Most Talented Blues Guitarists

The Top Ten

1 Steve Ray Vaughn

I've been waiting for the next great guitarist since SRV passed in 1990. Many fantastic technicians have come along, fewer still who play with true soul, but no one has come close to fusing the two with that immeasurable something extra Stevie had. His emotionally sensitive ferocity is unique in the annals of electric blues rock playing, possibly music history in general. He could simultaneously make your spine tingle, drop you to your knees, and bring you to tears in the same tune. There seemed to be an infinite supply of devastating licks and musical concepts he pulled from as easily as breathing. Imagine what he would have produced these last 25 years, as he had yet to reach his peak. Imagine him on stage with Hendrix. Rave on Stevie, and God bless

I agree with this simulation of Stevie Ray Vaughn, he just so happens to be my favorite blues guitar player on all my favorites list. I think that Kenny Wayne Shepard is possibly the closest link to his style and way of playing that I have listened to that can compete with him. I love to listen to both of them and the way Kenny Wayne Shepard is progressing these days at his still very young age we can expect many good things to come from him in the future.

Purely in terms of broadening the fan base of the genre we owe more to him than any musician. Stevie had all of the blues qualities, feel, soul, power, even pain but he also had a musicality which had a hugely broad appeal and led to record sales.

No doubt the best ever!

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2 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.

Face it. Vaughan and Hendrix are dead. As in gone. Bye bye. And while they were with us they played only one style of guitar. Ever. Clapton has been with us half a century, is still with us, is still evolving and has mastered every style he encountered including reggae, acid rock, delta blues, gospel, bluegrass, southern rock... the list keeps getting longer. Nobody has EVER done that before. I doubt anyone ever will again.

Tough list but Clapton first... And I don't see Muddy Waters, David Gilmour, Joe Bonamassa, Dwayne Allman... Come on. Jimmy Page? Gimme a break... Most overrated guitarist ever.

Best guitarist. Perfect solos, excellent technique. I do not think Jimi Hendrix is better than him. Best blues guitarist.

Stop rigging these lists. The comments on Clapton's section have +40 likes and the comments on Stevie's section have 0 like and yet Stevie has 15% of the vote while Clapton only has 9%? This list is obviously rigged, Clapton is first.

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3 Joe Bonamassa Joe Bonamassa Joe Bonamassa is an American blues rock guitarist, singer and songwriter. When he was only 12 years old, Bonamassa opened for B.B. King. He was born 8th May 1977. He is known to be one of the greatest blues guitarists ever.

Listen and watch all on this list... Joe Bonamassa is the most talented blues guitarist the genre has ever seen. The throne has a new king of the blues for years to come. Long live the king.

Joe Bonamassa. This guy is the epitome of blues. He has the quality to play all sorts of styles from John Henry to Woke Up Dreaming

In his own words - " its 50% music and 50% business. With wobble heads, mugs, T shirts, hoodies, he walks the talk. Yes he can channel Clapton, BB king and Albert King convincingly and also does an excellent impersonation of Eric Johnson when shredding. Finally he gives great live shows. BUT to be in the top 5 in any list, a guitarist has to bring something new to the table. The only way Bonamassa qualifies to be in the TOP 5 of this list is if this list is based on the MOST impressive guitar / amp collection...

Joe is the man he inspired me to pick the guitar back up - smooth56

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4 BB King

At the time I right this 'comment' I can tell you B. B king is 47th. That will NOT do. If you were to ask competent gifted and phenomenal guitarists such as Buddy guy, eric clapton, stevie ray vaughn(RIP) or even modern artists such as joe bonamasa. Ask anyone who there key influence was I can tell you they will say BB king. His elegance and unique tone was unbeatable, still is. To paraphrase jimmy vaughn 'everyone is trying to work out what BB king did and we are ALL trying to sound like him' BB king, is THE KING OF BLUES. It is an embarrassment that The king is so low. Blues artists would be ashamed, buddy guy, clapton or vaughns would all be let down or annoyed. The king is a legend

Made just as huge impact on blues as Albert King. A true legend that can't be replaced. Hard to say which one of them is better guitarist they are both legends.

Ask any blues legend to come after him, they will admit that B. B is their influence and what blues guitar is all about. He is the king of blues.

