Top 10 Guitarists Who Have Popularized a Guitar Technique

This isn't a list of best guitar techniques. This is a list of guitarists who have popularized a guitar technique. Now, they may have not invented the technique, or be the best of these techniques, but they popularized these techniques.

The Top Ten

1 Eddie Van Halen  (Tapping) 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.

Originally created by Niccolò Paganini on his violin. But there have been a lot of guitarists who have been doing tapping before him. At least 10-15 guitarists. But Eddie Van Halen did the most famous tapping through his song "Eruption". - zxm

2 Frank Gambale (Sweep Picking)

Probably my favorite technique - Metal_Treasure

Originally were used by Jazz guitarists. He is a jazz guitarist though. Chuck Wayne is the closest person who created the technique.
In 70s, some guitarists like Steve Hackett or Ritchie Blackmore used sweep picking. Yngwie Malmsteen
also did sweep picking in the 80s, but Frank Gambale had done it more before Jason Becker appeared. - zxm

3 Billy Gibbons (Pinch Harmonic) William Frederick "Billy" Gibbons is an American musician, singer, songwriter, producer, and actor, best known as the guitarist and lead vocalist of the American rock band ZZ Top.

He is known for his frequent pinch harmonics used in his solos. - zxm

First employed by Roy Buchanan.

4 Tom Scholz (Pick Sliding) Donald Thomas "Tom" Scholz is an American rock musician, inventor, engineer, and philanthropist, best known as the founder of the band Boston.

I think that Pete Townshend was one of the first rock players to do it (if not the first), but Tom Scholz used it more prominently than most guitarists. In think it's cool that he sometimes layered the pick slides to get an interesting sound. - Gg2000

He uses pick scrapping quite often. - zxm

5 Johnny Ramone (Downpicking) 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.

Downpicking was originated a long time ago than him, but he created something more recognizable riffs, with his downpicking. Thus he inspired a lot of metal and punk guitarists. - zxm

6 Jeff Beck (Whammy Bar) 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.

Jimi Hendrix also used whammy bar in the 60s, but Jeff Beck did most of it. - zxm

7 Allan Holdsworth (Legato) Allan Holdsworth was a British guitarist and composer. He released twelve studio albums as a solo artist and played a variety of musical styles in a career spanning more than four decades, but is best known for his work in jazz fusion.

Legato was probably created from a mistake. Frequent uses of hammer on and pull off. But Allan Holdsworth popularized it with his jazz music. Shawn Lane also used to do legatos. Later it spread among the rock and metal guitarists, especially in shredding. - zxm

8 Duane Allman (Slide Guitar) Howard Duane Allman was an American guitarist, session musician, and co-founder and leader of the Allman Brothers Band until his death in a motorcycle crash in 1971, when he was 24 years old.

I still don't understand why Admin deleted my comment and kept the visitor's comment. - zxm

Free Bird, High Hopes or Statesboro Blues. Slide guitar was very much popular among blues guitarists. Maybe son house invented it, or brought it into blues. But Duane Allman probably used the best out of it. - zxm

9 B.B. King (String Bending) Riley B. "B.B." King was an American blues singer, electric guitarist, songwriter, and record producer.

Probably used in the 20s or 30s. But BB King has been known for his fluid string bending, and thus bending became popular in blues with electric guitar. - zxm

10 Kirk Hammett (Excessive Wah Pedal) 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.

Thanks for adding. Even though Excessive wasn't needed. But yeah, I gotta admit that. Jimi Hendrix also used wah pedal. But not like Kirk Hammett. - zxm

The Contenders

11 Dave Mustaine (Spider Chords) 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.

I never had interest in knowing Spider Chords. Nor I ever tried to do it, but this technique seems like to be popular for thrash metal guitarists in the 80s.. And Dave is known for using spider chords. - zxm

12 Pete Seeger (Hammer On)

Probably the most used technique in guitar. A lot of people accidentally use hammer on and don't even know. It may have been using since the beginning, Maybe 200 or 300 years. but the technique was popularized Pete Seeger when he wrote a book. - zxm

13 Pete Seeger (Pull Off)

Same as hammer on. - zxm

14 Albert Lee (Hybrid Picking)
15 Jimi Hendrix (Divebomb)
BAdd New Item