My interest in guitar, Top 100 Greatest Electric Guitarists of All Time

Well, after all these ranking lists (like the 100 greatest NBA players ever), its time to talk about guitarists because well, I’m a guitarist and I’m self-taught so I’m influenced by a lot of different guitar players, and I want to make a list of the top 100 electric guitarists who I think are the best.

Beginnings
I started playing guitar after high school when I was 15. I remember starting with acoustic guitar, but then hearing a classmate play electric guitar was amazing, the first time I heard it, I thought wow I really want to have a tone like that. So my first guitar was a starter guitar package by Behringer back in 2005. I practiced for 2-3 hours every day after high school, so much so that my mom at one time (being a strict Chinese mother), locked away my guitar and laptop because she was so worried about me not studying. I played in two coffee houses events at my high school, at that time I was hugely influenced by Jimi Hendrix (clips downloaded off of Kazaa) and Jimmy Page (I watched the Led Zeppelin DVD numerous times) so I started trying to play guitar with my teeth, behind my back, behind my head etc for showmanship. This got me a lot of fans in my high school, and the first time I performed at the freshman talent show at the University of Toronto, I put on a display by doing all those tricks while playing Hendrix’s Voodoo Child. I would play in several battle of the band type shows after that, but haven’t really done many public performances since.

Influences
I had a few bands in high school and university, but didn’t perform that often. I played once in Barrie, Canada at a show and performed with university friends at a show at my university, but thats about it. 2005-2007 I was hugely influenced by blues and rock guitarists like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmy Page, then started playing piano in 2008, and was influenced by classical composers like Chopin and Liszt. Around 2009 I bought an acoustic and started to play more pop songs. I was hugely influenced by John Mayer, my favorite contemporary electric guitarist. Around 2010 I was obsessed with the Beatles and played a lot of Beatles songs, 2012 John Mayer’s Born and Raised came out and I was quite influenced by that as well. And from then on I played a mix of pop/rock/fusion/jazz songs whatever I like to listen to, I like to play. Recently I’ve been quite into jazz guitar, the likes of Larry Carlton, Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery and finger picking styles used by Chet Atkins.

Gear

My guitar of choice was and still is, the Fender Stratocaster. I first started with a Behringer beginner guitar in 2005 (which I painted to look like Hendrix’s Monterey strat sometime in 2006), then 2006 moved onto a G&L Tribute S500. Around 2009, I got myself an Ovation acoustic, my first acoustic guitar. Around 2010 I got myself a Fender Roadworn Stratocaster and swapped out the pickups first for Tonerider pickups (quite good value), then for actual handwound pickups from a guy in Virginia (Rumpelstiltskin Pickups). In 2012, I bought myself a really good acoustic guitar, the Martin OMJM. Then in 2014, I bought a Gretsch White Penguin. In 2015 I bought a Boho Moonshine (unique oil can guitar). You can see these in all my Youtube videos. But I think out of all my guitars, I will keep just the Fender and the Martin, those are the ones I play the most.

As for Amplifiers, of course I prefer tube amps like many people, but more specifically small Class A vintage style tube amps for their nice clean tone and easy breakup and portability. In 2005 I started with the Behringer practice amp, then in 2006 got a Vox Valvetronix 30, which was also a solid state amp but had a pre-amp tube to simulate tube power. In 2009, I got my first Tube amp, a Class A Epiphone Valve Jr, but the tone wasn’t to my liking, so in 2010 I switched to a Traynor YCV40 which is an actual Class AB big Tube amp which in 2011 I swapped out the speakers for Celestion Alnico Blues to make it more vintage and clean sounding. In 2012, I bought a Swart Atomic Jr, which is still the amp I use today. It’s perfect, small, portable, hand-wired class A tube amp that only weighs 14lbs and has a built in reverb which is nice.

