Top Ten Most Underrated Guitarists

I've seen a lot of bad guitarists on the top and great guys way down. So here are the most underrated guitar players.

The Top Ten

1 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.

This legend defines what a real guitarist is. Why the hell does some guy from R.E.M. rank higher than the Lord of the Strings? Gary Moore could play ANY style of music, adding better character to songs than the original. For example, "Walking By Myself", "Stormy Monday"... The list goes on. And who can forget the album that defines rock ballads "Corridors Of Power", and what about the 40 second sustain of "Parisienne Walkways" at Blues Alive? SMELL THE ROSES YOU LOT!

Unbelievably good guitarist, could play anything from blues to heavy rock RIP Gary

Very Underrated. From His time with Thin Lizzy to his solo work, you will love his music. Listen To Still Got The Blues and The Boys Are Back In Town and you'll fall in love.

Parisienne Walkways. And not the studio version, the live one - SoldierOfFortune

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2 Brian May Brian May Brian Harold May is an English musician, singer, songwriter and astrophysicist, best known as the lead guitarist of the rock band Queen.

If you don't think Brian May is an amazing guitarist then you're just plain ignorant to the guitar and music as a whole. Listen to "good company" by Queen and just guess at how many instruments you hear. I have ashed my girl friend, close friends I've had for a very long time and all of them come up with different lists of instruments. Its ALL bass, ukulele, drums and guitar. No flutes, penny whistles or anything. That last solo is 24 different guitar tracks layered over each other. I DARE anyone to name a guitarist that has layered 24 different guitar tracks together and made it sound this good.

He should be mentioned in the same company as Hendrix, Clapton, and for my money, the best ever, Van Halen. Just soaring solos and great musicianship.

Queen's complex musical setup was such that Brian, or for that matter so single individual, with the possible exception of Freddie, could really show their full potential to the audience. When he did though, he was terrific. And incredibly difficult to replicate. Elements on Brighton Rock or Bohemian Rhapsody are some of the best ever guitar works. Plus, a great human being, who preferred to remain in the background and let the master showman that Freddie was, take the limelight.

Grossly underrated.

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3 Richie Sambora Richie Sambora Richard Stephen "Richie" Sambora is an American rock guitarist, producer, singer and songwriter who was the lead guitarist of the rock band Bon Jovi for 30 years.

Seriously. Richie Sambora IS the most underrated guitarist. This needs to change in this poll. He is one of the most important Guitar players of our time.

The best guitarest you could ever find! He can do anything with his guitar! Listen to any song and you can tell instantly that is a Richie Sambora riff!

There are no words to describe this extraordinary guitarist: musician, singer, songwriter... He did everything, now also a designer :) His main gift is simplicity, spontaneity, joy, knowing how to put into play constantly and he showed with the latest solo album! A complete artist, a sensitive soul!


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4 Al Di Meola Al Di Meola Al Di Meola is an American jazz fusion and Latin jazz guitarist, composer, and record producer of Italian origin.

Al Di Meola is an absolute giant when placed next to other guitarists. Watching him play alongside John McLaughlin and Paco De Lucia will change how you view guitar.

Going to see him in a few months. - IronSabbathPriest

First time I heard Al Di Meola's playing was on Paco De Lucia's Guitar Trio. Then when I listened to his solo work I almost burst into tears. I felt so sorry for him that no one pays any attention to all his skill.

Also David Gilmour? Brian May? Dave Mustanine?
Gilmour and Brian May are widely accepted as 2 of the greatest guitarists of all time and Dave Mustaine is accepted as one of the greatest metal guitarists and that brings me to my conclusion? WHY ARE THEY HIGHER THAN AL DI MEOLA?

5 Alex Lifeson Alex Lifeson Aleksandar Živojinović, better known by his stage name Alex Lifeson, is a Canadian musician, best known as the guitarist of the Canadian rock band Rush.

I absolutely love David Gilmour, but on this site's GOAT guitarists' list, he's #7. Lifeson is #36. Musically speaking, Gilmour and others are more emotional and expressive, but the sheer technical skill and range Lifeson has (not to mention his epically complex and cool birth name) coupled with the massive amount of talent and skill he brought to his integrated band has to be recognized- and, sadly, it often isn't.

No, Alex Lifeson is absolutely the most underrated guitarist in the world, period. Don't believe me? Look up Freewill, Spirit of Radio, La Villa Strangiato, Analog Kid (especially the live version), Kid Gloves, Jacob's Ladder, Tom Sawyer, Parts One and Six of 2112, Limelight, and Working Man and tell me he is not one of the best guitarists of all time. - DavidBondra

Did you know that Guitar World Magazine rated Alex Lifeson the third best guitarist of all time? The only reason he is never on any other lists is because of Rolling Stone. Asses. Rush is the best!

To be able to keep up with Neil and Geddy is insane. Mad props to lifeson. One of the greats in my opinion.

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6 David Gilmour - Pink Floyd David Gilmour - Pink Floyd David Jon Gilmour is an English singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. He joined the progressive rock band Pink Floyd as guitarist and co-lead vocalist in 1968.

