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Poll to determine Greatest Guitarists

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Alright everybody – I’ve built a polling page to determine who the greatest guitarists of all time are, according to the people here at BlogCritics.

Unlike the Rolling Stone guitarist list, there’s no influence here – I don’t care if someone you enter in the poll is world renowned or completely anonymous. Doesn’t matter if they’ve made 50 bazillion bucks or they’re hanging out in some local garage somewhere. Whether they play acoustic or electric, jazz or pop, are alive or dead, doesn’t matter. All that matters is your opinion!

There’s room for 30 entries on the form, the top 15 are required. So jot down the list of who YOU think are the best 15 – 30 guitarists of all time, pop over to www.coloentertainment.net/music_collection/guitar_poll.cfm and vote for your favorite axemasters!

I’m going to tabulate the results when there are 50 or more entries, or two months from now, whichever comes first (when I have the time). I’ll post ’em here.

Guitarists will get one point for a first-place entry, two points for a second-place entry, etc. Any guitarist appearing in the poll that doesn’t have an entry from a particular person will be given 31 points for that entry. I’ll tabulate by total points, with the guitarist having the fewest points getting first place, the second fewest points getting second place, etc.

Additional pointers, rules of the contest/poll, etc. are noted on the polling page.

Have fun!

Note: The following statement has been rendered moot due to discussions about my original product list

Note: None of the product entries below are meant to sway the votes one way or another. They’re simply to provide links over to Amazon, as requested by our BlogCritics hosts.

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About Taloran

  • Eric Olsen

    SURE, none of the products listed are meant to sway.

    Great job Tal! Thanks, this is very cool.

  • Eric Olsen

    I’m sure the Tal will get it straightened out – he’s like a computer guy or something.

  • Taloran

    Fixed! Thanks for pointing out the error.

  • Taloran

    Frost’s entries should have gone through – the page choked after the INSERT INTO DATABASE statement.
    Frost, please check the page again – If it doesn’t give you Submit buttons, your entries have been recorded.

  • Taloran

    Eric –
    Anyone who is swayed by the listed products shouldn’t be participating anyway.

  • Eric Olsen

    I’m going to delete the error comment because of all the weird coding and whatnot throwing the alignment off.

  • Taloran

    I’ve tested it and it’s working properly now. Sorry for the difficulty.

  • 10 would be a much better number – 15 and my brain is frying trying to remember names just to fill it out, which, of course, makes those choices meaningless.

  • Taloran

    Wouldncha know it…. I finish and post the poll, and the site goes down. What a pain. I’m sure there’s noone there to bounce the machine or restart ColdFusion. It’ll probably be offline until tomorrow morning.

    Tom –
    That’s why I set it for 15 required! I wanted it require a modicum of mental gymnastics.

  • Does this mean that votes already posted have gone the way of the dinosaur?

  • Taloran

    Votes already posted are intact.

  • Taloran

    And, this gives me time to work out the programming and math for tabulating the results. So, not all is lost.

  • Cool, thanks.

  • Taloran

    Well, 17 people have taken the poll thus far, and the results are predictably far different from the Rolling Stone poll. I’m not gonna spill the beans until there are 50 entries or 60 days have passed, however.

  • Taloran

    I apologize to everyone who is NOT at the IP address for the following comment:

    To whoever put “ted nugent” in slot 1 and “link way” in slot 2, and filled slot 3 – 15 with dots (…..), thanks a lot for screwing up my friendly little poll and making me realize that I need to defend even the simplest things against asswipes like you. You’re an imbecile. I’m deleting your entries, you pillock.

  • James Bondage

    Come on, put Neil Young’s Greendale on your product entry list. At least it’s new.


  • Taloran

    re: 16 by James Bondage

    Say what? On what list?

  • James Bondage

    The list above of products to buy on Amazon, prefaced by:

    “Note: None of the product entries below are meant to sway the votes one way or another. They’re simply to provide links over to Amazon, as requested by our BlogCritics hosts.”

  • Taloran

    Ah! Thanks for clarifying. I suppose I could change the whole thing around, to reflect blind piano players, lousy B movies, classic novels nobody ever reads, Andy Sidaris movies with Playboy Playmates, albums with killer blues harp on ’em, or something else. The list above is simply what came to me in a stream of consciousness when I was writing the post.

    I think I’ll change it to show movies with Ry Cooder soundtracks, when I get around to it.
    I’m kinda new here, and don’t know if I can change the list or what.

  • Taloran

    Is the new product list better?

  • well, i took the poll, but it said “The network is busy,” so i hit refresh and it worked.

  • Taloran

    Glad it worked! Also glad people are giving their input. Thanks for participating.

  • consider adding a “please hit refresh” after saying “the network is busy.” some people might just quit and not come back.

  • tony mahon

    yo tal. correct me if im wrong please but is ur polling system 1 point for first place, 2 for second and so on and the person with the lowest points gets the top spot etc. if dats the case then some idiot cud put himself at no.1 and no one else wud vote him anywhere so hed end up as the no.1 guitarist in ur poll. is dat the case.

  • Taloran

    Tony –
    1 point for first place, 2 for 2nd is correct.
    However, guitarists appearing at least once get 31 points for each entry that doesn’t contain their name.

    So say for example we have taken 20 entries, 15 of which have Jimi Hendrix somewhere in them. Jimi would get one point for each person who voted him at number 1, 2 points for each number 2, etc. He’d also get 5 x 31 points for the five entries that didn’t list him at all.
    Make sense?

    PMan –
    That’s not my message. It comes from the server, not my code, so I have no control over it.

  • Taloran

    I just took a look at the standings, and 20 people have taken the poll, with Jimi getting 15 votes.
    How weird is that, given my previous post?

  • Taloran

    Sorry it’s come to this, but I don’t have the time to write code putting protections in place to keep people from filling the guitar poll form out with their personal form of mental masturbation. As a result of two people making ridiculous entries in the poll, I’ve had to institute a new rule:

    DO NOT spam the database with more than one entry per guitarist name. If you can’t think of the names of 15 or more guitarists, hold off on entering your choices until you can think of more names. I will delete all entries from anyone who chooses to enter useless garbage into the form.

    To the 20-something people who have entered valuable information, thank you for participating!

  • Taloran

    38 people have now entered their choices in the Great Guitarist Poll (plus 2 who entered junk in the database). After all the discussion about Rolling Stone’s list, I KNOW there are more than 40 people here with opinions about the guitar!

    Place your votes today!

  • Taloran

    My apologies, but I was cleaning up typos in the poll database last night and inadvertently deleted the last two entries.
    If you took the poll between Tuesday morning and Wednesday evening, please check to ensure that it’s not your entries I deleted.

    Thanks, and sorry.

  • Taloran

    I was cleaning up the typos in the poll database last night, and inadvertently overwrote the database with a two-day-old version.
    If you are one of two people who took the poll between approx Tuesday morning and Wednesday noon, please check and see if the poll lets you back in – if it does, I deleted your entries by mistake and I apologize.

  • Taloran

    I was cleaning up the typos in the poll database last night, and inadvertently overwrote the database with a two-day-old version.
    If you are one of two people who took the poll between approx Tuesday morning and Wednesday noon, please check and see if the poll lets you back in – if it does, I deleted your entries by mistake and I apologize.

  • sir BRICKLAYER of dingleberry

    Good Sir Taloran:

    I am not positive, but I very strongly suspect that I may indeed be one of the two people that you refer to in post #27. Are you not clear headed enough to realize that if you practiced what you preach, you would delete the entire poll? For I suspectif you are not by far the world’s largest cyber onanist, you must certainly be in the top 3-I may be incorrect, and if so, please accept my apology-perhaps another poll is in order? And lo, I am not the poor chap who listed Ted Nugent (too redneck scary) or Link Way (surf music-blah), I feel you owe this innocent bloke an apology for your derisive descriptions of him. Since I fear that my attempt at contributing to your poll has been dismissed, I shall attempt to recreate it (from memory, mind you) for the edification of my fellow six string salivaters:

    10. guy from Slayer (the one with hair)
    09. don’t remember this one
    08. Karl Hendricks
    07. guy from Judas Priest (not sure which one)
    06. guy from Iron Maiden
    05. other guy from Iron Maiden
    04. other, other guy from Iron Maiden
    03. guy from Slayer (bald one)
    02. Gregg Ginn
    01. Dude in the gorilla suit in the Beastie Boy’s “No Sleep ’til Brooklyn” video.

    In the future, I would humbly ask that you consider taking into account everyone’s opinion , because, like my mother told me, we are all special, in our own way. And if you choose to forsake me yet again, I shall be forced to challenge you to a fantasy board game at Dawn, where I shall smote you on the cardboard battlefield, for nay, I shall never, EVER surrender!!!!!!

  • Ihaterollingstone

    VanHalen @ 70? are you kidding me? Vaughn is better than Clapton, but VanHalen at 70? No Way! This list has many things wrong with it but VanHalen (whether you like him or not) has to be top 20 without a doubt, he is definitely better than the geeks from RadioHead or Lou Reed. Rolling stone licks my balls.

  • Mark Sisson

    I’m sorry, but I didn’t notice Alvin Lee on their list. He must have been edged out by Joni Mitchell. At least they know that Richard Thompson is alive, though apparently not Phil Keaggy, and that Peter Green was around when Fleetwood Mac was an actual rock band. Is there some reason why Leo Kottke doesn’t qualify?

  • Taloran

    Leo Kottke doesn’t qualify because he plays the acoustic guitar. Their rules, not mine.

  • Rolling Stone licks… oh, wait, ihaterollingstone beat me to it. Good job, IHRS.

  • Taloran

    52 people have now entered their choices in the poll I built to determine the greatest guitarists of all time. I said I’d post the results here when 50 people had voted or 60 days had passed, so in the next comment are the initial results, showing who BlogCritics think are the top 50 guitarists of all time.

    The list may be slightly skewed, as voters have a little bit of trouble with typography, and I haven’t cleaned up every occurrence of Stevy Ray Von and Zach Wild.

  • Taloran

    Results are presented as follows:

    1 Jimi Hendrix (466 / 42 / 16)
    2 Eric Clapton (844 / 34 / 1)
    3 Stevie Ray Vaughan (879 / 30 / 2)
    4 Eddie Van Halen (915 / 30 / 2)
    5 jimmy page (990 / 30 / 3)
    6 Jeff Beck (1049 / 25 / 1)
    7 Joe Satriani (1135 / 21 / 2)
    8 CARLOS SANTANA (1178 / 21 / 1)
    9 B. B. King (1191 / 21 / 0)
    10 Steve Vai (1199 / 18 / 0)
    11 Duane Allman (1223 / 20 / 0)
    12 Pete Townshend (1289 / 15 / 0)
    13 Keith Richards (1306 / 15 / 0)
    14 Randy Rhoads (1337 / 14 / 1)
    15 Andres Segovia (1352 / 10 / 3)
    16 David Gilmour (1366 / 12 / 0)
    17 Chet Atkins (1375 / 11 / 0)
    18 Frank Zappa (1387 / 11 / 0)
    19 Yngwie Malmsteen (1388 / 9 / 2)
    20 Chuck Berry (1410 / 10 / 0)
    21 Robert Fripp (1420 / 11 / 0)
    22 angus young (1423 / 10 / 0)
    23T Jerry Garcia (1424 / 10 / 0)
    23T Kirk Hammett (1424 / 9 / 1)
    25 Wes Montgomery (1425 / 9 / 1)
    26 Slash (1426 / 9 / 0)
    27 George Harrison (1432 / 11 / 0)
    28 Mark Knopfler (1437 / 10 / 0)
    29 django reinhardt (1439 / 7 / 2)
    30 al di meola (1444 / 8 / 0)
    31 Brian May (1445 / 10 / 0)
    32 Robert Johnson (1455 / 10 / 0)
    33 Steve Morse (1459 / 7 / 0)
    34T John McLaughlin (1463 / 8 / 0)
    34T Richard Thompson (1463 / 8 / 1)
    36 John Petrucci (1467 / 6 / 0)
    37 Les Paul (1474 / 8 / 1)
    38 The Edge (1476 / 8 / 0)
    39 Charlie Christian (1482 / 5 / 0)
    40 Lindsey Buckingham (1483 / 7 / 0)
    41 buddy guy (1490 / 6 / 0)
    42 Pat Metheny (1491 / 6 / 0)
    43 Leo Kottke (1503 / 6 / 0)
    44 Ted Nugent (1508 / 4 / 0)
    45 Steve Howe (1510 / 5 / 0)
    46T Alex Lifeson (1511 / 4 / 2)
    46T Dave Mustaine (1511 / 5 / 1)
    48 Ritchie Blackmore (1512 / 5 / 0)
    49 Ry Cooder (1514 / 5 / 0)
    50 Albert King (1515 / 5 / 0)

  • Taloran

    I think the BlogCritics list of great guitarists is much better than Rolling Stone’s. While I don’t agree with everything, it’s hard to argue with the will of the people.

  • Taloran

    It is interesting to note that Hendrix has 16 first-place votes, followed by Page and Segovia at 3 each. No other guitarist had more than two.

  • duane

    Much better than RS. Thanks Taloran. I still can’t see Keith Richards, Chuck Berry, and others (who I’ll not mention — because I’m chicken) being on the list of the top 50 guitarists of ALL TIME. But you know what they say — de gustibus non est disputandum.

  • tony mahon

    tis a fair improvement alrite.i wont agree with all of it and im not familiar with half of them but its better tan RS.good to see dave mustaine, im da only one who voted him number 1.ah well

  • Taloran

    I’ll start a new post with complete results (310+ artists) when I have time – probably over the weekend.

  • Taloran – you should drop Rolling Stone an email with a link to this list. Who knows 😉 It is better than their list, even though it is a only a small cross section of people.

  • T-F’ing-Dub

    That Rolling Stone Greatest Guitarists List was correct with number 1, after that it all fell apart. Not only did they mis-prioritize the talent, influence, and inspiration of many of these guitarists, they LEFT OUT many who are not just great, but top 100 material. This list SUCKED. After reading the results of the ACTUAL guitarist poll, I am much happier. Guitarists seem to know who rates more so than the dim bulbs at Rolling Stone.

  • Taloran

    Results after 63 people took the poll are posted here, FYI.

  • bob

    comon people there are so many top class guitarists out there like slash buckethead wait is tomm morello even on there

  • Taloran

    Bob –
    If you’re stating your opinion, you can put it in the permanent record by voting in the poll. I’m sure everyone would appreciate having your votes as part of the poll results.

    If you’re talking about the RS poll, all three guitarists you’ve mentioned have been brought up countless times, and Slash appears at number 26 in the BlogCritics poll results above (24th in new results as I write this).

    If you’re trying to change the opinions of BlogCritics participants, you might as well save your breath. We’ve argue this thing til we’re blue in the face for months now.

  • E-String

    I’m just happy to see Satriani still qualifies, even if only to a few.

  • Interesting that this poll is more of a who’s who in popular guitar. Unfortunately there are many great guitarists left off of the list. Perhaps the top 100 greatest penny whistlers list can be kept to only the great players.

  • Patrick Castle

    I agree with your list a heck of alot more than rolling stones i dont mean to sound favorable but they didnt even have ted nugent on the list how many guitar players can play as good as him sing and run around on stage and put on one of the best live shows i have ever seen

  • Dan

    My knowledge of guitar is quite limited, so I’ll only put in my two cents on those who stand out.

    David Gilmour has vibrado that most of these guys couldn’t dream of having. Also, he couldnt play the wrong note (if there ever was such a thing)if he tried–he has that ability to play with others. However, technical skill isnt top 10 or anything. 82 is blasphemy though. As you can tell, I like the guy.

    Eddie Van Halen (cant forget him, of course): Sure, he plays the same scales at lightning speed all the time every time–but he popularized the shredding that Zappa essentially invented–plus he was pretty damn good at the style he chose to play. 70 is injustice, but id grant him 25.

    Clapton: he’s a jackass personality wise. hes a great songwriter…great guitarist…but I dont know about top 5. I mean he sold out to pop later in his career…certainly his heart and soul left the guitar a while ago and that, in my mind, doesnt open up the gates of guitar heaven so quickly.

    Stevie Ray: 3 is a nice placement (not a Jimmi rip-off, as SRV’s version of Little Wing is nothing short of fucking amazing in its own way. P.S. Most people cant play with the strings that Stevie did…he was that unique…in my mind maybe even #2 would be good. Jimmi was #1 though…the man was incredibly talented and creative to the point where its scary.

    Beck and Paige are top 10.
    Kurt was a great songwriter…he was an average guitar player who cared more about the message he was sending than his guitar ability (which is perfecty ok, but I think he knew he wasnt 12th best of all time as well).

    Steve Howe is holy at the guitar. 69 is a sexual position, NOT Howe’s position. Top 20, with great ease.

  • Danny

    I think rolling stone can shove their list right up there…..yea, u can figure it out. Angus Young at like 96? come on, at least top 20 man. And Kurt Cobain and That red hot chili peppers guy in top 20??? Yes, Nirvana was a great band, but they werent known for great guitar. Yngwie Malmsteen, Dave Mustaine, John Pettrucci and Diamond Darrel can friggin mop the floor with some of these guys Rolling STone put in top 20, but they not even on the list. Well, at least Kirk Hammet on here…And Joey Ramone and the white stripes guy? Better than Van Halen? bs. And where’s the Judas Priest guitarist?? And like someone already pointed out, Ted Nugent isn’t on here…A sad day this is for Rolling stone.

  • jill

    I think that this top 100 guitarist list sucks ass!! why the hell is Jimmy Page soo friggen far back? the only thing I agreed on in this list was Hendrix at one..man that was just pathetic!! And Rob Krieger at 91?? What about David Gilmore man?? Seriously…does the White Stripes really beat Pink Floyd? Come on now..what about Steve Howe?? He was amazing!! and hes all they way PAST the white stripes…come on man thats just horrible…and another thing..im only 15 and know that older rock is better then today..where is Bowie??? no where to be found…ok im sorry if that was harsh but i was very shocked at what i saw..


  • Axe

    Hi Guys,

    According to me there is no such list of guitarists who tells who is better than the others . All the guys are perfectly amazing in the way we do . We have to look at the individual style i.e the way that they played guitar, the profile of the band they played for and their influences. Of course Pink floyd cant produce racy music like Led Zeppelin coz their music is more suitable for gloom and frustration. So Gilmour cannot be compared to Jimmy Page at all. They both are class aparts and legends in their own sense. For me I think I will know them by following characterstics

    1 Dave Gilmour -> For his modular technique (lead broken up into modules and played with rythm and smooth blend of lead with Rythm (think of the the wall and comfortably numb)
    2 Page -> for his speed on guitar and that he brought the blues to mainstream rock
    3 Blackmore -> For his firey leads on higway star and child in time
    4 Mustaine -> For his amazing rythm guitar playing ability.
    and so on …..
    If you hear to these artists you can see that there is no comparison but guys at RS dont understand it .
    So instead of comparing guys at the top let us make number of groups where we can place these guys in the right groups without causing heartburn to anyone. And it would be great if somebody can word it out what style has every guitarist got. That would be much much more informative….

  • Jim

    Wait a minute, why are van halen and stevie ray higher up than jimmy page when they both have less 1st place votes, yet the same number of total votes. I dont see how that makes sense. Jimi hendrix is one of, if not, the most overrated guitarists ever.

  • chaz

    what about don felder? surely he would be top 100!!

