Top Ten Christian Guitarists


Well there're many Christian Bands so there comes a question as to who's the top guitarist in all of them.

Given below is the list of guitarists whom I consider are the best.
Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

Carl Johan Grimmark (Narnia)
This man made probably the best job in the whole history of christian metal. It's not only an awesome guitarist and virtuoso, he's also very good composer and he writes very sensible and meaningful lyrics. Even though we can hear that in some songs his style of composition refers to artists like Rainbow, Malmsteen or Hammerfall, he makes songs in rather originall and brilliant way.
Technically brilliant, both in rhythm and solos. His lead-guitar play always strenghthen the songs and he does not try to show off how good he is, he just don¬'t have to. That¬'s the mark of a genius. His attitude and humble approach to life and faith is also great. A sure number one!
Yngwie malmsteen sometimes is so focused on the technicals and the neo-classical style that he doesn't "get it". Grimmark 'gets it' while still holding on to the neo-classical style. The melodies are there. The technical aspects are there. In my opinion, he isn't just the best Christian guitarist, he's in the top five guitarists period... And the secular world doesn't seem to know who he is. If you look on top metal guitarist lists, you'll find tons of guys ahead of grimmark and impelliteri that have no business being there because of exposure. If you haven't heard "living water" by narnia, treat yourself.
[Newest]Awesome work for god bro

2Bob Hartman (Petra)
Bob is solid as a rock in his message and in his playing. If you want a guy who can play solid straight up rock and roll classic or modern, Bob is your man. His lead playing is also exceptional. You can tell he really spent time in crafting and shaping his leads because none of them sound the same. I started playing guitar at the age of ten. Bob has definitely been my biggest influence to date. I've had the opportunity to meet Bob and have talked with him several times and have come to find that he's a really nice guy! I bought one of his Zion guitars from him at the age of fifteen, and bought another Zion of his a few years ago. I feel very lucky and proud to own such fine instruments of his that he used in spreading the Gospel all over the world. Definitely a unique privilege. I grew up listening to lots of Christian guitarists such as Keaggy, Palacios, Carroll, Wooten, and the late Dana Key who I also love, but Bob's playing keeps me coming back for more! Bob has my vote hands down! Keep up the good work Bob!
I don't know if Bob is the absolute best in absolute skill or not, and his playing isn't as flashy as some, but it always sounds good and fits the song. And, if you listen, you can hear things that he's doing that are cool, even though it's not as in-your-face as some. Add to that his decades of great songwriting, and he gets my vote hands-down.
I rate him number 2 on the list behind Phil Keaggy. I have seen Bob so many times over the years and he has blessed me with his music and his heart. His way of adapting to the different sounds and styles is impressive.
[Newest]He transcends decades with meaning, passion, and love!
More comments about Bob Hartman (Petra)

3Phil Keaggy
Brother Phil has 19 different ways that he tunes his guitars.
His layering techniques, and the way he can fly songs together 'on the fly' after playing the different parts live is unbelievable, but still he does it with seemingly effortless application.
His music is different from all others. His heart speaks his emotions through his playing, and stirs the soul.
Once you know the feel of his music, you can pick it out in a tune, even when you don't know that it was him playing. His playing is fluid, sharp, mellow and multifaceted; and yet, he delivers it with an inspiringly Humble Spirit.
He plays for his Heavenly Father... and we are all privileged to get to listen too.
I don't understand your list because Phil Keaggy isn't easily sitting at number 1. Anybody who knows the technical and talented side of guitar playing knows Keaggy is without a doubt one of the best guitarists of all time -- Christian or otherwise. He has even had famous non-Christian guitarists admitting how good he is. I asked him once why he doesn't rehearse before playing and he said there comes a point when you reach the top of your craft where practice is no longer needed. What a testament to God's glory, that we should pursue excellence until it becomes as natural as breathing.
A great guitarist should be able to do three things: Have a diverse range of sounds, be able to apply technical ability in a way that appeals to a broad range of people and be able and willing to balance subtlety with showmanship. Phil Keaggy nails each one of those. I've seen and known some great guitarists, but Keaggy tops all of them!
[Newest]Jimi Hendrix said Phil Keaggy was the best guitarist in the world! I agree!

