Best Guitarists Ever

The Top Ten

1 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.

I'm sure that Slash would admit that he and basically every guitarist since the early seventies owes Jimi Hendrix big time.

Jimi started it all. There's no denying it without Jimi some of the mind blowing solos we hear today may not have come into existence

Slash is great, he is possibly the best soloist ever, but he'll never be Hendrix. He is a legend R.I.P.

Is this even worth making a poll for? Obviously Jimi Hendrix dominates. - emomusic

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2 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.

The man is a god of the guitar! Pure genius don't have to say any more, his playing speaks for itself,

Jimmy was great in the studio and that alone would earn him a place in the top ten but he was a sloppy performer and never could play as well live as he did in the studio. The list of greatest guitarists should consist of people who are great live and in the studio and unfortunately, he was not great at the former. - guyritchi

It's subjective as to who is the best at any art form, although there are some analysis than can help. How enduring and widely popular, how much quality content, how complex, varied and original are all factors. Page's brilliance has been obscured by the fact Zep as a band was so great. It gave him more exposure but also camouflaged him. This is true with others, of course: e, g,. Joe Walsh, Neil Young, Keith Richards. There are other reasons great guitarists don't get their due. I love guitar and for me its Page then Duane Allman. The fact Allman is so far down this list is ridiculous. Also many on this list don't really belong because so many voters are too young to know the dif.

If you take a look at the comments for Synester gates, you can see all the people worry about is speed. And he isn't even that fast, Van Halen, and pretty much any good heavy metal band guitarist can play faster, longer, and cleaner than him. Now Jimmy Paige's greatness isn't fueled by speed, its fueled by emotion and innovation. Listen to the main riff in Black dog, Slash called it, "the sexiest riff off all time"

Didn't the bassist write the riff from black dog? If that is the case, then even if it was "the sexiest riff of all time," that would say nothing about page as a guitarist. If anything, it would be proof that page is lesser as a guitarist, since the bassist wrote the "sexiest" riff. I'm not attacking Jimmy Page. In fact, I think he's one of the best guitarists of all time, but I think you could've used a better example. Personally, I would have used the solo from stairway to heaven as his magnum opus, but that's just me. - shimberd

Jimmy Page and #2 Spot are 2 things that don't go together.

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3 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.

One of the most skilled and innovative guitarists ever. Fastest right hand in the business.

Must listen some of dream theater songs my friend.. John Petrucci will clear your doubts

He doesn't play the guitar, it is part of that man's body, you can hear his emotions come through

Lol the guitarist with the least emotions in the history of time

Eddie innovated 2 hand tapping. He Influenced great players like Slash, Zakk Wylde and Kerry king to play. If you can make a minute and 42 minute long solo of pure shredding that is recognized everywhere there is something special about you. People that know nothing about guitar think clapton is best but people who know all about guitar can truly agree ed is the god

Steve Hackett was tapping and using harmonics in 1971, long before Eddie was even famous. Not saying that Eddie wasn't good or ennovative of course, but he gets too much credit for things he didn't create. - RalphSaad

Eruption and Spanish fly are brilliant. Not to mention songs like Unchained and Top Jimmy. A great guitar player who deserves our votes.

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4 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.

The great B.B. King once said you will never find a guitar genius that can hold down, note to note, to Eric Clapton. He is the "one". He doesn't care if he's in any top list of anything. He has nothing to prove. Kids love to hear a guitarist banging on his guitar, Clapton never does that, He actually knows how to play an instrument. Some oldies but goodies think he is the rebirth of Robert Johnson. You will seldom find anyone who knows who Robert Johnson is, so how can you expect teenagers and 20 something guys who want to be guitar heroes themselves, understand the history of true rock and roll? Step up and listen to the ballads and then listen to the riffs Clapton manages with out breaking a sweat and the magic that happens when he does. There is soul to this mans music. He is simply, The Best.

I agree with you. Hew should be above Slash, in my opinion. Also, I know who Robert Johnson is. He's a blues guitarist of the 1920s who famously "sold his soul to the Devil for rock and roll". I know this, and I'm only 14. Also, Eric Clapton is very prolific ( Cream, Blind Faith, etc) - MusicalPony

There are thousands and thousands who can force a guitar to sputter. There are hundreds who can make a guitar talk. But at any given time, there is only a very select few who can truly let a guitar sing. Clapton is one of those few (along with Hendrix, Santana, and a couple others). Clapton writes his music straight from the heart, finding inspiration is his real life. From his relationship with Pattie Boyd, with whom he was madly in love (Wonderful Tonight), and later his deteriorating marriage with her (Running on Faith), to the death of his son (Tears in heaven), Clapton puts more raw emotion into his music than any other guitarist I've ever heard, including Hendrix.

Compared to him, more recent music can come across flat and empty in both lyrics and guitar work. No one could say he hasn't stood the test of time (1970-today), but he is being slowly forgotten in an age where playing fast and looking cool is more important than musical brilliance.

Slash and some other ...more

What? He is only 20? Eric is one of the best guitar gods ever! He is a great riffs creator ("Sunshine of your love", "Layla", "Cocaine") and a huge soloist too: what about his wha-wha powerful solo on "White Room", his soft duet with Allman in "Layla", his epic section of "Tales of brave Ulysse", the memorable ending of "Let it Rain" or the emotive solo on "Why got love to be so sad? "?

He is the king of blues rock. He should be in the top 3 with Jimi and Dave (Gilmour)!

Probably the best writer Guitarist of all time

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5 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.

Slash is an awesome guitarist. He's got it all! He's dedicated and I think he's proven that he doesn't give up. All the music he plays is great, you don't get a song to witch Slash plays the guitar that sucks, he just dose what he loves.

Slash has earned his place in the top 5 and one day may even make it to number two. Let's face it Slash is a great guitarist.

I mean you don't just wake up and are good at something you have to earn it and Slash has. For this he is one of My greatest Idols.

Slash is the 2nd greatest guitarist EVER, only behind Hendrix. He is without a doubt the greatest soloist of all time. His solos aren't a couple of licks put together or not just playing a scale as fast as he can, his solo's are thought out masterpieces that are incredibly amazing technically and emotionally. Listen to all his recorded songs and you'll see what I mean.

Okay, slash is a great guitarist, no doubt. Bust he isn't better then eddie Van Halen or jimi page in technique, and if you wanna talk in emotions, David surpass him.


Slash should be number 2 - ColbyS

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6 Stevie Ray Vaughan 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 more.

This forum is terrible. SRV, Jimmy and Clapton should all be top 5. Slash.. give me a break. Go YouTube "Texas flood" long version or "little wing cover" by Stevie Ray Vaughn and educate yourselves.

S.R.V. re-invented electric blues. He played every song from his heart and nailed every note! You will never hear the same version of a song twice from Stevie Ray. He is absolutely amazing!

There are hundreds of great guitar players but Stevie Ray Vauhan and Jimi Hendrix were the absolute best. It is a privilege just to listen to them play. Please people, listen to SRV on YouTube. Just search srv and pick any song. You'll thank me, really.

Definitely the most skilled. Rude Mood behind his back. Insane solos.
One of my favorite clips is his "guitar lesson," where he copies Freddy King and Eric Clapton playing Hideaway.
It's awesome.

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7 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.

A true genius that can touch the heart of the darkest of souls & bring them back to life. His solos & melody's can't be beat for precision & perfect musical sound structure... A true master of his art.

His creativity knows no bounds! The only guitarist I feel that can place his heart on the guitar strings and strum away his soul. Listen to his end solo of Comfortably Numb on the Pulse tour and the tingles will run up your spine!

