How does Steve Lukather compare?

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How does Steve Lukather compare?

Postby Journey/Survivor » Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:38 pm

How does Steve Lukather compare with other great guitarists?

How would you compare him with players like Joe Satriani, Ritchie Blackmore, Steve Vai,Eddie Van Halen, Paul Gilbert, Steve Morse or any of the other great Rock guitarists of all time?
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Re: How does Steve Lukather compare?

Postby Sundet » Tue Dec 17, 2019 6:32 pm

Why would you want to compare him, or for that matter other guitar players? How do you even do that? All players mentioned are excellent.
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Re: How does Steve Lukather compare?

Postby MichaelRiesenbeck » Tue Dec 17, 2019 6:44 pm

They all play guitar.

Playing music is no competition,
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Re: How does Steve Lukather compare?

Postby TotoStu » Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:14 pm

Compare? I don't know about that...

But what I will say is that Lukather is one of those musicians that just WORK for me. His music just DOES IT. It HITS the spot. I don't know how else to articulate it really.
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Re: How does Steve Lukather compare?

Postby Journey/Survivor » Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:32 am

The reason that I asked this question is because of an argument I was having with my brother. My brother's two favorite guitarists are Ritchie Blackmore and Joe Satriani. He calaims that Lukather is nothing more than a very good guitarist, but not a truly great guitarist, and that he doesn't compare with Blackmore and Satriani. I told him that Lukather is one of the very best guitarists around.

I just wanted to see what some of your responses would be.
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Re: How does Steve Lukather compare?

Postby WalrusOct9 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:51 pm

I like Blackmore...dude wrote some of the best riffs of all time. But soloing and such...he's great, but doesn't move me anywhere close to Luke.

I love Satch, and I enjoy his guitar work. Certainly more technically oriented than Luke, but I like Satch more as a writer/composer than just a guitarist. Like, if they were both jamming a Hendrix tune or a blues thing, I'd pick Luke. But if it was an instrumental guitar record? I'd probably go with Satch. (Although "Party In Simon's Pants," "Dave's Gone Skiing," etc are some of my favorite instrumental guitar tunes...so maybe a composed Luke instrumental guitar album could rule)
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Re: How does Steve Lukather compare?

Postby JohnH » Fri Dec 20, 2019 4:03 pm

Blackmore is my favorite - but he doesn’t sing or write pop songs or do half the stuff Luke does. Just saw Luke last night at the Potato and said hi. So awesome .
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Re: How does Steve Lukather compare?

Postby Andrew » Sat Dec 21, 2019 11:50 am

Journey/Survivor wrote:The reason that I asked this question is because of an argument I was having with my brother. My brother's two favorite guitarists are Ritchie Blackmore and Joe Satriani. He calaims that Lukather is nothing more than a very good guitarist, but not a truly great guitarist, and that he doesn't compare with Blackmore and Satriani. I told him that Lukather is one of the very best guitarists around.

I just wanted to see what some of your responses would be.


Lukather is the best. Period.

Ultimately versatile, hired to play on 10 million records for that reason and equally at home as an instrumentalist, vocalist, hard rock, west coast, jazz, blues.

Insane talent.
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Re: How does Steve Lukather compare?

Postby WalrusOct9 » Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:16 am

Yup. I can't argue with any of that. But more than his credits or technical skills, his playing moves me.

There's a ton of great guitarists in all kinds of subgenres still out there. Like, I've gone to see Richie Kotzen, Paul Gilbert, Warren Haynes, Petrucci, Umphrey's McGee, John Scofield, Marc Ford (the Black Crowes), Derek Trucks, Mike McCready, Nils Lofgren.

It's not a competition, all those names are amazing and make music that I love. But Luke's playing moves me on a slightly higher level than everyone else. I would say Brian May is on that same level as a writer of amazing guitar parts and solos, but Luke's improvisational skills sort of set him apart there.
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Re: How does Steve Lukather compare?

