Best Guitarists Ever
The Top TenXW
I'm sure that Slash would admit that he and basically every guitarist since the early seventies owes Jimi Hendrix big time.
Jimi started it all. There's no denying it without Jimi some of the mind blowing solos we hear today may not have come into existence
Slash is great, he is possibly the best soloist ever, but he'll never be Hendrix. He is a legend R.I.P.
Jimi shaped the whole universe about playing and feeling guitar! - zehn_rollaV1032 Comments
The man is a god of the guitar! Pure genius don't have to say any more, his playing speaks for itself,
It's subjective as to who is the best at any art form, although there are some analysis than can help. How enduring and widely popular, how much quality content, how complex, varied and original are all factors. Page's brilliance has been obscured by the fact Zep as a band was so great. It gave him more exposure but also camouflaged him. This is true with others, of course: e, g,. Joe Walsh, Neil Young, Keith Richards. There are other reasons great guitarists don't get their due. I love guitar and for me its Page then Duane Allman. The fact Allman is so far down this list is ridiculous. Also many on this list don't really belong because so many voters are too young to know the dif.
If you take a look at the comments for Synester gates, you can see all the people worry about is speed. And he isn't even that fast, Van Halen, and pretty much any good heavy metal band guitarist can play faster, longer, and cleaner than him. Now Jimmy Paige's greatness isn't fueled by speed, its fueled by emotion and innovation. Listen to the main riff in Black dog, Slash called it, "the sexiest riff off all time"
Greatest of all the guitarist.V750 Comments
One of the most skilled and innovative guitarists ever. Fastest right hand in the business.
Must listen some of dream theater songs my friend.. John Petrucci will clear your doubts
He doesn't play the guitar, it is part of that man's body, you can hear his emotions come through
Lol the guitarist with the least emotions in the history of time
Eddie innovated 2 hand tapping. He Influenced great players like Slash, Zakk Wylde and Kerry king to play. If you can make a minute and 42 minute long solo of pure shredding that is recognized everywhere there is something special about you. People that know nothing about guitar think clapton is best but people who know all about guitar can truly agree ed is the god
Steve Hackett was tapping and using harmonics in 1971, long before Eddie was even famous. Not saying that Eddie wasn't good or ennovative of course, but he gets too much credit for things he didn't create. - RalphSaad
Probably the most imitated guitarist ever, which, by extension, means probably THE greatest guitarist ever.V466 Comments
Slash is an awesome guitarist. He's got it all! He's dedicated and I think he's proven that he doesn't give up. All the music he plays is great, you don't get a song to witch Slash plays the guitar that sucks, he just dose what he loves.
Slash has earned his place in the top 5 and one day may even make it to number two. Let's face it Slash is a great guitarist.
I mean you don't just wake up and are good at something you have to earn it and Slash has. For this he is one of My greatest Idols.
Slash is the 2nd greatest guitarist EVER, only behind Hendrix. He is without a doubt the greatest soloist of all time. His solos aren't a couple of licks put together or not just playing a scale as fast as he can, his solo's are thought out masterpieces that are incredibly amazing technically and emotionally. Listen to all his recorded songs and you'll see what I mean.
Okay, slash is a great guitarist, no doubt. Bust he isn't better then eddie Van Halen or jimi page in technique, and if you wanna talk in emotions, David surpass him.
Slash gets my vote, because, since I first started hearing their songs, around 1992, when I was 13, Guns were by far my favourite band and that was largely because of Slash's amazing guitar work. It just "hit the spot" like no one else really had in the past, or has, consistently, since.
It would (and still can) give me goose bumps, on songs like Sweet Child (especially when he really winds up in the middle guitar solo) and November Rain (near the end, when it reaches a crescendo) and You Could Be Mine, but could also just go straight to the heart and soul, on other songs, like during the beautiful guitar solos earlier on November Rain and in Estranged.
One of the reasons he is so good is that he reportedly would just play what came to him in the moment, when in the studio. So someone would hand him a song and he would just let go and play what came to him in the moment (pure inspiration) and that would basically be what would end up on the album. He wouldn't ...more
Slash in my opinion is the best guitarist to ever liveV1073 Comments
The great B.B. King once said you will never find a guitar genius that can hold down, note to note, to Eric Clapton. He is the "one". He doesn't care if he's in any top list of anything. He has nothing to prove. Kids love to hear a guitarist banging on his guitar, Clapton never does that, He actually knows how to play an instrument. Some oldies but goodies think he is the rebirth of Robert Johnson. You will seldom find anyone who knows who Robert Johnson is, so how can you expect teenagers and 20 something guys who want to be guitar heroes themselves, understand the history of true rock and roll? Step up and listen to the ballads and then listen to the riffs Clapton manages with out breaking a sweat and the magic that happens when he does. There is soul to this mans music. He is simply, The Best.