Any song He touched is pure genius. Echoes, Time and all of The Wall are great. He was the Heart of Pink Floyd.

Well, if he's the heart, then Waters is the mind. I've always had it the other way around though. Oh well, I'm not sure there's a guy who speaks to ME like Gilmour does. Pink Floyd's often eclectic style would not ring true with so many if not for Gilmour's stable, often spectacular rock guitar. I don't think any member of this band started out as particularly gifted artists, but they've evolved, none more than Gilmour. He is truly an artist, sculpting music into a textured, touchable piece. His solos can take me to dark places and, conversely, to the highest of highs. The Wall is the epitome of this art form to me, and without Gilmour, and Waters, it never happens. - Ned964

The One who can make a guitar TALK..

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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.

Kirk is definitely top 5 guitarist. You can't get better than the interlude in master of puppets or the solo in one. He is a very technical guitarist. You can't get to much faster than 220 bpm in master of puppets or 210 in fight fire with fire.

You kids need to understand that guitar is a "musical" instrument. You kids need to understand speed is not everything. It's about making the guitar cry. Talking with your guitar. I'm not saying Kirk doesn't do that. Kirk is the second best guitarist to grace metal, but he isn't top 5 material, but meh, in a list where slash is 2, j guess it's alright.

He's not the best, but man is he good. He's definitely heavy metal, and can go insane with a guitar. If you've heard him play any of his better songs, you'll know what I mean.

3rd... Seriously... The guy who made the one solo and the fade to black solo... Part of the biggest metal band on the earth... Yeah... He deserves at least 2nd

He's a great guitarist, but almost certainly not 2nd best, Jimi Hendrix is pretty amazing as well as Zakk Wylde, so that's already 2 that I think have more guitar skill. - Feirceraven

Hees amazing :o

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9 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 feels what he is playing! He has a style of good old rock n roll like other guitarists-john lennon, george harisson, Hendrix, eddie Van Halen but angus is the best of all the best. Angus should be on 1 place

Unbelievably underrated. Listen to his solo on "Shake a Leg" to convince you. Plus, he could do all that while lying on the floor having spasms.

Angus Young isn't A guitar GOD.
He is THE guitar GOD. - jdog0591

Angus should be top 5. Plays guitar like no one else.

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10 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.

Why the F is DIMEBAG DARRELL IN 21! He is the best guitarist I've ever seen and heard. He's guitar skills are very good better than SYNYSTER GATES! He needs to be in the top 3!

Dime was and will always be number one for me as a guitarist, not even Jimmy could compare to the amount of inspiration and skill that Dime brought to the table. He was the innovater for future metal guitarists, he was absolutely brillant! His memory will live on through his family, friends and fans. And if you think that he doesn't deserve this spot, and you've never heard him shred, I strongly suggest you watch/listen to 5 minutes alone, This Love, Walk, Cemetary Gates, and all the greatest songs by Pantera. I'm sure you'll change your mind! R.I.P. dimebag Darrell
"In this river all shall fade to black" -Zakk Wylde (In this River, a tribute to Dime)

Dime was the most emotional player there ever was. Mind blowing lead AND rhythm player. He has it all.

, Just listen to cowboys from hell / walk /revolution is my name, it will blow your mind. If he would have been in present, could have hear more mindblowing solos.

No Dave Mustaine? That's a travesty. Anyway, Dimebag all the way. Hendrix has nothing on him.

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The Newcomers

? Jared Dines Jared Dines Jared Dines (Born October 6th 1992) is an American musician from Washington, who is best known for his success and works on YouTube based on the Heavy Metal genre. He is also the vocalist for the band Dissimulator and the drummer for Rest, Repose and has a strong following of 1 million subscribers as more.

He's comical and good, and this whole list is metal except him lowkey lol love jared - Morbid_Deth

He is youtube. youtube is good therefore he is good

The Contenders

11 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.

Brain May flies a little under the radar. Everyone has heard Queen, but how many people actually pay attention to the guy that can make his guitar sound like a symphony. Next time Bohemian Rhapsody or Killer Queen pops up on the radio, actually listen to the harmonies that Brian alone can produce.

GREATEST GUITAR PLAYER OF ALL TIME. Next to Hendrix of course. Beautiful Guitar riffs and soloing place him at the top. He never ceases to amaze me... I listen to queen and keep finding song after song that is just unbelievable. Friends will be friends, bohemian rhapsody, hammer to fall, the invisible man, breakthru, and radio ga ga are just a few of the amazing songs queen has put together. Along with the breathtaking vocals of Freddie mercury (may he rest in peace), the bombarding drumming of Roger Taylor, and the Steady, rhythmic bass playing of John Deacon, Brian May and Queen is the #1 band in the world.

He's as good as Slash, Jimmy Page, Tommi Iommi, and Jimi Hendrix.

The best of the best. And really, other guitarists are in awe of him, and have written about him, so that says it all. They, more than the fans, know what makes a guitarist great.

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12 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.

Almost every metal-riff that you hear today has been invented by this guy. He is the best. Guitarists like Mustaine, Friedman, Frehley, Gallagher deserve to be a lot higher on this list. And what about genius Brian Robertson (best guitarist Thin Lizzy ever had! ) and John Sykes, I don't even see them here and they should have been!

He really should be # 3... I mean come on, don't be so ignorant because of the style of music he plays.. Just listen to "War Pigs" and "Iron Man" and you will agree with me. Keep on rocking!

Iommi has inspired every single rockNroll guitarists, and deserves the first place no doubt

Tony is the father, of all guitarists that has been ranked upper than him. He is the actual number 1.

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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.

Just listen to and try to play some of the stuff he's done people, I mean come on! Knowing that he wasnt in the music business for that long but left as big as impression he did, just imagine how it would be now if he was still alive! No one can write or play as good as Randy.

Randy was a true great. He was so far ahead of most people playing guitar and always practiced and you would never see him without a guitar in his hands, like Hendrix. He was great in Quiet Riot, he had a great opportunity to join Ozzy because Randy's writing and playing dramatically improved. He was that type of person who was in it for the music. Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman are great examples of what rock/metal virtuosity is. Listen to songs like "Mr. Crowley", "Revelation (Mother Earth)", "Diary of a Madman", "Crazy Train", his spotlight solo that he did in Quiet Riot, "Laughing Gas", "I Don't Know", "Over the Mountain", and "Flying High Again" and you'll surely be amazed. He was always in control of what he did. Blizzard of Ozz is a very powerful title because of its power and energy that you get from it. Diary of a Madman shows him going deeper into jazz and classical music. The best example ...more - blake_meinhardt

There are very few albums where I rate every song 5of5 stars. Blizzard of Oz and Diary of a Madman are two albums I rate that way. Randy was taken from us far too early. Find the song Laughing Gas (Live) when he was with Quiet Riot. During the solo you here strains of Goodbye to Romance. Randy was a perfect match for Ozzy's vocal style. Randy had a strength of technical ability matched only by Yngwie Malmsteen or Steve Vai. What sets Randy apart was his composition. He knew exactly when and where to play down and dirty. He also knew when to play classical modes such as phrygian and mixolidium. He had an uncanny ability to play a smooth solo with a trill place at just the right point to accent the song. Over the Mountain is a perfect example. Listen to the solo. Diary of a Madman the song is a perfect blend of using a classical theme to build a song on. This is a very haunting song that fits the lyrics and Ozzy's voice perfectly. Dee is a beautifully composed piece that is a great ...more

If Randy would've lived on he would have surpassed some of the best for sure

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14 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.

