Best Guitarists Ever

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The Contenders: Page 5

81The Edge
Its not the speed at which you play the guitar that wins the crowd but it's the quality of sound that wins the crowd! Listen to the riffs played by him and you will agree with me.
The Edge is the greatest guitarist ever! Did you listen "One" live in Chicago? His solo was much better than slash!
Come on, rate The Edge!
Definitely the greatest guitar player today (& dare I say better than most worshipped show offs of the yesteryears) the man has laid down so many classic riffs, not only just that he is also superb lead player, what he can do in a couple of notes can't be done by most shredders in a million minute solo
[Newest]The Edge is phenomenal and sounds like no other guitarist. For that alone, he needs to be moved up. I think it is his guitar even more so than Bono's voice or lyrics that give U2 such a distinct sound.
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82George Benson
George played like he and his guitar were one; the zen of guitarists.
There is simply no match to George Benson!
I'm surprised that so few people have voted for GB. Surely more people out there believe GB is one of the great jazz guitarists of all time. This is a bit of a rock-dominated list.

83Steve Hackett
A true jack-of-all-trades. Could go from tapping runs (1971, who else did this is 71! ) to Segovia style classical to frantic squeals and squonks (pun intended) in the space of eight minutes. Highly underrated because band he was in didn, t get big in America until after he left. And when Hackett left, Genesis was never the same band.


Touring now playing "Gabriel" era Genesis. Going to see him for a second time. Outstanding guitarist. Loved him and Genesis in the 70's. Seeing and hearing him now he is even better than I thought he was then.
He was tapping and sweeping in the early 70's. Way better than Yngwie Malmsteen and Eddie Van Halen
[Newest]When Steve leaved Genesis so Genesis lost itself.

84John McLaughlin
Wow - I trolled this list specifically looking for John Mclaughlin, and was starting to think he was omitted!. Well - now that I know he IS on the list - there are a couple tracks people should check out to understand the depth of his playing:

From his album "My Goal is Beyond" - Phillip Lane. My vote for 'If I could play ANYTHING on guitar it would be THIS...

Secondly - from the Miles Davis "Jack Johnson" - his electric playing on Right Off. Hard Core Rockers and Blues men alike should be able to connect to this, just in case Phillip Lane does not grab you by the throat.

I'm gonna check back here, and you children better get John AT LEAST in the top 10 based upon these two tracks. And if that is not enough - well, you can always go listen to his Mahavishnu Orchestra albums...

Really People...
He could grind most of guitarists listed here into the dust, then out the other side, he is that good. What makes John McLaughlin truly exceptional is his ability to come back each years stronger, with more melody and phrases under his belt. His ability to lead a band is second to none. His compositions are inventive and challenging to play.
I have been listening to top quality music especially jazz and jazz rock fusion for thirty years and there is no doubt john McLaughlin is the greatest of all time

U have to add in Larry coryell and paco de lucia and stanley clarke and many other jazz guys who are heads and tails above most rock musicians
[Newest]Is one of the best.

85Johnny Winter
Best blues guitarist I've ever heard. Combines the classical blues sounds of greats like bb king and robert johnson and adds the technique, speed and skill that modern rockers still strive for. And he was playing his ass into the ground back in the late 60's before and during when Hendrix, duane, clapton and others were in their heyday
He was lightning-fast, yet never played a note that didn't make complete sense. I can't say that about any other guitarist. Jimi and Johnny were the best... even Jimi would say so! RIP both of you... and keep ripping those guitar strings!
Johnny Winter... All I can say is just watch this man play! I think no one has this guy beat on speed and style! Should be in top 25 any day of the week and I would put him in the top 10!
[Newest]RIP Johnny! You were one of the greats and I was lucky to have seen you play,

86Allan Holdsworth
Can't believe he's this low. This list is made from people listening to boring rock/blues which is tired and overdone. Most of these people are playing the same thing. Allan actually creates his own voice. But because it's different and complex, these musically malnourished boring clones can't handle it. They should try and broaden their horizons and listen to some new stuff.

I really can't understand how he's not higher than this. Phenomenal improviser both single note and chordal, amazing composer. Technically superior to everyone who is on this list (maybe Guthrie could challenge him on that one). His whole idea of music and the ways he thinks about are unique, I'm actually disappointed in everyone who who thinks jimi, slash and jimmy are better than this man. This absolute genius, legend. This man is a god if you've never heard of him you need to, and stop listening to the rubbish that gets poured into your ears everyday by radio and T.V. , who have to play this easy listening rubbish so people don't turn over. Listen to allan now and your whole life will change. He can do things no other can do. WHY IS HE SO LOW.
I have been blessed to see a true MASTER of his instrument. You will never see any tribute band or have any one cover his songs (good luck). I would put him against anyone, his dedication to the instrument is second to none! This is coming from a drummer, no less...
If you play guitar, you know who this guy is. If you don't know who this guy is, well, then I guess you don't play the guitar. Chords, scales ^^ compositions all equally impressive, inspiring ^^ creative. He has expressed himself as an exceptional guitarist; acoustically, electric ^^ synthesized.
[Newest]He influenced people like Joe satriani and Van Halen and I would say he's a good player he's kind of unique.

