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Some of the Worlds Greatest Flatpickers

  An individual's skill on the guitar is not just a matter of speed, although speed is impressive, it is more about their control, accuracy, and self expression, or their "finesse". The following is Aces and Eighths selection of our favorites, and while many of these performers are known to you, hopefully we can introduce you to someone new, or re-introduce you to someone old. This list is NOT complete by any means, as there are many phenomenal musicians out there today, if you have any suggestions submit them HERE and we'll be happy to feature an article on them. The performers listed are just the ones we like because of their unique interpretation on the art form of and is not meant to slight any one's particular favorite. We will feature articles on the submissions/suggestions.

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Roy Buchanan - Sweet Dreams

Roy Buchanan - (September 23, 1939 - August 14, 1988) was an American guitarist and blues musician. He is noted for his use of note bending, volume swells, staccato runs, and pinch harmonics. Buchanan was a pioneer of the Telecaster sound and drew upon many diverse influences while learning to play his instrument. Buchanan used a number of guitars throughout his career, although he was most often associated with a 1953 Telecaster guitar, which he used to produce his signature tone. Rarely did Buchanan utilize 'stomp boxes' although later live performances utilized a digital delay. The 'sound' of Buchanan is essentially a Telecaster plugged into an overdriven Fender amp on 10. 'Artist Discography'

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Eric Clapton - Layla

Eric Clapton - nicknamed Slowhand, is a Grammy Award-winning English rock guitarist, singer, songwriter and composer. He is one of the most successful musicians of the 20th and 21st centuries, garnering an unprecedented three inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (The Yardbirds, Cream, and solo). Often viewed by critics and fans alike as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Clapton was ranked fourth in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and #53 on their list of the Immortals: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Although Clapton has varied his musical style throughout his career, it has always remained grounded in the blues. Yet, in spite of this focus, he is credited as an innovator in a wide variety of genres. These include blues-rock with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, The Yardbirds, and Cream. 'Artist Discography'

Danny Gatton at Gallagher's

Danny Gatton - "The Humbler" (September 4, 1945 - October 4, 1994) was a talented and enigmatic American guitarist who committed suicide at his Maryland home in 1994 while still relatively unknown to the public. A biography, Unfinished Business: The Life and Times of Danny Gatton by Ralph Heibutzki, was published in 2003. It has a voluminous discography. Gatton was ranked 63rd on Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Guitarists of all Time in 2003. Danny Gatton began his career playing in bands while still a teenager. He began to attract wider interest in the 1970s while playing guitar and banjo for the group Liz Meyer & Friends. He made his name as a performer in the Washington, DC, area during the 1980s, both as a solo performer and with his Redneck Jazz Explosion, in which he would trade licks with virtuoso pedal steel player Buddy Emmons over a tight bass-drums rhythm which drew from blues, country, bebop and rockabilly influences. 'Artist Discography'

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David Gilmour - Marooned

David Gilmour - is an English musician best known as the lead guitarist, primary singer, and one of the main songwriters (with Roger Waters) in the band Pink Floyd. In addition to his work with Pink Floyd, Gilmour has also worked as a record producer for a variety of famous artists. Gilmour has been actively involved with many charity organizations over the course of his career. In 2003, he was appointed CBE for services to music. Gilmour is best known for his lead guitar work. Rooted in blues, Gilmour's solo style is noted for its economy and melody. Although mainly known for his guitar work, Gilmour is also a proficient multi-instrumentalist. He also plays bass guitar (which he did on some Pink Floyd tracks), keyboards, harmonica, drums (as heard on the Syd Barrett solo track "Dominoes", and other songs where he opted to play all the instruments) and lately, the saxophone. In his early career with Pink Floyd, Gilmour played a multitude of Fender Stratocasters. One of his popular guitar solos ("Another Brick in the Wall Part 2") was played on a Gibson Les Paul guitar. In 1996, Gilmour was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Pink Floyd. In August 2006, Gilmour's solo on "Comfortably Numb" was voted the greatest guitar solo of all time in a poll by listeners of the digital radio station Planet Rock. 'Artist Discography'

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Django Reinhardt - Sweet Georgia Brown

