Greatest Rock Guitarists of All Time


The Top Ten

1 Jimmy Page 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 is the best guitarrist ever, and despite I don't have to, I will tell you why:
A great guitarrist is defined in both composing and playing ability. Clapton and Hendrix could be great playing, but they just can't beat Jimmy as a composer, and sometimes as a player, too. A normal person could not even walk in a straight way while he or she is on drugs. Guess what? Jimmy just can't play a guitar! He can IMPROVISE, not being sober, and make one of the most stunning and orgasmic solos ever. While on drugs. Who does that? Nobody! If you don't believe me go to youtube and look for Since I've been loving you at song remains the same, dazed and confused at supershow in 1969 or the heartbreaker solo. Also the live performance of stairway to heaven at madison square garden. Led Zeppelin is the only group whose live performance songs are better than the studio versions, and that is just because Jimmy improvisations with a guitar, making a 6 minute song into a 15 minute song. And yet ...more

It sounds odd to call a rock god of Jimmy Page's magnitude, who is universally revered in rock music circles, underrated. But he is generally underrated. As much as I enjoyed Jimi Hendrix, his death at a young age led to the inevitable deification & overrating of his great talent. Page was the superior overall musical talent. Though young JP was blisteringly fast, as many other players have proven, a gymnastic exercise of a zillion notes a second means very little. Page's real gift and power was always evidenced by the emotional impact that his playing never fails to convey. It was called "sloppy perfection" by those that understood that the power never lay in note for note inerrancy but in overall impact on the listener. Page will forever remain the Paganini of rock guitar, the greatest rock guitarist that ever lived. (P.S. He was also the most innovative and gifted studio record producer in rock history. )

It really annoys me when contemporary guitarists call Page's guitar work sloppy. They should have such sloppiness. The break on Whole Lotta' Love is as sharp as a tack. Since I've been loving you is surely one of the greatest minor blues tracks ever and if Jimmy occasionally misses a note it's because he's playing / improvising so fast. His composing talent is second to none.

The secret weapon of Led Zeppelin. enough said.

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2 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.

Well it's all a matter of taste 'cause all "best rock guitarists" lists differ. But I think we can all say that after Hendrix' and Page's era, Edward Lodewijck Van Halen was the best and most important new kind on the block. Eruption changed the whole rock/metal guitarist landscape totally. No one had heard a guitarist play like EVH before, his speed, sound, style and skills changed everything.

Not many guitarists, hence musicians, can make that claim.

Eddie should be in the top 3 easily. No one has been more influential since Hendrix.

What Eddie did was unbelievable. No one could have done what he had done and change the guitar as a whole so much. Thank you Eddie

El mejor de la historia...

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3 Jimi Hendrix 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.

Many people have different opinions on what makes a guitarist great. Some point to technical ability. Some to legendary bodies of work. Some to influence they have had on musicians after them. JimI had all of that and more. He defined his own generation and many after it. He cultivated a bluesy guitar sound into hard rock with jazz elements and created a sound never heard before. If you listen to his straight up blues tracks, you will quickly come to realize Stevie Ray Vaughan owes him every dime he ever made. He was heavy before heavy was even established and still elegant in a way that few after have managed to capture. He was a pioneer and a legend. And he did this all in 27 years on Earth. Every rock guitarist since him is to some degree indebted to him. Long live the king. - VisionsOfSight

Jimi Hendrix lived and breathed talent, power, soul, the blues and every other emotion possible. I love all these guitarists, but none of them compare to Hendrix, every note he played was the most powerful, most soulful note the world has ever experienced. Hendrix shall rule as the king of music until the end of time. Are you experienced?

The man could play guitar behind his back, underneath his legs, and with his teeth. He literally embodied what a guitar player should be. He is a skilled player, and fantastic showmen, and a excellent composer. Just listen to his performance of "The Star Spangled Banner" and you will see why his the the best guitarist that ever lived.

Seriously guys, I wanted to use my vote on Steve Howe or Steve Hackett, but when I see Jimi isn't number 1 I have to intervene..

