Best Guitarists Ever

The Contenders: Page 4XW

61hide

Hide can solo slash into the mud! He beats out every guitarist on this list in soul and technical ability! If the western part of the world wasn't so damn ignorant hide would be at number 1 easily. Just because he's not white doesn't mean he's not good... I am a huge Hendrix and Jimmy Page fan, but hide is flat-out better. Slash has some talent... But hide is talent. Listen to "Hi-Ho" from his solo career (or the entire "Psyence" album) listen to "X", "Kurenai" and "Endless Rain" from X Japan... And that's just for starters... Then we maybe we can talk about guitar.

Dude, what is your problem, Hide is overrated and Slash has more signature songs than this hack - LedZepp81

Hide is an inspiration to me. He is an amazingly talented musician! Not only was he the lead guitarist of X Japan (the greatest band ever), but his solo work was creative, versatile, and simply incredible!
Even though he is unfortunately no longer with us (;____, he has left behind an amazing legacy.

This man, hide, purposely written in lowercase, was an amazing musician who performed with X Japan and was in Ziltch and hide With Spread Beaver. All of his work has been amazing, and in addition to being a fa-nominal guitarist he also had a wonderful voice and great skill in songwriting.

Race doesn't determine the greatest guitarist or musician, and certainly hide has proven that. Even though he isn't up at the top of this list yet, he is known not only by his fans but by other guitarists in Japan and they consider him to be a role model.

This is I suppose why he had his own museum after his passing that stayed open for 7 or 8 years.

Stop hating on him because he's Japanese, you racists.

V91 Comments
62Jerry CantrellJerry Fulton Cantrell Jr. is an American musician who is best known as the lead guitarist, co-lead vocalist and main songwriter for the rock band Alice in Chains.

A lot of the older folk in the world today and think music has gone bad. In one perspective, that is correct. In the mainstream overhaul, most music has gone to doggy doody. (you know what I mean) With our Kanye Wests, Muse, and more, it certainly seems that way. Not to be too biased though; the artic monkeys are a fine example of good break through music.

But back to my point; music prosperity has gone down over the years. In order to obtain music with power nowadays, you have to go underground. Not just punk; most popular "punk" bands these days aren't even close to the political sneer and anarchy of the glory days.

If you look at good bands, you see the 90's was really the end for most intellectually inclined music. Ironically, the 90's was a flourish (Renaissance if you will) of music. Music that contained politically charged lyrics, argued against religion, and expressed the of humanity.

Nirvana and Pearl Jam dominated the 90's while the less mainstream ...more

No artist has been through pain like Jerry. If layne could have stayed clean, Alice in chains would have been the greatest band of the 90's. They have such a wide style from all out metal to make you cry country tunes.

This list reflects the thoughts of most of the people and teenagers out there... And this is sad. Is that possible? Syn Gates better than the god of grunge guitar? The absolute riff maker? Cantrell has changed the 90's, Syn just sweeped some harmonic minor...

Generation X s Jimmy Hendrix better than most people know.

V39 Comments
63Guthrie Govan

The best.
I feel that more people should listen to this God play.
Being that I have listened to most of the guitarist on this list, I can safely say that he is the best I have seen thus far. His Chord progressions are angelic, his solos, impeccable, and his phrasing, fluid. He is the archetype of the perfect guitarist. As stated by people like Joe Satriani Steve Vai, Tosin Abasi, he is the best guitarist in the world, today.

What can I say. A guitarists guitarist.

The closest thing we have to the pinnacle of modern guitar playing. This man encompasses every generational stylistic voice on guitar. A beastly improvisational player, with chops and feel to boot.

Some may find him to be too shreddy, but when he shreds it is always tasteful, and he has phrasing for days. I hesitate to call him the "best" (as Guthrie would never use those words himself) but he most certainly is the most versatile guitarist I've ever heard. Can literally play any style.

This is one of the best guitarists of modern times. With a great idea of musicality and phrasing, I can't believe that he's not down the top 5, or at least top 20. A fantastic guitarist indeed, check him out as soon as possible!

The best Guitarist of all times!

V31 Comments
64Albert KingAlbert King Nelson, known professionally as Albert King, was an American blues guitarist and singer, and a major influence in the world of blues guitar playing.

I concur with the previous comments, and If you really appreciate rock/blues guitar look into it's history. Maybe it's only other guitarists who really appreciate him. Long live this King

It's sinful and blasphemous that Albert King did not make the top 100. But like Robert Johnson's ranking, time will adjust all things. In 50 years, 98% of the people in the top 150 won't be known.

