Best Guitarists Ever

The Contenders: Page 5

81 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

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.

I have been blessed to see a true MASTER of his instrument. You will never see any tribute band or have any one cover his songs (good luck). I would put him against anyone, his dedication to the instrument is second to none! This is coming from a drummer, no less...

Wow. So low on the list? This should be a list of the most popular guitarist, not the best. If it were the best Allan and Guthrie Govan would be in the top 3. - Calyx

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82 Steve Hackett Steve Hackett

I would include Hackett not only for his technical abilities, but his inventiveness. Many of the techniques of Brian May and Eddie Van Halen (and other countless heavy metal guitarists) were derived from the finger sweeping/tapping techniques created by Hackett (listen to the Musical Box and The Return of the Giant Hogweed from the 1971 Genesis album Nursery Cryme). Most people would never think of the band Genesis as contributing to the sound of heavy metal guitar solos, but it is evident on these recordings. Hackett was not a flashy stage presence (he himself was influenced by Robert Fripp); he was more interested in creating an atmosphere and mood than being the star of the show, and he had left Genesis before they became more commercial, so his contributions to the techniques of guitar are often not known by the general public.

Touring now playing "Gabriel" era Genesis. Going to see him for a second time. Outstanding guitarist. Loved him and Genesis in the 70's. Seeing and hearing him now he is even better than I thought he was then.

A true jack-of-all-trades. Could go from tapping runs (1971, who else did this is 71! ) to Segovia style classical to frantic squeals and squonks (pun intended) in the space of eight minutes. Highly underrated because band he was in didn, t get big in America until after he left. And when Hackett left, Genesis was never the same band. - salmacis81

This guy is a guitar encyclopedia. Watch any video on YouTube where he talks about his style and you'll see how creative and innovative he is. What a shame that he is so underrated. He used speed to serve the melody, not just to shred and show off like Eddie Van Halen did. - RalphSaad

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83 Joe Walsh Joe Walsh Joseph Fidler "Joe" Walsh is an American singer-songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist and record producer.

Anybody that knows music would tell you what an awesome guitarist this guy is. He should be in the top twenty if not higher.

He is way to far down on this list and should be in the top 20 at least. My favourite part is the intro to life in the fast lane was just a warm up exercise. His sound is incredible to listen to and his feel for the instrument is mind boggling. It's like the guitar becomes an extension of him.

Joe Walsh as #89? You've got to be kidding. This guy is amazing and should be in the top 10, at least. The Eagles did right bringing him on. I looked on another list of "top 100", and he wasn't even included. What's up with that? Joe, you get my vote.

Top 20

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84 Chuck Norris (Session Blues Guitarist)

Guys, this man is a black blues guitarist named Chuck Norris. Stop insulting him by relating him to these stupid Chuck Norris Jokes.

How come chuck norris isn't first?

Jesus can walk on water, Chuck Norris can swim on dry land.

One day Chuck Norris will put himself at the number one spot

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85 George Benson George Benson

Here's an example of how these list are a load of crap, seriously George Benson so far down the list, there are at least 4 others on the list that should be in the top twenty

George played like he and his guitar were one; the zen of guitarists.

Ridiculous rating. Completely undermines the credibility of this list.

There is simply no match to George Benson!

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86 Johnny Winter Johnny Winter

Best blues guitarist I've ever heard. Combines the classical blues sounds of greats like bb king and robert johnson and adds the technique, speed and skill that modern rockers still strive for. And he was playing his ass into the ground back in the late 60's before and during when Hendrix, duane, clapton and others were in their heyday

The worlds most recognizable guitar player, within seconds you know it's Johnny Winter. Lightning fast and able to turn on a dime. Such a guitar players guitar player! Played with the best from Lennon to Zappa. Lennon even wrote a song for Johnny, to give you an idea of talent level

He was lightning-fast, yet never played a note that didn't make complete sense. I can't say that about any other guitarist. Jimi and Johnny were the best... even Jimi would say so! RIP both of you... and keep ripping those guitar strings!

The fact that Johnny winter is not in the top ten showes how invalid this list is. Even jimmy Hendrix once said when asked how it felt to be the best in the world. " I don't know, ask johnney winter"

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87 Django Reinhardt Django Reinhardt

This is absolute crap! Just because he didn't live in the era of rock guitarists who thought they were good playing their little electric guitars doing the simplest of chords and thinking they were good because they could shred at half the speed Django could. Django had two useable fingers, had an acoustic guitar that had an action about 2 cm high with hard steel strings and people like Hendrix, slash and clapton could not have possibly come close to the virtuosity and musicality that was Django Reinhardt! How could anyone vote him down so low as 199?! He should be at least top 3!

I could've chosen any one of a couple of dozen jazz, folk, flamenco or country players who could run rings around the numpties in this list. I choose Django because he is the daddy of high speed single not soloing. Any proper player will know this. Rock isn't the be all and end all of guitar playing. - Sago_Bladderwort

The combination of technical skill, the ability to create beautiful melodies while improvising, endless ideas, the build up of solo's and songs, he is unchallenged.
He was the first and maybe only jazz musician from Europe who influenced his American counterparts. Playing solo's with only 2 fingers, using arpeggio's, modes nobody else uses (only when they copy him). Unbelievable that he is rated so low. Should be number 1.