I agree with you. Hew should be above Slash, in my opinion. Also, I know who Robert Johnson is. He's a blues guitarist of the 1920s who famously "sold his soul to the Devil for rock and roll". I know this, and I'm only 14. Also, Eric Clapton is very prolific ( Cream, Blind Faith, etc) - MusicalPony
There are thousands and thousands who can force a guitar to sputter. There are hundreds who can make a guitar talk. But at any given time, there is only a very select few who can truly let a guitar sing. Clapton is one of those few (along with Hendrix, Santana, and a couple others). Clapton writes his music straight from the heart, finding inspiration is his real life. From his relationship with Pattie Boyd, with whom he was madly in love (Wonderful Tonight), and later his deteriorating marriage with her (Running on Faith), to the death of his son (Tears in heaven), Clapton puts more raw emotion into his music than any other guitarist I've ever heard, including Hendrix.
Compared to him, more recent music can come across flat and empty in both lyrics and guitar work. No one could say he hasn't stood the test of time (1970-today), but he is being slowly forgotten in an age where playing fast and looking cool is more important than musical brilliance.
Slash and some other ...more
What? He is only 20? Eric is one of the best guitar gods ever! He is a great riffs creator ("Sunshine of your love", "Layla", "Cocaine") and a huge soloist too: what about his wha-wha powerful solo on "White Room", his soft duet with Allman in "Layla", his epic section of "Tales of brave Ulysse", the memorable ending of "Let it Rain" or the emotive solo on "Why got love to be so sad? "?
He is the king of blues rock. He should be in the top 3 with Jimi and Dave (Gilmour)!
The way he plays, plays with the emotions of others. His soulful voice and guitar skills just combines it and becomes masterpiece, which I think guitarist really needs.V289 Comments
This forum is terrible. SRV, Jimmy and Clapton should all be top 5. Slash.. give me a break. Go YouTube "Texas flood" long version or "little wing cover" by Stevie Ray Vaughn and educate yourselves.
S.R.V. re-invented electric blues. He played every song from his heart and nailed every note! You will never hear the same version of a song twice from Stevie Ray. He is absolutely amazing!
There are hundreds of great guitar players but Stevie Ray Vauhan and Jimi Hendrix were the absolute best. It is a privilege just to listen to them play. Please people, listen to SRV on YouTube. Just search srv and pick any song. You'll thank me, really.
The greatest after Hendrix. No question. #2 for sure.V335 Comments
A true genius that can touch the heart of the darkest of souls & bring them back to life. His solos & melody's can't be beat for precision & perfect musical sound structure... A true master of his art.
His creativity knows no bounds! The only guitarist I feel that can place his heart on the guitar strings and strum away his soul. Listen to his end solo of Comfortably Numb on the Pulse tour and the tingles will run up your spine!
Any song He touched is pure genius. Echoes, Time and all of The Wall are great. He was the Heart of Pink Floyd.
One of the best melodic guitar players of all time.V433 Comments
Kirk is definitely top 5 guitarist. You can't get better than the interlude in master of puppets or the solo in one. He is a very technical guitarist. You can't get to much faster than 220 bpm in master of puppets or 210 in fight fire with fire.
You kids need to understand that guitar is a "musical" instrument. You kids need to understand speed is not everything. It's about making the guitar cry. Talking with your guitar. I'm not saying Kirk doesn't do that. Kirk is the second best guitarist to grace metal, but he isn't top 5 material, but meh, in a list where slash is 2, j guess it's alright.
3rd... Seriously... The guy who made the one solo and the fade to black solo... Part of the biggest metal band on the earth... Yeah... He deserves at least 2nd
He's a great guitarist, but almost certainly not 2nd best, Jimi Hendrix is pretty amazing as well as Zakk Wylde, so that's already 2 that I think have more guitar skill. - Feirceraven
He's not the best, but man is he good. He's definitely heavy metal, and can go insane with a guitar. If you've heard him play any of his better songs, you'll know what I mean.
