Poll: The Greatest Guitarist of All Time, Round 1 — Doc Watson Vs. Chet Atkins

by Guitar World Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2012 at 11:16am

Welcome to our first-ever Greatest Guitarist poll, where 128 guitarists go head to head, round by round, in a bracketed format, all to crown your choice for the Greatest Guitarist of All Time.

We filled 124 of 128 slots with the names of a host of incredible guitarists (dead and living) — players chosen for their technical ability as well as their importance and creativity, not to mention how influential they've been. We asked you to vote in the final four names, which you did. Now the 128 slots are filled, and we're deep into Round 1.

You might come across one or two interesting style matchups in this poll, which may lead some of you to wonder, "How do you compare a shred guitarist to a blues guitarist?" Aside from how good a player is at his or her given style, here are some things to take into consideration:

Influence: Who inspired more kids to beg their parents for a guitar for Christmas? Who inspired a wave of copycats?
Chops/Versatility: Is the guitarist in question a one-trick pony or a master of many styles?
Body of Work: Who had the more consistent career? Who has played on more classic albums?
Creativity: Who pioneered new techniques? Who sounds the most radically different from what came before them?

You can check out full results via our regularly updated bracket here.

Round 1 — Today's Match

Today's matchup features legendary flatpicker Doc Watson taking on one of the pioneers of the Nashville Sound, Chet Atkins. Which of these guitar greats will move on to the second round and a matchup with Albert Lee? Vote now!

Readers Poll: The Greatest Guitarist of All Time — Watson Vs. Atkins

Monday's matchup saw Joe Bonamassa (56.63%) defeat Joe Perry (43.37%). View the full bracket.


Add a Comment
0 Comments

Similar Guitar News

Christie's Auctions Doc Watson's Iconic Gallagher G-50 Guitar (11/12/2012)
Christie's is auctioning a 1968 Gallagher G-50 guitar that once belonged to the late Doc Watson. The guitar, which Watson called "Ol' Hoss," can be seen on the cover of Watson's Ballads from Deep Gap album (pictured) and is expected to take in $...
Christie's To Auction 1941 Martin D-28, Doc Watson's "Ol' Hoss,' Dopyera Collection, And More (11/9/2012)
New York, NY (November 10, 2012) -- Christie's has announced the details of their latest musical instruments auction, featuring vintage and rare acoustics. It is set to take place on November 27. Here are the highlights of the auction from the o...
Poll: The Greatest Guitarist of All Time, Round 3 — Jimmy Page Vs. Chet Atkins (8/15/2012)
Welcome to our first-ever Greatest Guitarist poll, where 128 guitarists go head to head, round by round, in a bracketed format, all to crown your choice for the Greatest Guitarist of All Time. We filled 124 of 128 slots with the names of a host ...
Poll: The Greatest Guitarist of All Time, Round 2 — Chet Atkins Vs. Albert Lee (7/26/2012)
Welcome to our first-ever Greatest Guitarist poll, where 128 guitarists go head to head, round by round, in a bracketed format, all to crown your choice for the Greatest Guitarist of All Time. We filled 124 of 128 slots with the names of a host ...
Remembering Doc Watson By Bryan Sutton (6/4/2012)
One Christmas morning, when I was probably 9 or 10, Santa brought me a nice stereo turntable outfit. I'll never forget walking toward the thing and seeing that there were four Doc Watson records leaning up against it—Southbound, Doc and Merle Wa...
Guitarist Doc Watson, Pioneer of Folk and Bluegrass, Dead at 89 (5/30/2012)
Folk and bluegrass pioneer Doc Watson died Tuesday in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He was 89. The guitarist, who had been admitted to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center on May 21 after falling at his home in Deep Gap, North Carolina, died of c...
Bluegrass guitar legend Doc Watson dies aged 89 (5/30/2012)
The folk world is in mourning today for pioneering guitarist Doc Watson, who died aged 89 at a hospital in North Carolina on Tuesday (29 May). Watson was renowned for his lightning fast flatpicking guitar style and has been cited as an influenc...
Doc Watson Dies At Age 89 (5/30/2012)
Photo by Peter Figen Winston-Salem, NC (May 30, 2012) – Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson died on Tuesday, May 29 at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC. He was 89. Born in 1
Chet Atkins Dies (7/2/2001)
Master guitarist was one of Nashville Sound creators