This guy is absolutely incredible! In 2011 Rolling Stone ranked him 14th best all-time, which is better that 82nd back in 2003, but for me that still doesn't give him justice. His guitar sound is unlike anything I've ever heard, he was the guitarist for Pink Floyd, definitely one of the greatest bands of all time, and he also has a great singing voice. Some of his greatest solos are "Comfortably Numb, " "Money, " and "Time. " "Comfortably Numb" might as well be the single greatest guitar solo ever recorded. Pink Floyd rules!

David Gilmour's riffs are incredible. Nothing can comprehend to it and there certainly won't be anyone that can copy or replace him. If you wanna hear some of his solo's I personally recommend watching comfortably numb on the pulse disk (1994), Marooned on bootlegging the bootleggers, high hopes, On the turning away (also an inspirational song.) those are only a few.

David Gilmour is a part of two pantheons. Rock gods and Guitar gods. Seeing dumb people putting names like Slash and Stevie Ray Vaughn ahead of him is just ludicrous. David Gilmour is more revered as a guitar god than anyone else on this list but he is still more underrated than they are. That's how incredible he is.

He's the perfect guitarist, but definitely not underrated - SoldierOfFortune

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7 Stephen Stills Stephen Stills

Now you're talking! Yes, Steven Stills is VERY talented and a VERY underrated songwriter and guitarist. Brilliant musician, the heart of Buffalo Springfield and CSNY. Great solo albums, too. When Sambora can come up with a song to equal Love the One You're With, I'll consider the fact that he might be better. Right now, it isn't close.

People listen to CSN for the vocal harmonies, but forget the great music behind them. From "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" to "Woodstock" Stephen Stills' guitar has shredded the shroud of musical apathy, leading the way for the voices behind it.

Thank you. I went on this list to find Stills but I didn't think I would.

Is ripped on long time gone Wow

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8 Robin Trower

Robin Trower is unequalled in tone, style, and ability to deftly translate pure emotion through his instrument. He is the greatest living guitarist on the planet, simply rapturous to see live. Although he was influenced by Hendrix, in my opinion he is much more than Jimi ever was.

Just saw Robin Trower perform at 71 years old. He was amazing, and I too have a hard time seeing the many guitarists on Rolling Stone's Top 100 that are good, but no where near as talented as Trower.

Amazing guitarist. He has been present and pertinent for years now yet he is still not regarded as highly as some others. Go listen to Bridge of Sighs, or go on YouTube and listen to some of his stuff.

Why this guy keeps missing the lists is god's own mystery...

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9 Roy Buchanan

In my opinion the greatest white Blues Rock guitarist ever. Check out his "Second Album" from Polydor. Then go to "Guitar on Fire" during his Atlantic time. Then go to any of his time with Alligator records.

Roy's speed, phrasing precision. Just extra-ordinary.

Just check out his 1975 live show at denver and you'll know

10 Dave Mustaine - Megadeth Dave Mustaine - Megadeth David Scott "Dave" Mustaine (born September 13, 1961) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, actor and author. Mustaine is best known as a pioneer in Thrash Metal, being the former lead guitarist of Metallica before his dismissal in 1983, leading to finding and becoming the front man of his own more.

I would say Dave is probably the inspiration for much of what Kirk Hammett has done... If not the original composer of some of it. I totally disagree with Slash being number 1. Slash is a good guitarist, but he's judged more on popularity than his prowess... Dave Mustaine doesn't win the popularity vote against other guitarists (which is one of the reasons I like him even more) but has the raw talent and creativity that the rest lack.

Take a look at the top guitarist list Slash at no. 1? Kirk Hammett @ no. 5? Dave @ 41! He destroys them all

If anything then overrated. He is mostly a rhythm guitarist and he's on top of the "best metal guitarist" list. So, metal guitarists like Randy Rhoads, Michael Angelo Batio, John Petrucci or Alex Skolnick who are better than him and also play lead guitar are lower than him? - zxm

Probably the greatest metal guitarist out there, way better than Kirk Hammet but I'm sure only like 1/10 people have even heard of him

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The Contenders

11 Ritchie Blackmore Ritchie Blackmore Richard Hugh "Ritchie" Blackmore is an English guitarist and songwriter, best known for his work in the hard rock/metal bands Deep Purple and Rainbow. He was ranked number 16 on Guitar World's "100 Greatest Metal Guitarists of All Time" in 2004, and number 50 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the more.

He is so magnificent. Never got his due credit. Ritchie is hands down top 5. Innovation and technical abilities composed into one = Ritchie Blackmore.

Seeing as he is #25 or so on the top 10 guitarists poll, yes, I would say he is very underrated.

Yes! Needs more recognition! Did so much more than smoke on the water

He doesn't have the fame that he deserves.
The most people talk about Paige and his rifts.
But Blackmore created one of the best rifts ever (smoke on the water) and one of the best solos ever (Highway star).