  • sjaak

    where the h*ll is jan akkerman, the dutch guitarist that was elected world’s best guitarist back in the seventies by melody maker

    all check out hocus pocus

    p.s. about the list: nr 1 is indisputable, clapton is probably nr 2
    jack white at 17 comon get a life
    kurt cobain was a greater singersongewriter then a guitarist
    and so on

    there are just missing some players which should be there anyhow

    keep on rockin’………

  • sjaak



    you all like the guitar
    just listen to what this guy is able to


    any reply is very welcome
    just trust me on this one

  • bob

    lick my balls rolling stones Van halen Desveres 2 be in the top 5

  • I challenge anyone who assisted in creating an even worse list than did RS,to listen to say, “Albert’s Shuffle” from Super Session by Michael Bloomfield and Al Kooper, and tell me why the guy who made 22 on the RS list doesn’t deserve to be in the top 100. C’mon, you guys – this is why I had to write a book about the man. How quickly you forget!

  • radz

    heres my top 5

    1.jimi hendrix
    2.Eddie Van halen
    3.Eric Clapton
    4.jimmy page
    5.steve vai

    two very underrated guitar players are slash and randy rhodes who are both at least top 15

  • Hikker_77

    there are some verrry questionable selections on this list. Also, there are too many great guitarists which have been overlooked who deserve to rank high in the list. What about the Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen? And what about the Eagles’ guitarists Don Felder and Joe Walsh? It seems they also forgot Nils Lofgren, who I think is one of the most underrated. These guitarists have produced some of the most talented riffs and solos we have ever heard. I’m not sure about where they should be on the list but you have to admit that they’re tons better than “Leigh Stevens of Blue Cheer” or “Burt Jansch” or the dude from Fleetwood Mac. Gimme a break. What were the dickheads at rolling stone smoking when they belched out this list. And what this crap about Angus Young being at 96? or Van Halen at 70? Why is Beck at 14? Also, Jimmy Page should be top 5.

  • Nathan

    MY TOP 5

    1. Jimi Hendrix
    2. Eddie Van Halen
    3. Eric Clapton
    4. Jimmy Page
    5. Andy Summers

  • Angus Young at the near bottom of the list?Man, What were ya thinking?Angus young is a legend and undoubtably one of the world’s greatest guitarists, and i mean greatest.He should atleast be in the top 10!I mean whats great about Santana?All he does is hook up with bands and do a couple of notes whilst the other band is playing.He doesnt deserve to be near the top of the list.IM OUTRAGED AT YOUR DECISIONS!

  • Rachel

    Well, first of all RS can kiss my ass. Secondly I don’t agree much with your top 50 either, although it is a lot better than the RS one. I’m still not seeing a lot of really great guitarists who are never noticed or appreciated for their skills, the main one being Buck Dharma from BOC. I mean this guy is probably one of the most talented guitarist out there and I never see him on any lists. Also I’m a little pissed that Jimi Hendrix is still #1 on your guy’s list. I mean he is a great guitarist but he gets so overrated ALL the time. And one last comment, if I hear another person who says that Stairway to Heaven is the greatest guitar solo of all time… I’m gonna kick some ass. Thanks

  • Paul Reus

    Ai this is some discussion…
    There are no any criteria to determine which guitarplayer must be on this list.
    What to think about: Technical, emotional, musicstyle, solo, rhythm, electric, acoustic, influence other guitarists, number of fans, number of records sold, live, studio, period of active musicianship, etc. etc.
    So I don’t know…

    Let us see what is missing
    I’m glad someone puts Steve Morse on the list!!
    Where is Steve Lukather?
    Where is Robben Ford?
    Where is Freddy King?
    Where is Peter Green?
    Where is Mick Taylor?
    Where is Jan Akkerman?
    Where is Larry Carlton?
    Where is Pat Metheny?
    Where is Pat Travers?
    Where is John Scofield?
    Where is Rory Gallagher?

    So let’s start the poll again!

    greetings and happy listening to the guys above!

  • PJ

    Guitar polls are nothing other than a representation of ones personal opinion. One cannot compare a guitarist who specializes in rock with a blues player, an jaz player. etc. there are many great players, from those of the Van halen persuasion to garage thumb pickers.Its all about individual style and nothing more. Also, for the sake of it, Walter Trout deserves a place.

  • Zoe

    Whoa whoa whoa! What idiot made up this rolling stones list!? I mean seriously, Angus Young of AC/DC is the best guitarist I have ever heard in my life, and believe me, I’ve heard many. No one plays like Angus. And really now, Malcolm Young is a much better player than Kurt Cobain, who plays the same few chords every song in a a different order. Malcolm young wasn’t even on the list! He may be rythm, but he’s gooooooood. Possibly better than Keith Richards who stands around smoking instead of playing, believe me, I’ve seen the Stones AND Ac/dc live, and Malcolm would have to be better. I think the list is a load of crap. How did Jack White get ahead of angus? I’ve been playing guitar for a month and I can play all of the white stripes songs.

  • sam

    my unlucky 13.
    1. eric clapton.
    2. srv
    3. roy buchanan
    4. jimi hendrix
    5. buddy guy
    6. gary moore
    7. steve howe
    8. jeff beck
    9. rory gallagher
    10. paul gilbert
    11. ritche blackmore
    12. buckethead
    13. eric bell

  • Phil

    First of all, Hendrix was an inovative player, who’s style has been adopted in some fashion by many guitarists. I think it’s time to show some individuality and not play follow the leader by automatically placing him #1. I have played guitar for 30 years and find appreciation in every axe masters talents. LIsten to a Malmsteen and you swear he’s the greatest, then an Angus Young, a Joe Satriani, a Richie Blackmore a Dave Gilmore Etc. Fact of the matter is they are all very fluid in their playing abilites. It’s your own individual approach and expression when playing. This should not be the “greatest guitarist Poll” but rather a compliation of individuals opinions. There is NO GREATEST GUITARIST, there are many great guitarists.

  • Troy

    How can Steve Lukather not be on the list?????


    THANK GOD PETRUCCI IS ON THAT LIST. Gees I got so pissed reading rolling stones list…. pls help the ppl who take that shit to heart :(.

    I urge everyone to get out there and listen to dream theater… and even better watch them coz no one rocks harder live than they do!
    (They arent gay nu metal btw)

    Curse you MTV.. curse you…

  • HMCF

    LOL and Victor Smolski isn’t even mentioned, what a great list…

  • Brat

    Some of you guys don’t have a clue what you are talking about. To the AC/DC guy…Malcom Young…come on…you are obviously an AC/DC freak…you are skewed to even mention Malcom (I have a feeling I’m not the only one one who got a chuckle out of that one). Angus is a fantastic guitarist, but wait til you’ve played a few years and I bet you won’t say he’s the greatest. When I was a kid, I was a KISS freak and I thought Ace Frehley was the best ever, Paul Stanley was the best singer ever, Gene Simmons the best bassist ever, Peter Criss the best drummer ever…now I’m older and have developed a musical brain (along with 26 years of guitar playing), and realize KISS AREN’T great musicians (still treasure them though).

    A couple of other thoughts:


    Jimi Hendrix – hate me, beat me down…whatever, but the guy is incredibly overrated as a guitarist. He’s an innovator, an icon, who reshaped the rock music world (especially rock guitar playing), but he’s an extremely sloppy guitar player. That would be fine if he was an incredibly emotional player with loads of feel like Page (who could be incredibly sloppy as well, but had the ability to reach inside your heart and take you on his own journey), but Hendrix didn’t have that. Don’t get me wrong, Jimi was a fantastic guitar player (especially for his time), but polls and lists keep putting him at the very top and acting like it’s a no-brainer. Personally, I’d have him near the top, but continually placing him at numero uno ridiculously overrates him.

    Kurt Cobain – it’s hard for me to put into words my feelings when I see or hear people talk about Cobain as one of the great guitarists of all time. Much respect to the man as a songwriter. But, shit, one of the great guitarists of all time!!! Absolutely speechless to the fact he repeatedly shows up on these lists. I guarantee you I, personally, could play circles around Cobain (unless he did all of his best playing alone in a closet somewhere). I saw them in concert a few months before he died. Though I enjoyed the concert, the guy didn’t play much more than a few power chords throughout. I will always remain speechless, until those closet recordings are released.


    David Gilmour – Dave generally gets high props, but he is still underrated. Dave is special in the fact that he plays with the feel of Page, but the precision of a computer. One of the most difficult tasks of playing guitar is to attain technical perfection without sounding sterile. When this is acheived it becomes magic (the sports equivalent of being “in the zone”). Gilmour finds this magical place regularily. The guy just sings on the guitar instead of playing.

    Stevie Ray Vaughn – let me start by saying the I’m not a huge fan of his music (I kind of have to be in the mood to enjoy it), but damnit he is one hell of a guitar player. He may very well be the Michael Jordan of rock/blues guitarists. Like David Gilmour, he exhibits both phenominal precision and feel in his playing. However, while Gilmour may have a touch more feel to his playing, SRV had much looser boundries which enabled him to do things on the guitar which had never been seen with such precision. Sorry Clapton disciples, but SRV took Claptons amazing blues playing to another dimension. When SRV found the zone, it was like he was channeling guitar divinity.

    Many, many great guitarists exist, and many are mentioned on these lists. However, I think it takes a great guitarist to truly compile a credible list. That I’d like to see…the Top 50 Guitarists as ranked by at least a few thousand great guitarists.

  • Brat

    One more thing…to the guy who questions “the guy from Fleetwood Mac” as being one of the great guitarists. I certainly hope he isn’t talking about Lindsy Buckingham. Lindsey is phenominal guitarists. He’s extremely unique in the fact that he is one of few rock guitarists who exclusively fingerpicks. And he’s unique in the fact that plays with a lot more emotion than many guitarists you will ever see or hear. Lindsey is certainly top 20.

  • SDB

    Rolling stone list sucks a fat cock ~ allen Collins should be top 5

  • Ray Sanchez

    David Gilmour should have been #1. He by far is the greatest Guitarist if all time. I was pissed when they had Curt Cobain ahead of many great guitarists. Cobain was maybe a top 150 Guitarist. Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, Glenn Tipton and KK Downing should also be in the top 10.

  • Dan Ruane

    this list is horrible. where is Slash? and why is Stevie howe in frotn of Van halen, in that matter why is Van Halen at 70??? this list is totally wrong!!



  • Where are BILLY GIBBONS, CHET ATKINS, and DJANGO? Not to mention Joe Satriani, who influenced metal almost as much as Van Halen, and then there’s Slash and Dimebag Darrell?
    And the guy from Boston? C’mon – They put the guy from Yes, but not the guy from Boston?!

    It’s like they couldn’t put too many people with balls on the list and filled it with token ladies like Jack White (what a pansy – did you see Cold Mountain?), Joan Baez, and Joan Jett – I mean at least the chick from Heart was actually decent!

  • matt

    r you kiddin me, jack white at 16, even im better than that little hair lip fella. John Frusciante, great guitarist is havin much to good of a career to be put below that bi. Furthermore has anyone ever heard of justin king? unbelievable flamingo style player-not many of those around. The Top Ten should without a doubt be, and not necessarily in this order

    8.Cambell(Tom Petty)
    9.Justin King

  • Keith

    This list can be debated forever! However, some notables that did not show up on anyone’s list and very worthy of a listen include in no particular order:
    Frank Marino (Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush Live); Robin Trower (live); Alvin Lee of Ten Years After (live recording); and Michael Schenker (UFO Live Strangers in the Night). Check them out!

  • Keith

    Ok, I’ve navigated a little more through the site and see my previous mentions are listed (although I still highly recommend the mentioned live recordings for a listen). My bad!! I just found this site! Top 15, although any of them are worthy:
    1. Jimmy Page
    2. Jimi Hendrix
    3. Carlos Santana
    4. Duane Allman
    5. Frank Marino
    6. Alvin Lee
    7. Stevie Ray Vaughn
    8. B.B. King
    9. Eddie Van Halen
    10. Neil Young
    11. Ritchie Blackmore
    12. Toni Iommi
    13. Chuck Berry
    14. Robin Trower
    15. Michael Schenker
    I also thought some of the votes for Neil Schon were right on. His playing pre-Perry Journey were pretty incredible (Journey; Journey Next; Look Into the Future). He watered down with the addition of Perry I thought…

  • Marko

    1 a)Jimi Hendrix
    b)David Gilmour
    2. Eric Clapton
    3. Brian May
    4. Martin Barre
    5. Paul Simon
    6. Slash
    7. Jimmy Page
    8. Bob Dylan
    9. Carlos Santana
    10. Ritchie Blackmore (in purple, not in rainbow)

  • Chris

    Whats with all the hate towards Angus Young? He’s my #2, if not #1. The only person I would put ahead of him is Page

  • Zoom15000

    I might not be the most clued up person on the top 100 guitarists. I could tell you hardly any to be honest. However, there is one person I have heard and that is Joe Satriani. He is someone that can really play guitar, and yet he gets (as far as I can see) only one mention on this board. Comparing him to Kurt Cobain or Jimi Hendrix, he is a better player by far. Steve Vai is another who deserves more of a mention. Although I wouldn’t rate him as high as Satriani he can still really play a guitar and deserves to be at least on the list.

  • jrich_42000

    What about kirk hammet?………soloist of the decade i admit that jimmy page and jimi hendrix are great and are top 3 but kirk deserves top five and hetfield he is the heavy speed metal master to from ripping solos to chunky speed metal hammet and hetfield deserve the top 5 come on put some metallica in and listen and u will be hooked for sure

  • are you kidding me!Joni Mitchell.she is a good guitar player she is not near where they put her. And les paul at 46!hes my #2. Van halen is 70!! What the hell! eddie to me is #1. I think the rolling stone should let all of us rate the top 100. and thats a good advice to you rolling stone.and your list does not rock my socks. and because of your list guess what my socks are doing?THEYRE NOT ROCKIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sam

    hey, i’m 16 yrs, i have played guitar for 4 years, not anywhere near as long as the greats being mentioned on this site. My top five guitarists are not the shit playing guitarists of our day and age but of the 60’s and 70’s when blues and rock were at there best. (everyone knows rock reached perfection in 1974)

    1. Jimi Hendrix
    2. Eric Clapton
    3. Jimmy Page
    4. Stevie Ray Vaughn
    5. David Gilmour

  • Dan

    Hey, my name’s Dan. I’ve come across your blogcritic post about Rolling Stone’s list, and, quite frankly, it flat out apalls me! I tried just now to vote in your poll, but some strange HTML-looking web code came up instead of a nice voting screen. Is something up? Is the poll over? Can you re-open it?

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that, in reading the results from the poll you’d tabulated, every next name on the list had me cracking and even bigger, satisfied smile that there’re still some people out there that know what good music is!

    There was but one glaring omission from the list – WHAT HAPPENED TO TREY ANASTASIO!? As much as I worship Clapton, SRV, BB King, Jerry, Hendrix, and Page – c’mon people! They all play such confined styles of guitar (excpet possibly Jimi), and Trey is just the most versatile guitarist I’ve ever encountered.

    Plus, have any of you ever been to a show where you saw him play, with Phish or otherwise? The guy can TEAR!!!!

  • Roy Batty

    I started out with this after reading the Rolling Stone listing of the Top 100 guitarists. I then followed a link to what I thought would be a different poll, where real fans –NOT SALESMEN– could post their top guitarists.

    Anyway, I now feel compelled to get this off my chest, so here goes…

    How the hell did the top selling instrumental guitarist of all time not make that RS list? Even by a standard of “influence” only, Chet Atkins should be way up on that list. As I don’t have the room to include support for all of them, I’ll simply pay them the due respect of listing some more glaring omissions that came to my mind (NOT in any particular order): Joe Satriani, Al Di Meola, Steve Miller, Joe Walsh, Don Felder, Robert Cray, Mick Taylor, Toy Caldwell, Gary Rossington, Allen Collins, Ron Wood, Todd Rundgren, Alvin Lee, Rod Argent, Greg Lake, George Benson, Gary Moore, John Lee Hooker, Don Fogelberg, JJ Cale, Jeff Lynne, Ted Nugent, Paco Da Lucia, Larry Carlton, Robert Cray, JJ Cale, Lowell George, Peter Frampton, Kerry Livgren, Elmore James, John Williams, Dave Holland [bass], Stanley Clarke [bass], John Entwistle [bass] and Jaco Pastorius [bass]. **No doubt, there are numerous others as well. Many apologies if I left you out, but these names are coming off the top of my head. Besides, my memory’s not what it once was. (lol)

    Huh? Joni Mitchell ahead of David Gilmour and Eddie Van Halen? Neil Young ahead of Tony Iommi and Randy Rhoads? They were referring to the guitar, not the PEN, right?

    How does Clapton’s name get above his idol’s: Robert Johnson? What’s more, I’ve heard Clapton himself describe Buddy Guy as the best alive. On a similar note, I also once heard Townshend explain that The Who’s real lead guitarist was John Entwistle. Why wouldn’t a great “guitarist” like that make the RS list?

    I am glad to see Fripp and McLaughlin’s names at least…but damn!…I can’t help it…even Zappa and Glen Campbell were/are better than some of the names on that terribly disrespectful list!

    It’s little wonder that Rolling Stone’s hippy roots were pulled up out of San Francisco and transplanted in the concrete near Madison Avenue.

  • T

    Stevie Ray Vaughan was the greatest electric guitar player this world has seen. He had the soul for it, but was nonetheless exceptionally precise. And contrary to what was written above, Stevie was anything but confined to one style of play or genre of music. And as the host of live SRV recordings show, Stevie never, ever got lost, nor did he ever lose control of where he was going.

    Couple of notes: Lonnie Mack is a top 100 guitarist; Jimmie Vaughan probably should be, although I wouldn’t gripe too much if you put him at, say, 110, 120, 125 – you just better make sure Jack freakin’ White is AT LEAST one spot behind him; and finally, yeah, I agree that precision was never Hendrix’s game, and that will always keep him from the title of “Greatest Guitarist Ever,” in my humble opinion.

    CriticsBlog. Very nice spot. Thanks for the outlet.


  • Leo Stone

    Not in any order:

    Albert King (on second thought, this one is in order….#1)
    Robbie Robertson
    Mick Taylor
    Eddie Lang
    Richard Thompson
    Peter Green
    Earl Cate
    Tony Joe White
    Hank Marvin
    Django Reinhardt

  • johnk

    how did Rolling Stone put Eddie Van Halen at #70?!!!!

    here’s my top 10
    (not in order)

    Jimi Hendrix
    Eddie Van Halen
    Steve Vai
    Robert Johnson
    Yngwie Malmsteen
    Eric Clapton
    Zakk Wylde
    Jimmy Page
    The Edge
    Vivian Campbell

  • steve

    firstly i have to say that there probably isn’t a bigger nirvana fan around than me. however, it is only fair to state that of all the great things Kurt Cobain was and is, (both the musician and the man), a top 100 guitar player wasn’t one of them.
    secondly, i’m not even going to debate the people on here who are talking crap about Hendrix being sloppy and having no soul. screw you guys!! whether or not Hendrix should remain #1 for the rest of time is up for debate, but who the hell do these guys think they are to critisize him in anyway?
    like everyone else i have problems with the list RS put out. actually i have a problem with alot of top 100 lists that are published. i see so much crap on them it’s difficult to even remember which list is backing whom. with this said i feel it is important to state that i don’t feel tom morello, joey ramone, the guy from the white stripes, frusciante etc are anything special. and as for angus young, i think Malcolm is a better rythm player than Angus is a lead player.
    i’m not debating the music these guys make. everybody has different tastes, but the fact is that as far as the instrument is concerned, these guys don’t stand out a anything special.
    i’m glad however to see SRV getting his due respect, however i feel that a great number of players are being hugely overrated. Joe Perry, Slash, Zakk Wylde, Randy Rhoades, Yngwie, Satriani, Vai, Dimebag, Petrucci, amongst others are in my opinion much better than they are given for being.
    also i know his career is still relatively young, but Kenny Wayne Shepherd is one of the best players to emerge as of late, and i feel that without a doubt he is the most over looked.
    these are my opinions, of which i have many many mre on the subject. and hell, i don’t expect you to agree with me. after all that’s why they are MY OPINIONS!! feel free to mail me with any comments or complaints, i’d love to debate this further.