This is what happens when people who don't listen to anything but commercialized music vote for best guitarist. There are key components that should be considered when voting for this:

1. How well does the guitarist play? A truly great master of the guitar is not just about solos or speed, because everyone and their monkey can play fast and spit out solos (as can be seen simply by looking into genres that support such). A really great guitarist needs to be versatile, to be able to play any type of music or style.

2. Composition! Guitarists who have one or two "hit songs" and compose junk otherwise aren't true masters. An artist needs to be original, especially with the guitar. If a guitarist plays in a band, his sound should be distinctive and be neither drowned out nor overbearing (though this depends on genre sometimes). I look for guitarists who push the boundaries, that look for new and different ways to play.

3. Solos... When it is the guitarist's ...more

Most technically skilled guitarist ever, without a doubt.

Very very fine skills with musical heart to connect every living soul

He has that raw blend between technique and emotion. He really has very few peers.

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15 Carlos Santana Carlos Santana Carlos Santana audio 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 music.

From Slash to Vaughn, from Hendrix to Page, from Clapton to Van Halen, from Prince to Hammet and on, no one but no one can as masterfully sing, string, stir, and sling his guitar out to an audience without vocal ability! Carlos executes his gift by the side of angels; he sings THROUGH, not ON the electric guitar, devoid of ego. Who else could immacutely adapt to concert with the finest of musicians world-wide, such as Ottomar Leibert, and innumerable musical artists to bring incandescent soul to each with impeccable perfection? Carlos unegotistically offers God-given talent as if it were for sale on the street for one who is musically promising while abandons the forced march of solitary recognition in the music world. Carlos appears to effortlessly, unfaltering, and exponentially lift the spirit of fellow musicians of promising notorious varieties. Carlos has another gift: most transparently to bring other artists to their pinnacle without over-shadowing their style. Thus, this man ...more

Without a question, nobody plays as "smooth" as Santana!

For me as well, Carlos looks so comfortable plying his craft. He was born for it. For all the poor masses shredding out the same noise, there are very few who can truly speak a beautiful language on the strings. In my eyes, and ears, Carlos Santana is one of a very few. - Ned964

This man is by far the most talented guitarist who ever lived. It is insulting to him and his millions of fans to not have him be number one. This list is not a measure of talent and skill, but just a popularity contest

Like almost every list I find on the top tens, sadly, you are right. - Ned964

YO!... he a beaner

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16 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.

Jeff Beck listed at #74 on this list shows just how little most music fans know about the history of electric guitar. As one reviewer stated earlier, Page, Clapton, Brian May, David Gilmore, and Slash have all stated that Jeff Beck is the best guitarist on the planet. You can add Joe Perry and Steve Lukather to that list. He plays with a fire that nobody else can match and his technique is stunning, the equal of anybody on this list. Many of this generations greatest jazz musicians have recorded with Jeff, including Stanley Clarke, Jan Hammer, John McLaughlin, and Lenny White. He's toured with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Carlos Santana, BB King, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Steve Lukather, and Kenny Wayne Shepard. In 1966, when Chas Chandler was trying to convince Jimi Hendrix to move to England, Hendrix agreed but only if Chandler promised to introduce him to Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. If you don't know who Jeff Beck is, pick up a copy of Blow by Blow or Wired and give it a listen.

In a society where people worship speed, brilliant guitarists like Jeff Beck are usually forgotten. Most "modern" people have probably never heard of the name Jeff Beck, but most guitarists will tell you he's one of the best. Having experimented in most genres of music, Beck has laid down the foundations of modern music, along with other greats like Hendrix, Page, and Clapton, all of whom praise him for his genius. - AznWarlord

One of the greats. He uses his guitar as his voice, and it has always been the main focus in his music. The instrumental album Blow By Blow is a prime example of Jeff Beck's great playing, feel that makes every note mean something. Unlike most rock guitar players, he is rooted in Jazz, not Blues, which makes his playing all more unique, but he has never been a purist, taking inspiration from all styles. There is no singers present on Jeff's best work (Wired, Blow By Blow and Emotion & Comotion) because one is simply not needed, not only does he play great melodies, but communicates a certain message to the audience without needing lyrics to do so. Jeff Beck has continued to develop his style and improve his playing, even though he has been around since the sixties, which is quite amazing to be honest. He is definitely underrated, never achieving the success he deserves, and he also deserves to be up there with Hendrix, Clapton and Page as one of the greatest rock guitarists to have ...more

Jeff Beck at 16? He has some of the best instrumentals ever made - InsertCleverName

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17 B.B. King B.B. King Riley B. "B.B." King was an American blues singer, electric guitarist, songwriter, and record producer.

BB King, the man who started it all when the other greats were just babies are perhaps not even conceived yet. Quite literally he didn't create this amazing instrument but besides T-Bone Walker he brought electric guitar to the fore-front along with Albert King, Freddy King, Buddy Guy and a vast majority of the older and late great bluesmen. His "hummingbird" vibrato effect and nuance and style has made him a house hold name for some 50 or 60 years or so and today with all the different types of music he is still a house hold name though in this day and age Blues is no longer the mainstream music it was way back when. - leongregory

Just one of many great blues guitarists not likely to make this list.

B b King is the greatest player that ever pick up a guitar in my opinon

BB King & Chuck Berry should be in the top 5! Both did so much for music & Eddie Van Halen is good but you CAN’T SERIOUSLY think &/or say that he’s a better guitarist than BB King & Chuck Berry their both Legends!

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18 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.

Synyster Gates has such blistering speed and yet you can hear every note played, he is a pro at dive bombs and sweep picking and definitely a amazing guitarist, and because of his young age by the time he is slash's age he will be the next slash

He is a very multi-talented guitar player, almost all the techniques he mastered.

He can play well even while backing vocals.

He is very feasible juxtaposed with other guitar legends chest of Jimi Hendrix, Slash, Yngwie Malmsteen, Joe Satriani.

He is the most complete!

Slash is great, but not #1. Syn has amazing speed but still plays clean and has unforgettable solos and riffs.

Decades from now, when A7X rides off into the sunlight as anther one of the all-time great bands; Synyster Gates will be looked back on as one of the most unique and talented guitarists in rock'n'roll history. - TwJaGd

That comment fills me with anger. A mediocre metal band with a boring guitarist. - 445956

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19 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.

You have to look on another planet for more expression, feeling an fun on an electical guitar!

Steve Vai, I think is one of the best guitarists in the world.
He is very unique and has his own mind for playing, he gives guitar playing whole different meaning when he plays.

Satriani's protege, almost as good as Satch Boogie himself.

If you actually play then you understand.

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20 Chuck Berry Chuck Berry Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. He died on 18 March 2017.

Are you people retarted? Without Chuck Berry, no one on this list would be famous

Guitar playing rock legend

Chuck Berry is a legend an one othe most influent guitars all over the world

Chuck Berry & BB King should be in the top 5! I don’t know if people realize how amazing they played but there’s NO WAY IN HELL! That Eddie Van Halen is better than either one of those 2! Really people not saying he’s not good but seriously give me a break! They both blow him away!

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21 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.

We are talking about rock and roll, right? How anyone can be listed higher than Keef is mind blowing. It all starts with a riff and the king of riffs is Keith Richards!

