The guitar has a very extensive history. In its present form, which is hundreds of years old as is, it is the descendant of the most ancient of string musical instruments that came out of the birthplace of civilization known as "The Fertile Crescent". In its original form, and still today, the word "tar" as present in its name... means string. Therefore, there have been thousands of years of players on such instruments. And, hence, thousands upon thousands of great guitarists have come and gone on this planet.
Today, we live in the "Age Of Guitar". At this time, the guitar is truly the most significant musical instrument in the world, and its popularity is still growing. At present, it is estimated that there are more guitars on the face of the earth than human beings. Consequently, now that we have arrived at this point in the guitar's development, we would obviously have some really great and outstanding guitarists alive (or recently so living) that could perhaps be called the "best".
Interestingly though, we as a music listening public sometimes do not evaluate these guitarists correctly as to their actual level of skill as with other areas such as sports etc., but base our evaluation of these players on appearance and theatrics. The guitarists that often are the most highly skilled and should be considered so called "best", and be at the top of a list, are at the bottom. I find this rather interesting that in a world where we cheer great players on in different sports, and even admire those who are significant in business, science and other fields, based on their outstanding accomplishments, we have such a poor understanding of who are the best guiatrists.
Why, with perhaps the most significant music instrument to have ever appeared on this earth are we so misinformed?
In the following section of this site, I will introduce some of the most accomplished guitarists, and explain some of the reasons why they are so. Hopefully, this will expose others to the knowledge needed to know when they hear or see a great player of the instrument. Players of the guitar, as with other music instruments, need to be evaluated by skill and not by theatrics and stage performance.
As mentioned above the public seems to understand these things quite clearly in every area except the guitar. They understand outstanding performance in all areas of sports. They seem to recognize good technique in other music instruments, like piano, and the use of all the fingers on both hands (not just using one or two fingers like an untrained person would pick out a song one note at a time). They even notice correct keyboarding in typing (like the use of all the fingers instead of a hunt and peck method). They appreciate everyone from the well trained auto mechanic, to the surgeon who saves lives only because he or she is properly trained. However... they do not know the first thing about playing guitar. In general, even much of the best guitar music goes unrecognized because what we are exposed to is based on this misguided view of the guitarist. We would never stand for this in any other area. We would "Boo" the performer or player off the field or stage, or in the case of someone like a doctor with poor performance... bring a malpractice suit.
The world has an opportunity to understand the guitar as it does these other things. This does not mean that we have to give up the enjoyment of performers that build their act around things that are not really skilled guitar work. There is always room for entertainment as just entertainment.
However, we have to also see the guitar as it is, as a tool to magnificently perform outstanding music on. And, we must recognize those guitarists that are like olympic gymnists, or experts in all areas we so admire.
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