Greatest Electric Guitarists

The Top Ten

1 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 more.

He is my absolute hero, I was never that much into guitar at first. I only learnt it because my dad asked me to but once I heard my first Hendrix song (little wing) I immediately fell in love. I wouldn’t be so in love with my guitar if it wasn’t for Hendrix. Love him I hope we see him on top of all the greatest guitarist lists.

Shouldn't even be questioned. Ever hear of 'Voodoo Child'? Yeah, that was recorded in one take. & almost entirely improvised. & it's the greatest recording of an electric guitar being played EVER. & this isn't from some idiot who just listens to a lot of music, I play the guitar and have done a lot of reading and I know a few of your favorite guitarists would agree with me.

We know the guitar's capabilities because of Jimi. We can agree that vocal chords allow for our emotions to be rightly known. I hope we may also agree that Jimi's guitar was the closest thing on Earth in matching the level of emotional expression one makes with their word and voice.

Without Hendrix, you wouldn't have any of the electric guitarists on this list. Shredding, feedback and loads of other little techniques on the guitar wouldn't be used as frequently. This man did more for the guitar in a three album career than Synyster Gates will ever, ever do

2 Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi)

The King of Swing. Massively underrated forever just because he is in Bon Jovi but if you pay attention and listen you'll hear he is innovative, soulful, and passionate - and has more technique than any other guitarist I have ever heard. Furthermore he can freestyle and jam like no one else and always sounds amazing. And he brings character and feeling to his playing and can adapt to all styles of music. Pick any song, but if you want direction go for Dry county or 100 thousand years. Just wow!

They even had to put what band he was in to make sure people know who he is... come on people! Anyone who says this guy is #1 over Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, And Jimi Hendrix is insane/Doesn't know what their talking about. Everyone knows that "Richie Sambora" Doesn't compare to Jimi Hendrix! This list is good, But VERY out of order... (Joe Perry at #95 and Richie Sambora at #1)...

Richie is the most amazing guitarist ever! I absolutely love his blues rhythm to rock music! His solos are just incredible! He has the whole package! And we aren't even talking about his vocals or his song writing! He's just an amazing performer to watch on stage. Richie deserves the #1 spot! He never gets any recognition! He's so overdue!

Richie is the best sounding guitarist. So many great guitar solos!. He's a role model to me. He's songs have a great positive message. Plays from the heart. Everyone says he's a nice guy. Makes you feel good. Dry County one of the best guitar songs of all time. I pray that you play in Melbourne Australia you play a big part in Bon Jovi. Number 1 fan!

3 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 is #1, or at least tied with Hendrix, who relies on reputation alone. Bon jovi's guitarist is a joke. For some reason, people (who have no idea what they are talking about) think Bon jovi is better than all of the other 80s bands that have solid guitar players that aren't on the list that are better in many ways, specifically the guitar. (definitely leppard, Guns N' Roses, Ratt, motley crue, etc.) Anyway Eddie Van Halens self taught style is the best that there is. This list is more of a popularity contest, a popularity contest where people who have no idea what they are talking about vote for the band they have heard 1 or 2 songs from. The electric guitar was played by many, for all those who can't get on the radio and name the band that is playing most of the time, better yet the album, shouldn't be voting. But if you can, vote whoever.

Yes I know Jimi Hendrix pioneered the guitar solo but Eddie Van Halen was probably influenced by Jimi Hendrix but now Eddie Van Halen now influenced Kerry King and so many more people so I think Eddie should get more credit for his inspiration to other artists.

He has surely got to be one of the greatest electric guitar players ever. He has everything. Some people just think he is fast, but it is his precision and technique. I have gotta be honest, Hendrix should be at the top.

King Edward should be #1... No other guitarist in Rock history has been as influential, inventive, and copied that Eddie Van Halen.

4 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.

What the hell!?!? Jimmy page is the greatest guitarist ever! And this is coming from a guy who has listened to many many types of music... Page is one of the reasons I fell in love Led zeppelin... From Hendrix to Vaughan to Clapton to slash to Johnson to sambora to gilmour to Santana nobody mesmerised me more than page did... He made his guitar TALK. Phhff, bucket head? Gimme a rest! Just give a listen to Achilles last stand or any song from led zeppelin 1, 2, 4, HOTH or Physical Graffiti. In my view all of the albums led zeppelin had produced rocked! Page forever!