KEITH RICHARDS is the best guitarist of all time that's what I feel you can attack me all you want but those who say there is anyone bigger than KEITH RICHARDS I say they're brain damaged well Jimi Hendrix may had much talent but he's not the greatest well he has much heart for playing the guitar but just the years 1966 to 1970 isn't enough to make one the best guitarist ever KEITH RICHARDS have performed as a member of The Rolling Stones for over 5 decades now and still continued I bet Jimi Hendrix wouldn't have energy to play guitar till he's done that for 40 years at least that he would quite after 20 years and JIMMY PAGE might be an amazing guitarist I listened to Stairway To Heaven many times but he wasnt performing for 4 decades so he isn't better than KEITH RICHARDS so suck it up sinners and Brian May is an amazing guitarist too I listen to some of QUEENs albums like MIRACLE, INNUENDO and MADE IN HEAVEN I loved the guitar playing on the albums the sound was nice and when QUEEN ...more

Being a good guitarist is more than just playing the song, its about writing music. Everyone on this list is a fantastic guitarist, what makes some stand out more than others are the songs they write, and for me the riffs Keith Richards wrote were the reason the Rolling Stones are so famous. Even today, 50 years later, they are still very catchy and energetic. And there's so many good ones! The guitars in Satisfaction, Gimme Shelter, Jumpin' Jack Flash, Brown Sugar, Sympathy for the Devil, Start Me Up, Paint it Black, Beast of Burden, and countess others are all amazing, and very few other guitarists have the creativity to create so many masterpieces.

How the hell is Keith Richards not in the top 5?

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22 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.

A really Great Guitarist. - Badger

More technically skilled than Hammett, but Hammett has better composition. However with all the effort put into Megadeths guitar work, Mustaine deserves to be top 10.

He rules but Metallica songs are also good... Tornado of souls, Peace Sell all crazy songs

He should join Metallica! m/

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23 Duane Allman Duane Allman 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.

If the late Duane Allman had done nothing but session work, he would still be on this list. His contributions on lead and slide guitar to dozens of records as fine and as varied as Wilson Pickett's down-home '69 cover of "Hey Jude" and Eric Clapton's 1970 masterpiece with Derek and the Dominos, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, constitute an astounding body of work. But Allman also transformed the poetry of jamming with the Allman Brothers Band, the group he founded in 1969 with his younger brother, singer-organist Gregg. Duane applied the same black soul and rebel fire he displayed as a sideman to the Allmans' extended investigations of Muddy Waters and Blind Willie McTell covers and to his psychedelic-jazz interplay with second guitarist Dickey Betts in live showpieces such as "Whipping Post. " Although Duane and Gregg had played in bands together since 1960, Duane did not learn to play slide until shortly before the start of the Allmans. In his only Rolling Stone interview, in ...more - Zezerex

I'm sorry, but I can't place any validity in a list that does not have Duane Allman in the top 5 guitarists of all time. He, Hendrix, and Clapton are the only ones on that level. It's a shame he's not a household name like those 2 though. I think that's because: 1) he died at 24, only after 2 1/2 studio albums with The Allman Brothers Band. 2) The Allman Brothers Band never received commercial/mainstream success until songs like "Ramblin' Man" off the Brothers and Sisters Album that was made after Duane was dead. Their music before that simply did not appeal to the masses.

R.I.P. Skydog

I don't know which is more of a joke - Duane at no. 52 or BB King at no. 76!

Rolling Stone put Duane at no. 2 in its list of '100 Best Guitarists Ever' (followed by BB King, Duane's great admirer Clapton, and Robert Johnson (any of you kids heard of him? ).

Basically, all these five taught their guitar a new language.

I love Prince, and he certainly made his guitar talk a new language.. but it was basically a 'theatrical' language. In purely musical terms, in expressive control and range, he's a baby crying to Duane's astonishing fluency. Even Hendrix seems coarse in comparison.. but then Jimi trips over into another dimension from all other guitarists in history, and you'd have to be more insane than he was, not to put him at the top.

To see Skydog this low is criminal.

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24 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.

His sound is just amazing and not a lot of people sound like that and those pinch harmonics all his techniques his songs are much harder to play than Hendrix songs I should know I play guitar he's faster then Hendrix to and has feeling like Santana and slash he's simply the best eruptions pretty easy compared to bark at the moon and know one knows the solo he does live it's to damn hard to figure out

Zakk wylde the power complimenting ozzy and his own band black label society, his fast blues influenced metal solo's are the perfect compliment to his chugging riffs... A master of guitar

I agree with other comments and think that dimebag and wylde should be higher on the list than they R. I respect wylde more then any other guitarist because he also sing's well and can play the crap out of a acoustic. Wylde deserves a lot of credit playing the super fast riffs he does with using little or no hammer-ons.
"The Guitar God"

I don't know who done this list but slash shouldn't even be on here and to have zakk at 24 someone should lose there job cause. That a f,n joke

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25 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.

The most, the best, the amazing... That can I say.. The Beatles had one great guitarist of all time... Vote for george

He's really talented but always quiet, he has never wanted to be a superstar with scandals, he just wanted to play the guitar and sing. I think it's why he's underestimated.

He's hella tight! He was one the first to ever play the sitar in pop culture music. He made history!

Most people don't know George Harrison played 26 different instruments. Google it if you don't believe me. He may not have been the best guitarist but he was in the greatest band that ever existed and was an amazing song writer. Show me any other musician on this list that could play anything close to 26 instruments.

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26 John Petrucci John Petrucci John Peter Petrucci is an American guitarist, composer and producer. He is best known as a founding member of the progressive metal band Dream Theater.

There is no way Synyster Gates is better than Petrucci!
Arguments like "He plays well while singing backing vocals" and such? You guys should really listen to Dream Theater! Wonderful music composed by 5 of the most technically and creative personalities in modern music. I realize that people who listens to Dream Theater have heard the most and at last found the best DT forever!

Amazingly versatile guitarist. Can shred just about as well as, if not better, than anybody. Can compose a brilliantly beautiful solo, a melodic passage, an epic riff. Great songwriter and lyricist too. His technical ability, feeling for the instrument, and versatility make him the best.

As for the other people on this list - Brad Delson? Seriously? Linkin Park is one of my favourite bands of all time. I love them. And Brad does alright for what Linkin Park needs - good, chunky riffs and a few melodies here and there. But among the greatest guitarists of all time? Come on. People who voted for him are probably 12 year olds who haven't discovered classic rock yet and still think that nu-metal is the coolest thing on Earth. And they will probably label me as 'not a true LP fan'. No, I am a huge LP fan and own all their stuff, plenty of posters, a jacket and have been to see them live. They were awesome. I'm just not so blind to think that Brad Delson is one of the best guitarists ...more

There's not even competition... Best guitarist ever, apart from that a sublime songwriter, DT forever.

I don’t think any other person on this earth is as good at John Petrucci at guitar, some people come really really close to being tied with him like Joe Satriani, and Buckethead and some other but are just a tiny, tiny, tiny smudge below John perucci.

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27 Yngwie J. Malmsteen Yngwie J. Malmsteen Yngwie Johan Malmsteen is a Swedish guitarist, songwriter and bandleader who was born on June 30th, 1963, in Stockholm, Sweden. He was known for his neoclassical metal playing style back in the 1980s.

He is the strong root of neo-classical if anybody follow his theory and practical as well he can be a legend so he he legend of legends (only the shredders can judge him) normal musician and public can't understand his glory

Just epic
He is one of the greatest guitarist on earth. No way someone of this earth could do what he does
With that passion. Sure he isn't a Kirk Hammet or a slash but he is his own unique guitarist like a snow flake

Influenced a whole generation of axe players to research neo-classical playing techniques. Mr appegio.

He rocks

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28 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.

The DJ GUITARIST of all time!
A true form of guitar god quality, he made rap/rock a good quality sound through his variety of music influences and made him reach his distinct and over the edge guitar performances!