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4 Slash Slash Saul Hudson, known professionally as Slash, is a British-American musician and songwriter. He is best known as the lead guitarist of the American hard rock band Guns N' Roses, with whom he achieved worldwide success in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

What?! Syn on 2nd!
Slash should be the 2nd greatest guitarist behind Hendrix. Page should be on 3rd only because of "stairway to heaven". Synyster has technical skill but no feeling. If we consider speed, Syn can never be greater than Eddie Van Halen. However, feeling is what actually matters. So, Slash would be actually on 1st because Hendrix died soon and could not play many solos as Slash did.
Here's my top 4:- 1. Slash
2. Jimi Hendrix (may also be 1st)
3. Jimmy Page
4. Eddie Van Halen

Has got to be higher up, heck gates, page and Van Halen are amazing guitarists but they aren't rock, their metal and slash shouldn't be on the metal list he's rock still Van Halen page and gates rock

I would say Slash as a great guitar player and Riff master.

Rock on!

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5 Eric Clapton 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.

He is the second best guitarist behind Jimi, but my favourite!
He is very diverse... He can move from the hard rocking songs of Layla and sunshine of your love, to his technically brilliant slow paced work like wonderful tonight and next time you see her.
Eric doesn't just play the guitar... He is the guitar, and let's it sing!

What else can you say about Cream's solo specialty guitarist. This guy made solos sound easy when they really weren't. His solo on White Room by Cream influenced billions of solos latter on.

his work with cream, the beatles, john mayall, the yardbirds, blind faith, derek and the dominoes, the list goes on and on. this guy is amazing. number two's hard to pick believe me -

Slowhand is the absolute best ever! Consider where he came from, his tragic losses and his personal demons!

Slowhand rocks!

He is, has been and always will be the best for me. There are many talented guitarists and more evolving every day, but he is the best.

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6 Synyster Gates 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.

Oh please. I get it. Synyster Gates can shred like a demon, and all of the little goth kids love his loud, fast, artificial-sounding solos, but there is no way in hell that he is the #2 guitarist of all time. I can already hear A7x fans decrying the "musical curmudgeon" argument and saying that older isn't always better. This isn't about the fact that Synyster Gates doesn't have the resume to be considered #2 (which he doesn't by the way). This is more about creativity and songwriting skills. While his solos and riffs are good for working out and stuff, there's really nothing special about them other than their speed and precision. Speed and precision aren't the be-all and end-all of determining the quality of a guitarist. If this were the case, guitarists like Gilmour and Hendrix, who didn't revel in their technical abilities when writing solos and riffs, wouldn't be on this list. To me, it just shows a lack of musical taste, ability, and maturity to put this slash rehash at #2. ...more

Synyster Gates is hands down an amazing guitarist. Of course he is mostly known for being able to shred faster than most guitarists (a fact even his haters have to admit), but Syn was classically trained and can do so much more. He can write/play upbeat riffs like in "Scream" and "Nightmare," go all out like in "Hail to the King" where he plays an incredibly difficult beat throughout the entire song and pairs it with an even more difficult solo, but he can also slow it down and play songs like "Seize the Day," "So Far Away," and "Dear God." He is still so young and has loads of time left to make an even bigger impact. The fact that a guitarist from Avenges Sevenfold is on a list with guys from all these legendary bands is proof enough for me!

This guy's fans seem to assimilate the concept of a guitar the same way the assimilate the concept of a car : The faster it is, the better. I'm sorry but despite him being a good guitarist, he shouldn't even be on this list since he isn't rock. He comes from the metal generation so put him there if you'd like, though I don't think he should touch the top 5 there either. Luckily, he was at #2 and now at number #5 so he's slowly going back to his rightful position. It's always the same with this kind of lists. The fan boys get here first and since he has so many, he got in top 5 (hopefully not for long).

All the folks talking down on Syn's ability to invoke powerful feeling in his solos and riffs need to take a day listening only to A7X songs. Really soak them in, then ask yourself if there is or ever has been anyone that can top him. No one can compare to his speed and precision, but he also deserves a place high on the list for his 'powerful feeling' and originality, which is hard to stand out
with the originality in an age where so many great riffs and solos already exist. Switch him out with any lead guitarist of the past and he will match or exceed their role. Whereas Slash or Van Halen wouldn't quite fill his shoes in A7X. So considering all the attributes that make up these greats, Syn is #1 in my opinion. We're talking about the greatest, period. Not the biggest fan base, or boundaries pushed at their time. -JMS

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

Brian should be a close second to Jimi Page. No way is Slash better. I wonder if the maker of the list was even born when music was music and there were rockers. Not these singing show winners that no one is going to remember in 10 years. Just listen to Brian shred it on Fat Bottom Girls and then tell me that he doesn't at the least deserve second place.