  • steve

    in the last comment i made i said Joe perry etc were overrated, what i meant to say was overlooked. sorry.
    (that’s what happens when you get frustrated dealing with injustice)

  • HJW

    A few things.
    1) Top guitarists (not most influential guitarists) should not include Jack White, Kurt Cobain, etc. While they are good artists their talent lies more in singing and writing.
    2)Trey Anastasio is not anywhere on this page. That is a problem. Trey can play some of the most intricate compositions and improvisations. I would even venture to say say he has more guitar talent that Jerry Garcia. If you don’t believe me, listen to Stash, You Enjoy Myself, or Divided Sky for some mind-bending guitar playing.
    3) Hendrix is amazing. I have been a fan most of my life. However his talent was honed only by 3 studio releases and a few short years of touring with The Experience and the Band of Gypsies. Unfortunately, the world hasn’t seen the real talent and maturity Hendrix could offer. Hendrix still deserves a top 3 spot being as he is soooo influential as well as being a very good guitar player. However, I think that either tied with or above him in number 1 or 2 should be someone like Jimmy Page, Kirk Hammet (though I personally hate Metallica), or Greg Allman. 4) Where is Omar Rodriguez-Lopez of At the Drive-In/The Mars Volta? He is one of the most talented guitarists out there now. Forget Frusciante (though he does appear on two Mars Volta albums) because he’s seen his hour – the 90s. By the Way is a poorly inspired and largely boring record. But that has nothing to do with the Top Guitarists.

  • Mario

    Jeez, I was always told to not discuss religion and politics with people, but I guess we should include who should be the considered the best guitarists too!!
    Anyway, I love the dialogue and feel everyone’s ideas are valid too. I personally have no use for Rolling Stone, basically a 16 magazine for people who think they’re above that, but I was a little shocked to see players such as Brian May and Tony Iommi on the list considering Rolling Stone was not exactly kind to either band during their heyday. For what it’s worth here are some of my faves whom were overlooked(and underrated) on the RS list.
    1. Ty Tabor-King’s X
    2. Rick Neilson-Cheap Trick
    3. Anyone from Thin Lizzy
    4. Ulrich Roth-Scorpions
    5. Alan Holdsworth
    6. Zal Cleminson-Sensational Alex Harvey Band
    7. Elliot Easton-Cars
    8. Billy Gibbons-ZZ Top
    9. Michael Schenker
    10. Peter Frampton

  • Queen Rocks…

    Who the hell with ANY music knowledge..(or a brain, for that matter)..could say Kurt Cobain is a better guitarist than Brian May?? Brian had an untouchable style with his hand crafted Red Special, and mastered in perfect solos that left all the fans begging for more. Just to compare Brians solos to everything Kurt did guitar wise..its obvious who the (by far) better guitarist is. Alot of the teens today learn to play guitar by practicing Nirvana, because theres nothing complicated to it. Its almost an insult to the guy.

  • who the fuck was listing?
    where is the famous steve lukather, the one and only guitarman for every style and fabulous killer-solos?!
    eddie on 70?! – to much drugs, hm?
    – clapton is a very good songwriter, but he is no a good guitarrist – plays on every record the same shit since 30 years!



  • Mario Bros.

    The Rolling stone list completely sucks. The only good thing it does is placing Jimi Hendrix on number 1 (which every normally sane person should do)
    Some terrible points about the rolling stone list
    -no slash
    -no andy summers
    -Gilmour at 89!!?!
    -van Halen at 70???
    -Jack White and Kurt Cobain in top 20????!?!?! what the fuc… ? i wouldnt even place them on a top 200
    -I think Duane Allman at 2 is a little exagerated.

    My list, as i couldnt access the poll,:
    1 Jimi Hendrix (unmovable)
    2 Carlos Santana
    3 Jimmy Page
    4 Slash
    5 Van Halen
    6 Frank Zappa
    7 Mark Knofler
    8 David Gilmour
    9 Brian May
    10 Steve Vai

  • Mark Nompes

    Anyone who does not think Duane Allman is Worthy better listen to Fillmore East Now thats talent! Page is way too fucking overrated.

  • uao

    1 1/2 years later, the battle rages on…

    Lists like this are hopeless. Comparing guys like Jimi Hendriz, Chuck Berry, Joe Satriani, Jimmy Page, et. al. is hopeless– they don’t do the same things; apples and oranges.

    I did see Berry dissed on this list somewhere; of course he should be on the top 50 list– half of the other guys make a living doing what he taught them. No Berry, no famous clarion call to rock the joint that is at the heart of all rock; is there another guitarist on the list who is so instantly identifiable by merely the first notes of his intros?

    But why quarrel? I toss a few of my favorite names out there (I left off the ones mentioned most frequently so far, but yes, register my vote for Jimi and Eric and Carlos and others, too); not sure where they belong on the list:

    Tom Verlaine (Television)
    Joe Strummer (The Clash)
    Angus Young (AC/DC)
    Mike Bloomfield (Electric Flag)
    Andy Summers (Police)
    Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna)
    Glenn Branca
    Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac)
    Ry Cooder
    Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth)
    David Roback (Rain Parade, Mazzy Star)
    Eddie Hazel (Funkadelic)
    Steve Jones (Sex Pistols)
    Link Wray
    Mick Ralphs (Mott The Hoople, Bad Company)
    Mick Taylor (The Rolling Stones)
    James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins)
    Robert Fripp (King Crimson, Fripp And Eno)
    John Fahey
    Bundy K. Brown (Tortoise)

  • danny

    OK. Rolling Stones has NO idea what’s going on. Certainly all guitarists’ can understand it’s not just about who can play faster and add more hammer-ons and pull-offs into a solo. I mean I like fast, upbeat music, but it’s the guys who can play fast AND have the knowledge of music. How do you think all these guitarists’ are so famous? They understand how to go about creating songs and improvising and solos. So, with that said, this is my list.

    And how the hell do you put Van Halen at 70 and The Edge of U2 at 24?? Pisses me off.

    1. Eddie Van Halen
    2. Jimmie Hendrix
    3. Jimmy Page
    5. Carlos Santana
    6. David Gilmor
    7. Mark Knopfler
    8. Slash
    9. Kirk Hammet
    1o. Joe Perry
    11. Brian May
    11. Rhandy Rhoads
    12. Joe Walsh
    13. Steve Vai
    14. Don Felder
    15. Collins/Rossington (I personally hate Lynrd Skynrd, but I haven’t seen them anywhere on the list.)
    16.Duane Allman
    17. Stevie Ray Vaughan
    18. Frank Zappa
    19. Joe Satrini
    20. B.B. King

    R.I.P. Kurt Cobain

  • iputnam

    1. Dick Wagner
    2. Steve Hunter
    3. Ace Freely
    4. Jimmy Page
    5. Johnny Winter
    6. Duane Allman
    7. Leslie West (loudest as well)
    8. Felix Pappalardi
    9. Buck Dharma
    10. Steve Lynch



  • Andrew Kirschner

    ok lets get this straight and let me look at this list give me 2 second-WHOO!!! didnt see that come Jack white in 17??? more like 76!!! lets look some mor-!!! edward….van halen is in 70………..*snorts followed by a big laugh*im a huge fan of AC/DC and seeing angus young in (omg) 94 place is a shame and the fact that 70 van halen and 17 jack white…………see what there trying to do is sound tough as nails music critics, like only the best gets on this list………shows how much the music industry know’s about music…………..thank you for taking your time to read about my thoughts and my opinion

  • spence

    i can name some better ppl to be on ur little list wheres dimebag darrel or mick mars



  • Bennett

    Michael Schenker – UFO – Strangers In The Night – Live double album.

    Rock Bottom

    Rocks hard.

  • Mike


    Hes pretty much a prodigy and dosnt get as much credit as he should- just watch thier live show or hear any of thier 3 cds and 1 ep

  • I was reading a lot of your comments and I think that a lot of people are just naming off guitarists who happen to play for bands that sound “pretty to their ears” but the guitarists aren’t very good.
    I also hear people complaining about how overrated some guitarists are, but it’s quite clear by their suggestions as to who should be on the list that they don’t know anything about the guitar. Whoever complained about Jimi Hendrix as being overrated, why don’t you go try to copy any of his songs, Red House in particular.
    I don’t see how someone can complain about Eddie Van Halen being at 70, okay maybe he should be in the top 50, but he really isn’t that good.
    I want to see some more respect for jazz guitarists like Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian, and Wes Montgomery. Also more respect for blues guitarists like Jimmy Thackery, Albert King, and Luther Allison.
    Before you go off complaining about who’s not on the list and who’s on the list, maybe you should actually listen to the guitarists instead of choosing the ones that were real popular in the decade we should all forget about, the 80’s.

  • the bo

    I agree with brat on 1 thing. And that is that i also think that kurt cobain is not that great at guitaring. I love nirvana but come on its not based on the band here.

    heres the correct list of the top 11 guitarists.

    1.jimmy hendrix (barely at the top)
    2.carlos santana
    3.b.b king
    4.eric clapton
    5.steve vai
    6.zakk wylde
    7.eddie van halen
    9.tom morrelo
    10.angus young
    11.kurk hammet

  • tullvis

    Where is Frank Marino? Where is Martin Barre? Jimi is number one, no argument, however I really must wonder what planet Rolling Stone is published from. Half of the top 50 should not be at the level the Stone thinks they should be. Marino was blackballed by the mainstream in the late seventies because he wanted control of his material and therefore never reached the level of fame he rightfully earned and deserved. No wonder I hate today’s rock radio.

  • Julian

    Jack White is number one fuckers!!!…

  • Poetic expressionism, that last

  • Duane

    Those are song lyrics, Aaman. Julian is starting up a band, and he’s the guitarist and lyricist. Here he’s expressing his tragic vision that he is a trivial addition to an already overburdened world, his existence being reduced to that of a piece of scrap paper carried down deserted alleyways by the uncaring wind of fate, a fatalistic premonition of meaningless days, rendered all too ephemeral by his constant search for meaning. It is teen angst made timeless.

    And the chord progression is haunting, achingly familiar, yet, alien … let’s see … it starts off in A, then goes to A, then back to A, then it stops, perching us on the edge of an abyss of hopelessness .. then it kicks back to the key of A, made all too poignant by a steadily droning A chord, symbolizing the unwavering stasis of existence. The big finish is a subtle heartwrenching modulation to A … fade out. It’s enough to break your heart.

  • And he’s influenced by Jack White, yes?

  • Duane

    I believe that our young artist has expresssed an overall favorable opinion of Mr. White, which, no doubt, does honor to said Mr. White. But when attempting to assign definition and tangibility to the multi-paned thoughts of tortured, misunderstood geniuses, one must tread lightly, and gaze deeply.

  • 1.Jimmy Hendrix
    2.Michael Hedges
    3.David Gilmour
    4.Jimmy Page
    5.Steve Vai
    6.Jean Beauvoir
    7.Eric Clapton
    9.Carlos Santana
    10.Joni Mitchell
    11.Vernon Reid
    12.Buffy Saint Marie
    13.Lindsay Buckingham
    14.Tuck Andress
    15.Micki Free
    16.David “Junior” Kimbrough,
    17. T. Model Ford
    18.Dolly Parton
    19.R.L. Burnside

  • brendan

    Pat Metheny
    Jerry Garcia
    Leo Kottke
    Doc Watson
    Jimmy Herring
    Keller Williams
    Bill Frisell
    Jimmy Hendrix
    Jimmy Page
    Jorma Kaukonen
    Johnny Winter
    John McLaughlin
    Tony Rice
    Stevie Ray Vaughn
    Derek Trucks
    Clarence White
    John Scofield
    John Mayall
    Wes montgomery
    nick drake
    son house
    ry cooder

    Those are some of my favorites, no particular order. All depends on what kind of mood i am in

  • brendan

    adding a few:

    Frank Zappa
    Eddie Hazel
    Bob wier (yeah he actually can play! i never thought so either)
    Lowell George (little feat)
    Larry LaLonde (primus)
    robert johnson
    norman blake
    chris smither
    duane allman
    dicky betts
    grant green
    guido luciani
    stan getz
    john lee hooker
    bb king

    Those are some more of my favorites. im sure ive forgotten some. I dont believe that the list should be numbered. It should just be the top 100 guitarsists without order. I mean what guitarist can really play Jazz, delta blues, flamenco, gypsy jazz, rock and roll, blues rock, metal, speed metal, bluegrass, acid rock, and every other style better than ANYONE else EVER. it just doesnt make sense. besides its all opinion. I could say that I am the best guitarist EVER. yeah how do you like that. Im the best ever. anyway. I say the jerry is better than trey someone said that trey is better. I say they are masters in their own riech. They may have the same drug eating audience, but they are completely different guitarists as are all the musicians listed. You people shouldnt read rolling stone anyway. it rots your brain.

  • godoggo

    Excellent choice, Brendan. I second Stan Getz!

  • Mihos

    why not just call it the greatest white men guitarists with obligatory famous black axe Men to insure that no one would be so foolish as to suggest that women ( gasp) make fine guitarists that have brought some great progress to guitar music. On that same note, as much as I love BB King and Chuck Berry, they just dont come close to what RL Burnside or Robert Cray are up to.

    My list tried to play the rolling stone famous matters game- if you never heard of em then they suck but if you never heard of em because you suck they should make it.. .
    But ive read alot of these lists and its just amazing how Gerry Garcia is considered a great guitar player by at least a half dozen writers but no one mentions Joan Baez, Tracy Chapman or Joni Mitchell. The next topic should be a scientific data crunch on who bloggers are t=that is their demographic.
    Are they all waspy men in their forties?
    Or do we just work for waspy men in their forties?
    Or are we willfully ignorant of Vernon Reid and Michael Hedges? How can Michael Hedges be so unimportant to bloggers while much more famous guitar players are almost unanimous that Hedges was the MOST gifted guitarist Ever.
    No one on this board has ever listened to Micki Free or Jean Beauvoir which is really odd if they truly love the guitar . These two have done incredible things for guitar playing – granted economics may have obliged both to release more than their share of shlock.
    But these two are the future of guitar .
    Jennifer Batton is one of the best live guitarists I have ever seen.
    Linday Bucnkingham is no slouch either.
    But Joni Mitchell seems like she may have been born with a guitar attached to her. Karen Peris from the innocence mission and Sheryl Crow are nothing short of amazing either.

  • Paul Pfaff

    1. Jimi Hendrix
    2. Leo Kottke
    3. Eric Clapton
    4. Mark Knofler
    5. David Gilmour
    6. Carlos Santana
    7. Michael Hedges
    8. Phil Keaggy
    9. Brian May
    10. BB King
    11. Jimmy Page
    12. Lindsay Buckingham
    13. Stevie Ray Vaughn
    14. Eric Johnson
    15. Henry Garza

  • Well consider this. In terms of sheer talent and playing ability all the top 100 guitarists all play either a)classical, b)flamenco or other styles of latin guitar, c)progressive jazz, d)shred. And I’m talking about like the top 98 would be A through C. Ymgwei Malmsteen is the biggest loser ever but he can still play anything any classic rock guitarist can play three times as fast. Stanley Jordan is droll, boring jazz; bordering on cocktail, but the fact is he can still play melodies and chord progressions simultaneously. Does this make these guitarists better?

    Now consider this. There are guitarist that can evoke emotion and make memorably music. Which is better? This is the main consideration when arguing this. As far as my personal preference goes I’d go:

    1.Jimi Hendrix
    2.Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine)
    3.Leo Kottke
    4.Johnny Greenwood (Radiohead)
    5.Robert Johnson
    6.Charlie Christian
    7.Joni Mitchell
    8.Frank Zappa
    9.Pat Metheny
    10.Omar Rodruigez Lopez (The Mars Volta/At The Drive-In)
    11.Chet Atkins
    12.Mark Knopfler

    And for the sake of bothering some one….the reason nobody put down Vernon Reid is because he’s just not that good, not because he’s black. If you’re going to say a guitarist is good because of the color of their skin, you’re just as racist as some one who says they don’t like a guitarist because of the color of their skin. Music has nothing to do with skin color. Atleast if you’re going to cry racism say Tom Morello or some one good. The reason that nobody put down any woman guitarists is because, atleast to my knowledge, their are no ridiculously important female guitarists (besides possibly Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi, and Joni Mitchell). Most female artists that play guitar are either more known for their songwriting or their singing, rather than their playing. Not to say I don’t enjoy them, I’d still say their are numerously more important male guitarists.

    To bother even more people….maybe if some of you would take some time to hop off SRV’s and Ymgwei’s nuts and pay attention guitar is a somewhat cliche, overused instrument. Their are very few albums based around some one’s guitar playing that actual serve a purpose musically, and most of them were made by Hendrix or Kevin Shields. Who cares about how fast you can play the pentatonic scales with a distorted stratocaster through a Marshall stack? It’s about meaning, not about musicianship. Sure, musicianship can lead to meaning but musicianship alone is pretty pointless. If you can’t write a song why would it matter how many augmented 7th with a rooted 5th you know? What’s that? It doesn’t matter? Of course not! Get away from your computer and go do something that doesn’t involve saying how cool classic rock is.

  • Rocker1988

    There is my list:
    1.Jimmy Hendrix
    2.Eric Clapton
    3.Joe Satriani
    4.Lemmy Kilmister(from Motorhead)
    5.Ritchie Blackmore
    6.Carlos Santana
    7.Pete Townsend
    8.Eddie Van Halen
    9.B.B. King
    10.David Gilmour

  • Rocker1988

    And my favourite band is, without any doubt, Pink Floyd. In my opinion, it is the best rock band ever seen.

  • Eanuh

    Uhm, I like Jack White and his band. No, I’m a fan actually…
    He’s not the most skilled guitar player, and definitely not the best, and even I, a fan, thinks he doesn’t deserve number 17…but he has a great stage presence and the energy coming from him and his bandmate Meg White + the emotion and expression they put into their shows is overwhelming. Also the spontaneity of their gigs gives something very unique to this band. Maybe that’s one of the reasons Rolling Stone rated him this high, even though maybe he doesn’t deserve this place.

  • mark

    Mick Mars kicks too much ass

  • Forrest

    Andrew K SARVER in my opinion is a terrific BASS guitar player.

    He is a postal carrier in Portland Oregon

  • I’ll be specific with my picks-and label them under catagories.