Tom Morello is the greatest guitarist ever because of one simple reason: His guitar playing is many times more creative and innovative than a lot of guitarists on this list. Sure, they may be able to play really fast solos that sound really impressive, but Tom's guitar playing (not just his solos) doesn't sound like anything I've ever heard before. This is obviously a good thing. - InPillForm

For years I went back and forth between my favorites: Tom Morello, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and John Frusciante. I love almost all genres of music, but Tom takes the cake for guitarists. THE REASON: his guitar can match literally anyone else. On top of that fact, his guitar does innovative things that no other has done since. There was a reason RATM included "NO SAMPLES USED IN THE MAKING OF OUR ALBUM" on all their CDs. Everything was done with the instruments they had. Listen to Metallica, then listen to Guns N Roses, and finally Van Halen. The speed? Tom matches it. The scales? Tom can do them plus odd ones that he studied while graduating with honors from Harvard. Clapton? Brian Setzer? Hendrix? The melodies that are so famous? Morello has them too. Just listen to the solo on Freedom or some of his earlier Audioslave solos (especially off Out Of Exile). Don't even challenge on riffs; only Kurt Cobain or Adam Jones beats him there. Then there are his other solos. Bulls On Parade, Mic ...more

This guy is flipping incredible! He can play with his FACE! I know he's not one of the classic artists like Eric Clapton, but he's so talented and you just can't deny that. I once got his autograph and it was the coolest thing! - LeiaSkywalker

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29 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 love and admire so guitar players for different reasons, to many to list. But the guy who has it all for me is Ritchie Blackmore. He is a true virtuoso of rock guitar, between 1969 and 83 (very long time) he was at the top of the tree. I love Gilmore and Knopfler on record excellent as well as in concert, but, when playing live they can't really change things around in the Blackmore could (all of purple in fact) Gilmore pretty much plays the same thing every night for every solo just like Knopfler, they don't take chances like Blackmore. Page was never clean like Blackmore, all the shredders can play fast but most can't keep up the melodic quality to make a great solo, they just play million notes and end at the top of the neck with the inevitable screaming bend up. Even with a bit of tape echo Blackmore always sounded like he was plugged straight into the amp. That's one of the reasons I put him ahead of Jeff beck. Beck along with Hendrix and Les Paul are probably the most ...more

Blackmore is one of the top guitarists for sure, but your statement about Gilmour and Knopfler being not very good improvisers is the most absurd and inaccurate statement ever.

Best guitarist ever! How is he not in the top 10?
The guitar solos in songs such as Highway Star are amazing!

Ritchie was an early stand out guitarist for me in the emerging Deep Purple days, has continued to dazzle through the permutations of Rainbow and shown many other aspects of his skills with Blackmore's Night who deserve far more media attention than they have so far had. With the fluidity and emotion he packs into his work I would rate him with Jimmy Page and Hendrix.

One of the best, one of the top four after hendrix; beck, blackmore, clapton and page. And blackmore are also a great composer, listen to purple, rainbow and blackmores night!

V 182 Comments
30 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 .

Pete Townshend, Keith Richards, Joe Perry, Frank Zappa, BB King, Jeff Beck, and Peter Frampton, are all listed lower than the rhythm guitarist for stupid, whiny, emo, lame Avenged Sevenfold, people these days just don't know good music. This list is meaningless. - Stangbass16

Pete Townshend is undoubtely the best rhythm guitarist that rock music has produced to date. He is one of the one of the founding fathers of modern rock and is the one who introduced the gritty sound of the guitar were so used to today. He used power chords extensively, thus laying the foundations for punk rock and came up with some of the catchiest riffs in the history of music. And Townshend COULD solo. Maybe he wasn't as good as Hendrixnor Clapton in that respect, but he certainly wasn't far behind. It'sonly because Moon's and Entwistle' playing were very busy that he mainly played rhythm (John especially used his bass as if it were a lead guitar). To end my rand, I will just point you to some songs that I consider quintessential, such as The Seeker, My Generation, I Can't Explain, Young Man Blues and Summertime Blues.

How do you choose between all these great guitarists? For me it comes down to how do they sound "LIVE"? Out of the studios and raw and I think it comes down to two! Pete and Jimi and as tough a decision it is for me Townshend gets my vote for his "Live At Leeds" performance and when I saw him in Detroit's old Cobo Hall on the Who's Next tour back in the 70's. Just spectacular guitar in the raw. But Hendrix and his Woodstocks "Star Spangled Banner" rendition comes very close for me to getting my vote but only one vote so I'll go with Pete!

30? Are you kidding

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31 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.

John Frusciante needs to be #1. He contributes incredible feel for music. His playing is not shredding like many others.. People think fast playing and shredding.. His playing is incredibly melodic and beautiful to the ear. He is one of the rare guitarists which improvises solos playing live.. And that improvisation is almost better than any other guitar solos. He knows to put such emotions in his guitar playing and really is the best guitar player now.. And maybe EVER!

The best guitarist, and does not get enough recognition. He can play any style, any speed, and even can sing a little if needed. His guitar playing was the part of the artistry of the Red Hot Chili Peppers for some of their best years, and I wish him the best now even after leaving RHCP.

John Frusciante set the guitar standard for a generation by combining both a funk and rock style. He revolutionized the way alternative music should sound and set the bar for anyone unlucky enough to come after him. - Paragor34

31 lol...He should be in at least top 15

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32 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.

Man, how many times did I get goozebumbs when listening to Dire Straits? The man does it every time. Such distinctive rifs, unmistakable Mark Knopfler. My personal favorite: Private Investigations, which is one of the greatest songs of all time! - redmess

Mark Knopfler is the Best! Lets see Jimi Hendrix do a unplugged version or work the guitar with a simple pick. That is true guitar skill for you. Mark can make make the guitar sing literally, his Sultans of Swing solo is by far the best guitar solo rendition I have ever heard.

Knopfler's great but no Hendrix by far -- for more reasons than I can count!

Not only one of the greatest guitarists ever but also one of the greatest songwriters ever too. His solos are musically flawless and he doesn't rely on overdrive for his guitar work to stand out.

Just find any live versions of Sultans of Swing on YouTube etc. And try and prove me wrong... You won't! :-D

He should be first, come on, it’s Mark Knopfler. He proves you don’t need distortion to sound awesome in rock. Dire Straits are one of the greatest bands ever

V 336 Comments
33 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.

Come on people. Alex Lifeson is amazing! He plays for Rush so he plays very hard music and very long music. He is in his late 50s and he is still playing amazing. Slash could never play half as good as Alex Lifeson. I bet Slash couldn't even play a Rush song. Go Rush! 1974-2112

Alex Lifeson deserves more credit for his influence as not only a band member of Rush but also a very underrated and powerful musician. He not only used big swirling arpeggios to from his sound but knows how to shred. Just listen to every song on "Exit Stage Left". I read about people saying that Steve Howe was the most awesome prog rock guitarist in the 70's and today. I was hugely influenced by Howe but Lifeson brought something more to the table than any other prog guitar player. He knows how to rock, he knows how to bring diversity to the songwriting with Geddy and Rush never compromised their sound to commercially sell out. The bottom line is in the past and present if you were or are a young aspiring musician you listened to Rush and then you learned how to play their songs.

It is amazing to me how the truly talented guitarists like John Petrucci, Tom Morello & Joe Satriani are down at the last half of the list while the showoffs like Eddie Van Halen are at the top. People obviously have no clue what a great guitarist is. And come on, Nancy Wilson better than Alex Lifeson? Give me a break! - moparchris

Agree with everything except Eddie will always be my favorite guitarist - Brobusky

Not my favorite guitarist. But he needs a higher spot, he's the most ignored member of the band and its not fair because his guitar riffs are so awesome and especially so for the time. So to be honest I think he was ahead of his time and he needs way more attention.