OMG I love this list so much Brian's first! Brian's the only instrument in Queen that wasn't keeping a rhythm or beat (not at all in the least that the bass and drums aren't amazing) and they still had the most amazing sound on Earth, Mars, and Venus - Queen-aholic

Should be in the top three no question! Although Mercury certain was the main attraction, without May the band would have lacked direction. I mean really just listen to the complexity of his solos! The guitar was part of the man!

Best rock guitarist my opinion

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8 David Gilmour 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.

Need to relax, play Comfortably Numb LOUD. Works at the dentist, for surgery, getting a tattoo. Gilmour is the best guitarist... He can reach your inner soul, you feel it. The hairs on your arm stand up every time. Comfortably Numb actually brings tears to my eyes every time I listen... And I'm old!

This dude played a song for 26 minutes? Nonstop? David Gilmour made Pink Floyd what it is today by establishing his unique guitar skill into a psychedelic level that was never again reached.

This guy is the greatest solo writer ever. While his stuff isn't particularly hard to play (note-wise) replicating his tone is impossible along with coming up with anything as melodic, psychedelic and genius as Comfortably Numb or Time. To me, Gilmour is #2 behind Hendrix, but that's just personal preference.


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9 Kirk Hammett Kirk Hammett Kirk Lee Hammett is the lead guitarist and songwriter for the heavy metal band Metallica and has been a member of the band since 1983. Before joining Metallica he formed and named the band Exodus.

One way to understand the personality of Kirk Hammett is to just listen to two tracks that I suppose depict him perfectly. They are 1). ONE 2). Welcome Home (Sanitarium). I have also seen many people criticizing Kirk just because he is a metal guitarist. Just become mature and stop being cynical. He is a satriani student along with Vai. Rolling stones didn't give him a place in top 100. Though he is just not what he was but lets not forget what he did from 1984-1992! The whole world said WOW! He was much much better than Page in is initial years. Kirk played at seatle at 27. Listen to that solo there. Then listen to Page solo (Again at 27) at Royal Albert hall. That had such a rough sound. So respect Mr. Hammett!

Kirk hammet is the greatest guitarist of all time from the greatest band of all time, replacing the most overrated guitarist of all time ( not bad but overrated.I.E. dave mustaine). I like megadeth but they're worse than negative compared to Metallica.

While Kirk Hammett was influential in the metal community and his solos are awesome, he can't compare to the pure melodic and creative genius of Gilmour, Clapton, Hendrix and Eddie. Anyways, metal guitarists like Dimebag and Iommi were/are more influential. If we were going off of pure technical abilities, then Kirk would be close to the top.


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10 Brennan Dylan

In my opinion this guy is one of the best rock guitarists alive today. Why you ask? Objectively, most modern electric guitar players have a large pedal board in front of them plus other FX gear to blow an audience's mind with a killer sound. This dude doesn't and uses only an overdrive pedal, choosing to get his sound the old fashioned way, from his guitar. He has been compared to guitar virtuosos Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Joe Bonamassa etc. for years. He's gets a ton of press, constant terrestrial & internet radio play, is a published song writer and can play at the speed of light with the best of them. His one-off guitars are made by his sponsor, Gary Kramer Guitars and he fronts 3 piece rock/metal band Men Without Armies. Just Google him or MWA if you want to see what I mean. He's not backed by a label or an agent so what you hear, see & read about Dylan is all unbiased, grassroots information and opinions. He doesn't have a PR Agent blasting the company line about him all over the ...more - GuitarFreak

Although I am happy to see my friend Brennan on this top 100 list, I believe he should be in the top 25, at least for modern rock guitarist. His sound is fresh and vibrant.

This dude is a prodigy. I saw him on stage when one of his strings broke and he kept playing. And the amazing thing is that it sounded awesome. He sure is underrated.

Dylan is armed and dangerous. The most lethal guitar player I have ever seen.

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The Contenders

11 Angus Young Angus Young Angus McKinnon Young is an Australian guitarist of Scottish origin, best known as the co-founder, lead guitarist, songwriter and sole constant member of the Australian hard rock band AC/DC. When performing live he does his own version of Chuck Berry's "duck walk" and has also spun on his side while more.

Angus Young definitely first. I'd like to see any other player play with that much soul and blues and emotion and be doing spasms and duck walks. he is the best and there is no such thing as a bad or less than amazing AC/DC song. Angus should be #1.