12 John Frusciante John Frusciante John Anthony Frusciante is an American guitarist, singer, producer and composer.He is best known for his time with the Funk Rock California based band the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

John is seriously my favorite guitarist I know he ain't the best but he is definitely in the top ten. Just listen to key tracks like Snow, can't Stop, Dani California, Wet Sand. I know its hard with Flea also excelling in these songs so just try to edge him out and listen only to the guitar in these songs. John is underrated for his musical style and even for that he is the best. Dani California and Scar Tissue are one of the not many songs where he does a solo because he doesn't like the and just listen to the tribute to Hendrix in the Dani California and you really will know that he could play anything and be the best in it if wanted to. - elibf22

You have to be kidding! Frusciante is a musical genius! I've never seen someone so dedicated to music. Practicing for 10 hours a day as a kid and leaving the band due to stardom early on. He's humble, has a great work ethic, and is a guitar god. "Dani California" "can't stop" etc, don't unveil his true potential. Have you tried playing "snow? " His live stuff is amazing! He should be #1 I can write pages on why. Check out "don't forget me live la cigale" on YouTube. For those of you who appreciate fast guitar more than melodic here you go. Otherwise JF focuses on emotional, focused, slow solos that are not appreciated today which is a shame.

John is a good man he is very real. Every riff he do is so perfect to the bones like snow, can't stop, dani California, californication etc. He might not be the best guitarist technically but this man can do difficult riffs (jimmy page level) and you can see his diversity and emotion in every note. Few people know this man because he is so humble he don't like to be so famous. That makes him the most underrated and the best guitarist for me.

He's the best.

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13 Harvey Mandel

Best (lamb) chops ever. This guy rips - just grab yourself a copy of his album, Christo Redentor.

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14 Dave Murray - Iron Maiden Dave Murray - Iron Maiden David Michael Murray is an English guitarist and songwriter best known as one of the earliest members of the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden.

You can only be underrated if you can play with both technical skill and emotion, Dave Murray plays with those and much more. The only guitarist I think should be on this list above Dave, is Joe Satriani.

Dave is easily one of the 5 best guitarists of the world! and modest like nobody!

Every song of iron maiden have a great guitar sound. Their is no a weak guitar performance.
Dave Murray and adrian smith is the best tag team guitarists ever. Definitely underrated.

I wish more people knew the talent of Dave Murray

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15 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.

This man deserves more recognition. His solos and riffs are great.

He makes Alice in Chains the awesome band it is. - IronSabbathPriest

Jerry Cantrell wrote or co-wrote most of AIC's songs. Besides, his nasty guitar solos and riffs are unique to AIC. Who else sounds like them?

16 David Crosby David Crosby David Van Cortlandt Crosby is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. In addition to his solo career, he was a founding member of three bands: the Byrds; Crosby, Stills & Nash; and CPR.

I'm not so sure about guitar, but David Crosby should definitely be on the best singers list. Great voice, and great body of work from the Byrds to CSN to his solo stuff.

17 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.

Known mostly for creed where some of his best riffs were shown, he is always underrated and never given recognition for the complex simplicity of his guitar-work. Just give "My Own Prison" a listen and you will see.

Forget about Creed for a second and listen to his work with Alter Bridge. The solo from blackbird, brand new start, cry of Achilles, all amazing. Mark Tremonti is a guitar god who happen to come at the wrong time. If it would be the 80s Alter Bridge would be with the best of them

He is one of the best guitarists of all time, yet not many people have heard of him. He should definitely be in the top 3 of this list. Just listen to the solo in dust by tremonti and you will know what I mean. In fact listen most of his songs from alter bridge and his own band tremonti.


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18 Malcolm Young

Just Hear what he is playing on the guitar and hear his great voice, he is incredible and no one can play the guitar like him and sing at the same time! in fact... he is the Best! AC/DC Rocks! and without him it wouldn't be the same! Fernando Mendoza

Just Hear what he is playing at the guitar and hear his great voice in all the chorus of the songs! Hes the best of what he do! AC/DC Rocks! and he is the brain of AC/DC!

He makes great rhythm work for ac/dc songs and accompanies angus in his solos, I think he is a bit underrated. Under

I love the Young brothers to death, but I get a little annoyed about how Angus Young gets all the spotlight, Brian Johnson (the front man) isn't even the most famous member. Malcolm's amazing rhythmic guitar playing is the back bone of AC/DC. I also think Cliff Williams (the bassist) and Phil Rudd (the drummer) don't get enough credit.

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19 Django Reinhardt Django Reinhardt more.

He was a VERY early guitarist in 30s and 40s even before Chuck Berry and is quite underrated.

Django could do it all...with only two fingers! Too sad he passed away at the young age of 43...

20 Robby Krieger Robby Krieger Robert Alan "Robby" Krieger is an American guitarist and singer-songwriter best known as the guitarist of the rock band the Doors, and as such has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Robby has various influences and has his own unique style, one of the coolest yet underrated players there is.

Very Underrated

Robby Krieger the flamenco, jazz, psych, delta blues guitarist. Wait... he’s just one player what! Highly underrated

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List Stats

2,000 votes
272 listings
9 years, 263 days old

Top Remixes (10)

1. Al Di Meola
2. Stephen Stills
3. Gary Moore
1. Brian May
2. David Gilmour - Pink Floyd
3. Mark Tremonti
1. Rory Gallagher
2. Ritchie Blackmore
3. Michael Angelo Batio

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