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34 Jack White Jack White

I saw him live back in 2013 and it blew my mind. He's one of those guys that sounds so unique most people don't know how to deal with it; but if you do understand what's going, nothing else compares. When other guitarist need a full band, he needed one mediocre drummer who was only their because he was related/married to her (still not sure which). Even today, he refuses to conform and continues to evolve in his sound, while continuously pushing the envelop of what a modern guitarist can be. Sure, Hendrix and Page have a longer crib sheet, but in terms of raw style and who has inspired this current germination (including me) the most, no one compares to Jack White.

Till number 58 I kept scrolling thinking, "ok next is gonna be Jack White". This makes me very sad. The guy is an unbridled genius. One of the few artists today that you know really gets consumed by what they do. Go watch him play the solo of 'blue veins' live, and I guarantee that he wont stick to his scales and he wont be crisp with his notes, but what he will do every time is leave his heart on that fretboard.

He should at least be in the top 20. I mean, come on you can do better than that. Haven't you heard icky thump, seven nation army, his cover of Jolene by Dolly Parton, him singing with Loretta Lynn on the song Portland Oregon, Blue Orchid, and all that other good stuff! In The Rolling Stones magazine, he was number 17. He deserves better than this!

His solos make me want to grab a gun and shoot myself straight in the damn face. I have no clue why people say that the guitar solo on "Icky Thump" is absolutely amazing and face melting. The solo makes me want it to be face melting so then I can die and never hear something like that ever again. His riffs on the other hand are so bluesy and great sounding. Overall, I'd give Jack White a solid 2.5/5 stars. - TheMETALgiant

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35 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.

What makes Eric Johnson amazing is not simply his mechanical mastery of guitar techniques, but also his amazing sense of control over his instrument. He's obviously trained such that an array of amazing guitar skills are at his fingertips, but what sets him aside from other guitarists it that he knows how and when to use them. He doesn't just throw in a bunch of rad riffs and cool tricks--he uses his techniques and control in an amazingly precise and mindful manner to create experiences rather than songs.

Cliffs of Dover is one of the most amazing guitar moments in history. It's an amazing technical and groove experience. A 10. He deserves to be on this list for sure, maybe higher.

Eric Johnson may not be a mainstream musician, but he is one of the most proficient guitar players in the world. His knowledge of music theory and guitar techniques make him one of the most versatile guitar players as well. He can play anything from jazz to rock. He's an amazing lead and rhythm guitar player. People often label him a shredder, but he's a melodic shredder. Many shredders lack melody, Mr. Johnson does not. To top off his wide array of abilities, he also has a kick ass tone. YouTube Cliffs of Dover live Austin Texas 1988 and see for yourself. Come on, this man deserves to be in the top ten.

Very underrated

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

The only guitarist who can play heavy metal about slaughterhouses and then play a soothing lullaby.
He has has more emotion than half the guitarists on this page and he wears an expressionless mask...

I am ashamed to see how low he is on the list, really. Very, very sad. Have any of you people even listened to his music? I've heard Slash, and while he is good, he is far from phenomenal. He doesn't really stand out besides proficiency. Buckethead, on the other hand? His songs stand out. Heck, his many fans' claims that he is the Guitar Jesus isn't that much of an exaggeration.

Also, it's quite stupid how people instantly assume he's emotionless due to his wearing a mask... Gentlemen and Ladies, please do get rid of the abundant piles of earwax in your ears... How can you not hear the emotion and beauty that overflows from his songs?

He is amazing. I have never seen such emotion from someone like him.

The passion of this guy and his dedication with the guitar is amazing. He can literally play anything. Every time he picks the guitar, he will take you to Bucketheadland.

V 453 Comments
37 James Hetfield 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.

James certainly can't make the guitar sing like Hendrix or Satriani who are both Gods on the guitar. However there is not a single human on this planet who can down pick and punish the guitar like Hetfield, speed isn't everything but his speed is unmatched, listen to "Fight Fire with Fire" there is not a single guitarist who can play with that speed and precision and still sound so heavy. He practically defined the sound of Metallica, Master of Puppets was his creation, and he can play solos just as well. He doesn't have the soul of Hendrix or Satriani and doesn't play solos like Slash or Gilbert, but the man can flat out control the guitar, defining his band and an entire genre of music. There are so many players to aspire to be like him because of the simply crushing riffs he has written. Also a down to earth guy despite his talent.

Never seen such a heck of a combination in a singer/guitar player. He's great especially in rhythm parts while he sings. RESPECT this guy!

There are people that only know slash and tell he is the best guitarist of the world, he isn't, he is good but metal guitarist are better, slash have good bents and everything but James hetfield y am guitarist and I really know who are the best band in the world and is not in this world : Kurt cobain, the rev, jimmy Hendrix, mich Thompson and Freddy mercury

excellent - Morbid_Deth

V 34 Comments
38 Robert Johnson Robert Johnson

Time has its' way of warping things. Robert Johnson not being in the top 100 is insane, but over time things will change. In 50 years, 98% of the top 150 guitarists on this list will not even be known, but Robert Johnson will. Think about it.

Without Robert Johnson and his invention of twelve bar blues, so many genres that came after blues would not exist. Imagine a world without rock and roll, imagine a world without Chuck Berry's guitar riffs, imagine a world without Page, Iommi and so many other guitarists heaviness. Without Johnson, there would be no Hendrix, there would be no Claton there would be no rock or any genres that originated from it. Such a shame that nobody knows or pays enough respect to the most influential musician of the 20th century

It's not just his technical skills that are still unmatched today. What's absolutely thrilling about Robert Johnson is the emotional power of his songs. Robert Johnson HAD to play and sing the songs he sang just for his sake. Unfortunately, he most likely didn't find the peace of mind he was looking for. And you can hear it. I am so deeply touched by every single note he ever played.

He should be in the top 5 forget Jimmy Page, this guy IS the real blues guitarist.

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39 Marty Friedman Marty Friedman Martin Adam "Marty" Friedman is an American guitarist, known for his tenure as the lead guitarist for heavy metal band Megadeth which spanned nearly the full decade of the 1990s, as well as Cacophony alongside Jason Becker until 1989. Friedman has resided in Tokyo, Japan since 2003, where he has hosted more.

FOR GOD SAKE, anyone who has heard the frigging amazing solos of this man on rust in peace know he has to be in the top 5 of this list easily, I haven't heard better solo's yet.

I am not angry or something but I seriously think that slash and kirk Hammett are really overrated guitarists. When I started playing guitar, I thought Slash was the best. I have been playing guitar for 3 years now and I recently listened to Marty's work - Cacophony, Dragon's Kiss (His solo album) and his work in Megadeth. Every solo and riff he plays blows my mind. Kirk is light years away from the skill and musical knowledge Marty possesses but still Kirk is in the top ten and Marty isn't. People who don't understand metal or hard rock guitar music well, think that Slash or Kirk is the best and unfortunately there are millions of such voters in this list and that's why Marty is here on #35. Just look at Marty's lesson about Melodic Control on YouTube (It is about an hour long). He tells you how he creates solos and riffs and I bet you a 1000$ that learn a lot from that video.

