Greatest Rock Guitarists of All Time

rodoglez11

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. )

The person who is responsible for starting the greatest rock and roll band of all time. 9 studio albums that were all critically acclaimed, 200-300 million records sold, the greatest riff maker of all time... Whole Lotta Love, Heartbreaker, Kashmir... The list goes on. Jimmy Page is one of the greatest to ever play the instrument. Period.

Page is in many way's extremely dissimilar to most every person ever born-Long Live the Wizard!

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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.

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

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

It's like having a second and third voice to the group, making miniature solo's while sort of rhythmically accompanying the melody and vice versa.

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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 ...read 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.

The best guitarist of all time, plain and simple. Better than Jimmy Page...

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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

Paradise City is 6 minutes of Slash playing around on guitar.

Slash!?! What a joke! What about knopfler and lifeson!?! - Dade

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5 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).

Great sweep picking arpeggios. Sad that Zacky's not on the list.

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6 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

Has to be Brian May. Imagine Queen without that guitar sound. Name one other guitarist that combines such musicality and
In one. So versatile - from Lazing on a Sunday afternoon to hammer to fall...

Brian may is so underrated. Go listen to him! NOW!

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7 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.

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 -

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.

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!

50 Plus years of picking, singing and darn good song writing too!

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8 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.

What! Kirk at 8th come on everyone..He is the best guitarist in metal. He should be in the top three.

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9 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 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.

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.

Just under Jimmy page, the greatest rocking guitarist ever on the face of the planet...

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10 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.

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 young at number ten no way he should so be number one he puts his all into every performance granted he is not as good as he use to be but he is the most amazing guitarist way better than slash and Jimmy hendrics also thumbs up to you angus for being the only original band member to keep with the band your a star angus!

Why is he not in the top 5, if not first? This list is garbage if Angus is not higher.

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The Contenders

11 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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12 Randy Rhoads Randy Rhoads Randall William "Randy" Rhoads was an American heavy metal guitarist who played with Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot.

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.

Simply the best guitarist.. Greatest solos I've ever hear and a very inspiring man..

Randy Rhoads was the quintessential guitar player. If he was alive FM today would sound a lot like Randy Rhoads. He was a gift to the Planet and should be #1. Randy Rhoads #1 and Dime #2 both were the Real McCoy. You know who the Real McCoy was don't you? McCoy was 140 lbs of pure instinct! - GuitarFreak

Randy should have been 1 or 2...the rests of them can't play classical and do drugs..

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13 Dave Mustaine Dave Mustaine ...read 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.

14 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.

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.

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.

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. -

Just listen to Wired, or Blow by blow. I know my way around a guitar and Jeff beck playing she's a woman live '74 is my favorite guitar song.

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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 .

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.

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

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

16 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.

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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17 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 ...read 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.

super talented and skilled guitarist with abilities to play any style of guitar with his eyes closed. -

This guy is number 1. Deep purple, rainbow and now using his neo-classical skill with blackmore's night. The guy is tremendous.

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18 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

Simply put he's Ace Frehley, severely underrated

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19 Joe Satriani Joe Satriani

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

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20 Alexi Laiho Alexi Laiho
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List StatsUpdated 20 Feb 2017

1,000 votes
140 listings
8 years, 66 days old

Top Remixes (17)

1. Synyster Gates
2. Slash
3. Eric Clapton
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1. Randy Rhoads
2. Slash
3. Synyster Gates
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1. Robert Fripp
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