Make a guitar cry when the blues hits you. This man learned all the guitarist who can do it these days. A true legend.

Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray, all rated Albert King Much higher than you do...Get the hint?

V4 Comments
65John Mayer

I got to sit down and watch his special and I have always been around music due to both of my parents singing and play an instrument and me, myself having a couple of different bands and being a lover of the sweet sound of a guitar just screaming or cry out to you, I have been a Stevie Ray fan for as long as I can remember and I can say after seeing the John Mayer special I second guessing heavily that it could be argued that he is the best guitarist. If your a guitarist freak then you should watch this guy in action. Soulful and talented beyond my wildest dreams.

Most talented guitarist of the newer generation. I've listened to SRV and Clapton and Hendrix and Mayer is right there with the talent but his songwriting and voice put him over them in my opinion. His best performances put others to shame, check out Gravity from "Where the light is", check out also Good Love is on the way from the same concert, along with everyday I have the blues...his solos are more than an exhibition in how fast one can go, more like someone singing and crying through a guitar. Plus he's versatile, how many of the aforementioned artists can do blues, acoustic blues, rock, country, hell His cover of lively up yourself by Bob Marley was damn good. This guy is a virtuoso and an incredibly underrated guitarist. His only fault was that he banged a lot of "america's sweethearts" so he has a bad rep in gossip circles, plus tough guy guitar fans think his music is too sensitive or soft. All of you grow the hell up, this dude does justice to those who came before, and sets ...more

Absolutely the greatest guitarist of his generation. Period. I can count the dozens of friends who have trashed John Mayer and then I play them a live DVD and they are floored- becoming fans on the spot. I agree to all the haters... Give him a chance. He should not be branded with "Room For Squares" debut album that was most popular. Check out John Mayer Trio.

What a joke John Mayer is easily a top 10 guitarist. Listen to Gravity on his Where the Light is album.

V46 Comments
66The 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.

What?
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!

Even his mother calls him "THE EDGE"!
Just listen to the guitar riffs on "Until the End of the World" by U2 and you will believe too!

His solo in bullet the blue sky is so awesome he should be in the top 20 at least

V82 Comments
67Herman LiHerman Li is a Hong Kong-born, British Chinese musician, record producer, and lead guitarist for the British Power-Metal band Dragonforce.

The fastest guitarist I've seen in my life!

He actually uses a Hot Hand to rev up the speed, but he's a badass guitarist anyways. - MKBeast

Herman Li is the best guitarist in the world his hands is so fast in the song heroes of our time yeah

Are you serious? 53? Herman li rocks guys, Jimi Hendrix is great slash is good but the level on which li plays is greater than any other guitarist I've ever seen in my life. When I heard slash I thought he was the best and then after listening to Hendrix I thought he is better but once you are introduced to dragonforce and their songs you will understand the meaning of the word 'impossible' and by the way Jimi Hendrix might be the father of music but herman li is the grand grand grand father of music and guitar

Hey guys music is not a sport, he is just fast

V128 Comments
68Kurt CobainKurt Cobain was born February 20, 1967, in Aberdeen, Washington. In 1988, he started the grunge band Nirvana. He was a talented yet troubled grunge performer. Kurt Cobain became a rock legend in the 1990s with his band. He committed suicide at his Seattle home in 1994.

What he lacked in talent, he made up for in heart. - dahe24

What he played when played by its self if without a doubt simple but to understand how great he was you honestly have to be a musician... His ability to sing and play at the same time is unbelievable... He didn't do the conventional style where the vocals come in on the down beats along with the guitar instead his vocal patterns and guitar riffs were timed differently... He would start singing on an upbeat with the rhythm of the melody and start playing on a down beat with a completly different rhythm... This is what makes him a LEGEND of a MUSICIAN... But as he always said nirvana always aimed to play simple music, so his true abilities purley as a guitarist we will never know

In my opinion he was a master of his craft! His music was so much his own. His lyrics were his own. Wacky and you could hear his emotion. His guitar playing was so distinctive and powerful. Simplicity works. And the way he could sing and play in different rhythm was just incredible. All time favorite of mine.

Skill, Craft, and Heart is what made him so damn great. He is a legend to say the least! Why he is at 103 beats me to infinity...

