10 Most Influential Guitarists

phunkjunkie
Please note that these are the guitarists that had the most influence on music and not just the best guitarists. Comments that do not reference a particular guitarist's influence will not be approved.

The Top Ten

1 Ritchie Blackmore Ritchie Blackmore Richard Hugh "Ritchie" Blackmore is an English guitarist and songwriter, best known for his work in the hard rock/metal bands Deep Purple and Rainbow. He was ranked number 16 on Guitar World's "100 Greatest Metal Guitarists of All Time" in 2004, and number 50 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the ...read more.

Love Ritchie because he made rock that was exciting, Lazy from In Concert 1980 became the reason why I became a Deep Purple addict. I couldn't quite understand why at the time, but it was like all the ingredients of a super talented musician on full display. No studio trickery just pure magic, the only other guitar player with that live spontaneity to my opinion is Rory Gallagher who I believe should be in the top five. He just got better when Burn came out, it was a more American sounding Purple with all the mystique of the keyboards/guitar/drums triumvirate. Always supported with the awesomest bass players in the world and lead singers, were the Roundabout of rock with interchanging lineups every few years. At the end of the day he made rock really interesting, although breaking everyone's hearts by leaving DP in 75. He was strangely indifferent to his own music, he couldn't care less and that's cool because of his influence it spawned the Purple family of off shoot rock bands. ...more

When you speaks about Heavy metal, the greatest names are Black Sabbath for tony iommi, BUT, when you speaks about more influence, we're spoken about Deep Purple, Blackmore is the greatest guitarist of his era, Better than Page and Iommi in live performances, this guy is an institution, the Highway star solo is the first solo of their class, maybe this man is undervalued, and its an injustice, because he bring us Neoclassical style into Metal (Rainbow), style followed by Randy rhoads or Malmsteen, well this is my opinion and if you never hear nothing about this master, please listen Made In Japan! "

Technically and musically superior to any of his contemporaries, he was shredding neo-classical style 45 years ago -while all the others were playing pentatonic blues scales- creating the base for a new guitar playing style. He was clinical and madly skilled. But he would always play for the song -his songwriting second to none. His stage presence was huge.

His exquisite taste and unique touch made his style instantly recognizable, being the only rock player to pick almost every note staccato style instead of the usual pull-offs and hammer-ons that the others were doing at the time.

His playing inspired millions of players worldwide.

If we are talking influence definativaly the best

V 274 Comments
2 Jimi Hendrix Jimi Hendrix Jimi 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 ...read more.

Jimi is on a whole other level of playing. His live performances were largely improvisational and even the greatest guitarist ever, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend and Jimmy Page put their guitars down and admitted they weren't even close to him when he jammed with them. Also he was a good singer, awesome songwriter and even did some great experimental stuff like 1983 (A Mermaid I Should Turn to Be... ). When you watch him play you just can't do anything but be in awe and listen. - EnglandSeller

Jimi might not have been the greatest technical guitarist of all time, but he was up there. No one popularized the wah wah pedal and numerous other effects like he did. There are almost no other players that can improvise like Jimi did, he came up with songs in minutes and could play what ever he felt at any time. Jimi will always be the most influential and greatest guitarist.

Jimi was a prodigy. He didn't play guitar. He was the guitar. When he was young he couldn't contain himself without walking around with a broom to emulate a guitar. When he first got a ukulele, it only had one string yet he still learned how to play whole songs. He could also play whole solos with his teeth and play behind his back.

Hendrix popularised so many styles and techniques of guitar playing, at the time barely anyone used hammer ons and pulloffs (at least not in the way jimi did) but now they're one of the main techniques for solos. not to mention the wah wah. he just was so different in the guitar world and it's fair to say that he revolutionised rock and blues.

V 47 Comments
3 Jimmy Page Jimmy Page James 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.

Jimmy Page - the innovator of hard rock as we know it today. Page musically was a genius, his producing and creativity in life was flawless but most of all his approach to the music he made was his own, he was his own person and certainly still is. A fine guitar player forever paving the way for future talent. Page is an iconic stature in life that will always be remembered as one of the best guitar player's that ever walked the face of this earth. To me the best. Songs such as Since I've Been Loving You, Ramble on, Kashmir, The Rain Song are songs that make people really sit down and question their abilities musically because this is really as good as it gets.

He had the up mot empathy for his band members and fans. The primal seed that was Led Zeppelin. Jimmy Page.

