Top Ten Fiddle Players

The Top Ten

1 Charlie Daniels


Charlie owns this award from "Orange Blossom Special" alone - and that's not even his best work.

Undeniably the one of greatest fiddle players of all time.

Damn good fiddle player

Hands down best fiddler of all time. He taught me.

V 22 Comments
2 Buddy Spicher V 1 Comment
3 Justin Branum

Justin Branum has an ear like none other. He breathes the fiddle in his life. You can hear it in his playing. He pays homage to every single one of the greats, and to the great pedal steel guitar! Yeah! Big Full sound. Justin Branum translates those crazy wavy melodies--full of all the intervalic capabilities to be silly and expressive in Its song to sing. Justin Branum is the Grand Master Fiddler Champion 2010. This year, He was awarded first place as the "Show Me State's" Best Rhythm Guitar Player in Missouri. He's in the book just recently published called Play me something fast and devilish about Missouri style fiddle playing. He is an amazingly precise player who shines alone in his Western Swing style. Colorful and virtuosic solos drive, with a groove, a rhythm, and a force that begs to be set apart by its very nature of mystery, as well as the simple purity, love, and honesty from the heart through which the music pours. A man of excellence who is an open vessel for the music ...more

Justin is a wonderful player and a fantastic human being. Justin is a young man with an old soul. He is knowledgeable about all styles of music and is a master of them all. The fiddling world will be hearing his name for decades to come.

Why isn't Howard Forrester on the list? Also, where does Gordon Terry rate?

Very good player and teacher

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4 Hyram Posey

I've had the pleasure of having Hyram and his wife Lori as friends for many years. You will never meet a better couple, no ego just great people. Hyram has played music in all types of settings and always brings his creative genius to the music. Hyram is not only the best fiddle player - bar none- but produces not only the one of a kind music he writes but brings out the best in other artist music he produces. No matter where you put Hyram, stage- recording studio- writing music - movie themes- supporting other artist or playing lead, Hyram is simple the best. Listen to Hyram's music- it soothes the Soul. God Bless Hyram and Lori.

I've had the honor to do 1000 sessions around the country and I've played with some really great musicians and on some really great records in my time...I recently played guitar on Hyram's new record and he's amazing, to say the least. Him and I are going to doing a fiddle/guitar album soon and I can't wait to get started! Having said that...
To me, music is not just about what you do but what you don't do and knowing when to do either... What I mean to say is there is bound to be fiddle players who can play faster, play more notes and put in more flash than Hyram. But what I've not seen is many who can make every note drip with soul and passion like he can! Hyram doesn't play for the money because he knows that that is something that comes and goes! He plays simply because he LOVES it-every bit of it! Money and fame are fleeting things but heart and soul is forever! And that's why I feel he's the best I ever heard and played with! I love Hyram and his wife Lori and have loved them ...more

To listen to Hyram play live is the most transcending experience you could have just by just listing to his music, he has a way of putting you in the music and takes you with him on a journey as he plays. He truly has a gift and I thank him for sharing it with the world. To know this gifted individual, it would be hard to find a bigger heart and kinder person then Hyram Posey. I wish him all the best.

Hyram has been honing his craft for more than 40 years and has made a career of playing, composing, and arranging songs. He is a master of his craft and well respected in the music community.

V 28 Comments
5 Johnny Gimble

Johnny has Western swing soul and knows what melody is even if he is playing harmony or is complimenting a vocalist. He has played on concerts and sessions for me... Gospel singer David Ingles.

There are many great/excellent fiddle players. However, johnny can do it all with grace...WoW!

Haven't heard Gimble's tone quality and perfection from any of the others mentioned here.

One word describes Johnny Gimble. SM-O-O-O-T-H. Can't be beat when it comes to style. My Dad, God rest his soul, was the best, and being Canadian, was partial to Don Messer, but always said that God had given Johnny the greatest be able to play with heavenly hosts.

V 8 Comments
6 Stewart Duncan

Stuart is the tastiest fiddler I've ever heard. SMOOTH!

Amazingly diverse!

Great fiddler of americana music, really shines on the Goat Rodeo Sessions with Edgar Myers, Yo-Yo Ma, and Chris Thile

Saw him last nite w/Diana Krall--he stole the show!

7 Kenny Sears

He was my first teacher... I was 3!... And I am now 35! Very good man! Absolutely brilliant Mr. Kenny... The Shaffer twins from Lindsay Hollow have ALWAYS admired you! TOP notch across any genre of music!

Actually there are about eight fiddle players that handle all the session work in Nashville and Kenny Sears is one of them. He is also classically trained.

My Dad was a fiddle player. He had a great ear. I never heard him comment to much about anyone's playing...except for Kenny Sears who he scheduled his entire day around being able to watch Mr. Sears play on the Ralph Emery Show for years! On top of that Mr. Sears is one of the sweetest, kindest and most humble fellows around.

