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 ...read more.

He is undoubtedly the best guitarist ever, what he could do with the guitar takes an absolute genius!

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.

The best, if you look at it objectivley. Hendrix came along in the sixties and revolutionised the instrument like no other. A great live improviser, he also wrote amazing songs, and has inspired just about anyone who has picked up a guitar since.

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.

2 Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi)

Eddie Van Halen has Speed & Technique...
But Richie Sambora has EVERYTHING! He deserves to be the 1st!

Listen to Dry County solo... End of comment.

Sambora is a great guitarist that performs great stage act. He can play guitar while being a backed vocals. He is also a good songwriter.

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!

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.

Van Halen was one of the most inventive guitarist 's of the eighties!

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.

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.

Jimmy page another amazing guitarist! After all, no Page no Led Zeppelin.

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.

Jimmy Hendrix was the best,no question in that but jimmy page is a close second to him
I have said it to a lot of people that other guitarists played the guitar but these two made love to it
So no one should be on number 2 but Jimmy

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!

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.

Clapton brilliant with Cream, disappointing as a solo artist!

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.

Seriously Clapton should be much higher especially when sambora is second

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

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 ...read 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.

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.

He has the technique, speed and the soul... He is I think the top rock guitarist with a classical touch.

No reasons needed. His talent speaks for itself.

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.

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

Simply the best guitarist on the planet! Makes mincemeat out of Hendrix!

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.

Icarus' Dream Suite Op.4... Enough said

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.

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

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

Who has a better mix of tone and phrasing? Nobody

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

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

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 :-)

There are dozens of great solos in his oeuvre. Start with "Watermelon in Easter Hay", maybe give "Inca Roads" a try or a recording of "Any kind of pain" from his last tour in '88.

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

10 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.

Gilmour was after all was the main inspiration behind Pink Floyd.

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.

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.

I'm shocked to see David Gilmour at #11! He should be WAY HIGHER on this list! What is wrong here?!? I can see quite a few MISTAKES in this list! David is #1 in my opinion!

The Contenders

11 Slash (Saul Hudson)

I think he is one of the best player ever! I am also a huge fan of Guns n' Roses!

He is possibly the greatest guitarist ever! Listen to Sweet Child o Mine, Estranged, or November Rain... Slash should absolutely be higher up on this list!

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 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 ...read 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.

People don't realize his geniality and playing style, he's up there with Hendrix, Van Halen and jimmy paige

Brian in my opinion is the best. his solo in bohemian rhapsody was absolutely amazing. not to even mention all his other solos in killer queen, play the game, somebody to love, one vision, who wants to live forever, we will rock you, I want it all, you are just amazing may.

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

Brian is the best I wouldn't have learnt 5 of his solos if he wasn't the greatest

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

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.

Buckethead would be Top 5 easy if he were more mainstream. The man can play anything and make it his own. If you're interested, I'd give "Nottingham Lace", "Final Wars", "Big Sur Moon", "Population Override", and "Soothsayer" a try just to get an idea of what I'm talking about. The sky is the limit from there.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The best guitarist of all time just listen to Crazy Train and Mr. Crowley.

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!

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.

6th PLACE?! some people should get brains and listen to afterlife! SO FAST PACED! I say he is an expert at chugging and all of that and in afterlife, his guitar can make cool screaming sounds and I call synyster gates fans "synners" and he's got a great sense of humor and a beautiful voice!

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.

just look at him playing with only one hand in bat country his solo in afterlife
his solos are great just watch the videos and you'll understand
ok no expression on the face I mean its synyster means no expression

definitely in my top 5

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..
:D

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.

Great to see a continuation of guitarist greats, he is awesome!

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.

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

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

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

why is he unknown?he is great

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 ...read more.

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.

How did Kirk Hammett beat Satch? Didn't Satch take him under his wing and give him lessons?

Joe satriani is the best ever...

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.

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!

Current legendary status

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