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Who is better than Jimmy Page?


ZoSo88
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Hendrix did for electric guitar what Beethoven did for symphony orchestras.

There might be great musicians before and after him, but no one had such a profound impact of influence like Hendrix on the instrument. When you read stories of everyone from Townsend to Clapton to Lennon to Dylan all saying how they went out of their way to see him play live because the sounds he was creating on guitar were out-of-this-world, thats all the evidence I need to proclaim him # 1. The sound of electric guitar was forever altered by his playing and his tone is still stuff of pure psychedelic magic.

Edited by bigstickbonzo
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Hendrix did for electric guitar what Beethoven did for symphony orchestras.

There might be great musicians before and after him, but no one had such a profound impact of influence like Hendrix on the instrument. When you read stories of everyone from Townsend to Clapton to Lennon to Dylan all saying how they went out of their way to see him play live because the sounds he was creating on guitar were out-of-this-world, thats all the evidence I need to proclaim him # 1. The sound of electric guitar was forever altered by his playing and his tone is still stuff of pure psychedelic magic.

Why mobody votes or at least mentions Richie Blackmore? Deep Purple seems never to be mentioned in all these forums. Is there some kind of rivality between zepp and Purple?

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Page's versatility is one of his trademarks. He can fit his sonic personality into any style, including his equally amazing acoustic work, which Jeff Beck himself refers to as "scary", Beck recently said Page was "the ambassador of riffs" and is "downright scary" on acoustic. Beck gave Page a standing ovation at the recent honors show where Zep was honored (the show Page showed up with his broken finger in gauze). Beck said he had forgotten just how much Jimmy had accomplished and had to stand up and applaud. Les Paul himself sent a video message on the show praising Page. You don't get to that level being sloppy. Page is sloppy about 5-10% of the time, usually due to alcohol. The other 90-95% of the time he f'in takes your head off. Rain Song isn't sloppy at all, in fact he's pulling amazing stretches and complex chordings on that without missing a note. And that stuff's harder than leads, yet he interestingly cleaner at the harder stuff. Go figure! Page is a fascinating character. I mean, Alex Lifeson, Carlos Santana, Steve Lukather, Les Paul, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Slash, Neil Schon, Jack White and about 6 million other pro's all cite Page as the best or near tops in their book. Not bad for a "sloppy" player. I guess hammer-ons on every solo would be better...

Wow, you just don't get it.

Page being a sloppy player has nothing to do with the respect he garners. I've already mentioned, that individually, Page is probably the single most exalted musician in popular music outside of maybe Lennon and McCartney. Page's creativity, versatility, all make him great, but his skill, and technique, and technical prowess playing the guitar itself, does not put him above anyone significant. He can't play like Vai, or like Malmsteen, or any modern virtuoso for that matter. But it shouldn't matter. I'm not trying to knock on Page or overly criticize him, especially because I judge him on a different level than those guys. They use their guitar to make music, Page uses his guitar to express music. Theres a huge difference.

I don't understand the huge deal with this, no one (with ears and a brain) will argue with the claim that Steve Vai is a better player than Page. Yet, I'm pretty sure everyone understands why Page is always near the tops of these rankings. It doesn't matter if Page was "sloppy" or not. "Sloppy" just has to do with his technique, his skill, and his sound. Not with the music that he wrote. When it comes down to it, the music you play is what is important, how good you are at guitar is not. I don't understand why you all get so offended when people say Page is a competent, player but far from the best. It has nothing to do with his accomplishments, none of the Beatle's were exemplary at playing their instruments, but it doesn't matter because their music was so good.

Page deserves every bit of credit he gets for who he is, a terrific musician. A great writer, producer, and a very competent guitar player. He is an exemplary acoustic player, and a good electric player. He is accomplished in every way a rock musician gets, and is a living legend. But that does not make him the greatest guitar player ever.

(btw, there are no amazing stretches in the Rain Song, its played in an open tuning just to avoid any major stretches. The chords are complex, but easy to switch between in alternate tunings. Page gets props for that arrangement, its a wonderful piece, but is not harder than his electric stuff)

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Why mobody votes or at least mentions Richie Blackmore? Deep Purple seems never to be mentioned in all these forums. Is there some kind of rivality between zepp and Purple?

