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Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicMusicRock and Pop · 1 decade ago

Kurt Cobain: Bad guitarist or...?

the worst guitarist in the history of the universe?

I never quite understood Rollingstone Magazine's logic on their "list" of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. That's because they didn't include Slash. But on their list of 25 coolest guitar solos, they have Slash's Sweet Child o' mine solo at #1. My question is, wouldn't writing one of the coolest guitar solos, as stated by Rollingstone, make you a great guitarist (if not of the greatest)? I guess not because they didn't even bother to include him. Instead, they put Kurt Cobain at #12 in front of Eddie Van Halen who for some reason is at #70. Why? I guess if they would've told the truth (that he completely sucked) they would've lost popularity. But they didn't even take the time to recognize one of the most talented guitarists that we've seen (Slash). On a side note, I'm convinced that Hannah Montana is a better guitarist than Kurt Cobain. I don't even know if she plays but it wouldn't make a difference


If you can name me 1 song of his that shows why he should be renowned, then i will gladly put that into consideration next time i decide to bash nirvana.

25 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    First of all, Rolling Stone Magazine is not an authority on guitar playing. Their poll was based on five editors who put their own list together, therefore no fans or true guitar players were allowed to vote on this. Therefore, getting a best guitar list from Rolling Stone is like getting plumbing advice from your dentist.

    Rolling Stone actually received so many angry e-mails regarding this list that their message board was forced to shut down.

    Kurt Cobain is actually a LOUSY guitar player. He was very basic and repetitive. He was a pioneer for song writing in the 90's but anyone who plays or knows about guitar would never include him in a top 100 to begin with. If you want to see a real guitar list, get it from publications like Guitar World or Guitar Player.

    Believe me when I tell you that you are one of thousands who were disappointed by this list. Zakk Wylde, Jason Becker and many other great guitar players have gone on record regarding the horrible credibility of this list.

    If you read guitar publications or ask guitar teachers/players who the 20 best guitar players were of all time, I guarantee you the REAL list will look almost exactly like this:


    2. Jimi Hendrix

    3. Jimmy Page

    4. Eric Clapton

    5. Jeff Beck

    6. Randy Rhoads

    7. Steve Vai

    8. Stevie Ray Vaughan

    9. Brian May

    10. David Gilmour

    11. Joe Satriani

    12. Yngwie Malmsteen

    13. Ritchie Blackmore

    14. Slash

    15. Tony Iommi

    16. Carlos Santana

    17. Allan Holdsworth

    18. John McLaughlin

    19. Nuno Bettencourt

    20. Frank Zappa

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    6 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    Most stoners shredding away at guitar center are better "guitarists" than any guitarist in a famous band. If you want to go by pure technique, then the best guitarists will probably be in bluegrass, avant-jazz or some other genre that will not appeal to rock fans.

    What makes Slash a worse rock guitarist than Cobain is that he is tackier. Slash and Eddie Van Halen are skilled but they use that skill to make tacky, cheesy music.

    A guitar solo is different because it is almost by definition cheesy. But you'll notice here that the solo to Sweet Child O' Mine actually shows a lot of restraint -- it isn't so full of superfluous notes and complicated tricks, and anyone can learn to play it as well as Slash, so again even that is not a matter of talent.

    Hannah Montana (or anyone else) can probably learn to outplay Johnny Ramone in a year skillwise, but can you become a greater guitarist? That's a totally different question.

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  • Saul
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The reason they rated Kurt in front of EVH is because his story is compelling, tragic, and quite honestly, Nirvana did impact music in a very dramatic way. Almost literally one day it was glam and arena rock, the next day flannel and "grunge".

    Technically speaking, he was not a great guitarist. Honestly, he wasn't. The correct word to use is "limited", and I say that because he did the most with what he had - he wrote very intriguing songs with unique (especially for that time) lyrics and points of view. If he didn't know how to play the chord that word work, he made the chords he knew how to play work - and that is probably one of the coolest things about his songwriting.

    Take the lyrics from any number of his songs and look at them without the music - they're poetry. You may or may not like the poetry, but it is poetry, without a doubt.

    Now, as to whether or not songwriting should count towards being one of the greatest guitarists of all time, I dunno. That one guy from Dragonforce could literally play ten notes for every note that Kurt could play, artists like Buckethead and Satriani and Vai have done things that Kurt could never aspire to, Jeff Loomis and co from Nevermore could solo all over Nirvana, etc.

    I think what Rolling Stone was looking at was more than just technical ability... but overall impact on music in general. There is no question in my mind that Slash has made an impact on music as a guitarist. Hell, he's practically the poster child for that bad-ace guitarist "look", and has written truly classic rock songs. And Eddie... it's hard to overstate the influence EVH had on music, when he came out with "Eruption" it literally changed the way guitarists nation-wide played the guitar.

    Kurt made an impact on music. He may not be a great guitarist, but he was a very good songwriter, and he made an impact on music. I think that qualifies him for the top 100. Maybe not ahead of Slash, EVH, or many others, but I think it's a solid case for a guitarist of relatively limited talent to be included in a list of the top 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

    However, if such a list doesn't have Django on it, it's a bunk list!


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  • 1 decade ago

    I love nirvana but the band was a pop-influenced, punk aesthetic outfit. There are no solos on which to judge Cobain as strictly a player. He wrote good songs and he played with passion... but unfortunately he did not care enough about himself or his daughter to fight his demons and choose life. The guitar work on "Come as you are" is catchy... but no, he is not worthy of being on any list of groundbreaking guitarists. These are the same people that always listed Sting as a great bassist when the Police were on top of the charts and making lots of people money. Kurt was talented but his ear was for crafting a song.... I am sure Dave Grohl could play almost anything nirvana put out better on his own.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Well little man (he he)... I think Cobain was very talented, but not so much with the guitar (but still quite good just not as good as other guys who play at his level). I mean come on he invented grunge! What more do you want? People have been unsuccessfully trying to emulate what his band did years ago. Therefore to say he has no talent is preposterous.

    Now, I acknowledge the fact that slash, and others are better guitarists who should top that list (and yes Cobain probably should not even be on it). Come on it's rolling stones that is such a terrible magazine. But if it were greatest/most influential bands of all time Nirvana would definetly top the list.

    If you want a good song of his just listen to In Utero or that album with the naked baby on the front....

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  • 1 decade ago

    Okay, so maybe Kurt isn't the best guitar player ever. But that doesn't matter. It was loud and heavy and great. I don't know why Slash is not on there. He should be at least in the top 50 though. I know of many guitarists much better than Slash.

    But the Rolling Stone Magazine doesn't really matter. It's whoever YOU think is the best, buddy. The music media is corrupted nowadays.

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  • 1 decade ago

    kurt is really just an average guitarist, certainly nothing special, and how he is so far ahead of eddie van halen, among various others, and how slash isn't even on the list is totally beyond me and shows the absolute incompetent piece of trash that rolling stone magazine is...however, not every great guitarist is very technically skilled, and kurt was good enough for the music he made

    also kurt is also one of the greatest lyricists of all time and certainly the best of his generation

    edit: i didn't read saul's answer before posting mine, but you can just change my answer to total nodding agreement with his

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  • ursini
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Top 100 Guitar Players

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    6 years ago

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