Do you remember the Yardbirds? Of course. There were three well-known guitar-players in this band: the outstanding technical virtuoso Jeff Beck, the very very good blues-guitarist Eric Clapton and the visionary arranger Jimmy Page. But what's about his guitar playing? Page plays the guitar well, but not outstanding. Of course he knows how to use traditional blues-riffs for a great sound, but his solos are practiced (Stairway to heaven/Taurus for example) or failed when he he tried to improvise live. Listen! Page is a great producer, but an overrated guitar player. And don't forget the importance of Robert Plant and John Bonham for Led Zeppelin.

What do you mean "well, but not outstanding"? Jimmy Page is known as one of the biggest rock influences and a riff king. "Stairway To Heaven" is has been put as the best rock song of all time on some websites. The "Stairway To Heaven" guitar solo has been marked as the greatest guitar solo on some sites too! But I agree with the part that he's overrated. Yes, he's a musical genius.

#1. At least when I was growing up. I wanted to learn all his riffs, solos, and acoustic songs, too. And I think he wrote and produced more good ones than anyone on this list. Legendary and the most influential.

V 26 Comments
4 Eddie Van Halen Eddie Van Halen Edward 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.

Eddie changed everything that came after him: songs, techniques, the guitars themselves! He also got more people started in playing guitar than anyone else in history - even Hendrix! Not to take anything away from Jimi, b/c he's the man, but Eddie got more of us started, showed more of us how to do it, and influenced ALL of our gear. Yup - definitely most influential!

His Nice Tone His Custom Made Guitar "Frankenstien", He also Invented metal Eruption Put him on the Best Guitarist with his finger tapping Technique, Ice cream man, Hot for a teacher, my fave Panama, Jump, you really got me...

Eddie Van Halen is most definitely the most influential player of all time. He changed the way everyone plays a guitar. I mean everyone. Hard Rock, and Heavy metal owes Eddie Van Halen along with the whole Van Halen band for there contributions to this style of music.

My vote for eddie just because he must be higher in top
actualy he and jimi both changed guitar playing a lot

V 34 Comments
5 David Gilmour David Gilmour David Jon Gilmour is an English singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. He joined the progressive rock band Pink Floyd as guitarist and co-lead vocalist in 1968.

David Gilmour is the most soulful, beautiful player EVER! His tone and melody are 2nd to none, and no guitarist ever has given me chills or brought tears to my eyes with their playing like he does. Nothing fancy, which makes him even more incredible. Nothing fancy, just pure musical genius!

What! He didn't get the top ten that is not right he is the best guitarist mankind will ever know he influenced the globe with his guitar and I'm eleven years old he is my hero I hope you like my comment

Not only was his playing ability incredible, he has influenced more guitarist with his tone and quality of sound he was able to get out of his guitar so much so a book has been written to chronicle the black strat's life.

Gilmour can say more with a couple bends than most guitarists can with 100 notes. Many try to emulate his tone and feel but never duplicated

V 16 Comments
6 Eric Clapton Eric Clapton Eric Patrick Clapton is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream. He has also been a member of Derek and the Dominos.

The Blues, He is old, but he was in and toured with the most awesome bands... Cream, Derek and The Dominoes, Stevie Ray Vaughn... with his "woman tone" on his SG named the fool that makes him pretty damn cool, he also used a strat...

One of the most influential guitarists and musicians, he, Jimmy Page, B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Tommy Iommi should be in this top, People just don't like good music anymore.

From those who are outlined here, He is the one who have played diverse genres of music during his musical career. What is more he has ability of composing remarkable songs, and his gigs are terrific

I find it humorous how this is literally a list of MOST INFLUENTIAL GUITARISTS and not best guitarists and two people who Clapton influenced are above him and he's only number 6. Eddie Van Halen has stated repeadetly that the only guitarist to ever influence him was Clapton and Blackmore has spoken about Clapton's influence on him as well. Why are people so unable to be subjective these days. Who tf did Blackmore influence? - guyritchi

V 7 Comments
7 Tony Iommi Tony Iommi Anthony 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. At age 17, he accidentally lost the fingertips of his middle ...read more.

Inventive, innovative and heavier than all who came before combined. Without Iommi there is no metal.

I love Toni, his rhythms were even more catchy than his lead work. His distortion tone was his biggest influence.

All Metal guitarists were influenced by this guy. I just saw him live... I'm forever in the Iommi-sphere!

Ask James, ask Rob, ask Brian May they'll all say it's Tony! - SoldierOfFortune

V 11 Comments
8 Slash Slash Saul 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.

