Guitarist Ranking, WTF is the Point?

Why do people feel the need to rank guitarist?  I admit I look at the various top guitarist list and have been turned on to several guitarist I was previously unfamiliar with, but why do they have to be put into a specific numeric order?  Why not just a list of great guitarist in no particular order.  Hendrix may be number one in the minds of rock guitarist of a particular age, but to a classical player he may not even make the top twenty.  Eddie Van Halen tops some list, but would a jazz guitarist ever think to put him above the likes of Wes Montgomery?  There really is no answer to who is the best guitarist in my opinion, they come in too many flavors.  Even when guitarist are broken down into specific genres I still think it is pointless to try and rank them.  I feel that when we put numeric ranks on musicians, as well as any other type of artist, we are somehow trying to judge a person’s soul.  Who are we to do that?

6 Comments on “Guitarist Ranking, WTF is the Point?”

  1. polarbear4 says:

    Couldn’t agree more. What constitues “greatness” in a guitar player? Ability to play a thousand notes a second? Influence on other musicians? Having a guitar company make a signature model of guitar for that player? These lists are entirely subjective, though I admit I sometimes take a peek at them to see what that particular author thinks and compare them to my own preferences. It’s like reading a record or movie review. My classic might be your dud. I prefer to think of guitarists in terms of my “favorites” as opposed to the “greatest of all time”. And my favorites might be different than yours. To each his/her own.

  2. AiXeLsyD13 says:

    The world needs Johnny Ramone type guys just as much as Yngwie Malmsteen.

  3. John Russom says:

    The “greats”‘ always speak of other guitar players in the context of what they can do well. Like “no one does _____ better than _____”. Compartmentalizing different aspects and learning from the master of that aspect.

    Hendrix did it, Stevie did it, Via does it, Satch does it. There are the obnoxious few really consider themselves “the best”. I usually find them boring, boxed into an aspect that they think makes them best. These polls promote unhealthy thinking.

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