In my opinion Angus young tops slash by far, slash is a good guitarist no question, but listening his guitar solos, there are still a few flaws or lacks of creativity while angus young really plays flawless solos.

Angus is one of the only guitar players that can run around playing amazing riffs and solos unlike slash who looks like a bell end.

Angus Young isn’t top tier, but he should definitely be higher up than he is now. Angus can play the guitar better than a lot of people on this list, but his best quality that makes him an even better guitarist is how he plays the crowd, he doesn’t just go on the stage play his stuff and go off, he goes onto the stage and plays his guitar while simultaneously playing his audience, it’s amazing how he can run around like a lunatic, play his music, and play his audience all at the same time

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12 Tom Morello Tom Morello Thomas Morello is an American musician, singer-songwriter and political activist. He is best known for his tenure with the band Rage Against the Machine and then with Audioslave.

Tom gets my vote because, despite not being the most traditionally "talented" on the list, he brings so many new things to the table. What he does is all new and hasn't been done by anyone else; he's completely original.

This guy is just amazing! His skills are different and plays amazingly in audioslave

Tom Morello is one of the best, it's cool how what he does has never been done before


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13 Randy Rhoads 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.

I find it very sad that Randy isn't even in the top 10. He was very creative in the way he wrote his music and played. He combined classical guitar with rock guitar and was extremely creative in his solos, riffs, and his technique, especially in crazy train, goodbye to romance, and dee, (songs off of Blizzard of Ozz) along with most of the stuff on diary of a madman. Randy is definitely my all time favorie.

Any day or night, Randy could play circles around Eddie Van Halen. He was an absolute original. Where other axe-men borrowed from Page, Clapton, Berry, Waters, etc., Rhoads borrowed from Classical and pure Spanish riffs and forged them into metal. Was a year behind him in high school, and would sit in his next-door neighbor's room (my younger brother's best friend) and listen to him and his brother hammer away in their garage, or to Randy giving lessons to folks of any age. He didn't need a reason to shred, it was pure nature to him. Clapton, SRV, Page, maybe Gilmour ahead of him, nobody else.

Obviously, people who vote aren't guitarists. If they were guitarists, Randy would be on top! He was pure genius when it came to music. It's unfortunate that most people don't know what he could do. Most people don't realize that he actually laid down a track, and then do it all over with an overdub, so his sound was much fuller. I've heard that he even did up to 4 guitar dubs on some songs.

Top ten easy. Everyone he was one of the first to incorporate classical into his music, but it was his composition and emotion in every song that he wrote that makes him worth. Every solo...was a song withing the song.

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14 Dave Mustaine Dave Mustaine David Scott "Dave" Mustaine (born September 13, 1961) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, actor and author. Mustaine is best known as a pioneer in Thrash Metal, being the former lead guitarist of Metallica before his dismissal in 1983, leading to finding and becoming the front man of his own more.

Famous because he's a great guitarist. Kirk Hammett should not be anywhere near here because he uses a wah pedal, and Is only famous because of the band he's in.

15 Pete Townshend Pete Townshend Peter Dennis Blandford "Pete" Townshend is an English musician, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, best known as the lead guitarist and songwriter for the rock band The Who.

Seen and heard most of these guys over the last 40 years. Almost all the supposed top guitarists on this list could not have held a candle to the Townshends' et al. i f they'd been in the same time frame. Townshend invented the first and best power chords that knocked out the massive audiences of the time. Don't get me wrong as their are some fine 21st century guitarists. As a still active concerteer, I've seen well over 100 of the top rock bands in the UK, USA and Europe over the last four+ decades and the fact Peter Townshend, Richards, Lee, May, e tc. e tc are either far down or not even on the list, is embarrassing to lifelong rock fans me and an insult to their memory. Most of the modern guitar heroes posted do not deserve the ranking they have for three simple reasons: 1) Townshend (and the other oldsters) had no 'giant shoulders' to stand on and learn from, 2) they did not have the tremendous resource of rock guitar books, videos, manuals e tc. t hat were and are available to ...more

I can't believe Pete isn't even on the list. He is a top ten guitarist, anyone with a decent music taste knows that. The Who is legendary, and Pete made them so.

Helped revolutionize feedback before Hendrix and he's incredibly skilled and influential.

Name any other guitar player who has written 2 Rock Operas...?

16 Leigh Stephens
17 George Harrison George Harrison George Harrison was an English guitarist, singer, songwriter, and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles.

