Greatest Keyboard Player Of All-Time

The Contenders: Page 2

21 Alan Wilder

He has always shown that feeling of knowing what sound to play exactly when. An absolute master in the art of constructing an harmonious ensemble. His tireless work with Depeche Mode is evidence of that. Depeche Mode was clearly something else with him onboard.

Classically trained, experimental composer, sampling master. Be Piano, Synthesizers or Keyboards, Alan Wilder is tops in my list. Throughout the years he has set the bar, for whom still today, Alan Wilder and Depeche Mode too, has been an influence to a vast majority of successful groups and musicians.

Alan Wilder is more than a keyboard player, he's a musical genius, producer, drummer, architect of sound and mastermind behind any project on his command (Depeche Mode, Recoil).

#17?! Easily top ten. He is what gave Depeche Mode their most beloved sound. Classically trained. Superb mixer and audio engineer. He's a true pioneer to electronic music.

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22 Eddie Van Halen 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.
23 Tom Coster
24 Nick Oosterhuis Nick Oosterhuis

Higly underrated guy, also a excellent singer/songwriter. I am following his career since 1982 and I am always astounished to see his next project which is mostly very different from the previous one. Hardrock, Jazz, Ambient, Pop, Blues, Soul, you name it, he is always spot on.

I really like his solo piano improvisations CD. Very, very subtle and technically outstanding. Not sure it is available in the U.S. it has a Japanese cover. Got it out of Germany.

Nick is a very talented musician, and above that, he is a very nice person, and fun to work with. I suggest to anyone who needs a great musician who will work well with the whole band, choose Nick... (Bobby Kimball)

Great feel, touch, and spirit. Definitely an ace player.

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25 Richard Barbieri

Tin Drum was the real starting point for Richard. Since then, he has honed his craft to the point where, listening to the pieces he created on his 2 solo album (Things Buried and Stranger Inside) leaves me in absolute awe of his skills. I was lucky enough to see him perform earlier this year, and watching how he builds the layers of sound, until they create the most sublime pieces of music, was utterly awe-inspiring.

A truly unique innovative musician. The bedrock with which Japan (the band) lay upon. Underneath the traditional sounds of Guitar, Bass, Drums and Vocals, Mr Barbieri would lay his highly original keyboard sounds. His collaborative works after Japan show a versatility that more well known keyboard players would die for. A true original. Craig. Manchester

It didn't surprise me when Mr. Rich (a very nice guy, by the way) was asked by Steven Wilson to join Porcupine Tree. It fitted like a glove, although the musical output of PT was very different from Japan's. He is so much skilled, but this is true with many other keyboard players; it's his inventive, his creativity, that makes the difference. What impressed me was to find out, reading Japan's biography "A foreign place", that he barely knew how to play when he joined the band. In a couple of years, I repeat IN A COUPLE OF YEARS, he was making the best sounds in the world with "Britain's cleverest group". Nearly 40 years have passed, but he's still doing it. (Stefano, Mantua)

He's the greatest

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26 Dave Brubeck

First keyboard player I ever saw live. Tough act to follow.

Time Out. My favorite keyboard album

27 Eddie Jobson

In addition to being an amazing keyboardist, composer and synthesist, Eddie Jobson is also an extraordinary violinist. He belongs a lot higher than here.
If you listen to the "King Crimson Live in Central Park" album you'll hear an 18-year old Jobson on keys and violin.

Eddie should be in the top three, behind Emerson and Wakeman.

One of the most gifted keyboard player and performers of all time... Also played with Roxy Music at 17-years old replacing Eno... Technically flawless.

Just the most immense of musicians. An amazing instrumentalist and virtuoso.

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28 David Bryan David Bryan David Bryan Rashbaum, best known as just David Bryan, is the keyboard player of the popular American Rock band Bon Jovi, with which he has also co-written songs and performed backing vocals.

Absolutely the best keyboard and pianist ever, playing since the age of 6, composing musical scores, as well as the writing and composing of songs for Bon Jovi. His interaction with the audience is simply outstanding, he always has a smile for his fans. He is energetic, a true entertainer. He is a gentleman who deserves recognition for his outstanding talent and contribution to music

Easily the most talented keyboardists I have ever heard. And NO not just with his stuff with Bon Jovi.. Also his solo stuff and his music on broadway. This guy is a mega talent who can do anything and play anything he wants... After hearing all his body of work it becomes patently clear it would be a BIG mistake to underestimate or pigeon hole David. He is a legend on the keys pure and simple!