His solo in "One" is amazingV414 Comments
Angus feels what he is playing! He has a style of good old rock n roll like other guitarists-john lennon, george harisson, Hendrix, eddie Van Halen but angus is the best of all the best. Angus should be on 1 place
Unbelievably underrated. Listen to his solo on "Shake a Leg" to convince you. Plus, he could do all that while lying on the floor having spasms.
I've seen AC/DC live and Angus played his arse off, It was note perfect, it was precise and it went on and on. I'm sure there are some fantastic guitarists on this list and as soon as I see them play I'll rate them, but damn they will have to be very special to match up to what I heard from Angus o/
He is the men, the myth, the legend!V417 Comments
Synyster Gates has such blistering speed and yet you can hear every note played, he is a pro at dive bombs and sweep picking and definitely a amazing guitarist, and because of his young age by the time he is slash's age he will be the next slash
He is a very multi-talented guitar player, almost all the techniques he mastered.
He can play well even while backing vocals.
He is very feasible juxtaposed with other guitar legends chest of Jimi Hendrix, Slash, Yngwie Malmsteen, Joe Satriani.
He is the most complete!
Slash is great, but not #1. Syn has amazing speed but still plays clean and has unforgettable solos and riffs.
The best everV982 Comments
He influenced the white power genre unlike anyone else. - Edgelord
This is what happens when people who don't listen to anything but commercialized music vote for best guitarist. There are key components that should be considered when voting for this:
1. How well does the guitarist play? A truly great master of the guitar is not just about solos or speed, because everyone and their monkey can play fast and spit out solos (as can be seen simply by looking into genres that support such). A really great guitarist needs to be versatile, to be able to play any type of music or style.
2. Composition! Guitarists who have one or two "hit songs" and compose junk otherwise aren't true masters. An artist needs to be original, especially with the guitar. If a guitarist plays in a band, his sound should be distinctive and be neither drowned out nor overbearing (though this depends on genre sometimes). I look for guitarists who push the boundaries, that look for new and different ways to play.
3. Solos... When it is the guitarist's ...more
Most technically skilled guitarist ever, without a doubt.
Very very fine skills with musical heart to connect every living soul
Agree with reviewer below, almost word for word about Joe.V284 Comments
Brain May flies a little under the radar. Everyone has heard Queen, but how many people actually pay attention to the guy that can make his guitar sound like a symphony. Next time Bohemian Rhapsody or Killer Queen pops up on the radio, actually listen to the harmonies that Brian alone can produce.
GREATEST GUITAR PLAYER OF ALL TIME. Next to Hendrix of course. Beautiful Guitar riffs and soloing place him at the top. He never ceases to amaze me... I listen to queen and keep finding song after song that is just unbelievable. Friends will be friends, bohemian rhapsody, hammer to fall, the invisible man, breakthru, and radio ga ga are just a few of the amazing songs queen has put together. Along with the breathtaking vocals of Freddie mercury (may he rest in peace), the bombarding drumming of Roger Taylor, and the Steady, rhythmic bass playing of John Deacon, Brian May and Queen is the #1 band in the world.
Ask almost any Brit what the greatest song of all time is and they will say Bohemian Rhapsody. They will also say is that the Beatles are first but Queen is ALWAYS right behind. Not Zeppelin, Bowie, Kinks, Stones, or even 1D! Queen is an amazing band who is not only led by one of the greatest vocalists of all time, the late Freddie Mercury (RIP), but also one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Brian May. May is just as talented as Van Halen and Page but unfortunately gets caught up in the pop flair that Mercury preferred, However if one truly delves deep into the Queen vault they can find extraordinary solos and riffs by May. Brighton Rock is a campy driven song at the beginning in the end but is completely interrupted by an insane echoing solo by May. Even simple hits like Killer Queen, We Will Rock You, and especially especially We are the Champions have great solos. Plus May could pull off intense rhythms as well (I.E. Sheer Heart Attack). All in all May is one of the most ...more
Underrated guitarist is underratedV333 Comments
Why the F is DIMEBAG DARRELL IN 21! He is the best guitarist I've ever seen and heard. He's guitar skills are very good better than SYNYSTER GATES! He needs to be in the top 3!
Dime was and will always be number one for me as a guitarist, not even Jimmy could compare to the amount of inspiration and skill that Dime brought to the table. He was the innovater for future metal guitarists, he was absolutely brillant! His memory will live on through his family, friends and fans. And if you think that he doesn't deserve this spot, and you've never heard him shred, I strongly suggest you watch/listen to 5 minutes alone, This Love, Walk, Cemetary Gates, and all the greatest songs by Pantera. I'm sure you'll change your mind! R.I.P. dimebag Darrell
"In this river all shall fade to black" -Zakk Wylde (In this River, a tribute to Dime)
Dime was the most emotional player there ever was. Mind blowing lead AND rhythm player. He has it all.