Postby Ehwmatt » Sun Dec 22, 2019 3:06 pm

Luke is a complete musician. Fantastic soloist, excellent rhythm player, great improviser, ability to adapt and play many different styles, and a great vocalist. I would take him any day of the week over Satch or Blackmore.
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Re: How does Steve Lukather compare?

Postby Journey/Survivor » Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:01 pm

Neal Schon is the only guitarist that I put ahead of Lukather for all around talent. Frankie Sullivan is my second favorite guitarist to listen to after Schon. But as an OVERALL talent across the board as a guitarist, I'd only put Schon ahead of Lukather.

Dann Huff is another all around talented guitarist across the board.

My brother does with Lukather what so many people do with Neal Schon. That being judging them based strictly on the hit songs.
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Re: How does Steve Lukather compare?

Postby WalrusOct9 » Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:04 am

I used to feel that way about Schon, but he's faded for me in recent decades. I mean, his chops are fine, but I feel like his playing has gotten a bit predictable and stale. Yeah, he has to play the dirty dozen every night, and his solos are more composed than a lot of Lukather's, but still.

On any given song he plays the solo off the record until the last few bars when he just plays a bunch of really fast runs to lead back into the vocal (even when those runs weren't there originally). This is hardly unique to Schon, but I noticed it on the 2001 live DVD and once I realized he did that on virtually every solo during those years, and it kinda bugs me. Like he just runs out of ideas and plays as many notes as he can, and it just doesn't do much for me. I think the solos he wrote for those Journey songs are amazing, and so perfectly melodic. But if I was just gonna pick one to watch shred in concert, it wouldn't be a difficult choice. And maybe it's unintentionally Neal's fault for writing perfect solos like "Ask The Lonely," instead of something like "Hold The Line" or "Goodbye Girl" where Luke can play a completely different solo every night.
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Re: How does Steve Lukather compare?

Postby Ehwmatt » Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:57 pm

WalrusOct9 wrote:I used to feel that way about Schon, but he's faded for me in recent decades. I mean, his chops are fine, but I feel like his playing has gotten a bit predictable and stale. Yeah, he has to play the dirty dozen every night, and his solos are more composed than a lot of Lukather's, but still.

On any given song he plays the solo off the record until the last few bars when he just plays a bunch of really fast runs to lead back into the vocal (even when those runs weren't there originally). This is hardly unique to Schon, but I noticed it on the 2001 live DVD and once I realized he did that on virtually every solo during those years, and it kinda bugs me. Like he just runs out of ideas and plays as many notes as he can, and it just doesn't do much for me. I think the solos he wrote for those Journey songs are amazing, and so perfectly melodic. But if I was just gonna pick one to watch shred in concert, it wouldn't be a difficult choice. And maybe it's unintentionally Neal's fault for writing perfect solos like "Ask The Lonely," instead of something like "Hold The Line" or "Goodbye Girl" where Luke can play a completely different solo every night.


Same here, though I think Schon's playing started growing stale more in the mid-to-late 'aughts. Still think his playing on Arrival and the 2001 DVD is stellar.
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Re: How does Steve Lukather compare?

Postby Sundet » Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:49 pm

Ehwmatt wrote:
Same here, though I think Schon's playing started growing stale more in the mid-to-late 'aughts. Still think his playing on Arrival and the 2001 DVD is stellar.


I guess that's what playing almost exactly the same setlist night after night after night will do to you, and is probably why Schon has always been keen to change it around (unlike the crowd majority and Cain...).
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Re: How does Steve Lukather compare?

Postby WalrusOct9 » Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:30 am

Ehwmatt wrote:
Same here, though I think Schon's playing started growing stale more in the mid-to-late 'aughts. Still think his playing on Arrival and the 2001 DVD is stellar.


It's good. That DVD is just the first time I noticed his soloing "pattern" if you can call it that. I think his playing on the post-Perry studio stuff is still mostly excellent.
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