ON THE 'THE THRILL IS GONE THE GUITAR PLAYER. IS D. A. AKA J.P. SHERIDAN AT AGE 12 - JPSHERIDAN

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5 Albert King Albert King Albert King Nelson, known professionally as Albert King, was an American blues guitarist and singer, and a major influence in the world of blues guitar playing.

Extraordinary guitarist and a master of a single string solos. His bends and vibratos had a huge impact on generations after him. For example SRV to just name a few.
Extraordinary voice as well. Also my personal favourite.

He is the best I've ever heard... Hands down

Solos are incredible listen to ill play the blues for you

Albert King Was Awesome. He Loved SRV Very Much. The Respect Srv Showed Towards Albert Was Amazing.

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6 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.

Buddy Guy is at the pinnacle of Chicago blues, with enough technique to outpace many of the older blues masters but vastly more soul in his playing than the contemporary style-over-substance figures who play an altogether too large role on this list.

Simply the essence of blues. The greats of Britain as well as many guitarists from American(such as Hendrix) owe this guy big time. - cruciel

Buddy invented the electric blues! BB King and Muddy Waters were his idols and predecessors, but no one else played with the volcanic intensity he did right through the 60's, 70's and 80's through to today! To mention the others on this list without Buddy leading this list is laughable! Now, at 78, Buddy plays and sings as intensely as he ever did. Long live Buddy Guy!

I was trying to place Buddy at number 1, don't know what happened!

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7 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 ...read more.

As far as pure talent on/off stage goes in any genre of music he is super human no doubt. He created his own music by converting traditional blues into rock which was then enjoyed by generations of rock and hard rock fans all over the world.

Jimi scared Clapton with his guitar playing. He freaked out a lot of people. Who else has really made that much of an impact? So he should be ahead of E.C. in this poll. Stevie got a lot of his chops from listening to Hendrix and other guitarists. The three I just mentioned turned the world on it's ear. Joe Bonamassa is no doubt very skilled at what he does, but is a product of these three. He is not an innovator or originator of anything, but is a great technical guitarist. However, Hendrix did more than just Blues. He was the most innovative and mind blowing guitarists of all time. The best? No such thing, but I'd put him at the top of this list!

He scared Clapton...? Clapton was the reason he was and still is so famous - BrianScott01

SRV, Bonamassa and Clapton before Hendrix? Are you people high on rotten magic mushrooms? All 3 of them owe a debt to Hendrix, were inspired by Hendrix and covered more than a few of his songs. Bonamassa while an electrifying and technically proficient guitarist actually brought nothing new to the blues table except for maybe wobble heads, mugs, hoodies and more self promoting merchandise... Owns a ton of vintage gear and then make them all sound the same through his rig...

I hate people like you who just instantly assume every guitarist was inspired by Hendrix. Reality check : Clapton was around before him. - guyritchi

Look up the interview Dylan and Clapton gave after they saw him the first time in New York...That says it all. They knew how unbelievable he was, and of course they knew what people thought of them when they made the comments they made.

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8 Roy Buchanan

Anybody who is a real blues fan will know who Roy Buchanan is. he is the worlds greatest unknown blues guitarist as said by Rolling Stone. Just listen to some tracks like When a guitat plays the blues, his cover of Hey Joe and so many others. His guitar playing will put you in a trance.

Roy was incredible live - Roy's Bluz, I'm Evil, The Messiah Will Come Again - had as much fireworks as a Hendrix or SRV. Definitely his older stuff was better and I especially liked that he was straight Telecaster and amp. His record "Second Album" is one of the best ever - Side 1 is a must listen - for me "5 String Blues" is electric blues guitar perfection (and he played most of it with only 5 strings! ).

Oh hell ya! Listen to THE MESSIAH WILL COME AGAIN. AFTER THE OPEN VOCAL, THE GUITAR SCREAMS SEND SHIVERS UP AND DOWN FOR A LONG TIME. True talent. So underrated.

Also CAN ICHANGE MYMIND. DUANE ON GUITAR.AKA J.P. AND KATRINA ON ORGAN AND LYRICIST - JPSHERIDAN

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9 Gary Moore Gary Moore Robert William Gary Moore was a Northern Irish musician, most widely recognised as a singer, songwriter, and virtuoso rock and blues guitarist.