Django Rhinehart - Jean-Baptiste "Django" Reinhardt (January 23, 1910 – May 16, 1953) was a Belgian Sinto Gypsy jazz guitarist. He was one of the first prominent jazz musicians to be born in Europe, and one of the most renowned jazz guitarists of all time. At the age of 18, Reinhardt was injured in a fire that ravaged the caravan he shared with Florine "Bella" Mayer, his first wife. They were very poor, and to supplement their income Bella made imitation flowers out of celluloid and paper. Consequently, their home was full of this highly flammable material. Returning from a performance late one night, Django apparently knocked over a candle on his way to bed. While his family and neighbors were quick to pull him to safety, he received first- and second-degree burns over half his body. His right leg was paralyzed and the third and fourth fingers of his left hand were badly burnt. Doctors believed that he would never play guitar again and intended to amputate one of his legs. Reinhardt refused to have the surgery and left the hospital after a short time; he was able to walk within a year with the aid of a cane. His brother Joseph Reinhardt, an accomplished guitarist himself, bought Django a new guitar. With painful rehabilitation and practice Django relearned his craft in a completely new way, even as his third and fourth fingers remained partially paralyzed. Hence, he played all of his guitar solos with only two fingers, and managed to use the two injured digits only for chord work. 'Artist Discography'

Jimi Hendrix - All Along The Watchtower.

Jimi Hendrix - (November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter. Hendrix is considered one of the greatest and most influential guitarists in rock music history. After initial success in Europe, he achieved fame in the USA following his 1967 performance at the Monterey Pop Festival. Later, Hendrix headlined the iconic 1969 Woodstock Festival. Hendrix helped develop the technique of guitar feedback with overdriven amplifiers. He was influenced by blues artists such as B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Albert King, and Elmore James, rhythm and blues and soul guitarists Curtis Mayfield, Steve Cropper, as well as by some modern jazz. 'Artist Discography'

B.B. King - Blues Boys Tune

B. B. King - is an American blues guitarist and singer-songwriter. Critical acclaim and widespread popularity have cemented his reputation as one of the most respected and influential blues musicians. Rolling Stone magazine named him the third-greatest guitarist of "the 100 greatest guitarists of all time". B. B. King arrived in Memphis for the first time in 1946 to work as a musician, but after a few months of hardship he left, going back to Mississippi. There he decided to prepare himself better for the next visit and returned to Memphis two years later. Initially he worked at the local R&B radio channel WDIA as a singer and disc jockey, where he gained the nickname "Beale Street Blues Boy", later shortened to "B. B.". It was there that he first met T-Bone Walker - "Once I'd heard him for the first time, I knew I'd have to have an electric guitar myself. Had to have one, short of stealing!" In 1949, King began recording songs under contract with Los Angeles-based RPM Records. Many of King's early recordings were produced by Sam Phillips, who later founded Sun Records. 'Artist Discography'

Willie K, Avi Ronen, Joe Cano - Lima Wela

Raised on Maui, Willie Kahaiali`i (a.k.a.Willie K. - in the middle), has been playing music and entertaining audiences since the age of 10. His father Manu Kahaiali`i, one of Hawaii's most respected musicians, recruited Willie and his brothers to perform in his band. From the very beginning, Willie was influenced by and exposed to a myriad of musical genres; from the Hawaiian, Jazz, and early R&B he heard at his father's side, to the sounds emanating from the radio and TV from musical giants such as B.B. King, Santana, Jimi Hendrix, and Willie Nelson. 'Artist Discography'

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Les Paul

 Lester William Polsfuss, known as Les Paul (June 9, 1915 – August 12, 2009) was an American innovator, inventor, musician and songwriter. He was a pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar which "made the sound of rock and roll possible". He is credited with many recording innovations, including overdubbing (also known as sound on sound), delay effects such as tape delay, phasing effects, and multitrack recording. His innovative talents extended into his playing style, including licks, trills, chording sequences, fretting techniques and timing, which set him apart from his contemporaries and inspired many of the guitarists of the present day. He recorded with his wife Mary Ford in the 1950s and they sold millions of records. Among his many honors, Paul is one of a handful of artists with a permanent, stand-alone exhibit in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is prominently named by the music museum on its website as an "architect" and a "key inductee" along with Sam Phillips and Alan Freed. He first became interested in music at age eight, when he began playing the harmonica. After an attempt at learning the banjo, he began to play the guitar. It was during this time that he invented a neck-worn harmonica holder, which allowed him to play the harmonica hands-free while accompanying himself on the guitar. 'Artist Discography'