I’m not going to talk too much about pedals, because I’ve used so many. But I have owned various pedals from Digitech, Boss, Electro Harmonix, BBE, Visual Sound (now Truetone), Dunlop, etc. Since 2014, I have used mostly boutique pedals from the likes of Xotic, Maxon, Keeley, Wampler, Seymour Duncan, Catalinbread.

Top 100 Greatest Electric Guitarists of all time
1. Jimi Hendrix
2. Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin)
3. Eric Clapton
4. Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen)
5. Jeff Beck
6. Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath)
7. Stevie Ray Vaughan
8. B.B King
9. Keith Richards (Rolling Stones)
10. David Gilmour (Pink Floyd)
11. Pete Townshend (The Who)
12. George Harrison (The Beatles)
13. Chuck Berry
14. Duane Allman (Allman Brothers)
15. Albert King
16. Freddie King
17. Charlie Christian
18. Les Paul
19. Chet Atkins
20. Slash (Guns N Roses)
21. Carlos Santana
22. Frank Zappa
23. Buddy Guy
24. Buddy Holly
25. Kurt Cobain (Nirvana)
26. Brian May (Queen)
27. Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple)
28. Randy Rhoads (Ozzy Osbourne)
29. John Lee Hooker
30. Mick Taylor (Rolling Stones)
31. Muddy Waters
32. Rory Gallagher
33. Johnny Winter
34. Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac)
35. Wes Montgomery
36. Michael Bloomfield
37. Otis Rush
38. Dick Dale
39. Prince
40. Angus Young (AC/DC)
41. The Edge (U2)
42. Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits)
43. Dimebag Darrell (Pantera)
44. Yngwie Malmsteen
45. Larry Carlton
46. Gary Moore
47. Roy Buchanan
48. John Frusciante (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
49. Joe Perry (Aerosmith)
50. Hank Marvin
51. Ry Cooder
52. Eric Johnson
53. Joe Satriani
54. Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top)
55. Joe Walsh (The Eagles)
56. Robert Fripp (King Crimson)
57. Stephen Stills (Crosby Stills & Nash)
58. Carl Perkins
59. Allan Holdsworth
60. Alex Lifeson (Rush)
61. John Petrucci (Dream Theater)
62. Robin Trower (Procol Harlum)
63. Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead)
64. Scotty Moore (Elvis)
65. Dicky Betts (Allman Brothers)
66. Elmore James
67. Steve Cropper
68. Tom Morello (Rage against the machine)
69. Link Wray
70. Steve Vai
71. Neil Young
72. James Burton
73. Johnny Ramone (The Ramones)
74. Bo Diddly
75. Albert Collins
76. Allen Collins (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
77. Duane Eddy
78. Robby Krieger (The Doors)
79. Johnny Marr (The Smiths)
80. John McLaughlin
81. Eddie Hazel (Parliament/Funkadelic)
82. James Hetfield (Metallica)
83. Kirk Hammett (Metallica)
84. Dave Mustaine (Megadeth)
85. Steve Howe (Yes)
86. Mike Rutherford (Genesis)
87. Mike McCready (Pearl Jam)
88. Robben Ford
89. George Benson
90. John Mayer
91. Mark Tremonti (Creed)
92. Johnny Greenwood (Radiohead)
93. Peter Frampton
94. Paul Gilbert
95. Jason Becker
96. Steve Morse
97. Zack Wylde
98. Kenny Wayne Shepherd
99. Joe Bonamassa
100. Ted Nugent

Why appearance matters in Korea, NBA HOF, removing the headphone jack

I want to talk about several recent topics that have occured recently. In my video blogs I’ve already talked about stuff like why I think Hollywood discriminates against Asians, why I don’t like present day feminism, why I like Korean girls more than Chinese girls, why I support banning guns, why the media is biased towards Westerners, etc
Today I have a few topics I want to talk about…

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Why Appearance matters in Korea

Firstly, I’ve lived in Korea almost 2 years now, and I will leave Korea end of this year. At that time I will talk about my experiences here and why I decided to leave, but I want to talk about something I hinted at in my video of what makes Korea so special and unique. Its not just Korea seems to have a lot more couples on the street than other countries, probably the first thing a foreigner notices when they visit Korea is how everyone is always dressed up. The girls more so than the guys usually, but Koreans are known for caring a lot about appearance much more than any other Asian or other nationality in general. How did it come to be this way? Why don’t Americans or Chinese care about appearance as much?

