Top Ten Most Underrated Guitarists


I've seen a lot of bad guitarists on the top and great guys way down. So here are the most underrated guitar players. Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

Richie Sambora
Seriously. Richie Sambora IS the most underrated guitarist. This needs to change in this poll. He is one of the most important Guitar players of our time.
The best guitarest you could ever find! He can do anything with his guitar! Listen to any song and you can tell instantly that is a Richie Sambora riff!
There are no words to describe this extraordinary guitarist: musician, singer, songwriter... He did everything, now also a designer :) His main gift is simplicity, spontaneity, joy, knowing how to put into play constantly and he showed with the latest solo album! A complete artist, a sensitive soul!
[Newest]Dry county is amazing. He is so much faster than slash.

2Dave Mustaine - Megadeth
I would say Dave is probably the inspiration for much of what Kirk Hammett has done... If not the original composer of some of it. I totally disagree with Slash being number 1. Slash is a good guitarist, but he's judged more on popularity than his prowess... Dave Mustaine doesn't win the popularity vote against other guitarists (which is one of the reasons I like him even more) but has the raw talent and creativity that the rest lack.
Take a look at the top guitarist list Slash at no. 1? Kirk Hammett @ no. 5? Dave @ 41! He destroys them all
Dave mustaine is not only a shredder from hell but he has written some of the ickiest metal licks ever! And then he overcame some nerve damage only to shred once again! I'd also put Michael bloomfield and roy buchanan on the list.
[Newest]Dave Mustaine is awesome

3David Gilmour - Pink Floyd
This guy is absolutely incredible! In 2011 Rolling Stone ranked him 14th best all-time, which is better that 82nd back in 2003, but for me that still doesn't give him justice. His guitar sound is unlike anything I've ever heard, he was the guitarist for Pink Floyd, definitely one of the greatest bands of all time, and he also has a great singing voice. Some of his greatest solos are "Comfortably Numb, " "Money, " and "Time. " "Comfortably Numb" might as well be the single greatest guitar solo ever recorded. Pink Floyd rules!
David Gilmour's riffs are incredible. Nothing can comprehend to it and there certainly won't be anyone that can copy or replace him. If you wanna hear some of his solo's I personally recommend watching comfortably numb on the pulse disk (1994), Marooned on bootlegging the bootleggers, high hopes, On the turning away (also an inspirational song.) those are only a few.
Very, very underrated. He is one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Comfortably Numb is the greatest solo of all time. It always gets my blood up. Brian May is overrated. Why is he on the list? He has never written a good solo in his life. David Gilmour from Pink Floyd is in another league.
[Newest]Everyone knows the solos, not many know the name though

4Gary Moore
Unbelievably good guitarist, could play anything from blues to heavy rock RIP Gary
Mark Knopfler is my favourite. Never listened Gary much, but definitively the most underrated guitarist ever.
This legend defines what a real guitarist is. Why the hell does some guy from R.E.M. rank higher than the Lord of the Strings? Gary Moore could play ANY style of music, adding better character to songs than the original. For example, "Walking By Myself", "Stormy Monday"... The list goes on. And who can forget the album that defines rock ballads "Corridors Of Power", and what about the 40 second sustain of "Parisienne Walkways" at Blues Alive? SMELL THE ROSES YOU LOT!

5Brian May
If you don't think Brian May is an amazing guitarist then you're just plain ignorant to the guitar and music as a whole. Listen to "good company" by Queen and just guess at how many instruments you hear. I have ashed my girl friend, close friends I've had for a very long time and all of them come up with different lists of instruments. Its ALL bass, ukulele, drums and guitar. No flutes, penny whistles or anything. That last solo is 24 different guitar tracks layered over each other. I DARE anyone to name a guitarist that has layered 24 different guitar tracks together and made it sound this good.
He should be mentioned in the same company as Hendrix, Clapton, and for my money, the best ever, Van Halen. Just soaring solos and great musicianship.
Queen best band, Brian May best guitarrist, in Queen and in his solo carrer. Just listen to: Brighton Rock, Bohemian Rhapsody, Last Horizont, Bijou, Dream of the, Liar,...

