Looks like Troy made The Rolling Stones list!

I’m actually surprised there was no discussion on their list here, and also a bit thankful since that could get heated!!

Regardless, he made this version of it:

I think for the few of the responses I’ve watched, Bradley Hall’s is my favorite, but this one is a close 2nd!!

Congrats Troy!!


I was thinking of doing a post about how lame that list was. This was even before I saw Rick Beato’s reaction/rant. I remember thinking on so many of the players that I’d never even heard of them lol!

Then that got me thinking about maybe a different type of post. What actually makes a great guitarist? Or singer or anything? It’s not completely musicianship. Plenty of my favorite singers aren’t technically that good but I really enjoy their voice. Guitar is probably similar. We’re a niche community that knows how dedicated you have to be to play like many of our “favorites”. And plenty of my “favorites” are only because of the immense respect I have for them. I may actually like players with less chops in cases (though most of the ones I like have some degree of chops) The average listener probably likes to hear solos they can sing along with.

Back on topic, this guy’s snub list is very cool. I like how he acknowledges that he can’t keep saying “best guitar player in the world…but Rick Graham just might be the best guitar player in the world lol”. I tend to agree (on a purely technical level)

Anyway, OF COURSE Troy should be on this list. I think one definition of “great” is how important someone is to the advancement of the instrument. That’s why Hendrix is going to just kill players who are more technically accomplished. His importance and making guitar cool and making people want to play guitar is just unfathomable. Troy’s done more for guitar technique than anyone and that gets huge points in my book.


The original list was something I completely despised and throughly enjoyed reading. Even without taking into consideration of who was left off of it, and even who they put on it, it just didn’t make any sense. Especially in regards to placement. It’s like they set some ground rules then bent and broke them repeatedly or just flat out forgot. I do like a bunch of the “unknowns” that they put on there. That was nice. But aside from that select few, the list was hot ammonia and bleached dog shit lol


I often wonder if those lists actually have anything to do with placement :thinking: Like is it just a list of 250 of the greatest? Or are they saying that player #1 is the greatest and player 250 is “greater than everyone who didn’t make it (lol) but way less great than #1”? The whole notion of the latter is sort of ridiculous. Obviously you can compare someone like me to someone like Troy and he’s greater on every level lol! But when you get into territory where players are pretty evenly matched in terms of chops and also influence/importance…how can pick who’s better between McLaughlin and Di Meola? (cough cough it’s JM lol) Or someone like Angus Young and Jimmy Page (cough cough it’s JP even though he has less chops and is sloppy because Zeppelin is effing ridiculous)

You get my drift…everyone is going to have a different version of this list if they made it themselves. Yes, Rolling Stone’s list is categorically wrong, and yes it was very fun to read haha. Which I believe you covered here:

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I’m sure i’d be in good company with my favorite top 25 players on this forum. Like so many of you, we’ve heard the best of the best!

I can’t say i’ve ever heard anyone better than Rick Graham. He is absolutely everything that represents the explosive, emotive characteristics of modern guitar.

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I don’t think I’ve actually heard Rick Graham, but enough have mentioned him that I won’t bother to argue lol

Where should I start with him?

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Hey brother.

start with this
A Compilation Of Compositions For Guitar - Electric Fingerstyle, Acoustic, Classical Guitar - YouTube

want your face melted off?

Killer Shred Technique - YouTube

sheesh… so much content on his channell. but this should give you an idea at least

There is just too much to choose from. Go to his YouTube channel and cherry pick lol

I’ll start you with this though

That last one is “cool” classical but he does “legit” classical too with nylon strings, nails and proper tone production

Besides that, he sweeps like a beast, has killer legato (both ‘all hammers’ and more traditional pulloffs) AND even though he rarely showcases it he has Morse Level crosspicking capabilities.

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AND in case anyone wondered, Rick always wheres Adidas clothing because it stands for:

All Day I Demonstrate Awesome Shredding


Dear God…… I…. So…. Words…… None….

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Can’t believe Korn lied to me for almost 30 years…


dont leave out his liquid fire economy picking that he uses to blur through the fret board with ease.

IMO the hallmark of some of the best modern players like Graham (Michael Romeo also) is their ability to combine 5-6 techniques seamlessly into their playing… it’s just staggering.

Oh we for hybrid picking as well … Rick is a master of that also.

