Jeff Beck is one of the three noted guitarists to have played with The Yardbirds (the other two being Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page). In 1967, he formed his own heavier variation of the Yardbirds — the Jeff Beck Group, with then-unknown singer Rod Stewart — which added heavy-metal pow to British blues and became a major role model for Jimmy Page's Led Zeppelin. But Beck's commercial peak came in the mid-1970s, with an idiosyncratic style of jazz fusion (whiplash melodies; artful, roaring distortion; whammy-bar hysterics) that he still plays today with undiminished class and ferocity.
Much of Beck's recorded output has been instrumental, with a focus on innovative sound, and his releases have spanned genres ranging from blues rock, hard rock, jazz fusion, and additional blend of guitar-rock and electronica. Today, Jeff is considered to be one of the most influential guitarists of all time, and he was placed as number 5 in Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.
"Jeff has the combination of brilliant technique with personality. Even in the Yardbirds, he had a tone that was melodic but in-your-face – bright, urgent and edgy, but sweet at the same time. You could tell he was a serious player, and he was going for it. He was not holding back. There is a real artistry to playing with and around a vocalist, answering and pushing him. That's the beauty of those two records he made with Rod Stewart, 1968's Truth and 1969's Beck Ola. Jeff is not getting in the way, but he's holding his own. And he stretched the boundaries of the blues. "Beck's Bolero," on Truth, is un-bluesy, but still blues-based. One of my favorite tracks is the cover of Howlin' Wolf's "I Ain't Superstitious," on Truth. There is a sense of humor – that wah-wah growl. I don't know if Clapton plays with the same sense of humor, as great as he is. Jeff's definitely got that. When he got into his fusion phase, the cover of Stevie Wonder's "'Cause We've Ended as Lovers," on Blow by Blow, got me immediately. The tone was so pure and delicate. It's like there was a vocalist singing, but there was a guitarist making all of the notes"..... Mike Campbell of the Heartbreakers.
Among the many guitars owned by Jeff Beck, one that stood out among his prized possession is a 1964 white Fender Stratocaster. It was was given to him by John McClaughlin. He also has a 1954 Fender Telecaster, a totally original one down to the screws, and described by Beck as a great work horse. Among his Gretsch collection includes a 1956 Gretsch Duo Jet. Beck was so inspired by Cliff Gallup's rockabilly style of playing that he said he realised "you had to have the exact model as Cliff's". He has a 1948 Gibson L-5. According to Beck he got this when he was working on something (which he couldn't remember) and needed to get the same sound on an Elvis record as Scotty Moore. He also has a 1954 Fender Stratocaster Sunburst. the big daddy of the Strat line, very close to the ones played by Buddy Holly and the Crickets. According to Beck, he saw Buddy Holly and the Crickets performed near his hometown in 1958 and he used to drool over the guitars. In his earlier days with the Yardbirds, Beck also used a 1954 Fender Esquire guitar (now owned by Seymour W. Duncan, and housed in the Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame). Beck also played the Gibson Les Paul. He owned a '59 Gibson Les Paul which was stolen in 1969 and subsequently acquired a 1954 heavily modded Gibson Les Paul in which the P-90s were rep;laced by full-sized humbucker pickups and the finish was repainted in dark brown oxblood colour.