10 Most Influential Guitarists

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The Contenders: Page 2XW

21Tommy BolinThomas Richard "Tommy" Bolin was an American-born guitarist who played with Zephyr, The James Gang, and Deep Purple; in addition to maintaining a notable solo career.

Criminally underrated. Ask Jeff Beck. He stills plays "Stratus" live to this day. If that's not an endorsement I don't know what is.

Underrated are you kidding me! You guys must call 12-year-olds holy ! That's why you don't believe everything you read on the Internet because you're liars

A forgotten gem of a guitarist. And an amazing voice. When you consider what he did in a lifetime of only 24 years it's astounding

Way ahead of his time. Jazz, rock, whatever, he was poised for a brilliant career.

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22Alex LifesonAleksandar Živojinović, OC, better known by his stage name Alex Lifeson, is a Canadian musician, best known as the guitarist of the Canadian rock band Rush.

Alex should be at least 11 on this list. His guitar playing is deceiving. He happens to play with two of the best in the world and his leads are crisp, fast, well thought out. He is a master and a hell of a nice guy to boot. He has influenced many a guitar player and will continue to do so for years to come. His latest music shows he's lost nothing off his fastball.

Compositional genius - we are looking at many hundreds of songs - with as close to zero repetition bar to bar - continuous time and rhythm changes and melodic accuracy throughout. Of course having Neil and Geddy on board helps - 40 years of continuously new music. RUSH rocks the world.

Alex is one of the most impressive and non-standard player. He should be at the top of list, he's really master. No words to speak how Alex's guitar singing. RUSH forever.

He's one of the reasons I play.

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23Chuck BerryCharles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry is an American guitarist, singer and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music.

What is this list?!?! None of these guys would exist if it wasn't for the grand architect of rock music, Chuck Berry. He laid the foundation for basic rock music riffs and rhythm and practically introduced the art of guitar soloing to the mainstream. Plus he also in way popularized the electric guitar as an instrument. Without Chuck Berry, rock music may be very different today or may not even exist. At the end of the day, almost every single guitar player to this day has been directly or indirectly influenced by Chuck Berry. "Johnny B. Goode" is the national anthem of rock 'n roll.

Influential doesn't mean best, influential means how much he influenced the instrument. Ritchie Blackmore certainly didn't influence guitar playing as much as Chuck Berry, - EGBrett

The term with out him... Couldn't be truer here he paved the way for so many after him he seems to be an after thought.

Are you all retarded? Metal wouldn't exist without Chuck Berry's blues-rock - Edgelord

V9 Comments
24Ace FrehleyPaul Daniel "Ace" Frehley is an American musician, singer and songwriter best known as the former lead guitarist and founding member of the rock band Kiss.

Ace should be higher not only is he great but just how many famous guitarist did he influence? Thousands!

Ace Frehley influenced various musicians to learn to play guitar. - Wendy56

WHY DO YOU THINK DIME BAG PICKED UP A GUITAR ACE INFLUENCED MANY GREAT GUITARESTS

Simply the most influential of the 70's

V8 Comments
25Steve HoweStephen James "Steve" Howe is an English musician and songwriter. He is best known as the guitarist in the progressive rock group Yes.

Steve Howe's work with Yes and Asia incorporates classical, rock, Chet Atkins Country and Wes Montgomery style jazz. Guitar Player magazine introduced him to me. He's more prolific and diverse than any guitarist of his time. He just didn't sell like some others. That's because of his genre, prog rock. Lifeson, Page, Rik Emmett were contemporaries, but seeing Howe play live, especially on an acoustic, makes you realize why he was voted greatest overall player 5 years in a row. He has the best acoustic solo, and on an electric its about more than the notes and technique, it's the engineering of the sound. He took Asia to the top with his electronics.

Often voted as the best guitarist in many guitar magazine polls in the 70s, the guitarist for one of the successful progressive rock bands Yes mastered classical, blues, flamenco, country, ragtime, jazz, rock and roll and many other genres and fused them all to create a unique tone and playing style that has not been matched since. - EnglandSeller

Technique, Song writing, Influence. A master. Top 5.

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26Dave MustaineDavid Scott "Dave" Mustaine was born September 13, 1961. He is an American musician, singer, songwriter, actor and author. He is best known as the co-founder, guitarist, and lead singer of the American thrash metal band Megadeth, and well known as the original lead guitarist for the American heavy metal ...read more.

Can't believe hi too low, he is cool and give a lot of power in his rhythm guitar. He is one of the most influential guitarist in the rock history... Go on dave!

Dave is my favorite guitarist. anyway I think he should be on the top. His guitar skills are amazing!

V2 Comments
27Pete TownshendPeter Dennis Blandford "Pete" Townshend is an English musician, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, best known as the lead guitarist and songwriter for the rock band The Who.

Whatever the dude with the 8 points said about Pete is what I think. Way underrated and used the instrument in ways people never did before. Guitar as art.