    1. Jimmi Hendrix
    2. Eric Clapton
    3. Buddy Guy
    4. Stevie Ray Vaughan
    5. Jimmy Page
    1. Jimmy Page
    2. Jimmi Hendrix
    3. Buddy Guy
    4. Eric Clapton
    5. Eddie Van Halen
    1. Yngwie Malmsteen
    2. Eddie Van Halen
    3. Joe Satriani
    4. Eric Johnson
    5. Jimmy Page
    1. Eric Clapton
    2. Jimmy Hendrix
    3. Buddy Guy
    4. B.B. King
    5. Eric Johnson
    Overall top 5:
    1. Jimmy Hendrix
    2. Eric Clapton
    3. Jimmy Page
    4. Buddy Guy
    5. Brian May for overall ass kicker!

  • Mr. Wonderful

    First of all you really can’t pick the best but few are Legends and my favorite is Johnny Winter.
    Here are some of the few.
    Joe Walsh
    Robin Trower
    Johnny Winter
    Roy Buchanan
    David Gilmour
    Duane Allman
    Mark Knopfler
    Jeff Beck
    Joe Satriani
    John McLaughlin
    Jimmy Page

    The Most overrated guitarist is CLAPTON!!! He’s a good songwriter.I don’t know how anyone could rate him on his gutiar playing talent. It’s not there.

  • I think Jimmie HEndrix And Clapton are really good, though they may be over rated as being the greatest of all time, even Jimmie didn’t think he was the greatest, but he is very good in my book, he plays with alot of feel. some people get it confused though cuz some guitarists always say “its all about the feel man” not how fast u can go, because most of the ones who say that can’t go that fast, i think u should have the fastness card incase u have to pull thatout when u need to,andnot over exagerate it but atleast have it in some songs to shwo ppl that u aint no joke feel me ? but here is my list damnn i cant even think, oh and if ne oen in the nj or philly area is trying to start a band with all style music together hit me up.. accxxx2002@yahoo.com with the subject music ok heres my list in top 10 no particular order
    1. Steve Vai
    3.Van halen
    4.Dimebag darrel(Pantera)
    6. that guy who played for ozzie in the 80’s that died in a freak accident
    7.joe satriani
    8. Stevie Ray
    9. Django Reinhart
    Marty Friedman is pretty good but 10…
    if u wanna go by feel and all the combinations of them all i would love for it to b me haha

  • Confidence

    wait take off djano he’s good but i dotn kno if best n put in beck

  • Luca

    STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN is by far the greatest electric guitarist of all times. The things he did with his Fender, other guitarists dreamed they could have done the same. I am surprised when i hear that Eric Clapton is better than him. SRV had a way of playing that was unique, he truly mastered his guitar. There is a live double set DVD i reccomend to all SRV fans, its STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN LIVE AT MONTREUX. Anyone who appreciates the true talent of this guitarist will freek out at this incredible video.

    these would be my top 5:
    2.Jimi Hendrix
    3.Jimmy Page
    4.Van Halen
    5.David Gilmour

    **Also, the guitar trio Paco De Lucia, John McLuaghlin and al di meola are out of this world


  • what about goerge lynch???

  • Cory Latchford

    The Top 10
    1. Yngwie Malmsteen
    2. Michael Angelo
    3. Steve Vai
    4. Jimmy Page
    5. Kirk Hammet
    6. Paul Gilbert
    7. Stevie Ray Vaughn
    8. Eddie Van Halen
    9. Billy F. Gibbons
    10.Joe Satriani

    Remember It’s the top 10 Best guitarist list not the top 10 most known or top 10 best song writers. This list is based on ability and skill.

  • Jamo

    Robert — great list. I think the only way to get anywhere in a discussion like this is to break it down into multiple categories as you did. I like your lists, but I think when it comes to articulation (and I think someone mentioned him before in this thread) you should consider Trey Anastasio of Phish. I think he should be put somewhere in the top 20 of every “greatest guitar player” list, and if we are going to talk about articulation I have never heard a guitarist give each and every note as much respect as Trey.

  • ethan

    why the f**k isnt buckethead on either list RS or yours!?!?!?!?

  • hamerman

    With all due respect to the “legendary” guitarists like SRV, page and hendrix, those guys are like novices compared frank gambale. Im surprised i havent seen more jazz guitarists, in my opinion any decent jazz guitarist smoke pretty much any main stream guitarist, in playing ability and knowing theory.And its immpossible to say who are the top guitarists because there are thousands of ordinary, run of the mill kind of guys that can just wail on the guitar. that being said here is my top 3 list…
    1.Frank Gambale
    2.Yngwie Malmsteen
    3.Rik Emmett

  • upi

    I second the vote for Trey Anastasio. If anyone appreciates the guitar, it’s a matter of listening to his playing once. Language of MUSIC in profundity, through a guitar.

  • Jayant Kapre

    Where is Slash??? I hope it is my eyesight playing tricks on me…I had figured he would be in the top 10 or something….

  • Telmo Marques


  • walter gordon

    After reading Rolling Stones list and tall the comments, I am absolutely astonished that STEVE STEVENS is not mentioned by anyone. He is simply one of the most versatile and greatest guitar players ever. Have you heard him play with Biily Idol, The Atomic Playboys or Flamenco A GO GO. Acoustic, Electric, or Flamenco, he can do it all!
    Please listen to Billy Idol’s VH1 Storytellers to hear Stevens at his best

  • Ant

    kirk hammet/dave mustaine, just whomever played lead guitars in Metallica during the 80s

  • JH

    Fuck you assholes who dont like clapton. Are you serious, he is a fucking awesome blues/rock guitarist. My List MARFUCKERS!!!!!
    #1 Jimi Hendrix / Eric Clapton
    #2 Page
    #3 Stevie Ray Vaughan / Van Halen

    And all other guitarists that you mentioned are all kick ass, It all depends on what type of music you like, how you like them to play it and how popular they are… Rolling Stones ignore anyone who isnt MTV friendly the fucks

  • Johnson

    All of you guys suck and forget one of the best Guitarists there. Here is my top 5
    1- Eric Clapton
    2- Robbie Robertson
    3- Jimmy Page
    4- Jack White
    5- Neil Young

    They were the more influential guitarists that inspired me to play guitar

  • geetkoo

    other worldly guitarists (not in any order)
    1. Danny Gatton
    2. Mike Bloomfield
    3. Sonny Landreth
    4. Chris Spedding
    5. Leslie West
    6. Robben Ford
    7. Steve Hunter
    8. Dick Wagner
    9. Neil Young
    10. Frank Zappa
    11. Nilsm Lofgren
    12. Warren Haynes
    13. Waddy Wachtel
    14. Mick Taylor
    15. Brinsley Schwarz
    16. Albert King
    17. Albert Collins
    18. Freddie King
    19. Adrian Belew
    20. Ry Cooder
    21. Domenic Troiano
    22. Gary Lucas
    23. Roy Buchanan
    24. Buddy Miller
    25. Billy Joe Shaver
    26. Zoot Horn Rollo
    27. Mark Knopfler
    28. E.C.
    29. Kurt Winters
    30. James Burton
    31. Albert Lee
    32. Arlen Roth
    33. Pete Townshend
    34. Keith Richards
    35. Walter Rossi
    36. Ritchie Blackmore
    37. Earl Slick
    38. Johnny Winter
    39. Duane Allman
    40. Leo Kottke
    41. Peter Green
    42. Angus Young
    43. Robbie Kreiger
    44. Rory Gallagher
    45. Mick Abrahams
    46. Jimmy Page
    47. Jeff Beck
    48. SRV
    49. Eddie Van Halen
    50. Steve Vai
    51. Jimi Hendrix
    52. Jerry Garcia
    53. Buddy Guy
    54. John McLaughlin
    55. Carlos Santana
    56. Richard Thompson
    57. David Lindley
    58. Roy Rogers
    59. Ron Wood
    60. Jorma Kaukonen
    61. Joe Walsh
    62. Johnny Guitar Watson
    63. Lightnin Hopkins
    64. B.B. King
    65. Earl Hooker
    66. Harvey Mandel
    67. J.J. Cale
    68. Randy California
    69. Steve Howe
    70. Tommy Bolin
    71. Gary Moore
    72. Jeff “The Skunk” Baxter
    73. Jimmy Thackery
    74. Bob Brozman
    75. Robbie Robertson
    76. Deke Dickerson
    77. Harry Manx
    78. Robert Cray
    79. Dave Davies
    80. George Marinelli
    81. Wayne Perkins
    82. Duke Robillard
    83. Ernie Lancaster
    84. Jimmie Vaughan
    85. Mick Green
    86. Julian Sas
    87. Dickie Betts
    88. Blues Saraceno
    89. Martin Barre
    90. Steve Jones
    91. Steve Cropper
    92. Rick Derringer
    93. Robin Trower
    94. Alvin Lee
    95. Scott Gorham
    96. Eric Bell
    97. Brian Robertson
    98. Walter Becker
    99. Francis Rossi
    100. Zal Cleminson

  • geetkoo

    101. David Gilmore

  • geetkoo

    102. Lowell George
    103. Dickie Betts
    104. Randy Bachman
    105. Antennae Jimmy Semens
    These sre the top10 in my books

  • LD

    You Cats to young to remember LONNIE MACK the MAN who started it all.

  • Colin

    106. John Petrucci

  • How can the Rolling stone ever think of
    giving the top 100 guitarists with out Joe Satriani. the list sucks

  • Steven

    Alright my top 5 all you people
    1. Jimi Hendrix
    2.Jimmy Paige
    3.Stevie Ray
    4. Jack White
    5.Duane Allman
    Angus Young is ok, but he seems more of a character than a musician with his schoolboy outfit ( Which is cool don’t get me wrong ) but AC/DC had a pattern of doing the same thing over and over….thats why you see him at number 96. Lindsay Buckingham should be on there as well.

  • Alex

    i cant even start saying the things wrong with this list…damn…this is extremely pothetic.

  • Blane Dugas

    You’ve got to be kidding me..Chet Atkins is not on the list? He could play circles around most of those guys in the 15-30 range! In my opinion Stevie Ray is #1 and Hendrix is #2, then there is a mix between guys like Eric Clapton, Joe Satriani, Jimmy Page, Duane Alleman, Allen Collins, Steve Gaines, etc……B.B. King, Albert King, Buddy Guy, and other Blues players should also in the top 10!

  • geetkoo

    107. Joe Satriani
    108. Buddy Guy

  • geetkoo

    Whoops, Whoopie
    108. Buddy Guy already on the list so let’s put this guy named Chuck Berry in instead

  • Mike

    I would like to give a nod to John Petrucci.

  • alex

    geetkoo your list sucks

  • rock fan 1

    yeah number ones right but where the hell is Angus Young

  • richard

    1. CLapton/Hendrix
    2. Jimmy Page
    3. Dickie Betts
    4. Richards
    5. Duane Allman
    6. Pete Townshend
    7. B.B. King

    Overall best to me, rated by how they played, how they thought, and how they did it. I really dig alot of the comments out there, and others not so much, well all have our styles, and most of the reason why is because of these people. Simply the BEST. thank you for reading.

  • Ashan

    1.Eric Clapton
    2.Hendrix/B.B. King
    3.Joe Satriani
    4.Steve Vai
    5.Eddie Van Helen
    6.Carlos Santana

    I think these are the top 6 guitarists in the world. Clapton is very architectural and Hendrix is conceptual. But when you listen to solos of clapton and hendrix, i think Clapton plays more better music than Hendrix.

  • donald logodicio


    angus at 96???

    he deseves to ne at atleast top 20

    this thing fucking sux

  • Limp Dick and White Fro

    Limp Dick: Dis be fuckin BULL SHIT! The greatest guitar players ever are Randy Rhoads and Eddie Van Halen. What the fuck is up with Angus Young, [edited]

    White Fro: What the hell this list is a bunch of Bull Plop. Kurt Cobain is very influential. Come on he started the Grunge seen basically, but hes over 60 spots ahead of Randy Rhoads. Thats a load of Plop. this is the list of greatest guitarists this is the list of most successful guitarists this list is based all on the media succes of the guitarists. [edited

  • Kurdt and Randy

    1-Randy Rhoads
    2-Eddie Van Halen
    3-Angus Young
    4-Kirk Hammett
    5-Jimmy Page
    6-Tom Morrello
    7-Kurt Cobain
    8-Dave Mustaine
    9-Tony Iommi
    10-Mick Mars

  • Joey

    Hi yall anybody ever heard of Ted Nugent? I in my opinion he is one of the best following Stivie Ray.

  • Jay

    Disregarding the fact that there is no point to determine who i the best since people are different and it is impossible to be objective, one should take into consideration some criteria. The first is abilities, the second improvisation/theory, third – music “feel”, fourth composing, and finaly, the fifth – something to do with versitility. So what the f… Kurt Cobain does on the list. Yeah this is made for people to laugh. In my opinion John Petrucci is one of the best ever but … he is not THAT wellknown:( and he is not as old, and people tend to give opinions based on stereothypes. Should you disagree, just listen to “An evening with John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess”

  • RitchieB

    There is my top 10 guitar Players(Rock/Metal)

    1.Jimmy Hendrix
    2.Ritchie Blackmore (The Master)
    3.Jimmy Page
    4.Tommy Iommy
    5.Joe Satriani
    6.Steve Vai
    7.Yngwie Malmsteen
    8.Steve Ray Vaughan
    9.Steve Morse
    10.Mark Knopfler

    1,000,000.Brian May/Keith Richards (Too Stupids)

  • hoost

    I like Talorans list but where is Bruce Dickinson , Iron maiden has some of the best guitar playing ever, not many bands use 3 lead guitarists.

  • U

    Any one heard of Steve Kimock? also very talented..

  • done

    1joe sat
    2steve vai
    4steve morse
    7zakk wylde
    9eric johnson
    10gary moore

  • bharper

    I can’t believe no one has mentioned Terry Kath of Chicago. Admired by Hendrix. Can anyone listen to his incredibly soulful playing on CTA (first album before they went bubble gum), often doing both rhythm and lead simultaneously, and not think this guy deserves a mention?

  • metalhead

    what the fuck is this bullshit everyone knows one of the best guitarist ever are kerry king and jeff hanneman of slayer also dave mustaine, tonni iommi, zakk wylde, alexi laiho, randy rhoads, and hendrix and many more

  • Rynaldo

    Hey Guitaraholics

    My number 1 would be Eddie Van Halen, with him on guitar his stuff can be fun, its not all this serious stuff and he runs about playing good songs

    Number 2: Joe Satriani, the guy writes amazing stuff.

    Number 3: Eric Johnson, can play accoustic and electric and writes really nice tunes

    Number 5: I think it is Jimmy Page,his songs where all just about built on riffs, but he did great riffs and his guitar solo’s where excellent

    After those 5, no specific order

    Steve Vai
    Yngwie Malmsteen
    Nuno (the guy from Extreme)
    David Gilmour
    Gary Moore

  • Dio

    Vivian Campbell should be on the list if hes not. Awesome and I reckon slash took a copy or two out of his book.

  • Rob

    I really liked Vivian Campbell a lot on the first few Dio albums and live, in the 80s. But, when I listen to these albums today, there’s just a lot of shredding going on. To be honest, I haven’t heard his playing these days and I’m sure that he’s matured into a great guitarist, but I don’t know that he’s very influential to anyone.

  • sigorny weaver


  • Slashaholic

    Hey there are so many guitarists that I ahven’t heard but in my opinion Bryan May, Eric Clapton, and hendrix are damn fine players along with Slash and loads of other players. There are players that you will almost never hear of that I think are worth a mention like Graham Coxon Ex-Blur guitarist (listen to his last three solo albums, as he plays almost all the guitar parts apart from slide and steel) and Hillel Slovak who when alive was fortold to be the next Hendrix, if you listen to the RHCP’s first two albums you will soon see.

  • Peter

    Who remembered Jan Akkerman (and Focus). In the 70th’ Rolling Stones elected him as the best guitar player on teh world. He is still alive and for sure one of the best!

  • michael

    id just like to point out that not many people here seem like they know anything about guitar all the lists are shit and offensive it makes me sick always putting hendrix and clapton at the top, heres a list of the guitarists that deserve to be at the top due to there abilities and technique:

    1.edward van halen(he is the most inovative guitarist of all time, yes hendrix is also but i think van halen had a bigger impact on the solo guitar world)

    2.steve vai(i bilieve him to be the greatest technicle guitarist in the world though im not a huge fan of his music)

    3.joe satriani (satch is my fav player he’s 1 of a kind, he can play it all but has a unique style and sound)

    4.yngwie malmsteen(4 his classical playing and his speed,he’s incredible, and is proberbly the most interesting shredder to listen to)

    5.michael angelo(shearly 4 his speed as he’s the fastest guitarist on the planet but unlike malmsteen he can get very boring to listen to unfortunately)

    6.jimi hendrix(not 4 his playing ability but 4 his inovation in the guitar world which was huge but in my oppinion not as much as eddie)

    7.ritchie blackmore(a very hard player to copy at times also the solo in black night is incredible)

    8.jeff beck(still setting the boundries 4 the guitar and he’s over 60)

    9.gary moore(1 of my fav players but underated as most people focus on his blues days and not his rock days. any 1 who listens to gary moore will know why i put him in the list, just listen to “murder in the skies” or “end of the world” and you will know what im on about)

    10.michael schenker(a self taught guitarist whos playing ability is incredible)

    11.ry cooder(an incredible slide player also any 1 who has seen the old film crossroads then you will know what im on about)

    12.eric clapton(a good guitarist on all acounts and brilliant blues player)

    13.rex carrol(an amazing guitarist but not heard of that much)

    14.paul gilbert(a great guitarist all round and a spot on player)

    15.kirk hammett(a good guitar player but very overrated by people that dont know what there talking about, not many people realise that he was taught quite alot from joe satriani, but otherwise a good player)

    i am aware that there are great guitarists around and i know that there is know such thing as “the best guitarist” its all down to personnal taste, but i just wanted people to know that there many guitarists out there that are not that well known. well ive said my bit feel free to correct me if you dont like these guitarists

  • Bryan

    Best guitarist ever


  • Plaqula

    Anyone ever hear of Steve Howe?

  • geetkoo

    apologies to 109. Bill Frisell

  • Alex Snell

    WHAT ABOUT MICK TAYLOR???? He was only the guitarist for the Rolling Stones during the best years they’ve ever had! Come on…how could they have forgotten him……

  • pac

    Top 15

    1. Jimmy Page
    2. David Gilmour
    3. Terry Kath- very underrated
    4. Jimi Hendrix
    5. Duane Allman
    6. Eric Clapton
    7. Jeff Beck
    8. John Fogerty
    9. Steve Howe
    10. Dickey Betts
    11. Carlos Santana
    12. Eddie Van Halen
    13. Stevie Ray Vaughan
    14. Tony Iommi
    15. Pete Townshend

  • six string shred

    Hello people lets all get a grip, George Lynch still is the fastest, cleanest, innovative, visual, spontanious, and most importantly STILL RELEVENT! All of the rest are either dead or super nothings

  • Tanya

    what about JOE!!!! jeez

  • dave

    what up peeps:
    here’s my humble opinion: there are too many guitarists out there to make a top 100 poll or a top 500 poll for that matter. for every great blues or rock or jazz or classical guitarist that becomes famous, there are 5 behind him/her almost as good that didn’t make it. i’ve played guitar for almost seven years now and my opinion has changed a bit about what makes a good guitar player. i used to think when i was 12 or 13 that kirk hammet and dave mustaine and those guys were the best. then i realized that they are fast and talented but play with little feel. then i moved on and thought jimi was the best (and i still think he’s pretty close to the best). but then i realized hey, he’s good and really innovative, but so are ten other guys i listen to. now im big on the prog and jam players, like gilmour, lifeson, petrucci, anastasio, warren haynes, derek trucks. i guess my point is that everyone will always have a favorite player (for me its stevie ray vaughan) but in now way should a player or a type of music limit what you listen to or respect. for every one that says “so and so sucks ass” just remember that he was good enough to make a record! so since we’re making lists heres mine in no order:
    jimmy page
    dave gilmour
    derek trucks
    adam jones
    jerry cantrell
    brad barr (the slip)
    john petrucci
    and so on…

  • This is my list. The only thing I can say is I’m really surprised.
    Where is Mark Knopfler in this list?
    Is speed all you take in account?
    Where is the feeling, the elegance, the touch?
    Again, this is my list
    1º Knopfler
    2º Knopfler
    3º Knopfler
    And all the rest is by the way

  • dave

    you make a good point about speed. speed and technical ability should be taken into account waaaaaay less than song/solo/melody writing ability for guitar players. just because i can play dave gilmour’s solos (which 99% of the time are slow but powerful) about ten times faster than him doesnt mean im as good as him because he wrote the solo and i didnt.