People tend to think that because George was in the Beatles he is overrated. Well because this I have to say he is incredibly underrated. No one had a feel for a guitar like George did. He wasn't flashy or necessarily fast, but he played in way that made you want to sing along to his guitar. Everything he played he played in a way that was just perfect for the song. Just think about hi playing in Something, You Can't Do That, I Saw Her Standing There, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Cheer Down, and the list goes on and on. Maybe He's not the greatest but he deserves to be in the top ten at least.

John and Paul may have provided the lyrics, but George, along with Ringo, made the songs special. If only his ego could have competed with the two primary songwriters, he might be much more appreciated for the incredible talent he was.

For the type of great music that George produced his skills as a guitarist were very well suited indeed.

God gave him such a gift for guitar..

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18 Jeff Beck 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.

To have Jeff Beck at 29 is insulting. Here's a real rock guitarist list: Eric Clapton, Brian May, Keith Richards (not in your 10? ), Eddie Van Halen, Mick Jones of Foreigner, Joe Perry of Aerosmith (also not in your 10? ), Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Yngwie Malmsteen and Ace Frehley. All legends.

if your talking pure guitar skill this man should be number one. there ain't nothing jeff can't play, jazz, rock, blues. you name it. -

People argue over whos better Beck, Clapton, or Page?. The 3 Yardbirds guitarists are always going to be known as guitar gods. Beck was the highly superior one of the three but not the most talented which is why Page is above but his heart and soul that pushes him to have a great flow is what makes him a legend.

Jeff Beck is one of the most innovative and creative players to come out of the 60"s. Forever pushing the envelope with an undeniable sound and technique. Tom Morello should be ranked no where near Beck

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19 Ritchie Blackmore 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.

I think we are looking at the best damn Hard Rock Guitarist to play modern hard rock music. Blackmore turned Deep Purple into a wicked Hard Rock band with countless solos that you can't miss out such as: Highway Star, Child in Time, Burn, Black Night, Fireball etc

Purple's sound morphed several times over the years, and Richie knew how to add all the right touches to make it work, not to mention his work with Rainbow and Blackmore's Night. From the quiet smoothness of 'When a Blind Man Cries' to the lightning speed of his 'Highway Star' solo, Blackmore's axe was instantly recognizable.

The most often imitated but never duplicated., Ritchie had nothing committed to memory every thing he played came from emotion. Instantly recognizable style and tone. Could play any style and pioneered much of what you hear today.

All roads lead to Ritchie Blackmore. A true legend. Stands way above the rest.

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20 Tony Iommi Tony Iommi Anthony Frank "Tony" Iommi is an English guitarist, songwriter and producer. Best known as lead guitarist and founding member of the pioneering heavy metal band Black Sabbath, he has been the band's sole continual member and primary composer. At age 17, he accidentally lost the fingertips of his middle more.

guitarist for black sabbath. missing two fingers but still shreds it. -

How is someone who basically invents a genre like heavy metal not in the top 10?

He changed the music genre, he created a new genre, he's the god of metal


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21 Mark Knopfler Mark Knopfler Mark Freuder Knopfler is a British singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer and film score composer. He is best known for being the frontman of the British band Dire Straits.

The Dire Straits guitarist who pretty much invented his own style of guitar playing which turned him into a success by the early 80s, however he isn't recognized by many as a great guitarist but I know his skills have never been similar to other guitarists.

Surely the greatest of the greats; just beyond compare and can play a wide range of styles.

He gets sounds out of his guitar that no one else can. In my opinion, clearly a top 5.

His great guitar playing made dire straits a

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22 Ace Frehley Ace Frehley Paul Daniel "Ace" Frehley is an American musician, singer and songwriter best known as the former lead guitarist and founding member of the rock band Kiss.

Ace at this number? Again I wonder what the heck are you listening to? He was Dimebag Darrell's idol. Have you ever listened to Ace on many KISS classics like Cold Gin, Do You Love Me, Dr. Love, Shock Me and so many others? Listen to Ace's work on his new single Gimme A Feelin. Open your ears.

Ace might not be the best but his solos are always very catchy and when he dose them live there the same as on the album and always suits the song part perfectly. But for me page1st, Blackmore 2nd and ace and Angus young in the top ten some where.

He's not a horrible or average guitarist but he doesn't deserve to be the top ten. He's not even remotely close to #10

The best

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23 Lindsey Buckingham Lindsey Buckingham Lindsey Adams Buckingham is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and producer, best known as lead guitarist and one of the vocalists of the musical group Fleetwood Mac from 1975 to 1987, and then 1997 to the present day.