4Rex Carroll (Whitecross)
Rex Carroll is by far one of the most versatile guitarists in main stream or Christian music. He can shred better than most and play the blues... All at the same time. His acoustical pieces are mesmerizing and soul stirring. He can take a one song and play it like Stevie would, then he'll play it like C. Santana, Duane Allman, Eddie Van Halen and so on. About to release a new CD with co-founding member, Jimi Bennett and King James called "Stories to Tell".. Will be the best yet!
Rex is the best guitarist, he stayed himself through all the years, he also is still as fast as he was back in the days. His heart is at the right place and he is a true musician. He can shred like no one else, he is fast and he is also a funny man. He loves his fans and he gives himself totally for the cause, and is not in it for the money like many others (even Christian guitarists) are! That's making him the number one..! Besides, he can play any style. Tell him what to play, and he will bring it to ya!
One of the technically best Christian guitarists of all time. He may not be the fastest, but I think he's the BEST. From the mainstream hard rock of Fierce Heart to the thundering metal sound of King James, Rex can play virtually any style. Look for a NEW King James record soon.
[Newest]Him and his band is great

5Tony Palacios (Guardian)
It has excellent handling of all techniques of guitar. It has a unique style, with influences of country, hard rock and heavy metal. It's amazing how much he can fill the sound only with a guitar. Live plays sweeps and tapping perfectly, he can shred. Also playing with things that few dare: slide and open tunings. It is the most complete guitarist out there.
Tony's work on Miracle Mile was OUTstanding... Top notch! Swing, Swang, Swung showed a very versatile side to his craft proving that acoustic has soul. Buzz proved a tasteful grungy ability while still sounding technical at times. He didn't stop there because he then moved into a more modern era with Bottle rocket proving that he adapts well with the change of the times. With new work coming out soon he also inspires the imagination: "What next?! "
Hands down, the BEST! Tony has the skill and the speed, but most importantly he has the "feeling". He could take simple licks and make them seem impossible to recreate... Just by make it vibe. By the same token, he could turn around and scream up and down the fret board. His solo project, "Epic Tales of Whoa" is a must to check out!
[Newest]The best guitar sound and real catchy solos.

6Ben Kasica (Skillet)
Ben Kasica is the best! He can play solos with his teeth, and also behind his neck! He can also play awesome solos, and he can also rock out with the other band members!
Ben Kasica is far better than most of the top secular guitarists out their today in the world. I mean better than kirk hammet.
One of the best guitarists today, hands down.


7Chris Impellitteri
This is the unique guitarist with his unique set of style in playing a guitar and the best in not just playing tunes and fast, but his accuracy and being the fastest among the fast, impressive and impossible riffs and interludes with solos of his style. Cheers for this guy, God bless
Virtuoso guitarist, must be number 1, listen to Answer to the Master, Fear no Evil and Wicked Maiden tracks and you will see why he must be Number 1
Chris Impelliteri is one of the world's best guitarist. He has both stamina and speed as well. His albums with Rob Rock are my favourites as they combine good music with lyrics.
[Newest]Check out Empire Of Lies and name a single guitar player that can pull that one off.

8Landon Tewers (Before Their Eyes)

9JB Brubaker (August Burns Red)
THE BEST! He is nominated for best guitarist this year

10Nick Hipa (As I Lay Dying)
Parallels, their electric eye cover and so many others.

