Most Skilled GuitaristsA list of what I think are the most skilled guitarist past and present of all time. I wish there were enough space to list them all but these are truly the most important and impressive guitarist who deserve to be known as the best of the best. Note, this list is made of the MOST SKILLED guitarist, that means it goes not just for technical ability but musical knowledge as well as other factors.
The Top Ten
Best of #
Funny how he can be number one on 3 lists here and only 36 on the Great list...He can play everybodys music, but nobody can play his. A true guitar freek. Huge hands seem to move like a mountain goat up and down a cliff. No wrong moves ever. The chicken stuff is an odd, but I think is a riot! Give him credit on being creative. Over 200 albums, yikes! Just in quantity he ought to win something. The most skilled for sure...his effects pedals, wah wah skills, and amazing other toys he uses show that KFC bucket might be hiding extra external brain. The guy has an gifted memory for music. THE Savant of music of our time. I like Clapton, dimebag, Eddie Van Halen, Bonamassa, Vai, Page, Emanuel, Schenker, Liefson, Carlos and Schon. But quite honestly, they don't tell the whole story Like Buckethead fast or slow...He is the Hendrix of our time, molded by the greats and unbridled by commercial and corperate rules and regs..V 11 Comments
Was blown off on seeing the tender surrender video... Contains all sort fast playing techniques like legato and sweep picking with not a single wrong note.. He is indeed an accomplished guitarist with high technical knowledge.. Linking at his composition when can see shredding and mad headbanging are not principles of music and high distortion songs are not something great.. It's melody and tone and emotion that matters... Check out whispering a prayer.. Vai crossed way out of limits of a guitarist
Watch "I'm the hell outta here - live at the crossroads" on YouTube and you'll see just how amazing his playing is. By far the most skilled guitarist around.
Just watched "For The Love Of God" and I have to admit that it was one of greatest visa solo's ever.
When he play the guitar, the guitar like have a soul.V 4 Comments
If he had chosen to be a pro musician before guitar instructor then he'd be more famous and we might not have Steve Vai. - zxm
Joe satriani is the most technically skilled guitarist ever! And yes he taught Steve vai!
Can't believe joe's not here he's the best in my eyes
Joe should be above Steve vai...after all he taught himV 4 Comments
Unmatched tone and approach to phrasing and over all musicology.
Very skilled guitarist. But the only problem is that his ego killed him. I mean, a lot of songs are same, copying licks to play in multiple songs. But other than this, pretty demanding guitar player. - zxm
For me the most skilled player ever, all his solos contains difficult patterns, shapes, articulation, combination of fingers, fastest changes, tempos and melody and soul. To think he was 17-18-19 years old when he played for Cacophony and David Lee Roth make us think what it would be Jason Today? The best of all time..
Best but also made it impossible to prove
What the hell is wrong with number seven in this site
best death metal guitarist 7th alexi laihi he should be second
best metal guitarist 7th john petrucci he should be first
Can't believe he isn't on here yet. Dream Theater anyone?
Progressive, innovative and sounds as good live as in the studio, 7 strings... just amazing.
There's a video of him, vai, and satriani soloing together and he was just as good if not better. The fact that he is 10th is an insult to JPV 1 Comment
Best guitarist who ever lived.Was technically very fast & in my opinion was the guitarist who could evoke the most emotion out of everyone.
Great singer too.
Just watch his video on YouTube, He's the best guitarist ever! All you ever think about guitar technique, he can do it all better than you think...
He mixes bali ethnic and shred technic
Balawan is the best guitarist! No doubt. He can play all kind of music, accurate, smooth and fast guitar player!
Rock, Jazz, Ethnic, Pop, Funky, Blues, Reggae, everything! Nothing comparedV 4 Comments
Simply the est ever
I don't know if he is technically the best, but he was the one who really got the ball rolling with being extremely technical with guitar. He is a pioneer so I don't know it's kinda comparing apples to oranges. He taught himself and that's what he came up with?! Amazing. Now we can learn guitar by going on YouTube and copying greats like the people on this list (if we put in the work that these greats do/did and if we're lucky enough for our genetics to work for us too). Anyway, I do think he brought soul and spirit to the technicality too, which some highly skilled technical guitarists totally lack. And since it's music, I think that is a technical aspect in of itself.