Marty freidman has got to be number one for sure. Rust in peace album is the best example for this. The speed and the difficulty of his playing is awesome. I can't believe that prince is at number 2. I didn't even think that he played guitar and I'm sure if he did then he would really suck at it. Jimi Hendrix is a good guitarist but just because he is talked about so much doesn't make him the best guitarist ever. Fredmans solos are ridiculously good and very hard to play. I play guitar myself and I find megadeth, pantera, and Metallica songs (especially the mustaine written ones) much harder and advanced then Hendrix songs and led zepplin songs. I don't see whats so great about eric clapton either. He is famous for playing tears in heaven but my friend played it for an assessment in music and got a good mark. People say if you are to be a good guitarist then you have to write great stuff. Megadeth, in my opinion are the best band ever, write the greatest songs ever. I don't know why ...more - pooisgood

top 5 - Morbid_Deth

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40 Chuck Schuldiner Chuck Schuldiner Charles Michael "Chuck" Schuldiner (1967-2001) was an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist, best known as the founder and vocalist, guitarist and bassist of the American heavy metal band Death. He is considered the most influential figure in Death Metal, with some publications referring to Chuck more.

I'm tired of all the popularity lists, these lists are for people who actually know they're crap about guitar. How the hell is Chuck under jack white and kurt cobain? Jack and Kurt can only play a few power chords and slow, easy, and short solos. And syn at 6th? Don't get me started, I'm glad that a7x is famous, they bring hope to new music but seriously syn is not that great! People who think he's the best guitarist of all time are emos who have never picked up a guitar in their life, a7x songs are some of the easiest metal songs I've ever tried on guitar

The Godfather Chuck Schuldiner from Death is the best guitarist in the world perfectly balanced technically melodic sound solo in every song fast paced, shred, bend whatever his a full book and number 1. Vocals at the same time as well nor needs to even look at his guitar to play a technical solo.
The band can't go on without him irreplaceable pure talented melodically 100% individual.

Horrible list here guys...131 should be 1 Chuck IS and always WILL BE the BEST guitar player the world has ever seen!

Chuck was an amazing guitarist, especially his soloing is from another world!

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41 Rory Gallagher Rory Gallagher William Rory Gallagher was an Irish blues and rock multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and bandleader.

Rory never sold out, never released a single and would not worry about being placed at no.62 in this list. His concert's sold out, his fans never forgot him, and I've noticed a steady interest in his music because of YouTube and other online free music. In time when most of those above are found out and loose their popularity it will be Rory that will be talked about and admired by the new Guitarists in the generations to come.

Listen to the live rendition of "Walk On Hot Coals" from Rory's "Irish Tour" and you know why the Irish prodigy is considered one of the greatest guitarists to ever grace the face of the earth.

A people's guitarist, modest, truthful, down-to-earth, never compromising his vision, never selling out. Probably too shy for his own good, definitively too good for this world.

Any "Best or Top Guitarist" list that doesn't have Rory Gallagher in the Top 5 is obviously a joke! Rory Gallagher is probably the best guitarist you have never heard, especially if you are under 40 years old. Check out his stuff on YouTube---it is amazing! He could play any type of music and any kind of guitar, as well as harmonica and even sax sometimes in the earlier days. Rory still has many adoring fans all over the world. With some new releases of lots of his older material, hopefully more people will get to hear Rory play----and love him forever like we all do! RORY ON!

Has to be in the top ten!

V 185 Comments
42 Gary Moore Gary Moore Robert William Gary Moore was a Northern Irish musician, most widely recognised as a singer, songwriter, and virtuoso rock and blues guitarist.

Seriously folks, Gary Moore should be in the top three list. He was an amazing technician of every style of music from heavy metal to blues. Guitarists like Randy Rhoads, Kirk Hammitt, and others were influenced by Gary Moore. Find a copy of his album Dirty Fingers--he could play faster and with more precision than Eddie Van Halen. His tone is unmistakable and all his own. He even worked with George Harrison, B.B. king, Cozy Powell, and many others. His guitar work with Collosseum II rivaled anything by Jeff Beck, (who I would rate as number two behind Gary Moore). What a shame that the guy still doesn't receive the respect and recognition he deserves even after death. What a pity.

Gary moore is a great guitar player, he is the one who made me play guitar thanks to him I play guitar, I have seen all his work and his interview and if you see it all trust me you'll be amazed how good he actully is the nummber one in my book is "the messiah will come again by gary moore" "the prophet" and "the loner" instrumental song's but in same time powerful please try it very few can play his stuff you think slash can? Slash don't do real solo's it all sounds same fast and a lot at same time. PS: slash has not impressed me since I was young, till.. I saw gary moore

Gary is the most underrated players ever! Maybe his playing with Lizzy has stifled his solo stuff a little or his diverse styles he has flirted with. But hey the man can play jazz rock, folk, classical, heavy metal, heavy rock, Celtic rock and blues to the most amazing standard! He gets so much feel from his guitar and can play everything and is looked up to by his peers. We love ya man!

Should Be in the Top Five

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43 Tosin Abasi Tosin Abasi

I don't believe this list. While Hendrid, Clapton and many other classic players are deserving of top spot, when it comes to people like Synyster, and this is not hating on a7x, who I like, with enough skill anyone can do what he does. Granted, he is a very skillful player but one of the things that makes Animals As Leaders my favourite band is that you don't hear anyone else doing anything like it. To me, as talented as Syn may be, and however great his solos and leads are (Hail To The King intro is genius) it just doesn't have the same individuality, because any shredder can follow the fornula of alternate picking and sweep picking, and unless someone does something new with these techniques, it all begins to sound a bit samey. What grabs me about Tosins playing is his double thumb slap technique, which I have never heard from another guitarist, and his use of extended chords helps give AAL its signature sound. Please vote people like Tosin and Paul Gilbert higher to stop this from ...more

Tosin Abasi is most probably the most all round guitarist of all time. For anyone who has watched his Prog-Gnosis videos will know that he holds an immense knowledge of music theory as well as being able to master complicated time signatures that are not even parallel with the backing drums. The fact that this man has such adversity with his musical knowledge as well as being able to play faster than I can respire means that he deserves recognition as the most accomplished technical guitarist of all time.

Tosin Abasi is possibly one of the greatest guitarists alive right now. Definitely brings all of Animals As Leaders together. Although all of his songs are instrumentals the notes speak for itself. He may be Meshuggah inspired (don't get me wrong, Meshuggah is great) but he definitely has his own flavor.

His notes are impossibly clean when he plays live, his thumb is made for his insane thumping technique.

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44 Steve Howe Steve Howe Stephen James "Steve" Howe is an English musician and songwriter. He is best known as the guitarist in the progressive rock group Yes.

Steve was really the 1st player I ever heard who was able to combine the genres in a totally individual way. His playing has become neither of the original forms it was inspired by - It's Steve Howe music. Most other players are very generic, nothing wrong with that, but if you're going to vote on greatness. It has to be Steve Howe. Not technically perfect, but original. Try and play it, there are some things that you will have to abandon all you've learned in order to play. Even Jimi (RIP), was basically a blues player. Looking forward to seeing Steve play in a couple of months

Steve Howe should be #1 followed by Jimmy Page, period! These two guitarist were the most technically great and complex writers ever. They were both the most versatile and had more range than any of the others mentioned. They both played with such passion. They both incorporated elements of Jazz, Blue Grass, Classical, rockabilly and country all into rock. Hendrix, slash eddy and all others mentioned never evolved or changed it up like Howe and Page. Both can play anything. The rest were limited. Howe was the most technically complex, intricate player followed by Page. Listen to the album "Close To The Edge". It is a guitar masterpiece. Hendrix could never play what Howe or Page played. Hendrix was not as complex or skilled.

He who does not acknowledge that Steve Howe is the most skillful and technically accomplished among rock guitarists knows little about guitar playing. It's not just the noise, speed or dexterity. Of course, Steve has all these too. But more than these qualities, there are others like: complexity, direction, tonality, integration of the instrument, choice of intervention... I could go on.
Anyway, Steve Howe is definitely the best. And yes, YES is the greatest rock band ever.