The most talented keyboard player and his able to play multiple keyboards at the same time. His live performance is something very energetic and he contact audience amazingly!

Changed music with his wonderful quirky hooks.

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29 Greg Hawkes

The Cars were a great group. Hawkes made them a Classic.

One of the leaders of the synthpop movement. Listen to "Just What I Needed" sometime to see his skills.

Multi talented,incredible keyboard player,master of many instruments,great singer.

30 John Paul Jones John Paul Jones John Baldwin, better known by his stage name John Paul Jones, is an English multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, composer, arranger and record producer.

He is a bassist, organ player, pianist, mandolin player, and sometimes he even plays a guitar, but has a huge amount of skill on keyboard

His is a very talented musician and deserves to be higher on this list.

He can really play the organ in Since I Been Loving You

To me he's the best because I can't tell

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31 Joe Zawinul

Greatest Jazz keyboard player and a composer of genius.

Weather Report keyboards along with Return to Forever and Mahavishnu Orchestra with Correa and Hammer respectively set a bar that has yet to be and questionably ever will be surpassed.

The 51st Annual Down Beat Critics Poll, published in the August issue of Down Beat, once again voted Joe Zawinul to the top spot of the Electric Keyboards/Synthesizer category, easily out-distancing runner-up Herbie Hancock, 260 votes to 138. I don’t know how many times Zawinul has won this category over years, but I think it’s safe to say that he’s owned it since it was created sometime in the early 1970’s.

32 Ken Hensley

Great keyboardist ranks with Jon Lord as the best in the Heavy Keyboard Department!

Not only a great keyboard player but a great writer and all round artist

The first keyboardist whose I liked. Today I like others...

33 Herbie Hancock

Herbie is possibly the finest keyboard player of all time, in any genre.

34 Tom Waits Tom Waits Thomas Alan "Tom" Waits, born December 7, 1949 is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. ...read more.
35 Vangelis Vangelis Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou, known professionally as Vangelis, is a Greek composer of electronic, progressive, ambient, jazz, and orchestral music.

Why in the world this guy is not on this list is beyond me.

The definition of beautiful keys music

This Man must be the best keyboard artist that has ever lived, You only have to listen to his music and realize this, Vangelis has composed many a big films i.e Bladerunner, Chariots of Fire, he also wrote To The Unknown Man which was the signature tune for Snooker on ITV many years ago - He was also part of a duo with Jon Anderson who composed State of Independence and find your way home. Keyboard artists who is in such demand for his works.

He is the best composer/ keyboard player since motzart.

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36 Nicky Hopkins

Nicky Hopkins played with the Who, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles' Revolution and John Lennon's solo albums. His keyboard playing is one of a kind. If he were in a band, chances are he'd be ranked higher on this poll.

37 Rod Argent

His solos on Zombies songs are brilliant and his song "Hold your head up" is incredible. I'm sure, Keith Emerson admired his works.

A lot better than this ranking. He was #8 on another similar list. So this ranking is too low.

Completely agree. Definitely top 5.

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38 Greg Zini
39 Janne Wirman

Give me one keyboardist that can play as fast as Wirman. Just listen to Children of Bodom's cover of Slayer's "Silent Scream" or their songs "Kissing the Shadows" and "In Your Face". He's the best shredder on keyboard, no doubt of that.

I love Children of Bodom for the music, all very very talented. No doubt the most talented around at the moment. Janne is incredible, the speed is insane. Duels with lead guitarist Alexi Laiho are impressive. Laiho one of the best guitar players alive also

The best keyboard player of all time just looking at him when he played the keyboard, just one word comes out from mouth awesome. Cob is the only band that have perfect combinations of musicians.

Best of the best metal keyboardist!

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40 Elton John Elton John

Sad that Sir Elton John is ranked so low on this list. Nobody can play piano like him. His piano can be gentle as on Your Song and Seasons, soulful as on Border Song and Take Me To The Pilot, rocking as on Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting and Grow Some Funk Of Your Own, dramatic as on Burn Down The Mission and Have Mercy On The Criminal, sorrowful as on Sixty Years On and Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word or a mixture of all of them as on Funeral For A Friend/ Love Lies Bleeding.

V 2 Comments
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13,000 votes
182 listings
9 years, 109 days old

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1. Keith Emerson
2. Jon Lord
3. Greg Zini
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2. Peter Bardens
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