6Al Di Meola
Al Di Meola is an absolute giant when placed next to other guitarists. Watching him play alongside John McLaughlin and Paco De Lucia will change how you view guitar.

7Dann Huff

8Stephen Stills
People listen to CSN for the vocal harmonies, but forget the great music behind them. From "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" to "Woodstock" Stephen Stills' guitar has shredded the shroud of musical apathy, leading the way for the voices behind it.
Is ripped on long time gone Wow
LONG LIVE SEX BOBOMB! I love Scott Pilgrim series


9George Lynch
Seen Dokken live and George Lynch was on fire note for note also was at a guitar clinic that George Lynch put on very Talented. George knows his music theory like the back of his hand. Very Smart man great person to talk to.
Like Marty Friedman, George is one of the most technically sound and influentual talents behind the axe.
Mr. Scary- 'enough said.

10Robin Trower
Amazing guitarist. He has been present and pertinent for years now yet he is still not regarded as highly as some others. Go listen to Bridge of Sighs, or go on YouTube and listen to some of his stuff.
It is interesting to listen to Robin Trower's great "Bridge of Sighs" album and not even see him listed in some top 100 greatest guitarists lists.
Awesome player, definitely influenced by Jimi, but his own unique style.
[Newest]Criminally underappreciated. Pure Talent.

The Contenders

11C.C. Deville (Poison)

12Roy Buchanan
In my opinion the greatest white Blues Rock guitarist ever. Check out his "Second Album" from Polydor. Then go to "Guitar on Fire" during his Atlantic time. Then go to any of his time with Alligator records.

Roy's speed, phrasing precision. Just extra-ordinary.
Just check out his 1975 live show at denver and you'll know

13Chris DeGarmo

14Harvey Mandel
Best (lamb) chops ever. This guy rips - just grab yourself a copy of his album, Christo Redentor.

15John Frusciante
You have to be kidding! Frusciante is a musical genius! I've never seen someone so dedicated to music. Practicing for 10 hours a day as a kid and leaving the band due to stardom early on. He's humble, has a great work ethic, and is a guitar god. "Dani California" "can't stop" etc, don't unveil his true potential. Have you tried playing "snow? " His live stuff is amazing! He should be #1 I can write pages on why. Check out "don't forget me live la cigale" on YouTube. For those of you who appreciate fast guitar more than melodic here you go. Otherwise JF focuses on emotional, focused, slow solos that are not appreciated today which is a shame.
A great and emotional guitarist probably the best of this generation. Can play complex riffs with melody. Also one of the most prolific solo artists around 10 solo albums plus ataxia and appears on most mars Volta albums on lead guitar with Omar Rodriguez. Just loves playing music more than I can say for a lot of others.
Easily the most underrated guitarist! People refuse to look beyond jimi hendrix, slash, and van halen
He is the incarnation of jimi hendrix himself! Don't believe me the listen to dani California!
Listen to wet sand. so much emotions put into the guitar solo at the end. I brought me to tears
[Newest]I am hear because I am listening to "Blood Sugar..." and thinking, damn, this guy is amazing but he does not get his dues.

16Dave Murray - Iron Maiden
You can only be underrated if you can play with both technical skill and emotion, Dave Murray plays with those and much more. The only guitarist I think should be on this list above Dave, is Joe Satriani.
Dave is easily one of the 5 best guitarists of the world! and modest like nobody!
Every song of iron maiden have a great guitar sound. Their is no a weak guitar performance.
Dave Murray and adrian smith is the best tag team guitarists ever. Definitely underrated.
[Newest]Very skilled guitar player

17Malcolm Young
Just Hear what he is playing on the guitar and hear his great voice, he is incredible and no one can play the guitar like him and sing at the same time! in fact... he is the Best! AC/DC Rocks! and without him it wouldn't be the same! Fernando Mendoza
Just Hear what he is playing at the guitar and hear his great voice in all the chorus of the songs! Hes the best of what he do! AC/DC Rocks! and he is the brain of AC/DC!
He makes great rhythm work for ac/dc songs and accompanies angus in his solos, I think he is a bit underrated. Under

18Michael Schenker
Schenker was never given credit for developing the melodic well structured style of guitar playing that dominated the 80s. He along with a small group of others started this in the 70s and he was way out in front but the glory later went to other guitarists that followed. Maybe being an alcoholic suffering very bad stage fright and leaving every band just as they hit the big time don't help
Rock Bottom by UFO. that is all.

