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
Just listen to holy wars and you will knowV 203 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
Keith is the Range Rover of guitarists. Not too flashy in his playing, but dependable and value to last the ages. Sophistication in a drugged out way.
Lonely at the topV 41 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"
GREAT! But has a bad attitude!V 58 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.
# 24? You kidd'n?V 74 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.
I have'nt by far listened to all great guitarsists existing. Nevertheless, for me Malmsteen is the all-time-greatest.
And for my opinion, I think, not only his style and playing is superb and absolutely unique. Also his approach of bringing classical elements to heavy rock music is matchless and unrivaled.
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 unique sound. Certainly one of the greats.V 105 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!
yesV 164 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.
Richie Sambora finishing ahead of Ritchie Blackmore-hahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahahaahaha what a lame listV 167 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.
Kirk Hammett above him! - zxmV 278 Comments
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
The King Of Swing. - NickelstickmanV 820 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
31? lower than Slash?
John and RHCP for life
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
There is something fundamentally wrong with the fact that Mark Knopfler being ranked at #32. I mean come on people! If not number 1 on this list, he should be in the top 10. He is truly in the upper echelon of guitarists, right with Hendrix. Eric Clapton has played rhythm guitar for Knopfler in live performances. When asked if he admired any musicians, Clapton's first response was Mark Knopfler. This is the question/response:
Q: Are there any musicians who you admire?
A:Well, Mark Knopfler, I think, is totally unique. He’s a great craftsman, which brings it back to that. I mean, with Dire Straits, if you listen to any of their albums the first time, it sorts of goes by you a bit, then gradually it just gets better and better, and it stands the test of time. They’re fantastic craftsmen.
But if testimony by the number 3 ranked guitarist on the list essentially admitting Knopfler is better than him isn't enough for you, check out a few of videos of live ...more
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!
The only reason he isn't higher on this list is because he doesn't try to play the fastest shreds or the longest solos, he plays what fits the music. He not only plays guitar but he can sing, play piano, write beautiful melodies, and amazing lyrics. He is extraordinary, and no one ever will come close to what he can do on guitar. I love Pete, and he is one of a kindV 59 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.
Buckethead is God. His guitar speaks with true soul! He smashes most all the people on this article. I truly admire than he can play in his own beautiful way and not have any fame connected to his true identity. Totally brilliant!V 423 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
Underrated for sure. Too bad he considers himself being more of a rhythm guitarist from what I've read.V 137 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.
Wow...masterV 63 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!
He is like the jimi hendrix of our timeV 49 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
James is a downpicking king, a great guitarist and vocalist. He is Metallica's heartbeat and he wrote some of the best riffs of all time: Master of Puppets, Fade to Black, Wherever I May Roam, And Justice for All, and many many more. In my opinion he is the best Rhythm guitarist of all time.V 29 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!
Gary Moore should be in the top 3 for sure disgrace! RIPV 94 Comments
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
If you asked the artists above him, they would want him higher too. His playing was extremely innovative and ahead of his time. Him, Harrison, May, Gilmour and Clapton should be top 5 followed by Santana.V 68 Comments
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