Eddie Van Halen Voted Greatest Guitarist of All Time in Guitar World Readers Poll

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pinkjimiphoton

wow, nearly half a million people with no clue or roots.
evh the best guitarist of all time?
ya'll need to lay off the "e".
there are myriad guitarists that play better, sound better, are far more diversified and write better songs.
the prob is the younger set has no roots to build from, and don't recognize any of the foundations that led TO people like EVH....from blackmore and clapton (more blackmore than clapton) as claimed by evh himself... to hendrix and zappa (more zappa...who's "bulgarian bagpipes" tapping predated evh by, oh, 20 years or so...)
does evh suck? no, he doesn't...he does nothing for me personally, don't care for his tone or playing at all, and never have (and most of the songs...don't get me started)..
but alltime best in the world?

steve howe, alan holdsworth, frank marino, frank zappa, hell, some of the guys from the hair band days are every bit as good, and quite possibly a lot f**kin' better.

evh? puh-lease...

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errbt

By your argument, no one should ever win best guitarist but, say, Robert Johnson, since "roots" & "foundation" are all that matter.

Also, cool to know that Zappa was tapping in the mid to late '50s. Wanna try again? As in, early '70s, a FEW years before EVH (not 20 "or so") when several others were also experimenting with similar playing?

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Axemeister

I agree with the previous comments that so many others are more deserving.. Take away Eddie's pyrotechnics, tapping, wanking, and feedback and what do you have? He is dynamic rock guitarist, but he is a relatively limited player, who can only play in his own EVH style...

What diversity has Eddie shown? What depth and development has he shown.. Eddie's Eruption solo and the early EVH legend was from long ago.. He has not really grown or progressed beyond that..... Calling him the greatest guitarist ever is not warranted.

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Kidd_1981

Yea, this poll was a load of shit. Not only is EVH a one trick pony who played the same basic solo for 20 years, but the entire format was retarded. Dimebag Darrell at #9 and Eric Clapton at #28? Give me a friggin break. Should just let people rank their 100 in order and take an average score.

linkonhayes

What a crock of shit.

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sethboyer22

f u queen fanboys.

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jcDesigns

I will agree that May is a good guitarist. He built his own guitar, also cool. But against EVH? I can't believe it was as close as it was.

Out of simple curiosity, I'd like to see the numbers on how many people own one of May's signature guitar model vs number of people who own any of the models that EVH has put out which there are many. Not only did Eddie design each of those, but he also did pickup design, the D-Tuna, and other crazy stuff for guitar.

I'm not sure I understand the commenter who asks when EVH ever took the creative risks that JH did. Did he invent tapping? No. But he took it to a level that stunned everyone. His use of harmonics are insane as well. Eddie was ahead of his time, changed how a lot of people looked at the guitar, had so many clones that followed him, and inspired generations to pick up the guitar. How often have you asked people who influenced them in their playing said Brian May? And that is not to say that May hasn't, but I believe the numbers would be heavily skewed towards EVH.

I play on a Peavey Wolfgang Deluxe, and it is the most comfortable guitar I have ever played. Looks great too! The D-Tuna is icing on the cake, and everyone likes frosting!

jpjjd

Check youtube out and you'll notice how many guys own Red Special copies!
And May created or modified other guitar equipments as well, so it's not him just building from nowhere one of the most legendary instruments in rock but it's much more than that.
Congrats to Eddie for the win anyway.

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ozzy ayres

Yeah Eddie Van Halen is the best guitarist of all time without Eddie guitar techniques such as 2 handed tapping would still be primitive and barely used in rock and metal music and the shredding genre of the 80,s would never have happened and he also wrote some great rock songs that are still as popular today as back in the late 70,s and the 80,s he is a legend and deserves this victory

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Sinnerswing27

No one deserves the title of greatest guitarist more than Edward Van Halen. I sure hope we can get some more Eddie interviews in GW soon.

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Olyster

..Everyone knows this title belongs to Jimi Hendrix.

EVH second

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johnnycnote

I have to agree. It's debatable if EVH would even have known what to do had JH not pioneered modern rock guitar playing. How many albums has EVH personally produced, while JH has Electric Ladyland in his roster? Admittedly it's a matter of personal taste, but given that JH did not grow up on the road like the VH brothers did, that JH had to deal with being a black man in the early 60's in the US, his accomplishments are all the more amazing.

Where did EVH ever take the creative risks that JH did? And EVH did not "invent" the neck tapping thing, that credit goes to Steve Hackett of Genesis.

But to each his own . . .

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Trev Morson

Brian May beat out Hendrix in the poll, (he should not have) so don;t blame EVH. But I agree, it should have been Hendrix versus Ed in the final.

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Gerry1964

YOU WILL FIND EVH SHOULD NOT HAVE GOT PAST HENDRIX.
BRIAN MAY SHOULD HAVE WON COS HE HAS BEEN PLAYING LONGER HAS BAGS MORE EXPERIENCE, TALENT AND PLAYS RICHER SILKIER NOTES THAN EDDIE.
ANYWAY BRIAN HAS WON LOADS OF POLLS, SO IM NOT BOTHERED THAT HE HASNT WON THIS RAGS POLL, US QUEEN FANS KNOW BRIAN IS KING.
EVEN PAUL McCARTNEY SAID BRIAN MAY IS AN AMAZING GUITARIST!
THATS GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME!