There's a Deep Purple/Rainbow thread in the 'other bands' section.

Deep Purple are up there with Zeppelin, amazing band.

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Wow, you just don't get it.

Page being a sloppy player has nothing to do with the respect he garners. I've already mentioned, that individually, Page is probably the single most exalted musician in popular music outside of maybe Lennon and McCartney. Page's creativity, versatility, all make him great, but his skill, and technique, and technical prowess playing the guitar itself, does not put him above anyone significant. He can't play like Vai, or like Malmsteen, or any modern virtuoso for that matter. But it shouldn't matter. I'm not trying to knock on Page or overly criticize him, especially because I judge him on a different level than those guys. They use their guitar to make music, Page uses his guitar to express music. Theres a huge difference.

I don't understand the huge deal with this, no one (with ears and a brain) will argue with the claim that Steve Vai is a better player than Page. Yet, I'm pretty sure everyone understands why Page is always near the tops of these rankings. It doesn't matter if Page was "sloppy" or not. "Sloppy" just has to do with his technique, his skill, and his sound. Not with the music that he wrote. When it comes down to it, the music you play is what is important, how good you are at guitar is not. I don't understand why you all get so offended when people say Page is a competent, player but far from the best. It has nothing to do with his accomplishments, none of the Beatle's were exemplary at playing their instruments, but it doesn't matter because their music was so good.

Page deserves every bit of credit he gets for who he is, a terrific musician. A great writer, producer, and a very competent guitar player. He is an exemplary acoustic player, and a good electric player. He is accomplished in every way a rock musician gets, and is a living legend. But that does not make him the greatest guitar player ever.

(btw, there are no amazing stretches in the Rain Song, its played in an open tuning just to avoid any major stretches. The chords are complex, but easy to switch between in alternate tunings. Page gets props for that arrangement, its a wonderful piece, but is not harder than his electric stuff)

Umm, yeah, and what exactly is it that I don't get? I'm merely stating his incredible versatility and the respect his peers have given Page at the recent honors show, both obviously true. I agree with most of your post, but you've stated nothing that we already don't know, I was merely following up on the previous post about Page's sloppiness, which I agree is a non-issue.

Also, "Rain Song" is not that easy to play PROPERLY, unlike most people who THINK they can play it correctly, but cannot, as they do not even realize all the subtle changes that occur across his chords, some chords sounds similar as the song progresses, but are actually slightly different fingerings. For example, are you talking about the studio version or the live version? They are different. Page also stated that Rain Song incorporates his own chords, scales, and tunings, in his Transperformance interview, also stating the same is true of Bron-Yr-Aur and Ten years Gone. Nothing obvious about them, you must study hard and practice to get them right, that is, if you want it to actually sound right. And I mean correct, not almost correct. Also, the tight acoustic flat-picking on Bron-Y-Aur Stomp intro takes a different skill than typical "electric" playing. Black Mountain Side is another one (traditional arrangement by Page). Ask Steve Howe, who says Page is favorite for many reason, especially for Page's acoustic work. Get the official Zep Box Set tab books approved by Page (released in early 90's, around same time as Remasters) and see all the different positions that most people get wrong, you'll be amazed. Believe me, when it comes to Page and Zeppelin, I definitely get it, as do most others on this forum. That's why we're here, most of us anyway.

Edited by Tea41
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Page was a commercial genius(along with Peter Grant), an excellent performer, and so, so many more things.... But the best ever? Musically, he was one of the best, however, Putting him on that type of pedestal is completely ridiculous. The one thing that does is disrespect every other arguably great axegrinders... The thing we can all agree on is that Jimmy and Led Zepplin created music that will be listened to well after we are all gone!

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Just trawled thru this thread and one name is missing The late great Rory Gallagher, he like Jimmy could play rock, blues and was a mean acoustic player too. I'm not saying he was better than Jimmy but he was up there with the best!! :D

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Umm, yeah, and what exactly is it that I don't get? I'm merely stating his incredible versatility and the respect his peers have given Page at the recent honors show, both obviously true. I agree with most of your post, but you've stated nothing that we already don't know, I was merely following up on the previous post about Page's sloppiness, which I agree is a non-issue.