19Marty Friedman
Seriously just check his solo albums and you will put him in the top ten best guitar players of the world and number one most underrated guitarist ever. No wonder he left Megadeth. I mean no offense to this legendary band wich is my 3rd favorite band, but I think he did his share with them and if he didn't leave we'd be missing so much good music from his solo albums. It's very rare to see a guitarist that versatile and being EXCELLENT in every style.
Marty has a style that is instantly recognizable... just listen to his solos on the albums "Dragon's Kiss", "Speed Metal Symphony", and "Rust In Peace" and you'll get the picture.
If You guys listen to his solo albums yiou will know that he is a living legand
[Newest]Listen to tornado of souls...

20Tom Morello
MOST DEFINITELY TOM MORELLO! Yes, sure the guys at Rolling Stone Magazine for example recognize his skill and have in the top 30 of the top 100 greatest guitarists of all times, but as someone who plays guitar is has Tom Morello as his idol, I can tell you that most people I talk to either don't know who he is or know who he is only because I got them into Rage.
Why in the HELL is he on here? Tom Morello is one of the easiest recognized names in music by anyone who has the slightest clue about anything musical
Many people seem to think the effects do most of the work. To utilize a guitar the way he does even with effects is unlike anything I have ever seen or heard. To play like him takes awesome harmonics and unreal creativity. Tom geys my vote!

21Paul Gilbert
Why even try and argue it? There aren't words to describe what he produces on guitar. Just listen and it argues itself
The Best imo but still the world is not ready for him yet.

ps: to correct the other comment paul rarelly Sweeps.. He uses String skipping the most.
technical perfection, maybe one of the most perfect sweep-picking guitarists ever

22David Crosby

23Mark Tremonti
Known mostly for creed where some of his best riffs were shown, he is always underrated and never given recognition for the complex simplicity of his guitar-work. Just give "My Own Prison" a listen and you will see.
Forget about Creed for a second and listen to his work with Alter Bridge. The solo from blackbird, brand new start, cry of Achilles, all amazing. Mark Tremonti is a guitar god who happen to come at the wrong time. If it would be the 80s Alter Bridge would be with the best of them

24Jerry Cantrell
This man deserves more recognition. His solos and riffs are great.

25Scott Gorham
Scott Gorham was often overshadowed by fellow guitar player Brian Robertson when they were in Thin Lizzy together. However, I personally enjoy listening to Scott Gorham more than I enjoy listening to Brian Robertson. While many guitar players will argue that Gorham's stuff isn't very hard to play, it takes a lot of skill to execute it with the exact phrasing that he employed. Not only does he have a cool style but a killer tone to go with it. Lets be honest, Gorham kicks ass. And for those of you who don't know Scott Gorham, be sure to check out Thin Lizzy.
Great, melodic, original and bluesy

26Randy California
I love Spirit, and their sweet rock/jazz fusion. Jimmy, you stole it, just admit it.

27Alex Lifeson
He is in a band with the wields best drummer and someone who can play two instruments and sing all at the same time and even though he is good at guitar, his band members overshadow him
Did you know that Guitar World Magazine rated Alex Lifeson the third best guitarist of all time? The only reason he is never on any other lists is because of Rolling Stone. Asses. Rush is the best!
One of the best guitar players ever. In any other band he'd be the stand out, but next to Geddy and Neil people kind of forget about Alex. Which is a shame, he's an awesome player.
[Newest]He is legit underrated.

Prince has a bad rep but that guy danced, sang, and played guitar in stage better than anyone else (dare I say it? ) EVER! He had so much energy I'd say he had even more energy than Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers! I don't care about which way he swings, he is one of the most underrated guitarists ever!

29Zakk Wylde
Zakk Wylde farewell solo


Zakk can shred and ripp the guitar apart...