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Mark Knopfler - Sultans of Swing

Mark Knopfler - is a British guitarist, singer, songwriter, and film score composer. Knopfler was originally best-known as the lead guitarist and vocalist for the English rock band, Dire Straits, which he co-founded in 1977 with his brother David. Following the dissolution of Dire Straits in 1995, Knopfler has continued to record and produce albums as a solo artist, under his own name. Occasionally, Knopfler has played in other groups, such as the "supergroup" The Notting Hillbillies, and has appeared on works by other artists, including Bob Dylan, Bryan Ferry, Eric Clapton, John Fogerty, Jools Holland, Steely Dan and Chet Atkins. He has produced albums for artists such as Tina Turner, Randy Newman, Bob Dylan and Emmylou Harris. He is one of the most respected finger style guitarists of the modern rock era. Knopfler was ranked #27 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". 'Artist Discography'

Gary Moore - Still Got The Blues (Live)

Gary Moore -(4/4/52 - 2/6/11) is a Northern Irish guitarist. In a career dating back to the 1960s, he has played with artists including Thin Lizzy, Colosseum II, Greg Lake and the blues-rock band Skid Row as well as having a successful solo career. Moore grew up in Castleview Road, off the Upper Newtownards Road in east Belfast and started performing at a young age, having picked up a battered acoustic guitar at the age of eight, and got his first quality guitar at the age of fourteen, learning to play the right-handed instrument in the standard way despite being left handed. 'Artist Discography'

Bonnie Raitt - Pride And Joy

Bonnie Raitt - Born to a musical family, the nine-time Grammy winner is the daughter of celebrated Broadway singer John Raitt (Carousel, Oklahoma!, The Pajama Game) and accomplished pianist/singer Marge Goddard.  Exposure to the album "Blues at Newport 1963" at age 14 had kindled her interest in blues and slide guitar, and she explored these and other styles in local coffeehouse gigs. Three years after entering college, Bonnie left to commit herself full-time to music, and shortly afterward found herself opening for surviving giants of the blues. From Mississippi Fred McDowell, Sippie Wallace, Son House, Muddy Waters, and John Lee Hooker she learned first-hand lessons of life as well as invaluable techniques of performance. Word spread quickly of the young redhaired blueswoman, her soulful, unaffected way of singing, and her uncanny insights into blues guitar. Warner Bros. tracked her down, signed her up, and in 1971 released her debut album, "Bonnie Raitt". 'Artist Discography'

Tony Rice - Nine Pound Hammer

Tony Rice - is an acoustic guitarist and bluegrass musician.Rice spans the range of acoustic music, from traditional bluegrass to jazz-influenced "Spacegrass" music, to songwriter-oriented folk. Over the course of his career, he has played alongside J. D. Crowe and the New South, David Grisman (during the formation of “Dawg Music”) and Jerry Garcia, led his own Tony Rice Unit, collaborated with Norman Blake and recorded with his brothers. He has recorded with drums, piano, soprano sax, as well as with traditional Bluegrass instrumentation.Rice was born in Danville, Virginia but grew up in California, where he was introduced to bluegrass by his father, a semi-professional musician named Herb Rice. Tony and his brothers learned the fundamentals of bluegrass and country music from hot L.A. pickers like the Kentucky Colonels, led by Roland and Clarence White. Crossing paths with fellow enthusiasts like Ry Cooder, Herb Pedersen and Chris Hillman reinforced the strength of the music he had learned from his father. 'Artist Discography'

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Brian Setzer - Rock This Town - Live!

