10 Greatest Rock Keyboardists / PianistsKeyboardists were chosen for their skill, creativity, influence,
impact, musical depth & expression, and lasting popularity in 'Rock' music.
The Top TenXW
HOW IS FREDDIE MERCURY (great singer but not a very good pianist) ABOVE THE KING OF THE KEYBOARD HIMSELF! Seriously just listen to karn evil 9, tarkus, take a pebble, the three fates, the endless enigma & hang on to a dream and you'll see why he's easily the greatest keyboardist of all time. You ask any keyboardist and they will tell you he is easily the greatest keyboardist/pianist of all time. Plus he obviously influenced jordan rudess, if you listen closely there's snatches of tarkus in his playing.
The greatest Rock keyboardist, and with very little competition. "Karn Evil Nine", The Piano Concerto, "Tarkus", "Three Fates", "Take a Pebble", "Fugue", "Blues Variations" (or anything of Pictures at an Exhibition for that matter), the man is a monster.
There is not even a question possible on this. Glad others concur. In addition to the prodigious talent, his ability to work across instruments simultaneously is something to see. A league by himself, is Keith.
Why isn't Eddie Van Halen on the list!V20 Comments
Wright practically invented the combination of sound effects and music into something never since rivaled, great gig in the sky, and various keyboard and effects throughout pipers at the gates of dawn are more than enough to rate him as the single greatest innovator of all time, especially considering his work integrating surround sound at the Games of May
How can I say.. Richard was that piece of paper that Gilmour, Waters and Mason were performing and writing their notes. HE was creating all the atmosphere behind, that background filled with hidden keyboad notes. Richard was as important as Gilmour and Waters. Plus, he was much more dedicated to the band that them, and never went to court for song rights. Anyway, I think he deserves better ranking. This is unfair.
Roger writes great lyrics, Nick is amazing at percussion, David is one of the greatest guitar players of all time, Syd was an amazing innovator, but the true Pink Floyd sound came from this man. Rick Wright wrote amazing melodies and created awesome effects and textures that made Pink Floyd shine above other rock bands. Also he is very underrated as a singer.
Glad to see him at number 2. While each one has his favorite, there's definitely a top 20. This top 20 includes Peter Bardens, Jon Lord, Rick Wakeman, Jon Lord, Tony Banks, Keith Emerson and of course the late Richard Wright. - RalphSaadV19 Comments
It was a rare alignment of the solar system, somehow, Deep Purple had the greatest keyboardist (Jon Lord) the greatest lead guitarist ( Ritchie Blackmore) and one of the greatest lead vocalists ( Ian Gillian) of all time...
Great hands, Great composer, amazing soloing abilities and most of all, his organ has a distinguished sound that tells him apart from other Keyboardists
Jon could play it all, he matched every guitar solo by blackmore, and that says a lot.
His name says it all. - RalphSaadV6 Comments
Ray deserves much of the credit for the Door's success. Ray was classically trained and he fused the unique style of the doors. He played bass with keyboard to help keep time with his left hand while he completed the beat with his right hand. Ray is unique and underappreciated among keyboardist's...
Ray should be waay upper. The way he combined the renaissance music with rock to create one of the biggest psychedelic experiences. The Doors were about three things: Astonishing vocals from Morrison, weird Robby Krieger solos, and, most of all, Manzarek's keyboards. A very intelligent musician, you just listen to Break on Through, or Light My Fire, or The End. Also he wrote great compositions.
The music that he created is not only pleasurable but also creates a particular color in our subconscious mind and indescribable combination of feelings of euphoria and melancholy. Manzarek is unsurpassed keyboardist and my great role model.
Simply the best!.. John Lord a close second!V15 Comments
Composes classical music, invents/creates both new electronic instruments and software packages... AND plays as well as anyone who has ever stroked the electric keys... Listen to your favorite keyboardist and THEN check out some of the videos online of Jordan playing... And weep... ;0)
Rudess is a monster. He's fast, technical, melodic and will do things with a keyboard that will put a smile on your face. He's crazy, but also a complete genius in this field. Emerson might be your hero, but Rudess will always be the God of Keyboards.
Rudess is a complete genius! No one can even match his technical ability! He is the number 1 for sure!
Rudess is one for sure.V6 Comments
He is just a magician with his hands. A virtuose. A great composer too, although here we vote for the better pianist. He, Jon Lord and Ray Manzarek are the best. Although I think of Lord and Manzarek as batter musicians, because their orchestration skills are better, Rick is the top notch pianist of them all. Lord is the maestro, Ray is the pioneer and the dreamer and Rick is the VIRTUOSO
This was close between Kieth Emerson and Rick Wakeman for me. But I am listening to Rick's version of Starship Trooper of his Fields of Green. Amazing. Keith's new version of Fanfare for the Common Man of his Three Fates Project is a close second.
