Why Prince is the Greatest Guitarist Ever

admin One of the most common comments we get basically reads as follows.

"Your list sucks and you are an idiot. There is no way Prince is better than [Insert Guitarist Here]. You're so stupid. Prince is the biggest [Insert Expletive Here] ever. You [Insert 2nd Expletive Here] suck.

We see this same general comment almost daily from visitors to the list of greatest guitarists ever and delete it each time as it goes against our policy of only publishing comments that support a particular item in a list.

Of course, even if we didn't have that policy, we may still be inclined to press the delete button on comments like these. Something about being insulted on our own site seems to illicit that sort of response.

But getting back to the topic of why Prince is listed at number one, it isn't because it is our belief that he should be listed there. We did not add him to the list, did nothing to push him to the top of the list, and in fact did not even add the list to the site.

Prince is listed as the greatest guitarist of all time because more people have voted for him than any other guitarist on the list. It's that simple. Granted, the results are skewed by the fact that the list received significant traffic as a result of a link placed in a forum for Prince fans just as is the Buckethead ranking, but it is still based purely on the numbers

So instead of wasting time crafting accusatory, insulting, and often times profane comments, when you see a list where the results seem screwy (the list of greatest singers of all time comes to mind), vote on the people or things that you think should be higher on the list and add convincing comments so others will do the same.

The lists on this site are subject to bad statistics and non-representative samples. That's a given. Voting is how the problem gets fixed. So while Prince is listed number one as of the time we are writing this, enough people are voting that he will soon be knocked from that pedestal.


But you see, dear website creator, most people that make said comments are too stupid to come to the conclusion that they could do something Much simpler to change the stats rather than spend lots of time and energy on an unintelligent comment. That's what dumb people do. They spend much of their time and energy doing something useless. So, I appreciate your attempt to educate the masses of idiots that continue to leave comments, and applaud you for your patience thus far in dealing with such stupidity.

SO, you yahoos out there, Vote! It's Not a difficult concept. - heather

because eric clapton said so - visitor

Yeah what about guitarists such as Steve vai? But prince is badass - visitor

prince is an all around great musician in general but to rank among the greatest of all time over guys like hendrix, jimi page, eddie van halen, eric clapton, its over the top. Great musician, not greatest guitarist. - visitor

jimmy page is better - visitor

Ok. But he plays what 2 instruments? Prince plays at least a half a dozen and he is an expert in each (drums, piano, bass etc...). Jimi also only does blues/rock. Whereas Prince has a variety of styles - no guitarist has Prince's versatility so if you wanna say Page is the best rock guitarist I would agree - but not best all around guitarist - because that would be Prince - visitor

Buckethead is much better than this guy! - visitor

Jason Becker (greatest musician allways) beats all so does Buckethead 3rd Marty Friedman. also why is kirk hammet even onthis list he would be at least number 3 on talentless losers - visitor

I agree - visitor

Most of you are unfamiliar with the tremendous solos of early Prince recordings to say he sucks is "Insane."
1. Bambi
2. I'm Yours
3. Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad

P.S. not to mention the other instruments he plays. - visitor

he is the best. if any of you saw his solo on his induction into the rock'n roll hall of fame you would know this ....Prince is the best end off - visitor

Prince is versatile, able to play any style of music, soulful and amazing! I agree with the other post that these people who are complaining about Prince being VOTED #1 probably never heard songs like "Bambi", "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad". If they did, then they would shut the he** up. - visitor

He isn't. Jimi Hendrix is. Prince copies Hendrix in his corny movie "Purple Rain".

Yes he is a great songwriter and yes he can play instruments rather well, but he's no Hendrix, and never will be..... - visitor

Crazy, why people choose him as greatest guitarist? dont know, I mean, I don't think that there's a greatest guitarrist of them all, is just impossible there are lots of them in the world, and lot of them have diffrent styles don't say someone is better than the rest, because the have lot to give. I think that the guitarist should be ranked in groups, just that, and I think that prince doesn't fits in the greatest guitarist ever, just crazy! I mean, I know that is against the policy givin a bad comment on the list of the page, but If you make top-tens, that most of the people with little experience of music, should not vote, in fact nobody should vote, because almost every comment would base on subjective things, besides I hate when people always mention the most populars guitarists, being an circle of the same crap that always happens on the list. First, I think that Jimi Hendrix, Slash, Prince, Angus Young, Dimebag Darrell (Altough i love him), and others, should not be ranked so high, just because they are known in the mainstream, thats why. Just that, the hell with everyone that says that one is better than one, just go to hell, shut up, if you think someone is better than someone, It's just stupid, don't do it, it's just wasting your time, this fashion is over, stop it, don't do it, don't you dare, I MEAN IT, DON'T YOU ****** DARE, ********! - visitor

