Top 10 Best Acoustic Guitarists

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The Top Ten

1 Tommy Emmanuel Tommy Emmanuel

Many ways to judge a guitar player. Tommy shows that practice practice practice can combined with passion that only he knows creates exactly what you see, when you see him live. Time slows down, and you watch a man become totally committed to the art. There are no doubt better songwriters, but I have never seen anybody work as hard and be able to hit every note, create any possible sounds that can come from a acoustic guitar and succeed in making you feel what he is feeling at the same time

Easily the most innovative, creative and technically gifted acoustic guitarists that has ever lived. I highly recommend anyone that is not familiar to check out his pieces. Great arrangements and so much passion when playing. Truly amazing.

Tommy's early work was both electric, (mainly using a Telecaster), and acoustic. While I completely agree that Tommy is by far the most advanced acoustic guitarist of all time I do wish he'd pick up his Telecaster from time to time. On an electric he sounds like a blend of Robben Ford, Brad Paisley and, (during his higher gain solos), Jimmy Page. If anyone was ever truly bonded to the guitar Tommy Emmanuel is the man.

Most incredible guitarist to watch & listen to. A gift from God.

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2 Phil Keaggy

The Greatest Acoustic Guitarist of All-time! No one can match his Excellence! - Nirmal1991USA

Nobody is even in Michael Hedges league. He reinvented the acoustic guitar.

Phil now has 75 albums actually. My brother has every one. Two other fantastic guitarists are classical master Christopher Parkening and (of course) John Petrucci of Dream Theater. Vastly different but both world class musicians. Phil Keaggy, in my opinion, could keep up with...not better than, not even as good as...but could keep up with BOTH Parkening and Petrucci. That's how good and versatile he is.

I saw Phil a few years back in Joppa, MD. All I can say is, it was amazing. Just an incredible musician and performer.

Amazing guitarist

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3 Michael Hedges

Had the pleasure of seeing him live 3 times. The most gifted, influential, inspiring artist I have ever seen. His music, passion, energy, and love for life will truly be missed.

Absolutely one of my favorite guitarists, he explored a variety of techniques which have become common place. It's hard to hear how unique he was given the rapid spread of his techniques, and a number of people on this list use those techniques with extra pizzazz (! ). Few catch his emotional depth.

There's a before and after Hedges. He revolutionized the way of playing acoustic guitar!

I think he's great!

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4 Paul Simon Paul Simon Paul Frederic Simon is an American musician, singer-songwriter and actor. Simon's fame, influence, and commercial success began as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, formed in 1964 with musical partner Art Garfunkel.
5 Andrés Segovia

Single handedly kept classical guitar alive and trained an entire generation. He won't win popularity contests since he didn't play pop, but he preserved the music, techniques, and passion behind classical guitar. You may not say he is the absolute best based on your preferences, but you can't place anyone above him. Buy the CDs of his lessons, and listen to them daily.

Not a pop music player so he will never get the most votes but just the best.

A W E S O M E technically and spiritually.. His performance of Bach's chaconne, or anything... For me, No. 1!

Ask every single name on this list [the live ones anyway], and they will tell you that Segovia is the GOAT.

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.

His Unplugged album proves exactly why he is the most versatile guitarist to ever exist. From a Gibson to a Fender to Martin Acoustic Guitars playing Blues, Rock, Reggae and countless other genres on them, Clapton is a God at them all!

Ok I know he is known for his electric stuff but everyone knows his "Unplugged" album. Listen and watch. He is also one of the best acoustic guitarists of all time. Any guitar list without him is bogus. Come on folks at least top ten. There are Grammys for a reason!

Should be above talentless Ginger Ed Sheeran! - guyritchi

The 1 and only

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7 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.
8 Ed Sheeran Ed Sheeran Edward Christopher "Ed" Sheeran is an English singer-songwriter and musician. He was born in Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire and raised in Framlingham, Suffolk.

What.. Clapton, Page, Slash, Cantrell? Hell, even SRV recorded on an acoustic. PisS on this pop rap playing fool.

Are you kidding me? Best ever

Invented the best sounding technique ever.

9 Sungha Jung

No words can describe his talents and technique. The complexities are mind blowing! When musicians hear Jung's rendition of their own songs they are even awe stuck at his style and approach. And the kid is young! Imagine the possibilities!

I think Sungha jung should be on top 10 cause his guitar sings the lyrics of every song he wants to cover... Listen to his videos so that you'll know what am talking about

Please help bringing Sungha to the 1st spot guys. He completely deserves it. I mean, look how young he is and even Jason Mraz (one of the best guitarist and a great singer) said that he studied Sungha's style for a whole week and he couldn't exactly do what he does and then he said that its really not easy...

I love listening to his music. My favorite guitar player of this generation.