30Dickey Betts
Listen to "Jessica", Ramblin' Man, and "Blue Sky" and you will think he is one of the 50 greatest guitarists ever


Top class player, from the olden times, work a Stetson, shades and a 'stash. Excellent complete ability.
2 songs: Southbound and Soulshine. 'enough said

31The Edge
The Edge's use of effects and simple riffs are what make him a trailblazer in guitar playing. Coming from the 70s, an era where guitar playing was all about how much distortion you have or how fast you can shred on a guitar, he took a different road to introduce the 80s. His method to guitar playing wasnt to be known as a shredder or someone with insane solos, but it was to make his own unique sound and to make music with simple notation but with riffs that sound complicated.

32Yngwie Malmsteen
Neo-classical guitarists are underrated as a whole, as "greatest guitarist" lists are always dominated by blues-based players. As neo-classical players go, Yngwie is among the best of them, and it was Yngwie who really turned neo-classical metal into a genre in it's own right, taking the classically influenced rock of Ritchie Blackmore and Uli Jon Roth onto the next level. If you don't play guitar, you most likely haven't heard of Malmsteen. If you do play guitar and you haven't, you most likely aren't very good.

33Kyle Gass
KG is one of the most imaginative, talented, and entertaining guitarists ever! Him on, an, acoustic is magical! Most others don't have, the grace or technique to rock it unplugged like he does!
Definitely one of the most under-appreciated guitarists out there. On another list on this site he was lower ranked than JB af far as guitarists went.
he's an awesome amazing guiatarist and he is tight with jack jack black

34Dave Navarro

35Martin Barre

36George Thorogood
Only guy, who knows exactly, how to play in delta blues style and bring it to the modern world.
I can listen to him and the Destroyers forever. He never falters.
I've been listening to this band since '77. Loved then then & love them now. George T is fantastic on the slide. He doesn't disappoint!

37Synyster Gates
Are you effing kidding me?!
I accedentily clicked on vote, this guy sucks.

38Vinnie Moore

39Johnny Ramone
Considering all the attention other guitarists get, Johnny has never truly been recognized as one of the "greats" even though he was very influential.

40Kerry King

41Sam Totman
I always hear about how good Herman Li is but never about Sam. He is the band's song writer for crying out loud! He is so good and yet he never got enough respect as a musician.


Anyone who listens to Dragonforce should know that Sam is amazing, easily as good as Herman, but to many people are obsessed with Li being Asian and crap. Mustain is not underrated he is one of the most revered guitarists ever.

42Buck Dharma - Blue Oyster Cult
Buck Dharma has never received nearly enough recognition for not just his stellar, piercing riffs, but also for his overall musicianship, song writing ability and singing voice. It's a damn shame such a fantastically talent man has never received his due. His 1982 solo album, "Flat Out" further showcases the depth of his repetoire. CRIMINALLY UNDERRATED.
Absolutely one of the best, if not the best, guitarist period. His sound is signature, whether it being slow or lightening fast he is easily identified because of his unique style. Also a great song writer, he wrote most of the hits for BOC including "Don't fear the Reaper" and "Burning for You" (of course many more).
Buck's solo on the 8 minute live version of Veteran of the Psychic Wars (on Extraterrestrial Live, 1982) is a piece of badass cosmic wizardry. Also see his improvised instrumental, Buck's Boogie, on On Your Feet or On Your Knees (1975). He's Jerry Garcia meets Tony Iommi.

43Dave Sabo

44Rory Gallagher
Feeling and phrasing, seriously guys, listen to Rory Gallagher for the most amazing soulful playing of a strat that you will ever hear.
He opens your ears, mind and soul with every note.
The guitarist from Doctor Velvet band in Perth comes close but that's about it!
Rory Gallagher is thy underrated guitarist

45Steve Hackett
His solo of Genesis' "Firth of Fifth" is just perfection. He is innovative and unique, just listen to the guitar work in the song mentioned above.
Used tapping much long before Eddie Van Halen
Invented Sweep picking. that is all.

46Billie Joe Armstrong

47Dave Baksh - Sum 41, Brown Brigade
Listen to the song "the bitter end" and you will understand me
he is amazing at guitar, just listen to most sum 41 songs.