The Contenders

11Tommy Johansson (ReinXeed)
In my opinion it stands (of them I've heard) between the (both Swedish! ) guitarists Tommy ReinXeed (Golden Resurrection, ReinXeed) and C J Grimmark (Narnia)
I've been listening to all of Tommy's music for a little over a year now, and coming from a guy who loves Neo-Classical guitar, Tommy is one of the best I've ever heard. His melodies, and techniques are downright amazing, and he's an excellent cover artist as well. I can only see him getting better, and I really look forward to that
I like Tommy as guitarist, as vocalist and his presence too, his blonde very long hair and his height. He's a real frontman and very talented too. Considering his age he can only improve!

12Brad Noah (Disciple)

13Oz Fox (Stryper)
The star, the legend, the man, the myth. Oz Fox is one of the best showmans in the scene and his style witht the axe is flawless.
There are many good Christian guitarist, BUT OZ FOX IS IN ANOTHER LEVEL! HE IS OUR CHRISTIAN STEVE VAI
He is one of the greatest... Period!

14Ryan Leitru (For Today)

15Lincoln Brewster
Lincoln belongs in the top 10! Anyone play the solo on "Everlasting God"? Most churches skip it. Why? Try to play it. You'll find out.
First saw Lincoln when he was playing guitar on Steve Perry's "Love of Strange Medicine" CD and Tour. The night I saw him in Atlanta, Steve announced that Lincoln was 21. He was great live. Followed him over in Christian Music! His playing is great, but so is his writing and singing. Liked his stuff so much that I have bought his CD's in the past just so I could give them away to other people. I think he deserve to be in the top 10!
The True combination of brilliant technique, feeling and holy spirit
[Newest]Why Lincoln Brewster not in top 10

16Jason Rauch (Red)

17Jason Truby
Amazing guitarist! Look up his rendition of Carol of the Bells on YouTube. Watch and learn.

18Ty Tabor
I love a lot of these guys, especially Oz.. But, when you listen to the "Moanjam" form the Album faith hope love... I think it surely speaks for itself.
He is a legendary player and virtuoso. Few guitarists have been able to combine blues, soul, progressive rock, and metal as seamlessly as Ty.

19Dann Huff (Giant)
This guy is top five for sure. A one time member of Whiteheart, he hit the big time with his mainstream band Giant. He went on to do session work for countless Christian and mainstream artists, including the likes of Madonna. I'm a fan of his work in Giant. Show this guy some love!
Played with/for the best christian singers and made great contributions. For me he's in position 1. He goes beyond fast fingers he does listening music and that, for me, is more important.
I can't believe he wasn't on this list yet! Top 5 for sure!

20Jeremy DePoyster (The Devil Wears Prada)

21Brandon Hampton

22Jeffrey Kunde (Jesus Culture)

23Dennis Cameron
He's top ten in my book. Maybe he's gotten less exposure because he's Canadian. His blazing fretwork is evident throughout all the Angelica releases. My favorite is the debut.
Angelica's guitarist, a brilliant guitarist with great solos and able to shred big time!

24Trevor McNevan

25Ken Tamplin (Shout)
Ken is a pure lead vocalist with a sound not far from the great David Coverdale. Being a bonafide front man, you wouldn't expect him to be a very good guitar player, but this guy SHREDS! Check out anything on Shout's In Your Face record. Ken handles all the lead work! Go on youtube and listen to Borderline by Shout. You won't be disappointed!
Another guy in the running for best guitarist that's also a lead singer. This guy can shred!
Ken is in my top ten for sure. All the guitar players listed are immense

26Joshua Perahia (Joshua)
I also like Tony Palacios, Oz Fox, Bob Hartman and Rex Carroll (in that order), but I want to keep classic and stand by Mr. Perahia this time... By the way, these 5 guys are great songwriters too!
Another no brainer. Once called the fastest guitarist in the world!

27Jeff Scheetz
Not only did this guy put out excellent instrumental records, but his lesson books/guides are fantastic... He was virtually my first guitar teacher. He is the King of Theory over anyone on this list.