Slash made me a gn'r fan. when I was growing up it was slash n axl but as I matured all my feeling are for you slash. you have given me so many scripts for my air guitar. LEGEND

Probably a bit understand, Slash is one of the more proficient guitar icons. Clearly enunciated playing at supersonic speed - not very common.

What's not to like about the guy? He has the look, name, style and skills. Love his guitar playing.

He's the only reason why I've ever even listened to Guns n' Roses. He looks badass and he can fill the shoes his attire creates with his playing. - Nyoom

V 22 Comments
9 Hideto 'hide' Matsumoto Hideto 'hide' Matsumoto

Hide believed in freedom through his music. People were saved by his music giving them a reason to live for. And when Hide died he cost the top news of Japan. 50,000 people came to see him. A good man indeed, all the good guys and artist just has to go first.

Hide is the best guitarist in the world, he his a very good player, and X Japan is the biggest band of the world in my opinion, I love X Japan et go hide, you are the best!

Probably the most influential guitarist in Japan... And secretly in the whole world.

Hide Matsumoto is in my opinion the best guitarist that has ever lived, he truly represents the Visuel Kei movement and his solos are incredible

V 10 Comments
10 Michael Schenker Michael Schenker

Just ask most of the new breed. Maybe not the most famous with commercial success but influenced thousands of guitar players with his amazing tone, flat picking, feel and individual sound.

Nobody better. Should be number one in my opinion. The Mad Ax Man. All day long!

Not only is he simply the greatest guitarist of all time, he's also one of the most influential. He's the reason Dave Muscatine, Kirk Hammett, Randy Rhoads, and many others play Vs. Seriously, go listen to him before you scroll down trying to find the guitarist you are sure is the best. I was gonna vote Buddy Guy, but then I saw the Blond Bomber, and realized he was more influential. Go listen to him!

He influenced possibly the best metal guitarist-Dave Mustaine

V 8 Comments

The Contenders

11 Stevie Ray Vaughn

Did Hendrix songs better than Jimi sorry but it's true listen to little wing and tell me what you think.

Very under rated player. in my humble opinion played voodoo child just as well if not slightly better than Hendrix. Awesome player.

Lenny, Texas Flood, Crossroads... SRV has probly pioniered Blues Guitar, He was the new hendrix

Sorry but srv was more influential than eddie van halen he thrashes chords and sweeps well sure but stevie played with love and always had another trick up his sleeve that would leave you in awe sorry but number 11 is bs

V 6 Comments
12 Jeff Beck Jeff Beck Geoffrey Arnold "Jeff" Beck is an English rock guitarist. He is one of the three noted guitarists to have played with The Yardbirds (the other two being Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page). Beck also formed The Jeff Beck Group and Beck, Bogert & Appice.

Jeff Beck is astonishing in Cause we've ended as lovers and many more like Freeway Jam.

He has continuously evolved. Others seem happy to rest on their laurels but not Jeff.

Should be much higher on this list. His ability in all styles of music is unequaled.

Beck should be number 2. Wish he played with a plectrum more often as I find what he does now a little formulaic, but,he just brings it...

V 5 Comments
13 James Hetfield James Hetfield James Alan Hetfield was born on August 3, 1963. He is an American musician, singer and songwriter known for being the co-founder, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for the American heavy metal band Metallica.

When he was 3 years old his father left him and in his teens his mom died and he used the music get through all of it and not only can he play electric guitar and sing but he can also play the drums and the bass... one of the most inspirational of all time.

Ok Kirk isn't influential but he is great. But if james can kirk can have a spot here.

He influenced John Petrucci, Matt Heafy and many many more great Guitarists.

He should be in the top 5. So many Metal Bands were born after Metallica hit the Stages

V 8 Comments
14 Yngwie Malmsteen Yngwie Malmsteen Yngwie 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.

I saw Yngwie in concert once. The first 2-3 songs were jaw dropping, fastest guitarist I had ever seen. However he never changed the pace, playing a million notes every single solo. He bored the crap out of me after that. Good at what he does, but he only does one thing great and that's shredding. To many notes!

Maybe not the best songwriter but best guitarist for sure.

A true innovator brought the neoclassical style into the forefront for today's shredders to copy, much like Eddie Van Halen introduced the finger tapping style. Technically, Malmsteen is the best rock guitarist to walk planet earth ever! However, he cannot write rock songs like Blackmoore, Hendrix or Gilmoore so will never be at the top of the tree.

Simply the best!

V 4 Comments
15 Randy Rhoads Randy Rhoads Randall William "Randy" Rhoads was an American heavy metal guitarist who played with Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot. He was killed in a plane crash.

