Top Ten Christian Guitarists

Well there're many Christian Bands so there comes a question as to who's the top guitarist in all of them.

Given below is the list of guitarists whom I consider are the best.

The Top Ten

1 Carl Johan Grimmark (Narnia)

This man made probably the best job in the whole history of christian metal. It's not only an awesome guitarist and virtuoso, he's also very good composer and he writes very sensible and meaningful lyrics. Even though we can hear that in some songs his style of composition refers to artists like Rainbow, Malmsteen or Hammerfall, he makes songs in rather originall and brilliant way.

Technically brilliant, both in rhythm and solos. His lead-guitar play always strengthen the songs and he does not try to show off how good he is, he just don't have to. That's the mark of a genius. His attitude and humble approach to life and faith is also great. A sure number one!

Yngwie malmsteen sometimes is so focused on the technicals and the neo-classical style that he doesn't "get it". Grimmark 'gets it' while still holding on to the neo-classical style. The melodies are there. The technical aspects are there. In my opinion, he isn't just the best Christian guitarist, he's in the top five guitarists period... And the secular world doesn't seem to know who he is. If you look on top metal guitarist lists, you'll find tons of guys ahead of grimmark and impelliteri that have no business being there because of exposure. If you haven't heard "living water" by narnia, treat yourself.

Well... Down to earth, humble and a kickass Guitarists. Really fast, technical and has a good tone! In my opinion the guy should play harder metal but that's just taste related.

2 Rex Carroll (Whitecross)

Rex Carroll is by far one of the most versatile guitarists in main stream or Christian music. He can shred better than most and play the blues... All at the same time. His acoustical pieces are mesmerizing and soul stirring. He can take a one song and play it like Stevie would, then he'll play it like C. Santana, Duane Allman, Eddie Van Halen and so on. About to release a new CD with co-founding member, Jimi Bennett and King James called "Stories to Tell".. Will be the best yet!

Rex is the best guitarist, he stayed himself through all the years, he also is still as fast as he was back in the days. His heart is at the right place and he is a true musician. He can shred like no one else, he is fast and he is also a funny man. He loves his fans and he gives himself totally for the cause, and is not in it for the money like many others (even Christian guitarists) are! That's making him the number one..! Besides, he can play any style. Tell him what to play, and he will bring it to ya!

One of the technically best Christian guitarists of all time. He may not be the fastest, but I think he's the BEST. From the mainstream hard rock of Fierce Heart to the thundering metal sound of King James, Rex can play virtually any style. Look for a NEW King James record soon.

Rex is the best because he is one of the few that's truly versatile. He can play metal, hard rock, rock, blues, classical, rhythm and blues, flamenco, you name it.

3 Bob Hartman (Petra)

Bob is solid as a rock in his message and in his playing. If you want a guy who can play solid straight up rock and roll classic or modern, Bob is your man. His lead playing is also exceptional. You can tell he really spent time in crafting and shaping his leads because none of them sound the same. I started playing guitar at the age of ten. Bob has definitely been my biggest influence to date. I've had the opportunity to meet Bob and have talked with him several times and have come to find that he's a really nice guy! I bought one of his Zion guitars from him at the age of fifteen, and bought another Zion of his a few years ago. I feel very lucky and proud to own such fine instruments of his that he used in spreading the Gospel all over the world. Definitely a unique privilege. I grew up listening to lots of Christian guitarists such as Keaggy, Palacios, Carroll, Wooten, and the late Dana Key who I also love, but Bob's playing keeps me coming back for more! Bob has my vote hands ...more

I don't know if Bob is the absolute best in absolute skill or not, and his playing isn't as flashy as some, but it always sounds good and fits the song. And, if you listen, you can hear things that he's doing that are cool, even though it's not as in-your-face as some. Add to that his decades of great songwriting, and he gets my vote hands-down.

I rate him number 2 on the list behind Phil Keaggy. I have seen Bob so many times over the years and he has blessed me with his music and his heart. His way of adapting to the different sounds and styles is impressive.

Bob is not only a great guitar player but he is also one of the best song writers I ever seen. If you have any doubt about his gift just check how awesome are Petra songs as most of the songs of the band were created by him.

4 Phil Keaggy

I don't understand your list because Phil Keaggy isn't easily sitting at number 1. Anybody who knows the technical and talented side of guitar playing knows Keaggy is without a doubt one of the best guitarists of all time -- Christian or otherwise. He has even had famous non-Christian guitarists admitting how good he is. I asked him once why he doesn't rehearse before playing and he said there comes a point when you reach the top of your craft where practice is no longer needed. What a testament to God's glory, that we should pursue excellence until it becomes as natural as breathing.