Plus, he made Eric Clapton jealous, lol.
Hi I Hendrix needs to be much higher up. He is one of if not the best guitarist in history
In my personal opinion if Jimi would of lived longer he possibly would of evolve. What he accomplished in his short time was the best. He was an Innovator despite his roots. He led the way for others. His skills and techniques however in comparison to some of today's guitarist isn't on par, but like I mentioned, imagine if he had lived another five, ten or twenty years.V 5 Comments
It takes two to be the best!
He plays better backwards with his off-hand than most guitarist can play normal. He was at Yngwie level at age 13...
Very fast guitarist. - zxm
MAB should be number 1. He has amazing skills, and there is nobody in the world who can play like him. This guy can play right hamded and left hamded just as good. And he can also play 2 guitars AT THE SAME TIME! There are guitarists who has guitars with many necks, but they are only posers! MAB is the only one who can play multiple guitars at the same time!V 1 Comment
When guitarists were afraid of using their whammy bar to shift the pitch of guitar, Jimi Hendrix came and did some tremendous working by throwing different kinds of whammy techniques (including dive bomb) at woodstuck in 1969 for the national anthem. The next year this guy came and also does the same thing. That's just an example. - zxm
Ask the guitarrists listed here, they would vote Ritchie.
Crazy guitar skills. A very good vocalist. A super interesting musician.
Great to see Allan Holdsworth and Chris Broderick here.
Of all shredders and fusion players, holdsworth is one the most prominent. his work on the album metal fatigue can go up against any of todays guitarists' work and come out on top. his otherworldly improvisation skills would make most players look like billy joe. allan holdsworth is, in my opinion, th most skilled guitarist ever! His work should not be ignored
I'd put him at like ten and Matheny at one. Yet he's still bomb.
It's him. RIP
There are the best, then there is Shawn Lane. His overall ability put him into a league that can never be matched.
One of many influences to players like buckethead, shawn lane's accuracy &speed and all around abilities were more than astounding. What shawn lane accomplished in his lifetime is remarkable and his album power fo ten showcases his jaw dropping skills
There is no one, no one playing like shawn lane
Steven Lee Lukather (born October 21, 1957) is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, arranger and record producer, best known for his work with the rock band Toto. A prolific session musician, Lukather has recorded guitar tracks for more than 1,500 albums representing a broad array of artists and genres.
He is also recognized for his efficiency in the studio, often recording tracks in one take using minimal sound processing.
Pat is without question the most innovative and skilled guitarist in the world. Sorry but is simply the truth
Not my favorite, but probably the best ever. Followed by Wes Montgomery and 8 other jazz players. I don't listen to jazz all that often, but these guys are the best.
Pat is actually number 1. He is much more diverse, and his soloing and improvisational skills outdo the others.
Most talented, diverse and skilful guitarist, arranger, composer, inventer and so on from our generation.
Stanley, unquestionably is just one of the most skilled guitarist in jazz and music period on this earth. his incredible two handed picking makes him the king of tapping that is second to none. he truly is a master with more to come. look at his cover of stairway to heaven and you'll more than agree!
Genius. Can't beat his arpeggios, two handed tapping and ability to play two guitars at the same time.
He is the most skilled tapper guitarist. Definitely more skilled than Shawn Lane.
Most skilled tapping guitarist. Better than any of the rock guys on this list.
Coordination, speed and technique personified.
