Best Guitarists Ever

The Contenders: Page 4

61 Kurt Cobain Kurt Cobain Kurt Cobain was born February 20, 1967, in Aberdeen, Washington. In 1988, he started the grunge band Nirvana. He was a talented yet troubled grunge performer. Kurt Cobain became a rock legend in the 1990s with his band. He committed suicide at his Seattle home in 1994.

What he lacked in talent, he made up for in heart. - dahe24

What he played when played by its self if without a doubt simple but to understand how great he was you honestly have to be a musician... His ability to sing and play at the same time is unbelievable... He didn't do the conventional style where the vocals come in on the down beats along with the guitar instead his vocal patterns and guitar riffs were timed differently... He would start singing on an upbeat with the rhythm of the melody and start playing on a down beat with a completly different rhythm... This is what makes him a LEGEND of a MUSICIAN... But as he always said nirvana always aimed to play simple music, so his true abilities purley as a guitarist we will never know

In my opinion he was a master of his craft! His music was so much his own. His lyrics were his own. Wacky and you could hear his emotion. His guitar playing was so distinctive and powerful. Simplicity works. And the way he could sing and play in different rhythm was just incredible. All time favorite of mine.

It just amazes me how Kurt is behind whoever the hell Herman Li is.

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62 Tariqh Akoni Tariqh Akoni Tariqh Akoni is a performing and session guitarist and songwriter based in Los Angeles, California. He is Chair of the Guitar Department at the L.A. Music Academy as well as Musical Director for multi-platinum recording artist, Josh Groban. Akoni performs in multiple genres, including classical, flamenco, ...read more.

Great guitarist! Very versatile playing varying types of music. Always a professional and is a great guy. Perfect compliment to Josh on stage - KatieEM

He's a fantastic guitarist! Saw him many times during the Straight to you tour in Europe! He is such a nice and funny person and he talked with us fans after the shows! And on stage he always shows how much fun he has!

Tariqh is a great guitarist, he can play anything. You can see he's enjoying himself on very much when he's playing. He also inspires the rest of the band when he plays, he's the best!

He's a very good guitarist, you can see the emotions changing on his face while playing, he totally gets into the song. I love it when musicians can share what they feel through music.

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63 Guthrie Govan Guthrie Govan

The best.
I feel that more people should listen to this God play.
Being that I have listened to most of the guitarist on this list, I can safely say that he is the best I have seen thus far. His Chord progressions are angelic, his solos, impeccable, and his phrasing, fluid. He is the archetype of the perfect guitarist. As stated by people like Joe Satriani Steve Vai, Tosin Abasi, he is the best guitarist in the world, today.

What can I say. A guitarists guitarist.

The closest thing we have to the pinnacle of modern guitar playing. This man encompasses every generational stylistic voice on guitar. A beastly improvisational player, with chops and feel to boot.

Some may find him to be too shreddy, but when he shreds it is always tasteful, and he has phrasing for days. I hesitate to call him the "best" (as Guthrie would never use those words himself) but he most certainly is the most versatile guitarist I've ever heard. Can literally play any style.

This is one of the best guitarists of modern times. With a great idea of musicality and phrasing, I can't believe that he's not down the top 5, or at least top 20. A fantastic guitarist indeed, check him out as soon as possible!

Way better than slash. Whoever voted for slash has never picked up a guitar. November rain? Please, listen to "Drive Home". Best solo you will ever hear.

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64 Mark Morton Mark Morton

Man! He's the greatest soloist... I searched up the list, ended up in 155th greatest guitarist... Mark morton is Great, but he should be just below John Petrucci (no. 22). I like him very much, I can give my life to meet him, he's the best of Lamb of God.

Too bad people don't take metal seriously. This guy is just as good as syn gates and he's at #9. He's crazy fast has killer solos and can rock it on acoustic.

Why is he so low on this list? His guitar playing makes you wanna dance. Listen to Redneck or walk with me in hell

65 Jerry Cantrell Jerry Cantrell Jerry Fulton Cantrell Jr. is an American musician who is best known as the lead guitarist, co-lead vocalist and main songwriter for the rock band Alice in Chains.