28David Zaffiro (Bloodgood)
He had the look, the riffs, and even the voice-check out his solo discs

29Juninho Afram (Oficina G3)

30Michael Cutting (Holy Soldier)

31Bruce Swift (Sacred Warrior)

32Jon Foreman (Switchfoot)
A person with a beautiful soul, who writes and plays beautiful songs that have the ability to change people's lives and give them hope. Switchfoot is the most beautiful band ever.

33Nigel Hendroff
Worship is not virtuoso. Its bringing skill and heart to the song. No electric guitarist does better than nigel in my opinion.
THis guy inspired to leave the piano and now I play the guitar. He's such a blessing to the me and my worship
The best for me, so blessed and He uses this gift accordingly!

34Torbjörn Weinesjö (Veni Domine)
Torbjorn Weinesjo has some of the most creative soloing I've heard. His guitar work in Veni Domine is truly inspired!

35Mick Jelinic (Mortification)

36Ray Parris (Barren Cross)

37Seth Morrison (Skillet)
Seth is my fave guitarist. His shredding really kills! In the song "Circus for a Psycho", he really rocks. His solos in "Not Gonna Die" and "Freakshow" are heavenly, while the "Salvation" solo is wicked! Seth is a guitarist who can really rock one's face off. Go Seth! You rock!
Seth Morrison is Skillet's new guitarist on their "Rise" album. Morrison is a very good young guitarist, and if you listen to Skillet's new song "Circus For A Psycho", you can see his skills in soloing very well!
Seth is AMAZING! How about you try going and playing lead in circus for a psycho! Then you'll see why he belongs in top 10.
[Newest]He's just young, when they come out with a couple new albums with him he'll be in the top 5 at least.

38Stu G (Delirious?)
Stu G of Delirous? Is seriously one of the best guitar players in Christian music that I have ever heard. His tone and his technicality are better than most others on this list by far.
The most creative guitarists to date. Give him a gold medal for his pedals and effects that transformed the sound of Delirious and brought us yanks the British modern sound without having to smoke pot
Stu G can play music other guitarist only dream about being able to play...
[Newest]He's just simply the best, and definitely deserves a spot far above #26!

39Michael Sweet (Stryper)
Best singer of all time with his 4 octave voice and quite the guitar player as well.he can produce full albums himself cause of his ability to play any instrument, put in front of him and has
Stryper Live in Japan 1986 "Loving you" guitar solo, YouTube it.
Michael Sweet is just as good as Oz Fox is. Michael deserves to be put higher than 31st place on this list. End of story.

40Patrick Judge (Demon Hunter)

41David Roxx
He is also known as David Reite, or David 77 he is simply an amazing blues, blues rock glam rock player, who deserves the biggest stages :) check him out on you tube
You're simply the best! Better than all the rest :) can't wait for his solo album
My absolute favorite. You are the best of 'em all David and I love you
[Newest]And he is a nice guy too

42Isaque Soares (Krig)
Isaque Soares was my first guitar teacher! We studied in a small room on Isaque's house. He's a good guitarist and a good man. He's a man that God is proud.
Isaque is the best death guitar of the extreme christian scene!
Isaque Soares knows how to mix music styles and has a solid rhythm.

43Ole Arnold B√łrud (Ole B√łrud, Schaliach, Extol)

44PK Mitchell
Awesome guitar player, a true servant of the lord as many of the guitar players listed here.
Solo artist ex Neon Cross, amazing player, deservs to be in that list!


45Paul Spears (CrossTie)
Hey, Paul Spears is the amazing (young) lead guitarist for the Band CrossTie. He has already caught the attention of many of the industry players. Deserves to be on this list!
This young guitarist rocks. Has great technical skills and stage presence. He is accomplished in writing and arranging. This is the guy to watch!
I have not seen anything this guy can't do with his guitar. To be only 17 and play as well as his does the sky is his limit.

