The best guitarist in the world

best-guitarist-in-the-worldSometimes I read articles on the Internet with titles such as: “The best guitarist in the world” or “The fastest guitar player in the world” and things like that. But we can say that a guitarist is much better than another?

Surely there are guitarists who are exceptionally talented, who have had a successful career and who have distinguished themselves in one or more styles. But remember that it is not enough to impress with special effects and fast passages, which are often less difficult than one would think. The speed is in fact just one of the skills of a guitarist, but there are also other important things, where someone is perhaps more prepared than others: rhythmic sense, expressive control, in-depth knowledge of one or more musical repertoires, advanced polyphony, improvisation, knowledge of harmony and composition, and more.

Find a guitarist who can understand all of these skills is not easy, but there are certainly many that stand out in more than one of these things. Others have perfected only the appearance of speed, perhaps with suitable equipment, like low action, compressions and distortions, becoming very fast, but giving up the dynamics and expression, so that even a novice guitarist, can have their own sound with an instrument similar to theirs. I mention no names, and not allow myself to judge anyone, I just want to say before you say that this is the best guitarist in the world, you have to think that in the world there are millions of guitarists. Maybe first you need to hear many, to understand a little more?

The important thing is that the music has to convey something, so I do a provocation. Try to see these two videos: an Iranian guitarist playing the “Flight of the Bumblebee“, or Julian Bream playing “Requerdos de la Alhambra“. Who excites you the most? Who do you believe is the most comprehensive?

by Wenz
Guitarist, Composer



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  1. Interesting thoughts on the ‘best guitarist’ argument. The reality is, that an opinion will change depending on the listener’s mood and current emotional state. I have listened to and watched some of the greatest classical and flamenco players in the world and they have left me cold but I have been reduced to tears (in a good way!) by an unknown and quite frankly, average player who just played the right thing in the right way at the right time. If you took the accuracy of John Williams, the technique and speed of Paco De Lucia, the soul of Julian Bream and gave them all to one human being, you might not even like the result!

    • Thanks for your comment Steve. In fact, if we talk about emotions and expressiveness, there are many things to consider, including the situation of the emotional moment when you listen to someone. However it is a subjective judgment, but it is sure that there are very good musicians who excel as those you mentioned, and many others that are worth listening to.

    • I agree Steve, in fact playing at lightning speed often mitigates against the music! Much of musical expression comes from the spaces not the notes and the energetic intent of the player…

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