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10 Paco de Lucia Paco de Lucia Francisco Gustavo Sánchez Gomez, known as Paco de Lucía, was a Spanish virtuoso flamenco guitarist, composer and producer.

No one is as good as Paco! This guy is a pioneer.

Amazing and so cool. When are you coming to Canada?

The best acoustic guitar all time!

1. Go to YouTube.com
2. Type in: Entre dos aguas
3. Click the picture of the horse
4. Listen to the whole song
5. R.I.P.

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The Contenders

11 John Martyn John Martyn John Martyn, OBE, born as Iain David McGeachy, was a British singer-songwriter and guitarist. Over a 40-year career, he released 21 studio albums, working with artists such as Eric Clapton, David Gilmour and Phil Collins.

John Martyn was a criminally underrated artist, his guitar playing was effortless, innovative and so far ahead of its time. Eric Clapton once quoted that "John Martyn was so far ahead of everyone at the time it was almost inconceivable" His use of an echoplex on live sets needs to be heard to believe, it sounds like you're listening to two guitars at once, incredible.

The song Spencer the Rover is one of my favorits and his style of music is like Nick Drake

Rip a legend, inspired and wrote and sang solid air has never been bettered - rednile1

He floats in the air when he plays

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12 Chet Atkins Chet Atkins

Who else plays two songs at the same time?

His songs are as cool as his name

How is not atkins number 1?

The best ever!

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13 Robert Johnson Robert Johnson

The most innovative guitarist of all time. Created a genre that was the foundation of following genres.

With out him blues wouldn't exist which means that rock would not exist which means metal and grudge and hair metal and rap all would not exist.

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14 Mark Knopfler Mark Knopfler Mark Freuder Knopfler is a British singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer and film score composer.

Although more known as an electric guitar player, check out "Mark Knopfler showing his magic on acoustic guitar" on YouTube. Probably the most epic ragpicking I've seen.

WHAT IS TO SAY?

15 Django Reinhardt Django Reinhardt

Another name with a legitimate claim to the GOAT title. A shame kids today have no idea who he was.

Founder of Gypsy Jazz. Through his influence, the guitar has become an integral part of pop music.
Many great guitarists are influenced and inspired by Django Reinhardt.

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16 George Lincoln D'Costa

Oh this guy is here. Can't believe my eyes. There were many reasons why I chose to play guitar. And some of the songs that inspired me was "Poth Chola" Just listen the acoustic guitar intro of this song. Mind blowing. - zxm

17 José Feliciano José Feliciano José Montserrate Feliciano García (born September 10, 1945), better known simply as José Feliciano, is a Puerto Rican virtuoso guitarist, singer, and composer.

A guitar virtuoso has performed with the world best recognized symphony orchestras and with his own band. Even George Benson re-recorded his Affirmation.

Jose Feliciano's guitar work is like none other. His style is unique and so very versatile! Yes, he's the best!

Jose is one of the most talented, self taught guitarist. His techniques are superb, very versatile.

Classical, Jazz, Pop, Rock, Hard Rock Folk, Flamenco, Latin-Bolero, incredible Improvisations, fingerstyle, plectro, 12string, nylon guitar, Steel guitar, Electric guitar, Cuatro, Mandolin, any type of guitars or type of music.. nothing is impossible for Jose Feliciano! fantastic talent

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18 Bert Jansch Bert Jansch
19 John Mayer John Mayer

His talents are mostly overshadowed by his genre of songs being romantic, bluesy, yet kid-like wonder. His early works were very rhythmic with a hybrid of finger picking/plucking style infused with strumming. Eric Clapton was even inspired by it! All very original and difficult yet fun to play if you can. His later works would suffer a bit from his original fans because he chose to chase the more soloist complexities that are mostly afforded to the "real electric guitarist", well, at least one would think. What we can all agree with is John is an amazingly talented guitarist regardless! For those who doubt his real depth I suggest you listen to John's own version of 'Wind Cries Mary' and be lost in his own world filled with wonder and ambrosia.

Killer singer songwriter player! Check out shadow days (acoustic) or 3x5

His not just a good guitarist but a good singer... Rarely seen on this planet

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20 Andy Mckee

Dreamcatcher album is underrated to say the least. Great album from a great artist.

Andy mckee and don ross are the best

So many wonderful songs from this guy. "i'll be over you", "ebon coast" the list goes on.

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List StatsUpdated 23 May 2017

1,000 votes
76 listings
7 years, 260 days old

Top Remixes

1. Phil Keaggy
2. Tommy Emmanuel
3. Paul Simon
zxm
1. Andrés Segovia
2. Robert Johnson
3. Django Reinhardt
Rambles
1. Phil Keaggy
2. Michael Hedges
3. Paul Simon
Nirmal1991USA

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