You're telling me that richie sambora is above Jimmy Page. This is ridiculous. I'll definitely admit that Jimi Hendrix is the best guitar player of all time, but there is no way that richie sambora and eddie van halen are better than Jimmy Page.

There is no contest to see who is the best guitar player when jimmy is involved. There would be no led zeppelin without jimmy, and anyone who thinks eddie van halen, who plays notes with no rhythm at all at annoyingly high pitches is better than jimmy, who plays beautiful melodies and rhythms that eddie could never play.

Jimmy the greatest ever. I listened to him for 40 years and will love it for the rest of my life. I will influence my grandchildren to listen to him. The man has style after all these years when he rocked. China at the closing ceremony of the Olympics

5 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.

This list can't be taken seriously with Eric Clapton not even listed. What a joke. This list is based on popularity or perhaps record sales, not talent.

Jimi Hendrix Eric Clapton Jimmy Page and Stevie Ray Vaughan got to be the greatest guitarist

Seriously Clapton should be much higher especially when sambora is second

Clapton brilliant with Cream, disappointing as a solo artist!

6 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 more.

Richie Blackmore comes a close second as his playing Deep Purple was again to such a high standard, he actually inspired me to pick up the guitar.

Richie Blackmore...Best guitarist ever. Talented and genius, both electric and acustic guitar.
Still active until now, created a lot of great songs for Deep Purple, Rainbow and Blackmores Night. Pioneer for electric guitarist and influenced some of guitarist. Not just best in the studio but live concert as well.
Unfortunately a lot of people doesn't now about him. judges him to low ranked. Just see and listen how he played, from early Deep Purple until Now.

Ritchie is the elite guitarist of all time am not going to argue that Hendrix is one on this list
But it's Blackmore or Jimmy Hendrix they were heads above the rest.And Ritchie influenced more people to play. His live performances tells you he was the best. No one could compete with him on stage. And that's how you measure talent. Not studio tricks.

Greatest electric guitarist ever. He has the style that no one can beat. Just listen to Mistreated from Deep Purple and his early songs with Rainbow. He has the riffs that make our soul fly away.

7 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.

Some guitar players are on this list are thre for their song writing and recognisable and heroism styles they have made them famous. Malmsteen has the ultimate technobility I have ever heard in any electric guitar playing ever. From his shredding techniques to his appegios. His style is completely different to any style out there, so he doesn't just sound like another blues scale style guitar player. He is amazing playing in his band to playing with the worlds top Orchestras. From playing rock and heavy metal to playing paggannini clasical style and slower 80's AOR styles. Watch his guitar lessons and interviews on YouTube and your think the same.

Guitarists like satriani and vai kneel before the feet of Malmsteen and his awesome power over the guitar.. just TRY and match his fretting speed and precision.. you'll be trying for the rest of your life.

Who can play faster with such precision? No one. Yngwie may not have created the best songs, but he is the best guitar player bar none.

Ingwei stated that he's not at all influenced musically by Jimi Hendrix... I have a theory on this... It's because Ingwei blows away Hendrix on the guitar.

8 Carlos Santana Carlos Santana 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 jazz.

No weaknesses, his extended play albums in his early years were beyond reproach! Never loses sight of the rhythm, his interplay has depth, and his mastery of sound is superb! In top 5, for sure

For someone who has been playing guitar LONGER than some of these punks have been alive - listeners should give "Moonflower" a listen...

A true master of the electric guitar listen to 'never the same again'

Who has a better mix of tone and phrasing? Nobody

9 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.

Of course the most talented and creative guitarist in the World. Guitarists like Slash can give stunts but cannot be such creative like Gilmour. I don't know why people cannot understand and like silly stunts rather than real talent. A layman can listen to the guitar solos of Echoes, Dogs, Coming BAck to Life, Comfortably Numb, Time... Of Pink Floyd and they will easily know his vast talent. Gilmour must be ranked higher.

