Most Innovative Guitarists

All these guys made major contributions to guitar playing, be it in terms of technique, tone, style or simply feel. They changed the way people would see guitar, over the years, and are very much responsible for what we see it as today.

The Top Ten

1 Eddie Van Halen Eddie Van Halen Edward Lodewijk "Eddie" Van Halen is a Dutch-American musician, songwriter and producer. He is best known as the lead guitarist, occasional keyboardist and co-founder of the hard rock band Van Halen.

While many other influential guitarists made guitarists everywhere want to play like them, Eddie made people from all over the world go out and buy a guitar.

While other influential guitarists made guitarists everywhere want to play like them, Eddie made people all around the world go out and buy a guitar.

Hendrix did all of this too, and even possibly tapping. Listen to Hear My Train A-Comin', live at the Atlanta Pop Festival, you'll hear it,

V 1 Comment
2 Jimi Hendrix Jimi Hendrix Jimi Hendrix (born November 27, 1942 - September 18, 1970) was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter . Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated more.

No one proceeds Hendrix in this area in my book he literally rewrote the book on how to play the guitar in many ways not just flash but creating new audio landscapes, merging styles, creating new ones while apexing the old.

Who else can make the guitar scream and still sound good? - ameentheguitarist23

He should be number 1 - nickolie

3 Tom Morello Tom Morello Thomas Morello is an American musician, singer-songwriter and political activist. He is best known for his tenure with the band Rage Against the Machine and then with Audioslave.

This is innovation guys... No one can ever play like Tom Morello... Listen to the riff of "guerrilla radio" and solo of "bulls on parade".. No doubt at all

I don't care what you say, Tom Morello does things no one else does and no one else should touch a whammy pedal

Listening to him play is the only way to get an explanation of how good his innovations are. - ameentheguitarist23

Consensus. Definitively innovation in motion.

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

He invented the solid body electric guitar. And a lot of other things, but that's all he needs to make this list. - ameentheguitarist23

He invented the les paul for crying out loud. He should be even higher

5 The Edge The Edge

His tonal innovations are something which is very hard to achieve. He is the reason why it is so hard to make a U2 song sound right if anyone other than him plays it. - ameentheguitarist23

6 Frank Zappa Frank Zappa Frank Vincent Zappa was an American musician, songwriter, composer, record producer, actor and filmmaker.
7 Tony Iommi Tony Iommi Anthony Frank "Tony" Iommi is an English guitarist, songwriter and producer. Best known as lead guitarist and founding member of the pioneering heavy metal band Black Sabbath, he has been the band's sole continual member and primary composer. At age 17, he accidentally lost the fingertips of his middle more.

The father of metal guitar. Enough said. - ameentheguitarist23

Iommi could stand in 3rd place after Django Reinhardt and Hendrix.

8 Steve Vai Steve Vai Steven Siro "Steve" Vai is an American guitarist, composer, singer, songwriter, and producer, born and raised on Long Island, New York.

He might not have invented or popularized any techniques, but he sure did take Eddie Van Halen's works in a whole new direction. Vai made great innovations to many of the techniques made famous by Van Halen, especially whammy bar tricks and tapping. Even his tonal innovations are unbelievable. - ameentheguitarist23

9 Dick Dale
10 Joe Satriani Joe Satriani

He is the bridge between Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen and all other blues guitarists. Enough said. - ameentheguitarist23

The Contenders

11 Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal

This guy can multitask like anything, he invented the technique to make the highest note on the guitar infinity. - ameentheguitarist23

12 Buckethead Buckethead Brian Patrick Carroll, known professionally as Buckethead, is an American guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who has worked within many genres of music.

The only guitarist out the who can play lullabies one moment, then make computer sounds the next. - ameentheguitarist23

Should be in the top 5.

13 Yngwie Malmsteen Yngwie Malmsteen Yngwie Johan Malmsteen is a Swedish guitarist, songwriter and bandleader who was born on June 30th, 1963, in Stockholm, Sweden. He was known for his neoclassical metal playing style back in the 1980s.

Who else can play heavy metal on a classical background? - ameentheguitarist23

Nah, come on, the kind of neo classical should be higher! - gemcloben

14 Matt Bellamy Matt Bellamy Matthew James "Matt" Bellamy is an English musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and compose most famous for being the main vocalist in alternative rock band Muse.
15 Robert Fripp Robert Fripp

Definitely part of the top 10 innovative guitarists. Or what is guitar innovation?

16 Django Reinhardt Django Reinhardt

So innovative, he invented to play jazz on guitar. And with only two fingers running on the neck! By far, the greatest guitarist of all time.

He literally invented playing solos on guitar! Before him, the guitarist was in the rhythm section and that was about it. Django should be #1 on the list just for that. But wait, there's more... He invented to play swing on guitar and he could Ā«standardizeĀ» any song or classical music into jazz. Innovative? While having two fingers paralyzed, he had to create his own chords which are widespread today and essential to many many music. He was Duke Ellington's favorite musician. He gave Tony Iommi the will to retake the guitar after his dramatic accident where he lost (him too) the use of two fingers. OK, enough said... vote to raise Django up the list!

17 Jeff Beck Jeff Beck Geoffrey Arnold "Jeff" Beck is an English rock guitarist. He is one of the three noted guitarists to have played with The Yardbirds.
18 Jimmy Page Jimmy Page James Patrick Page is an English musician, songwriter, and record producer who achieved international success as the guitarist and founder of the rock band Led Zeppelin.

His guitar playing helped create the foundation of rock n' roll guitar playing, an he was one of the first to make hard rock music out of a bluesy style of playing. - ameentheguitarist23

19 Eric Clapton Eric Clapton Eric Patrick Clapton is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream. He has also been a member of Derek and the Dominos.
20 Adam Jones Adam Jones Adam Thomas Jones (born January 15, 1965) is a three-time Grammy Award-winning American musician and visual artist, best known for his position as the guitarist for Tool.
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List Stats

34 listings
2 years, 248 days old

Top Remixes

1. Jimi Hendrix
2. Les Paul
3. Eddie Van Halen
1. Eddie Van Halen
2. Steve Vai
3. The Edge



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