Underrated Guitarists
Gabriel Leopardi
May 20 2019, 04:45 PM
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I paid attention to Frank Marino for the first time... and I found this:

"Often compared to Jimi Hendrix, he is acknowledged as one of the best and most underrated guitarists of the 1970s."





Which are the reasons why a guitarist is underrated? What do you think? Bad marketing? Bad luck?

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klasaine
May 20 2019, 08:47 PM
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Great topic but I usually disagree with the term 'underrated'. Underrated by definition means that people perceive or are of the opinion that they are bad or unskilled guitarists/musicians. Example: a lot guitar players think that the Edge is a 'bad' guitarist.

I prefer under appreciated. People don't know of them.
In F. Marino's case it's because he was in a band that had barely one hit song and very little radio airplay in a time when that was pretty much the only way to get recognition - it's amazing anybody knows who he is. He's awesome and I think that everybody that knows about him thinks he's awesome - but it's just not that many people.

My picks for under appreciated are Michael Bloomfield (blues rock) and Ed Bickert (Jazz - Canadian).
There are plenty more but these two guys were criminally un sung and very influential to other guitarists in their respective genres.

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AK Rich
May 20 2019, 09:29 PM
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An older friend of mine first introduced me to Mahogany Rush back in the early 80's. I always thought they were a are really good band and Marino a really good guitar player. Another guitar player and band that came later that I thought was under appreciated (I like that term better than under rated too, good call, Ken) was Ty Tabor and King's X. Eric Gales is another that comes to mind offhand, but yeah, there are lots of them that probably haven't received the credit that is due to them.

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klasaine
May 20 2019, 09:44 PM
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QUOTE (AK Rich @ May 20 2019, 01:29 PM) *
Ty Tabor and King's X.


Good call.
King's X (along with Ty) doesn't get nearly enough credit. The fourth record, "Kings X" (1992) has one of the biggest guitar sounds ever.

Here's another, Vernon Reid and 'Living Color'.

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Adam
May 20 2019, 09:50 PM
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Some of them were undiscovered by the people who could expose their talent to the public. I'm gonna use Jason Becker as an example again: iirc, he was a genius who practiced at home or with friends but his career started when someone related to records/publishing visited their house and Jason's dad asked the man to listen to him. Then, Jason met Marty Friedman in the studio for the first time. It was a lucky streak of coincidence that promoted him. I know how ALS treatment is costly and I don't think he could've afforded it unless he got this popular in the States.

I disagree about them being underappreciated because it's not the same as being undiscovered. Like I said on Jason's example, unless a genius is by a person able to introduce him to the world, he/she will be a bedroom demigod or a local attraction performing at local festivals, etc. Of course, nowadays it's much easier with YouTube/SoundCloud around but it still takes sheer luck to be seen by someone who can make a difference and offer a contract with recording studio or feature that person in a magazine. Many YouTubers I know became popular and started earning some coin because someone important saw one of their movies and passed it on or because a large group of people made some clip viral.

I believe that no matter the talent, it takes pure luck to be discovered by the public. Being talented or hard-working just makes it easier but not definite.

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klasaine
May 20 2019, 09:57 PM
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Yes, un-discovered is a completely different thing.
There are a ton of great musicians who don't want to deal with all the other stuff you have to do to get noticed, let alone make a career out it.

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Adam
May 20 2019, 10:10 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ May 20 2019, 09:57 PM) *
Yes, un-discovered is a completely different thing.
There are a ton of great musicians who don't want to deal with all the other stuff you have to do to get noticed, let alone make a career out it.

I think I'm one of them. The idea of travelling across whole world is very appealing to me but I'm that type who values personal freedom and peace/solitude above anything else. Being recognized sure is nice and opens up many perspectives but it comes with a cost too great for me to pay. I'd probably roll with it if I somehow got there but at the moment it's not something I'd aim for.

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AK Rich
May 22 2019, 05:34 AM
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Thinking about this topic a bit today and seeing what Adam wrote about Jason Becker, it occurred to me that probably many of our favorite guitar players here at GMC have gone largely unnoticed or are, or seem to be under appreciated by people that aren't guitar players or musicians. How many non musicians really know about and appreciate Govan or Kotzen or Howe or even Gilbert? Gilbert at least had a number 1 with Mr Big, but the tune "To Be With You" isn't known for stellar guitar work. Maybe some will remember Kotzen from the band Poison or Govan from Asia but probably not many. Let's face it. These guys are mainly guitar players for guitar players and unsung heroes in the bigger picture, at least in the world of hit songs or gold records and such. There are boatloads of these guys over the years that are monsters that many folks have never heard of.

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This post has been edited by AK Rich: May 22 2019, 05:40 AM
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Kristofer Dahl
May 22 2019, 06:42 AM
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I think most guitarists who have innovated do get some recognition - even without much musical success.

But I guess whoever did tapping before Van Halen might have been somewhat overshadowed by Eddie's success.

Perhaps one could say the same about Uli John Roth - who did play Yngwie's neoclassical style before Ingenue - just without the 'steroids'. I still think both seem to have received the recognition they deserve though.

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Gabriel Leopardi
May 22 2019, 06:15 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ May 20 2019, 04:47 PM) *
Great topic but I usually disagree with the term 'underrated'. Underrated by definition means that people perceive or are of the opinion that they are bad or unskilled guitarists/musicians. Example: a lot guitar players think that the Edge is a 'bad' guitarist.

I prefer under appreciated. People don't know of them.
In F. Marino's case it's because he was in a band that had barely one hit song and very little radio airplay in a time when that was pretty much the only way to get recognition - it's amazing anybody knows who he is. He's awesome and I think that everybody that knows about him thinks he's awesome - but it's just not that many people.

My picks for under appreciated are Michael Bloomfield (blues rock) and Ed Bickert (Jazz - Canadian).
There are plenty more but these two guys were criminally un sung and very influential to other guitarists in their respective genres.



Yeah, there is a difference between "people thinking that a guitarist is bad" and "not many people knowing a great guitarist". Both things can be discussed but the first one is SO subjetive.

I also think that becoming more recognized requires a lot of other activities that aren't exactly playing guitar. It's also interesting to see why you think F. Marino didn't become a legend like Hendrix, or Jeff Beck for example. The question is... was him interested on it? or he only wanted to play the music that he loved.

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klasaine
May 22 2019, 07:41 PM
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Frank Marino is an outstanding guitar player but he doesn't write great songs, isn't particularly innovative and plays in a band that is only modestly successful. Having said that, he is successful in that he makes a living doing music he loves, I think that's f'n awesome! We should all be so lucky in life.

Jeff Beck, Hendrix, EVH, Clapton, SRV, Albert King, John McLaughlin, etc. are - besides great guitarists - great songwriters and guitar innovators. These are musicians that changed music. You also have guys like Yngwie or Wes Montgomery or Derek Trucks who took a particular style of music and guitar playing and blasted it into the stratosphere. Satriani and Vai fall into that category too.

And yes, you are very correct to say that along with all that talent, you need to put in a hell of a lot of work in many other areas besides actually playing the guitar. To even just make an average living playing music, and yet still being completely unknown popularly, takes a big effort.

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This post has been edited by klasaine: May 23 2019, 03:16 PM
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