48Steve Vai
I've seen a lot of websites stating Vai and Satch being one of the most overrated guitarists there are. I think those people are having too much baloney in their diets. Or they are just jealous. This guy is a virtuoso already and that rank is so hard to achieve in present days. Judge Steve VAi after you've proven yourself worthy of the virtuoso title alright?
Steve can make Slash pee himself.

49Hizaki - Versailles

50Uli Jon Roth
Most of these guitarists will be well known to most rock fans. Mention Uli Jon Roth to the same people, and you'll just get a confused expression looking back at you. Uli has had a direct influence on many of the guitarists listed.
Just listen to any of the Scorpions albums fly to the rainbow, In trance Virgin killer and Taken by force of the 1970's. Most under rated guitarist of all time...
Uli is just best guitarist I know...
Some great pieces:
Cry of the night
Sails of charon
Sky overture

Incredibly underrated

51Mark Knopfler
Too well respected to make most "underrated" lists, but still fails to rank anywhere near as high as he should on the mainstream lists. Amazing guitarist.
He is super underrated, you have got to be kidding me. Sultans of Swing people, come on
He's underrated even on this list... Should be in the top 10.

52Terry Kath
Worked the wah even before Jimi - in fact Jimi admitted Kath was the better player between the two. Listen to Kath's solos on "Make Me Smile" and "25 or 6 to 4" - both well ahead of anything at the time. He'd be lot higher on the list, had he not died at such an early age.
Terry was an amazing talent and leader of a 70's band that was second in record sales to only the Beach Boys. His style was trailblazing and a thing of beauty to behold, especially live. It is truly time for him toreceive the credit he is due as an outstanding guitarist/musician.
Listening to live Chicago concerts from 1968-1970 Terry is smoking hot on South California Purples, Free Form Guitar, I'm a Man and many others. His passion, blistering leads and soulful guitar playing are in rarified air!

53Janik Gers - Iron Maiden
Both Adrian Smith and Dave Murry I think are both better guitarists but Janick is the coolest. The way he performs on stage is just so fun and cool to watch.

54Angus Young
A lot of people view Angus as a great rock guitarist, (which he clearly is) but he is one hell of a blues guitarist.
People don't give him enough credit because he's "simple" (BUT EFFECTIVE! )

55Michael Angelo Batio
Cant believe The Greatest Guitarist list put him on #64. HES THE BEST!

56Johnny Buckland
He could easily be marked as one of those "thoughtful" players, but man, does he have some amazing skill!
Everything he plays is absolutely perfect! Every Coldplay song that uses Johnny Boy is a good one

HE IS TOTALLY UNDERRATED AT EVERYTHING... SLASH WOULD DIE IF HE TRIES TO PLAY AS FAST AS HIM AND KEEP THE MELODY.. Just listen to soothsayer. And also he is the teacher of paul gilbert.
Buckethead proves that you don't need lyrics to make a kick*ss song. Soothsayer and Jordan.
Bucket Head is one of the greats of all time!

58Mike McCready
My influence to play. The guy pours emotion into every solo
The solo on "Alive". End of story.

59Vivian Campbell - Def Leppard
His work with dio is better than anything mustaine has ever done

60Pete Townshend
Pete Townshend is so underrated, not only as a guitarist, but as a composer in general. As the person who wrote all of the lyrics and most of the composition to the Who's best albums, such as Quadrophenia, Who's Next, and Tommy, he deserves to have a much higher place than this. He also has great riffs and solos of his own.

61Django Reinhardt
He was a VERY early guitarist in 30s and 40s even before Chuck Berry and is quite underrated.

62Neal Schon
If you really get int a lot of journey stuff, he has some pretty amazing stuff, especially in song like "Walks Like a Lady, " "Of a Lifetime, " and "I'm Gonna Leave You. "

63Chris Broderick
Hear any of his old stuff from jag panzer. He's way better than mustaine he just doesn't get a chance to show his skill. His seven string tapping solos are amazing
"Betcha can't play this" O. O

64Randy Rhoads
So inspirational and most underrated guitarest ever. Known by few, beloved by many.R.I. P Randy Rhoads
If only he'd still be alive.