A real talent if one he had lived longer who knows what he could created, way ahead of van Galen, Gary more and slash up there with Hendrix, blackmore and Page just listen to the two great albums he played on!

Randy was great but died to soon to be considered an all time great. His influence was starting to take hold when he was taken but what hurts him he would start his solos live with Eddie Van Halen's Irruption Which at the time was blasphemy.

the only person the top ten was missing. in my opinion the most influencial guitarist to me

I remember being blown a way when I heard Randy Rhoads for the first time. His solos were so well composed and he was so much in control. Later on I discovered that his song had a lot of complexity within. Unfortunately he couldn't quite reach of all he could have been as he was taken away at such a early age.

Mr. Crowley... greatest solos ever.

V 5 Comments
16 Brian May Brian May Brian Harold May is an English musician, singer, songwriter and astrophysicist, best known as the lead guitarist of the rock band Queen.

He is not a single guitarist. He is the conductor of his own orchestra made of Brian's. That's beyond the reach of any other guitarist. The harmonies he plays are out of Earth. And he is playing much more strings instruments: ukulele, banjo, harp, organ, piano and more. Who can repeat him?

One of the best soloists of his day, and still a bright light in the guitar icon pantheon. Amazing sound (built from scratch), solos that twist and turn and peak like a brilliant plot-line, there's simply no one like him.

I think you'll find Wishbone Ash were using feedback years before Brian, but that doesn't detract from how great a guitarist he is.

He is best

V 5 Comments
17 Gary Moore Gary Moore Robert William Gary Moore was a Northern Irish musician, most widely recognised as a singer, songwriter, and virtuoso rock and blues guitarist.

Along with M. Schenker, the greatest, most soulful metal guitarist EVER! Before he played the blues later in his career, he was a true hard rocker. I saw him open for Rush, never heard of the guy. His first song was "Victims of the future" and I bought every album he ever played on after seeing him! Also does some of the most beautiful instrumental songs ever. Check out "The LONER" from Wild frontier album or "The messiah will come again" from After the war album. Nobody did it better, RIP Gary!

Melodic and melting. Awesome tone and style. A true great who deserves to be too 3 with Ritchie and Jeff Beck

One of the best blues guitarist of our generation

Criminally underrated player! His work with Thin Lizzy, Coliseum II, and solo is incredible!

18 Angus Young Angus Young Angus McKinnon Young is an Australian guitarist of Scottish origin, best known as the co-founder, lead guitarist, songwriter and sole constant member of the Australian hard rock band AC/DC. When performing live he does his own version of Chuck Berry's "duck walk" and has also spun on his side while ...read more.

The infamous Duck Walk, His awesome SG standard, The devil horns on his head and guitar and the sig. School boy have a demonic possesion on stage he alsso has the stellar tone everyone loves, his 3-4 chord progression along with his guitar solos and licks makes him the king "The Devil in your fingers and The Blues in Your Soul, hell you got rock and roll"

His energy alone in live performances should inspire anyone, I mean he played a 16 minute solo on the Black Ice Tour! - Dickey96

Another average guitarist really

AC⚡️DC

V 5 Comments
19 Joe Satriani Joe Satriani Joseph Satriani (born July 15, 1956) is an American instrumental rock guitarist and multi-instrumentalist. Early in his career, Satriani worked as a guitar instructor, with many of his former students achieving fame, such as Steve Vai, Larry LaLonde, Rick Hunolt, Kirk Hammett, Andy Timmons, Charlie ...read more.

I'm sticking my neck right out now! Joe is the best guitarist ever full stop,. A genius. And a one off never to return. He's one of the most influential to most people that actually know anything about guitar. A true gentleman from another world if you ask me! I'm listening to one of his melodies as I write this. UNBELIEVABLE! If I'm reincarnated, please bring me back as Joe... I want to play like him but he's just to good!

The best guitarist since Eddie Van Halen and king of the instrumental song. Great melody's and a guy who knows when to shred and when to quiet down. A true genius with unmatched technical ability, he really makes it look easy! It's not!

Best of all time... He is the great teacher of greatest guitarist.

From an old man the 'Satchman" is the best! I have heard them all and all are great but I find Joe to be the best of the best "Original Instrumental" - troy64

V 1 Comment
20 Tommy Bolin Tommy Bolin Thomas Richard "Tommy" Bolin was an American-born guitarist who played with Zephyr, The James Gang, and Deep Purple; in addition to maintaining a notable solo career.