There is no question Kenny Sears!

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8 Leon Boulanger
9 Rob Hajacos

Seriously, why don't I see his name here. He is one of the best Nashville Studio musicians and appears on countless albums by all the favorite stars and others. Truly a master of the fiddle!

V 1 Comment
10 Mark O'Connor

This guy has the most tasty solos of any man alive. If you really want to see this guys talent, check out his live performance with Tony Rice and Bela Fleck of "Freeborn Man. "

I have meet him 2 times now and he by far is the best and should be in first! He plays with such much comfort in his eyes! He is my roll model for fiddling

He is the greatest fiddle player by far not only is the greatest fiddle player he also masters in guitar, mandolin...


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The Contenders

11 Bob Wills

You don't have to be from Texas to know that Bob Wills is still the king.

Bob wills is without a doubt the beginning of modern country fiddle playing. His single string style was perfect for having two and three part harmony.The king of Western Swing


12 Byron Berline

Byron Berline is AMAZING! I got to meet him last year in Weiser, Idaho and he's one of the BEST fiddlers I have ever heard! I took a workshop from him, and he was really nice to autograph the three cds and fiddle book I bought from him. He didn't make me feel like a "nobody". I even got my picture taken with him!

This guy is pretty awesome! I got to meet him personally in Kansas when he was playing in a show, and since I haven't heard any other fiddlers really, then I think that he is the best! By the way, who on earth is Hugh Farr?

Are you kidding? This guy needs to be at the top of the list and he is only third! Well, so is life, but this guy is the BEST! I heard him play in Nashville, and he is GREAT!

Byron is an incredible fiddle player. in my opinion he should be punching in there are 1 or 2

V 6 Comments
13 Aubrey Hayney

Best fiddle player I've ever heard

Best fiddle player ever! Comes from a great family!

Saw him at Station Inn in Nashville... Unreal!

Should be number 1

V 1 Comment
14 Rufus Thibodeaux

Hey, what gives? Rufus was only considered to be the "WORLD'S GREATEST CAJUN AND Texas SWING FIDDLE PLAYER EVER" and he isn't on your list! Once when asked, Johnny Gimble named him as the best! He also played with Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, not to mention the hundreds of country greats that he did session work for! He played on the famed "Louisiana Hayride" before joining the Grand Old Opry in 1956. He played with all the greats but primarily with Jimmy C. Newman. Later, he joined Neil Young's band the "International Harvesters". (That man could play anything! ) It was during this time that Kenny Sears filled in for him with Newman's band. Take it from someone who had the honor and privilege to hear and see him perform live, not one fiddler has ever made a fiddle laugh or cry, literally weep like the late great Rufus Thibodeaux!

15 Doug Kershaw

Saw him in '74 and I never forgot how he made people just want to get up and dance, whether they know how or not - his music is totally awesome... Love, love him.

If ever anyone can put heart and soul in music its Doug Kershaw, most amazing fiddler player ever!

Love his god-given talent vocally & instrumentally - THE BEST FIDDLER EVER!

Absolutely! Personality makes him so damn huge. That is what fiddlin' is all about folks!

V 5 Comments
16 Hoot Hester

Best fiddle player ever to live. Self taught and has the best ear in the business.

He is my grandpa. He never was out of toon, and he made some awesome songs

Grand ole Opry fiddler... One of the Best!


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17 St├ęphane Grappelli V 2 Comments
18 Martin Hayes

All Ireland fiddle champion six times. How was he not already on this list? Why is he so good at what he does? He plays from his heart, that's how! Give it a listen, and you too will bump this vote.

Tone, passion, the best, also very humble See what he has to say about the "lonesome touch"... A term "used to describe a person's music. The word lonesome expresses a sadness, a blue note, a sour note. Even though the music bares the trace of struggle and of pain, it is alsothe means of uplift, transcendence to joy and celebration"

I agree with what has been said about Martin

Top 5 of all time without a doubt

V 2 Comments
19 Jimmy Gyles

He's definitely one of the most energetic and creative fiddlers well above the others

I would place him above all listed. In his prime no one can out play him

Fantastic fiddler! Charlie Daniels couldn't shine his shoes, but God bless them both

I haven't heard him in years, but in the 80s he was super!

V 6 Comments
20 Tim Passmore

Under rated. This guy is good

Best fiddler of all time!

I just recentky heard of Tim. Excellent fiddler! I'm gonna try to look him up and find out where I can hear him.

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List Stats

700 votes
65 listings
6 years, 108 days old

Top Remixes

1. Leon Boulanger
2. Buddy Spicher
3. Johnny Gimble
1. Justin Branum
2. Hyram Posey
3. Stewart Duncan



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