DIMEBAG DARELL SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN TOP 5
, Just listen to cowboys from hell / walk /revolution is my name, it will blow your mind. If he would have been in present, could have hear more mindblowing solos.
Dimebag not even in top 10?V276 Comments
From Slash to Vaughn, from Hendrix to Page, from Clapton to Van Halen, from Prince to Hammet and on, no one but no one can as masterfully sing, string, stir, and sling his guitar out to an audience without vocal ability! Carlos executes his gift by the side of angels; he sings THROUGH, not ON the electric guitar, devoid of ego. Who else could immacutely adapt to concert with the finest of musicians world-wide, such as Ottomar Leibert, and innumerable musical artists to bring incandescent soul to each with impeccable perfection? Carlos unegotistically offers God-given talent as if it were for sale on the street for one who is musically promising while abandons the forced march of solitary recognition in the music world. Carlos appears to effortlessly, unfaltering, and exponentially lift the spirit of fellow musicians of promising notorious varieties. Carlos has another gift: most transparently to bring other artists to their pinnacle without over-shadowing their style. Thus, this man ...more
Without a question, nobody plays as "smooth" as Santana!
This man is by far the most talented guitarist who ever lived. It is insulting to him and his millions of fans to not have him be number one. This list is not a measure of talent and skill, but just a popularity contest
He needs in the top 5V152 Comments
Just listen to and try to play some of the stuff he's done people, I mean come on! Knowing that he wasnt in the music business for that long but left as big as impression he did, just imagine how it would be now if he was still alive! No one can write or play as good as Randy.
Randy was a true great. He was so far ahead of most people playing guitar and always practiced and you would never see him without a guitar in his hands, like Hendrix. He was great in Quiet Riot, he had a great opportunity to join Ozzy because Randy's writing and playing dramatically improved. He was that type of person who was in it for the music. Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman are great examples of what rock/metal virtuosity is. Listen to songs like "Mr. Crowley", "Revelation (Mother Earth)", "Diary of a Madman", "Crazy Train", his spotlight solo that he did in Quiet Riot, "Laughing Gas", "I Don't Know", "Over the Mountain", and "Flying High Again" and you'll surely be amazed. He was always in control of what he did. Blizzard of Ozz is a very powerful title because of its power and energy that you get from it. Diary of a Madman shows him going deeper into jazz and classical music. The best example ...more - blake_meinhardt
There are very few albums where I rate every song 5of5 stars. Blizzard of Oz and Diary of a Madman are two albums I rate that way. Randy was taken from us far too early. Find the song Laughing Gas (Live) when he was with Quiet Riot. During the solo you here strains of Goodbye to Romance. Randy was a perfect match for Ozzy's vocal style. Randy had a strength of technical ability matched only by Yngwie Malmsteen or Steve Vai. What sets Randy apart was his composition. He knew exactly when and where to play down and dirty. He also knew when to play classical modes such as phrygian and mixolidium. He had an uncanny ability to play a smooth solo with a trill place at just the right point to accent the song. Over the Mountain is a perfect example. Listen to the solo. Diary of a Madman the song is a perfect blend of using a classical theme to build a song on. This is a very haunting song that fits the lyrics and Ozzy's voice perfectly. Dee is a beautifully composed piece that is a great ...more
Randy rhoads number six pleaseV210 Comments
Almost every metal-riff that you hear today has been invented by this guy. He is the best. Guitarists like Mustaine, Friedman, Frehley, Gallagher deserve to be a lot higher on this list. And what about genius Brian Robertson (best guitarist Thin Lizzy ever had! ) and John Sykes, I don't even see them here and they should have been!
He really should be # 3... I mean come on, don't be so ignorant because of the style of music he plays.. Just listen to "War Pigs" and "Iron Man" and you will agree with me. Keep on rocking!
Iommi has inspired every single rockNroll guitarists, and deserves the first place no doubt
He should be at least 10 think about war pigs and the guitar solo in paranoidV75 Comments
You have to look on another planet for more expression, feeling an fun on an electical guitar!
Steve Vai, I think is one of the best guitarists in the world.
He is very unique and has his own mind for playing, he gives guitar playing whole different meaning when he plays.
