Neo-soul virtuoso Mateus Asato has taken to Instagram to name-drop the three electric guitar players who he identifies as being “the last heroes” of the six-string sphere.
In a now-deleted Instagram story – which has since been saved to a highlight reel titled GBWM on his Instagram account – Asato also gave honorable mention to a swathe of over iconic guitar players, dividing them into categories such as “most underrated guitar heroes”, “the game-changers” and “melodic masters”.
Final collections of players include those who Asato believes to have “the most impeccable guitar tones” – for Strats, Teles and Les Pauls – and “love or hate” players.
As for who Asato thinks are the “last heroes” of the guitar, though, the social media star named Slash, Steve Vai and John Mayer. Elsa from the Frozen films was also pictured for some reason, but we’re inclined to think Asato doesn’t actually see her as a guitar hero.
In the same post, Asato commented that the guitar’s influence will never be as strong as it once was, before imploring people to see these three “heroes” in action before it’s too late.
“Guitar will always be a thing,” Asato said, “but the impact of the instrument will never be the same as it was. There are the last heroes imo. Make sure to go and watch these ones live!”
Asato is no stranger to discussions around the altering influence of the guitar. In a 2021 Guitar World roundtable, he noted, “I don’t know that I see guitar coming back the same way as it was like in the '80s, where even a pop ballad song would have major solos.”
He did, however, say the instrument was “getting its space in a different language”, and that tools such as Instagram can be a good reminder for people that the “guitar can be cool”.
Despite taking a hiatus from the social media platform after his “inspiration disappeared” over the pandemic, the guitarist recently returned, and has been producing a steady stream of six-string content since.
As for the other high-ranking fields in his latest post, Asato named Eddie Van Halen, Guthrie Govan, Jimi Hendrix and Tosin Abasi as the game-changers, and dubbed Steve Lukather, John Petrucci, Joe Satriani and Derek Trucks as melodic masters.
In the most impeccable guitar tone category, Asato bestows the Telecaster award to Robben Ford, The Edge, Brad Paisley and Allen Hinds. The Stratocaster camp, meanwhile, is headed up by Eric Johnson, Andy Timmons, Scott Henderson and Michael Landau.
That leaves Randy Rhoads, Joe Bonamssa, Jimmy Page and John Sykes of Whitesnake and Thin Lizzy to sweep up the Les Paul roundup.
In further pictures, Asato also went on to name some underrated players – Greg Howe, Richie Kotzen, Nuno Bettencourt and Jimmy Herring – as well as those who he thinks has the best vibratos: David Gilmour, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Lianne La Havas and, again, John Sykes.