  • ksk

    what about slash??

  • kennith

    where is dick wagner in the list. also diego sergovia wasn’t mentioned, he could play opera on acoustic.

  • matt

    cant believe u guys forgot about cobain dude was sweet …..deff a legend

  • matt

    heres my list of guitar players

    1,jimi hendrix,my blood shakes everytime i hear voodoo child who comes up with that awesome probly the best ever.
    2,jimmy page,without him there wouldnt be rock today he changed everyone and exspired people to play guitar,stairway to heaven is the shit.
    3,srv,not one of my favorite guitar players but hes so awesome and can play the guitar like no other.
    4.eddie van halen,hes so tricky and unique very good guitar player.
    5.kirk hammet,solos are amazing and u ever hear one song is like 8 min.
    6.kurt cobain.not so much of a great guitar player but an awesome song writer,hes awesome and its to bad what he did.
    7.angus young,plays the simplest stuff but it sounds so sweet deff. great in his time.

  • Sean

    its been a long time from october 7th 2003 when this started but i believe the guys from shadows fall should be AT LEAST in the top 20. TO 2 MORE YEARS OF DEBATE YEAH!!!

  • rkeime

    jeff beck tommy bolin larry carlton nuno harry cody tony macalpine vinnie moore gary moore gary richrath blackmore would not survive on a desert isle sans these guitarists

  • Bert

    Uuuuh…Where’s Steve Lukather? I’m a metalhead personally, but when I saw Toto, I was stunned…

  • mike

    jimi hendrix,eric clapton,jeff beck,jimmy page,rory gallagher,albert king,keith richards,chet atkins,buddy guy,roy buchanan,stevie ray,johnny winter,mike bloomfield,mick taylor,peter green,bb king,freddie king,steve cropper,ritchie blackmore,duane allman,chuck berry,leo kottke,terry kath,robin trower,jeff healy,joe walsh,peter townsend,ronnie wood,kim simmonds,billy gibbons,david gilmour and leslie west are in my opinion worthy of all being in the top 25!

  • mike

    oops,i forgot a few… eddie van halen,scotty moore,james burton,les paul.joe satriani,lonnie mack,carlos santana,steve howe,hubert sumlim,alvin lee,ted nugent….



  • SandMan

    I Graduated 8th grade in 68 and high school in 73
    out of Navy 78 (all shore duty in Key West.)Today
    I’m a 51 year old serious rock&roller.Truly I’ve
    seen very many of these artists,some multiple ti-
    mes.I have played guitar since I was 9.I guess I
    am saying I’m at least very well informed and always ready to pick up something new.NOW!!I HAVE
    NEVER HAD MY ASS KICKED AS SEVERELY AS JULY 20 1974.I know I’m gonna get razzzzzzed,but early,
    and I mean early,in this bands growing popularity,a
    tremdously AWESOME giutarists blasted his band to
    the top of the ROCK WORLD.Indeed the world over.
    They hit BIG BIG time in 80-81-82.They left in a sweaty,crumpled,wasted,heap on the floor.THE MOST UNDERRATED AMERICAN ROCK GUITARIST.I,m talk-
    ing pure,blistering,flaming Rock and Roll.Of course everyone knows I’m talking about Gary
    FUCKING Richrath!!!!!!!!By God I’ve SEEN Paige and Beck.Clapton 3 times.OH and what the hell is
    going on.I Guarantee those fucksticks Blink 182 are’nt fit to even THINK about carrying Gary Richrath’s guitar PICKS.
    Jack White…………..????You got to be BULLSHITTIN me.PLEASE PLAY SOMTHING THAT DOES’NT MAKE MY EARS WANT TO PUKE!Go back and check out REO TWO and You get what you Play for,LIVE.Then they went more mainstream and of coarse the ROCK suffered.At that time,for me,I felt as I still do.I never saw anything like it before and still have’nt.Johnny Winter..wicked.Eric Johnson…aalllright.I know it’s gonna be great, but I’m gonna keep lookin for that next ROCK & ROLL ASS KICKIN LIKE NO OTHER.
    P.S.Get by yourself with good Phones

  • mike

    i am from reo speedwagon territory.(st.louis,peoria,springfield,decatur and of course,cham-bana,where they were formed)reo 2 is a great album and i first saw them at the morgue in decatur in 1970. gary richrath’s favorite guitar player of all time is eric clapton.

  • (in no particular order although I’m partial to both EVH and Eric Johnson) Eddie Van Halen, Eric Johnson, SRV, Malmsteen, Clapton….E Johnson has got incredible incredible speed, innovation and complexity in his guitar work..maybe moreso than anyone I’ve even heard. Anyway, the Rolling Stone list is shit….1/2 those guys shouldn’t even be there. Let’s hope for a better list next time. Happy New Year to all!

  • LD


  • Jimmy S.

    I Take into consideration an unbiased opinion. There are many styles to which makes it very difficult to establish a satisfying and deserving Top 10,20 30…100+.. So most basically list guitarists that are from ones musical era. ONE has try hard to rid bias/seniority and take into reality a Guitarists overall–Talent,Clarity,Diverse Melodic Abilities(with Band/solo),LIVE and Studio consistancy… These I feel are a few Master Guitarists criterium.
    My #1 and #2 picks are actually a tie for #1, These 2 guys are true Masters,both died too young, yet both truly amazed their peers/idols and deeply earned their utmost respect. These two both impressed me at the way they Mastered playing both rhythm and lead with near flawlessness.They both played from the heart!
    #1s- Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan (watch,listen and learn..)

    #2.-#15. – Too tuff to figure. but it wouldnt be any of these guys..B.B. King(cant play rhythm),Eric Clapton, Chuck Berry, Keith Richards, Kirk Hammett, Kurt Cobain.

    Somewhere in the top40 should be Gary Moore, Alex Lifeson of Rush(another rhythm/lead master),Michael S.Of Ufo.,M. Angelo,Mack+King..,EVH @#40.

    Emit from list… The Edge,Ike Turner,Cobain?? yep,thinkkkk. Theres more to it people than just Bar Chords.. P.S. Dont forget the Masters of Classical Guitar… and dont ask about k. richards..lol..

  • Again, the greatest dirty little secret and saddest visual imparities of the so called critics of who is indeed the best guitarist of all time should remove the veil and take heed to the following:

    As Micky Mantle did not hit the most home runs, nobody hit the ball as far as he did(700 plus feet.) as well as hitting the ball out of Yankee Stadium twice during batting practice. Nobody has come close. As such, the reproduction of the song Woodchoppers Ball by Alvin Lee is probably the fastest and most clear feat of guitar genius, that the likes of Page, Clapton, Hendrix… and the rest of the guitar gods could never reproduce. Yes, as with Micky Mantle, he struck out alot, in that Alvin can be a little sloppy, but nobody can duplicate his riffs, when he is ON! Futhermore, his present blues stuff is similarly at the same level of the Claptons…

    Now, these are my opinions, but until you listen to the Woodchoppers Ball, and the selective other songs that reach and indeed surpass in many an instance the present and past guitar gods threshold of greatness, the blinders remain hindering ones vision. Alvin Lee is indeed amongs the best guitarists for both speed and agility and strength. Thanks for allowing my opinion.

  • Duane

    Guthrie Govan can smoke the doors off all these guys … uhhh … except for Alan Holdsworth and Steve Vai, and I’m sure they’re both looking over their shoulder. Go look at a few Quicktime clips of Govan at the Tone Merchants website. You will become a believer.

  • andy

    1.Adrian Smith(Iron Maiden)

    This guy is amazing,he did influence on many rock and metal guitarists.He’s creativity is Unbelievable,he’s very versatile(heavy metal,power metal,rock,blues,fusion,prog and…)and technically insane.

    2.Tony Iommi
    3.Gary Moore
    4.Jimmy Hendrix
    5.Dave Murray
    6.Steve vai
    7.Ritchie Blackmore
    8.Glenn Tipton
    9.John Petrucci
    10.Yngwie Malmsteen

  • Best Guitarists

    (1.) Todd Rundgren

    Nothing tops Rundgren’s Guitar Solos in the songs ‘Utopia’, ‘The Ikon’, ‘Black Maria’, ‘Just One Victory’ (from his Somewhere Anywhere cd), ‘The Last Ride’, ‘Style’, ‘Caravan’, ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ and now his new cover of ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ from (Best Of Todd Rundgren Live)! and many too numerous here!

    Todd is still the Best!

    (2.) Jeff Beck…..’Freeway Jam’, ‘People Get Ready’ etc.

    (3.) John McLaughlin….’all his solos on ‘Birds Of Fire’ etc.

    (4.) Duane Allman…..’In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed’ etc.

    (5.) Eric Clapton….’Sunshine Of Your Love’, ‘Layla’ etc.

    (6.) Jimi Hendrix….’If Six Was Nine’ etc. etc.

    (7.) Frank Zappa……his deepest cuts (The Gumbo Variations) etc.

    (8.) Carlos Santana….’Jingo’, ‘Europa’ etc.

    (9.) Stevie Ray Vaughan…’Crossfire’, ‘Pride and Joy’ etc.

    (10.)Robin Trower…….’Bridge Of Sighs’ etc.

    (11.) Eddie Van Halen….’Eruption’ etc.

    (12.) Gary Moore……..’Murder in the skies’etc.

    (13.) Tom Sholz….Foreplay/Long Time


    Bob Cerm

  • Angelo

    These are the most influencial to me..

    Jack White(not the best but, He made me want to play guitar)

    Eric Johnson(He knows so much about guitar)

    JImmy Page(He Influenced me a lot)

    Jimi HEndrix(my lord in heaven)

    Van Halen(cool stuff to play)

    The one I enjoy playing most is Eric Johnson.

  • Bray

    1)Jimmy Page (Stairway To Heaven,Heartbreaker)
    2)Jimi Hendrix (Voodoo Child (Slight Return),Purple Haze)
    3)Eric Clapton (Layla,Sunshine Of Your Love)
    4)Stevie Ray Vaughn (Texas Flood,Scuttle Buttin)
    5)Joe Satriani (The Extremist,Satch Boogie)
    6)Steve Vai (The Animal,For The Love Of God)
    7)Randy Rhoads (Mr Crowley,Crazy Train)
    8)Eddie Van Halen – (Eruption,Panama)
    9)Jeff Beck (Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers,Blue Wind)
    10)David Gilmour (Comfortably Numb,Time)
    11)Ritchie Blackmore (Smoke On The Water,Highway Star)
    12)Duane Allman (Blue Sky,Whipping Post)
    13)Yngwie Malmsteen (Black Star,Far Beyond The Sun)
    14)Eric Johnson (Cliffs Of Dover,Desert Rose)
    15)Buckethead (Nottingham Lace,Big Sur Moon)
    16)Tony Iommi (Iron Man,Paranoid)

  • Devin

    1)Steve Vai
    2)Eddie Van Halen
    3)Kirk Hammet
    4)Joe Satriani
    5)Yngwie Malmsteem
    6)Rik Emmett
    7)Jimi Hendrix
    8)Eric Clapton
    9)John Petrucci
    10)George Lynch
    11)Randy Rhoads
    12)Paul Gilbert
    13)Jeff Beck
    14)Marty Friedman
    15)Stevie Ray Vaughan
    16)Carlos Santana

  • Devin

    17)Alex Lifeson
    18)Eric Johnson

  • Guppusmaximus

    I agree that one has to look at more than one style to present any kind of relevant list and I’ll admit that it’s almost impossible to numerically place these guitar gods, BUT, SPARE ME THE B.S.!!! Kurt Cobain over Alex Lifeson?
    Are you on F*cking CRACK?? Your picks for The Top 40 should be the picks for #’s 2-15….Wow, people around here are definately out of touch..

  • boru

    this is just a retort to comment # 72 or something…jimmy hendrix was one of the greatest, most innovative guitar players of all time, but you know what wasnt??? the sound that he had to play with…he’s also been credited with innovating distortion and the nostalgic “fuzz” sound by virtually playing with the wires that went into his amps. and as a self-taught guitar player he only had a transistor radio in his mothers kitchen that he would listen to. you have to think of the equipment available to him at the time. he died in 1970. there were no digital modelling effects or multi-effect guitar processors with which he could perfect!!! just think about the instruments and tools with which he had to perform with…thats all

  • barry ut.

    amen brother!

  • Bass Man

    My Favorite 5 Guitarist For Sound And Style(Not In Order):
    4.)Duane Allman
    5.)Matt Bickmoore

  • pickermike

    buddy holley who

  • Kyle

    Hendrix was properly placed at the top he is the greatest.

  • Sammy D

    I’m not suggesting that this is technically the best list, but these are my 20 favourite guitarists:
    1) Jimmy Page
    2) Jimi Hendrix
    3) Eric Clapton
    4) BB King
    5) Allen Collins
    6) Dave Gilmour
    7) Angus Young
    8) Edie Hazel
    9) George Harrison
    10) Jeff Beck
    11) Don Felder
    12) Dave Davies
    13) Duane Allman
    14) Ritchie Blackmore
    15) Slash
    16) Richie Blackmore
    17) Tom Morello
    18) Brian May
    19) Mark Knofler
    20) Eddie Van Halen
    And would all those people out there get JIMI Hendrix’s name right? Thank you

  • mark

    My picks in no particular order:

    1) James Burton
    2) Adrian Belew
    3) Tom Verlaine
    4) Richard Lloyd
    5) Robert Quine
    6) Jeff Beck
    7) Django Reinhardt
    8) Stanley Jordan
    9) Danny Gatton
    10) Richard Thompson
    11) John McLaughlin
    12) Steve Howe
    13) Frank Zappa
    14) Pete Townsend
    15) Lowell George (slide man extraordinaire)
    16) Chris Spedding
    17) Dave Edmunds
    18) Link Wray
    19) George Harrison
    20) Sevie Ray Vaughn
    21) Jimmy Vaughn
    22) Brian Setzer
    23) Al DiMeola
    24) Andres Segovia
    25) John Williams
    26) Eddie Cochran
    27) Cliff Gallup
    28) Ry Cooder
    29) Mike Bloomfield
    30) Brian May
    31) Clarence White
    32) Scotty Moore
    33) Merle Travis (a travesty he was left out)
    34) Chet Atkins (ditto)
    35) Lindsey Buckingham (fabulous finger technique)
    36) David Lindley
    37) Stephen Stills
    38) Mike Bloomfield
    39) Steve Morse
    40) Doc Watson
    41) Steve Morse
    42) Marc Ribot
    43) Mark Knopfler
    44) Junior Brown
    45) Leo Kotke
    46) Albert Lee
    47) Les Paul
    48) Duane Allman

    The Rolling Stone list is lame for who it included (and who it left out):

    1) The Edge? (not really a virtuoso)
    2) Joan Jett? (gimme a break)
    3) Kurt Kobain (Great writer but not in the same league as a player as most on the list)
    4) Johnny Ramone? (a great 3 barre cord artist. BTW, I’m a huge Ramone fan)

  • ibanez

    Its hard to find the best guitarist ever. Each person has their own speciality. I personaly am a rock fan. But i think jazz guitarists should be on the top of the list. Anyone who plays the guitar knows how difficuilt jazz is compared to rock. thats why i think the best jazz player deserves to be on the top.

    The top 10 rock guitarists for me are

    1. Jimi Hendrix
    2. Jimmy Page
    3. Eric Clapton
    4. Jeff Beck
    5. Eddie Van Halen
    6. Stevie Ray Vaughan
    7. Joe Satriani
    8. Ritchie Blackmore
    9. Steve Vai
    10.David Gilmour

    Some of the best jazz players are
    1. Wes Montgomery
    2. Django Reinhardt
    3. Pat Metheny
    4. Joe Pass
    5. Charlie Christian
    6. John Scofield
    7. Allan Holdsworth
    8. John McLaughlin
    9. Jim Hall

    We also cant forget guitarists like
    Andres Segovia who i think is one of the worlds best. I dont think many people would even remember his talent.
    B.B. King,T-Bone Walker are also some of the greatest guitarists. I hope my comment becomes any use to people.

  • where the fuk is knopfler and will some body spell srv,s name right it is vaughan u dumb fuks where is MARK KNOPFLER fuking hell he was the greatest of all time u stupid fuks

  • top ten
    1 stevie ray vaughan
    2 jimmy page
    3 mark knopfler
    4 eric clapton
    5 angus young
    6 tito out of tito and tarantula
    7 jimi hendrix
    8 chuck berry
    9 duanne allman
    10 eddie van halen

  • Razor: If you think Mark Knopfler is the greatest of all time, why is he only at #3 on your list?

  • Mike in Missouri

    My list in this order are as follows:
    1.Randy Rhodes
    2.Yngwie Malmsteen
    3.Gary Moore
    4.Jimi Hendrix
    5.Brian May
    6.Ritchie Blackmore
    7.Steve Vai
    8.Joe Satriani
    9.David Gilmore
    10.Stevie Ray Vaughan
    11.Ty Tabor
    12.Eddie VanHalen
    13.Frank Zappa
    14.Carlos Santana
    15.Walter Trout

  • Vern Halen

    Strictly a can o’ worms – you’ll never make anyone happy trying to pick the best guitarists – there’s too many variables.

  • nugget

    as much as I hate all electric guitarists who ever lived, how can anyone not mention Nuno Bettencourt.

    Bettencourt, the guitarist for the shitty early 90s band Extreme was absolutely incredible. His solos single-handedly buttrape eddie van halen’s boring solos. he had speed, innovation, and wrote bodacious riffs that went to shit once the rest of the band came in. Why this moron didn’t choose a different band is beyond me.

  • nugget

    ibanez said, “Andres Segovia who i think is one of the worlds best. I dont think many people would even remember his talent.”

    haha. nope. No one remembers him. No one under the age of 15 that is.

    Let me say one more thing since I have the floor. All you idiots proclaiming the bestest guitarist ever have no clue how much more difficult it is to play the CLASSICAL guitar as opposed to a low action electric axe that basically caters to any retard with some finger dexterity and a will to learn a few riffs. I teach guitar and have nine year olds playing crazy train. Big friggin’ deal.

    If anyone here knows someone who can play the chaconne like ana vidovic (24 year old GIRL) then let me know. You people crack my shiz up.

  • Guppusmaximus

    PEOPLE…. All I have to say is Yngwie J. Malmsteen!! He WAS the BEST, IS the BEST and will ALWAYS be the BEST! Bettencourt? LOL, dude Chris Impelliterri would kick his pussy ass while playing the axe….

