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Some of my Favorite Guitarists

Updated on September 10, 2014
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Put That Thing Down And Go To Bed, It's 1:30 AM

I picked up the guitar in high school and sometimes would practice late into the night...or until my mother caught me and told me to "Put that thing down and go to bed before you wake up your brothers." While I never became a good guitar player I did develop an appreciation for guitar music. My taste in guitar music is fairly diverse and has evolved as I was exposed to different kinds of music. In this article I will feature some of my favorite guitar players. Since my musical taste is diverse, there's a better than average chance you will see/hear something you like. In any event I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed putting it together.

The picture in this module is mine...that is I took the picture but it's not me, it's my grandson. I helped him a little bit when he was getting started with guitar but he has far outpaced me with his music. The primary difference being, he has talent.

The Ventures - My first guitar heroes

In my book Life at The End of a Dirt Road (insert shameless plug) I describe my musical progression from failed piano lessons to air guitar to a real guitar. My first guitar was a loaner from a friend of the family who encouraged me by showing me some basic chords and lending me his guitar. I soon saved enough money to order my own guitar from the Sears catalog...it was an electric Silvertone and I still have it. Since I was high school age, my music taste was slanted toward what was popular in the late 50's and early 60's. The Ventures were my first guitar heroes and I really wanted to be able to play just like them. I bought several of their records (some of you older folks will have to tell the younger folk what a record is) and, when nobody was around, I turned up the volume on the phonograph (when you tell the young folk what a record is you'll have to tell them what a phonograph is) way up. We lived on a ranch so it's not like neighbors would hear it although I may have spooked the cattle some.

Here's the ventures playing some of their hits that inspired many young guitarists like me.

One More by The Ventures

Here's one more Ventures hit called Caravan. They had many popular hits and I still enjoy their music today.

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If the music you see played here inspires you to join in, get started with an instrument from Amazon. I can guarantee you will enjoy learning and playing with others.

Duane Eddy

Duane Eddy was another picker from my teen years. He had a very distinctive sound and, while not as popular in my circles as the Ventures, he had several hits and I wanted to be able to play like him too. I did play in a teen band during high school, we had two guitars a saxaphone and a drummer which was a typical band of the era but we were no threat to The Ventures or Duane Eddy.

Here's Duane Eddy playing some of his hits.

One More Duane Eddy

I don't remember this tune when I was in high school but it demonstrates his diverse guitar talent with a style and sound that is quite different from what I remember as his hits.

Chet Atkins

Chet Atkins is truly a guitar great and I loved his picking even as a teenager. I was amazed at his ability to pick a bass beat with a thumb pick while picking the melody with his remaining fingers. Here's "Don't Think Twice It's Alright."

Another Chet

Because of his great talent and my interest in guitar, Chet expanded my musical interest beyond what was typical teen music of the day. Here's Chet picking Mr. Sandman.

Tommy Emmanuel - Unbelievable talent

OK....I can't go on without introducing you to Tommy Emmanuel. He is an amazing talent, not from my teen years but a contemporary artist. I would soon run out of superlatives if I were to try to describe his talent so I'll just let you watch him so you can see and hear what he can do.

This first tune is called Mombassa and you will notice that he beats the (expletive deleted) out of his guitar as he coaches rhythm and music from every square inch of his instrument.

One more Tommy Emmanuel

Here's more great talent on display as Tommy Emmanuel plays a rendition of Michelle. Guitarists will note that many of the notes he plays are harmonics....if you're not a guitarist, it means he's good.

Roy Clark

As I went off to college I found that what was considered popular music was leaving me behind. I didn't like a lot of the popular music so my radio dial often drifted until one day I heard a great guitar solo. I don't remember who it was or what they played but I left the dial on that station to see if they would play more guitar tunes. It turned out to be a country station. In high school it would have been a felony to be caught listening to a country station but away at college I decided I could put up with some country-western music so long as they played the occasional guitar tunes....which they tended to do on this station as they went into a news break.

During my countrty music era I found Roy Clark...a country singer and an amazing guitar talent. You may remember him from the TV program Hee Haw. Here he plays Malaguena as you have never heard it before.

Andres Segovia

When I was in high school, one of my aunts heard I liked guitar music so she bought me an album by Andres Segovia. With my musical taste tending toward the Venures and Duane Eddy I was not exactly thrilled with the gift. Still, it was guitar music so I listened to it and I'll be danged....I began to like it. Here's some great classical guitar by Segovia.

One More Segovia

Segovia is a great guitarist and makes great classical music but if you compare his facial expressions to Tommy Emmanuel, I get the impression Tommy is having a lot more fun.

Carlos Montoya

Carlos Montoya is a classical flamingo style guitarst that I like.

Doc Watson

Well beyond college I made some friends that played bluegrass music. While I could tolerate a lot of country music, bluegrass was different. Most of what I had heard called bluegrass to that point sounded like people singing with their nose plugged and I couldn't tolerate it. Now, with my new friends I found great musical talent and good singing. I got hooked on bluegrass and even played for a while in a bluegrass band. Today, bluegrass music is a regular part of my listening pleasure.

Here's Doc Watson and great picker of bluegrass music.

One More Doc Watson

Here's one more Doc Watson playing Windy and Warm.

Mason Williams

I've only been able to share a few of my favorite guitarists and tunes but I hope you have enjoyed hearing and seeing great talent. I'll end with Mason Williams playing his Classical Gas.

Visit Amazon to take some great guitar music home with you

My Other Websites

I have a fine art photography website where you can view my diverse photographic interests. I have a gallery dedicated to vintage vehicles and buildings, galleries for landscapes, waterfalls, birds, wildlife, painterly photography and a variety of other specialized subjects. Mount Shasta and various northern California scenes are prominent in many of my galleries. Most of the galleries have background music if you play them as a slideshow. This allows you to kick back and listen to the music as the images flow by. Whether you are looking for some interesting images or looking to purchase some photographic art, I think you will enjoy your visit to Chuck Nelson Photography.

I have applied many of my photographs and digital art to a wide variety of products such as mugs, mouse pads, T-shirts, cards, etc. If you are looking for a one-stop location for unique gifts, be sure to visit my Zazzle website.

I'd Love To Hear From You

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