Number 30! What a joke. Lindsey Buckingham is a guitar god who could hold hold his own against anyone who ever picked up a guitar, past or present.

Always overlooked in this category.


R u kidding me... Lindsey Buckingham at number 31? are you with me right now?

24 Joe Satriani 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.

How could you rate this man at #20.. As usual, no respect for the Greatest Ax player EVER!

Most beautiful melodies of electric guitar...

Joe is far above anyone in this list, the ONLY guitarist that speaks with his guitar

Best guitarrist EVER!

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25 Carlos Santana 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.

Be serious. I have been listening to this guy for 45 years, & it's hard to imagine him standing behind all of these other guys. He's just too good.

Carlos is rated way to low. He should be in the top ten

If you do not think this guy is in the top 10 all time you are crazy.I have listen to his rips for so long and he can play anything,not so for a lot on this list period.

Santana #53? Are you crazy?
Ok, is a rock list... but if we are talking about guitars this is one of the top of this list.

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26 Keith Scott

Yes very underrated. What an amazing guitarist. He sets the stage on fire when he performs with Bryan Adams. Always puts on an amazing performance. Fantastic gigs!

Lead guitarist with Bryan Adams...awesome guitar god & thoroughly awesome guy.

Amazing talent, absolutely looks in love with his guitar.

Keith is a brilliant guitar player and should definitely be in the top ten.

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27 Alex Lifeson Alex Lifeson Aleksandar Živojinović, better known by his stage name Alex Lifeson, is a Canadian musician, best known as the guitarist of the Canadian rock band Rush.

What Alex Lifeson in the top 10? Yes I'm not being an idiot, I'm being honest by putting this talented underrated guitarist where he belongs. Rush had highly success not just because of Peart and Lee. If you listen to La Villa Strangiato by Rush, it shows you what Lifeson is capable of playing.

Definitely belongs in the Top 10, if not Top 5. No guitarist has the creativity that Lifeson has. Awesome that every solo is different and unique in its own way. So many classics

La villa strangiato. One of the most challenging guitar songs ever and Alex masters it. There is no contest. He should top the list!


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28 Alexi Laiho Alexi Laiho Alexi "Wildchild" Laiho is a Finnish guitarist, composer, and vocalist. He is best known as the lead guitarist, lead vocalist and founding member of the melodic death metal band Children of Bodom, and is also the guitarist for Sinergy, The Local Band and Kylähullut.
29 Steve Vai Steve Vai Steven Siro "Steve" Vai is an American guitarist, composer, singer, songwriter, and producer, born and raised on Long Island, New York.

Steve Vai has done things with his guitar and has created music that no other music artist or guitarist has ever done and continues to do so, nor will there ever be a guitarist like him. Technique, creativity, composing and technicality! Steve Vai continues to revolutionize guitar playing. Enough said. Steve Vai is number 1! PERIOD!

The greatest guitarist ever! Period! He has a unique style of playing. Should be number 1 on this list

Maybe not rock but number 1 guitarist on the planet

*32 this list is a joke.

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30 Herman Li Herman Li Herman Li is a Hong Kong-born, British Chinese musician, record producer, and lead guitarist for the British Power-Metal band Dragonforce.

He should be #1 Hands down. Have you ever seen any of his solos? Only a genius could do it. Like Bach if he were still alive.

Herman Li can do a lot more than just race up and down the neck, he can play nearly anything. Moreover, there was this one video showing that he could play under water.

No guitarist can play like him

He's fast, but there's nothing more to his playing than simply racing up and down the neck. In my honest opinion, it takes more than speed and effects pedals to make you one of the best.
To play his solos, all you need is speed and the same effects he uses.
His band, as a whole, was ingenuitive, though. Video game metal? Right on!

31 Adrian Smith Adrian Smith Adrian Frederick "H" Smith is an English guitarist, best known as a member of Iron Maiden, for whom he writes songs and performs live backing vocals on some tracks.
32 Dimebag Darrell Dimebag Darrell Darrell Lance Abbott, also known as Diamond Darrell and Dimebag Darrell, was an American guitarist and songwriter best known as a founding member of two bands, Pantera and Damageplan, alongside his brother, Vinnie Paul. Abbott died in 2004 after he was shot by a mentally unstable fan.

