Chester Burton "Chet" Atkins
by Mudit Badlani
Okay,Chet Atkins isn't even my favourite guitarist ever but...
I think i will have proved a point if you can still believe me after reading the following.
He was called "Mr. Guitar" for a reason.
There are a thousand reasons,the most important being -
1.His Style -
Not just his "Dizzy String" 'm-i-p' roll,but his left-hand technique and influences like Merle Travis give him not only a unique once in a hundered years technique,but enable him to incorporate other styles into his country guitar style and indeed even almost discard it all together at times. Eg - His arrangement of "Malaguena" (from Chet Atkins II) a Flamenco Guitar number is amazing and is,perhaps ironically the most beautiful arrangement of this prolifically covered song.
Chet Atkins is way faster than the likes of the "slower"(just a relative term) metallers like Van Halen and still manages to play music,not like some computerised shit.He isn't Gilbert or Batio fast,but he is the fastest possible in the realm of Guitar playing being Music and not a sport.
His Gretsch's clean tone remains the benchmark to date.And lets not forget his ability to produce harmonics from all frets with absurd ease.
From plain country to Jazzy sounds,Bluegrass,Classical,Flamenco and everything in between,he was brilliant.
Sure,he was "only" a master of Jazz and Country,but only one of them is enough for a Lifetime's study.
And as regards "RockNRoll",he may not be Clapton,Hendrix or Knopfler,he is mind blowing at some clean easy RockNRollEg - "There'll Be Some Changes Made" from the "Neck and Neck" Album with Mark Kopfler.
He has inspired and collaborated with and mentored scores of Guitarists,most notably Tommy Emmanuel.
He is also "The Country Gentleman",an example for us all.
Come on!My favourites are Knopfler,Clapton,Slash,Felder,Allman,Santana etc... And i'm nominating Chet Atkins...
"Mr. Guitar". How hard is it?
Come on,shift the focus from Rock.There are other things the guitar is used for.This limited view makes us no better people saying "Pop" or "Hip-Hop" etc. are the only things aroundwhich seem to be the majority "party" today.