Prince is an amazing and brilliant live performer and musician. An one unbelievable guitar player - visitor

Prince plays guitar extremely well, he’s technically very good, and great to listen to; but he is also amazing to watch. No one moves with a guitar like Prince. Of all the guitarists on the top-10 list, Prince is the only dancer, and the most theatrical. It's the sound and the sight of him - the whole performance. He even choreographs gorgeous women to dance around him playing his guitar. He's the full guitar entertainment package; and all in high heels – now that’s Rock and Roll! - visitor

"All I wanna do is dance, make music, sex, romance. I don't care to win awards" - Prince 1982
Who cares who is the greatest? Let's just enjoy the music and respect each others individual tastes. - visitor

Jimmy Page is actually the best. - visitor

Based off of what? - visitor

This site is obviously a joke. You forget about the great jazz guitarists who make these rockers look like grde 5 children while the jazz artists are PHD's. Why do you settle for a macdonalds hamburger when you can have haute cuisine prepared by certified chefs who hold a masters in the culinary arts. - visitor

he sucks compared to Page who is obviously number 1. He wouldnt make my top 1000 - visitor

Then you know nothing about different kinds of music - Prince plays all styles, funk, rock, jazz, pop, blues... I love Jimi's work but he has only one genre and that's it. - visitor

he isnt the best, but hes good - Crazydudewithabeard

This guy must sniff a lot of glue! Prince is an okay guitarists and a pretty good entertainer. Making this statment would be like saying Shaquille O'Neal is skinny and short. - Gripweed

Anyone who actually thinks Prince is the greatest guitarist ever is completly out of their mind.Prince isnt a bad guitarist or anything but he's far from one of the best. - Chris-1

Prince is the greatest Artist of all Time and an incredible Guitar player and Chris-1 & Gripweed you don't know what your talking about.

Go to Youtube and search "Guitar gently weeps (solo)" and prepare to be educated - visitor

Hide, Jimmy Page etc are great guitarists prince is just some pop guy who likes everyone to pay loads to see him even Jimi Hendrix like the father of all guitar gods and solos isn't even at the top like whats going on with this top 10 list?? - TD17

And don't say as he plays other instruments he should be at the top as Gackt, Yoshiki, Pata and sugizo play different instruments and they aint at the top of each one are they lol and just as you say he plays some good solos means nothing as listen to tony iommi or dave murrays solos and they're all awesome. - TD17

prince is no Frank Zappa who is far better as a musician and artist case closed. Zappa is the best guitar player and was a true musical genius. - visitor

everytime i hear him playing the guitar i start to die slowly and get depressed.
very sad. - metfan001

Hey Douchebags... Prince is a very good guitar player, not "the best" but very good. Those of you who list Jimmy Page, Clapton, Hendrix, et al... those guys are/were all brilliant stylists but they actually suck in terms of technique,etc. There is a whole generation of "shredders" today who blow all those guys completely out of the water in terms of speed, precision, clarity, and yes... even musicality. I love Led Zep... don't get me wrong.... but Jimmy Page is a slop-fest. Any of the 1001 Zepplin tribute bands have better, cleaner, faster lead guitarists. Page was the innovator -can't ever take that away from him - but as a guitarist, he kinda sucked.

And then there's the Jazz players. Have any of you idiots who think "3-chord Clapton" is the best guitarist ever heard Joe Pass? Didn't think so.