Criminally underrated. Ask Jeff Beck. He stills plays "Stratus" live to this day. If that's not an endorsement I don't know what is.

Underrated are you kidding me! You guys must call 12-year-olds holy ! That's why you don't believe everything you read on the Internet because you're liars

A forgotten gem of a guitarist. And an amazing voice. When you consider what he did in a lifetime of only 24 years it's astounding

Way ahead of his time. Jazz, rock, whatever, he was poised for a brilliant career.

V 1 Comment
21 Chuck Berry Chuck Berry Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. He died on 18 March 2017.

What is this list?!?! None of these guys would exist if it wasn't for the grand architect of rock music, Chuck Berry. He laid the foundation for basic rock music riffs and rhythm and practically introduced the art of guitar soloing to the mainstream. Plus he also in way popularized the electric guitar as an instrument. Without Chuck Berry, rock music may be very different today or may not even exist. At the end of the day, almost every single guitar player to this day has been directly or indirectly influenced by Chuck Berry. "Johnny B. Goode" is the national anthem of rock 'n roll.

Influential doesn't mean best, influential means how much he influenced the instrument. Ritchie Blackmore certainly didn't influence guitar playing as much as Chuck Berry, - EGBrett

The term with out him... Couldn't be truer here he paved the way for so many after him he seems to be an after thought.

The real king of rock and roll

V 14 Comments
22 Steve Vai Steve Vai Steven Siro "Steve" Vai is an American guitarist, composer, singer, songwriter, and producer, born and raised on Long Island, New York.

Maybe the most technically brilliant player ever. Still though, like Jeff Beck, a great player who doesn't write great songs. The guy is an absolute monster on the fret board though and plays things few others could. Check him out as the Devil's guitarist in the movie Crossroads... Brilliant!

Steve Vai is one of the best guitarists I've ever heard. His skill is as if he had sold his soul to the devil, he is that good.

Above him, there is no other.

23 Ace Frehley Ace Frehley Paul Daniel "Ace" Frehley is an American musician, singer and songwriter best known as the former lead guitarist and founding member of the rock band Kiss.

Ace should be higher not only is he great but just how many famous guitarist did he influence? Thousands!

Ace's Les Paul/Marshall sound on the early Kiss records was just so cool. Dimebag had Ace TATTOOED on himself. You want influence? There it is.

Ace Frehley influenced various musicians to learn to play guitar. - Wendy56

Should be higher easily

V 10 Comments
24 Alex Lifeson Alex Lifeson Aleksandar Živojinović, better known by his stage name Alex Lifeson, is a Canadian musician, best known as the guitarist of the Canadian rock band Rush.

I would put Alex Lifeson #! He has been voted #1 just a few years ago by Guitar Player Magazine as the best Rock Guitarist. He is so overshadowed by the best DRUMMER and Perhaps the best BASSIST in ROCK. I think he is the best at his instrument then the other two! Hendrix gets his POPULAR vote by being BLACK and DEAD! (he's good don't get me wrong). Most these guys are rated on popularity, not talent! Eric Clapton SUCKS compared to most these guys. BORING BLUES ERIC.

Alex should be at least 11 on this list. His guitar playing is deceiving. He happens to play with two of the best in the world and his leads are crisp, fast, well thought out. He is a master and a hell of a nice guy to boot. He has influenced many a guitar player and will continue to do so for years to come. His latest music shows he's lost nothing off his fastball.

Compositional genius - we are looking at many hundreds of songs - with as close to zero repetition bar to bar - continuous time and rhythm changes and melodic accuracy throughout. Of course having Neil and Geddy on board helps - 40 years of continuously new music. RUSH rocks the world.

Check out le villa strangiato back in 76 on utube

V 5 Comments
25 Pete Townshend Pete Townshend Peter Dennis Blandford "Pete" Townshend is an English musician, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, best known as the lead guitarist and songwriter for the rock band The Who.

Pete Townshend invented and mastered the way we play the guitar in the following way:
1. The windmill. No one can match him with this signature move - it's classic and unique to Pete Townshend. Anyone who attempts to copy this move should pay a royalty to Pete or simply thanks him.
2. The artistic acrobatics of jamming while in mid-flight and timing his jumps at precise moments in a tune for dramatic impact is another signature Pete Townshend playing style. Anyone who cannot contain themselves while playing live by ways of jumping, sliding, flying, throwing guitar in the air, etc. should thank Mr. Townshend for popularizing this style of playing a guitar during a live performance. No one does this better than Pete or has been captured in film doing this better than Pete.
3. The power chord in a musical composition. No one used chord composition and progression as a lead force during a song with an electric guitar such as Pete - listen to The Seeker, Won't Get Fooled Again, Go ...more

Whatever the dude with the 8 points said about Pete is what I think. Way underrated and used the instrument in ways people never did before. Guitar as art.