Arguing who is the best guitarist is nothing but subjective and dumb. However if I had to pick one, that would be Gary Moore. He could literally play on stage with every guitarist from blues to shred metal and wipe his ass with every single one.

Should be in top 5 at least one of the best

The best hands down!

When it comes to expression of inner pain, there's no other like Moore to transmit sadness into guitar playing, a true master!

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10 Robert Johnson Robert Johnson

He 'invented' the blues. His guitar playing was so revolutionary for that time that generations of guitarists strived to immitate him with varing success.

I personally think that Johnson is overrated. He had innovative songwriting, but his guitar playing wasn't as challenging as it sounded. - Caleb9000

An innovator at a time when there was less information and it was much more difficult to excel in the manner Johnson did. This is why he is considered "ahead of his time".

One Man Band!

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The Contenders

11 Rory Gallagher Rory Gallagher William Rory Gallagher was an Irish blues and rock multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and bandleader.

I'd put Rory Gallagher at the number 2 spot personally...He was a way better guitar player than clapton. While Hendrix was a better guitar player, he really wasn't so much a blues player...so I'm not even sure if I'd put him on that list. Joe Bonamassa even says on a youtube interview that he doesn't consider himself at Rory's level (when he was being interviewed where he got to play Rory's guitar at 2 london gigs), while he, clapton, slash, gary moore and many others were very influenced by Rory's playing style.

My vote goes to the late great Corby Yates (1981-2012). I've seen all the greats. Corby was self taught from age 6. No one in history Ever played blues/rock guitar with the continuous ferocity than he. His shirt was drenched withheld sweat after the first song. He was as mild mannered and humble as they come, but Corby coulda mopped the floor with SRV. If you don't believe me, buy the "Into Oblovion" cd. Admittedly, it is a dark album, as it turns out that Corby was a paranoid schizophrenic, which led to his early passing. But if you listen to the heart and intensity he pours into his insane solos (he was also the singer), I think you'll become an instant admirer and fan.

No frills, just chills. If Hendrix showed us what the guitar could do, Rory showed us how to play it. Amazing live. He played for three or four hours sometimes and sweated the paint off his guitar. Rory died before his time and is greatly missed.

In my opinion he is equally talented as Eric Clapton. I saw some polls and most of the votes were 50/50. Anybody who has heard of him, will most likely to say the same. - zxm

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12 Jay Jesse Johnson

Merging the rock genre with the blues, Johnson has his own unique style and tone. It's blues based but he goes for it. Where others play it safe with same old riffs, Johnson digs in deep and creates a modern yet classic statement. Some say he's In the style of Trower, Travers and Marino and there is some truth to that but I think this guy stands up to some of the great guitarist of the world.

Been a fan of Jay's since the '80's when rock was his world; fast forward and Jay has matured into his own style of rock 'n blues. You can hear many of the great guitarist's influences in some of his music, but it is classic Jay Jesse Johnson's tone and inflection that comes through on every song. Hoping he will record his rendition of Over the Rainbow one of these days, as it is killer!

I have had the pleasure of listening to Jay perform his craft since the early 70's. His talent shines in everything he does. Very few can make you feel their music the way Jay does. Mirrored of Trower and Hendrix Jay's talent amazes. There are a lot of guitar players, but very few with talent at this level.

Jay Jesse Johnson's talent lies in his commitment to perfection. I've had the pleasure of meeting Jay, he is personable and friendly. Whenever we had an opportunity to see Jay live in concert we have always been impressed or blown away by his music and talent.

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13 Peter Green Peter Green

A lot of people in the music industry seem to have forgotten that he even existed, but far as I'm concerned he will always be number 1. Even fifty years on I never tire of hearing him play, or sing the blues. As Mick Fleetwood said "Don't forget the voice". He could make a guitar talk and bring you to tears by the feeling that he put into his playing. Just listen to "The Stumble", the sublime "Slabo day" or The Supernatural" and you might appreciate what I mean!