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Right on. In my mind I didn’t leave it out since the first video I linked was his “WTF lick” which features just ridiculously fast and precise economy. I generally agree with the sentiment that pure alternate wins in terms of articulation…but Rick may be an outlier there. He’s super controlled and even with economy. Anyway, I meant more like “beyond these few vids that scratch the surface he’s also a monster of this that and the other”

He’s also just maddeningly clean, has really interesting note choice and I could go on and on.

BTW @DC11GTR I know you’re a huge Satch fan, and so is Rick

I love Satch but like so many of the virtuosi from that era I bought like one album and never dug deeper. I’ll defer to you on the worthiness of Rick’s cover. To my untrained ear it’s pretty killer.

At the time I found CtC I was back to like 90% classical and was pretty firmly out of the virtuoso electric genre. Now I’m like 99% into virtuoso electric and 1% classical lol! I’ve been introduced to some AMAZING players due to the forum. Other than Troy himself, the scariest players I’ve come across here are Rick Graham, Anton Oparin and Andre Nieri.

Oh and I will sort of list Shawn Lane. I knew about him, but I was like 14 when I got into virtuoso electric and of course there was no YouTube back them. I’d seen Shawn’s name in magazines and heard rave reviews but I never came across his CD’s (remember those???) in the music stores (remember those???) so I’d never had a chance to hear him. Everyone around here talks about him endlessly and I finally got to see the magic. Was he on the RS list??? Probably not. He was something special though. To play at the freak speeds like he did while simultaneously being connected to what he played on an almost spiritual sense is pretty rare.


Missing Shawn Lane, Holdsworth, Malmsteen and Buckethead made that list a joke. Good on Rolling Stone for putting Santana high up on it though hes never gotten the credit guys from his era like Hendrix, Allman, Page, and Clapton get imo.

I didn’t even look at it. Rolling Stone is, and always has been idiotic.

Entered into evidence as Exhibit #4,234,546,143:

Malmsteen is not on the list.


So I took a Quick Look….

Joni Mitchell in the top 10? Why is she on the list at all?!?

Nile Rodgers….in the top 10?!? Randy Rhoads not even making top 20? Clapton outside the top 30!?!

Who wrote the article? Moe Ron?


felt the same way about Satriani myself. Hes’ great. I love surfing with the alien, but just never was interested in anything else.

Have you listed to Michael Romeo? Seen his instructional video? The guy is imo one of the best modern neo classical players. so creative and fluid, with a great sense of phrasing and composition.

I know you have to have heard of Ceasario Filho… one of the very best Neo Classical players period.

Joe Stump? Josh Middleton? Joss Allen?

Yep, I didn’t list him only because I’d heard of him pre Troy. He’s extremely scary. I def heard/saw more of him after finding this forum. Joe Stump, same. Heard him prior to coming here. Cesario was new for me, and he’s amazing. Neo-classical isn’t really my thing though.

Middleton and Allen, actually I’ve never heard of them. I just watched a video or 2 of them, both great, not my thing. Just randomly watching the videos I’ve seen, I don’t know that I’d put them at the Graham level. In that more extreme style, the other player I found out about through the forum is Kevin Heiderich, and I probably would class him as a peer of Graham. Still, I’ve studied classical guitar and know how challenging that is to really play it. The fact that Rick is as good as he at the electric stuff and can play legit classical just blows my mind.

got it. Joss Allen, and Josh Middleton could be categorized as extreme metal i guess, very aggressive styles. Obviously different than Ricks.

I thought you were a neo classical guy? I thought you were cool?


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I am neither cool nor a neo classical guy lol! I don’t dislike it or anything, it’s just not my favorite and I’ve listenedd to SO much Yngwie in my teens that I’ve just needed a decades long break haha. Maybe it’s time to jump back in though…

I used to play in a metal band. We were more extreme than radio stuff, but less extreme than what I’ve seen of Middleton. We were like a Disturbed meets Tool meets Killswitch Engage. I’ve had my fill of that genre. Driving 3 hours to our shows while listening to stuff WAY heavier than Killswitch, to sit through 3 local acts that were also way heavier (and way worse lol), playing our set, driving home 3 hours listening to more heavy stuff. Ug. 7 years of that nonsense makes me not miss that genre. I totally respect it though and I get why people like it. I’ve mellowed out in my old age though lol

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sure i get it, i am an 80s metal guy mostly, picking up guitar again after a long hiatus, now 8 yrs back… I still love all the 80s shredders and modern players as well.

I like the aggressive styles of Middleton, Allen, etc. not a fan of gargoyle vocals tho, can’t take that stuff.

Love guys like John Sykes, early Gary Moore, Lynch, EVH, RR, etc.

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