This is more speculation than actual research because I’m not writing a thesis here, but I think the reason is because Korea is a really small and competitive country. When everyone graduates university at a high level, and everyone is Korean, one of the only ways to differentiate yourself is appearance. And that has lead to present day Korea where Korean girls get pressure to get plastic surgery, just to find a boyfriend or get a job, or anything. Because Korea doesn’t have any laws against a company discriminating based on appearance, this has led to competition to become prettier and prettier. And when everyone else is pretty, its a peer pressure affect that causes other people to feel that they should become pretty as well.

China has not gone through the same thing because its a bigger country, more diverse, and was totally communist at one point. Because of those reasons, Chinese people have become more accepting of different appearances, and its not as important because one of the good things that came out of communism is that old Confucian society where women were treated far below men, was erased and replaced by a society where the women worked, dressed the same as men, and treated exactly the same as men. This is the gender equality that all the progressives talk about these days, its essentially done by communism.

As for America, appearance used to be important back in the 1940s and 1950s when men were definitely higher than women and everyone wore suits, dresses, hats, etc for going outside. In those days everyone was dressed up outside. The counter culture revolution of the 1960s basically changed the US into a society where everyone dresses differently and people became more accepting of different appearances. That’s why you hardly ever see people dress up when they go outside in the USA anymore.

In Korea now, its still a patriarchal society, the men still have power (despite the fact that the Korean president is a woman it doesn’t mean sexism is gone), they have the highest gender wage gap out of all OECD countries, and its not uncommon to see the average Korean girl holding onto her boyfriends arms wearing a nice dress or skirt, high heels and fully dressed up while the guy is only wearing casual jeans or shorts. There’s a huge gender disparity here.

Now I actually think caring about appearance is important. I’m not saying people should go out and get plastic surgery, but when people care about the aesthetics of everything in their world from their phones (oh its slimmer!), their computers (wow rose gold!), architecture (eiffel tower, chrysler building, golden gate bridge), paintings (Mona Lisa), etc how can everyone care about aesthetics of everything in the world BUT when people care about other people’s appearance in the Western world, it is considered “shallow”?? In Korea, its totally normal to say oh you should put on more makeup, or you should dress a little better, which in our Western world would be considered sexist comments. But its the total opposite in our world, where even calling someone pretty can be considered offensive, and people are told not to care about others appearance because it is “shallow”? But why? I realize that personality is important, it definitely is, but humans have eyes, and we care about how everything else looks, why is it so bad to care about how other humans look as well? I think that caring about your own looks or other people’s looks is totally normal, as long as its not the ONLY thing you care about. If it is, then that can be considered shallow or superficial but like me, I care about both appearance and personality and I think both are really important in our daily lives. This is one of the things I like about Korea, is that they care about appearance, and I feel that every other country doesn’t care about appearance enough because they want to pretend that somehow we have eyes for everything else but not for other humans. Makes no sense.

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Yao Ming, Shaq and Iverson get into the Hall of Fame

This years NBA hall of fame class is headlined by Yao Ming, Shaq and Iverson. A lot of people have expressed that Yao Ming, didn’t belong in the Hall of fame, but they don’t realize that Yao Ming caused 1.3b people to get involved in basketball, that its the BASKETBALL hall of fame not the NBA hall of fame (the same reason why Arvydas Sabonis got in), and that he was actually a decent player that was All NBA 2nd team a bunch of times. He averaged 19/9/1.5/2 over his career, and if you compare to Alonzo Mourning who people agree is a HOFer, he averaged 17/8.5/1/3 over his career, so Yao’s stats are comparable to Mournings.