I don't know much about guitar playing. I know what I like when I hear it. There are tons of good musicians out there who can play guitar well. There will never be a general consensus as to who the greatest guitar player of all time is.I would cast my vote for Steve Howe.

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45 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.

I don't know why Ace is so far down on this GD list. Paul Frehley was and IS one of the most influential rock and roll guitarists of all time. While he may have not been as technical as some other guitarists out there, Ace definitely provided some stepping stones for some modern guitar sounds. He is loud and in your face with those solo's. He produces a sound that's loud, raw and genuine. While sometimes sloppy and quick on the frets Ace always manages to put the icing on his work, his songs Fractured Mirror, Fractured Too, Fracture III, and Fractured Quantum are easily some of the best instrumental guitar pieces I have ever heard. The song "Cold Gin" has been covered by countless bands and remains a great rock favorite even to this day, his signature 2 string octave bends on the blistering "Love Gun" solo still give me goosebumps when I hear it. He is and will always be one of the most badass Guitarists of all time. Should definitely be in the top 10. - Daelis86

I don't see how Ace Frehley is so far down the list. He has done so much in the many years he has been on the Earth. He kick started KISS, inspired generation after generation of kids to pick up a guitar, (& in my opinion, anyone who inspires a kid to turn off Katy Perry or Taylor Swift deserves some kind of award. ) brought himself back from his drug addiction, (which, by the way, made him a better guitarist) STAYED OFF THE DRUGS, (an amazing feature by the way) & is revolutionizing the guitar everyday. Has anyone ever heard "Fractured Quantum"? How about "Trouble Walkin'" "New York Groove", or "Fox on the Run"? & what about "Genghis Khan" He puts his heart & soul into his music, & now-a-days, that's too hard to come by. Everybody in front of him, Jeff Beck, Dimebag Darrell, Stevie Ray Vaughn, & even Jimi Hendrix, should bow to the might that is Ace Frehley!

If someone is judging based on methodology and technique, then, Ace Frehley deserves to be here. However, if you're basing this on heart, soul, influential qualities, and most importantly, inspiration, then, Ace is down here WAY TOO FAR. Ace gave birth to a series of guitarist, and he inspired so many individuals to pick up a guitar that it is impossible to place him here without a major argument. Ace has his own style, and that style fit KISS so perfectly that their current guitarist must mimic him to be accepted. That's a compliment. Bruck Kulick is a better technical guitarist, but Ace Frehley is a better guitarist to hear in any format. It's just that simple.

Ace Frehley should be above 20 position.

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46 Frank Zappa Frank Zappa Frank Vincent Zappa was an American musician, songwriter, composer, record producer, actor and filmmaker.

It's a shame that Frank is so low on this list. His work has always been known to musicians and weirdos (and weirdo musicians), but most people find it too off the wall to access. I was trying to introduce an acquaintance to Apostrophe the other day, and the guy asked me, "What genre is this? " I said, "Frank Zappa. What the hell does it matter? Do you have to categorize music to understand it? " He jumped on his phone and found Zappa listed as "rock and roll". Ok. Fine. Whatever.

It's amazing how hard it is for people to get him... even the retarded humor! I mean... Is it really that hard to find the funny in "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow"? Frank's world of Sears ponchos, zircon encrusted tweezers, etc. just doesn't seem to cross that psychic barrier for all but the few. Same goes for the guitar. As I'm typing this, the opening wank from "I'm the Slime" is playing. He was doing that stuff before metal guitarists had even imagined ...more

Frank's the BEST guitarist. His playing was typically brilliant -- improvising the most intelligent, unique, inspired, moving, and energetic solos I've ever heard. While not the most accomplished "technician," he was the most creative and gifted of them all. Frank released so much material over the years that it's not possible to do justice to his talent by citing a few albums or song titles. Best to just listen, listen, listen to Zappa's material released between, say, 1967 and 1987, when his guitar playing was at it's best and most practiced. But perhaps most notable are Uncle Meat, Hot Rats, Burnt Weeny Sandwich, Just Another Band From L.A., Apostrophe, Chunga's Revenge, One Size Fits All, Zoot Allures, Joe's Garage, Shut Up 'N Play Your Guitar, and Jazz From Hell, which all contain examples of his incredible talent, energy, and improvisational playing skills. Enjoy..!

I agree on raising frank to much higher level. One of the best instrumental songs is off of ABSOLUTELY FREE called Invocation And Ritual Dance Of The Young Pumpkin. With brilliance when the Beatles were doing three baby chords. It came out on 6/26/1967. - BabyBear264

He must be at least rigth after Hendrix...

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47 Zacky Vengeance Zacky Vengeance Zachary James Baker, better known by his stage name Zacky Vengeance, is an American musician, best known as the rhythm guitarist, backing vocalist, and founding member for the American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold. Zacky V. also owns a small clothing company, Vengeance University.

Zacky is cleary one of the best, self-taught left handed guitarists out there.

It doesn't take a comment to say how perfect this guy is!

Zacky is like, the best lefty guitarist out in the modern metal scene right now. Rock on baby rock on!

He is so underrated and needs a better spot on this list, like... NUMBER ONE

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48 Richie Sambora 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.

What? He should definitely be top ten! Top five even! He's absolutely amazing, plays with soul and passion. Richie for the best guitarist ever! Love him!

What the hell? Top 16? Are you an idiot? Damn! RICHIE PLAYS WITH EMOTION DUDE! That's WHAT BEING A GUITARIST MEAN!

He is even better than Slash. With all due respect with other guitarists he is even with that of the Led Zeppelin...

"That of the Led Zeppelin"... Just goes to show how much his fans are culturally limited. You guys haven't heard much of anything beyond Bon Jovi? I reckon he's really good but he can't touch the top 20. - RalphSaad

I think this is absolutely rediculous. Richie Sambora is a household name! He IS the greatest guitarist of all time! He plays from the heart and soul! How could he not even make top 50?! He should be top 10! Look at how many years going strong! ! Good looking And talented! His guitar riffs have made me so happy in down times and relaxed me from extreme stress. Now that's a bad ass!

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49 Paul Gilbert Paul Gilbert

How is it paul gilbert is 60th, yet he's twice as good as buckethead and taught him everything he knows? No one can play that fast without sacrificing the quality

Holy cow Slash is number 1? Perhaps they mean a different " guitar" when they say guitarist! Paul Gilberto all the way!

The almighty guitar GOD! No one can compare to his capabilities such as, "synyster gates" or slash.
PG has such a distinguishable sound and image. PAUL GILBERT ALL THE WAY!

Also james is better than him on this list.shame.

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50 Peter Frampton Peter Frampton

Frampton was a child prodigy. He has been influenced by such jazz greats as Django Rheinhardt and the early rock and roll influences of Buddy Holly. He is right up there with his more recognized contemporaries such as Eric Clapton. Unfortunately, his boy pop star image got in the way of being noticed as a great guitar player. He won a Grammy for his album Fingerprints and it was well deserved.

Peter Frampton is a legend. Don't how he ever got to no 86. This man truly knows how to make a guitar work. Listen to his music and hear for yourself. I have listened to many guitar legends such as Hendrix, Clapton, The Egde, Mark Knopfler, Santana, Jimmy Page, Slash, David Gilmour, George Harrison, Keith Richards, Gary Moore, Jeff Beck and all the others. The song called Lines on my face raises the hairs on my arms, when he plays it. He should be No 2 right behind Hendrix.

Totally agree with these comments, no.2 definitely behind the master Jimi

'Do you feel like I do'. I rest my case. Find the Midnight Special version on YouTube and it will blow your pants off...

I think it should be in the top 10 hands down

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