11 Guitarists and Their Unique Styles That Give Them “That Extra Push”

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Gus G
Gus G (Kostas Karamitroudis)

Why don‘t you just make 10 the top number? … These go to “11”

With so many top ten lists out there with the same old names on them, we wanted to focus on the new generation of players. They come from a broad range of styles and backgrounds. We think that true guitar enthusiasts will be able to appreciate each of our selections and their contributions to guitar playing. They are all “11”s and are listed in no particular order. We know there are many phenomenal guitarists that could make any list, this just happens to be ours. ENJOY

1. Joe Bonamassa

Born to rock. Incredible rock/blues player influenced by all the legends. Bonamassa had his first guitar at 4 years old and could play along with Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn songs at the age of 7. What makes him an “11” – He opened for B. B. King at 12 years of age.

2. Kostas Karamitroudis (Gus G.)

Left Greece and came to the U.S. to attend Berklee College of Music. He only attended a short while before leaving and joining a death metal band that ironically played dates at OzzFest. Gus G’s playing was inspired by Vinnie Moore, Paul Gilbert , Marty Friedman, and Yngwie Malmsteen. What makes him an “11”? – Anyone who can follow in the footsteps of Iommi, Rhoads, (Gillis), Lee, and Wylde deserves respect.

3. Brad Paisley

Brad is one of the few modern day country singers that can play lead guitar too. His chickin’/hybrid pickin along with the use of custom baritone guitars with McVay String Benders, sets him apart from the everyday country sound. It’s no wonder he was voted “Entertainer of the Year” at last years CMA’s. What makes him an “11” – It’s that sweet rich low tone he gets setting him apart from the rest.

4. Tosin Abasi

Abasi plays jazz fusion mixed with explosive progressive riffs. His solo work is quite amazing and he would be considered a virtuoso. What makes him an “11” – He plays 7 and 8 string guitars effortlessly.

5. Stefano Barone

This prodigy is from Naples, Italy, he has an extraordinary tapping technique and is very creative with the use of a multi-track machine that plays backing tracks when performing live. What makes him an “11” – watch his ever popular video TCLD on You Tube and you’ll hear why.

6. Brian Carroll (Buckethead)

This strange bird, who was raised by chickens, will entertain you with is robot dancing and demonstration of nunchucks. On a serious note, Brian Carroll is a guitar extraordinaire. He is known for being one of the fastest guitarists of all time. What makes him an “11” – This guy can play like a machine with a mask and a KFC bucket on his head.

7. Orianthi

This Australian hottie is hot in more ways than one. At only 24 years old she was offered one of the biggest gigs in entertainment history. Michael Jackson personally called her to be his guitarist on his upcoming tour before his untimely death. What makes her an “11” – She can hang with Steve Vai trading licks on her song Highly Strung.

8. JP Soars

If you like the blues you will love this guy. His band took first place in the 25th annual International Blues Challenge. Soars also won the event’s Albert King Award, making him the best guitar player in the competition. What makes him an “11”- He plays a cigar box custom guitar.

9. Darrell Lance Abbott (Dimebag)

The tone he created influenced a new generation of thrashers. His use of drop tunings and various effects resulted in crushing rhythms and blazing solos. Dimebag’s childhood idol was Kiss lead guitarist Ace Frehely, he even had a signed tattoo of Ace on his chest. What makes him an “11” – Probably the number one influence in “Modern Metal” R.I.P. 1966 to 2004.

10. Jesse Cook

This flamenco, jazz, fusion player is Canadian. When he was a teenager he traveled to Arles France where his dad lived. That is where he became fascinated with the “Camargue Sound”, a style in which the local gypsies played. He also studied classical and jazz at Berklee College of Music. He combined the different styles into one sound. What makes him an “11” – He has blended different sounds around the world into his style of rumba flamenco.

11. Aleksi Laiho (Wildchild)

Last but definitely not least. Probably the best known of the Finnish guitarists. He is notorious for his astonishing speed and alternate tunings which include C# Standard (C# F# B E G# C#) , D Standard (D G C F A D), and Dropped C (C G C F A D). What makes him an “11” – He has been ranked one of the Greatest Metal Frontmen of All Time and has his own line of signature ESP guitars.

We would like to know what your opinions are and any comments or feedback would be welcome.



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