I think Shaq is definitely a top 5 center of all time, but people overrate his dominance. The thing is Shaq never had an equal during his time. His prime is around 2000-2005 and around that time, the best centers, Ewing, Hakeem and Robinson were all retiring or past their primes. The second best center of the 2000s, Dwight Howard and maybe Yao Ming, weren’t even in their primes yet. I would say Shaq got lucky that his era wasn’t that competitive at the center position. Kareem for example, had to deal with Wilt, Moses, Willis, Cowens, Unseld, Thurmond, Gilmore, Lanier, Walton, Parish, and later in his career Hakeem and Ewing as well. If people want to ding Wilt’s career for weak competition, they should ding Shaq’s career for weak competition.

As for Iverson, yeah I think he’s overrated, but I can understand why he’s so popular. He’s definitely one of them most inefficient shooting guards, only 42% FG which is worse than Kobe’s at 45% or John Havlicek at 44% and both of those guys shot a lot as well. So by stats you can say wow Iverson was terrible and missed a lot. But because people related to his style, his swagger, his attitude, his height, and his heart they really supported him because he was a small dude and that always makes him an underdog. That’s why even though ESPN rated him #48 best player of all time, I put him a bit higher at #30, because I can understand why he missed a lot of his shots, but that doesn’t make him necessarily a terrible player, it just means he’s not the greatest shooter.

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I don’t like 4K and high resolution displays

Why are people obsessed with the ppi of a display when 20 years ago they had a 640×480 screen on a CRT monitor and nobody was complaining back then? Wasn’t DVD considered good picture quality back then? Its only 480p now. People’s eyes didn’t get any better as time goes on.
Now because of Apple introducing the iPhone 4 with Retina display, (and Macbook with Retina) everything has super high resolution now. And now I have to read reviews where they give laptops a “minus” because they “only” have a 1080p display, a display that was basically high definition TV before is now “low resolution”. Incredible.
The larger the display the more battery it sucks up. now you might think this is offset by the bigger battery but that is in reality not the case. Thats why smaller phones get better battery life. try comparing the iPhone SE to iPhone 6 for example.
Most of the media that we have, Facebook pictures, and YouTube video, are always compressed. on a 4K screen on high res screen you would have to either get 4K stream or get the original pictures from a friend somehow, else the resulting quality on a high res screen is going to look like crap.
Why don’t people care about audio as much? so everyone is a videophile but being an audiophile is a small part of the audience? why? if people can tell the difference between a Full HD TV and a 4K TV why can’t they tell the difference between mp3s and flacs? Why give your eyes such good treatment but not your ears? thats why I care so much about my headphones, speakers, portable amps, DACs, high res audio files and stuff, but not many people seem to care about it.

This leads to my next topic….
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Apple got rid of the headphone jack in the iPhone 7. All chaos ensues.

There are two camps divided on this issue, one side supports Apple’s decision and says that wireless is the future and the 3.5mm is an old legacy standard,and the other side says 3.5mm can never be replaced.
What do you think my decision would be, knowing that I’m an audiophile and musician? Well of course I’m gonna say the 3.5mm headphone or AUX jack should not go away, at least not right now.

There are several reasons why wireless cannot replace the headphone jack:

1. Wireless has inherent latency issues, and anyone who’s used Ethernet over Wifi knows that wired is always faster and transmits data much faster than wireless. Because of this inherent advantage and the fact that we listen to digital music, wireless can never sound as good as wired. So wired headphones will always sound better than a wireless headphone at the same price point.

2. Wireless headphones have to be recharged. The Apple Airpods last 5 hours. That’s actually not a lot of you go on a lot of trips and travel a lot. That might be the time it takes on a train from one city to another. I actually spend 11 hours in a bus going from Bosnia to Serbia so I know thats not enough. Having to always charge something is a hassle. And wired has infinite battery life obviously.