Brother Phil has 19 different ways that he tunes his guitars.
His layering techniques, and the way he can fly songs together 'on the fly' after playing the different parts live is unbelievable, but still he does it with seemingly effortless application.
His music is different from all others. His heart speaks his emotions through his playing, and stirs the soul.
Once you know the feel of his music, you can pick it out in a tune, even when you don't know that it was him playing. His playing is fluid, sharp, mellow and multifaceted; and yet, he delivers it with an inspiringly Humble Spirit.
He plays for his Heavenly Father... and we are all privileged to get to listen too.

I completely agree with this...Has anyone REALLY heard him play?

"I don't understand your list because Phil Keaggy isn't easily sitting at number 1. Anybody who knows the technical and talented side of guitar playing knows Keaggy is without a doubt one of the best guitarists of all time -- Christian or otherwise. He has even had famous non-Christian guitarists admitting how good he is. I asked him once why he doesn't rehearse before playing and he said there comes a point when you reach the top of your craft where practice is no longer needed. What a testament to God's glory, that we should pursue excellence until it becomes as natural as breathing."

A great guitarist should be able to do three things: Have a diverse range of sounds, be able to apply technical ability in a way that appeals to a broad range of people and be able and willing to balance subtlety with showmanship. Phil Keaggy nails each one of those. I've seen and known some great guitarists, but Keaggy tops all of them!

5 Landon Tewers (Before Their Eyes)

Why no write up about him..

6 JB Brubaker (August Burns Red)

THE BEST! He is nominated for best guitarist this year

7 Tony Palacios (Guardian)

It has excellent handling of all techniques of guitar. It has a unique style, with influences of country, hard rock and heavy metal. It's amazing how much he can fill the sound only with a guitar. Live plays sweeps and tapping perfectly, he can shred. Also playing with things that few dare: slide and open tunings. It is the most complete guitarist out there.

Tony's work on Miracle Mile was OUTstanding... Top notch! Swing, Swang, Swung showed a very versatile side to his craft proving that acoustic has soul. Buzz proved a tasteful grungy ability while still sounding technical at times. He didn't stop there because he then moved into a more modern era with Bottle rocket proving that he adapts well with the change of the times. With new work coming out soon he also inspires the imagination: "What next?! "

Hands down, the BEST! Tony has the skill and the speed, but most importantly he has the "feeling". He could take simple licks and make them seem impossible to recreate... Just by make it vibe. By the same token, he could turn around and scream up and down the fret board. His solo project, "Epic Tales of Whoa" is a must to check out!

Best Guitarist in the Christian music history! I've been blessed to see him live in San Luis last year for first time, and remains the same master as always, not only as a guitarist, but as a person, always in a good mood.

8 Brad Noah (Disciple)

The textbook thick sound

This guy rocks!

9 Chris Impellitteri

This is the unique guitarist with his unique set of style in playing a guitar and the best in not just playing tunes and fast, but his accuracy and being the fastest among the fast, impressive and impossible riffs and interludes with solos of his style. Cheers for this guy, God bless

Virtuoso guitarist, must be number 1, listen to Answer to the Master, Fear no Evil and Wicked Maiden tracks and you will see why he must be Number 1

I think without question, that Chris should be #1. As a guitarist myself, it's easy to see the skills, technique and speed he plays with ease. However, I don't really think that his band gives glory to Our Lord Jesus. I wish I could see a lot more of this.

Check out Empire Of Lies and name a single guitar player that can pull that one off.

10 Nick Hipa (As I Lay Dying)

Parallels, their electric eye cover and so many others.


The Contenders

11 Ben Kasica (Skillet)

Ben Kasica is the best! He can play solos with his teeth, and also behind his neck! He can also play awesome solos, and he can also rock out with the other band members!

Ben Kasica is far better than most of the top secular guitarists out their today in the world. I mean better than kirk hammet.

One of the best guitarists today, hands down.

Better than kirk hammet of Metallica.

12 Ryan Leitru (For Today)
13 Jason Rauch (Red)

Awesome soloist!

Your amazing

14 Lincoln Brewster

Lincoln belongs in the top 10! Anyone play the solo on "Everlasting God"? Most churches skip it. Why? Try to play it. You'll find out.

His ability to shred an actual melody separates him from most guitarists.

The True combination of brilliant technique, feeling and holy spirit

First saw Lincoln when he was playing guitar on Steve Perry's "Love of Strange Medicine" CD and Tour. The night I saw him in Atlanta, Steve announced that Lincoln was 21. He was great live. Followed him over in Christian Music! His playing is great, but so is his writing and singing. Liked his stuff so much that I have bought his CD's in the past just so I could give them away to other people. I think he deserve to be in the top 10!

