in awe of great singers. They can do shit that I will never be able to do. As much of a joke Elvis became, even at the end he was a master with his pipes. So many powerful singers out there.............
 

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Page and Howe whom are my influences but I have so many - one of them being Steve Morse who answered when questioned about favorite guitar players: anyone that's played a great solo. Morse to me has the right attitude and it shows in his "no boundaries" approach to various music styles. A master of all trades. Gary Moore for his intensity, Scott Henderson for pushing the envelope and no compromise attitude for his music (doesn't care if it sells). Same for local guitar great John Findlay.

I'm sure if i answer this tomorrow, i will have a different response.
 

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Not my only hero, of course, but this is what I'm aiming for. The notes, easy; the quality, hard to match.
Vince Gill.

Me too. Vince is my guitar hero. The tone, the intonation, technique, taste, etc.

Eric Clapton is another one for me. The way he plays blues guitar with such a smooth action. He plays so cleanly, at any speed.

Roy Nichols, the very best of country picking mixed with the smoothness and innovation of a jazz master.
 

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Gordon Lightfoot

Listening to his music made me want to try and learn how to play the guitar. I owe him a lot...and I still like to listen to his playing and his lyrics.
 

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I have many but since no one is giving slash props
I have to say I love his phrasing. So different than my Tendencies that I'm surprised when I hear it. That's a good thing and an original thing.
 
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