Greatest Rock Guitarists of All Time

The Top Ten Greatest Rock Guitarists of All Time

1 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.

Who else has played so many styles over the course of the albums they've played on? Alternative tunings, finger picking, blues, rock, country, electric or acoustic. Jimmy Page is unparalleled. His approach to the guitar is innovative, unique. Not only is he a fantastic player, but an amazing arranger and producer as well.

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.

2 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

Eddie should be in the top five.. If not the top three! One of the few guitarists that created his own style and done his own thing.

Eddie Van Halen wasted his talent playing with hacks like David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar and just pumping out the same radio fare crap forever. After the first album, the waste of talent is tragic. I can't possibly have him in my top 10 because there's no reward for wasting a good given gift on average hard rock radio fare. - TechnicolorMan

3 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.

Greatest guitarist ever hands down...Jimmy Page is strong 2nd but he's not touching Hendrix

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

Hell no. Jimi Hendrix and no one else. He was literally what inspired all of these other guitarists on this list.

Except his contemporaries Page, Clapton, Harrison were inspired by bluesmen like Muddy waters, Howling wolf and the rockabilly ones Carl Perkins, Scotty Moore in Elvis music - AliBab

At this point, do I even have a choice but to vote for Hendrix? The guy’s a legend for a reason.

4 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!

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.

Should be first - Xedron

5 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.

He is a magician on that thing! He even made it sound like it growled on Welcome To The Jungle, when I saw them live!

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

I get you like him best. He is awesome However it's a big exaggeration only die hard fans will put him above the rock guitar greats way more talented than him like Hendrix, Clapton, Page, Angus young, Blackmore, etc. - AliBab

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

Metal is only rock played faster with more distortion dumbass - AliBab

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

6 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 is amazing. His solos with Queen at Wembley take your breath away. A decent, lovely man!

He just is the best! Last horizon (2005), was it all worth it, Brighton rock, I want it all, his solos with the triple delay effect, and the last horizon solo from France (2013) the list goes on and on!

Brian's guitar solos are something you play in your head afterwards. It's an earworm, because it has so much melody. You want to sing it. This guy is a genius.

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.

7 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.

He changed rock and metal completely, with epic solos like Fade To Black, Master Of Puppets, and countless more. Come on people, he deserves to be higher than seventh!

8 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 ...read more.

None other than Angus can keep up his pace, and touch the panther in all of us.

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.

9 David Gilmour David Jon Gilmour is an English singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. He joined the progressive rock band Pink Floyd as guitarist and co-lead vocalist in 1968.

I think david gilmour should be # 1 he has that magical touch and nobodys smoother especially using the whammy bar! He is my personal favorite guitarist! Shine on you crazy diamond

Although I must pay my respect/tribute to "Stairway to Heaven" by Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin, since it was THE SONG that, as a preteen, brought me to Rock-n-Roll, and for which I consider to be my favorite song of all time, and additionally is nearly impossible to choose given Page's other brilliantly composed music, my sincere love of David Gilmour's musical brilliance takes the lead if I have to choose who is the best. I know "Comfortably Numb", "Marooned", "High Hopes", "Pigs (Three Different Ones), and "Shine on you Crazy Diamond" are just a few of Gilmour's numerous songs that would have brought me to rock-n-roll, had I heard them before Stairway to Heaven. Thankfully wisdom taught me music is a compilation, not a competition (hehe, so I'll just enjoy them both, and Tony Iommi, and...).

This list is definitely not correct, David gilmour should be in top 5

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!

10 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

I Think that Richard Sampora from Bonjovi should be on this list because just look at the videos that were done with Bonjovi. I love them so much! I miss the he is not in the band any more, but people who knows what the future may be coming too. Also playing music on his guitar with his mouth also being a guitar itself is also great to watch!

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).

The Newcomers

? Dave Navarro David Michael "Dave" Navarro is an American guitarist, singer-songwriter, and actor. He is best known as a former member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and as a founding member of the alternative rock band Jane's Addiction.

Truly underrated guitarist, this guy can shred. - Soulstealer

? Lil Wayne Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. is an American rapper from New Orleans, Louisiana. He was discovered by Brian "Baby" "Birdman" Williams at a very young age, and was signed to Cash Money Records, where he would be one quarter of the rap group Hot Boys. In the years to follow, he would go on to find his own ...read more.

