Most Innovative Guitarists

All these guys made major contributions to guitar playing, be it in terms of technique, tone, style or simply feel. They changed the way people would see guitar, over the years, and are very much responsible for what we see it as today.

The Top TenXW

1Eddie Van HalenEdward Lodewijk "Eddie" Van Halen is a Dutch-American musician, songwriter and producer. He is best known as the lead guitarist, occasional keyboardist and co-founder of the hard rock band Van Halen.

While many other influential guitarists made guitarists everywhere want to play like them, Eddie made people from all over the world go out and buy a guitar.

While other influential guitarists made guitarists everywhere want to play like them, Eddie made people all around the world go out and buy a guitar.

Hendrix did all of this too, and even possibly tapping. Listen to Hear My Train A-Comin', live at the Atlanta Pop Festival, you'll hear it,

V1 Comment
2Jimi HendrixJimi Hendrix (born November 27, 1942 - September 18, 1970) was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter . Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated more.

No one proceeds Hendrix in this area in my book he literally rewrote the book on how to play the guitar in many ways not just flash but creating new audio landscapes, merging styles, creating new ones while apexing the old.

Who else can make the guitar scream and still sound good? - ameentheguitarist23

3Tom MorelloThomas Morello is an American musician, singer-songwriter and political activist. He is best known for his tenure with the band Rage Against the Machine and then with Audioslave.

This is innovation guys... No one can ever play like Tom Morello... Listen to the riff of "guerrilla radio" and solo of "bulls on parade".. No doubt at all

I don't care what you say, Tom Morello does things no one else does and no one else should touch a whammy pedal

Listening to him play is the only way to get an explanation of how good his innovations are. - ameentheguitarist23

Consensus. Definitively innovation in motion.

4Les PaulLester William Polsfuss, known as Les Paul, was an American jazz, country, and blues guitarist, songwriter, luthier, and inventor.

He invented the solid body electric guitar. And a lot of other things, but that's all he needs to make this list. - ameentheguitarist23

He invented the les paul for crying out loud. He should be even higher

5The Edge

His tonal innovations are something which is very hard to achieve. He is the reason why it is so hard to make a U2 song sound right if anyone other than him plays it. - ameentheguitarist23

6Frank ZappaFrank Vincent Zappa was an American musician, songwriter, composer, record producer, actor and filmmaker.
7Tony IommiAnthony Frank "Tony" Iommi is an English guitarist, songwriter and producer. Best known as lead guitarist and founding member of the pioneering heavy metal band Black Sabbath, he has been the band's sole continual member and primary composer.

The father of metal guitar. Enough said. - ameentheguitarist23

Iommi could stand in 3rd place after Django Reinhardt and Hendrix.

8Steve VaiSteven Siro "Steve" Vai is an American guitarist, composer, singer, songwriter, and producer, born and raised on Long Island, New York.

He might not have invented or popularized any techniques, but he sure did take Eddie Van Halen's works in a whole new direction. Vai made great innovations to many of the techniques made famous by Van Halen, especially whammy bar tricks and tapping. Even his tonal innovations are unbelievable. - ameentheguitarist23

9Dick Dale
10Joe Satriani

He is the bridge between Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen and all other blues guitarists. Enough said. - ameentheguitarist23

The Contenders

11Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal

This guy can multitask like anything, he invented the technique to make the highest note on the guitar infinity. - ameentheguitarist23

12BucketheadBrian Patrick Carroll, known professionally as Buckethead, is an American guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who has worked within many genres of music.

The only guitarist out the who can play lullabies one moment, then make computer sounds the next. - ameentheguitarist23

13Matt 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.
14Yngwie MalmsteenYngwie Johan Malmsteen is a Swedish guitarist, songwriter and bandleader who was born on June 30th, 1963, in Stockholm, Sweden. He was known for his neoclassical metal playing style back in the 1980s.

Who else can play heavy metal on a classical background? - ameentheguitarist23

Nah, come on, the kind of neo classical should be higher! - gemcloben

15Robert Fripp

Definitely part of the top 10 innovative guitarists. Or what is guitar innovation?

16Jimmy PageJames Patrick Page is an English musician, songwriter, and record producer who achieved international success as the guitarist and founder of the rock band Led Zeppelin.

His guitar playing helped create the foundation of rock n' roll guitar playing, an he was one of the first to make hard rock music out of a bluesy style of playing. - ameentheguitarist23

17Django Reinhardt

So innovative, he invented to play jazz on guitar. And with only two fingers running on the neck! By far, the greatest guitarist of all time.

18Jeff BeckGeoffrey Arnold "Jeff" Beck is an English rock guitarist. He is one of the three noted guitarists to have played with The Yardbirds.
19SlashSaul Hudson, known professionally as Slash, is a British-American musician and songwriter. He is best known as the lead guitarist of the American hard rock band Guns N' Roses, with whom he achieved worldwide success in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Before him, people used the wah pedal to do funky things. And then Slash used it in Civil War. - ameentheguitarist23

20Adam JonesAdam Thomas Jones (born January 15, 1965) is a three-time Grammy Award-winning American musician and visual artist, best known for his position as the guitarist for Tool.
BAdd New Item

Recommended Lists

Related Lists

Best Guitarists Ever Best Metal Guitarists Best Japanese Guitarists Ever 10 Most Influential Guitarists Best Rhythm Guitarists

List StatsUpdated 8 Dec 2016

32 listings
1 year, 265 days old

Top Remixes

1. Jimi Hendrix
2. Les Paul
3. Eddie Van Halen
1. Eddie Van Halen
2. Steve Vai
3. The Edge



Add Post

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.