  • christopher he was not technicaly the best eg people say that hendrix was the best but he wasnt a very good player i just say knopfler is the best cause he had a good sence of melody

  • hendrix was a good technicly before he started doing drugs but in the early days he was ok

  • nugget

    guppus take your ritalin. You never heard of Bettencourt til I just mentioned him. hahaha.

    Yngwie Malmsteen? A great guitarist is more than technique. Malmsteen is technique and pentatonic crap.

  • nugget

    why would anyone in their right mind even mention Frank “frenetic” Zappa. There is nothing cool or esoteric about playing random sloppy notes over pedestrian and typical jazz changes.

  • nugget

    aside from everything else…this is a fact:

    DJANGO REINHARDT is the best musician to ever pick up a guitar. The guitar world is lucky that a man of his talent even cared about the guitar. If you havn’t rummaged through his countless improvisations on the standards with Stephan Grapelli, then you are missing out.

    Reinhardt had the technique of any modern master, the musicianship of antigoni goni, the improvisational BRILLIANCE of Jimi Hendrix, and was cerebrally multidimensional.

    If all the greats were sitting around at a frat party guitar in hand, Reinhardt would knock everyone off their asses and they’d love him for it.

  • friend


  • David

    I can’t believe nobody mentioned Joe Bonamassa!
    Check this trackout:

  • John M.

    Holy sh*t, David! That smokes!

  • byrne

    kurt cobain is a shit guitarist

  • The Music Man


    He’s the definition of a musical genius.
    1)Completely and radically changed the electric guitar vibe from Hendrix.
    2)Invented every technique he plays to acheive whats in his brain.
    3)CAN play anthing he thinks – I bet no other guitarist yet alone any other musician can do that except for the great composers(Bach,Mozart,Beethoven etc).
    4)If there was a “Guitar Players Duel” look my in the eye and say that Hendrix, Clapton and Page etc would beat him!! I dare ya.
    5)Van Halen are Billboard record breakers – so he can obviously write a tune or two..thus winning the arguement of he just plays “hammer-ons” – well he’s had more Keyboard no1’s then Hendrix has had Guitar no1’s.

    Hey, I feel bad about running Hendrix down coz y’know if hendrix was alive when Van Halen came out he would have been the first to applaude him.

  • Jay

    Its crazy Blackmore didn’t get his due credit, Blackmore blows the hell out of most guitarist, learned on classical, can play any form of music period. This is one of the few prolific players in the world along with Hendrix, Page gets the master spot of the Les Paul tones dept and master of overdub, also played one of the best and known solos ever hands down, like it or not Stairway to Heaven, it perfect, has all 3 aspects to a solo, begining middle and the end!

  • Jay

    I forgot listing Cobrain no brain did not know how to play guitar, he was a drone hacker, my little girl can play his stuff! I remember one person said he was the next Lennon, how can this be, think about, all the music Lennon left vs the CoBrain Nobrain

  • sam the man

    3angus young
    4esteban from the infomercials
    5guy from ccr
    6eddie van halen
    7carlos santana
    8richie sambora
    9richie blackmore
    all hale angus young
    whats with johnny ramone at 16?
    hes good and all, but maybe real rock would still be alive if it weren’t for johnny
    even though i am a ramone fan
    come on johnny invented power chords

  • Akuumba

    What about Ray Parker Junior

    Prince and John lennon

  • Seattle to stay

    Alvin Lee from Ten Years after is very talented and the odd one no one knows about is Charro the Coochy Coochy girl can play A mean classical guitar

  • here is my list
    1 jimi hendrix
    2 Eric(slowhand)Clapton of cream
    3 Duane Allman of the allman bro’s
    4 Ravi Shanker
    5 Stevie Ray Vaughn
    6 Chuck Barry
    7 John Lennon of the beatles
    8 George Harrison of the beatles
    9 Frank Zappa
    10 Brian Klemm of suburban legends

  • grateful dead fan


  • 1. Jerry Garcia
    2. Jimi Hendrix
    3. Carlos Santana
    4. Jimmy Page
    5. Duane Allman
    6. Eric Clapton
    7. Robby Krieger

  • ok, first off, i wouldnt put jimmy hendrix in my top 50, he MIGHT make top 100, but it would be in the 99 range… he is WAY overated…

    Eric Clapton at #2? HELLO, he stated clearly when he was recording Layla with Duane Allman that Duane was the best guitar player in the world… so how does he end up higher then Allman??

    ok, Steve Vai, ahead of Duane, no way, not in a million years

    and where is Derek Trucks? i would say that if duane were still alive he would agree that Derek is even better than him

    ok heres my top 5

    1) Derek Trucks
    2) Duane Allman
    3) Dickey Betts
    4) Steve Gains
    5) Allan Collins

  • Jimi Hendrix sucks major ass. Kirk Cobain sucks major ass. Anyone who thinks either of the latter are guitar gods, pioneers, or anything of that nature should die. The end.

  • i ask all of you, where is the Daron Malakian(s.o.a.d.), maybe a couple of Billie Joe Armstrongs (Green Day) here and there. Maybe throw in some Joe Trohman (Fall Out Boy)maybe not one of the best, but why not? Keep in mind, I’m young.

    1. Eddie Van Halen
    2. Eric Clapton
    3. Carlos Santana
    4. Jimmy Page
    5. James Hetfield
    6. Daron Malakian
    7. Billie Joe Armstrong

  • G-String

    Wow! Nobody remembers Jose Feliciano.

  • Mike

    Maybe I missed it, but no one is putting down Joe Satriani or Eric Johnson. If don’t know them you should. Show respect to Zappa for crying out loud!

  • Mo

    Obviously everybody’s got their own reasons why they like one guy better than another. For me, it’s the guitarists that evoke the most emotion that float to the top. Over the years I’ve realized there are two required ingredients for this: You’ve got to have great tone. There are lots of good tones, but the guy’s with the best tone are more than halfway there to the top of my list. BTW, tone comes as much from the guitarists technique than from his equipment.

    Number 2: You’ve got to master the Aeolian mode — musician’s know that this is a scale with a minor sound. If I play some of the best solos / songs ever written, almost 100% of them follow the Aeolian mode (Santana is a notable exception, he plays a lot of Phyrgian mode). From Silent Night to Sultans of Swing, nearly all of my favorite songs follows that scale. The scale is known for a couple of well-placed half-stepped notes, and knowing how and when to insert those notes into a solo / song is the key. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself.

    There are a lot of technically talented guitarists (e.g., Steve Howe), but more often than not, their music just doesn’t have that achingly good sound. So here’s my current list:

    1) Mark Knopfler, because he’s such a craftsman, and nobody raises the hair on the back of my neck as often as he does. Tone and emotion to die for. Simply brilliant, especially his early work.

    2) Stevie Ray Vaughan. Sometimes his solos were a bit meandering (especially live), and I’m not a fan of his harder stuff, but when he was clean, he was just incredible. Timing was impeccable.

    3) David Gilmour. Not the speediest guy on the fretboard, but like Knopfler, he uses his notes wisely and evokes some serious emotion (a la Comfortably Numb). A little over processed, but again great tone.

    4) Carlos Santana. His Latin-Rock sound is involving, catchy and usually a perfect fit.

    5) Eddie Van Halen. The guy was a freakin’ creative genius, especially his early work. His desire to be different really paid off.

    Honorable mentions in no particular order:

    Duane Allman – Mesmorizing riffs, no question he’s incredible.

    Don Felder / Joe Walsh / Glenn Frey – Eagles tunes are always very professional.

    Bruce Cockburn – searing lyrics and a guitarist I could listen to for days without growing tired.

    B.B. King – lots of feeling, but I think he’s overrated somewhat. He’s often a bit out of tune!

    Jimi Hendrix – if someone can let me listen to a decent recording I might be more convinced of his supposed greatness. I like much of his music, but this is another guy that was way overrated.

    Eric Clapton – Of course, he’s incredible, versatile, soulful, etc. And I like him a lot (he used to be one of my favorites when I was a teenager), but he’s got some tough competition.

    The Edge – Yeah, a lot of digital delay, gee-whiz processing, but here’s another guy that creates music you want to play over and over again.

    Neil Young – Yes, Neal Young. Certainly not all of his work, but he usually has couple songs per album that are right on.

    A few more:

    Pete Townshend
    Mike Campbell (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers)
    Robert Cray
    Billy Gibbons
    Lindsey Buckhingham (older stuff)
    Guitar Shorty (Making a comeback lately)
    Doc Watson (Blind bluegrass player, awesome).
    George Harrison

  • NealOwns


    These lists are bull shit..

    angus young and jimmy page number 1?..lmao…

    i think the mistake is asking people who dont actually play guitar to vote..cuz these lists are complete crap..

    heres my list man..these are guys that are just amazing in every aspect of guitar…

    1.Neal Schon
    2.Eddie Van Halen
    3.Randy Rhoads
    4.Steve Vai
    5.John Petrucci
    6.Joe Satriani
    7.Eric Johnson
    8.Steve Lukather
    9.Jimi Hendrix
    10.Tom Sholz
    11.Brian May
    12.Yngwie Malmsteen
    14.Gary Moore
    16.Paul Gilbert
    17.Nuno Bettencourt
    18.DimeBag Darrel
    19.Zakk Wylde
    20.Jason Becker
    21.Carlos Santana
    22.Marty Friedman
    23.Michael Romeo
    24.Frank Zappa
    25.Tony Macalpine

    That is not in order..the only thats in the right spot is Neal Schon..Deff numberr 1 for the simple fact that he can play with such emotion and he can shred like a maniac …he can play jazz,blues, hard rock, soft rock..hes just the man..

    all of those guys on my list blow away all of those over rated guitar players you guys have been naming…stop riding band wagons..

    Jimy Page and Eric Clapton are not that great..maybe in the 60’s..but weve been thru the 80’s and 80s awsome guitar players have come along and made the standards higher…

  • guitar master

    By far no questions asked Angus Young is the greatest guitarist in the WORLD! Basicly every great guitar player today would not be where they are if it werent for Angus. Just listen to him perform live, and you will be amazed!

    He is the king of the guitar

  • bojo

    Guitar master, your full of crap. Eddie Van halen is the best and you know it! Listen to Erutpion and you’ll see what I mean.

  • Guitar master

    No you are full of crap,dont get me wrong, Van halen is awesome but he relies soly on special effects. Eruption is great, but its 99% special effects and 1% talent. I know if you were to hook Angus up to one of Van halen’s suped up amps Angus Could play like that to.

    P.s. Angus Rocks!

  • Guitar master

    In my opinion here are the top three greatest guitarist of all time.

    1. Angus young(AC/DC)
    2. Eddie Van Halen
    3. Randy Rhoads(Quite Riot, ozzy)

  • bojo

    In my opinion here are my top five best

    1. Eddie Van Halen
    2. Eddie Van halen
    3. Eddie Van halen
    4. Eddie Van halen
    5. And the guy from the Van halen band

  • Tim

    My Top Five:
    1. Ace Frehley
    2. Eddie Van Halen
    3. Ted Nugent
    4. Jimmy Page
    5. Kirk Hammet

  • kick ass

    How can you have Angus Young at no.96…it’s just not right, he should at least in the top 20

    Also,Jack White, at no.17…who chose this poll, that is absolutely dispicable

    Oh and by the way, Robert Plant was the guitarist in Led Zeppelin, not Jimmy Page

  • dave

    Pete Townsend and Dave Gilmour should be much higher up in the list…they’re awsome
    e.g. Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the wall – have you heard the solo,it’s awsome, and My Generation – has a great riff

    this list is crap

  • DAN


  • Tim

    Zappa at 45??? Tragedy. Incredible guitarist (and possible the greatest American composer of the late 20th century), easily top 20 (everyone out there giving Steve Vai top billing remember…Zappa is/was a HUGE influence on Vai).

    And anyone who was dissing John Frusciante of the Chili Peppers should listen to their new album, and think again. Wow.

  • Anthony

    Hmm….My top five would be

    1. Hendrix
    2. Paige
    3. SRV
    4. Clapton
    5. Vernon Reid

  • Hendrix is hands down the number one guitarist of all time. Not because of popularity,
    but because he revolutionized almost every aspect of how the guitar is now played. Let’s put it this way, Without Hendrix, none of you would look at guitar the same way. whether you like it or not. And, about the clusterfuck of Kurt Cobain comments. Kurt Cobain was a great guitarist, not because of pure skill, he was a formula player. His entire idea of music was to keep everything simple and move people.

  • Zakk

    Where the hell are brain robertson and zakk wylde
    BTW my top5 is
    1: Jimmy Page (damn stairway live is the best)
    2: Brian Robertson
    3: Zakk Wylde
    4: Slash
    5: Angus

  • Guitar master

    Many people would disagree with me about Angus Young being the best, because they only go by what they have heard, like back in black or T.N.T. or you shook me all night long. but people, you have to listen to more of their music! And if you really want to hear angus shred, watch AC/DC’s live concerts and you will see what I mean.( especially the live at donnington DVD) Angus is the best because he puts out so much energy on stage. The man is the most energetic rock star in the world. And if you’ve ever seen him perform you know what I mean. He’s not like most guitar players who wear tight spandex and go around showing thier two handed tapping techniques.( Yeah he wears a schoolboy uniform, but thats just awesome!) This guy is a solid true guitarist who puts on an amazing show and shreds on a guitar like no one in the world can.

  • Rocker’Roller

    1. Jimi Hendrix
    2. Jimmy Page
    3. Ritchie Blackmore
    4. Angus Young
    5. Joe Satriani
    6. Tommi Iommi
    7. Steve Vai
    8. Chuck Berry
    9. Yngwie Malmsteen
    10. Zak Wylde
    11. Eddie van Halen
    12. Kerry King
    13. Marty Friedmann
    14. Joe Petrucci
    15. Nuno Bentecourt

  • Joe

    My top 5 Fav Bands…

    4.Led Zepplin

  • bob

    the thing i hate is that malcom young is way more skilled than angus, angus is just a showman. i am 65, i have been playing te guitar for 45 years heres th real list.

    1. malcom young
    2. keith richards
    3. jimmy page
    4. ted nugent
    5. eric clapton

    malcom young is the best… angus is not the best he is just a NORMAL EVERYDAY GUITARIST.

  • Guitar master

    I have to admit that malcolm is a very good guitarist and he is hugely underated, but come on Bob! He just the rhythm guitarist and I can Chords! Besides have you ever seen him play Lead like Angus does….NO!

    And again here’s my top 5
    1.Angus Young
    2.Randy Rhoads
    3.Eddie Van Halen
    5.Jimi Hendrix

  • Jay

    Right……anyone that thinks Jack White is a bad guitarist should go look at the blackpool lights dvd, he proves he’s at least the best guitarist of thsi generation. Why should the list be made of guitarists that are all technically brilliant, because then it would be boring. At live shows Jack is full of energy and emotion, and brings out some amazing blues riffs, not just hardest button to button etc, but also brilliant slide guitar. He should be recognised for the amazing albums he’s produced so far and making original music, (that is far better than any other of his contemporaries)inspired by the blues that is the basis for all music today. Kurt should also be up there, while it was simple guitar playing it worked for the songs.

  • duane

    Brilliance is boring? What is brilliance then?

    Kurt should also be up there, while it was simple guitar playing it worked for the songs.

    The words “while it was simple guitar playing” sums it up nicely, and that’s why he is not a Top 100 guitarist. Obvious.

  • Bollock

    6 of the best:

    1. Eddie Van Halen
    2. Jimi Hendrix
    3. John Petrucci
    4. David Gilmour
    5. Ritchie Blackmore
    6. Dave Navarro

  • Ron

    Hummmmmmmm…..whos the best?

    Oh! I know, Eddie Van halen, Duh!!!!!!!

  • jarred

    ive played rock and roll guitar for a long time now and ive recently tried to play some 50’s and 60’s country music and it is incerdibly hard to play and i dont even think that half of these guitarists could play even part of one of chet atkins songs for all of you non believers try to play a song from that time period and then make a new intelligent list

  • Zach

    I completely agree with number 278! Under Blackpool Lights is so amazing, especially the solo in “When I Hear My Name”.

  • Zach

    Im tacking something on to my last one. Everyone whos whining about Angus Young are being babie. Dont get me wrong I like AC/DC but AC/DC songs aren’t as complicated as other songs.

  • Didi

    Kurt cobain could play beter than most people knew.listen to the stuff off the bleach album.He slid some nice solos. Complacated is not always good. He might have been somwhat sloppy at som types of rythm guitar but he was still better than most people think. He may should not have been 12th but more like at Van Halens position at 70th.

  • Tyler (formaly Known as Didi)

    Chile peppers Are really Good But People are being a little harsh on John. I don’t think he should be on the list but he is really good. I have been playing for almost 5 years and I dont think i could Keep up with him. I might be able to When i get as much experiance. I could see what i could do.

    I going to have to agree with tim up there at 265
    Nice choice of guitarist mine are in a different order.

    1 Ted Nugent(One of the Best! Watch the rock the corps Show. Also one of my favorite. He was also selected as the lead guitarist of Vh1’s super group
    2 Eddie Van Halen
    3 Ace Freshly
    5 Jimmy Page

  • Tyler (formaly Known as Didi)

    Wheres Dimebag Darrel

    He died but he is still awsome
    He Is All over Guitar world

  • Tyler (formaly Known as Didi)

    Oh yea tim up there at 265 I think i know you
    Camp, Tyler, Ring a bell
    I remember you talked about the band KISS all the time

  • Tyler (formaly Known as Didi)



  • Now matter how big the list, if we’re talking rock, we only need two names: Hendrix and Page.

    Everything and everyone else follows…

    And for modern white boy blues, we only need Duane Allman (check out “Loan me a Dime” off the first Boz Scaggs album, and of course the Allmans’ Filmore live stuff).

    Don’t get me started on the old blues pickers, who seem completely unrepresented so far… the Reverend Gary Davis, anyone?

  • This appears to be the discussion that continues forever — nice!

    Among the obvious ones mentioned many times that should be been in RS’s list — Steve Lukather, Pat Methiene (sp?), Steve Vai, et al — I feel I should give a shout out for:

    Tony MacAlpine
    Matt Bellemy (mentioned once about a year ago!)

    Matt Bellemy might be a top-25 anymore. He’s incredible and gets better with each year. We are very fortunate to see him in his prime.

  • I like Jimi Hendrix. He plays like me….

  • chad

    my picks

    1.jimmy paige (father of modern rock)
    3.angus young.
    4 eddie van halen
    4.kirk hammett
    5.tommi iommi
    6.herman lee
    8.randy rhoads
    9.Yngwie Malmsteen
    10.zack wylde

  • dndkeurh

    I think jimi hendrix best.But jeff beck only stands on …to low.
    Oh i hate peapole who compare shitmetalguitarist with bluesguitarist it’s like comparing eggs whit a elephant

  • JET

    What about John Frusciante from the red hot chili peppers, he is s**t hot!
    Personally, I think he’s in the top 10 at least.