V87 Comments
69Mark Tremonti

Mark, when combined with Myles, is the definition of Rock and Roll. No one who has heard Blackbird can deny that.

My favourite quote from YouTube:
"The music industry gets owned whenever Myles opens his mouth. "
Same goes for both Mark's and Myles' guitar playing.

He's a living legend. It's just that he's underrated and he deserves a lot more. For me he's the best guitarist the world.

Mark Tremonti has played with Creed and Alterbridge his whole life. He made his start with Creed, and now look Creed is one of the most successful bands of all time. Mark has it all the stage presence the skill the speed the crazy attractive PRS custom Tremonti. He has found the balance of metal and hard rock that made Creed and Alter Bridge what they are today. Mark can grab that crazy attractive PRS and play not just for the fans but for himself and the pure enjoyment of music, and once an musician or in this case artist can do that then they can connect with the audience even more. He can play those crazy fast metal hard rock riffs but he is also diverse enough to through in a bluesy rock riff. So in conclusion vote Tremonti not just because his crazy sexy attractive guitar but for his pure raw talent and skill.

Mark is my favourite guitarist. Not saying he's objectively the best, but as I see him there's no other musician that can bring be the feelings he brings to me while playing his guitar, aside Brian Marshall, Scott Phillips and Myles Kennedy

V91 Comments
70Matt BellamyMatthew James "Matt" Bellamy is an English musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and compose most famous for being the main vocalist in alternative rock band Muse.

There is no way to explain how awesome Matt's guitar skills are. Who could forget the New Born solo? Not to mention he composes all of his music, he has such a great influence in the world of music that he deserves a good place in this top 10.

Well I honestly heard just a few of the guitarist with such incredible sense of musicality. I enjoy his search for new stuff/sounds to add, he is a true guitarist in every possible way, his stage performance is like he is making love to his guitar!

Just the best.. Human bean can't play a guitar and sing like him. Nobody else can do it. Th

Insane on the guitar

V198 Comments
71Les PaulLester William Polsfuss, known as Les Paul, was an American jazz, country, and blues guitarist, songwriter, luthier, and inventor.

How is Les Paul so low on the list, he's LES PAUL creator of one of the best guitars on earth

If influential was a category this genius would be No. 1. Has had an impact on at least 99% of anyone playing an electric guitar if they know it or not... Check out this guy's story.

Where all those before mentioned artists are truly great... Les Paul has to be No1. Not only did he invent all the techniques and sounds he and his wife Mary set the presidence of all future lead guitarist's to the present day!

What he invented a guitar people he should be like number 1

V22 Comments
72Buddy GuyGeorge "Buddy" Guy is an American blues guitarist and singer. He is an exponent of Chicago blues and has influenced guitarists including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, John Mayer and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

One of the most influential blues players ever and he still rips it up... To see him live - The most moving performance I have ever witnessed

Eric Clapton rates Buddy as the best ever, shows how much you idiots know that he is at number 86.

What a fantastic Bluesman. A great player who has never disappointed in the many times I've been him play! Definitely underrated here.

Cool guy thanks dad for playing his records thru my childhood - ChatonNoir

V14 Comments
73Wes Montgomery

He's so much better than the people before him I mean for example how are you going to put paul mcCartney over him (no offense to Paul he was the cornerstone to the best band of all time) But if where talking about skill Wes blows him out of the water but in conclusion Wes should be in the top 20 no doubt about it.

A lot of jazz players normally are overlooked on most general guitar player polls. Wes should always transcend this oversight and be included. He was one f the few players like George Benson who were played on mainstream radio.

The best guitar player by far. I can't believe that kirk hammett is so far up the list. Wes knows what he is doing. Just listen to the incredible jazz guitar of wes Montgomery.

So, the guitarist that is consider by many as the best jazz guitarist of all time make the 78th position. Prove the voters know almost nothing about the historical guitar heritage of America. Sad.

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74Paul McCartneySir James Paul McCartney is an English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer . With John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame with the rock band the Beatles, one of the most popular and influential groups in the history of pop and rock music .

He is a great BASS player but that is different from these guys.

McCartney is a fantastic acoustic player, I've seen him in concert. Did a very nice job with Blackbird and I Will. Started out on six-string and only went to bass when Harrison came aboard.