3. Because its wireless, they cannot add any external headphone amplifier or DAC or noise cancellation to the audio chain unless they build it onto the headphone itself, which will decrease the battery life. I know lightning headphones or USB-C headphones can have these things built in as well, but those don’t have the same wide compatibility as a traditional headphone with a 3.5mm connection. Also, I still have not seen a wireless planar magnetic headphones or high impedance headphone, if that is possible to make one wireless at all.

4. Musicians, Engineers, Audiophiles etc we have too many legacy audio or musical equipment like a hifi stereo system, mixers, record players etc that just don’t work with wireless or even old laptops and devices. Because of this huge incompatibility issue, Bluetooth will never be as widespread as wired. Furthermore, people in 3rd world countries are not going to give up their cheap wired headphones for wireless ones anytime soon.

You cannot compare the removal of the headphone jack to the floppy disk drive or cassette drive and optical drive because those are storage formats and newer formats can always replace old formats and the newer formats were always strictly better than the older ones its replacing. The headphone jack is a way of enjoying audio, so removing that jack and saying you have to go wireless, is akin to removing the speakers from a phone, and saying, hey you have to use Bluetooth speakers now because having mono or stereo speakers is old and legacy.
And Yes I realize you can use a dongle with the new iPhone 7, but you can’t charge your phone at the same time, and you have to make sure not to lose the dongle on a trip else you’re screwed.

The dream is dying…

These past few days have been depressing, more than usual I guess. I accidentally erased my video logs dating back to late 2013, where I would just talk to the camera about various issues at the time. I would do this at various times between 2013-present and I lost all my video logs back then since I don’t upload those to youtube and they were together on the disk with my other youtube video files so I accidentally deleted them while organizing my files.

So I had to recollect all my memories from back then and re-iterate them again. But the most disappointing part of being in Korea so far is being rejected by Korean girls, and thats the main source of my depression. I’ve been rejected by 3 girls on the first date in the last 2 months, and thats what spurring this rant today.

I have posted several times last year about how hard it was to get a Korean girl to like me, and in my total 2 years in Korea I’ve only had 2 girls that have been my official girlfriend, for a total of only about 4 months. Out of 24 months, the other 20 months I’ve been single. I’ve been on many dates, but for some reason the girl always rejects me or loses interest after the first date. I’m not sure what I did wrong. I pay for girls, I treat them nicely, I talk to her about her interests, etc I don’t understand what I am doing wrong on the first date.

The problem is for foreigners, we don’t have that many ways to meet Korean girls. Most couples that I see on the street, those Korean couples met through blind dating, they had a friend or coworker introduce them. Because I never went to school here or work for a Korean company, I don’t have anyone to introduce me. My Korean friends’ friends all already have a boyfriend or they don’t date foreign guys (xenophobic society I know). Thus we can meet girls only through a few ways, either going to club or bar or picking up girls through “hunting”, using meetups or language exchange apps or sites, or going to church.
I don’t like to do “hunting” as my personality is totally unfit for it, and its hard to change my personality. Meeting girls at church could be my last resort, but I’m not religious in any way. Using language exchange apps or sites have been the primary way for me to meet girls so far, and out of those girls I’ve met, 70% of them text me for a few days and then eventually stop texting or responding after that. the remaining 30% that are willing to meet me, about 90% of them are only interested in language exchange. So you can imagine how difficult it is to meet a girl on these apps or sites for dating. Its not exactly very easy. And dating apps are a crapshoot as well. Most dating apps are only for Koreans (they use phone verification to ensure only Koreans can use it), Naver cafe dating sites are again, only for Koreans as they use verification. Tinder is a crapshoot since mostly foreign girls use them and the Korean girls that use that only want white men.