Some of the guys on these lists are awesome, technically brilliant and have done amazing things but for the most part they just create sound. DG is the best at stirring emotions and adding such depth to songs, that they are true masterpieces. A visionary that has changed the way the guitar is played and along with RW NM & RW has changed the way music is played made and performed.

Should be higher, and I wish he was. Pink Floyd are my favourite band, and David Gilmour's guitar solos can be matched by few, if any. Gilmour is famous for his bluesy, slow style that puts the emphasis on phrasing rather than technique.

What goes through this guys head into his strings nobody can duplicate. He makes it sing, whine and howl with matchless precision and beauty. To have him ranked this low is ridiculous.

10 Frank Zappa Frank Vincent Zappa was an American musician, songwriter, composer, record producer, actor and filmmaker.

Someone said something years ago that made me laugh - "Is it possible for us to learn to play an EASY Zappa song? " The thought that anyone could think such a thing existed flat out cracked me up!
Not only was Zappa an outstanding guitar player, but he had the ability to write challenging charts for every single member of his group - and they'll tell you that when it comes to simple compositions, there ain't no such animal!

Most people rate the guitarist according to weather they like the music he play or not. Zappas approach to guitar playing is unsurpassed - no matter what you think of the music :-)

Pleased to find him here at the top, but realize that he started as a drummer and that he was a composer too and very much best of the best band leader of all times and beyond.

The Best without any kind of response. Always trying to be different and developing new styles ad structures constantly through his career, no one else did like him

The Contenders

11 Slash (Saul Hudson)

Boost Slash higher then #8 he is so recognizable for all of his work in Guns N' Roses and the songs show for him very well. I also think people need to see him in person because things like guitar solo by him or even moments he shares with "Izzy" is the best thing ever

Slash has a great ability in improvisation and all his solos are complex and are based in not only pentatonic scales but in scales which the melody is written. For this and more reasons, Slash should be placed in higher number!

Slash as per the guitar he's is the best after Hendrix

Sorry I has a mistake..
He's the best and will be the best...I just love his song Sweet child Omine...November Rain... N he's best solo the #Godfather theme... I really wanted to born in the 1980s just to see slash at young... He's a greatest eveerr!

Slash should be much higher on this list. Hendrix should be #1, Slash should be #2 and Eric Clapton #3. All of these guys are great guitarists but Hendrix, Slash and Clapton are in a totally different league.

12 Stevie Ray Vaughan Stephen "Stevie" Ray Vaughan (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990) was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer. In spite of a short-lived mainstream career spanning seven years, he is widely considered one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of music, and more.

I was lucky enough to see him play several times growing up in Austin, Texas. Unmatched in my opinion, not only for his ability to improvise at both fast and slow tempos, but also in his skill at blending with and ornamenting the improv of his fellow musicians.

He can be seriously fast but has also got some slow but skilled songs such as lenny, and by my opinion has been one of the most skilled and influential guitarists of all time. RIP

Hardly anyone can play like him. Most People that can play Hendrix songs or any song that is considered difficult to play can't play Cold Shot or Pride and Joy the way Stevie does

Not even a contest. The most complete guitarist of bunch after Hendrix. Pull up a YouTube video sit back and prepare to be dazzled...

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

Go Bri! You ROCK!
Brian May-----total amazing genius! Very underrated, just like QUEEN, the most awesome band on the planet!
Dr. Brian May-------absolutely brilliant, in so many ways, just like QUEEN!
Queen is so much more than just their hits. Their lesser known songs are all gorgeous gems, a treasure trove of sheer ecstasy!
Love you, Freddie, Brian, Roger, & John! You guys are the best of the best!

Brian should be in the top 3! Period.
This man built his own guitar when he was a teen and has his own sound. No other guitar sounds like “The Red Special” (that is built from a mantel). Who else can say that? Not to mention he can play the hell out of it! ❤️ You have under estimated Mr. May!

Brian should be much higher on this list! He is a Musical Genius! I never listened to guitarists until I heard Brian May play! Everything he does is PERFECTIOIN! Put him at the Top 5 where he belongs!