  • Santa Clause

    1.Eddie Van Halen
    2.Jimmy Page
    4.Randy Rhoads
    5.Eric Clapton

  • Guitarist White Boy

    1. Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen)
    2. Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme)
    3. Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin)
    4. Randy Rhoads (Ozzy Osbourne)
    5. Ted Nugent (Ted Nugent)
    6. Jimi Hendrix (The Jimi Hendrix Experience)
    7. Stevie Ray Vaughn (Stevie Ray Vaughan)
    8. Mike Campbell (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)
    9. Angus Clark (Trans – Siberian Orchestra)
    10. Angus Young (ACDC)

  • Guitar master


  • Poll is broken!
    1. Leadbelly
    2. Scotty Moore
    3. Cliff Gallup
    4. Blind Willie McTell
    5. Randy Bachman
    6. Eddie Van Halen
    7. Jimmy Page
    8. Allison Robertson
    9. Dick Dale
    10. George Harrison
    11. Slash
    12. Brian Setzer
    13. Neil Geraldo
    14. David Gilmour
    15. Stevie Ray Vaughan

  • P.S. I’m basing my list on three things: originality, influence and attitude. So why isn’t Jimi Hendrix on it? Yes, Jimi had all three of those, but in my mind, his influence has been more negative than positive. He spawned several generations of guitar stoner-wankers who mistakenly thought any 10-minute solo featuring blazing flurries of feedback and whammied notes was a sign of talent. And that’s not even what Hendrix’s best music was about. He was at his very best when he eschewed extended solos and let the funk out in a tightly structured form. Crosstown Traffic, The Wind Cries Mary and Fire are his best songs. Period. Purple Haze and Foxy Lady are next.
    Two guitarists on my list, Vaughan and Van Halen, have a similar dark legacy to answer for, so why did I include them? I question that myself, actually, but here’s my best answer: Eddie took the definition of what sounds good on guitar to a new level, using fiendish technical ability and an avant-garde tonal palette to redefine the guitar’s role. (Yeah, I know, so did Hendrix. See above.) And Stevie, though his playing was in no way original, brought blues back into the mainstream. His first album had me grinning from ear to ear the moment I put it on, and all the way through. He was an in-the-pocket rhythm player, his solos always sounded just right, and his music was a joy.
    Surprised by my inclusion of Allison Robertson (of the Donnas)? You shouldn’t be. Her way with a hard-rock groove is unmatched, and her single-note work is sweet, fast, clean and spot-on. I could listen to her play all day.
    Brian Setzer? Not original, no, but influential and loaded with attitude. Man, can he make a big old archtop scream.
    Scotty Moore set the standard for what we now know as a rock guitar solo. Cliff Gallup brought flash and speed to his work with Gene Vincent (check out his solo on Race With The Devil).
    Neil Geraldo would deserve inclusion if all he had ever done was the head-turning solo on Pat Benatar’s Hit Me With Your Best Shot. But he has proven himself an original and highly skilled musician over a decades-long career.
    Randy Bachman’s tasteful, jazz-influenced playing and luscious range of tones is a never-ending bright spot in the music of the Guess Who, BTO and his solo work.
    Finally, my main men, Leadbelly and Blind Willie McTell. Listen to their music and you’ll hear every cool riff you thought was created in the rock era. We owe a huge debt to these guys and many of their contemporaries from pre-electric times, and to the men who went out and recorded their music for posterity.

  • Pete

    This comment and all the previous ones written are opinions and everyone has one. I started playing guitar almost forty years ago after going to the Newport Jazz Festival, and my preference for guitar has always been the most difficult, demanding, creative style. I believe that there are many great guitarists that are not on the list and never will be on a list. For example in college I was nicknamed “Hendrix” – I am good but I don’t deserve such an honor. There are a few things to consider to be able to make an objective list. I feel that many people’s votes are based somewhat or even in large part on their overall opinion of the band the guitarist played with. I also believe that of course there are styles and categories of music – jazz, blues, rock, classical, etc. So I feel that because of the complexity of music and the knowledge and experience needed to understand music both from an artistic point of view and a purely technical standpoint that to create such a list must be done by a combination of trained experienced musicians, producers in the music industry and also on the fans who appreciate the music. Also the list should be categorized as to the style of play. And the decision should utilize acapella if possible so the choice is not ‘colored’ by the other music. Hendrix is much much easier to play than Segovia or others. But from an artistic inovative, standpoint Jimi is tops. It is of no use to argue whether or not the list is right or even close to being right – music is in the ears of the beholder after all.

  • M’TO

    c’mon man the 1st: just has to be michael angelo batio
    2nd:herman lee
    3rd: sam totman
    4th: joe satriani
    5th: yngwiee j malmsteen
    6th: lead guitar from pantera
    7th: guy from metallica
    8th: dave murry
    9th: the amazing kat
    10th: jimi hendrix

    and that is exactly who i think it should be on the top (if you wanna rock and roll)

  • What does Rolling Stone know anyway? Most popular guitarist list, yes but top 100 guitarists, not even close

    Michael Schenker(Scorpions, MSG, UFO) Frank Marino(Mahoghany Rush), Rik Emmett(Triumph) and the freshest sounding guitarist in a long time Marc Seal (check out the Taylor’s site for video clips of this guy, wow!!!)

  • duane

    That’s some fine playing there, Rob J. Now, if you want to see some real showing off, go check out Guthrie at tonemerchants.com

    (Sorry, I don’t know how to embed links.)

    You’ll need a fast connection.

  • Rob H

    I cant believe of all the guitarists mentioned here, I dont recall once seeing Roy Buchanan!! This guy was shredding on the guitar way before Eddie and just about any guitarist. Roy in the beginning didnt have all them foot pedals. It was all talent. Dont believe me? Check him out for yourself. The greatest guitarist NEVER know. Check out his Sweet Dreams Anthology cd.
    Van Halen
    Roy Buchanan

    By the way, Angus Young is the most overrated guitarist ever. He blows!

  • Martin Lav

    I saw Crosby Stills Nash and YOUNG perform last night and I must say that although I don’t know the criteria for this contest, NEIL YOUNG is by far and away the KING of the electric Les Paul guitar. Technically he may not be the greatest, but he MOVES Stephen Stills to upper levels and Neil just flat out rocks.
    On stage there can’t be anyone else like him. He can make the entire stage move to his guitar, whether it be the drums, or as in the case last night the trumpet and the entire crowd.
    His never ending ability to rendition his own songs, like last night playing Rockin in the Free World, was just down great hard driving rock and roll and his Les Paul “OLD BLACK” was screaming from the strain until not one string was left unfrayed.


  • duane

    You should probably get out more … you know, see some truly good guitarists. Young is a second-tiered rock guitarist.

  • Tim

    What about Alex Lifeson (Rush), Tom Scholz (Boston), Eric Johnson, Slash, Neal Schon (Journey), Gary Rossington (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Zakk Wylde? RS, you’ve got some serious issues. This list looks like your producers came up to you guys, and told you the deadline was in 10 minutes for this list. Take your time next time please. By the way the Eddie and Angus positions are ridiculous and Kurt Cobain is horrible. P.S Stevie Ray Vaughn kicks some serious butt.

    Get a hold of yourself RS!

  • Tyler (formaly known as didi)

    Kurt cobain rocks tim! He dosnt suck.

    Ted nugent rocks.

  • What is up with this list? Eddie Van Halen at #70!!! I can’t even begin to describe how rediculous RS’s list is. Van Halen, Hendrix, Satriani, Clapton, they could play circles around any stupid grunge rock band guitarist(I mean Kurt Cobain). This one is a little better I think:

    1. Eddie Van Halen
    2. Jimi Hendrix
    3. Joe Satriani
    4. Eric Clapton
    5. Stevie Ray Vaughn
    6. Jimmy Page
    7. Steve Vai
    8. John Petrucci
    9. Slash
    10. Alex Lifeson (Rush would have to be in the top 10 rock bands of all time as well. They are without a doubt the most underrated band of all time. They are musical geniuses)

  • Sid

    Any list that doesn’t have Robin Trower on it was clearly made by a neophyte. Do your homework.

  • Al

    That list shows all great guitarist but many can debate some choices , for me Ted Nugent doesn’t belong in that league and how can you leave out jazz greats like Chet akins or Lenny Breau but not seeing either Frank Marino,Alvin Lee,Johnny Winter or Robin Trower on the top fifty list just prove they don’t Know what they’re talking about. but the biggest name that is missing and should be a notch higher then Hendrix is ROY BUCHANAN

  • Hunter

    Why is BB King even on the list? He didn’t play rock, besides I play better than him. And where are Allen Collins and Gary Rossington? And why is Jimmy Page #9 he is one of the greatest ever. Here is my top 10
    1.Jimi Hendrix
    2.Jimmy Page
    3.Duane allman
    4.Eric Clapton
    5.Randy Rhoads
    6.Stevie Ray Vaughn
    7.Gary Rossington and Allen Collins
    8.Kirk Hammet
    9.Angus Young
    10.Robert Krieger

  • ron from michigan

    I think link from the legend of zelda games is by far the greatest living guitar player of all time he can also play the ocarina really well.

    Here is my top 5

    1. link
    2. navi
    3. epona
    4. that one dude
    5. the guard of the western termina gateway

  • guitar master


  • clever guy

    1.john mcglaughlin
    2.paco de lucia
    3.stevie ray vaughn
    4.jimmy hendrix

    now these are real guitarists

  • todd

    what about joe walsh?

  • Ruxandra

    I don’t quite get it why Richie Sambora was mentioned only once or twice?… The only reason for which he’s not taken under consideration is because he’s from Bon Jovi… Yup, it is pretty pathetic, but “underneath it all” is, in my opinion, one of the best guitarists (maybe even songwriters, see “Stranger in this town”) ever… I don’t see why a top should even be made , ’cause i don’t think that it’s able to influence anybody, or even to convince anybody of anything (and it’s not even supposed to…), it hasn’t got to much relevance… We all have artists, guitarists that have influenced us in a way or another, so it’s strictly personal. I don’t see why some people have to be against others, it’s just a normal fact to be subjective. There are some guitarists that are the “ever best”, but even with them it depends on how they make you feel, what they make you feel when listening to them or when playing their songs, or how they’ve even changed your lives… And let’s not forget that you can’t compare them to one another because of the different styles of playing, oh yeah!… Well, anyway… In my opinion, the world’s greatest is, by far… Jimi Hendrix, so he gets my number 1 spot, and not because i enjoy listening to his music the most, but because he’s a forerunner… Number 2 goes to: Mr. Stevie Ray Vaughn and David Gilmore (especially for the Pink Floyd songs)… Number 3: Satriani, Sambora, Clapton (sorry i couldn’t make up my mind!)… Number 4: Eddy Van Halen, Blackmore, Iommi, Page, Nugent… Number 5: Vai… Number 6: Angus Young… Number 7: Johnny Winter… In apart from anyone else: Malmsteen… And others: May, Moore, Petrucci, Johnson… The reasons why i picked them may vary, from their abilities, to their influence, to the passion in thier songs and their tracks themselves… Peace everybody! Keep on rockin’ in the free world!

  • Rich

    Two of the finest blues guitarists alive are from the bay area in CA. Namely, and numero uno, Chris Cain, and then right behind is Robben Ford!

  • aaaaaaaa

    jan de haan

  • Luis

    This is MY top 10!enjoy!=
    1) Jimi Hendrix ( for sacrificing a guitarXD and simply being the best!)

    2) Jimmy Page ( From Led Zeppelin cause he plays the best song and solo ever Stairway To Heaven…and he played with a violin bow the electric guitar O.o!! on the Dazed and confused song…)

    3) Eric Clapton ( some very styles and groups but he stills the same!)

    4)B.B. King ( “blues” the roots of the rock and he is th best playing it.. he rules)

    5) Nuno Bettencourt ( “He-man woman hater”<

  • fretmaster

    1)Jimi Hendrix
    2)Jimmy page
    3)Eric Clapton
    4)Kirk Hammet
    5)Steve Vay
    7)Stevie Ray Vaughn
    8)Eddie Van Halen
    9)Yngwie Malmsteen
    10)Brian May

  • jim

    #1 Eddie Van Halen
    #2 Eddie Van Halen
    #3 Eddie Van Halen
    #4 Randy Rhodes
    #5 Gary Richrath (REO)
    #6 Jimmy Page
    #7 Kirk Hammet

    #15432 Jimmi Hendrix. He couldn’t hit the same damn not twice in a row even if you offered him some ‘shrooms.

    #15433 Kurt Cobain. He could write, but not play.
    #15433 Eric Clapton. Many 8-year old learned to play his music on their first guitar.

  • me

    1.Herman Li
    3.Jimmy Page
    4.Jimi Hendrix
    5.Jeff Beck
    6.Dimebag Darrell
    7.Eric Clapton
    8.Kurt Kobain
    9.Brian May
    10.Kirk Hammett

    Theres my great guitarists-ENJOY

  • Ned the Champ

    Hey, u guys all have great guitarists on ur lists! Good shit. Wat has been gettin to me is BB King is listed. He says himself on U2’s film “Rattle and Hum” that he cant play chords well at all, that he’s “horrible.” It’s great to see that people are still istnenin to great music, and tho i dont know who half these people are, im sure they’re all great guitarists, and i hope i get round to hearing some of their stuff. Top shelf. Here’s my list…

    1. Jimmy Page
    2. Slash
    3. Angus Young
    4. Eric Clapton
    5. Keith Richards (i know he can’t play all that well, just listen to his fucking songs!!!!)

    Good to see hardly any beatles playas are listed. i hate the beatles

  • guitar master

    hears my to 3

    1. Angus Young(AC/DC)- just listen to AC/DC’s live concerts and you’ll see what I mean, he’s got to be the greatest riff master of all time.

    2. Eddie Van Halen(Van Halen)- ERUPTION,ERUPTION,ERUPTION!!!!!!

    3. Randy rhoads(Ozzy, quite riot)- the man is a guitar legend, no one can pull off metal riffs like he can.

  • Choosing the greatest guitarist of all time that everyone can agree on is impossible due to different styles, genres and tastes. That said, I’m an inspiring guitarist myself who’s life is music, and wish to be on the top 5 of this list some 30 years from now (impossible? Might seem it, but with hardwork and dedication, you’ll go far.) I will now give my opinion of the most underated, overated, and top 14 guitarists of the present time in alphabetical order.

    1. Brian May of Queen
    2. Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath (Invented Metal along with Zeppelin)
    3. Robin Trower (Known as “The White Hendrix”)
    4. John Frusciante of The Red Hot Chili Peppers
    5. Chuck Berry (Inventor/Pioneer of Rock & Roll)
    6. Buddy Guy
    7. Robert Cray
    8. Danny Gatton
    9. Trey Anastasio
    1. Jimi Hendrix (Amazing, but more inventive and influential, still in top 5.)
    2. Kurt Cobain ( wayyyyy overrated, pretty good guitarist, although most of what he knows is power chords, I could easily better than him! Great Songwriter though)
    3. Jack White (same as Cobain, with the exception that he is more musically adept.)
    My Top 14 (In no particular order):
    1. Brian May of Queen
    2. Carlos Santana
    3. David Gilmour of Pink Floyd
    4. Eddie Van Halen of Van Halen
    5. Eric Clapton
    6. Jimi Hendrix of The Jimi Hendrix Experience
    7. Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin
    8. Joe Satriani
    9. John Frusciante of The Red Hot Chili Peppers
    10. Randy Rhoads of Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne
    11. Slash of Guns N’ Roses
    12. SRV of Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
    13. Steve Vai
    14. The Young Brothers of AC/DC

    Again, choosing the greatest guitarist of all time that people can agree is impossible because of the different styles, genres and tastes. After all, it’s all about personal opinion.

  • dork meister

    What I’ve noticed is that the standards by which these guitarists are judged aren’t really laid out. In my opinion, in determining Greatness of a guitar legend the following factors should all be included (not necessarily in this order):

    1. Virtuosity
    2. Improvisation
    3. Expression
    4. Innovation
    5. Influence

    The reason Jimi will persistently appear at or near the top of most lists is that he gets high marks in all five areas. He was no slouch in the Histrionics department either, but I don’t see anyone talking about Histrionics so I’ll let it drop.

    Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai and their ilk will never make my list because they’re so focussed on displaying their virtuosity that they lose all sight of expression–and let’s face it: Rock has always been more about expression than virtuousity. If virtuousity is what you’re looking for, listen to classical or jazz (which is why I have to leave Al Dimeola off my list even though he’s one of my favourite guitarists).

    1. Jimi Hendrix
    2. Eric Clapton (before he got sober)
    3. Dave Gilmour
    4. Thurston Moore (I can’t believe only one other person on this list mentions Thurston. Come ON you guys!)
    5. Adrian Belew
    6. Carlos Santana
    7. Tony Iommi
    8. Link Wray
    9. Stevie Ray Vaughan
    10. Neil Young

    This is subject to change, depending on who I’m currently listening to, time of day, and what drugs I’m on, but Hendrix, Gilmour, and Moore will always be up there.

  • ok here is my top five
    1) Jerry Garcia
    2) Jerry Garcia
    3) Jerry Garcia
    4) Jerry Garcia
    5) Don Mclean

  • bongo_fury

    Man we got some fired up guitaroholics here.

    Frisell not Lefty.

  • Guitar master

    top five best guitars

    1. Gibson SG
    2. Finder Stratocaster
    3. Gibson Les Paul
    4. Jackson RR3
    5. Finder Telecaster

    top five best amps
    1. Marshall
    2. Marshall
    3. Marshall
    4. Marshall
    5.Ibanez (just kidding MARSHALL)

    Top five greatest guitar players
    1. Angus Young (AC/DC)
    2. Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen)
    3. Randy Rhoads (Quite Riot, ozzy)
    4. Slash (Guns’n’Roses, Velvet Revolver)
    5. Jimi Hendrix (The Jimi Hendrix Experience)

    Greatest Metal Guitar players
    1. Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen)
    2. Randy Rhoads (Quite Riot,Ozzy)
    3. Joe Satriani (Joe Satriani)
    4. Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath)
    5. Kirk Hammet (Mettalica)

  • philippe

    wat about timo tolki of stratovarius and slash??? they are better than Jimmy Page i bet is in just because he died and because is some kind of idol i think that Bob Marley is better than im

  • Coolcatnyc

    Brian Setzer should be on the list.

  • Marco Catfish

    20 Greatest rock guitarists:

    1. Ritchie Blackmore
    2. Frank Zappa
    3. Roy Buchanan
    4. David Gilmour
    5. Carlos Santana
    6. Jimi Hendrix
    7. Joe Walsh
    8. Mark Knopfler
    9. Jeff Beck
    10. Steve Howe
    11. Rory Gallagher
    12. Stevie Ray Vaughan
    13. Eric Clapton
    14. Robert Fripp
    15. Martin Barre
    16. Dickey Betts
    17. Kurt Winter
    18. Alex Lifeson
    19. Randy Bachman
    20. Duane Allman

  • Marco Catfish

    Ok, let’s make it the top 25:

    21. Peter Frampton
    22. Terry Kath
    23. Walter Becker
    24. Jimmy Page
    25. Tony Iommi

  • joe

    Slash is very underated and is probably one if not the greatest guitar player of all time. Just listen to Sweet child o mine.

  • MJ

    And Alvin Lee? (Ten Years After)

  • Billypage

    1.joe satriani
    2.steve vai
    3.eric johnson
    4.john patruicci
    5.Yngwie Malmsteen

    joe has taught many of the greatest players in the world including vai and hammett, i dont think their is a player that can surpass his mix of speed and emotion combined with great song writing.

  • Tim

    Yngwie Malmsteen is great at guitar, terrible at music. I’m sorry but he’s damn boring, good guitar is more then just a fast finger game and memorization of scales.