I can listen to this man play guitar over and over! Oh well part one and two blow me away every time. But the one true record that gets me is "i need your love so bad" his voice coupled with just simple expressice guitar playing is just breathtaking. I urge all walks of life to listen to this!

Listen to "The Stumble" live and realize the year it was recorded. He smoked almost everyone.

What a laugh calling SRV number 1! Peter Green is the most underrated guitarist ever.Hendrix,Clapton and Bonnamassa are next.

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14 Elmore James Elmore James

Let's see here. What rock n roll player who also plays good blues on this list before this man... Did not idolize him, and play his tunes?. The Sky is crying... Albert K and Stevie Ray. Bleeding Heart Jimi Hendrix. Jimi Hendrix had called himself "Jimi James at one point." Come on... Folks put away yer rock hats and put on yer Madison Blue Shoes...

Greatest slide player of all time.

15 Muddy Waters Muddy Waters McKinley Morganfield, known by his stage name Muddy Waters, was an American blues musician who is often cited as the "father of modern Chicago blues".

I don't care what anyone says this man is my idol! Love to sit back an turn up the volume an just listen to his music! The earliest music has the soul of a poor hungry blues mantryin to make it! Hen you have the hoochiecoochie man! I just love Muddy Water music! 😉

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16 Albert Collins Albert Collins Albert Gene Drewery, known as Albert Collins and the Ice Man, was an American blues guitarist who was one of the most influential in the blues business. He was famously known for using a capo and alternate tunings.

One Of The Best Ever Blues Guitarists Of all Time! Without A Doubt!

Un-sung, lesser known, but definitely one of the greats.

17 John Lee Hooker

A great blues guitarist and singer. Played by his own rules and unique as a result.

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18 Robben Ford

As with previous posts... Just an amazing player with nice vocals! Recently saw him at an intimate venue in New Hampshire (Tupelo Music Hall). He is so connected with his music and plays with a lot of passion. You will not be disappointed when you see him. Tasteful with a lot of blues soul as it should be! Can easily play with the very best!

Very tasty, incorporates elements of jazz in the blues. Has a much better understanding of music than many blues guitarists. As Miles said: Why do you need another guitar player after Robben Ford...

Listen to the entire family band, The Ford Brothers. Music to the core when its all you've known since you were a kid. Those guys are connected right down to the blues bone.

Great guitar player

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19 Duane Allman Duane Allman Howard Duane Allman was an American guitarist, session musician, and co-founder and leader of the Allman Brothers Band until his death in a motorcycle crash in 1971, when he was 24 years old.

Duane Allman was just 24 years old when he died. What he left behind in just a few short years was nothing short of amazing. Of course we all know about his great guitar work with the Allman Brothers but people often forget about all of his session work with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and so on. That's without his contribution to Derek & The Dominoes "Layla & other assorted love songs". Raw, powerful, bluesy/rock bordering sometimes on jazz... How good he could have been we will never know!

Duane is not number one. Him and Dickey are #1. Here's why. They as a duo rewrote blues guitar. They showed the world that two guitarists when synchronized as one takes the whole definition of blues lead to whole new level. Never been matched since. Individually, it comes down to your choice since music is an art form. No problem. Combined, nothing has touched (before or after) the phrasing these two put together on the Live at Filmore album...and we haven't really thrown in that he rewrote the book on electric slide. Now I love SRV, cause I love the blues but Stevie's slide work reminds me of the slide work Fleetwood Mac played on their live Chicago album 20 years earlier.

I was a teenager when he died, just eight years or so younger than him. For the ensuing 42 years, I have listened to his work countless numbers of times and have lamented his untimely death. He was not a casualty of the excesses of the late sixties and early seventies, which makes his passing even more poignant. Damn, he was good, so good.

Jimi Hendrix and Duane Allman greatest guitar players.

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20 Blind William Jefferson

Blind lemon Jefferson was a big influence in Texas blues

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List Stats

2,000 votes
98 listings
9 years, 96 days old

Top Remixes (9)

1. Robert Johnson
2. Steve Ray Vaughn
3. BB King
BrianScott01
1. Elmore James
2. Muddy Waters
3. Buddy Guy
Thrash_or_Die
1. Rory Gallagher
2. BB King
3. Alvin Lee
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