Best guitarist ever. He's got a music genre named after him... Gypsy jazz. Hendrix was influenced by him. Therefore, it's believed, came the name "Band of Gypsys".

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88 Neil Young Neil Young Neil Percival Young is a Canadian singer-songwriter and musician, producer, director and screenwriter.

It really is unfortunate that most top rated guitar players got to where they are by emulating truly creative geniuses like Robert Johnson, Lightnin' Hopkins, Jeff Beck, Neil Young, Chet Atkins. Neil Young should be top 20. Let's hear it for Neil!

Not so much for technique, but the absolute equilibrium between feeling and guitar sound! The man shows (without even trying! ) that so much immense power and feeling are accompanied by a handful of notes...

Hey Hey My My. My goodness! A great, talented singer/composer/songwriter, perhaps unequalled by many top ten rated here. His hundreds of songs are all his making, imagine he plays all the guitars in all of his recordings and concerts, from 60's to present. "Rock n roll can never die, it's better to burn out than to fade away". My salute to Neil Young.

Top 15

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89 Mikael Akerfeldt Mikael Akerfeldt Lars Mikael Ã…kerfeldt is a Swedish musician, prominently known as the lead vocalist, guitarist, and primary songwriter of progressive death metal band Opeth, as well as being the former vocalist of death metal supergroup Bloodbath.

This guy is a masterpiece.. he is the greatest heavy metal musician ever.. without him there would be no OPETH which is the greatest band ever.. he should be on top 5 with DIMEBAG, ALEXI, PETER LENDGREN and DAVE MUSTAINE

Very Good player I recommend the Morning rise album.

Mikael should be #15 at least lets get him there - TheHabsFan

Why is Mikael 90? is a musical genius!

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90 Adrian Belew Adrian Belew Adrian Belew is an American musician, songwriter and record producer. A multi-instrumentalist primarily known as a guitarist and singer, Belew is noted for his unusual, impressionistic approach to guitar playing.

In the top ten of best guitars all time.

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91 Billie Joe Armstrong Billie Joe Armstrong Billie Joe Armstrong is an American musician, singer, songwriter and actor who is best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter, and guitarist of the punk rock band Green Day, which he co-founded with Mike Dirnt.

What the hell? He may not be fast or play anything exciting or long... But heck, he has passion, his solo's sound nice (if not fast) and his voice, tre's drums, and mike's bass goes very well with it.

Not just his guitar playing abilities but also his vocals are amazing and BEST.
Listen good riddance to know more
Billie joe deserves at least top 10 for sure

When playing guitar there are two elements that can influence a brilliant performance: The guitarist's musical performance and the energy and atmosphere he/she creates. Though he isn't known for his 'Insane' solos, he's an excellent rhythm and lead guitar player and no musician on Earth puts as much energy and charisma into their performances that Billie Joe, and indeed the rest of Green Day put into theirs. If you ever get the chance, watch 'Bullet in a Bible', it is the best live show I have ever seen and it truly show cases Armstrong's talents.

100..? I think something is wrong with the system...get him to the top 20 - Dange_Strings

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92 Kerry King Kerry King Kerry Ray King is an American musician, best known as a guitarist for the American thrash metal band Slayer.

Kerry, Dimebag and Wylde should all be in the top 3. But ill be nice and say top 10. You can't have a list of greatest guitarists without them... People don't know what it takes to play the intricate stuff like what these guys play.

Dude this guy should be #1, along side with Jeff Hanneman

No one can match his solos along with Jeff Hanneman

Kerry King should at least be in the top ten, as he is the best guitarist in the world.

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93 Ray Toro Ray Toro Raymond "Ray" Toro is an American musician who served as lead guitarist and backing vocalist of the band My Chemical Romance until their split in 2013.

Dude have any of you heard him play? He is a guitar god! And did you see the new SING IT FOR Japan video? He has a huge heart also!

Ray Toro. He's the best guitarist on this planet. No one can beat him and that's the truth. Everyone of you know it. So keep voting.

He's simply the best, puts so much heart and soul and he is an amazing person to, an guitarist everyone should look up to!

He's a very good guitarist! Possibly should be much higher, but I know its hard to compete with the greats! in my opinion should be higher than Frank...

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94 Frank Iero Frank Iero Frank Anthony Iero, Jr. is a musician who was the rhythm guitarist and backup vocalist of the alternative rock band My Chemical Romance as well as the vocalist of the post-hardcore band Leathermouth and electronic-hardcore act Death Spells.

Frank Iero! He is an amazing and talented guitarist! He deserves to be the Number 1! He totally plays with his whole heart!