15 Tommy Johansson (ReinXeed)

In my opinion it stands (of them I've heard) between the (both Swedish! ) guitarists Tommy ReinXeed (Golden Resurrection, ReinXeed) and C J Grimmark (Narnia)

I've been listening to all of Tommy's music for a little over a year now, and coming from a guy who loves Neo-Classical guitar, Tommy is one of the best I've ever heard. His melodies, and techniques are downright amazing, and he's an excellent cover artist as well. I can only see him getting better, and I really look forward to that

I like Tommy as guitarist, as vocalist and his presence too, his blonde very long hair and his height. He's a real frontman and very talented too. Considering his age he can only improve!

He's the best singer and guitarist I've heard... I love him! Tommy Johansson forever!

16 Jeremy DePoyster (The Devil Wears Prada)
17 David Roxx

He is also known as David Reite, or David 77 he is simply an amazing blues, blues rock glam rock player, who deserves the biggest stages :) check him out on you tube

You're simply the best! Better than all the rest :) can't wait for his solo album

My absolute favorite. You are the best of 'em all David and I love you

David is an amazing blues guitarist... I haven't seen anyone with his style!

18 Dann Huff (Giant)

This guy is top five for sure. A one time member of Whiteheart, he hit the big time with his mainstream band Giant. He went on to do session work for countless Christian and mainstream artists, including the likes of Madonna. I'm a fan of his work in Giant. Show this guy some love!

Played with/for the best Christian singers and made great contributions. For me he's in position 1. He goes beyond fast fingers he does listening music and that, for me, is more important.

I can't believe he wasn't on this list yet! Top 5 for sure!

Must be top 3-5 imop

19 Oz Fox (Stryper)

Absolutely Amazing guitarist! Loved his talent since I was a teenager. Had an opportunity to meet him after a show. Straight up nice guy!

There are many good Christian guitarist, BUT OZ FOX IS IN ANOTHER LEVEL! HE IS OUR CHRISTIAN STEVE VAI

He is one of the greatest... Period!

The star, the legend, the man, the myth. Oz Fox is one of the best showmans in the scene and his style witht the axe is flawless.

20 Dennis Cameron

He's top ten in my book. Maybe he's gotten less exposure because he's Canadian. His blazing fretwork is evident throughout all the Angelica releases. My favorite is the debut.

Angelica's guitarist, a brilliant guitarist with great solos and able to shred big time!

21 Trevor McNevan

Incredible artist, love his work with TFK, but I don’t know what happen with I am the storm...

22 Joshua Perahia (Joshua)

Joshua Perahia is the best of the best. It is a shame he is not on the top of this list. That is what happens to incomparable players like Perahia when he falls on his sword for standing tall in his faith. He had the biggest Major label deals with awesome songs to match but because he refused to remove his Conservative Christian lyrics when RCA Records threatened to black ball his career he had to pay the price of getting smashed by the label. Joshua faced his enemies in the industry and put out 7 of the greatest albums that could beat any secular major act. One day his music will arise again because brilliant guitarist songwriters like Joshua are one in a billion. He is the fastest guitarist in the world as Burrn Magazine named him.

I also like Tony Palacios, Oz Fox, Bob Hartman and Rex Carroll (in that order), but I want to keep classic and stand by Mr. Perahia this time... By the way, these 5 guys are great songwriters too!

Another no brainer. Once called the fastest guitarist in the world!

23 Ken Tamplin (Shout)

Ken is a pure lead vocalist with a sound not far from the great David Coverdale. Being a bonafide front man, you wouldn't expect him to be a very good guitar player, but this guy SHREDS! Check out anything on Shout's In Your Face record. Ken handles all the lead work! Go on youtube and listen to Borderline by Shout. You won't be disappointed!

Another guy in the running for best guitarist that's also a lead singer. This guy can shred!

Ken is in my top ten for sure. All the guitar players listed are immense

Ken brought athentic firey guitar to the CCM market. AND he could sing his butt off. Very few CHristians at that time were pioneers lie Tamplin. He is still shredding to this days and has a teaching academy for voice. He was known for inviting guest guitarist like Doug Aldrich from Whitesnake, Ritchie Kotzen, Reb Beach even guys like Jeff Watson.

24 Jeff Scheetz

Not only did this guy put out excellent instrumental records, but his lesson books/guides are fantastic... He was virtually my first guitar teacher. He is the King of Theory over anyone on this list.

25 David Zaffiro (Bloodgood)

He had the look, the riffs, and even the voice-check out his solo discs

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