Best Instrumental Guitarists

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The Top TenXW

1Joe Satriani

Unexcelled master of musical electricity.

One of the greatest musical geniuses of all time, maybe the one on the very top. He doesn't even play the guitar, the guitar plays him.

Absolutely he is the best well-known instrumental guitarist.

All the guitarists in this list are great, but (in my opinion) the best are Joe Satriani, MAB, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Buckethead, Jason Becker, John Petrucci and Paul Gilbert - rock2metal

I concur, he is hands down the best. He was born part guitar. Man has fingers of fire

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2Steve VaiSteven Siro "Steve" Vai is an American guitarist, composer, singer, songwriter, and producer, born and raised on Long Island, New York.

Vai puts SO much of himself into what he does with the guitar...some would say too much if you've ever seen him live. That is whats so great though...he'd be selling himself and us short if he didn't. I'm a product of the 80's and my introduction to Vai happened at 2 times in same day...I saw the Yankee Rose and Going Crazy videos back to back and then that same night my dad took me to see Crossroads with Ralph Machio and I got to see him play Jack Butler...I've been hooked ever since. Vai is my Hendrix.

Steve vai is a master of guitar he is so expressive and powerful in many of his songs

The guitarist with the most soul. His guitar weeps with pain, screams with joy, and produces sonic eargasms that can only be rivaled by few.

Steve Vai has to be Number 1, due to 1 fact allow he was Joe Satriani's guitar teacher

V2 Comments
3John PetrucciJohn Peter Petrucci is an American guitarist, composer and producer. He is best known as a founding member of the progressive metal band Dream Theater.

What can I say. number 1 is like Jesus. Greatest of All time. Respect Sir

I love Petrucci but he's not an Instrumental Guitarist.

4BucketheadBrian Patrick Carroll, known professionally as Buckethead, is an American guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who has worked within many genres of music.

Buckethead is bucket and shoulders above all others. I've been a instrumental guitar fanatic for most of my 56 yrs and have never experienced a more diverse talent than the bucket-master. Bucket takes all guitar styles to another dimension like no other. Recently saw him in Detroit, king crab sized hands feverishly dancing on the fret board. Truly amazing artist.

Played the most difficult thing, and plays slow to show his writing and melodic skills. He has the most raw talent, so he wins. - maggot-104

Yeah I have heard steve vai, paul gilbert and joe satriani and many. But Buckethead is really different from all of them.

He is the best!

V4 Comments
5Eric JohnsonEric Johnson (born August 17, 1954) is an American guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist from Austin, Texas. Best known for his electric guitar skills, Johnson is also a highly proficient acoustic, lap steel, resonator, and bass guitarist as well as an accomplished pianist and vocalist.

Cliffs of Dover is a whole lot harder to play than Surfing with the Alien, because even though it's based around the same area of notes, the fluidity of Johnson's playing style is pretty damn near impossible to pull of with ease.

Eric Johnson took the melodic flow of Hendrix and turned the tempo up. Like way way up!

V2 Comments
6Paul Gilbert

Got to meet Paul in Centerville, Ohio at a guitar clinic and he was AWESOME! Humble and down to earth...NO EGO!

7Yngwie MalmsteenYngwie Johan Malmsteen is a Swedish guitarist, songwriter and bandleader who was born on June 30th, 1963, in Stockholm, Sweden. He was known for his neoclassical metal playing style back in the 1980s.

He is no less than satriani or others, he's just not that popular

I think he is the most skilled guitarist alive

Not the most skilled but one of the most known

8Micheal Angelo Batio

Great shredder, he must be number 2 after joe satriani. He can play with 4 guitar in the same time

Best guitarist in the world in my opinion love his playing and style

V1 Comment
9Alex 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.

La Villa, YYZ, Leave That Thing Alone,...
Also, his solos are amazing, and all different.

His style for both rhythm and lead has inspired so many other masters. What he was doing in the mid 70s until the mid 80s was way ahead of its time.

10Hizaki

Hizaki put blues and gothic scales and other variated sounds into Symphonic Power Metal, real sense of music and techniques. Is a true master of guitar and put in oversight their unique style. Their guitar make me feel like I really like feel, is food to my soul... I Don't need anymore...

His technique is just awesome and his solos are epic, when you go to one of his lives you will be definitely impressed by his performance...

The Contenders

11Jeff BeckGeoffrey Arnold "Jeff" Beck is an English rock guitarist. He is one of the three noted guitarists to have played with The Yardbirds.

Jeff Beck is the god of Instrumental Classic Rock... He is No.5 on The Rolling Stones 100 Guitarists. Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Keith Richards are all not instrumental. So Jeff Beck should be Number 1.

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12Jason Becker

Listen altitudes, images, air, mables fatal fable, opus pocus... and then decide to whom you should vote!

13Hank Marvin

An absolutely clinical exponent of the guitar using minimum of effects.

The greatest and most iconic lead guitarist to influence generations of budding guitarists.

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14Neil Zaza

Neil Zaza too deserves a spot on this list

V1 Comment
15Wes Montgomery
16Kirk HammettKirk Lee Hammett is the lead guitarist and songwriter for the heavy metal band Metallica and has been a member of the band since 1983. Before joining Metallica he formed and named the band Exodus.

His work on The Call of Ktulu, Orion, To Live is to Die, Suicide and Redemption... Amazing... - treyanthonyyeah

Not an Instrumental Guitarist

V1 Comment
17Julian Bream
18Tommy EmmanuelV1 Comment
19Uli John Roth
20Django ReinhardtV1 Comment
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List StatsUpdated 3 Dec 2016

400 votes
44 listings
5 years, 227 days old

Top Remixes

1. Steve Vai
2. Joe Satriani
3. John Petrucci
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