87Alex Skolnick
Obviously, no one who voted here has a clue if he is not in the top ten... Has his own Jazz trio, plus is the lead guitarist of one of the most underrated metal bands ever, Testament... Have the people on this list could not play Testament's rhythm lines...
The solo he played in "return to serenity" is a gift to metal lovers and one of the most beautiful solo in the world. He is so talented.
Alex Skolnick should be in the Top 10, listen to the first 3 Albums by Testament, his solos are flawless! He is recognised by his peers not only in the Metal world, but other genres includng all the good Guitar playing magazines.
[Newest]He is the one of Fastest guitarist in the world!

88Joe Walsh
Anybody that knows music would tell you what an awesome guitarist this guy is. He should be in the top twenty if not higher.
I think Joe should be in top ten I play guitar and I always try to match his sound it's awesome I wished I could play wit him and learn just a piece of what he knows and I don't his style is just great
Singlehandedly gave the Eagles an "edge." Top 25 player, without-a-doubt. Also, check out the riff at the beginning of Funk 49... A classic.
[Newest]I must admit I wasn't sure what the Eagles were doing when they added him with Felder and Frey already in the band. Now I think it's the smartest thing the Eagles ever did.

89Billie Joe Armstrong
What the hell? He may not be fast or play anything exciting or long... But heck, he has passion, his solo's sound nice (if not fast) and his voice, tre's drums, and mike's bass goes very well with it.
Not just his guitar playing abilities but also his vocals are amazing and BEST.
Listen good riddance to know more
Billie joe deserves at least top 10 for sure
When playing guitar there are two elements that can influence a brilliant performance: The guitarist's musical performance and the energy and atmosphere he/she creates. Though he isn't known for his 'Insane' solos, he's an excellent rhythm and lead guitar player and no musician on Earth puts as much energy and charisma into their performances that Billie Joe, and indeed the rest of Green Day put into theirs. If you ever get the chance, watch 'Bullet in a Bible', it is the best live show I have ever seen and it truly show cases Armstrong's talents.
[Newest]Nope I have heard a lot better.
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Uruha'a skill was great the best visual kei guitarist I think. Now it's just time for him to be the best guitarist ever!
When he plays, you can't see his fingers anymore, they're too fast. He' a genius!
Uruha was great, he play melody with emotion, touch listener emotion with his melody.. Great!
[Newest]He is the best. Great guitarist!
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91Mikael Akerfeldt
This guy is a masterpiece.. he is the greatest heavy metal musician ever.. without him there would be no OPETH which is the greatest band ever.. he should be on top 5 with DIMEBAG, ALEXI, PETER LENDGREN and DAVE MUSTAINE
Very Good player I recommend the Morning rise album.
Mikael should be #15 at least lets get him there


92Ray Toro
Dude have any of you heard him play? He is a guitar god! And did you see the new SING IT FOR Japan video? He has a huge heart also!
Ray Toro. He's the best guitarist on this planet. No one can beat him and that's the truth. Everyone of you know it. So keep voting.
He's simply the best, puts so much heart and soul and he is an amazing person to, an guitarist everyone should look up to!
[Newest]I'm not okay solo, that is all
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93Chet Atkins
He's the greatest, period. I'm a huge fan of these other rock/metal guitarists... I mean a really big fan! But the fact is; you can find a hundred videos on YouTube of people playing their licks note for note. Nobody can play Chet's stuff! Maybe they'll know 1 or 2 songs, and most times they're not playing it like Chet did... Leaving out notes here and there. It's impossible to beat him. Take my 30 second Chet Atkins challenge and see for yourself! Learn just 30 seconds of a Chet song (note for note, no mistakes) and then learn 30 seconds of ANY other song by ANY other guitarist on this list. See for yourself which one takes you longer to learn. Also, you can't find many tabs for Chet's stuff... Because nobody can play it. He's Mr. Guitar for a reason! Listening to it, you'll think you can play it like him... But you'll fail. Chet forgot more about playing guitar than most great guitarist will ever know in they're entire careers. SS
Chet appealed to diverse groups of music lovers. He was at home and admired it the country/western world. I saw him at the Kennedy Center and the place was packed with people from all walks of life. There was no "gimmickry" just great music from all the categories. He was well received and appreciated no matter what crowd he was entertaining. JR
For pure unadulterated guitar SKILL no one touches him. If you sat him next to any guitarist on this list and told them to duel by playing MUSIC and actual tunes without special effects there is no question who'd win.
[Newest]There certainly aren't 93 guitarists who were better than this man. Move him up!