    That list is pretty terrible. Kurt Kobain above Jerry Garcia?

  • TJB

    What is up with everyone and Hendrix. Most influential rock guitarist ever….definitely. In the top 10 list of best guitarists ever…definitely. But #1…I don’t think so.

    Even funnier is to have Kurt Cobain on the list at all….I thought a guitarist needed to be able to play at least 5 chords in order to make the list….popular band does not equal great guitarist. AC/DC and KISS are 2 of the most popular rock bands….so they must have the best bass players too right :)???
    I think both bassists could sell 3 of the 4 strings on their bass, and still sound the same (and I’m an AC/DC and Kiss fan)

    My #1 overall pick would have to be Eddie Van Halen for the simple fact that along with Hendrix/Page/Clapton etc., he is one of the most influential guitarists ever, and can still outplay most guitarists around today.

    When most guitarists start learning how to play lead, they learn songs like Wonderful Tonight, Stairway to Heaven, Purple Haze….they don’t start out with Hot For Teacher 🙂

  • R

    1. Jimmi Hendrix
    2. John Frusciante
    3. Jimmy Page
    4. Eric Clapton
    5. B.B. King
    6. Chuck Berry
    7. Kurt Cobain
    8. Joe Perry
    9. Johnny Ramone
    10.Frank Zappa

  • R

    Slash instead of Kurt Cobain

  • thijs vogten

    Hello, it is very difficult to name the top 10 best guitar players, it’s different for everyone, it’s about taste and perception but someone here hurt my feelngs very badly by saying that that some of us say it’s about feel and emotion not about speed just because they don’t have the speed. that’s bullshit there’s nothing to it and listening to it and is so boring. try playing the blues scales like srv does or jimi or slideguitar like duane allman, not that steve vai bullshit. then you’ll know the difference. vai is technically very good, but in the blues there’s far more emotion and the theory is not that important.and what about variation. know this: It Is about the feeling that´s what music is all about and keeping that in mind here´s my list (oh n eric clapton is not as good as people say and so is jimmy page)

    1.Jimi Hendrix/ simply the best and remember only 27 years old!
    2.Stevie Ray vaughn Very close! but jimi had more rythm in his play
    3.Duane Allmann Just listen to statesboroug blues best slide guitar player ever! and only 25 years old!!
    4.Rory Gallagher What a guy!!!!
    5.Ritchie Blackmore Man what a sound does he get from his guitar! listen to solo´s on black night or lazy or child in time
    6.Angus young what a rocker so much energy keeps getting better watch ACDC live at donnington
    7.Mick taylor just listen to sticky fingers and exile on mainstreet
    8.Keith richards very innovative has devellopped his own style great songwriter
    9.Dicky Betts/ Jessica Greatest guitar solo ever
    10.Mark knopfler very subtile sultans of swing
    rest not in order
    11. Steve morse
    12. Ronnie wood
    13. Jeff beck
    14. Slash
    15. Malcolm Youngh
    16. Chuck Berry
    17. Kirk Hammet
    18. Eddy van Halen
    19. Steve Vai
    20 Joe Satriani
    21. bb King
    22. Buddy Guy
    23. john fogerty
    24. Charlie Burchill
    25. gary moore

  • 1. BB King
    2. Jimi Hendrix
    3. Chuck Berry
    4. David Gilmour
    5. Freddie King
    6. Mark Knopfler
    7. Jerry Garcia
    8. Steve Miller
    9. Eric Clapton
    10. Curtis Mayfield
    11. Mike Bloomfield
    12. Dick Dale
    13. Jimmy Page
    14. Carl Perkins
    15. Scotty Moore
    16. Robbie Robertson

  • Nails

    #342…”Slash instead of Curt Cobain”….how about nails on a chalkboard instead of Curt Cobain….how the hell did this guy ever make it to a top 10 list that wasn’t about crack addicts????

  • mtv

    yeah that rolling stone garbage was dumb, but i dont have a list of top players, but i think jimmy page should be number 1, btw kurt cobain wasnt that great of a guitar player but hees definetly one of the best vocalists and songwriters

  • freebirdofstair

    wow….over three whole years and were still comminting..NICE TALORAN! anyway i gotta say that at least one of the dudes from lynryd skynryd (spelt wrong idc dont feel like spellcheck) should b on the list. comon! Freebird solo is better than stairway even though stairway is so much smoother. Also i think we should all considere putting sam totman or herman li on this list for there speed guitar playin! also wanna say that jimi should b putt at like three or summtin.

    1.can never be decided by anyone
    2. clapton
    3. Halen
    4. zack wylde/randy rhoads
    5. alman
    6.herman li/sam totman
    7. slash
    8. all skynryd guitarists (together they can fight all crime!)
    9. sinister gates (evil name but good A7X if u dont no)
    10. Santana

    also WHERES BOWIE! i no the dudes a littile gay but comon! queen to anyone? and i think we should all get ready cause we are about to be overrun by emo bands! and rap is curropting oour teens mind!


  • freebirdofstair

    woops forgot hendrix and page allthogether srry

  • watcher

    OMG has anyone lisen to stair way backwards! i juts went on youtube to lisen and this is wat i came up with… the only way you can hear what they are saying is if you know wat YOU WANT to hear. probly a coincidence. if not mabey it has to do with foward it talks about goin to heaven and backwards its about hell??? hmm link to watch it!

  • Confucious

    How is Dimebag Darryl from Pantera not mentioned on here?? No heavy metal guitarist played with such raw expression and grit. He’s had a tremendous influence on the genre…but I guess he’s more of a guitarist’s guitarist.

  • Jewsee Gwapes

    Alrighty then. Three years late, but oh well. Where is Yngwie Malmsteen, Joe Satriani, Pat Methany, the last two I think better than Hendrix, but not as influential. This top 10 is based on guitar playing/skill and musical ability.

    1: Pat Methany (Pat Methany Group)
    2: Joe Satriani (various bands, solo releases)
    3: Jimi Hendrix (J.H.Experiance)
    4: Eric Clapton (Cream, etc)
    5: Yngwie Malmsteen (Y.M.’s Rising Force)
    6: Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath)
    7: George Harrison (The Beatles)
    8: David Gilmour (Pink Floyd)
    9: Gary Rossington (Lynyrd Skynyrd
    10:John Hiatt (Solo releases)

  • Jewsee Gwapes

    whoops. Redo.

    1: Pat Methany (Pat Methany Group)
    2: Joe Satriani (various bands, solo releases)
    3: Jimi Hendrix (J.H.Experiance)
    4: Eric Clapton (Cream, etc)
    5: Yngwie Malmsteen (Y.M.’s Rising Force)
    6: Steve Vai (Various)
    7: Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath)
    8: James Taylor (solo releases, and he has intense classical skills)
    9: David Gilmour (Pink Floyd)
    10:John Petrucci (Dream Theater)
    11:Steven Wright (albums: I have a Pony . . .)

  • Ben Alexander

    Where’s Alex Lifeson!! He’s one of the most underated guitarists ever, and definatley one of the best.

  • Ben Alexander

    2:Angus Young
    3:David Gilmour
    4:Alex Lifeson
    5:Randy Rhoads
    6:Jimmy Page
    7:Brian May
    8:Tony Iommi
    9:Joe Perry
    10:Dave Mustaine(He’s way better than Kirk Hammett)

  • Ben

    Hey, I agree with everyone’s bashing of Kurt Cobain. Great lyricist… not a great guitar player. I have owned a washburn E-300, and now I have a nice Gibson Les Paul Studio Vintage…

    I could cover all of Kurt’s songs on my old Fender $50 dollar battery operated guitar. Give me a break. Deserving higher spots are Eddie. And Gilmour, very underrated here. Jack white… poopy, I like the man but, giving innovation, explosiveness, presence, feel, and ambience. Sure he’s also a great composer/ songwriter like kurt but a top guitarist. Never. Where is Derek Trucks? He is noted on Rolling Stone’s List down around 81 I believe. If duane allman is #2, Derek is number 3. OR 1 dare i say it? He is the most electrifying slide player today, and feeds off so many great musicial legends of the past. His guitar like many others on this list has it’s own voice so to speak, that you can identify within the first note. His rendition and IMPROVisational skills with THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND, and His own band (and now currently touring with Clapton)are unmatched. Check out songs like D Minor Blues, Kickin’ Back, Soul Seranade, MR. PC. (Coltrane cover), So close so far to see what I’m talkign of.
    He blends Southern rock, classic, world, psycadelic sounds, jazz, latin, indie scales, and blues together wonderfully. His finger picking style is incredible and I can’t understand some of the tones and sounds he picks up using his shitty 1965 super reverb amp with absolutley no effects… pick…

    Actually you know what? Do yourself a favor and pick up Live at the BEACON DVD by the allman brothers band. You’ll see what I mean and get to see Warren haynes tear it up as his counter-part (AMAZING VOCALIST).

    (P/S I am not biased at all musically. I listen to an immense amount of bands, and several different musical categories I.E. Metal, jazz, blues, rock, modern rock, punk {ugh gotta be int he mood}, basically everything but country.)

    Someone also mentioned greg allman should be in the top 3. Come on… he has a great soulful voice and plays awesome keys on the B-3 but, come on anyone can play A and C chords… he doesnt even play electric.

  • Agustin

    I think the greatest guitar player in backgrounds of the state of washington, and all over the world too, is Kurt, the only one. I don’t agree with those people who think kurt only write well a song, or swear all he could , but the number I would put him is 3#. 1#Jimmi HENDRIX. AND aNGUS yOUNG AT THE NUM 23. THANKS A FUCK U ALLL..

  • guitar master

    heres my top 10 lead guitarists…

    1. Angus Young (AC/DC)
    2. Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen)
    3. Randy Rhoads (Quite riot, ozzy)
    4. Slash (Guns’n’roses)
    5. Kirk Hammet (Metallica)
    6. Jimmi Hendrix (The jimmi hendrix expierence)
    7. Zack Wyled (Ozzy, Black label society)
    8. Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath)
    9. Jimmy Page (Led zepplin)
    10.Joe Satriani

  • Mike

    my top 10
    Jerry Garcia
    Trey Anastasio
    Joe satriani
    Chuck Berry
    Yngwie Malmsteen
    Jon Gutwillig
    BB King
    Bob Dylan(influence)

  • slash
    michael angelo batio
    buddy guy

  • wwa




  • Worfzara

    I am suprised that Rik Emmett has only been mentioned twice.

    Rik Emmett (Triumph)

    Don’t believe me, look up Rock n Roll machine on U tube!!!

  • A list of greats in no particular order that were not on the RS list

    Rory Gallagher
    Mike Campbell
    Nils Lofgren
    Albert Collins
    Luther Allison
    Sonny Landreth
    Junior Brown
    Gary Moore
    Lonnie Mack
    Johnny Copeland

    The fact that Rory Gallagher’s name has been mentioned by noboby is criminal. Possibly the greatest blues rock guitarist ever. All the greates including Jimmy Page and SRV absolutely worshipped him. Go to Youtube and check him out if you have never heard of him.

  • guitar master

    The 8 greatest shredders of all time (not in any particular order)…

    1. Michael Angelo Batio(Nitro)-The most amazing guitar player I’ve ever seen. I’ve never heard someone play like him. It’s amazing how he has completely mastered all forms and techniques of shredding.

    2. Herman Li(DragonForce)- one of the fastest and most inventive guitar players I have seen.

    3. Eddie Van Halen(Van Halen)- Probably the most infuential metal guitarist of all time. The man practicly invented metal guitar.

    4. Randy Rhoads-(Quite Riot,Ozzy) He was the greatest shredder of his time, and to this day, he is still one of the best of the best.

    5. yngwei Malmsteen- A great guitarist, who took sweep picking to a new level.

    6. Steve Vai- one of the most recognizable guitarist, and one of the greatest.

    7. Joe Satriani- wrote some of the most complex works of guitar and is one of the worlds fastest shredders.

    8. zakk Wylde(ozzy,BLS)- will never take the place of the great randy rhoads but still, he’s awesome. And zakk is one of if not the greatest players of pinch harmonics.

  • OPH

    Did anybody see the superbowl this year?- Prince.

  • zeppelinfan

    i say that the top 10 guitar players
    1. Jimi Hendrix
    2. Jimmy Page
    3. George Harrison
    4. Eric Clapton
    5. B.B. King
    6. Eddie Van Halen
    7. Angus Young
    8. Stevie Ray Vaughn
    9. Jeff Beck
    10. Pete Townshend

    Well thats kinda what i think but guys we gota consider that it is hard to compare different guitar players because they all are different.

  • reaper

    (in semi-chronological order)

    Bert Jansch (Pentangle)
    Eric Clapton (Cream)
    Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac)
    Richard Thompson (Fairport/Solo)
    David Gilmor (Pink Floyd)
    Joe Perry (Aerosmith)
    Johnny Marr (The Smiths)
    Mike McCready (Pearl Jam)
    Joey Santiago (Pixies)
    John Friusciante (RHCP)

    Anybody up for a top 10 bassist poll?

  • -sain-

    There’s my top 7…

    1. Jimi Hendrix
    2. Eric Clapton
    3. Jimmy Page
    4. Joe Santriani
    5. Kirk Hammet
    6. Carlos Santana
    7. Eddie Van Halen

  • Sam

    I am not saying top ten or anything…but what about John Mayer, I would think he would at least make the list…his blues stuff is pretty good!

  • JoeDoe

    John Mayer huh? he’s pretty young and inexperienced but he is good with the axe. I am not sure how he would be in a battle with the other greats. He’s not too fast, but his solo’s are very well put together and he writes some really good stuff. We’ll see what everyone else thinks. I would say put him around 85 or 90.

  • sg07

    Andrez Segovia!!!

    Jimi Hendrix from “The Jimi hendrix Experience”( “Purple Haze”, “All Along the Watchtower”, “Voodoo Child”)

    Jimmy Page from “Led Zeppelin”( “Stairway To Heaven”, “Since I Been Loving You”)

    Carlos Santana ( “Black Magic Woman”, “Europa”, “Soul Sacrifice”)

    David Gilmour from “Pink Floyd”(Confortably Numb, Money)

    Brian May from Queen..(that solo in “Bohemian Rhapsody is wow!)

  • Beansie

    Fuck it;throw john mayer in there too the kids rips it up in the blues department!

  • guitar master

    John Mayer may not be one the fastest or wildest guitar players but the man is an extremely good blues player. His solos are put together with great skill.

  • anomonous

    My top 8(Not specifically in that order.)
    Van Halen
    Jimmy Page
    Jimi Hendrix
    Angus Young
    Jeff Healy
    Tommi Lommi
    Zack Wyld
    Stevie Ray Vauhn

    Why is curt cobain or Frank Zappa, or any of those morons ahead of Angus Young, Van Halen, TOmmi Lommi, Randy Rohds? And Jeff Healy was’nt even on the list, he is as good as Stevie Ray Vahn, and he is BLIND!

  • anomonous


  • Steve

    Here is my top ten:

    1. Jimi Hendrix
    2. Jimmy Page
    3. Angus Young
    4. Slash
    5. Yngwie Malmsteem
    6. Stevie Ray Vaughan
    7. Joe Satriani
    8. Steve Vai
    9. Eric Clapton
    10. John Mayer

  • Steve

    Eddie van Halen sure is fast, but WTF! To much tapping. I went on You Tube the other day and saw a video clip of him playing Eruption and Angus Young playing a few solos (Angus Young vs. EvH). EvH’s were non-stop tapping and fast as hell, and it is amazing skill, but hey wait a minute, all EvH has done is stick a bunch of notes together and put them on a string and play them as fast as lightning. On the other hand, Angus Youngs solos were reasonable speed and quite short (30 secs or so) but I enjoyed it. I listen to him and it’s amazing, the solo goes with the song perfectly. Hasn’t anyone wondered why EvH’s eruption has no backing track, it can’t have one. Eruptionis just mumble jumble.

  • Daniel

    1. Jeff loomis
    2. Zakk wylde
    3. Michael Angelo Batio
    4. Chris Broderick
    5. Kirk Hammett
    6. Dimebag Darrell
    7. Alexi Laiho
    8. Van Halen
    9. Marc Rizzo
    10. Angus Young

    I think hendrix is very overrated and wasnt that good. neither is slash his playing is sloppy. same with page. my opinion just though. i would also like to state that jeff loomis is very underrated so ppl i suggest u go onto youtube and type in jeff loomis solos listen to them they are incredible

  • Ian

    1)Eric Clapton
    4)Stevie Ray
    5)Carlos Santana

    Top 5

  • Nick

    1. Jimi Hendrix
    2. Jimi page
    3. Randy Rhoads
    4. Eric Clapton
    5. Eddie Van Halen

  • TK

    Gary Richrath should be up there – talk about a guy who’s underrated! I guess nice guys finish last.

  • alsivi

    Anyone mention Jim Messina or Jorma from The Airplane?

  • carabuser

    I know this is an old thread, but I have to comment, I keep seeing Jimmy Page listed as a great guitar player, do you guys play guitar ?

    Sorry, JP is not a great guitar player, he had a couple of good solos and wrote some good songs, but great guitar player ? No.

  • foolproofdrip

    alrite, people, come on, yall need to understand the differance between sound, and skill with a guitar pick. AC/DC is in my top 3 fav bands of all time, and i love angus young like no other, but he is not in the top 10, and he knows it, same with slash, slash flat out admits hes good but hes not THAT good, he should be in top 100, but not top 10, and hendrix was indeed a ground breaker in music 4ever, he invented the p-scale, but if u compare him to guitarists of taday, he is actualy sum wat amateur. and again i love hendrix, and he is top 20 meybe even 10 material, but not #1, and u kno wat fucking pisses me off? where on the hell on that list, is allan holdsworth? i mean honestly? i mean he is the best of all time, he should b number 1, and 4 all of ut hat will prolly pms at me 4 saying that, look up on the internet, wen van halen was in a bar with allan holdsworth and they had a guitar batte, cuz boys lemme tell u, and van halen says it himself, allan KICKED HIS ASS, santanta, halen, clapton, and loads more all have quotes saying he is the best and their is no1 like him, and their never has been. ever listen 2 his solo albums? lemme tell u, van halen, can not even play his songs, no1 in the world has been able 2 do it!! NOT A SINGLE DAMN GUITARIST HAS!!!!!, and wat about robert johnson?? he was like 1 of the legends of blues. and hell i think halen should b in the top 10, but angus really shouldnt, again non skill wise, angus is 1 of my fav of all time, but seriously guys

  • locksta

    1- Synyster Gates
    2- Dimebag Darrel
    3- Jeff Loomis
    4- Hendrix
    5- Buckethead
    6- Eric Clapton
    7- Jimmy Page
    8- Chris Cheney
    9- Angus Younge
    10- Slash
    11- Zacky Vengence
    12- Les Paul
    13- Zakk Wylde
    14- Kirk Hammet
    15- BB King

  • Guitar God

    Just another poll that completely underrates Angus Young

  • alex axeman

    Joey Vaughan “World Blues Attack” is the best blues guitarist alive today and one of the best in history! He is still making great music! See him on You Tube!!

  • Mark

    It seems obligatory to put Hendrix at the top of everyone’s list, but let’s look at it like they used to score figure skaters — one score for technical merit, and one for artistic impression. On the tech side, Jimi was without parallel. But for artistry, he was more showman than musician. As for who I’d most like to play for me for 3 hours? Santana. And it ain’t even close.