A lot of the older folk in the world today and think music has gone bad. In one perspective, that is correct. In the mainstream overhaul, most music has gone to doggy doody. (you know what I mean) With our Kanye Wests, Muse, and more, it certainly seems that way. Not to be too biased though; the artic monkeys are a fine example of good break through music.

But back to my point; music prosperity has gone down over the years. In order to obtain music with power nowadays, you have to go underground. Not just punk; most popular "punk" bands these days aren't even close to the political sneer and anarchy of the glory days.

If you look at good bands, you see the 90's was really the end for most intellectually inclined music. Ironically, the 90's was a flourish (Renaissance if you will) of music. Music that contained politically charged lyrics, argued against religion, and expressed the of humanity.

Nirvana and Pearl Jam dominated the 90's while the less mainstream ...more

No artist has been through pain like Jerry. If layne could have stayed clean, Alice in chains would have been the greatest band of the 90's. They have such a wide style from all out metal to make you cry country tunes.

This list reflects the thoughts of most of the people and teenagers out there... And this is sad. Is that possible? Syn Gates better than the god of grunge guitar? The absolute riff maker? Cantrell has changed the 90's, Syn just sweeped some harmonic minor...

The smoothness and flawlessness of his playing is unmatched. Even the great Dimebag Darrel said he admired Jerry's playing. He could make his riffs and solos sound beautiful and heavy at the same time. Amazing! In addition to being a phenomenal guitar player, he was also possibly the best songwriter of the 1990s. Listen to the solos from Them Bones, Nutshell, Dirt and Sea of Sorrow. May not be the most technical solos in the world, but every note just fits so beautifully!

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66 John Mayer John Mayer

I got to sit down and watch his special and I have always been around music due to both of my parents singing and play an instrument and me, myself having a couple of different bands and being a lover of the sweet sound of a guitar just screaming or cry out to you, I have been a Stevie Ray fan for as long as I can remember and I can say after seeing the John Mayer special I second guessing heavily that it could be argued that he is the best guitarist. If your a guitarist freak then you should watch this guy in action. Soulful and talented beyond my wildest dreams.

Most talented guitarist of the newer generation. I've listened to SRV and Clapton and Hendrix and Mayer is right there with the talent but his songwriting and voice put him over them in my opinion. His best performances put others to shame, check out Gravity from "Where the light is", check out also Good Love is on the way from the same concert, along with everyday I have the blues...his solos are more than an exhibition in how fast one can go, more like someone singing and crying through a guitar. Plus he's versatile, how many of the aforementioned artists can do blues, acoustic blues, rock, country, hell His cover of lively up yourself by Bob Marley was damn good. This guy is a virtuoso and an incredibly underrated guitarist. His only fault was that he banged a lot of "america's sweethearts" so he has a bad rep in gossip circles, plus tough guy guitar fans think his music is too sensitive or soft. All of you grow the hell up, this dude does justice to those who came before, and sets ...more

Absolutely the greatest guitarist of his generation. Period. I can count the dozens of friends who have trashed John Mayer and then I play them a live DVD and they are floored- becoming fans on the spot. I agree to all the haters... Give him a chance. He should not be branded with "Room For Squares" debut album that was most popular. Check out John Mayer Trio.

Always get me in another galaxy

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67 The Edge The Edge

Its not the speed at which you play the guitar that wins the crowd but it's the quality of sound that wins the crowd! Listen to the riffs played by him and you will agree with me.

What?
The Edge is the greatest guitarist ever! Did you listen "One" live in Chicago? His solo was much better than slash!
Come on, rate The Edge!

Even his mother calls him "THE EDGE"!
Just listen to the guitar riffs on "Until the End of the World" by U2 and you will believe too!

U2 is too underrated here they have the right to be much higher including The Edge.

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68 Mark Tremonti Mark Tremonti Mark Thomas Tremonti is an American musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead guitarist of the rock bands Creed and Alter Bridge.

Mark, when combined with Myles, is the definition of Rock and Roll. No one who has heard Blackbird can deny that.

