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Are any other guitarists as significant as Jimi and EVH?


Silver Supporting Member
Most modern guitar wouldn't be around without him. I'm not a U2 fan but virtually everything in parts driven music is inspired by his approach. Solos in the style of EVH or Hendrix are an aesthetic choice now like a vibe to be employed whereas the understated song approach of The Edge is everywhere. I'd add Johnny Marr and Fruciante. When you listen to any modern record with guitar you can hear those influences especially those 2 note voicings a la 'scar tissue'


Silver Supporting Member
Significant, could be interpreted in a lot of ways. Let's take Nile Rodgers for example. Not every guitarist knows who he is. But,
"Rodgers has written, produced, and performed on albums that have cumulatively sold more than 500 million units and 75 million singles worldwide"
- https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/8477329/chic-its-about-time-lady-gaga-elton-john

That's an objective metric of significance if there is one. Would you consider him more or less significant than Jimi and EVH and on what grounds? I don't have an easy answer myself. I think EVH and Jimi had a bigger impact on the culture of guitar playing. But there are ways in which Nile Rogers might have had more influential and significant in the music of the last several decades as a whole.


Silver Supporting Member
EVH was kind of the first and last of his kind. He rose and peaked at the peak of guitar centered music, a perfect storm really. I really don't think he has any disciples that would be enduring and captivating in their own right as a cultural phenomena as he was. This isn't a criticism of him, it's just as I see it. Similarly Les Paul or Chet are somewhat singular talents. Sure we have someone like Tommy Emanuel today but he hardly represents anything of a cultural phenomena, only one of him can exist. So I don't really think he was tremendously influential stylistically but rather he catalyzed playing to a new level. Taking his approach aesthetically would be somewhat pastiche today; being inspired by his innovation and then becoming an innovator yourself is another thing altogether

Member 199413

“Don’t Think Twice” was the first thing to pop into my head when I read that ridiculous nonsense, too. A friend of mine nails it, which has always impressed the hell out of me. For somebody who can “barely play 3 chords,” he played the hell out of those 5.

As for Sister Rosetta, she was incredible, but that’s over-the-top. She didn’t even play rock and roll, let alone invent it. She was certainly, along with many others, an influence on those who did, though.
But the OP specifically said influential, and few people were more influential in the creation of rock and roll than Tharpe.

It really had never occurred to me (probably because I’m not a musician and way too sucky a player to emulate anyone except another really sucky player) that Eddie Van Halen was considered anywhere near as influential in guitar (even just rock guitar) as Clapton or Page or Hendrix, much less Chuck Berry or (gasp) T-Bone Walker. But in my opinion, the quotes in this thread make a decent argument for him. That’s an impressive bunch of admirers to be changing their own techniques due to EVH.

Member 199413

Unless it's the extremely rare player (perhaps a Robert Johnson) who came up with a unique original style without an antecedent, the answers received from asking this question can get muddy quickly.

If we were to pick the blues rock genre for example, both Clapton and SRV (amongst others) deserve to be on the list.
But there is no Clapton without Robert Johnson and B.B. King, and no B.B. King without T-Bone Walker.
Trying to imagine SRV without Hendrix and Albert King is not possible for me. Is there a Hendrix without Buddy Guy?

Most people would agree EVH was not first to use finger tapping, dive bombing, high gain or in having amazingly fast technique. But he was first in blending all those ingredients together in such a powerful package. Although I was never a big fan, EVH deserves to be ultra high on the list for the impact he had on a genre he helped create.
Excellent points. There’s a huge difference between doing something new and influencing tons of successful professionals to also do it. Although as with Hendrix and Guy, it’s a bit of a chicken and egg thing as without the original unsuccessful influencer there might not be the successful influencer.

Member 199413

SO MANY guitarists are. Billie Eilish didn’t know who EVH is but I’m sure she knows Clapton and Hendrix.

How about Les Paul?
I don’t think that’s the same thing at all since she’s obviously not trying to play like any of them. I knew who was Mario Andretti but he’s not why I started driving, nor did his style influence my driving.
Les Paul and Charlie Christianson win hands down in influencing the development of the electric guitar overall, but when the OP specifically names EVH & Hendrix he kinda defines a genre.


I’be been reflecting on the Jimi / EVH as “influencer” thing - who was the more influential?

Both were clearly level with/head and shoulders above their contemporaries in pretty much every aspect yet it occurred to me that, for whatever reason, not that many guitarists took on Jimi’s style.

Everyone included Foxy Lady, Purple Haze and ....gulp.... Red House in their set lists but that’s where it tended to stop.

Self-admitted Hendrix fans, Trower and Marino come to mind but they were not the Hendrix copyists the music press mostly implies. Same with SRV - a Hendrix cover (or two?) in his set list doesn’t so label him anything more than it might for the guy playing Manic Depression among a bunch of classic rock covers in one’s local bar.

Neither myself nor any of my peers went to any great effort to try to copy Hendrix or learn his solos note for note - but we were busy copying the likes of Richards/Taylor, Beck, Blackmore, Page, and Clapton as best we could.

When EVH cataclysmically “hit” the scene in ‘78, less than a decade later, it seemed that once over the initial shock, everyone yearned to play exactly like him, including “old school” self-satisfied playing “veterans” (at 22!) like me, and in practically no time, a legion of EVH stylists emerged.