BloughMee - visitor

SHREDDER don't EQUAL GOOD - visitor

Greatest guitarist of all-time? I believe it.....Prince doesn't flaunt it so much with he's pop songs, but watch him live........Jaw dropping! - visitor

See his Rock N Roll Hall of Fame induction. He plays rock,blues,jazz,spanish,salsa,etc and not always in the style of the song. He is top 2 all time. Check him out live,if you don't love it. You have a problem with him not the playing. Many great musicians have said he is great. Listen to them they know what they are talking about. - visitor

He plays the guitar like it's part of his body and the notes he chooses to play are always dead on with all out genuine emotion. He may not be hendrix but Im sure he likes it that way. His music is unlike anyone elses out there. He will always be remembered in music decades from now. I just hope others start to recognize his greatness.
-Justin Street, Berklee alumni class of 2013
- visitor

Are Vai, Bettencourt, Satriani, Jake E. Lee, Clapton, Miles Davis and counless other musical legends out of their minds when they site Prince as being a brilliant guitarist? NOT! I'm just saying. I agree with you Justin. I think "best ever" lists r stupid anyway. Music should b enjoyed not judged.
L - visitor

Prince maybe isn´t THE best, but he is definitly one of the best guitar players of all time. Those who say something else either have no clue of playing a guitar or they don´t know the repertoire Prince has. Maybe even both. - visitor

Okay so i just looked at this solo by Prince from his rock n roll hall of fame induction and I couldn't help but let out a little chuckle. Eddie Van Halen, Dimebag Darrel, Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malsteen, or even Herman Li could do that in their sleep. So here we go: Your list sucks and you are an idiot. There is no way Prince is better than anyone I just mentioned. You're so stupid. Prince is the biggest sellout ever. You pretty much suck. I know that sounds a lot like the comments you've been complaining about, but it's just true. You admitted yourself that the whole process of creating these lists is completely skewed. Bottom line: you guys need to help me get Dimebag on this list where he belongs. - rokr258

rokr258, you've proved my point exactly. You say I'm "an idiot", I'm "stupid", and I "suck" even though I have nothing to do with the ranking of the list. I've never even listened to the solo you're referring to. - admin

:-) - visitor

The music speaks for itself, really. There isn't really much that's memorable about guys like Steve Vai or some random shredder in a band nobody knows (probably put there so nobody could insult them, if they've never heard of them), but Prince's music, especially anything from Purple Rain, that stays with you. It hits you, man. - visitor

Maybe Prince CAN shred. He's just used to doing the things that he does. Prince DID play Eruption live in 3/2009. I got some recordings that he is totally going off. Steve Vai gave prince props. Prince is so bad that he has WAY more concert footage than KISS. Prince would wear out Jimmy Page. - visitor

I wouldn't have Prince on my list. That's not to say he isn't good. I don't think guitarists can be listed in order of greatness due to different styles of playing and different styles of music.

My top 3 in no particular order would be Joe Perry, Slash, Richie Sambora. To clarify my above point I would also point out that I like Dave Mustaine's work. However, his style of playing and music is so different to the guys in my top 3 he may as well be playing a different instrument altogether. - visitor

" I don't think guitarists can be listed in order of greatness... My top 3 in no particular order would be Joe Perry, Slash, Richie Sambora. "


Make up your mind if guitarists CAN'T be list in order of greatness then you can't name the top three! - visitor

prince is good no doubt but it doesn't take him to number 1...U can say there is a class of such brilliant rock guitarists like Hendrix,Page,Clapton,Hammet....so on,of which he is a contributing member. - visitor

Very good but not the best. His solo on the cover of While My Guitar Gently Weeps is nuts though. - fireinside96

I've seen Hendrix live.I've seen Clapton,Page,Beck,John mclaughlin ,Johnny Winter,Buddy Guy,all live,some on several occasions,and in my opinion,Prince is at least equal to any of them,if not better,and I don't even particularly like the guy. - visitor

Most ppl here confuse great Guitarist with great Rock Guiatarist. Also my nan dose data entry with a keyboard speed of 80 words per minute I am sure, with practise, if she wanted she good key faster...if thats what you are measuring Great by.

For me a Guitar is a muscial instrument and hence its all about the music and more importantly the emotions..and Prince puts a lot of himself into his performances..Its just that his image with the high heels is not appealing ;-) to Rock guys. Try and look beyound the image if you really into music...otherwise you missing out..bye - visitor

I definitely agree that Prince isn't the greatest guitarist of all time. Many people on that list should be higher than Prince, idk why they aren't. And if the reason Prince is #1 is because people say he can play many instruments, than thats just stupid because it is clearly about the guitar. So I laugh at people who say he's the best guitarist because he can play other instruments... - xSpartanXx

prince is definitly not the best but is better than alot of overated guitarists such as brian may, angus young, and neil schon - russian

