Most Talented Blues Guitarists

The Top TenXW

1Steve Ray Vaughn

No one improvised liked Stevie, he could play 50 licks off of the top of his head or rather from his heart... buttery smooth every song all night long. No one played as clean, no one had the tone...
There will never be another Stevie Ray Vaughan... the current boys ain't got the chops or the soul... not even close... the people are still waiting for the next SRV ~ They're gonna be waiting for a while...

I've been waiting for the next great guitarist since SRV passed in 1990. Many fantastic technicians have come along, fewer still who play with true soul, but no one has come close to fusing the two with that immeasurable something extra Stevie had. His emotionally sensitive ferocity is unique in the annals of electric blues rock playing, possibly music history in general. He could simultaneously make your spine tingle, drop you to your knees, and bring you to tears in the same tune. There seemed to be an infinite supply of devastating licks and musical concepts he pulled from as easily as breathing. Imagine what he would have produced these last 25 years, as he had yet to reach his peak. Imagine him on stage with Hendrix. Rave on Stevie, and God bless

Hendrix was the innovator, SRV the ultimate technician.

Stevie ray Vaughn number 1 in the world sadly we wont know the great songs he would have produced and shared with us god bless what he has given us already

V36 Comments
2Jimi Hendrix

As far as pure talent on/off stage goes in any genre of music he is super human no doubt. He created his own music by converting traditional blues into rock which was then enjoyed by generations of rock and hard rock fans all over the world.

Ok Jimi Hendrix was more acid rock/heavy metal but if you even listen to half a Hendrix album you'll see that Jimi is the best blues guitarist ever!


You've gotta go for Jimi, but how can you go against Stevie Ray? Man, what a tough choice!

V14 Comments
3Eric Clapton

Face it. Vaughan and Hendrix are dead. As in gone. Bye bye. And while they were with us they played only one style of guitar. Ever. Clapton has been with us half a century, is still with us, is still evolving and has mastered every style he encountered including reggae, acid rock, delta blues, gospel, bluegrass, southern rock... the list keeps getting longer. Nobody has EVER done that before. I doubt anyone ever will again.

Tough list but Clapton first... And I don't see Muddy Waters, David Gilmour, Joe Bonamassa, Dwayne Allman... Come on. Jimmy Page? Gimme a break... Most overrated guitarist ever.

Best guitarist. Perfect solos, excellent technique. I do not think Jimi Hendrix is better than him. Best blues guitarist.

No one can make a guitar cry and joy like Eric

V9 Comments
4Roy Buchanan

Anybody who is a real blues fan will know who Roy Buchanan is. he is the worlds greatest unknown blues guitarist as said by Rolling Stone. Just listen to some tracks like When a guitat plays the blues, his cover of Hey Joe and so many others. His guitar playing will put you in a trance.

Roy was incredible live - Roy's Bluz, I'm Evil, The Messiah Will Come Again - had as much fireworks as a Hendrix or SRV. Definitely his older stuff was better and I especially liked that he was straight Telecaster and amp. His record "Second Album" is one of the best ever - Side 1 is a must listen - for me "5 String Blues" is electric blues guitar perfection (and he played most of it with only 5 strings! ).


This guy never got his due and that's a shame

V10 Comments
5Joe Bonamassa

Listen and watch all on this list... Joe Bonamassa is the most talented blues guitarist the genre has ever seen. The throne has a new king of the blues for years to come. Long live the king.

Joe Bonamassa. This guy is the epitome of blues. He has the quality to play all sorts of styles from John Henry to Woke Up Dreaming

Joe has taken blues to a new level in the 21st century. Great innovation and style that is a combination of both past and present. Keeps getting better and has not forgotten the roots of the blues or tries to compromise his artistry with commercialism.

While I adore this guy with all of my heart and voted for him, I cannot go to his concerts because the sound is just too dang loud... And I am a musician who loves to turn it up!

V35 Comments
6Buddy Guy

Buddy invented the electric blues! BB King and Muddy Waters were his idols and predecessors, but no one else played with the volcanic intensity he did right through the 60's, 70's and 80's through to today! To mention the others on this list without Buddy leading this list is laughable! Now, at 78, Buddy plays and sings as intensely as he ever did. Long live Buddy Guy!