Was this phenomenon due in a large part to the advent of detailed transcriptions, the arrival of audio lessons like Starlicks and later, the explosion of video lessons and that there was an irresistibly visual aspect to Ed’s techniques that invited experimentation by the even the curious?

A while back I finally got to really appreciate Hendrix’ techniques by watching an Andy Aledort DVD wherein he recreated every aspect of the entire Axis Bold As Love album, in my opinion, JH’s best album. The subtlety in Hendrix’s playing really became apparent.

Back in the day no such teaching tools existed - Might’ve it been a different story if it had?

But in summary, I’d argue that EVH is, all things considered, the most slavishly copied guitarist of all time - even more so than Django (and, with the legions of unapologetic Django clones worldwide, that’s a big call...).

Hendrix was an absolute guitar giant but not the influencer that his English contemporaries were. If it were otherwise, we’d likely have become dismissive of all the Hendrix clones walking among us of whom, over the past fifty years, I’ve encountered almost none. Randy Hansen comes to mind but other than that I got nuthin’.

PS: I recall seeing Dan Hartman (bassist with the Edgar Winter group) one night on Don Kirshner’s show do an impressive Hendrix solo piece. It was the topic of discussion the following day.
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It is one thing to inspire fans to pick up the guitar, but I think the thing that maybe separates Jimi and Eddie is how many of their contemporaries (great ones) said it changed their approach to the guitar. For Jimi, I have heard Neil Young, Pete Townsend and more say it. For Eddie, Vai, Satch, Lynch, and on and on.
Ace Frehley probably inspired more kids to start playing than EVH and Hendrix combined.


Santana developed the singing lead sound that is ubiquitous, and helped define the sound of Boogie amps.
Santana's Latin rock influenced all rock fusions, and he brought that spirit to jazz rock fusion with John McLaughlin and Miles Davis.
Santana has been always popular with women in my life- my mother, my girlfriends, friends. Women of all ages attend his shows. That's influential.
Santana has a vital career that has lasted decades and he is still creating.

"Everybody that saw --------- wanted to start a band".
That applies to a few artists (The Beatles, The Ramones) and Nirvana.
Kurt Cobain's punk-Beatles songs with wild guitar sounds went great with his troubled good looks.

So, disallowing anything outside the Rock genre, I'd go with:
Jimi Hendrix
Carlos Santana
Kurt Cobain


Platinum Supporting Member
Ace Frehley probably inspired more kids to start playing than EVH and Hendrix combined.
Funny, my son and I were talking about it.
Ace was my guess.

He's 33, been playing since he was 10.
He said he thought in his age group....James Hetfield.


Seriously, EVH was one-dimensional
The thing is, his dimension was unique

I still think he's way overrated
I get that people picked up the guitar because of him and tried to get his tone, but that was mostly kids that never made it big
Who did EVH influence?
When you read interviews with pros, most of EVH's contemporaries will state they've been influenced by Hendrix or older guitar players, not by EVH. Sure, lots of 80's guys incorporated tapping and dive-bar tricks into their playing, but which one of them picked up a guitar because of EVH? Not many
By the 90's the people that were influenced to start playing by EVH never got to become big, since c*ck rock was more or less dead by then
Sure, EVH wowed and impressed lots of people, me included when I was a kid, but his influence is highly blown out of proportion
I doubt objective measures here, but consider: I think Jimi's three greatest solos are, in no order --

1. Machine Gun, Fillmore
2. Stone Free, Jimi Hendrix Concerts
3. National Anthem, Woodstock

EVH did a lot of brilliant guitar playing, but where did he scale these heights?
In my experience, the two most talked about guitar solo's are JH National Anthem, and EVH Eruption

Hack Prophet

vile mighty wretched
Many many players I consider at least as influential in their respective styles, but the TGP aesthetic tends to be very hyperfocused on the electric guitar as it developed in popular music. In popular music, Hendrix and EVH are certainly quite influential.
I am certain that he did .. I remember 12 year old me babysitting my next door neighbor for an hour or so while his parents went out when I was a little kid and I thought it was cool that they trusted me with that irksome little nose-miner .. They sent him over .. While i was messing around with an old Kay SG and a tiny amp .. No idea what brand .. I didn't really know how to play guitar at all yet but I did know how to make noise and sometimes that's all that matters .. it was fun.

Little Mike thought it was cool that I was messing around with a guitar and he didn't seem to notice how terrible I was .. But .. I could play Blitzkrieg Bop ... until my wrist couldnt possibly play any more downstrokes .. So i showed Mikey the bass notes ... you got them down right away so I showed him the power chords and surprisingly he could do them .. with his little fingers .. Ssstrrretttched waay out

Mike loved it .. He went home exhilarated .. Drove his parents nuts .. Always playing air guitar .. Cranking The Ramones .. Fast forward 3 years .. Mike moved a town away .. I bumped into him at ye olde Central Music in Brockton (i still hadnt taken up guitar; i was there for various sax reeds ) and didnt little 11 yr old Mikey have a nice little Greco LP and a little Peavey .. A Pacer i think ..

He thanked me for turning him on to The Ramones .. I just shrugged and said GaBba gabBa hEy!

Johnny Ramone inspired little Mikey .. And im sure thousands of others
Almost the same thing for my cousins' kid but I was playing them Agent Orange living in Darkness

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