46Ariel Pozzo

47Brian "Head" Welch (Love and Death)
Because is the best

48Herbie Langhans (Seventh Avenue)
Like Tommy Johansson, this man can play guitar just as well as he can sing. Since the 2000s, he has occupied the top position in both respects (just listen to his shredding on the Storm instrumentals and his vocals on basically every song since the Between the World's Album)

49Glenn Kaiser
Lead vocalist and guitarist for the legendary Resurrection Band. Pioneers in Christian metal (1972-2000). After the Resurrection Band broke up, Glenn Kaiser continued his musical career with a solo project known as the Glenn Kaiser Band. This band has been playing Christian blues rock and is a favorite at Cornerstone Festival.
Not the most flash, but love the expression of his playing. Glenn will always be one of my favorites! I think he is a solid 5 on my list!
I like very much his blues-style!

50Drew Shirley (Switchfoot)
Duh! He's The Guitarist Of Switchfoot! The Whole Band Admits That He's The Best At His Instrument. But I Don't Wanna Sound As If I'm Disregarding Jon, Because He Is Still A Good Guitar Player.

51Ian Arkley (Seventh Angel)

52Rob Tahan (Ashes Remain)
Rob is an incredible guitarist! He not only does solos during concerts, but he incorporates sweeping and shredding in AR's songs. I don't know why he's not on this list yet.
Rob Tahan throws so many sweep-taps in his solos, it's amazing!
Very melodic player with good speed.

53Carlos Osnaya
Mexican guitar player Carlos Osnaya is well known in the Mexican and south american, Usa, Asia and European hard rock/metal scene. He toured the globe with his bands EXOUSIA and Deborah and the Shered scene times and achieved the status of a reliable and innovative guitar A musical prodigy who is at home in a variety of musical genres and styles, His
Great player amazing in live

54Jani Stefanovic (Divinefire, Miseration)
Awesome 8 string complex metal brutality and the ability to orchestrate whole songs, program drums, and do key/synth parts. That's just to awesome to not vote for.

55Shane Blay (Oh, Sleeper)
Shane has the heaviest, chaotic, and on the same time melodic metal out there! His lead guitar work touches perfektion, and he is a great guy. He may not be the fastest shredder but I think he might be the best overall metal guitarist out there... (Talking about his work in Oh, Sleeper only)

56Aaron Guerra (Tourniquet)
Listen to indulgence by proxy, microscopic view of a telescopic realm for proof he's the best and he sings

57J.R. Bareis (Love and Death)
Awesome guitarist, vocalist and sold out for the Lord and he just turned 18.Joined Love and Death at age 15!

58Emil Nikolaisen

59Greg Bishop
X-Sinner lead guitarist and founder member, underrated band, but really HQ material for the Lord!


Lead guitarist of the best christian rock group in the world

60Paul Jackson

61Wes King
I didn't expect much from his albums until I saw him live. Amazing.

62Jonny Lang
Jonny Lang is a 76... Really? I'm a working musician and it's hard to take this list seriously. However the Phil Keaggy rating is pretty fair.

63Matthew Hoopes (Relient K)

64Val Allen (Theocracy)
Val Allen Wood is down here because hardly anyone knows Theocracy unfortunately. Listen to Theocracys album As the world bleeds and you'll know why having him down here is a mistake. I've been listening to guitarist like jimmy hendricks, Slash, Ben Kasica, Brian "Head"Welch, and the almighty Eddie Van Halen. I believe Val Allen Wood belongs in this list of the greatest guitarist this world has ever seen.
This guy Val Allen Wood has got to be amongst the greatest guitarist this world has ever seen. Val Allen Wood is down here because hardly anyone knows Theocracy (Best Band Ever) which is unfortunate because their extremely talented in every aspect of music. Listen to Theocracys album As the world bleeds and you'll put Val Allen Wood in your top 10.
Why the heck is this guy not in the top ten? The man is a wizard with his ax!
[Newest]Alter to the Unknown God, Enough Said.