Also, "Rain Song" is not that easy to play PROPERLY, unlike most people who THINK they can play it correctly, but cannot, as they do not even realize all the subtle changes that occur across his chords, some chords sounds similar as the song progresses, but are actually slightly different fingerings. For example, are you talking about the studio version or the live version? They are different. Page also stated that Rain Song incorporates his own chords, scales, and tunings, in his Transperformance interview, also stating the same is true of Bron-Yr-Aur and Ten years Gone. Nothing obvious about them, you must study hard and practice to get them right, that is, if you want it to actually sound right. And I mean correct, not almost correct. Also, the tight acoustic flat-picking on Bron-Y-Aur Stomp intro takes a different skill than typical "electric" playing. Black Mountain Side is another one (traditional arrangement by Page). Ask Steve Howe, who says Page is favorite for many reason, especially for Page's acoustic work. Get the official Zep Box Set tab books approved by Page (released in early 90's, around same time as Remasters) and see all the different positions that most people get wrong, you'll be amazed. Believe me, when it comes to Page and Zeppelin, I definitely get it, as do most others on this forum. That's why we're here, most of us anyway.

Very true, guitarists who think they can play correctly are usually mistaken. It takes a very trained ear to know how to play correctly, and you need the right tabs. Alot of people (myself included) can play zeppelin songs that sound close, but its not at the level of Page at all, and Page did sudden things most people don't notice, and they settle for playing close enough. And the Rain song is not easy. Did you know when Jimmy asked Joe Perry to induct LZ into the Rock & Roll HOF, Perry agreed only if Page would teach him how to play The Rain Song PROPERLY. So if people want to think its that easy...fine, you must know more then Joe Perry who needed to be taught by the man himself.

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Why mobody votes or at least mentions Richie Blackmore? Deep Purple seems never to be mentioned in all these forums. Is there some kind of rivality between zepp and Purple?

check post #66 above :D

also their drummer Ian is probably one of the best drummers after Bonzo (imho)

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Very true, guitarists who think they can play correctly are usually mistaken. It takes a very trained ear to know how to play correctly, and you need the right tabs. Alot of people (myself included) can play zeppelin songs that sound close, but its not at the level of Page at all, and Page did sudden things most people don't notice, and they settle for playing close enough. And the Rain song is not easy. Did you know when Jimmy asked Joe Perry to induct LZ into the Rock & Roll HOF, Perry agreed only if Page would teach him how to play The Rain Song PROPERLY. So if people want to think its that easy...fine, you must know more then Joe Perry who needed to be taught by the man himself.

Yes he asked him because until then, EVERYONE had been playing Rain Song in a standard tuning resulting in many odd structures. Perry, like everyone else, was playing it wrong. It was the way I learned it initially until I saw the Guitar World tab. If you've ever played that arrangement, it sounds quite good, but is a hassle to play. Then the actual tab came out showing that its played in DGCGCD rather than EADGBE, making much of the song either open or bar chords (save for some picking parts). Realize that until that tab came out, NO ONE played it correctly. Because we could all play it incorrectly and have it sound the same.

So Joe Perry couldn't figure out how to play it correctly so what? You CAN play Rain Song in standard tuning. It's slightly awkward, and thus, common sense tells you that it isn't correct. It has nothing to do with a trained ear. Its the same notes, with different fingerings. You can hardly hear the difference. Doesn't mean that the correct version isn't easy.

Edited by andrew
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When they get that good we mere mortals can not say who is the "best" rock guitarist but the top ten must include Pagey, Jimi, Zappa, Lennon, Harrison, Clapton, Beck, Garcia, Townsend and Richards, for sure. Honorable mention to Duane Allman, Brian May, Ritchie Blackmore, Steve Howe, Alex Lifeson, and Eddie Van Halen.

Hey what about Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth? He's damn good too!

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I would say that Jimmy Page is NOT the best guitarist of all time. Nor the most creative. Both of those titles belong to Jimi Hendrix, if you ask me.

He's a close second in the "creative" category, though, but there are guitarists that I think play better than he does.

B.B. King, for one. I saw him live a week and a half ago, and he can still play, and MAN can he still sing.