Isn't it odd that Buddy Guy is the only black blues artist on the list? In fact all the others should be called "contemporary" blues artist. Guy is the only true blues guitarist on the list. You missed a bunch of great ones...

Simply the essence of blues. The greats of Britain as well as many guitarists from American(such as Hendrix) owe this guy big time. - cruciel

When your talking the blues your talking buddy guy!

V8 Comments
7BB King

At the time I right this 'comment' I can tell you B. B king is 47th. That will NOT do. If you were to ask competent gifted and phenomenal guitarists such as Buddy guy, eric clapton, stevie ray vaughn(RIP) or even modern artists such as joe bonamasa. Ask anyone who there key influence was I can tell you they will say BB king. His elegance and unique tone was unbeatable, still is. To paraphrase jimmy vaughn 'everyone is trying to work out what BB king did and we are ALL trying to sound like him' BB king, is THE KING OF BLUES. It is an embarrassment that The king is so low. Blues artists would be ashamed, buddy guy, clapton or vaughns would all be let down or annoyed. The king is a legend

Made just as huge impact on blues as Albert King. A true legend that can't be replaced. Hard to say which one of them is better guitarist they are both legends.

Ask any blues legend to come after him, they will admit that B. B is their influence and what blues guitar is all about. He is the king of blues.

The greatest simply I'm horrified he's way down here can't believe it

V12 Comments
8Albert King

Extraordinary guitarist and a master of a single string solos. His bends and vibratos had a huge impact on generations after him. For example SRV to just name a few.
Extraordinary voice as well. Also my personal favourite.

Albert is the best there is... White guys like clapton and all the rest are just copy cats. They can play, for sure but do they really have it... I don't think so. The guy who came the closest was SRV

He is the best I've ever heard... Hands down

8th on this stupid list? You should all be ashamed.

V6 Comments
9Gary Moore

Arguing who is the best guitarist is nothing but subjective and dumb. However if I had to pick one, that would be Gary Moore. He could literally play on stage with every guitarist from blues to shred metal and wipe his ass with every single one.

The best hands down!

Should be in top 5 at least one of the best

Love a lot of blues guitarists, but Gary Moore is my all time favorite.

V8 Comments
10Jay Jesse Johnson

Merging the rock genre with the blues, Johnson has his own unique style and tone. It's blues based but he goes for it. Where others play it safe with same old riffs, Johnson digs in deep and creates a modern yet classic statement. Some say he's In the style of Trower, Travers and Marino and there is some truth to that but I think this guy stands up to some of the great guitarist of the world.

Been a fan of Jay's since the '80's when rock was his world fast forward and Jay has matured into his own style of rock 'n blues. You can hear many of the great guitarist's influences in some of his music, but it is classic Jay Jesse Johnson's tone and inflection that comes through on every song. Hoping he will record his rendition of Over the Rainbow one of these days, as it is killer!

I have had the pleasure of listening to Jay perform his craft since the early 70's. His talent shines in everything he does. Very few can make you feel their music the way Jay does. Mirrored of Trower and Hendrix Jay's talent amazes. There are a lot of guitar players, but very few with talent at this level.

All around fantastic player. Gives 100%,100% of the time

V43 Comments

The Newcomers

?George Ross Watt
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The Contenders

11Rory Gallagher

My vote goes to the late great Corby Yates (1981-2012). I've seen all the greats. Corby was self taught from age 6. No one in history Ever played blues/rock guitar with the continuous ferocity than he. His shirt was drenched withheld sweat after the first song. He was as mild mannered and humble as they come, but Corby coulda mopped the floor with SRV. If you don't believe me, buy the "Into Oblovion" cd. Admittedly, it is a dark album, as it turns out that Corby was a paranoid schizophrenic, which led to his early passing. But if you listen to the heart and intensity he pours into his insane solos (he was also the singer), I think you'll become an instant admirer and fan.