This man has influenced generations, without him some that are up higher on this list may not have been there.

Invented powerchords and guitar-smashing, popularized the Windmill style and he is stil under ace freley - waldo

V 2 Comments
26 Carlos Santana Carlos Santana Carlos Santana audio is a Mexican and American musician who first became famous in the late 1960s and early 1970s with his band, Santana, which pioneered a fusion of rock and Latin American music.

He created his own style, and should not be put into a Latin Music box. He can rock, and he is amazing in his variety on the guitar. He can play everything as shown in his latest album. Should be amongst the top 15.

No other guitarist has had hit in every decade that he has been alive. Carlos Santana has adapted each generation and has not gone away since he started.

Any top ten list that does not include Santana is missing a key ingredient.

Most Be between 10 at any list

V 3 Comments
27 Dave Mustaine Dave Mustaine David Scott "Dave" Mustaine (born September 13, 1961) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, actor and author. Mustaine is best known as a pioneer in Thrash Metal, being the former lead guitarist of Metallica before his dismissal in 1983, leading to finding and becoming the front man of his own ...read more.

Can't believe hi too low, he is cool and give a lot of power in his rhythm guitar. He is one of the most influential guitarist in the rock history... Go on dave!

Dave is my favorite guitarist. anyway I think he should be on the top. His guitar skills are amazing!

Why not on top?

Top ten...

28 Steve Howe Steve Howe Stephen James "Steve" Howe is an English musician and songwriter. He is best known as the guitarist in the progressive rock group Yes.

Steve Howe's work with Yes and Asia incorporates classical, rock, Chet Atkins Country and Wes Montgomery style jazz. Guitar Player magazine introduced him to me. He's more prolific and diverse than any guitarist of his time. He just didn't sell like some others. That's because of his genre, prog rock. Lifeson, Page, Rik Emmett were contemporaries, but seeing Howe play live, especially on an acoustic, makes you realize why he was voted greatest overall player 5 years in a row. He has the best acoustic solo, and on an electric its about more than the notes and technique, it's the engineering of the sound. He took Asia to the top with his electronics.

Often voted as the best guitarist in many guitar magazine polls in the 70s, the guitarist for one of the successful progressive rock bands Yes mastered classical, blues, flamenco, country, ragtime, jazz, rock and roll and many other genres and fused them all to create a unique tone and playing style that has not been matched since. - EnglandSeller

Technique, Song writing, Influence. A master. Top 5.

V 1 Comment
29 Wes Montgomery Wes Montgomery

The "Thumb" could make you stop whatever it was you were doing and take note. The sound and love coming out of that guitar is recognizable from the first octave. I feel blessed to found this man in my life since 1965 and continue to feel the love to this day. One of the best ever.

V 1 Comment
30 Uli Jon Roth Uli Jon Roth Uli Jon Roth is a German guitarist, who became famous as the Scorpions lead guitarist, and is one of the earliest contributors to the neoclassical metal genre.

This guy is unbelievable,...look up scorpions Tokyo tapes or download sails of Charon. He is incredible

Fantastic rock classical surrealist. Think the best guitarist

Hell Cat in Scorpions. Hats off. Master of the sky guitar.

31 Al Di Meola Al Di Meola Al Di Meola is an American jazz fusion and Latin jazz guitarist, composer, and record producer of Italian origin.

He brought a new savvy style of playing that could be used in many different genres.

32 Richie Sambora Richie Sambora Richard Stephen "Richie" Sambora is an American rock guitarist, producer, singer and songwriter who was the lead guitarist of the rock band Bon Jovi for 30 years. He is known for his work with Bon Jovi from 1983 to 2013 when he left the group so he could spend more time with his daughter, Ava, who is ...read more.

he's fast, he has a great sound and
he's a great improviser - richie4life

33 George Harrison George Harrison George Harrison was an English guitarist, singer, songwriter, and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles.

When the Beatles performed on Ed Sullivan the first time, the sales of the Gretch guitar that George was using doubled in a week. THAT is influential.

This list is about influential guitarists, right? Because if that's the case, then Harrison is second only to Hendrix in terms of influence.