Number 1? He should be in the 60-150 section, the top three will always be Page, Clapton an Hendrix. - Plonderss

Great Talent Playing with my Chem is his great feat off of the guitar he is named is he who must get attention and that is Robin Hood

He plays some of the most amazing songs ever. He has always deserved to be with My Chemical Romance. Imagine this band without him
He plays some of the most amazing solos

He's so amazing I can't

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95 Chet Atkins Chet Atkins

He's the greatest, period. I'm a huge fan of these other rock/metal guitarists... I mean a really big fan! But the fact is; you can find a hundred videos on YouTube of people playing their licks note for note. Nobody can play Chet's stuff! Maybe they'll know 1 or 2 songs, and most times they're not playing it like Chet did... Leaving out notes here and there. It's impossible to beat him. Take my 30 second Chet Atkins challenge and see for yourself! Learn just 30 seconds of a Chet song (note for note, no mistakes) and then learn 30 seconds of ANY other song by ANY other guitarist on this list. See for yourself which one takes you longer to learn. Also, you can't find many tabs for Chet's stuff... Because nobody can play it. He's Mr. Guitar for a reason! Listening to it, you'll think you can play it like him... But you'll fail. Chet forgot more about playing guitar than most great guitarist will ever know in they're entire careers. SS

Chet appealed to diverse groups of music lovers. He was at home and admired it the country/western world. I saw him at the Kennedy Center and the place was packed with people from all walks of life. There was no "gimmickry" just great music from all the categories. He was well received and appreciated no matter what crowd he was entertaining. JR

For pure unadulterated guitar SKILL no one touches him. If you sat him next to any guitarist on this list and told them to duel by playing MUSIC and actual tunes without special effects there is no question who'd win.

NO TALENT SUCKS

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96 Alex Skolnick Alex Skolnick Alexander Nathan Skolnick, is an American metal and jazz guitarist who is the lead guitarist of the Bay Area thrash metal band Testament, and heads the jazz band Alex Skolnick Trio.

Obviously, no one who voted here has a clue if he is not in the top ten... Has his own Jazz trio, plus is the lead guitarist of one of the most underrated metal bands ever, Testament... Have the people on this list could not play Testament's rhythm lines...

The solo he played in "return to serenity" is a gift to metal lovers and one of the most beautiful solo in the world. He is so talented.

Alex Skolnick is amazing, his solos are extremely technical and you can hear classical and jazz influences in his playing. Alex Skolnick is the best guitar player ever.

I got the gift to meet this man..after a show from testament he kicks ass! so get him down below the top 20 - Dange_Strings

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97 Tommy Joe Ratliff Tommy Joe Ratliff

Tommy Ratliff specializes in the bluesy funk guitar sound, but he's able to play a variety of music types. As Adam Lambert said about his bassist/guitarist Tommy Ratliff "he plays so tastefully and as an ensemble. " Tommy's fun to watch and spectators can tell that he loves what he does!

Anyone with as much talent as this man should be much higher on the list. He's self taught and absolutely amazing to watch and listen to!

Great, talented, mesmerizing guitarist. Unforgettable if you heard him even once. Such a strong charisma

Tommy is one of the most talented guitarist alive today. The voters need to broaden their horizons and listen to him play, he's amazing. He plays many genres effortlessly, from blues to rock to metal to pop. He's absolutely captivating when he plays. His passion is only second to his talent.

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98 Derek Trucks Derek Trucks

You people are morons.. Some of these people are basic guitarists at best. Derek has true talent. When Eric Clapton asks you to play on his album you know your one of the best in the world..296? Get real..

Top 20 for sure and will be top ten before he is done. Pays tribute to those who came before him. Is not in it for the money but for the love of the best music possible. His bands are full of great musicians and their talents are evident.

I've seen so many people on this list play live. The only one I keep going to see is Derek. There is no current guitar player touring today that is better. You MUST see him live.

Never heard such beautiful melodic slide guitar!

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99 Matt Heafy Matt Heafy Matthew "Matt" Kiichi Heafy is a Japanese-American musician, best known as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the Orlando based Heavy Metal/Metalcore band Trivium.

Matt deserves to be much higher (not top 10, but not 166) this whole list is completely biased! I'm sorry but the lead singer of Green Day plays chords and simple solos that's it and Kurt Cobain?! I give him props and all but this is best guitarists, everything he plays is very simple, within a week you could learn to play smells like teen spirit whether you have played guitar for long or just started.

Matt not only plays super tight rhythm guitar but takes leads as well. And on top of that he screams AND sings! Not to mention he kills it live. Definitely needs to be higher.

Billie Joe Armstrong above Matt Heafy is beyond stupid

He is a Best Guitarist ever

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100 Brendon Small Brendon Small Brendon Small is an American producer, writer, animator, stand-up comedian, voice actor, and musician.

He is the absolute best of all time.

This guy created both a very successful T.V. show about a metal band, and the dethalbum 1, which was THE highest selling deth metal record of ALL TIME. That is a FACT. He has also clearly displayed that he can play absolutely any genre of music you can possibly play with guitar. People place guys like jimmy page and van Galen on such high pedistols, when in reality, all the played was one genre of music. Brendan small plays all of them, and is the best at all of them.

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