#19: Eddie Van Halen
At number 19, we find ourselves with Mr. Eddie Van Halen. This man speaks for himself, or rather his guitar playing speaks for him. Van Halen proved himself worthy of this place because of his impressive guitar playing technique and proficiency. His utilization of two-handed tapping along with both natural and artificial harmonics created a sound everyone has come to know. He also exhibits very tasteful use of vibrato and tremolo picking. If you need any other proof of why Van Halen belongs here, I only have one word for you…ERUPTION.
Who will fill the slot in place number 18? Mark Knopfler! That’s right. The Dire Straits’ lead guitarist is number 18. In 1977, he co-founded Dire Straits with his brother. The band was resoundingly successful until it disbanded in 1995. Knopfler has not given up. He still makes great music and composes film scores. Fascinatingly, Knopfler is left-handed, but plays guitar right-handed. He prefers not using picks and has developed his own fingerpicking style, or rather a variation on finger picking. Like Clapton, Knopfler prefers Fender guitars, yet came to appreciate the sounds of Gibson guitars in the ’80s. Knopfler is both proficient and plays with good feeling. In many of his recordings he tends to find very good places to bend notes, without overdoing it. Thus, he is number 18.
Number 17: Freddie King
At number 17 we have Freddie King. The “Texas Cannonball” belongs on this list as he is truly guitar royalty, being one of the three kings of electric blues guitar. The other two are Albert King, and the legendary B.B. King. Freddie is here because of his awesome songs and his technique of creating guitar parts with vocal nuance. He also inspiredd other important musicians. He was one of the guitarists that was taken from us far too young at the age of 42.
Number 16: !?!?!?!?!?!?!!
For number 16 we have…wait for it…wait for it… Buddy Guy! This guy is awesome! He has a radiance on stage that few artists tend to exhibit. You can tell he is genuinely having a great time on stage playing music with his friends. He plays with wonderful feeling and has inspired many musicians with his work. He is responsible for the Chicago blues sound and his showmanship is nothing short of fantastic. Buddy Guy is known as a type of bridge between rock and roll and the blues. Clapton got the idea for a blues/rock trio during and England performance in which Buddy Guy’s trio was performing. Clapton was inspired by Buddy Guy and formed the power trio we all came to know as Cream. Because of Buddy’s inspiration and fantastic musicianship, he finds himself at number 16.