Guthrie is one of the best modern guitarist nowadays in term of melody, soul, and of course skill. I like almost all his stuff especially when he starts to playing jazz and blues, but actually he can also play almost
Beast of a player! Crazy good
Ok, Mr. Govan should be at the top ten at least
One of my personal favorite guitarists. Plays complex fast rhythms with harmony nearly as advanced as it could be (matched only by some classical/jazz guitarists) employing extended altered chord tones and scales in an elegant, natural, and in a seemingly effortless manner. While playing his single-note lines with a pick requires high skill, playing them as he did (in a classical finger picking style) is ungodly challenging. Combine that with his ability to improvise with chords and solo with comping for himself and you have a guitarist who nearly tops Bach in improvising (this is an exaggeration, Bach's ability to improvise hardly seems human). More importantly than anything I've mentioned so far is that for all his technical skill he never once plays cryptically. He always keeps the listener in mind, and doesn't care for going of on empty tangents. He knows music should be experienced viscerally rather than cognitively, and aims for that for the listener and for himself. Grant it, ...more
The most complete guitarist I’ve heard.
A solo fingerstyle jazz player who laid down the foundations of how jazz guitar playing was to be played for years to come. his skills are amazing and his playing style is incredible. his album virtuoso should be checked out period!
No one else on this list can do what he can do. Plan and simple. His style shouldn't be possible and he makes it look effortless.
What separates him are in no particular order:
1.Timing, ridiculous accuracy.
He is also a drummer.
3. Simultaneous rhythm and lead.
4.Tone, this is huge. He plays an amped acoustic alone. Any mistakes will stand out to everyone. His sound is crisp, clear, fast and perfect.
5. Musicality. As a result of all of the above his playing sounds full and crisp.
Broaden your horizons. Not every significant guitar player plays rock.
Amazing in all genres
Tosin Abasi has one of the most unique playing styles that I've ever seen. How he is 26 on the list is a mystery to me, he should be at least number 5.
Synonym of Djent, this guy is ahead of our time.
He was ahead of his time challenging everybody with his masterful skill, Ingenuity and genius that are still recognized and acknowledged by pat and today's greats. He was and will always be a legend!
His improvisations along with his long prominence in many music genres make him one of the greatest guitarists to this day.
Being able hit the notes at the speed he can: few can pull that off.
Being able to make them all mean something, though, that's a talent that McLaughlin alone has.
There is no one like john mcglaughlin, he is a genius, bullet like notes sent off into dreamy atmospheres, john mcglaughlin takes people on a celestial musical journey far beyond the realms of space and time, a true technical wizzard.
Should be in top 6
Brutally skilled and never lost the emotions
THE metal innovator. Impossible to over rate. He didn't actually die, he ascended to immortal Godhood.
The sleep -Best solo
Floods- Best Outro
Best riffs... Yes.
Laughable that he was never on this list. Easily Top 3
One word... Eruption Google it
Marty easily deserved to be in Top 10! How the heck is he at 39?
Has this rater ever listened to frank play "got a match" live in '03 with chick corea? obviously not.
Should be ranked much higher than this! skill level is top drawer.
Frank gambale, the inventor and developer of the sweep picking and economy picking techniques, is a fusion legend not to be left out. most guitarist today couldn't play as clean as this skilled master. his playing should be checked out by anyone who is interested in the fusion genre
Even Joe Pass (who is actually higher on the list) was a huge fan and some of this best pieces were inspired by him. Honestly though, classical guitarist should be on a different list. Putting them on a list with a buch of rockers is like putting Billy Joel on the same list as Frederic Chopin.
His name is a synonym of flamenco, his music is GLORIOUS
Number 31? , just see some videos, is the most skilled with the Spanish guitar, THE FUKKEN HARDEST GUITAR, compared with him the others are like... newbies.
Listen to his stuff with Angra and his jazz fusion bands. He's easily one of the most technically proficient guitarists I've ever heard.
Amazing guitarist and vocalist he and band (death) created death metal along with possessed but they disbanded in 1987 schuldiner would create a new style every album his solos were amazing and sound very good look up symbolic and crystal mountain if you want instrumentals look up flesh and the power it holds and my personal favorite voice of the soul
Related ListsMost Technically Skilled Megadeth Guitarists Top Ten Most Powerful, Skilled Jedi and Sith From the Star Wars Films Most Technically Skilled Bands Most Skilled Hockey Players of All Time Most Skilled Metal Singers
7 years, 278 days old
2. Joe Satriani
3. Ritchie Blackmore
2. Steve Vai