BRIAN MAY IS NOT OVERRATED... Actually a lot of people don't even know who Queen is! I am dead serious. - visitor

Its difficult to say who is the greatest, but yes,Prince is one of the best live guitarists playing out there. He is exciting to watch, more so than most others on the list & his solo during Purple Rain is truly majestic. I am also a fan of Buckethead, Eddie Hazel,Kirk Hammett,Jimi Hendrix,Carlos Santana & Robin Trower. - visitor

Go Randy Rhodes!!! I've never heard of prince, but i do agree with the comment at the top of the text being stupid. - visitor

hey prince rocks okay!!!!! - visitor

randy rhodes is the best ever! and people should learn a thing or 2 b4 they vote. it's not their fault. - visitor

Eric Clapton is definitely the greatest Guitarist ever - Irina2932

Jimi could have easily played anything Prince played, buy Prince has not come close to playing withyjr power imagination and finesse of Hendrix... And God knows he's tried! - visitor

I honestly think that Prince truly is overrated. People who say that he deserves to be called one of the greatest are not TRUE GUITARISTS. There is a huge difference between a true guitarist and a sham one. - aeromaxx777

I think we're all missing the point here. So often in everything nowadays, people vote, or believe they are voting for, their _favorite_, and that is not the same thing as _best_. Prince is one of my _favorite_ guitar players, but no way - when it comes to technical playing, or perhaps even "writing" as I call it - is he in the top 5. If fact the case can be made that he does not belong in the top 20. The issue is how strongly you consider the "writing" part of it; how does the playing make you tap your foot (or similar)? He's far better than many players mentioned here for that. Better than Duane Allman or Stevie, in the rock genre? Anyone should notice that he is not. But I'd prefer listening to him than most of what the aforementioned produced. As for some of the others mentioned here, we all like Clapton but please, he is very overrated and he'd be the first to tell you so. Eddie Hazel was incredibly sloppy but had a lot of phrases, so I enjoy putting him on now and then. All I've heard from Santana shows very limited phrasing so I find him quite boring. Robin Trower, Kirk Hammett? Are you kidding? Brian May? No. Just no. Steve Howe is (was? ) a nice player, but there were better - but again, a very good "writer". Angus Young? You are undeniably high. It's like figure skating; we should not be judging without considering degree of difficulty. Angus is about even with a third-grader. Tony Iommi who, if we limit ourselves to the rock genre, is Top 5 and should not receive an argument to the contrary from anyone! Whoever mentioned jazz is correct as far as technical merit. However consider Chick Corea, who sounds two-fold faster than Prince. Unfortuntely, he's boring, boring, boring. If you want to find the max degree of "musicality" and technical merit, look no further than any number of classical guitarists. - visitor

Prince is the best guitarist, stop. - visitor

Well he is not the greatest ever... Yes... He is one if not the best full package musician, proficient in at 27 different instruments, artist, composer, producer, entertainer, etc... So true he does not belong in this group. - visitor

Prince is just awesome - visitor

I am a long time fan of Prince for sure. I am a fan of his guitar playing and I can honestly say he is one of my favorites!... Speaking as a musician though, I find this idea of " best" always a bit arbitrary. There are many fabulous guitarists listed above. They are arguably all fabulous at different things though... If you love shredding maybe buckethead is where its at. But back to my man Prince... I feel his well roundedness as a musician and composer is actually the key to his guitar excellence. He is an "artful" guitarist if I may, who uses his instrument to really enhance the overall theme and feeling of the composition as a whole. He never over plays or underplays. He brings a lot of emotion to a solo. Personally I find he is certainly one of very best in the context. - visitor

Yep. You can say that again. On second thoughts, don't. - HezarioSeth

Prince is basically blues oriented guitarists. He has played jazz, but far from being good at it. Buckethead is much better compositionally and technically than prince and a lot more diversity. - visitor

I can name ten guitar players off the top of my head that are far superior to Prince. This is nothing but a troll as Prince isn't even close to the best or even mediocre for that matter. Enough said. - visitor

Prince is an awesome guitarist! My favorite is Page form Led Zeppelin, but I respect your opinion about Prince. - MontyPython

Ah, I love the comments to this post. It's basically responding to a response to "Why is Prince on top? He sucks" with "Why is Prince on top? He sucks." - visitor

IKR? - ProPanda

Comments have been disabled for this post