10 Greatest Rock Keyboardists / Pianists

The Contenders: Page 2

21 Billy Preston

RIP, Billy; you deserved to be a Fifth Beatle and I loved you 70s solo work

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22 Gregg Allman
23 Al Kooper (Blood Sweat & Tears)
24 Billy Joel Billy Joel

Are you kidding me? Should be in top ten. Axl Rose is a better keyboardist than Billy Joel? Who made this list? Probably a bunch of stoner kids, who never touched an instrument.

I voted for Emerson, but it needs to be said that this guy is a monstrous keyboard. Everybody's aware of his stunning song writing talents, but one listen to his playing on songs like "Prelude/The Angry Young Man", "Root Beer Rag", "The Entertainer", "Travelin' Prayer", "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant", "Stilleto", "Great Suburban Showdown", "Los Angelenos", "James", "New York State of Mind" and... man, the list is endless!

25 Dick Sims

Dick Sims is certainly THE BEST! His playing is styled impeccably and he was a natural from birth. I don't see Dick as number 20 on here! He is the ONLY NUMBER ONE... THE BEST OF THE BEST! Dick could play anything beautifully. I could hang on every chord and float in the clouds listening... Yes it's DICKEY SIMS!

There is no other like Him Dick was the, that's probably why Eric clapton choose Dick to play with Him for ten years!

Dick Sims was the best! Eric Clapton was lucky to have Dick as long as he did... RIP Dick, your well missed on this planet!

He was so good on those bass pedals too. as good as with his hands on keys and together he put it down in the pocket perfect DUDE!

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26 Nicky Hopkins (Rolling Stones)

He played on more really great rocks songs than any other musician, keyboard or otherwise... The greatest keyboardist if just for symphony for the devil and Edward the mad shirt grinder. God bless. (Really...Keith Emerson...how pathetic).

Who else played with the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, the Kinks, and the Who? Also time in Quicksilver Messenger Service and Jerry Garcia Band - Jerry said Nicky was the keyboard player he ever played with.

Geez. He was amazing. He died too young, so I guess that's why more people don't appreciate him.

Nicky Hopkins didn't just play with The Rolling Stones, he played with The Kinks, The Beatles, Qucksilver Messenger Service, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, The Jerry Garcia Band and The Jeff Beck Group.

Hopkins doesn't get as much recognition because he wasn't really with one band but he was possibly arguably the greatest session keyboard player.

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27 Jonathan Cain (The Babys, Journey) Jonathan Cain (The Babys, Journey) Jonathan Cain is an American musician, singer and songwriter best known for his work with The Babys, Journey and Bad English.

You and your wife, Tane were second to none in what you did. Yay, JC! His playing defined arena keyboard rock

28 Benmont Tench (Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers)

Benmont's musical genius is manifest in the countless tracks by what is for certain the most epic collection of musicians that should still be holding down 1-33 on the Billboard!

Sad that Benmont is underrated as The Heartbreakers key man. Heck, he played for Rufus Wainwright

29 Tuomas Holopainen (Nightwish) Tuomas Holopainen (Nightwish) Tuomas Lauri Johannes Holopainen (born 25 December 1976) is a Finnish songwriter, multi-instrumentalist musician (but mainly keyboardist) and record producer, best known as the founder, leader, keyboardist and songwriter of symphonic metal band Nightwish. He also studied jazz and classical styles.
30 Doug Johnson (Loverboy)
31 Geddy Lee (Rush) Geddy Lee (Rush) Geddy Lee Weinrib, known professionally as Geddy Lee, is a Canadian musician, singer and songwriter best known as the lead vocalist, bassist, and keyboardist for the Canadian rock group Rush.

Geddy Lee is one of the most disciplined and hardworking rock and rollers of all times.

Tom Sawyer. enough said.


Geddy can play a mean Oberheim as well as a PPG Wave 2.3, in addition to his bass. Long live Geddy Lee

32 Woolly Wolstenholme (Barclay James Harvest)
33 Mike Pinder (Moody Blues)

His mellotron work was ground breaking and set the prog rock benchmark for others to follow... subtle, ethereal textures...

Best. keyboardist. ever. Nights in White Satin would never have been a thing if it weren't for his mellotron.

34 Don Airey (Deep Purple) Don Airey (Deep Purple)

His better than Elton John and many others

35 Dizzy Reed

Dizzy Reed from Guns n' Roses great keyboard player. November Rain, Estranged, Don't Cry, Knockin on Heavens Door...

36 David Paich (Toto)

Great composer! Technically not as good as Jordan Rudess, but his songwriting talent is huge! Listen to the Toto song "Jake To The Bone"... Good stuff!

Those keyboard solos in "Africa" and "Rosanna" never fail to make me smile! Beautifully Jazz inflected and melodic.

The melodic base of this great band lies greatly on keyboards played by Mr. Paich

Dave and his partner Steve Porcaro were the backbone of Toto's meyboard/sytnh work and they were the brains behind as well well

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37 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.

Jump, I'll Wait, Dreams, Love Walks In, Why Can't This Be Love, When It's Love, and Right Now all speak for themselves

He makes great melodies on the keyboard and plays guitar too. One of the best, I think.

38 Janne Johannes Puurtinen (HIM)

Never saw anybody playing so cool but still letting so many emotions tae part.

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39 Matt Bellamy (Muse)

That man is a genius. let the breathtaking vocals, the songwriting skills etc aside. he is a true artist. he composes music and the piano is just extraordinary. the way he manages to combine the soft sound of the instrument with the unique and intense songs of the band is so brilliant. just listen to all his live performances (like sunburn live at glastonbury) or his symphonies (like exogenesis symphony) and you'll feel me!

Extraordinary pianist and it shows in many of their songs (if you don't know what I'm talking about listen to Piano thing or Butterflies and Hurricanes. ) He was also aiming to be a concert pianist before muse formed.

This man's fingers dance across the keys and produce magical sounds. Listen to Butterflies and Hurricanes to know what I'm talking about

Fantastic pianist and guitarist. His skill set is extraordinary and he deserves to me much higher on the list.

40 Peter Bardens (Camel)

So underrated. Prog rock keyboardists all the way. - RalphSaad

what - iyikuzen

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List Stats

3,000 votes
85 listings
6 years, 144 days old

Top Remixes (9)

1. Keith Emerson (ELP)
2. Rick Wakeman (Yes)
3. Tony Banks (Genesis)
1. Keith Emerson (ELP)
2. Rick Wakeman (Yes)
3. Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater)
1. Jon Lord (Deep Purple)
2. Richard Wright (Pink Floyd)
3. Dizzy Reed

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