65Lanny Cordola

66Hadley Hockensmith
Now we are moving to somewhat outside the box that the all previous are closing in. This fellow is the guitarist of the former Koinonia and you should check his work in youtube. All Keaggy fans must know Hadley.
He made his mark with the late Keith Green and also with the first Christian Jazz band Koinoia His style is amazing!

67Ulf Christiansson (Jerusalem)

68Jamie Cramer (Holy Soldier)

69Buddy Miller

70Neal Morse

71Dee Harrington (Saint)

72John Mahan (Saint)

73Michael Guy Chislett

74Johnny Markin
Should be in the top ten for guitar playing, and he loves Jesus!
Amazingly gifted worship leader
Incredible musician and really rocks a banjo

75Stu Heiss
Stu Heiss invented the genre of "Christian Rock Guitarist". Listen to DMZ or Live Bootleg and get schooled!
Lead guitarist for Resurrection Band

76W. Avery Howard
Fantastic guitarist, and he can play about any style out there. Avery had a group called the Kingdom Heirs (not the group at Dollywood), he not only plays guitar but also sings.

77Scott Dente

78Gary Lenaire (Tourniquet)

79Larry Farkas (Vengeance Rising/Die Happy)

80George Ochoa (Deliverance)

81Marcelo Poggi

82Roy Z

83Troy Thompson (Bride)

84Dana Key (Degarmo and Key)
Great hooks. Solid, unassuming style and musically satisfying.

85Hedras Ramos
Hedras Ramos is a Christian virtuoso young player who was won top prizes at world wide competitions like Guitar Idol in London, UK and also Ziua Chitarelor in Bucharest, Romania, when he was only 17 and 18 years old. He currently has launched 3 instrumental rock guitar albums.

Hedras Ramos also took over the the guitar work of the newest album of Heavy Metal for British actor Sir Christopher Lee (Lord of the rings, Dracula, Star Wars and 280+ movies), when his former guitarist Richie Faulkner left the album project to join the well known band JUDAS PRIEST.

Hedras is a self-taught guitarist inspired by players like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, Guthrie Govan and many great Jazz and Fusion players and classic piano as well.

With no doubt Hedras is in the top of the list of Christian guitarists with more achievements and virtuosity in the category of guitar player of 20 years of age, both Christian and secular!

86Jukka Tolonen

87Kerry Livgren

88John Eargle Supernal Endgame

89Chris Rohman (Sanctus Real)

90Pete Prevost (Sanctus Real)

91Brian Belew (Barnabas)

92Dave Beegle (Fourth Estate)

93Gem Gabriel

94Brook Sloan
He is an awesome guitarist from the now disbanded "cry in the desert" Christian rock band

95Jonathan Steingard
He Is Really Good, He Really Is. But He Doesn't Get To Show Off Regularly Because =HN's= Style Isn't Full Of Face Melting Solo's.

96Josh Wilson
His rendition of Amazing Grace is reminiscent of Phil Keaggy.

97Matt Maher
Be worship artist legend, many musicians don't have the instrumental artwork Matt has. He has a rock based genre of his own. Also, being a music teacher, he has the musical as well as social leadership skills to work together with a band successfully!

98Dave Mustaine

99Christopher Parkening
Segovia hailed Parkening as "a great artist" and "one of the most brilliant guitarists in the world." If you don't know who Segovia is, look him up. Y'all are so stuck on rock guitar here, you're forgetting that there may be other (more valid? ) approaches to the instrument. Broaden your minds.

100Allen Collins (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
Lynyrd Skynyrd at Knebworth 1976 concert were opening for the Rolling Stones and blew them off stage. A testament to the bands greatness and the skill of Allen Collins. RIP man
Ohhh no! How come no one has remembered Allen Collins. I know for a fact that all of Lynyrd Skynyrd (original band) were all believers. Including the legendary Allen Collins who would wipe the floor with all these nobodys :P go check out Free Bird!

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This list was created 4 years, 104 days ago and has been voted on over 1,000 times. This top ten list contains 102 items, has been remixed 5 times.

Updated Thursday, April 23, 2015

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