Influential, well, pretty much everyone learning guitar starts with a couple beatles songs. He might not be the best, but you don't have to be in order to leave a lasting impact. the man has steered the course of rock history at the right place and time to do so

He is the most influent guitarrist he is the teacher of all people up him in this ranking

V 1 Comment
34 Steve Morse Steve Morse Steven J. "Steve" Morse is an American guitarist and composer, best known as the founder of the Dixie Dregs; and since 1994, the guitar player of Deep Purple.

Should be much higher up the list. The only guitarist to win the best guitarist award 5 years in a row in Guitar player magazine.

Agreed he should be higher on the list. Most guitar players acknowledge him as one of the greatest. His solos tend to surpass merely human boundaries.

Great Guitarist, great professional. He has a personal style although he is an eclectic guitar player and composer.

See his personal style. He makes all songs his own. He is not covering he ist re-inventing!

V 1 Comment
35 Dimebag Darrell Dimebag Darrell Darrell Lance Abbott, also known as Diamond Darrell and Dimebag Darrell, was an American guitarist and songwriter best known as a founding member of two bands, Pantera and Damageplan, alongside his brother, Vinnie Paul. Abbott died in 2004 after he was shot by a mentally unstable fan.

How is Dimebag not higher he is easily the top 5 of most influential metal guitarists

36 Mark Knopfler Mark Knopfler Mark Freuder Knopfler is a British singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer and film score composer. He is best known for being the frontman of the British band Dire Straits.

This guy did more for guitar and lyrics than most are willing to admit. His range of sounds and styles is far reaching. Just listen to Telegraph Road.

Gotta love Mark! (the dude from Dire Straits)

One of, if not the, best finger-picking guitarists ever.

He is the best!

V 2 Comments
37 Glenn Tipton Glenn Tipton Glenn Raymond Tipton is an English Grammy Award-winning guitar player and songwriter. He is most commonly known as the lead guitarist for English heavy metal band Judas Priest.

He's the lead guitarist of judas priest! m/ - ShahryRKnoT

38 Keith Richards Keith Richards Keith Richards is an English musician—primarily a guitarist—singer, songwriter, best-selling memoirist, and founding member of the rock band The Rolling Stones.

He is simply the best

Influential?
All modern guitarists since the rock revolution of the 60's?
Keith is EASILY the most influential modern (post 1950's) guitarist - on many levels.
And also most influential to most of the others on this list in fact.
Keith was the first rock player to use the then-unpopular '59 Les Paul - he made it popular and was followed by Clapton and the rest. And where would the telecaster be without Keith Richards? Or the ES335?
Keith pretty much invented the whole Rock God lead guitarist look - the scarves, the low slung guitar, cigarette, shades, shabby hair...
Rock is riffs, so let's include his extensive contribution of some of the greatest, most enduring smash hit rock riffs in history...
Keith invented the archetype of the rock guitarist.
He remains THE rock guitarist.

39 B.B. King B.B. King Riley B. "B.B." King was an American blues singer, electric guitarist, songwriter, and record producer.

Maybe not too well known, but he is the grandfather of the guitar solo as we know it in rock songs.

God of Blues - waldo

Still - waldo

Buddy guy, Joe bonnamassa, eric clapton, srv and even greats such as eddie van halen or slash have all been influenced by the speed, cleaness and perfection and soul of luciell, the guitar who squeels and sings when played by king. Hendrix himself was in awe

40 Duane Allman Duane Allman Howard Duane Allman was an American guitarist, session musician, and co-founder and leader of the Allman Brothers Band until his death in a motorcycle crash in 1971, when he was 24 years old.

Helped bring slide-guitar and southern rock to the masses.

Incredibly versatile and innovative.

Best american guitarist of all time!

Just listen to Fillmore East

V 1 Comment
41 Frank Zappa Frank Zappa Frank Vincent Zappa was an American musician, songwriter, composer, record producer, actor and filmmaker.

Be it jazz fusion, which he helped create, blues inspired rock, doo-wop or just straight forward rock guitar, Zappa is one of the most innovative yet unknown guitarists of all time

#2 all time behind Jimi in both influence and innovation. "Watermelon in Easter Hay" - say no more. The fact that he's 40 on this list undermines its credibility.

One of the early renaissance rock rockers with crazy skill and a voracious appetite for the eclectic.

He is not one of the best, He is the best

V 2 Comments
42 Buckethead Buckethead Brian Patrick Carroll, known professionally as Buckethead, is an American guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who has worked within many genres of music.

