Most Innovative GuitaristsAll 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.
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 musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "arguably... read 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.
He created the sound you hear in every hard rock and roll song after 1967. A true legend.
Who else can make the guitar scream and still sound good?
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,
He invented the solid body electric guitar. And a lot of other things, but that's all he needs to make this list.
He invented the les paul for crying out loud. He should be even higher
Y'all ever heard of another guitarist capable of incorporating elements of Bulgarian folk music into his guitar solos? I'm pretty sure you don't. And that's why my vote goes to master Zappa.
When it comes to innovation we're talking about new ways to use the guitar. Nobody has done anything close to what he has in this list. That's not to say the other's are some of the greats, just that we're specifically looking at the guitarist on this list that has created some of the most groundbreaking style out of all of them.
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
Listening to him play is the only way to get an explanation of how good his innovations are.
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.
I personally think that he was more important than Dave or Ray Davies for guitar distortion. They used broken amps and power chord to create "hard rock" type of sound but Dick Dale's tremolo picking was far ahead than "You Really Got Me'. It was heavy, loud and fast. Brought the Arabian piece on fire.
Iommi could stand in 3rd place after Django Reinhardt and Hendrix.
The father of metal guitar. Enough said.
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.
He is the bridge between Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen and all other blues guitarists. Enough said.
This guy can multitask like anything, he invented the technique to make the highest note on the guitar infinity.
The only guitarist out the who can play lullabies one moment, then make computer sounds the next.
Should be in the top 5.
He loses out to some of the other greats based on his lack of showmanship. He is always innovating (not just guitar). As a U2 fan I'm still blown away that The Edge is ahead of him. The Edge has created more boring guitar in the last 15 years than anybody. The last three albums are awful.
Should be #1, for everything he's done, not least of which is basically single-handedly creating progressive rock (and constantly pushing those boundaries since). Not to mention New Standard Tuning, Soundscapes, Frippertronics, etc.
Definitely part of the top 10 innovative guitarists. Or what is guitar innovation?
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.
Listen to any Led Zeppelin song and you will understand my vote!
Django invented bends, octave playing, guitar vibrato, glissandos, advanced sweep picking, solos with overdrive (check his late 1940's recordings) and a slew of techniques that did not exist till he did them. Him and Hendrix probably set the table for more players than anyone else.
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 «standardize» 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!
Clapton is also God!
Before him, people used the wah pedal to do funky things. And then Slash used it in Civil War.
The fact that he was not already in this list is entirely preposterous. I mean.. James Hetfield... Matt Bellamy. Jesus. Brian May was granted the opportunity to perform the national anthem on the roof of buckingham palace and he's not in TheTopTens' list of innovative guitarists. Listen to his arrangement of God Save The Queen (as well as his band's multi-platinum albums while you're at it). His popularising of multi-layering guitar parts was innovative enough to take a top three spot.
Who else can play heavy metal on a classical background?
Nah, come on, the kind of neo classical should be higher!
How jonny couldn't be there?
He is one of the most creative guitarists ever.
The godfather of most modern metal, wether you like it or not. There's not one metal band after 2000s not influenced by his style. Unfortunately not many do it as good as him. Also widely known for his whammy bar tricks like dime-squeal and souful yet face-melting solos.
Comfortably Numb, of course live, greatest song and solo, the only scandal: finidhing this solo after approx. 4 minutes!