Brian is truly a musical genius! You are missing his position in the musical life drastically. He deserves the Top 3!

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

No doubt, Buckethead is genius. Musician. Benediction.
Thank you Buckethead!

I can say same words for Jimmy Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Al Di Meola, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour and for a many more guitar giants and this words will be truth for every one of them.
There is no measure for the talent!
You can measure and compare mediocrity, but how you can compare the uniqueness?

All you can see in the charts is trendy people. Some of them are talented presenters, some of them are good musicians, some of them are great musicians and very few of them are genius.

Buckethead can outperform anyone on this list. He's a prodigy. I bet if you ask the virtuosos above - and still alive - they will agree.

Yes, he wears a KFC bucket on his head and a Michael Myers mask on his face, but he's a genius. Buckethead (real name Brian Carroll) plays every style, from country to death metal. Albums like 'Monsters and Robots' and 'Population Override' are must-haves for any aspiring guitarists, and instrumentals like 'Nottingham Lace' and 'Too Many Humans' take some beating.

Rolling Stones best electric guitarist list should've been nicknamed the best average guitarist list. I didn't give this guy the time of day because I thought the bucket thing was to cover up how badly he sucks. Turns out it's the opposite. He's just weird. It's too bad the average person doesn't have the capacity to enjoy this type of advanced music.

15 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.

Here's how great Jeff Beck is: When Eric Clapton left the Yardbirds, Beck replaced him, and nobody missed Clapton. Later, when Beck left the Yardbirds, he was replaced by Jimmy Page, and everybody wanted Beck to return to the band.

If you were to ask all of the guitarists on the top 20, Jeff beck would be crowned number one. His technique and tone is like no other. He makes the guitar sing and was the first to ever be in that realm.

Jeff Beck paved the way for heavy metal with the 1968 album 'Truth', and virtuoso instumental music with 1974s 'Blow By Blow'. Beck isn't the most talented songwriter, and some would say that he's wilfully underachieved, but he's one of the best guitarists ever, period.

I was in (7th grade) math class and I was talking to the math teacher about music. And she didn't know Jeff Beck! That's crazy to me, I've been a fan since I was 6, which is 1/2 of my life. Lol

16 hide

Greatest riffs and solos look at Art of life.

17 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.

The guitar solos are out of this world no way would crazy train would have been what it is with out that solo... Should be number one to be honest!

One of the greatest guitarists of all time... Randy Rhoads. Just listen to what the other guy said and Diary of a Madman...

He is the best guitarist ever, but got lost in the mist of time because of the tragic plane accident. R. I. P Randy Rhoads.

I can't believe Randy is behind synyster what?
he deserves to be number one
he has techniques, speed, more importantly feelings in his guitar playing
Randy Rhaods Forever

18 Synyster Gates Brian Elwin Haner, Jr., better known by his stage name Synyster Gates or simply Syn, is an American musician, best known for being the lead guitarist and backing vocalist of the band Avenged Sevenfold.

Syn should be higher up
List should be
1. Slash
2. Jimi Hendrix
3. Stevie Ray Vaughan
4. Synyster Gates
After that, I don't really care. But any person with an actual brain for music knows that Slash, Jimi and Stevie need to be at the top of the list. Come on. Syn is the best of the modern guitar players. That's why he should be 4th, behind the greats.

At least Syn is in the Top ten.. It proves that some people have heard his solos and watched his live performances..! I Never say that he is the Greatest Electric guitarist.. Because Its all About Generation.. Slash, Jimi, Kirk, Randy R.. etc They were the best in that Generation.. MASTERS..

But Comparing to that Generation we need something better or better change. So By far SYNYSTER is one of the greatest guitarists of all times.. & Brandon Jacobs from the band MUTINY WITHIN, Herman li, Mark tremonti, Alexi Wildchild.. etc these guys have MORE TALENT than those oldies.. BUT I LOVE THEM TOO that's WHY I TOLD SYN IS ONE OF MY favorites...