The Contenders

11 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.

Brennan is one of the best rock guitarists out there now. Everyone should check him out!

12 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 ...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.

13 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

But the question is, can he play anything outside of DJ scratching and using pedals? No, he cannot. Tom's guitar is cool but he sucks as a guitarist and shouldn't be here

14 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...?

15 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.

Top 3 for sure. One of the best ever...you try playing Beethoven on a guitar!

Come on he influenced lots of guitarists! Definitely top 10 worthy! - Userguy44

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

No doubt in my mind that he is the very best guitarist ever - he just doesn’t fit the mould that most voters understand.

16 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.

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

17 Leigh Stephens
18 George Harrison George Harrison (1943 - 2001) 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.

What is wrong with you? George Harrison is clearly the greatest guitarist ever

19 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.

Telegraph Road and Sultan of swing solos are the best, hands down.

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.

20 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

Very good guitar player, a little underrated but he should be around 15 or so.

21 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.

Come on you millennials out there! Hit up YouTube and listen to this genius at work!
Definitely top 5!

Longevity has a lot to do with guitarists. This guy should be in the top ten. No way Dylan should even be on the list. Ace Fraley, Tom Morello,Synyster Gates, or Kirk Hammette. And talk about Jimmy, Randy SRV And some would say Duane Allman and when you have Hetfield on the same stage that doesn't hurt. Dylan great writer that's not a guitar Morello,Gates,or Fraley, nope not even close.

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

22 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.

Criminally under-rated

Picker!

23 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.

If it weren't for being in a Canadian "cult band", he would've ranked in the top five. Top Ten FOR SURE!

Id put him in the top 5. Looks so easy and fun for him to play all those mind boghling solos!...but were are Steve Hackett and Steve Howe?

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

24 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!

25 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!

This guy is my role model

26 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.
27 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 ...read 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

THE UNDISPUTED RIFF MASTER... INVENTOR OF DOOM METAL. HE SHOULD BE TOP 5, IF IT WAS NOT FOR HIM, HALF THESE GUYS WOULD BE WORKING AT WALMART!

28 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.

Very underrated. Plays a huge part in the Bryan Adams sound and is very versatile not just a one trick pony.

29 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

Did you ever sit alone and listen to the let it bleed album? And then not rate Keith in the top 10 is an insult to your listener discernment... Apparently some of the great blues men Muddy Waters, BB King, Chuck Berry, etc. Thought different about his guitar talent.

30 Mick Taylor Michael Kevin Taylor is an English musician, best known as a former member of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and the Rolling Stones.

Must be in the Top 10. Listen to the mournful guitar sounds on most if the ballads of Sticky Fingers. His ability to capture the right note and sustain it add great emotion to those Stones songs over four albums 1969 - 1972.

31 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.

Hands of God

32 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.

If you look at the song people get ready Jeff Beck did with Rod Stewart and Ron Wood in Faces in 1970 you'd know why he should be #1 he's been Under rated his whole career I saw him chalange almsteen to a guitar duel at his own concert in mind, Germany in 1981 and malmsteen backed down.

I have been listening to music for 60 years and have yet to hear of anything Beck did. Even when I've heard him play, there's nothing about him which is impressive. I think all the guitarists from Iron Maiden should be in here.

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. -

33 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

34 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.

#34? Really? Maybe someone meant 3 or 4. No one would seriously put SRV way down at 34. Gotta be a typo.

he died in his prime, another guitarist we all miss, who knows what he could've done had he lived. saw him in concert twice. the gorge in george back in the 90s
one of the greatest concerts I've ever seen. -

The Mastermind of all Blues/Rock. He played everything out on his guitar. No drugs needed, just pure skill.

I agree with a lot of these picks but really Stevie belongs at the very least in top ten!

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

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!

Should be in the top ten at least!

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

Definitely should be in top 20 at least

36 Neil Young Neil Percival Young is a Canadian singer-songwriter and musician, producer, director and screenwriter.

Obvious nobody is thinking.

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

Haha, still laughin About the comment, that this list is a joke because they put Vai on 38 meanwhile! You're sooo right, this list must be a joke!

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

39 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. He was also part of the Mars Volta, Swahili Blonde, Ataxia and more.