Satriani's protege, almost as good as Satch Boogie himself.
People who have not voted for Vai seriously need to see this guy LIVE. He isn't just a great guitarist, he is a living work of art. His actions and dialogue on stage are not scripted... he just goes with the flow, completely natural, unlike most live musicians these days. One of the more inspiring modern guitarists. He deserves a higher spot.V143 Comments
Jeff Beck listed at #74 on this list shows just how little most music fans know about the history of electric guitar. As one reviewer stated earlier, Page, Clapton, Brian May, David Gilmore, and Slash have all stated that Jeff Beck is the best guitarist on the planet. You can add Joe Perry and Steve Lukather to that list. He plays with a fire that nobody else can match and his technique is stunning, the equal of anybody on this list. Many of this generations greatest jazz musicians have recorded with Jeff, including Stanley Clarke, Jan Hammer, John McLaughlin, and Lenny White. He's toured with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Carlos Santana, BB King, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Steve Lukather, and Kenny Wayne Shepard. In 1966, when Chas Chandler was trying to convince Jimi Hendrix to move to England, Hendrix agreed but only if Chandler promised to introduce him to Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. If you don't know who Jeff Beck is, pick up a copy of Blow by Blow or Wired and give it a listen.
In a society where people worship speed, brilliant guitarists like Jeff Beck are usually forgotten. Most "modern" people have probably never heard of the name Jeff Beck, but most guitarists will tell you he's one of the best. Having experimented in most genres of music, Beck has laid down the foundations of modern music, along with other greats like Hendrix, Page, and Clapton, all of whom praise him for his genius. - AznWarlord
Agreed, all of the names you have here are "of the calibre" for the title of "Greatest" guitar player of ALL time. But Jeff Beck should certainly be #2 if not #1, only because he once stated that (at the time) "Jimmy Page and I may be considered the best (guitar players) in the world, but neither of us could hold a candle to Hendrix. " And that is the truth! Jimi Hendrix WAS. IS and shall for ever be, the greatest ROCK guitar player in the History of the Electric Guitar! Furthermore, Mitch Mitchell, Jimi's favorite. Drummer, was/and is one of the greatest drummers of all time!
Hendrix is overrated. Seriously. Just because he was the first at a lot of things doesn't mean he was the best. Innovative, yes. Original, sort of. The best ever, no. Not even close.
Whats to say, just listen.V91 Comments
BB King, the man who started it all when the other greats were just babies are perhaps not even conceived yet. Quite literally he didn't create this amazing instrument but besides T-Bone Walker he brought electric guitar to the fore-front along with Albert King, Freddy King, Buddy Guy and a vast majority of the older and late great bluesmen. His "hummingbird" vibrato effect and nuance and style has made him a house hold name for some 50 or 60 years or so and today with all the different types of music he is still a house hold name though in this day and age Blues is no longer the mainstream music it was way back when. - leongregory
Just one of many great blues guitarists not likely to make this list.
B b King is the greatest player that ever pick up a guitar in my opinon
To me he should be number one in this list, because he could not play chords but we were all looking forward for each single note when listening to his blues melodies.V43 Comments
More technically skilled than Hammett, but Hammett has better composition. However with all the effort put into Megadeths guitar work, Mustaine deserves to be top 10.
He rules but Metallica songs are also good... Tornado of souls, Peace Sell all crazy songs
I've seen people are just as amazing at guitar playing on most or all levels of guitar playing (speed, musicailty, technicality, musicianship, etc. ) but I haven't seen anyone who can surpass him on any guitar playing level and he also does vocals and doesn't look at the frets so his job is even harder. So to recap, he is betterat al of this stuff than anyone else because he hasn't been surpassed as a guitar player on any level and he he does vocals. And doesn't look at his frets. Also did I mention he can solo while singing (this day we fight, chosen ones) and he can do taping where he can do single notes AND he can do taping where he plays full chords with his left and right hands instead of strumming the chords. He does this in looking down the cross.
Makes kirk look like a beginnerV188 Comments
Related ListsBest Metal Guitarists Best Japanese Guitarists Ever 10 Most Influential Guitarists Best Rhythm Guitarists Greatest Electric Guitarists
List StatsUpdated 29 Sep 2016
10 years, 122 days old
Top Remixes (539)
2. Jimi Hendrix
3. Eric Clapton
2. Kirk Hammett
3. Dimebag Darrell
2. Buddy Guy
View All 539