My favourite quote from YouTube:
"The music industry gets owned whenever Myles opens his mouth. "
Same goes for both Mark's and Myles' guitar playing.

He's a living legend. It's just that he's underrated and he deserves a lot more. For me he's the best guitarist the world.

Mark Tremonti has played with Creed and Alterbridge his whole life. He made his start with Creed, and now look Creed is one of the most successful bands of all time. Mark has it all the stage presence the skill the speed the crazy attractive PRS custom Tremonti. He has found the balance of metal and hard rock that made Creed and Alter Bridge what they are today. Mark can grab that crazy attractive PRS and play not just for the fans but for himself and the pure enjoyment of music, and once an musician or in this case artist can do that then they can connect with the audience even more. He can play those crazy fast metal hard rock riffs but he is also diverse enough to through in a bluesy rock riff. So in conclusion vote Tremonti not just because his crazy sexy attractive guitar but for his pure raw talent and skill.

Mark Tremonti is my modern favorite guitarist. His solo band Tremonti has released three albums and they all rock! Looks like the description here needs updated to reflect that.

Tremonti writes, lead sings, and solo's in a post modern rock format that is just amazing! Can't wait for his next project no matter which of his bands it is with!

Mark is sure to be one of the all time greatest and wins the pick of destiny award hands down! Check him out he's come a long ways since Creed!

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69 Neal Schon Neal Schon Neal Joseph Schon is an American rock guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist best known for his work with the bands Journey and Bad English. He is Journey's last original constant member, having participated in every album and tour to date.

Neal Schon will eventually be considered the most under-rated guitarist of all time. In 1971, at the age of 16, on his very first recording (Santana-3), he SOLIDIFIED his own unique style, which included frenetic time signatures, alternating with masterfully sustained notes that maintain an incredibly clean, crisp and delicate tone, which set the standard for many future shredders to come. As great as Joe Satriani is, why is he credited with inventing "melodic shredding" in 1985, when Schon was at it 14 YEARS EARLIER? The guitar interplay on Santana-3, between Carlos and Neal is mind boggling, like a volcano that is ready to explode! And this is in 1971-when guitarists had to rely on their fingers-instead of effects. A world class master!

One of the greatest ever-his work with santana is a phenomenon but lo and behold the first three journey albums before steve perry joined are the quintessential progressive/fusion albums of the 70's. Now lets get to his inhuman two works with jan hammer, his six solo albums and of course the band he had with sammy hagar for a while. Also, bad English and hardline. How quickly people forget

Neal combines beautiful melodic lines that compliment Journey's songs, but can add blistering fast connections to his memorable solo hooks. Amazingly full sound and clean precise attacks... Great musician/writer.

He won't stop believing

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70 Buddy Guy Buddy Guy George "Buddy" Guy is an American blues guitarist and singer. He is an exponent of Chicago blues and has influenced guitarists including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, John Mayer and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

One of the most influential blues players ever and he still rips it up... To see him live - The most moving performance I have ever witnessed

Eric Clapton rates Buddy as the best ever, shows how much you idiots know that he is at number 86.

What a fantastic Bluesman. A great player who has never disappointed in the many times I've been him play! Definitely underrated here.

Maybe technically not the best, but in terms of influence I think he's up there with BB King. Hendrix cited him as a major part of his style, and Clapton calls buddy the greatest player alive. He needs to be in at least the top ten

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71 Les Paul Les Paul Lester William Polsfuss, known as Les Paul, was an American jazz, country, and blues guitarist, songwriter, luthier, and inventor.

How is Les Paul so low on the list, he's LES PAUL creator of one of the best guitars on earth

If influential was a category this genius would be No. 1. Has had an impact on at least 99% of anyone playing an electric guitar if they know it or not... Check out this guy's story.

Where all those before mentioned artists are truly great... Les Paul has to be No1. Not only did he invent all the techniques and sounds he and his wife Mary set the presidence of all future lead guitarist's to the present day!

Not Jimmy Hendrix, but should be in the top ten...

