Eddie Van Halen

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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.


WE all need to take a breath, think long and hard, and to open our minds to what really is true genius vs talent?. Their are a lot of very talented guitarists out there!. Some of these great guitarists may have never realized their true gifts, died way too young, or even other circumstances that resulted in self destruction!. We are all partial to what music styles, and forms open our ears, and take over our souls!. No one guitarist may speak to all?.. Nonetheless, using talent, innovation, revolutionary impact, popularity over time, and technical virtuosity!. Eddie Van Halen is simply better than anyone!. I realize Jimi Hendrix is the Grandfather of rock guitar, Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page was in a hugely impactful band, and Eric Clapton has an unrivaled tone!. But Eddie can pick, and move up the scale better than anyone, had two great front man in Van Halen, and still made it work, and revolutionized tapping better than anyone!. Jimi Sang, and Page was overshadowed by John Bonham!. ...more

He made the whammy bar usable. He redesigned his guitar so the strings locked down before the machine heads so you could do a dive and pull out of it in tune. He taught the world how to hammer on and pull off and he was a hero with harmonics and using the volume knob and pickup switch to create strange sounds. Really no one experimented with a guitar the way Eddie Van Halen did, he looked at it completely out of the box and we should all acknowledge his creativity.

It amazes me that there are so many detractors and doubters in the comments. Quite simply, Edward Van Halen changed the way guitars are played and made. The band van Halen literally saved Rock and Roll. If you were born after 1965 you CANNOT understand these concepts. If you were there, actively listening to all sorts of music in 1977, then in early '78 when the first VH album hit the airwaves you just might understand. There was nothing like Van Halen between 1978 and 1984. During that time they went from being the Kings of Pasadena to the biggest Rock band on earth. Eddie is the most emulated guitarist, most influential, and the most talented Rock guitarist in history. Jimi was great, but he was no Eddie Van Halen. Page was not even in the same league. Page was an awesome guitarist, but limited in comparison to King Edward.

In my opinion Van Halen should be easily #1 when you add in everything. While his technical skill has probably been surpassed, nobody before or since has combined chops, feel, tone, influence, songwriting and stage presence in such a complete package. He advanced art of rock guitar like no other. Hendrix was great and gets the nostalgia vote since he died in his prime, but really he doesn't come close the Eddie Van Halen. That also goes for today's uber-shredders who can't write a good song to save their life and simply don't have Eddie's fabulous finger tone. I predict years from now when people look back, Eddie will be considered #1.

The first 4 Van Halen albums were magical. Eddie Van Halen moved the bar to a different level with his blistering solos and amazing rhythm playing. He reinvented the guitar and effectively killed of the old school - i.e. Blackmore et al. He gave birth to a new breed of imitators. No-one before or since has created the magic - a true genius.

No one has superseded him - a brilliantly gifted musician and showman. He often looks like he is not even trying - but this is due to his technique and economy of movement.

Steve Vai and Joe Satriani are technically good but mind-blowingly dull after 3 or 4 songs.

Hendrix good - but a low average - certainly some genius.

Page has a wider musical vocabulary and was fortunate to be in a group with 3 other very gifted musicians - brilliant songs, wider range of styles. Led Zeppelin have better songs and their music never seems to age. A much better band - but for pure speed and flash only its Edward Van Halen.

No doubt better than the rest. Not only did he receive the best instruction possible; but also expanded his classical knowledge into a far superior modern heavy metal sound. He out plays the rest in speed and content. No way should he be anything but the best. Are you kidding me, Hendrix and Slash? Those guys were simply blues guitarists, I mean really, really? He is in a class of his own and could play all of their chords blind folded but not the same holds true of his work?

If you just take the time to watch Eddie's solos on YouTube it will become clear why he is the guitar god. When he plays you can see how passionate he is about his music and his virtuosic creativity just oozes from the guitar. Another thing I love about Eddie is his skill in never over doing it the the distortion, you can always hear every note perfectly. Just legendary.

Eddie will never get the credit he deserves. Anyone that knows anything about playing guitar, knows Eddie is way more technical than Hendrix, Page, or Clapton. Eddie basically changed the world of guitar in 1978. He inspired more people than anyone else to pick the instrument up and try to play it. Let's not forget to mention how the band Van Halen revamped Hard Rock - Heavy Metal, as it was fading away. Van Halen came along, and virtually took Hard Rock to the most popular music in the world at one point, besides pop.

Eddie is without doubt the best guitarist of all time, such feel and such passion, imagine, it all started in 1973! He made such an influence on famous guitarists today! And a great influence on me, he made me start! I mean look at Spanish fly for example, that was in 1979, holy. and he is very inspiring too, he got rid of his problems with alcohol, he almost died in 2012, and he had cancer in 1991.. and look where he is today! Almost 60 and still going strong! //swedish 14 year old Eddie Van Halen fan

The man who turned the guitar world on it's ear and is most responsible for the dominance of guitar-driven rock and pop in the 80's. Is it even possible to count just how many picked up an electric guitar for the first time after hearing "Eruption", "Panama", or "Hot for Teacher"? For technical wizardry and immeasurable influence on all who followed... ALL HAIL KING EDWARD!