This man has influenced generations, without him some that are up higher on this list may not have been there.

Who? Pete Townshend HisAwesome SG and Rickenbackers have been smashed every concert, along with his hard to do Windmill...

I didn't really think he was that great, until I saw the who live - gemcloben

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28Wes Montgomery

The "Thumb" could make you stop whatever it was you were doing and take note. The sound and love coming out of that guitar is recognizable from the first octave. I feel blessed to found this man in my life since 1965 and continue to feel the love to this day. One of the best ever.

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29Carlos SantanaCarlos Santana audio is a Mexican and American musician who first became famous in the late 1960s and early 1970s with his band, Santana, which pioneered a fusion of rock and Latin American music.

He created his own style, and should not be put into a Latin Music box. He can rock, and he is amazing in his variety on the guitar. He can play everything as shown in his latest album. Should be amongst the top 15.

No other guitarist has had hit in every decade that he has been alive. Carlos Santana has adapted each generation and has not gone away since he started.

Any top ten list that does not include Santana is missing a key ingredient.

Most Be between 10 at any list

V3 Comments
30Uli Jon RothUli Jon Roth is a German guitarist, who became famous as the Scorpions lead guitarist, and is one of the earliest contributors to the neoclassical metal genre.

This guy is unbelievable,...look up scorpions Tokyo tapes or download sails of Charon. He is incredible

Fantastic rock classical surrealist. Think the best guitarist

Hell Cat in Scorpions. Hats off. Master of the sky guitar.

31Richie SamboraRichard Stephen "Richie" Sambora is an American rock guitarist, producer, singer and songwriter who was the lead guitarist of the rock band Bon Jovi for 30 years.

he's fast, he has a great sound and
he's a great improviser - richie4life

32Al Di Meola

He brought a new savvy style of playing that could be used in many different genres.

33Adrian SmithAdrian Frederick "H" Smith is an English guitarist, best known as a member of Iron Maiden, for whom he writes songs and performs live backing vocals on some tracks.

Iron maiden influenced a hell of a lot guitarist. How are they not in the top 20

He is really virtual guitarist

34Steve MorseSteven J. "Steve" Morse is an American guitarist and composer, best known as the founder of the Dixie Dregs; and since 1994, the guitar player of Deep Purple.

Should be much higher up the list. The only guitarist to win the best guitarist award 5 years in a row in Guitar player magazine.

Agreed he should be higher on the list. Most guitar players acknowledge him as one of the greatest. His solos tend to surpass merely human boundaries.

See his personal style. He makes all songs his own. He is not covering he ist re-inventing!

Replaced Richie Blackmore in Deep Purple. Gave their performances more consistency. Class

35George HarrisonGeorge Harrison was an English guitarist, singer, songwriter, and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles.

When the Beatles performed on Ed Sullivan the first time, the sales of the Gretch guitar that George was using doubled in a week. THAT is influential.

This list is about influential guitarists, right? Because if that's the case, then Harrison is second only to Hendrix in terms of influence.

He's actually great slide guitarist and as for "influence" well, he's the first

36Alexi Laiho
37Dimebag DarrellDarrell Lance Abbott, also known as Diamond Darrell and Dimebag Darrell, was an American guitarist and songwriter best known as a founding member of two bands, Pantera and Damageplan, alongside his brother, Vinnie Paul. Abbott died in 2004 after he was shot by a mentally unstable fan.

How is Dimebag not higher he is easily the top 5 of most influential metal guitarists

38Neil YoungNeil Percival Young, OC OM is a Canadian singer-songwriter and musician, producer, director and screenwriter.

I feel that his electric stuff is brilliant 'Down by the river' 'Cowgirl in the sand' right up to his new work on Psychedelic Pill. Neil's over driven sound has stood the test of time and is 2nd to none

His music influenced me, although I am nobody but his was the first I learned, but never was able to duplicate his style, and I don't think anyone can

Not so much his electric guitar playing (the one note guitar solos are actually catchy! ) but his acoustic stylings most definitely. It was listening and mimicking NY's early 70's material I.E. Harvest, etc. that got me started.

39Duane AllmanHoward Duane Allman was an American guitarist, session musician, and co-founder and leader of the Allman Brothers Band until his death in a motorcycle crash in 1971, when he was 24 years old.

Helped bring slide-guitar and southern rock to the masses.

Incredibly versatile and innovative.

Duane can move your soul with his guitar in The Allman Brothers band. Duane, Greg, Dickey, Barry, Jaimoe and Trucks, The Best!
Skydog Lives in the music!

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40Keith RichardsKeith Richards is an English musician—primarily a guitarist—singer, songwriter, best-selling memoirist, and founding member of the rock band The Rolling Stones.V1 Comment
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List StatsUpdated 2 Dec 2016

4,000 votes
142 listings
8 years, 336 days old

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