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72 Paul McCartney Paul McCartney Sir James Paul McCartney is an English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer . With John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame with the rock band the Beatles, one of the most popular and influential groups in the history of pop and rock music .

He is a great BASS player but that is different from these guys.

McCartney is a fantastic acoustic player, I've seen him in concert. Did a very nice job with Blackbird and I Will. Started out on six-string and only went to bass when Harrison came aboard.

Just because he can pull of some chords doesn't mean that it is okay from an otherwise great bass player to be above guitar legends such as Les Paul, Buddy Guy and Steve Hackett - RalphSaad

He is a good bassist but he did good on birthday and helter skelter with the electric guitar

Just like all he is one of the greatest guitar players!

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73 Brad Delson Brad Delson Bradford Phillip Delsonis an American musician, best known as the lead guitarist and one of the founding members of the Grammy Award winning rock band Linkin Park.

Brad's an amazing guitarist but most of the people haven't noticed his guitar skills because no one can hear anything over chester's screams.

The Best Band in this F.. King world with every man best at their own skills.

Brad is the best. Period.
Linkin Park is the best band ever. Period.
How can Brad be so far below I. E Tom Kaulitz? I mean, It's Brad VS Tom, Brad is definitely the best out of them two.

Brad deserves a better placing, because he is a great guitarist. And as the die hard Linkin Park fan I am, I think it's well unfair that he's so low on the list.

Instead of giving him a solo in every song, the band plays together, which results in a truly awesome music experience. And when he does get a solo it's just... Unbelievable. He is one of the greatest artists of our time, and he deserves to be at the top!

Sincerely, one hella big Linkin Park fan

Sweet intro for A Place For My Head! Delson Rocks the house!

No. Brad sucks. His work is terrible, it's just a few power chords.

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74 Andres Segovia Andres Segovia

HANDS DOWN! No argument, Segovia is the greatest ever. Any true guitarist or anybody older than 5 who knows how to play the guitar would agree. Ask any professional guitarist or musician and they will say the same. SEGOVIA hands down! - drV

He is, without a doubt, the best guitarist ever. Classical musicians are far more talented than rock musicians could ever be. I hate classical music, but give him his credit.

It's a shame that all of the rock musicians get all the spotlight in this list. Segovia is a true virtuoso, in my opinion, deserving of the very first spot.

If I remember correctly, Segovia was self taught on the guitar

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75 Nuno Bettencourt Nuno Bettencourt

It's a shame Nuno hasn't achieved more mainstream recognition, but those in the know would have him in the top ten. How many guitarists on here have their own designed brand of guitar?

Technical virtouso and creative approach to guitar riffs. From delicate to raw and he can shred with the best of them. Totally underrated. His gifts are his timing and musicianship. Ih you love great guitar playing listen to He man woman hater- I guarantee you'll be blown away

The guy can do it all. Fast technical speed. Heart and soul. He can even write orchestra music (listen to the last 3 tracks on III Sides to Every Story). He helped form Satellite Party with Perry Farrell (great album). He has helped produce numerous albums for artists such as Dweezil Zappa. He was also the touring guitarist for Rihanna. Severely underrated due to being in a band that was labeled during the 80's as a cheesy hair band...

Stupid people only look at speed rather than melody, and I'm not saying he is not fast because he is extremely fast.

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76 Miyavi Miyavi

I'm certain the only reason he isn't in at least the top five, if not number one on this list is because he isn't as exposed to Americans as Slash or Jimmy Hindrix, cause Miyavi rivals both of them. Hands down my favorite guitarist ever, and he has the charisma and personality to match his musician skills as well! An all around brilliant performer!

Miyavi is the best guitarist ever, I haven't seen anyone who can play guitar like him, Miyavi is totally crazy when he is playing guitar he can also playing his magic box I don't know how to call it laugh out loud, Miyavi rocks!

Miyavi can rock like no other. He is the reason I'm playing guitar right now, love playing his riffs. Rock on Man!