65Brad Delson

66Buddy Guy
One of the last 2 great Black Blues Guitarists, (the other being BB King), alive today. And in my opinion - better than BB King. A powerhouse of Blues. Totally underrated.

67James Young - Styx

68Lincoln Brewster

69Alvin Lee

70Joe Satriani
I haven't even heard him on the radio. I've only heard his music through streaming and cd's. He's an AMAZING guitarist!

71Andrew Latimer
Not simply his outstanding soulful guitar playing but its two fold its a combination of his outstanding variation of music writing and meaningful non repetitive music that simply set him above most other artists
His melodic playing is filled with such subtle, yet strong emotion. Camel is also one of the little known, but great bands from the 70's ala "Snow Goose"... A masterpiece from start to finish.
His entire band is very underrated, but his guitar playing completely demonstrates why. His solos on Lady Fantasy tell listeners a reason why.
[Newest]The track Ice alone should convince you

72Michael Romeo

73Ritchie Blackmore
He is so magnificent. Never got his due credit. Ritchie is hands down top 5. Innovation and technical abilities composed into one = Ritchie Blackmore.
Seeing as he is #25 or so on the top 10 guitarists poll, yes, I would say he is very underrated.

74MIck Jones
His guitar work on London Calling is so passionate and melodic.

75Ted Nugent
Uncle ted for president 2016

76Gary Holt
Gary Holt is FAR AWAY the most underrated guitarist. His skills are amazing, that's why he is the chosen one for replacing Jeff Hanemann in Slayer..

77Guthrie Govan

78Nuno Bettencourt
The fact that he is not even listed on here shows how underrated he is. Flight of the Bumblebee!
Best guitarist ever, ask god

79Robby Krieger

80Keith Richards

81Ron Woods - Rolling Stones

82Minoru Shin Kojima

83Karl Logan

84Warner E. Hodges

85Dan Donegan
So David Mustain is underrated, but Dan Donegan isn't?
I don't understand the people, what is wrong wit you?

86Syu - Galneryus

87Olivier Lapauze
It is shocking that he does not get the respect he deserves. If you are looking for the most underrated guitarist of all time, this is who you get. Dave Mustaine, Joe Satriani, Randy Rhoeds, Marty Friedman, Brian May and John Petrucci are not underrated. They have all gotten their page in guitar history. Olivier Lapauze comes from Heavenly, a French metal band that is vastly underrated. If you want to hear some of the best guitar currently out there, listen to some of their music. Olivier Lapauze has created some of the coolest guitar solos that I have ever heard. He has just as much skill with a guitar as Kirk Hammet. He is my favorite guitarist ever and he and the band deserve way more respect.


88JJ Cale

89Jake E. Lee
Right after Yngwie the best guitarist in the 80's and 90's, wrote some amazing songs with Ozzy and then completely changed his style when he formed Badlands. I can't wait for his new album!
THE Killer of Giants

90Eddie Hazel
Just listen to maggot brain the greatest guitar solo of all time. Not to mention the fact that he help creat the funk genre with parliament funkadelic

91Johnny Greenwood - Radiohead
Love him and the band so much

92Bruce Springsteen
Seriously, he is not really primarily known for his guitar work but the intro solo on "Prove it All Night" on the 1978 Darkness tour was just amazing.

93Frank Marino
Holy cow this guy gets the shaft. If you've never heard this guy, then you don't know the definition of underrated. Look him up and tell me I'm wrong. He was doing this stuff in the 70's for crying out loud!

94Stevie Stevens

95Carlos Santana

96You Adachi - Dead End

97Tommy Thayer

98Pat Metheny

99Andres Segovia
greatest classic guitarist ever! LEARN TO RESPECT ALL GENRES NOT JUST ROCK AND METAL!

100Mike Turner
Very creative, tasteful unconventional guitarist. Olp was garbage after he left. That just shows you how important he really was to them
Very underrated, especially by OLP.. Without OLP they lost their way! Check out his new stuff on Crash Karma!

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This list was created 6 years, 316 days ago and has been voted on over 1,000 times. This top ten list contains 182 items, has been remixed 3 times.

Updated Friday, April 17, 2015

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