Crazy forums...Just one ahead of Neil young...A southern man don't need Neil Young round anymore...The Bucket is about 40 short of his real spot on top. I guess all the Back Street Boys fans are voting...The dudes got 3 first names for goodness sake, that ought to count for something. MAD SKILLS with this unit. A guitar SAVANT! (google it ya moron)

Just watch bucketheads backyard solo on you tube thats all you need to know but him

43 Tom Morello Tom Morello Thomas 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.

Best guitarist. As soon as I listened to him, I thought that he was the best - Battlegun

Most innovate sound of the 90s on a guitar...

44 Neil Young Neil Young Neil Percival Young, OC OM is a Canadian singer-songwriter and musician, producer, director and screenwriter.

I feel that his electric stuff is brilliant 'Down by the river' 'Cowgirl in the sand' right up to his new work on Psychedelic Pill. Neil's over driven sound has stood the test of time and is 2nd to none

His music influenced me, although I am nobody but his was the first I learned, but never was able to duplicate his style, and I don't think anyone can

Not so much his electric guitar playing (the one note guitar solos are actually catchy! ) but his acoustic stylings most definitely. It was listening and mimicking NY's early 70's material I.E. Harvest, etc. that got me started.

45 John Petrucci John Petrucci John Peter Petrucci is an American guitarist, composer and producer. He is best known as a founding member of the progressive metal band Dream Theater. Compared to his level of skill, John Petrucci is relatively unknown in the modern music industry.

That's right! I added this. I look forward to the day I can play every Dream Theater song. - IronSabbathPriest

Jp is great guitarist of all times... the idol

Why ain't he nr one - SweetChaos

46 Eric Johnson Eric Johnson Eric Johnson (born August 17, 1954) is an American guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist from Austin, Texas. Best known for his electric guitar skills, Johnson is also a highly proficient acoustic, lap steel, resonator, and bass guitarist as well as an accomplished pianist and vocalist.

The Tone master. Have you been living under a rock? Who is better than Eric?

47 Rory Gallagher Rory Gallagher William Rory Gallagher was an Irish blues and rock multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and bandleader.

The blues mixed up with Irish folk, with plenty of ideas : this guy isn't as known as he deserves, but his music really transmit feelings, and if you don't trust me, then listen to it.

The biggest crime in music is how often this guy's overlooked. Slash, the Edge, Joe Bonamassa, etc all cite this guy as a key influence and yet he's usually forgotten in the "Who's the most popular guitarrist" listings

The best live guitarist of all time

He's an awesome guitarist and I think he deserves more credit

V 5 Comments
48 Ken Kitamura

One of the best and most influential Japanese rock guitarists, so many cover artists and bands tribute to ken and L'Arc~en~Ciel. see it and you will believe it. - ronluna

49 Robert Johnson Robert Johnson Robert Leroy Johnson was an American blues singer-songwriter and musician. His landmark recordings in 1936 and 1937 display a combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent that has influenced later generations of musicians.

This is unbelievable how he is rated this low he inspired Keith Richards Eric Clapton Jimmy page and countless others unbelievable

There is no single person on this list who actually knew anything about music that wasn't influenced by Robert Johnson. - Edgelord

The blues would not exist without him. - Edgelord

Should be #1 most INFLUENTUIAL guitarist... Everyone who plays any kind of rock or blues was spawned from him.

V 2 Comments
50 Django Reinhardt Django Reinhardt Django Reinhardt is a famous guitarist in the genre of jazz. He lost 2 of his fingers in a fire but carried on with his playing. He later inspired Tony Iommi, the original guitarist of Black Sabbath, to continue playing after he lost his fingertips in a factory accident. His guitar is an acoustic gypsy. ...read more.

Mention Django and every person mentioned on this list will genuflect. He did it all, he did it FIRST, and he did it with just two fingers on his left hand.

This man only had two fingers, but he could play everything. His influence is absolutely enormous, from jazz to rock to metal to funk, it's incredible.

PSearch List

Related Lists

Most Influential Extreme Metal Guitarists Most Influential Metal Guitarists Most Influential Hard Rock Guitarists Most Influential Rock/Metal Guitarists Most Influential People of All Time

List Stats

5,000 votes
143 listings
10 years, 288 days old

Top Remixes (24)

1. Jimi Hendrix
2. Ritchie Blackmore
3. Tony Iommi
stratkat72
1. Tony Iommi
2. Jimmy Page
3. Dave Murray
lolipop
1. Eddie Van Halen
2. Hideto 'hide' Matsumoto
3. Jimi Hendrix
mleat97

WRemix
View All 24

Error Reporting

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