Dime by any measure was one of the GREATEST GUITAR PLAYERS who ever walked the planet. The Dude was astonishing... Just one killer player. He just unleashed fury. He was a fearless player who attacked the fretboard. This may offend some but in my opinion he was a better player than Eric Clapton could ever hope to be. Eric is just too measured a player... Watching him is like watching caution perform. Sure Eric's solos are great but he strikes me as a guy who leaves nothing to chance & therefore improvises nothing. DIMEBAG is the MAN! - GuitarFreak

Has anyone here ever listened to Pantera? He sends Slash home and he clearly deserves to be number 1 on this list becuase Dimebag is god. Just listen to any Pantera song. Slash is nothing compared to Dimebag.

He's gotta be higher!
18 is disgraceful!

He and dave mustane should be higher than kirk hammit

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33 Kerry King Kerry King Kerry Ray King is an American musician, best known as a guitarist for the American thrash metal band Slayer.

Yes he should be easily,

Shouldn't even be in the top 50...


34 Eric Johnson Eric Johnson Eric Johnson (born August 17, 1954) is an American guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist from Austin, Texas. Best known for his electric guitar skills, Johnson is also a highly proficient acoustic, lap steel, resonator, and bass guitarist as well as an accomplished pianist and vocalist.

He has a well developed sense of tonal quality. Live and on recordings his musical sensibilities are consistently polished. Watching his technique demonstrates to anyone who knows good progressive guitar work a consistently high level of skill and dexterity.

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

Not sure if he is no1 but number 1? , come on he should be way higher - espyorkshireman

That is so Buckethead

36 Les Paul Les Paul Lester William Polsfuss, known as Les Paul, was an American jazz, country, and blues guitarist, songwriter, luthier, and inventor.

Really now? The man who practically invented the solid body electric guitar is sitting now at 39?

Les Paul. The father of the guitar. The guitar of so many rock stars.

He was a great guitarist. Do I believe he changed music for the better? Of course. Without his creative mind, we all might have not been playing electric guitars the way we do.
But, this list is for the greatest rock guitarists of all time.
Again, yes, he was obviously a great rock guitarist...but, not sure I wanna place him any higher than 20, in that retrospect.
Now, on a list for "Most Influential Guitarists", I'd place him in the Top 5, easily.

37 Neal Schon Neal Schon Neal Joseph Schon is an American rock guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist best known for his work with the bands Journey and Bad English. He is Journey's last original constant member, having participated in every album and tour to date.

Very underrated guitarist! His solos with Journey are pure beauty. Steve's awesome voice with Neil's soaring, incredible guitar work were the heart & soul of Journey, taking their music to the stratosphere!

Master of melody and the smoothest solos you'll ever hear

Neal Schon is a great and very tasteful player. He is more than up there...

38 Keith Richards Keith Richards Keith Richards is an English musician—primarily a guitarist—singer, songwriter, best-selling memoirist, and founding member of the rock band The Rolling Stones.

Are you guys kidding? Keith Richards not in the top 10 or even in the 20? There are a bunch of guitarists above him that should have been here not keith richards. Stupid people. The riffs are so important like solos

I agree with the previous poster. What is wrong with you? Are you even listening to rock and roll? Keith is a legend. You ought to be ashamed.

Keith Richards at 34? He was extremely influential and much better than Synyster Gates and Herman Li. They can play faster but have no feeling

Keith should be in the top 5 no question

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39 Neil Young Neil Young Neil Percival Young is a Canadian singer-songwriter and musician, producer, director and screenwriter.
40 Rudolf Schenker Rudolf Schenker Rudolf Schenker is a German guitarist and founding member of the hard rock band Scorpions, being the rhythm guitarist and one of the main songwriters of the band.

So many to consider. RS is not known to to the "general public"...
So damn glad he's on this list!

I believe one of the greatest composers rhythm guitarists, in hard rock.Also at times very nice solos.Songs Recommended.
1 - Still loving you
2 - Animal Magnetism
3 - Lady starlight The Scorpions

41 Billie Joe Armstrong Billie Joe Armstrong Billie Joe Armstrong is an American musician, singer, songwriter and actor who is best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter, and guitarist of the punk rock band Green Day, which he co-founded with Mike Dirnt.

Oh Billie Joe... Where do I even start... I went up on stage at a concert and he kissed me... While still playing his notes... THAT takes skill. He's so great, and talented, and gorgeous.