Miyavi is such a great guitarrist. I wish I could say the same thing about his voice. At least he's a great guitarrist... And for the person saying he's a hardcore L'arc~en~Ciel fan, Ken is in my top tens, he's better than Miyavi (at least for me), this is coming from another hardcore Laruku fan.

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77 Aoi Aoi

AOI is THE BEST GUITARIST ALL OVER THE WORLD from THE BEST BAND ALL OVER THE WORLD. He's better than anyone. He can't be beaten. He's AOI.

He is a guitarist from The GazettE, second best only to Uruha

Aoi from the GazettE, you are amazing guitarist! He composed beautiful music in uncertain sense and shiroki yuutsu. He also nice and cheerful person.
Go for AOI SUPERSTAR!

The best guitarist

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78 Wes Montgomery Wes Montgomery

He's so much better than the people before him I mean for example how are you going to put paul mcCartney over him (no offense to Paul he was the cornerstone to the best band of all time) But if where talking about skill Wes blows him out of the water but in conclusion Wes should be in the top 20 no doubt about it.

A lot of jazz players normally are overlooked on most general guitar player polls. Wes should always transcend this oversight and be included. He was one f the few players like George Benson who were played on mainstream radio.

The best guitar player by far. I can't believe that kirk hammett is so far up the list. Wes knows what he is doing. Just listen to the incredible jazz guitar of wes Montgomery.

So, the guitarist that is consider by many as the best jazz guitarist of all time make the 78th position. Prove the voters know almost nothing about the historical guitar heritage of America. Sad.

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79 John McLaughlin John McLaughlin

Wow - I trolled this list specifically looking for John Mclaughlin, and was starting to think he was omitted!. Well - now that I know he IS on the list - there are a couple tracks people should check out to understand the depth of his playing:

From his album "My Goal is Beyond" - Phillip Lane. My vote for 'If I could play ANYTHING on guitar it would be THIS...

Secondly - from the Miles Davis "Jack Johnson" - his electric playing on Right Off. Hard Core Rockers and Blues men alike should be able to connect to this, just in case Phillip Lane does not grab you by the throat.

I'm gonna check back here, and you children better get John AT LEAST in the top 10 based upon these two tracks. And if that is not enough - well, you can always go listen to his Mahavishnu Orchestra albums...

Really People...

He could grind most of guitarists listed here into the dust, then out the other side, he is that good. What makes John McLaughlin truly exceptional is his ability to come back each years stronger, with more melody and phrases under his belt. His ability to lead a band is second to none. His compositions are inventive and challenging to play.

I have been listening to top quality music especially jazz and jazz rock fusion for thirty years and there is no doubt john McLaughlin is the greatest of all time

U have to add in Larry coryell and paco de lucia and stanley clarke and many other jazz guys who are heads and tails above most rock musicians

Probably number 1 of all time...

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80 Allan Holdsworth Allan Holdsworth

Can't believe he's this low. This list is made from people listening to boring rock/blues which is tired and overdone. Most of these people are playing the same thing. Allan actually creates his own voice. But because it's different and complex, these musically malnourished boring clones can't handle it. They should try and broaden their horizons and listen to some new stuff.

I really can't understand how he's not higher than this. Phenomenal improviser both single note and chordal, amazing composer. Technically superior to everyone who is on this list (maybe Guthrie could challenge him on that one). His whole idea of music and the ways he thinks about are unique, I'm actually disappointed in everyone who who thinks jimi, slash and jimmy are better than this man. This absolute genius, legend. This man is a god if you've never heard of him you need to, and stop listening to the rubbish that gets poured into your ears everyday by radio and T.V. , who have to play this easy ...more

The unchallenged genius of guitar has left us but please listen to the music he left behind. A once in a century talent that cannot be replicated, an utter original, Allan should sit at the top of this list by a colossal margin, but he languishes down here. No one said life is fair but some things are inexplicably wrong. This is one of them.

I'm not a guitarist but I recognize genius when I hear it. Allan is the absolute OVERLORD of the guitar - no one on this list is even in the same universe as he is. When I first heard him play I literally couldn't believe it was real. One Of A Kind is my favorite instrumental album ever, but any album with him is jaw dropping.

The best!

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