Eddie should be higher than Slash, I do love Slash, but he even said Eddie Van Halen's "Eruption" was one of the greatest solos he'd ever heard. In his book he said he went to a concert and Van Halen and Aerosmith were there, And Van Halen blew everyone there away. I love Eddie Van Halen, Greatest guitarist in the world in my opinion. (Although one thing Slash and Eddie have in common is that they're both guitarists that'll always be in the front, which is something that not all guitarists do. )

Some of the comments about Eddie are ridiculous. The negative posters are likely less that 40 years old.

I was 15 when VH first album dropped. For two days prior; the only rock station in town had been creating excitement about this new band with the greatest guitarist ever and it would be played for the first time at 4:00 PM Feb 10 1978.

They played You Really Got Me, then Eruption... Mind Blown! Then the album in it's entirety.

This was life changing to me and tens of thousands of other hard rock fans. It was mind boggling, new, brilliant, and completely different than any band before.

Van Halen saved Rock Music. Edward Van Halen is the most influential guitarist in history. He changed the way guitars and components were designed, he brought "Tone" to the forefront of Rock Amps, and he inspired countless famous and unknown people to pick up the guitar and play.

So when people say he's not all that, I say they were not there to witness the ...more

Eddie Van Halen changed the sound of rock en roll from the 80's on. The list of great guitar players he has influenced is endless. Eruption was a game changer. I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing the first time I heard it. The greatest debut album of all time. Created his own distinctive sound in songs that are endlessly played on the radio. My all time favorite. Worth noting is Randy Rhodes who died to early to top lists such as this but I'm sure he is top 5 if he didn't die.

I'm sure there are lots of good guitarists, but how many of them have changed the way the guitar is played. To reinvent the way a instrument sounds or is played is truly genius. Not only the Technique & style that is his, but to rebuild a guitar to achieve a sound that is Eddie Van Halen. I would call Ed a rhythm guitarist unlike any other. Every song is Ed doing crazy things with a dash of solo. I've heard that Van Halen songs have the shortest solos among all other bands.
That to me is a total master of his trade.

Eddie Van Halen from 1978 to 1985 was so untouchable. All the Page freaks wouldn't dare compare Jimmy to Eddie Van Halen. They knew that this guy was special. Unfortunately Eddie lost his crown to faster imitations. However, Satriani, Vai, and the like would not exist without Eddie's innovation. Plus Eddie was a first rate song writer. The big three never had a single hit. Eddie had many. I don't like to bash other players but Eddie absolutely cannot be denied.

Just YouTube search "Eddie Van Halen Eruption Guitar Solo" and you'll now why he's the best guitarist of all time (If you watch the video of course) he's a flat out beast and practically plays the guitar like a piano.. Hands down best off all time (Mean Streets is good too! )

Undeniably one of the most influential guitarists in history, not just because of the high speed shredding, but because of how he added color to the music with pinch and natural harmonics, dive bombs, fun licks and oh yeah fingertapping. Not that he invented all those things, but he made them hugely popular. A guy that evidently had a lot of fun with the guitar. I think he does play with quite a lot of feeling. Not saying he's the best in history. But he was the birth of the modern flashy guitar player concept. Has some great song like Running with the Devil and Panama

Eddie is way better than slash, slash is good but he isn't nearly as good as eddie, I can't believe he's above eddie, eddie can play fast, & have soul! Eddie is one of the most inspirational guitarists ever! He mastered tapping, he is better than slash & am I disappointed in you people who voted for slash

If you think Eddie Van Halen isn't the greatest guitarist ever than you must of never heard Eruption, Right now, hell all of his song's are great. Eddie Van Halen should be at the top of the list...

Eddie Van Halen is easily my pick for number one. Like another said, listen to eruption, or what I think is even more impressive is hot for teacher. He is without a doubt the greatest guitarist in Rock and Roll and of all Time. Eddie Van Halen is Rock and Roll.

Eddie Van Halen hands down the best guitarist. He should not only be at the top 4 but he should be at least top 2 or top 1. He should be considered as one of the Great guitar Gods! I love his solos especially Eruption. And I like how he does 10 minute or longer solos at his concerts. Just amazing no doubt he is one of the best, or maybe the best.

Eddie is the best ever, I don't care what you have to say, he made tapping famous, made his guitars, in the greatest band ever, eruption is the greatest hardest song ever, he is god, better than slash, prince, stevie, vai, jimmy page, Jimi Hendrix, and all of them, I'm not saying they are bad, just not as good as Eddie

Born to play. So gifted at such a young age. Not much I could add to all the great comments here. It's really like comparing Apple's and oranges so far, there's a lot of strong arguments that can be made for anyone I've seen on this list so far, and not much one can add that already has been said. I'm just glad I was at an age to see Eddie's entire career - Ned964

Because Eddie Van Halen is an awesome guitarist. He is one who invented tapping scale. Remember the song "Eruption?... I like Eddie because if he play guitar, you can hear his emotions come through... And he is the one of the most skilled and innovative guitarist ever... Eddie Van Halen (Eddie Van Halen) you're the best,!...

Eddie Van Halen is God. Okay actually Clapton is God but Van Halen is talented. When you listen to hot for teacher, Jump, Panama, and of course eruption you can't help but feel "amn that's a great guitarist! " For me Van Halen is #3 right behind Hendrix and Clapton