Synyster soloes - Bat country, Beast and the harlot, Afterlife, Almost easy, So far away, Seize the day, Nightmare, Scream, Second heartbeat.. etc

Ok let me tell you, Pick any song from Avenged Sevenfold [all albums] And just listen.. that's what a great guitarist should be.. not one or two solos...! Amazing musical talent should ...more

What's the matter with you people?
Is it really matters that a guitarist be from 80s or 90s to be cool?
New ones like synyster gates are sometimes better, no one gonna criticize you if you watch these new guitar players becoming heros and masters,be realistic, sometimes I feel his solos are talking to me!

At least Syn is in the Top ten.. It proves that some people have heard his solos and watched his live performances..! I Never say that he is the Greatest Electric guitarist.. Because Its all About Generation.. Slash, Jimi, Kirk, Randy R.. Etc They were the best in that Generation.. MASTERS..

19 Joe Bonamassa Joe Bonamassa is an American blues rock guitarist, singer and songwriter. When he was only 12 years old, Bonamassa opened for B.B. King. He was born 8th May 1977. He is known to be one of the greatest blues guitarists ever.

Love Joe. Best of the still alive bunch. Technically great. Plays amazingly varied styles in spite of being derided as "just a shredder". Always put's on a great show for the fans. Entertaining yet a custodian of the Blues and greats from the past. Encourages newer players. Singing and playing has matured over the years. Great Blues/Rock singer.

Joe is underrated by those who are nostalgic about their music. I've always been a Clapton fan and will continue to be. JB is all that and more in my humble opinion.

Just go see him live and tell me he is not number 1. He has such an incredible range. Supreme talent.

We thought that Eric Clapton was the man until we heard Joe Bonamassa. He is incredible.

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

The most technical electric guitarist...ever. Steve Vai may not be as flash as the likes of John Petrucci and Paul Gilbert, but when he does go flat-out, he's untouchable. Vai has mastered every technique imaginable, but still has soul. 'Passion and Warfare' and 'The Ultra Zone' are must haves.

A virtuoso partly driven by perfectionism that has had him playing with some of the best in their class for decades. Able to cover must genres with the guitfiddle, Vai is right up there with the very best.

Steve Vai is amazing. Definitely the worlds best

El mejor de todos

21 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.

I have only a question for you guys:

Why the hell is this man down here?

Much better than some of the overrated items in this list.

Deserves to be in the top... most underrated guitarist

Under A Glass Moon alone is enough to beat everyone else on this list, let alone all of his masterpieces

22 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.

An innovator and motivator. When you think about it, when he died he had only been playing guitar for 10 years. It's hard to imagine what he could of accomplished if he had lived.

He was such a great guitarist, but he also inspired the rest of the band to play up to their full potential, and he shared the spotlight.

Many of us learned listening to him and Dickey. There's never been anyone like him since. He is unique and sorely missed by all of the folks for that era and anyone else that has listened to him play.

Listen to Fillmore East

23 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.

Chuck Berry is a Guitar God.
With JB Goode, he founded Rock n Roll.

LOng live Chuck Berry.Happy Birthday!

24 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 more.

In my personal opinion, joe satriani is the best guitar player in the world! He at the very least should be ranked in the top ten, and at least be ranked higher than the guitarists he has taught. Thanks Joe. You are amazing.P.K.

For the love of... have you heard the hammer-ons in Potato Head? Satch is a virtuoso and everything he plays is with purpose and melodic grace. Should be higher.

Satch took what Hendrix started and expanded it to its limits. Between he and Vai, there's nothing they can't touch.

He is a damn good guitarist to listn. He is not too popular as he dint appear in most famous bands. Overall he is really a guitar god.

25 Zakk Wylde Zakk Wylde is an American musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and occasional actor who is best known as the former guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, and founder of the heavy metal band Black Label Society.

You all are f' en crazy Zakk Wilde is the greatest guitarist that ever lived. He should be number 1. Joe Bonnammosa would agree.

Why isn't Zakk in the top 10 of every one of these lists? Have you seen him play?

Zakk wylde behind the Green Day guitar player? Really man?

Zakk wylde - farewell ballad!

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