He literally just plays 3 power-chord songs. There shouldn't be any punk guitarists (assuming Green Day is punk, which would be using "punk" very liberally) on this list because punk music isn't about guitar. Heavy metal and arena rock are all about guitar solos and stuff like that, but punk is more about the band as a whole and playing fast 3 minute songs to create a ton of energy. He really didn't start adding solos to his music until his last few albums (and they still weren't that great). He's a good songwriter and in a good band, but the fact that he's number 15 on the best guitarists list makes me laugh.

Best of the best. His guitar music is so diverse. I mean difficult notes to simplistic ones like good riddance


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42 Zakk Wylde 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.

Zakk should be in the top five!

Still drunk, still on drugs, pride and glory and is excellent, soulful, meaningful songs...bls is depressing dark music like running out of toilet paper and having to use a bath towel...looks like a beaded mess now... the pinch harmonics and drop d are getting old!

43 John Frusciante John Frusciante John Anthony Frusciante is an American guitarist, singer, producer and composer.He is best known for his time with the Funk Rock California based band the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

There is no way this guy is not in the top 5. He is Unreal probably the best in the world

Awesome guitarist who deserves the top 5.

Dude I just can't believe this... one of the most versetile and dedicated guitarists of all time on 46? Just listen to Californication, Scar Tissue, Can't stop, Snow, Dani California, Wet Sand, The Zephyr Song, n Under the Bridge and you will come to know what I am trying to say

44 Robert Fripp Robert Fripp Robert Fripp (born 16 May 1946) is an English guitarist, composer and record producer. As a guitarist for the progressive rock band King Crimson, Fripp has been the only member to have played in all of King Crimson's line-ups from their inception in the late 1960s to the present. He has also worked more.

No one sounds like Fripp and Fripp sounds like no one.

45 Mark Tremonti Mark Tremonti Mark Thomas Tremonti is an American musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead guitarist of the rock bands Creed and Alter Bridge.

The greatest guitarist I have ever heard, whether it is for Creed, Alter Bridge, or his solo project. And he writes most of the music for all three bands

The guy is an absolute genius. Given that he was voted better than Slash in a Loudwire magazine poll it is criminal that he is not in top 10!

46 Prince Prince Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 - April 21st, 2016) was an American musician, best known for being one of the most popular and influential artists from the 80s, with songs such as "Purple Rain", "Little Red Corvette", "1999", and "When Doves Cry" .

Unmatched player. Best guitar player of all time. If you look at quotes from fellow guitar players like Clapton, Slash, Santana etc...

Awesome guitarist-a virtuoso. Should be number 1

Without a doubt, simply the most talented and best guitar player of all time!
Ask Clapton, ask Dave Grohl - another major difference...Prince was one of the few guitarist's that can actually read music...a true musician and composer.

47 Al Di Meola Al Di Meola Al Di Meola is an American jazz fusion and Latin jazz guitarist, composer, and record producer of Italian origin.
48 Brad Delson Brad Delson Bradford Phillip Delsonis an American musician, best known as the lead guitarist and one of the founding members of the Grammy Award winning rock band Linkin Park.

Its just so unfair... He deserves 2 be in top 10ns :'(

For me he is the best

Come on Brad atlest needs to be I'm the top 20

49 Joe Walsh Joe Walsh Joseph Fidler "Joe" Walsh is an American singer-songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist and record producer.

Should be in the top ten at least!

He is definitely in the top 20, as is the lead guitarist of Aerosmith...what the hell are these votes based on? Its not Riff's, its producing a kick ass rock song!

I came to this site to see where Walsh would be ranked, should be a lot higher..

Joe is top 10 easy.

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50 Buck Dharma

Seen Blue Oyster Cult many times in concert. Buck Dharma steals the stage by making it look so easy. He can actually be funny at times. My favorite band of all time. If they play near me I still go see them. Bucks boogie is a great instrumental song. If people only knew how many great songs they have besides don't fear the reaper, Godzilla and burning for you they would get hooked also. Keep on rocking BOC. I even had a pair of earrings made with their symbol. Everyone wonders what they mean. I named a dog on his pedigree after Buck. Of course it was a Great Dane because both are great

Saw this guy live and was absolutely astonished by his work. Blue Ouster Cult will always be rock legends, and it's thanks to Buck Dharma and his lightning fast guitar skills.

Buck was my primary guitar influence growing up in the 70's. Very unique style and sound. Very underrated. Glad to see him on this list.

Some of their most underrated playing and song writing masters of our tine

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