94Kitamura Ken
His guitar really amazing...

He can make a really beautiful melody...

I love all of his song... He is the best composer & Guitarist ever...
His ability to compose a song is in my opinion greater than his two band mates and his great strength as a guitarist is his ability to be able to be subtle and allow other sounds and styles influence his music giving him a range capable of fully expressing not only various genres but emotions even in the same song.
Ken is The Best Guitarrist In The World, and composer, is a lovely person


[Newest]He deserves to be nominated for the top five

95Django Reinhardt
This is absolute crap! Just because he didn't live in the era of rock guitarists who thought they were good playing their little electric guitars doing the simplest of chords and thinking they were good because they could shred at half the speed Django could. Django had two useable fingers, had an acoustic guitar that had an action about 2 cm high with hard steel strings and people like Hendrix, slash and clapton could not have possibly come close to the virtuosity and musicality that was Django Reinhardt! How could anyone vote him down so low as 199?! He should be at least top 3!
I could've chosen any one of a couple of dozen jazz, folk, flamenco or country players who could run rings around the numpties in this list. I choose Django because he is the daddy of high speed single not soloing. Any proper player will know this. Rock isn't the be all and end all of guitar playing.


The combination of technical skill, the ability to create beautiful melodies while improvising, endless ideas, the build up of solo's and songs, he is unchallenged.
He was the first and maybe only jazz musician from Europe who influenced his American counterparts. Playing solo's with only 2 fingers, using arpeggio's, modes nobody else uses (only when they copy him). Unbelievable that he is rated so low. Should be number 1.
[Newest]Before Django the guitarist was sat next to the drummer, then he decided he wanted to be up front, LEGEND

96Derek Trucks
You people are morons.. Some of these people are basic guitarists at best. Derek has true talent. When Eric Clapton asks you to play on his album you know your one of the best in the world..296? Get real..
It's an insult for Derek to be ranked here. Played with the Allman Bros Band when he was about 14. He is very good and so is his wife Susan Tedechki. (I murdered the spelling of her last name.. But check her out. )
Derek is one of the best slide guitarists I've ever heard. He deserves to be much much higher on this list.
[Newest]Derek Trucks should be higher, but not ahead of Chet Atkins. Move them both up!

97Michael Schenker
I feel the same way about Michael Schenker's playing now as I did as a teen back in 1979. Nobody I've heard since can get near the guy in terms of style, technicality and above all feeling and emotion. He put drop-dead moments into songs rather than isolated flash.
Obviously not many out there have even heard of Michael or they would have placed him in the top three with Satriani where they both belong.
Way better than his ranking here. UFO and the Scorpions were never that big in the USA which partly explains his lack of recognition.
[Newest]Favorite classic rock band. It's all a matter of opinion really. Its not like schenker is "technically" great. Its nostalgia.

98Brendon Small
He is the absolute best of all time.
This guy created both a very successful T.V. show about a metal band, and the dethalbum 1, which was THE highest selling deth metal record of ALL TIME. That is a FACT. He has also clearly displayed that he can play absolutely any genre of music you can possibly play with guitar. People place guys like jimmy page and van Galen on such high pedistols, when in reality, all the played was one genre of music. Brendan small plays all of them, and is the best at all of them.

99Glenn Tipton
WHAT I can't believe that Glenn number 50 he is so under rated the way he plays solos is amazing my favorite guitarist ( 2nd place is Jimi Page)


The Glen (and KK too) are a few of the most underrated guitarists in history as they both have mastered the fretboard and blaze up and down it like Metal Gods, thus solidifying that oh-so sinister authentic sound that is Judas Priest
This is a disgrace. Every music list leaves out Judas Priest. Tipton (and Downing) are just some of the the best guitarists ever. Together, they are a force to be reckoned with and the first of the two is number 66. Just terrible
[Newest]Why did I waste time typing this when kurt santana is ranked higher than glenn tipton? One word. Ignorance. One compound word. Painkiller. Magnum opus.

100Kerry King
Kerry, Dimebag and Wylde should all be in the top 3. But ill be nice and say top 10. You can't have a list of greatest guitarists without them... People don't know what it takes to play the intricate stuff like what these guys play.
Dude this guy should be #1, along side with Jeff Hanneman
No one can match his solos along with Jeff Hanneman
[Newest]Kerry King should at least be in the top ten, as he is the best guitarist in the world.

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This list was created 9 years, 61 days ago and has been voted on over 180,000 times. This top ten list contains 965 items, has been remixed 486 times and has been blogged about 63 times.

Updated Friday, July 31, 2015

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