Top 10 Shred Guitarist Pioneers

Well who is the creator of shred-guitar is a very debatable topic. If you keep arguing about it then it can take this topic back to 18th century. But these guitarists are often considered as the pioneering shred guitarists of all time. Their techniques match with modern/pure shredders and they influenced pure shredders like Yngwie Malmsteen, Paul Gilbert, Steve Vai etc.

The Top Ten

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 was both fast and technical of his time. He has some great shredding (proto-shredding) songs like Highway Star, Child In Time, Burn, Gates of Babylon, Stargazer. Especially his shredding on Highway Star. He influenced guitarists Yngwie Malmsteen. That's why I think he should be on top. - zxm

Yup, in a good mood Blackmore was the man. Just listen to kill the king - speed metal meets 1977. Also some good parts of jazzy scales and arpeggios as early as late 60's. He is untouched as a father of shred. A bit inconsistent (I've seen some poor live preformances), but pure genius most of time

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

A lot of people have stated him to be the father of shred-guitarist. Well I cannot say anything for sure but he had some fast arpeggios and alternate picking in the 70s. - zxm

John McLaughlin John McLaughlin, also known as Mahavishnu John McLaughlin, is an English guitarist, bandleader and composer.

Pretty similar like Al Di Meola. He also used some great techniques. - zxm

Chuck Wayne

He's been called the father of sweep picker. I have checked some of his songs. Hard to believe they are from 50s. - zxm

Paco de LucĂ­a

His did some crazy techniques on his acoustic guitar. - zxm

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.

I added him here cause he already started to shred from the 70s and a pure shredder. - zxm

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.

He was pretty fast and influential. - zxm

Uli Jon Roth Uli Jon Roth is a German guitarist, who became famous as the Scorpions lead guitarist, and is one of the earliest contributors to the neoclassical metal genre.

Like I said on the last list, he did some crazy stuffs with his vibrato bar. Later he developed more in shredding. - zxm

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

According to many people he used different techniques in the 50s. - zxm

Check the lick of The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise around 1:21.
also, the lick at the 1:27 How High The Moon.

Who said Les Paul is a shredder? I said he pioneered shredding by some of the techniques. Few licks. - zxm

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.

On last. He wasn't very fast but some of his songs were very influential. Especially his solo in Heartbreaker. A lot of shred guitarists were inspired by him. Steve Vai was. Eddie Van Halen invented tapping (his own style) watching his solo in the mid section of Hearbreaker. - zxm

The Contenders

Dick Dale Richard Anthony Monsour, better known by his stage name Dick Dale, is an American rock guitarist, known as The King of the Surf Guitar.

Not sure about Dick Dale though. Like the visitor said Miserlou predates everyone on this list. Yeah its very fast, but its not much technical. There were even much more technical solos before Dick Dale. Especially in the Spanish classical guitar. Ravi Shankar (Sitar player) learnt few techniques from his guru (teacher). And he was quite fast. So, I don't think Dick Dale predates everybody except guitar inventors.

by the way, invention of guitar has a long history. There were guitars before guitar. You know what I mean. - zxm

Predates everyone on this list except for Les Paul, think "Theme to Pulp Fiction" [Miserlou], I dare anyone to find earlier shredding except by guitar inventors.

Django Reinhardt Django Reinhardt is a famous guitarist in the genre of jazz. He lost 2 of his fingers in a fire but carried on with his playing. He later inspired Tony Iommi, the original guitarist of Black Sabbath, to continue playing after he lost his fingertips in a factory accident. His guitar is an acoustic gypsy. more.
Buckethead Brian Patrick Carroll, known professionally as Buckethead, is an American guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who has worked within many genres of music.
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