Best Guitarists Ever
The Contenders: Page 2
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 be in top 10.V 224 Comments
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.
Should be at least in the top fiveV 47 Comments
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.
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.
We have to give credit to skydog, without his solo on Wilson pickets 1968 hey judge cover, we would not even have southern rock.V 76 Comments
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!
A true legend!V 186 Comments
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.
Get him to number one, please. - TheParableV 299 Comments
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"
Harmonic King. Next to gary moore or hendrix, he is one of the best pentatonic soloists. - SoldierOfFortuneV 60 Comments
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
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 must be number 7V 111 Comments
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 guitar players ever, if not the best! My favourite! How is he not in the Top 10? What a shameful display!V 177 Comments
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
What a magician can do with a magic set, Tom Merello can do with a guitar!V 110 Comments
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? Pete belongs in the top 10.V 64 Comments
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
The Red Hot Chili Peppers might not be my favorite band. (Not even close) But John Frusciante is the greatest guitarist ever. He makes complex and catchy riffs that turn songs that would be boring with a less talented artist just amazing, for example the riff from Snow(Hey Oh).V 287 Comments
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
OF COURSE HE,S THE BEST.V 324 Comments
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
The most underrated musician one of the more underrated bands. It's hard to stick out musically when you're sandwiched between Neil Peart and Geddy Lee, both of which are firmly entrenched in the conversation of best drummer and bassist, respectively. However, Alex more than holds his own. His range both sonically and texturally is simply dumbfounding. Going through eras, Alex from 1974 sounds almost completely different than Alex in 1984 or 1994 for that matter. He started out very Page-esque with fast and driving licks, then got spacier in the late 70's and more electronic, with a buzzier texture in the 80's, lighter and jazzier in the later 80's and then grungy and hammering in the 90's, and so on. His capabilities and ability to adapt and bridge the gaps between Geddy and Neil's very articulate and diverse playing is remarkable.V 148 Comments
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.
Great guitarist with pure talentV 68 Comments
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!
Jack should not be this low on the list, and where the hell is Prince? Eric Clapton even said when asked how it feels to be considered the best guitarist said I quote" um... I don't know you have to ask Prince! ". End quote. Also Josh Homme? Cracked list seriously van halen? He's good but doesn't compare to hmm...Even Johnny Lang!V 53 Comments
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
This guy is just a legendV 31 Comments
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.
Amazing guitarist who must love the smell of fried chickenV 447 Comments
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.
This guys is amazing. Where's joe bonamassa on this list?V 18 Comments
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!
Are you kidding? 40 th? Gary should be in the top 3. Underrated and sadly missed.V 98 Comments
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
His melodic sensibility keeps me guessing. He finds the most beautiful ways of ending phrases. His microtonal bends make him oh so recognisable. These would be my 3 reasons for my vote.V 62 Comments
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