Brian Setzer - is an American guitarist, singer and songwriter.Beginning in January 1980, Setzer fronted the popular rockabilly band, Stray Cats. Setzer led a comeback for swing and jump blues music in the mid-1990s when he formed The Brian Setzer Orchestra, an ambitious 17-piece ensemble project, which released four studio albums, a Christmas disc and several live releases between 1994 and 2002. The group's biggest success (and Setzer's outside the Stray Cats) came in 1998 with the release of The Dirty Boogie which cracked the top ten on the US album charts and featured a hit single, a cover of Louis Prima's "Jump, Jive an' Wail". 'Artist Discography'

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Joe Satriani - Made of Tears

Joe Satriani - is an American guitarist and former guitar instructor. His self-released debut album, Not of This Earth in 1986, opened the way to a world of instrumental rock music in what was then a pop-dominated world.  He is heavily influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck. In 1988, Satriani was recruited by the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger as lead guitarist for Jagger's first solo tour. Later, in 1994, Satriani was also the lead guitarist for Deep Purple. Satriani has also worked with a wide range of guitarists from many styles, including Steve Vai, John Petrucci, Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen, Patrick Rondat, Paul Gilbert, and Robert Fripp through the annual G3 Jam Concerts. Satriani was inspired to play guitar at age 14 after learning of the death of Jimi Hendrix. He reportedly heard the news during a football training session, where he immediately confronted his coach and announced that he was quitting to become a guitarist. 'Artist Discography'

Steve Vai - "Die To Live"

Steve Vai - is an American instrumental rock guitarist, songwriter, vocalist and producer. After starting his professional career as a music transcriptionist for Frank Zappa, Vai would also record and tour in Zappa's backing band starting in 1980. The guitarist began a solo career starting in 1984 and has released 13 solo albums as of 2008. Apart from his work with Frank Zappa, Vai has also recorded and toured with numerous musical artists including: Alcatrazz, David Lee Roth and Whitesnake. Vai has been a regular touring member of the G3 Concert Tour which began in 1996. In 1999 Vai started his own record label, Favored Nations, with the intent to showcase, as Vai describes, "artists that have attained the highest performance level on their chosen instruments. In 1974, Vai took guitar lessons from guitarist Joe Satriani, and played in numerous local bands. He has acknowledged the influence of many guitarists including Jeff Beck and fusion guitarist Allan Holdsworth. Vai then attended the Berklee College of Music. Vai mailed Frank Zappa a transcription of Zappa's The Black Page, an instrumental song written for drums, along with a tape with some of Vai's guitar playing. Zappa was so impressed with the abilities of the young musician that he hired him in 1979 to do work transcribing several of his guitar solos, including many of those appearing on the Joe's Garage album and the Shut Up 'n' Play Yer Guitar series. These transcriptions were published in 1982 in The Frank Zappa Guitar Book. 'Artist Discography'

Stevie Ray Vaughan-Pride And Joy

Stevie Ray Vaughan - (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990) was an American blues-rock guitarist, whose broad appeal made him an influential electric blues guitarist. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Stevie Ray Vaughan #7 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, and Classic Rock Magazine ranked him #3 in their list of the 100 Wildest Guitar Heroes in 2007. Vaughan was born on October 3, 1954, in Dallas, Texas, and was raised in the city's Oak Cliff neighborhood. Neither of his parents had any strong musical talent but were avid music fans. They would take Vaughan and his older brother Jimmie to concerts to see Fats Domino, Johnny Williamson III, Jimmy Reed, and Bob Wills. Even though Vaughan initially wanted to play the drums as his primary instrument, Michael Quinn gave him a guitar when he was seven years old. Vaughan's brother, Jimmie Vaughan, gave him his first guitar lessons. Vaughan was later quoted in Guitar Player as saying, "My brother Jimmie actually was one of the biggest influences on my playing. He really was the reason I started to play, watching him and seeing what could be done." He played entirely by ear and never learned how to read sheet music. By the time he was thirteen years old he was playing in clubs where he met many of his blues idols. 'Artist Discography'

Frank Zappa  - Black Napkins Live Palladium NY '81

Frank Zappa - Frank Vincent Zappa (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American composer, musician, and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa established himself as a prolific and highly distinctive composer, electric guitar player and band leader. He worked in various different musical genres and wrote music for rock bands, jazz ensembles, synthesizers and symphony orchestra, as well as musique concrète works constructed from pre-recorded, synthesized or sampled sources. 'Artist Discography'

 

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