Damn, its a pretty long list for me so ill divvy it up by person.
Randy Rhoads. The guy who made me want to play, his searing solo in Crazy Train blew my 11 year old mind. I had never wanted to pick up a guitar more in my life, he remains a huge influence on my playing, mostly because of his picking dynamics and flourishes he always added something like to the simplest phrases.
Syn. God, this dude was my intro to what a badass, guitar hero, absolute machine on stage was. Not to mention his fucking solo writing, ive always been in love with his playing, and ability to literally sit in the shadows (no pun intended) and use his solos/leads to steal the spotlight away. Legend through and through.
Jimmy Page. This dude literally screams “attitude” i mean just listen to the song “Heartbreaker” off Led Zeppelin II. Seriously. Obviously theres a million riffs he’s wrote that scream groove, but i digress. Jimmy page is a beast.
Gary Rossington. Yeah, lynyrd skynyrd. Everyone should’ve expected this. this guy taught me to make every note count, and sustain and vibrato are beautiful things. Dont let that fool you, he can shred when he needs too, which is what i aspire to be as a player.
Allen Collins. Freebird. Thats it. Dude wrote it in Highschool about his girlfriend (and later wife) and it turned into the cult classic it is today (thanks to RvZ). Dude was a picker from hell, quite literally unmatched technique wise in the 70s due to his precision. 70s skynyrd was a band nobody fucked with and nobody could compete with Live for a reason, and that reason being that they were a rehearsed talent band. Playing every day, sun up to sun down in an old shack on the river until you make it big will do that.
James hetfield. The master of the riffs. Literal God of Rhythm guitar. Thats all i have to say about that.
Keep in mind there are other players i draw inspiration from, but these were the main ones. They’re not the only ones, but they’re the big ones.
It's 8 pm here and I finally done having to do things to do today so I figured we could have a little fun. Who are the guitar players you would refer to as your biggest influences and really define you in your playing?
For me personally, Syn inspired me to start playing guitar because city of evil mind of just blew me away and I basically found my passion right there, I also pretty early realized that I had a bit of a feel for it(or my way of forming habit allowed me to consistently always play, it could be either ). At the formative years of my playing I focussed very much on playing like syn nd especially the speed part of it (believe it or not I ignored vibrato all together).
About a year in I got a guitar teacher who effectively taught me how to improvise. There was no theory involved whatsoever, the lessons were entirely based on here is a chord progression now solo over it. I paid for 30 minutes but after a while we would do lessons light on Saturday afternoon and just jam for like an hour and a half or so until my mother would call me to say dinner was ready
Later on I joined a band and the drummer really was into surf so I also played some shadows and ventures stuff which definetely left a mark on my playing so I would say people like Hank Marvin shouldn't be left out.
Like 4 or so years into my playing I got into the more virtuoso stuff which really draw me to the more neo-classical stuff like Marty Friedman, jason Becker and Paul Gilbert so I (tried) learned some of their stuff and studied it a little bit(arpeggios, structure etc.)
After the virtuoso period came some list with best guitar players of all time or whatever it was called and Syn mentioned Django Reinhardt and I basically got hooked and bought a gitane and tried playing some of his stuff, unfortunately that was a little over my head at the time but later on it became a very big part of my playing
Now, we're at around my second or third year of university and I went back to a band that used to be my favorite band as an early teen called RHCP. I rediscovered then and noticed the guitar playing is phenomenal so I studied john Frusciante's playing religiously(I probably have learned more RHCP songs in my life than Avenged or John Mayer songs ). This includes playing notes with my thumb and thumb over the neck etc and those really have become a habit at this point.
Next there's the moment My brother asked me whether I would like to go to a john Mayer concert. I checked him out and was captivated by his playing and that's where that part of my influence started. I do really love his not choices and how he incorporates the blues in his playing but most importantly nothing is there just to be there, it's all there for a reason which is in the end what I aim to achieve.
After this I got introduced to people like Robin Nolan and Joscho Stephan and especially Robin Nolan has had a big influence on my gypsy playing which means I should definitely mention him in this too.
I saw this thread almost a week ago and when I took the time to answer I couldn't find the post anymore
So, as someone who have a twin sister, I have to say that I'm always used to think for two, and this might be why I feel so attracted to guitar duos. Turns out she prefers drums lol (I love you anyway sis ) but somehow I'm still fascinated with two guitars working together. Since I've been a metal fan for years, when I think about the way I want to play, I can't help but think about James Hetfield/Kirk Hammett and Synyster Gates/Zacky Vengeance. They are my favorite guitar duos!
Also, when I think about the role I want to take part in a band, it's been very clear to me that I want to play guitar AND sing. It's an ability I'm really looking forward to develop because is something that I've always wanted to do. So, to be able to front a band, sing, play and carry on a great audience is also an aspect that have a great influence on what kind of guitar player I wanna be. My huge influences on this aspect is, well, James Hetfield again *pretends to be shocked*, and also Daron Malakian. I might add that they're also amazing songwriters!
Probably this list will grow over the years, as I dive deeper into the guitar world, but I think these five will always be there. Some of them aren't really the most technical guitar players, but they'll always hold a special place on my list
Great question. Being a fellow old, I'll take PG's decade by decade approach.
I started playing in 1984. The guitar solos that made me want to play guitar were Dire Straits "Sultans of Swing" and REO Speedwagen's "Keep on Loving You." My biggest influences in the:
80s: Dave Murray and Adrian Smith (Maiden), Frank Hannon and Tommy Skeoch (Tesla), Steve Clark, Pete Willis and Phil Collen (Def Leppard), Warren DeMartini (Ratt), Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and Randy Rhoads. During this time, I also discovered David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Stevie Ray Vaughn, Tom Scholz (Boston), and Keith Douglas (Tora Tora), Chris deGarmo and Michael Wilton (Queensryche), and so many others. What a time to love guitar!
90s: the 90s saw me really getting into Nuno Bettencourt and John Petrucci, and the earliest of Mark Tremonti, when he was in Creed. Ed Roland from Collective Soul had some super-tasty solos, too, but the 90s was not really a boon for guitar. In the late 90s, I moved out west and realized country wasn't ALL bad. In the mid-90s, I discovered the insanity of Jeff Waters and his project Annihilator. Some of his rhythm stuff bled into the tunes I was writing with my band at the time, and I hadn't even realized it. Dime, of course. Criss Oliva from Savatage spanned 80s/90s like Nuno did.
00s: the aughts didn't get interesting to me until 2005, when I discovered Avenged Sevenfold, Trivium, and Killswitch Engage. I also started hearing more of the solo stuff of Andy Timmons, who I remembered from the early 90s in Danger Danger, but he was much more interesting as a solo artist.
10s: I'm thinking and thinking, and while there have certainly been players from this era that I've discovered and enjoyed, I'm not so sure any NEW players have really been much of a conscious influence on me. I mean, I listen and absorb, and all, but nobody NEW IN THE 10S has really been a guitar OBSESSON like there have been in decades past. Maybe Periphery, but I don't know which of them plays what and never wanted to try to play their stuff because fucking tunings.