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Trev Morson

Brian May beat out Hendrix in the poll, (he should not have) so don;t blame EVH. But I agree, it should have been Hendrix versus Ed in the final.

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johnnycnote

I'd certainly put Brian May ahead of EVH. EVH's technique consists mostly of a series of "licks" strung together for maximum flash effect. There is no underlying idea or emotion driving his solos, beyond "hey, this is so fuckin' killer, dude!". While he has great technique, there's little substance to his playing, and even less originality.

Compared to Hendrix, May, or Michael Schenker, who are masters of the guitar solo, EVH is an unsophisticated hack. I will give him credit for being a hard worker. My brother saw them back in the 80's and said they did a 3 hour show. That's no small feat, especially when they're on tour. It takes an incredible amount of endurance, which few guitar players have.

But overall, EVH has always personified the whole idea of "LA band". Everything is designed to appeal to their target audience. Creativity takes a back seat to pressure to "duplicate their success", in other words, do the same thing they did in the last album, but make it different enough to justify charging for a "new" album. That's a great definition of being in a rut.

I once saw a guitar mag cover that said "How Eddie gets those killer sounds without using gimmicks" (or something to that effect). It was an interesting phrase, considering that his whole style is a gimmick.

Many years before EVH ever picked up a guitar, a friend who used to fool around with the guitar excitedly told me he'd discovered a really cool new way to play the guitar. He then took his pick and used it to tap on the strings up on the fretboard. He never could really play. When I first saw EVH doing his tapping thing, I immediately thought of my friend.

But he's got his fans, and they're certainly entitled to their opinions. I don't hold it against anyone who likes his style . . .

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doubletrouble5150

You sir are out of your goddamn mind

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6bpanorama

Good Eddie deserves it hopefully van halen will be back on tour soon.

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ipsofacto

I'm satisfied with the poll results. Eddie sits #2 on my list of favorites behind the much versatile Rik Emmett (who inexplicably didn't even make the list).

EVH had an enormous impact on the guitar, everything from his revolutionary aggressive playing, to the development of the Floyd Rose, as well as advancements in tone quality. He was the posterboy of the 80's, and arguably inspired more bands and guitarists than any other player in the history of the instrument.

But what I think set him apart was not just his technical ability...but more so because of his writing ability. With most other bands and artists, I feel satisfied buying an album or CD if there is at least 3 or 4 songs on it that I like...but with Van Halen (to my astonishment) damn near every song on every album is an outright winner!

Certainly Roth and Hagar had a hand in developing all those hits (and the success of the band), but before any lyrics or vocal tracks were put to any of those songs, they were first contrived by the musical brilliance of EVH.

Congratulations Edward...well done!

Check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJ6jy3L0B70

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MThomasCGP

This title can NEVER be decided in a tournament style contest. Better players were eliminated in earlier rounds based on popularity not talent. But then again it makes sense coming from a magazine that leans so heavy to the metalheads that can only play riffs in a dropped tuning!

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jhs5150

The Queen is dead. Long Live The KING!

Lodewijk

A bit disappointed, because I had my EVH over Hendrix arguement already all planned out. Congrats to Edward, this is well deserved, not only for his playing, but for his contributions made to Floyd Rose, D-Tuna, and Amplifier modifications.

All hail the KING of 10 fingers and six strings !

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Gerry1964

Well done to QUEENS "BRIAN MAY" for at least been the second greatest guitarist of all time.
At least he got past everybody else in the poll.
So Queen have the greatest ever front man in "Freddie Mercury"
and the second greatest guitarist in the world with Brian May,
and the greatest single ever with "BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY" and the greatest album of all time with "GREATEST HITS"
You know this is a remarkable rock band who blow everybody else away!
Queen have also been named "GREATEST ROCK GROUP" EVER!
so chin up Brian, you have more going for you than most!
"Anyway the wind blows" !

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Trev Morson

Well deserved in my opinion, I think I speak for many that would have preferred a Hendrix versus Eddie final.. the discussion boards on that alone would have made wonderful reading.

Congrats Ed!!

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dudas23

EVH!!! i think he should have won. cool tournament agree with the results or not. EVH is the best

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errbt

While it's true that "best ever" polls and comparisons are pretty much meaningless, especially across time and very different musical genres, I still say congrats to Edward Van Halen! He and David Gilmour are far and away my two favorite players (& biggest influences on my own playing). I would never put Gilmour (or any players from my other favorite bands) at the top, though, because as great as he is, he was never a "game changer" as Hendrix & EVH were. Game change is why, in the end, only one of those two should have still been standing.

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Darth Compton

David's my favorite player (too), and I still would've been objective enough to vote Eddie over him. I'm curious how this ranking's going to look, since it was done with brackets so all the guitarists weren't really against everyone else...

At least Gilmour's probably in the 8-16 rank range :D

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