Just because he can pull of some chords doesn't mean that it is okay from an otherwise great bass player to be above guitar legends such as Les Paul, Buddy Guy and Steve Hackett - RalphSaad

He is a good bassist but he did good on birthday and helter skelter with the electric guitar

He is a top 20 guy

V5 Comments
75Andres Segovia

HANDS DOWN! No argument, Segovia is the greatest ever. Any true guitarist or anybody older than 5 who knows how to play the guitar would agree. Ask any professional guitarist or musician and they will say the same. SEGOVIA hands down! - drV

He is, without a doubt, the best guitarist ever. Classical musicians are far more talented than rock musicians could ever be. I hate classical music, but give him his credit.

It's a shame that all of the rock musicians get all the spotlight in this list. Segovia is a true virtuoso, in my opinion, deserving of the very first spot.

For sure. It's a shame that he's all the way down here. Classical guitar is far more difficult than rock, and he's a true maestro at it.

V5 Comments
76Aoi

AOI is THE BEST GUITARIST ALL OVER THE WORLD from THE BEST BAND ALL OVER THE WORLD. He's better than anyone. He can't be beaten. He's AOI.

He is a guitarist from The GazettE, second best only to Uruha

Aoi from the GazettE, you are amazing guitarist! He composed beautiful music in uncertain sense and shiroki yuutsu. He also nice and cheerful person.
Go for AOI SUPERSTAR!

The best guitarist

V14 Comments
77Neal SchonNeal Joseph Schon is an American rock guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist best known for his work with the bands Journey and Bad English. He is Journey's last original constant member, having participated in every album and tour to date.

Neal Schon will eventually be considered the most under-rated guitarist of all time. In 1971, at the age of 16, on his very first recording (Santana-3), he SOLIDIFIED his own unique style, which included frenetic time signatures, alternating with masterfully sustained notes that maintain an incredibly clean, crisp and delicate tone, which set the standard for many future shredders to come. As great as Joe Satriani is, why is he credited with inventing "melodic shredding" in 1985, when Schon was at it 14 YEARS EARLIER? The guitar interplay on Santana-3, between Carlos and Neal is mind boggling, like a volcano that is ready to explode! And this is in 1971-when guitarists had to rely on their fingers-instead of effects. A world class master!

One of the greatest ever-his work with santana is a phenomenon but lo and behold the first three journey albums before steve perry joined are the quintessential progressive/fusion albums of the 70's. Now lets get to his inhuman two works with jan hammer, his six solo albums and of course the band he had with sammy hagar for a while. Also, bad English and hardline. How quickly people forget

Neal combines beautiful melodic lines that compliment Journey's songs, but can add blistering fast connections to his memorable solo hooks. Amazingly full sound and clean precise attacks... Great musician/writer.

Great guitarist...

V43 Comments
78Miyavi

I'm certain the only reason he isn't in at least the top five, if not number one on this list is because he isn't as exposed to Americans as Slash or Jimmy Hindrix, cause Miyavi rivals both of them. Hands down my favorite guitarist ever, and he has the charisma and personality to match his musician skills as well! An all around brilliant performer!

Miyavi is the best guitarist ever, I haven't seen anyone who can play guitar like him, Miyavi is totally crazy when he is playing guitar he can also playing his magic box I don't know how to call it laugh out loud, Miyavi rocks!

Miyavi can rock like no other. He is the reason I'm playing guitar right now, love playing his riffs. Rock on Man!

Are you ready to rock?

V52 Comments
79Nuno Bettencourt

It's a shame Nuno hasn't achieved more mainstream recognition, but those in the know would have him in the top ten. How many guitarists on here have their own designed brand of guitar?

Technical virtouso and creative approach to guitar riffs. From delicate to raw and he can shred with the best of them. Totally underrated. His gifts are his timing and musicianship. Ih you love great guitar playing listen to He man woman hater- I guarantee you'll be blown away

The guy can do it all. Fast technical speed. Heart and soul. He can even write orchestra music (listen to the last 3 tracks on III Sides to Every Story). He helped form Satellite Party with Perry Farrell (great album). He has helped produce numerous albums for artists such as Dweezil Zappa. He was also the touring guitarist for Rihanna. Severely underrated due to being in a band that was labeled during the 80's as a cheesy hair band...

Under rated genius, anyone who has heard Flight of the Wounded Bumblebee would agree

V26 Comments
80George Benson

George played like he and his guitar were one; the zen of guitarists.

Ridiculous rating. Completely undermines the credibility of this list.

There is simply no match to George Benson!

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