Duane Allman is up there for me as well, if only for his rendition of Loan Me a Dime that he did with Boz Scaggs. Fantastic. He has a few gems from the Allman Brothers Band, too.

Buddy Guy might not be able to match Page note for note, but he'd be damn close. Guy also has an energetic aura about him that Page never matched. It's good to see Guy finally getting his due after such a long period of trying.

Stevie Ray Vaughan. Enough said.

With that said, that's all I can come up with for now. That's pretty exclusive company to be up there with.

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as a zep fan for over 20 yrs now it bothers me to admit this, but i believe imo that Joe Satrianni is over all better than Jimmy Page. although Jimmy Page's skills and passion CREATED modern day "guitar gods", satrianni is able to generate a very wide range of emotion and feeling with his playing. but if it came down to me having to choose between the two, jimmy page will win every single time. he began my passion for music single handedly. i was never a music listener untill i heard Dazed and Confused on the radio.

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Just wanted to point out that the ability to ape one of Jimmy's songs note-for-note does not diminish him, or his playing, in any way. A musician creates music. Can Jimmy play Vai or Satriani's solos note-for-note? Probably not. But could Vai, Satriani, Clapton, Beck, or anyone else for that matter come up with something like The Rain Song or Kashmir? Never.

Jimmy is arguably one of the most thrilling soloists of the rock era. But he is really about the songs, and that's where he blows just about everybody away. Even Carlos Santana said that.

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Just wanted to point out that the ability to ape one of Jimmy's songs note-for-note does not diminish him, or his playing, in any way. A musician creates music. Can Jimmy play Vai or Satriani's solos note-for-note? Probably not. But could Vai, Satriani, Clapton, Beck, or anyone else for that matter come up with something like The Rain Song or Kashmir? Never.

Jimmy is arguably one of the most thrilling soloists of the rock era. But he is really about the songs, and that's where he blows just about everybody away. Even Carlos Santana said that.

I agree 100%, which is why I'm surprised so many people take such offense to what I said.

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Much like asking "What's the best ice cream flavor", it's all subjective. Here is why I think he is the best:

Songwriting - taking the guitar to places that no one had conceived of. Taking sound to places that no one conceived of. But mostly, taking the blues to a place that became a whole genre unto itself. True innovation that is being emulated to this day.

History professor - in just the one jam during WLL, he summarized everything that was cool about the electric guitar and 50's rock. One song. All cool. Or, going back in to history even further - not only folksy stuff but celtic, yet still sounding modern and cool. Most others that attempt that come off sounding cartoonish or artsyfartsy.

Encyclopedian memory - catalogued (in his head) every cool riff known to man during his studio days in the 60's

Performance - when you hear him play live, you realize that no solos will sound like any he played before. The risk taking has consequences - he can't throw a strike everytime, but when he does - it goes beyond where the original song took you. Its a unique space prepared by him just for you. Much more than jazz - it's impovization that actually rocks, and is just cool. Big difference.

Lots of other worthy players mentioned here. But it's not just about technique and precision. It isnt about the rat-ta-taty and lickity split hammers and doubles. There are lots of people throwing that out. That's just one of many facets that Jimmy utilizes to bring his art to you. And to me that's what makes him special. Sonic Art and Sonic Storytelling prowess that would make a muse blush.

Edited by Dirigiblicus Maximus
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Sorry to disagree with some but Page is best overall. (Rock on Zoso88 although I think the quote was "Led Balloon" not "Zeppelin")

On a number of dimensions he has contributed more and had a bigger impact on more people (which after all is what musicians are doing).

Dont give me this guff about "its all up to personal taste" crap. ya right. in which case my aunt petunia is the best.

and get off the speed trap business, the speed at which you move from E to F is no measure of greatness

He has sold the most records as a guitarist. (elvis played but is not known for playing guitar, and george harrison was good but not as overally impactful and dont get me started on Iommi or Van Halen or Young or any of the other pretenders) Page played with and inspired Tom Jones, the Stones, who, Cocker Donovan I mean the list is endless and not only did he define a sound, but he helped others define their sound he was both mentor and teacher unlike others who simply were inspiring.

Page is the winner and anyone who says otherwise needs to reevaluate which board they are on (this last bit is a joke, but the rest is serious) :)

Edited by Stormpilot
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