So what am I to do? The last couple girls I have met for dating, all rejected me after the first date, leaving me more or less pretty much guaranteed to be single for my remaining 4 months in Korea. I’ve tried as hard as I can without resorting to going to church or hunting. I know Korean girls care about appearance and cleanliness, so I’ve changed my hairstyle and clothing style, did lasik surgery to get rid of glasses, etc I speak a combination of Korean and English so that they don’t feel too lost when I speak English. I always pay for them when we go out. I don’t know what else I can do to make them interested in me… I’ve tried my best.

So far I’ve met these kind of girls:
-left me hanging on the street after I told her that appearance is important
-called the cops on me because she thought I was secretly taking video of her
-blocked me because I suggested her to go to a hookah place and she thought it was some kind of dangerous drug
-blocked me because last time we met I couldn’t find where she was fast enough
-blocked me because I took 3 days to respond to her message (I was in SF meeting my coworkers at the time)
-blocked me because I couldn’t meet her for drinking beer the exact day she asked (I was in SF at the time)
-blocked me because I said her pictures were pretty
-blocked me because I made a (mild) joke about her ex-bf and learning his language
-blocked me and went crazy swearing at me because I uploaded a video of us together on my youtube that she didn’t like

Its like if I even did something like breathe the wrong way the girl would stop talking to me. I have no idea why I am meeting these types of girls while my friends always meets the kind of girls that are sweet and loving and want to be with them. Its like I’m cursed to forever be single or something.

Its ironic that I would have the most trouble getting a Korean girlfriend in Korea, the land of Korean girls. I want to keep trying though, since I am very devoted and loyal to them (haven’t dated a non Korean girl since 2012) and I am confident I can find the right girl, but maybe she’s not in Korea. Maybe I have to go back to USA or Canada to find her, as crazy as that sounds. I know those girls are more likely to be harder to get (more competition from American guys) and harder to find (less Koreans obviously) and probably going to go back to Korea at some point (exchange student), but what can I do? 2 years in Korea, and still nothing. I was too picky last year I know, but this year I’m not picky anymore, and I still can’t find the right girl. I am highly doubtful in the next 4 months that anything will change. I am close to giving up on finding a Korean girlfriend in Korea at this point. Its just torture seeing all these beautiful girls outside being really sweet and loving to their boyfriends, and knowing that I have no chance of getting those kind of girls to even respond to my messages let alone meet them and be in a relationship with them. Its like sitting behind the bars of a jail cell watching delicious food go past while you are hungry and starving, and unable to get those foods. Its within your reach, but you can’t get it. I’m about ready to leave Korea at this point. 4 more months of agony, out of my 20 months of total agony and I will finally go back to the USA, where I will still be lonely but the agony won’t be as painful because of the lack of Korean couples.

Some people ask me why Korean girls ? If you have so much trouble why don’t you marry a Chinese girl or Japanese girl? They don’t understand that
1) we are attracted to who we are attracted to. I can’t help who I like, why force myself to like girls who I don’t like?
2) Korean girls have the perfect combination of appearance and personality for me. Everything from their facial structure, way they dress, put on makeup, treat their boyfriend etc is perfect for me.
3) There’s vast differences between the 3 different races especially between Chinese and Korean girls. I’ve made a video about this before.
4) I don’t like it when people tell me this. It’s almost as if they think that Korean girls are out of my league and I should go for a “lesser” girl. Why don’t Korean guys or heck white guys get asked why they like Korean girls only?
5) I spent the last 4 years of my life focused on Korean language, culture and living in Korea. You think I would throw that all away and end up marrying a different kind of girl? That makes no sense.

But since its the last goal I really have in my life, I already have a stable job and an apartment, I need to devote all my resources to achieving this goal, and if 4 years of my life wasn’t enough (2 years studying Korean, 2 years spent in Korea), then we’ll keep going until this goal is achieved. As long as I am concerned, its either get the right Korean girlfriend who matches with me and marry her, or stay single forever. There’s no other option.