10 Underappreciated Guitarists That Deserve More Attention

10 Underappreciated Guitarists That Deserve More Attention | Society Of Rock Videos

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In a sea of guitar players, some have been overshadowed, faded away, or even mistakenly labeled as average. These unsung heroes have carved their own paths, contributing immense talent to the musical landscape.

From iconic figures like Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, and Steve Vai, discussions about greatness never seem to end.

However, let’s take a detour from the best and explore a more intriguing question: Who are the guitarists who haven’t received the recognition they truly deserve?

10. Malcolm Young

While Angus Young commanded attention onstage, Malcolm Young was the driving force behind the legendary hard-rock band AC/DC. Malcolm, the rhythmic mastermind, not only wrote the band’s greatest hits but also played a pivotal role in its operations. His contributions remain foundational, despite often standing in the shadows.

9. Buck Dharma

Donald ‘Buck Dharma’ Roeser is the unsung genius behind Blue Öyster Cult’s timeless hit “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper.” Beyond his lyrical guitar finesse, Dharma’s songwriting and lead vocals define the band’s sound. While their music is more than just the cowbell, it’s Dharma’s mastery that deserves the spotlight. His Les Paul-driven melodies and tasteful leads exemplify his musical prowess.


8. Jerry Cantrell

In the grunge wave of the ’90s, Alice in Chains stood out with their dark, haunting sound. Jerry Cantrell, the band’s guitarist, often flew under the radar despite being a master riff writer and lead player. His haunting voice perfectly complemented Layne Staley’s, and Cantrell’s songwriting anchored the band’s success. From the pulsating “Man in the Box” to the chilling “Would?” and “What the Hell Have I?”, Cantrell’s guitar craft remains unparalleled.

7. Jeff Healey

Blind from infancy, Jeff Healey defied all odds to become one of the greatest blues players. His unique lap-style guitar playing and inventive techniques set him apart. Healey’s control over his instrument, bending strings with his thumb and producing controlled vibratos, showcased his extraordinary skill. Healey’s legacy is a testament to the power of music transcending physical limitations.

6. Gary Richrath

Gary Richrath’s guitar work in REO Speedwagon is a testament to the pure essence of rock bands in the ’70s. His textured playing, highlighted by the cry baby wah pedal, added layers of flavor to the band’s music. Richrath’s innovative style and melodic riffs, often carried by his sunburst Les Paul, created an unforgettable sonic experience that lingers long after the music stops.


5. Mark Knopfler

Mark Knopfler’s mastery extends beyond mainstream recognition. His guitar work is a mesmerizing fusion of emotion and control, creating melodies that resonate deeply. Knopfler’s versatility sets him apart; he can make his guitar cry, sing, and smile with unparalleled finesse. His ability to navigate various styles showcases his musical depth and keeps audiences captivated.

4 Terry Kath

Terry Kath’s brilliance spanned jazz, rock, classical, and even bass guitar. A versatile musician, he left an indelible mark with Chicago. Often overshadowed by their ballads, Chicago’s first seven albums showcased Kath’s range. His legacy is a reminder of his mastery across diverse musical landscapes.

3. Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa’s eccentricity and experimental style often overshadowed his guitar prowess. Despite his unique subject matter, Zappa’s skill was undeniable. His solos in tracks like “The Muffin Man” and “Rat Tamago” highlight his mastery. Zappa’s guitar work deserves recognition as a pure expression of his musical genius.

2. Alex Lifeson

Within the iconic trio of Rush, Alex Lifeson’s talent sometimes stood in the shadows of his bandmates. Amid Geddy Lee’s presence and Neil Peart’s legend, Lifeson’s exceptional guitar skills and compositions deserve the spotlight. Lifeson’s contributions enriched Rush’s sonic tapestry, making him an integral part of the band’s magic.

1. Gary Moore

Gary Moore’s versatility resonated with legends like Brian May, Tony Iommi, and Joe Bonamassa. His immense talent spanned genres from rock to blues to traditional Irish music. Moore’s influence on guitarists like Zakk Wylde and Kirk Hammett underscores his impact. Despite his diverse skill set, Moore remained an underrated gem, leaving us to ponder the depth of his unrealized potential.

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