by Mike Reiter
He is also the ugliest goddamn thing ever to be called a human being, and considering such musical capabilities, I have my doubts.
More capable, more creative, and more versatile than any other guitarist, Steve Howe is the greatest guitarist of all time, and by far, the most underrated. Though a prolific musician for over 40 years, Howe's most popular work was done in the 1970s with the progressive rock band Yes, and Howe helped to redefine music and guitar-playing capabilities by incorporating the most complicated guitar instrumentals of all different musical genres. In his work with Yes, he demonstrated how jazz could be an incredibly effective influence in rock, which was primarily influenced by the more simplistic solos and rhythms associated with blues, although Howe can rip an epic, true rock and roll solo just as well as fellow Guitar God, Jimmy Page. Page gets much of the credit for inspiring the newer generation of talented guitarists, but Howe had a bigger influence in the creation of shredding, a huge aspect in metal, although a very small proportion even recognize his impact. Metal would also become more progressive and jazz-influenced as it modernized. Classical music has also inspired incredible progressivism in metal, which is sadly the last modern musical genre worth listening to (because the screaming kind of ruins a lot of decent instrumental melodies), and NO PAST OR PRESENT GUITARIST has done more with, and for, classical music. More prevalent in his solo works, Howe writes and plays acoustic guitar instrumentals better, more complicated, and more creative than any other acoustic work by anyone else, with the exception of Page's Bron-yr-aur (but that's the only one). Howe has even written a number of acoustic operas, ranging in a variety of styles, including: colorful bluegrass, oriental and Indian, middle eastern and mediterranean, renaissance and medieval, and particularly beautiful 16th century Spanish. Now, while it's incredible to consider that one guitarist can cover so many genres, it's outright inconceivable to imagine that this one person can play the most complex and complicated aspects of all of these genres with unbelievable clarity and consistency. Even if Jimmy Page barely edges out Howe for best rock guitarists (arguable), there's no way he even compares to Howe's accomplishments in the infinite number of other categories. His often five-finger finger-picking (although he often pick with three fingers and a pick) is precise, creative, and versatile. He covers the fretboard with perfect technique, beautiful grace, unrelenting speed, and impeccable ease. He fingerpicks when he plays rhythm, and he plays rhythm while he blasts solos, He writes and plays masterpieces of which no one can match the difficulty. Then, he performs them flawlessly. He is Steve Howe, and he is the GREATEST GUITARIST OF ALL TIME.