I think that Jon Lord is better than Tony Banks by a little but these guys are all great the only problem I have is that I'd put Ray Manzarek above Jordan Rudess but nonetheless this is a near perfect list.
No explanation needed. The best and brightest. Hands down.V9 Comments
Too many people vote with their hearts and not with their minds. Tony Banks IS the quintessential keyboardist in rock music. Volumes could be written on the man. He has an understanding of music and all its various and sundry components, and translates it in a way that makes ones tears runnel down their cheeks, cascade off their chin, and pool upon the floor. It is a true privilege to watch the Master at his work.
A very tasteful and underrated player - more of an ensemble player than your average Prog keyboardist, some of his work in Genesis (both in the Gabriel and Collins era) is magnificently intelligent and professional.
Better songwriter than Emerson, including #1 prog masterpiece, Firth of Fifth.
The most tasteful keyboard player that I've listened to. - RalphSaadV5 Comments
The piano on "Don't stop me now" bohemian rhapsody and somebody to love, you're sleep he's number one in vocals and top with elton john for piano skill
Top 2 in vocals now top 3 in piano ¿
I can say that Freddie is a great musician who ever live before. Id like to learn to play piano too and try to play bohemian rhapsody first...
Mr Mercury's top ten should be for best voices in Rock and Roll or Best
Rocked unitards ever, until David Lee Roth wore his
In the light, your time is gonna come, no quarter and somethin' else (Eddie Cochran cover). These are just a few examples of jonsey's genius.
If anyone's heard live versions of Thank You, this guy would be in the top 5, or at least higher than Freddie Mercury. (Nothing against Freddie, but this guy was better)
Not only top 10 keyboard, top 10 bass also.V1 Comment
A unique style, completely different from Wakeman's, a cleaner player on another note. I love Rick but guys like Moraz or Emerson are much technically profficient. Rick will always throw in a bad note during his keyboard licks. Emerson is near perfection. Same for Moraz. But my truest idol is Tony Banks.
Exceptional contribution in Yes album Relayer and great talent live in the Relayer tour. Made us nearly forget about Rick!V1 Comment
Little Feat's extraordinary keyboardist and a top session musician for many years on rock albums of all sorts, including Bonnie Raitt and Bob Seger. His presence on Little Feat's Dixie Chicken as well as The Doobie Brothers' China Grove strongly influenced musicians for most of the '70s and '80s. He still plays with both bands as well as Leftover Salmon.
Are you kidding me. He plays 5 keyboards at a time and improvises each show! Amazing technique and playing. Plus Memphis is a piece of work. I dare anyone to play that piece as well as him as well some other piano versions of the full rock band songs!
I love to hear David Bryan play the keyboards. He's awesome!
You gotta be kidding me. He should be in the top 7. He is the package. Bon Jovi is a great band and he has such a chemistry with richie and tico. Creates songs. Hits the solo instead of sambora
David is the best in the world
Deserves the top spot - bobbythebronyV1 Comment
Seriously under rated keyboard player. Heavily stylised, very much in the mould of Ray Manzarek. Seriously adept at extended solo runs up and down the keyboard. Take a listen to Down in the Sewer from the first album to get an idea of this man's talent.V1 Comment
He was an artistic genius with his band Zinc and The Green Album, but he earned his spurs playing for frank Zappa
Dick Sims is certainly THE BEST! His playing is styled impeccably and he was a natural from birth. I don't see Dick as number 20 on here! He is the ONLY NUMBER ONE... THE BEST OF THE BEST! Dick could play anything beautifully. I could hang on every chord and float in the clouds listening... Yes it's DICKEY SIMS!
Dick Sims had the feel for the keys like no other! Eric "Slow Hand" Clapton was lucky to have him as long as he did! R.I.P. dick Sims
There is no other like Him Dick was the, that's probably why Eric clapton choose Dick to play with Him for ten years!
His music will go down in history some dayV7 Comments
This list is comical. Freddie mercury above a twentieth ranked elton, who is unmatched on piano in rock history. Who needs rodney dangerfield for laughs when all I need to do is look up one of these ridiculous lists. !
Elton should be number one if you go by what they said the criteria is but then again does Elton care? He is still at the top of his game, selling out concerts, top 10 CDs while the rest of theses guys on the list are just a footnote and GONE.
I agree, greatest keyboard talent in rock history BAR NONE!
Mad eccentric genius.
RIP, Nicky. We'll miss your fantastic work you did for the Beatles, the stones, et alV1 Comment
You and your wife, Tane were second to none in what you did. Yay, JC! His playing defined arena keyboard rock
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List StatsUpdated 29 Apr 2016
4 years, 279 days old
Top Remixes (5)
2. Rick Wakeman (Yes)
3. Tony Banks (Genesis)
2. John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin)
3. Freddie Mercury (Queen)
2. Brandon Flowers
3. Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
View All 5