No frills, just chills. If Hendrix showed us what the guitar could do, Rory showed us how to play it. Amazing live. He played for three or four hours sometimes and sweated the paint off his guitar. Rory died before his time and is greatly missed.

Saw Rory live at Long Beach Arena back in early 70s appeared with Deep Purple before they went on, Rory was sloppy then hit lot of bad notes, but did give it his all, never saw him again, riot broke out and cops maced the place trampled people busted out the glass shoved folks thru it bad scene, that's what I remember most-although Deep Purple was OK

God! Just listen to his version of pistol slapping blues, unrated and sorely missed

V10 Comments
12Elmore James

Let's see here. What rock n roll player who also plays good blues on this list before this man... Did not idolize him, and play his tunes?. The Sky is crying... Albert K and Stevie Ray. Bleeding Heart Jimi Hendrix. Jimi Hendrix had called himself "Jimi James at one point." Come on... Folks put away yer rock hats and put on yer Madison Blue Shoes...

Greatest slide player of all time.

13Muddy Waters

The absolute king of blues!

14Peter Green

I can listen to this man play guitar over and over! Oh well part one and two blow me away every time. But the one true record that gets me is "i need your love so bad" his voice coupled with just simple expressice guitar playing is just breathtaking. I urge all walks of life to listen to this!

Listen to "The Stumble" live and realize the year it was recorded. He smoked almost everyone.

A player of great feeling and sensitivity. The notes he didn't play were almost as expressive as the ones he did.
BB was right.

If the Green God had not destroyed himself with psychedelic drugs, he would be a household name. Beautiful tone played from the heart.

V7 Comments
15Albert Collins

One Of The Best Ever Blues Guitarists Of all Time! Without A Doubt!

16Robert Johnson

An innovator at a time when there was less information and it was much more difficult to excel in the manner Johnson did. This is why he is considered "ahead of his time".

He 'invented' the blues. His guitar playing was so revolutionary for that time that generations of guitarists strived to immitate him with varing success.

Without him there would be no blues or rock n roll
Has to be number 1 - rocker1796

Johnny dickey eric al say this Guy is the maN

V7 Comments
17John Lee Hooker

The Godfather of the Blues!

18Robben Ford

As with previous posts... Just an amazing player with nice vocals! Recently saw him at an intimate venue in New Hampshire (Tupelo Music Hall). He is so connected with his music and plays with a lot of passion. You will not be disappointed when you see him. Tasteful with a lot of blues soul as it should be! Can easily play with the very best!

Very tasty, incorporates elements of jazz in the blues. Has a much better understanding of music than many blues guitarists. As Miles said: Why do you need another guitar player after Robben Ford...

Listen to the entire family band, The Ford Brothers. Music to the core when its all you've known since you were a kid. Those guys are connected right down to the blues bone.

He's simply the best modern guitarist hands down!

V6 Comments
19Duane Allman

Duane Allman was just 24 years old when he died. What he left behind in just a few short years was nothing short of amazing. Of course we all know about his great guitar work with the Allman Brothers but people often forget about all of his session work with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and so on. That's without his contribution to Derek & The Dominoes "Layla & other assorted love songs". Raw, powerful, bluesy/rock bordering sometimes on jazz... How good he could have been we will never know!

I was a teenager when he died, just eight years or so younger than him. For the ensuing 42 years, I have listened to his work countless numbers of times and have lamented his untimely death. He was not a casualty of the excesses of the late sixties and early seventies, which makes his passing even more poignant. Damn, he was good, so good.

I just loved his work. We lost a real blues man the day he died. not a day goes by that I don't listen to him... Thank you Duane for all the memories

After Hendrix, he is the best

V6 Comments
20Jeff Beck

One of the greatest Guitar Players

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List StatsUpdated 7 Oct 2015

1,000 votes
87 listings
7 years, 29 days old

Top Remixes (5)

1. Steve Ray Vaughn
2. Roy Buchanan
3. Freddie King
1. Roy Buchanan
2. Steve Ray Vaughn
3. Joe Bonamassa
1. Jay Jesse Johnson
2. Steve Ray Vaughn
3. Roy Buchanan

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