40th place? What?

His solo work especially is insane... beautiful musician.

Disrespect indeed. You put guys that I've never even heard of before above this guy? Seriously? This is probably the best living guitarist in the world right now! His live performances are the best guitar work I have ever seen. Slane Castle back in 2003, Fuji Rock in 2006, La cigale 2006, Alcatraz 2006. I can keep going. Should I say too, that every one of his live solos are different? Nothing is the same. So he improvises on every solo he does live and that is incredible. Would you rather watch Slash live, who does every solo the exact same as the record, or watch Frusciante live, who changes the solo and does something even better than the record solo? I'm not paying 200 something dollars to watch a guy play the exact same solo I have heard 100 times already. Just watch RHCP live at Slane Castle 2003, and you will know what I am talking about.

Awesome guitarist who deserves the top 5.

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

40 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.

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!

41 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

Billie Joe Armstrong is a killer songwriter. And guitar player? He'd probably tell you nah... Not me man. - GuitarFreak

42 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
...by The Scorpions

43 James Hetfield James Alan Hetfield was born on August 3, 1963. He is an American musician, singer and songwriter known for being the co-founder, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for the American heavy metal band Metallica.

Hetfield is the best guitarist ever! Just listen to any Metallica song and you'll know what I'm talking about!

Well, I think Hetfield is a better guitarist than Hammett. - Nintendonix

Unbelievable that James Hetfield is ranked so low. This man had a great influence on rock and metal and invented a unique sound with his palm muting and downpicking techniques. James is the best rhythm guitar player in the world with world class precision and unmatched performance.

44 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" .

I don't think he's top 10 (compared to the others who are) but he sure as heck deserves to be way closer to the top 10 than '45'. I've read and heard the accolades heaped upon him by many of the greats. Jimmy Page, yes for #1 but I have to vote Prince because '45' is just wrong.

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.

45 Richie Sambora Richard Stephen "Richie" Sambora is an American rock guitarist, producer, singer and songwriter who was the lead guitarist of the rock band Bon Jovi for 30 years. He is known for his work with Bon Jovi from 1983 to 2013. He is a very praised guitarist who played solos for songs like Dry County, Stranger ...read more.

Very underrated guitarist. Why? Because not many hardrock fans like his (former) band Bon Jovi. Too soft, too girly and not a real heavy riff playing band. But...this guy is so diverse in his playing and the songs and solo's are so catchy and match the songs just spot on. Also live he sounds incredible and acurate! Plus, he's not a one trick pony like so many others in this genre.

Are you kidding me? What hell is this?... Richie on 50? That's joke

Come on he deserves more votes. He may not be as good as Slash or Jimmy Page but he deserves to be in the top 10. He's got amazing stage presence and a great voice and is the best co-vocals for Bon Jovi. Nobody can replace him!

Should be a lot higher... very underrated in my opinion

46 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!

47 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

48 Matthew Bellamy Matthew James "Matt" Bellamy is an English musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and compose most famous for being the main vocalist in alternative rock band Muse.

Listen to Plug in Baby, Stockholm Syndrome and Reapers. That's enough to show how much of a great technical guitarist he is.

Matt is a superb guitarist, I have no idea why he's so low down on the list?

49 hide (X Japan)

Glad to see that hide made it to the top 100s. Yes, it is true that if he had been from the west, he would be giving a tough competition to every guitarist high up on this list. Hide is no more but his music remains. His work with X Japan is commendable, so is his solo work- go listen to it, it will blow your mind. His crazy styles served as an inspiration to most of the aspiring and now big acts from Japan. The effect his death had on the Japanese people is unlike any seen for any other artist- people went into hysterics and THOUSANDS attended his funeral.
RIP, hide.

Check out his work with X Japan - his individual style, apperance and playing skills will never be forgotten! Would be No. 1 if he was from America!

Never found a Japanese can play guitar like American. Just listen to hide's guitar solos in X Japan songs. Obviusly, hide is number 1 japanese guitarist or one of the best guitarist of all time

No doubt that he's number one! - kyo_undead

50 Johnny Ramone John William Cummings, better known by his stage name Johnny Ramone, was an American guitarist and songwriter, best known for being the guitarist for the punk rock band the Ramones.
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