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The Top 100 Guitarists According to Rolling Stone

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Rolling Stone posted the list on their website for everyone to see and make fun of.

1 Jimi Hendrix
2 Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers Band
3 B.B. King
4 Eric Clapton
5 Robert Johnson
6 Chuck Berry
7 Stevie Ray Vaughan
8 Ry Cooder
9 Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin
10 Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones
11Kirk Hammett of Metallica
12 Kurt Cobain of Nirvana
13 Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead
14 Jeff Beck
15 Carlos Santana
16 Johnny Ramone of the Ramones
17 Jack White of the White Stripes
18 John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers
19 Richard Thompson
20 James Burton
21 George Harrison
22 Mike Bloomfield
23 Warren Haynes
24 The Edge of U2
25 Freddy King
26 Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave
27 Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits
28 Stephen Stills
29 Ron Asheton of the Stooges
30 Buddy Guy
31 Dick Dale
32 John Cipollina of Quicksilver Messenger Service
33 & 34 Lee Ranaldo, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth
35 John Fahey
36 Steve Cropper of Booker T. and the MG’s
37 Bo Diddley
38 Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac
39 Brian May of Qeen
40 John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival
41 Clarence White of the Byrds
42 Robert Fripp of King Crimson
43 Eddie Hazel of Funkadelic
44 Scotty Moore
45 Frank Zappa
46 Les Paul
47 T-Bone Walker
48 Joe Perry of Aerosmith
49 John McLaughlin
50 Pete Townshend
51 Paul Kossoff of Free
52 Lou Reed
53 Mickey Baker
54 Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane
55 Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple
56 Tom Verlaine of Television
57 Roy Buchanan
58 Dickey Betts
59 & 60 Jonny Greenwood, Ed O’Brien of Radiohead
61 Ike Turner
62 Zoot Horn Rollo of the Magic Band
63 Danny Gatton
64 Mick Ronson
65 Hubert Sumlin
66 Vernon Reid of Living Colour
67 Link Wray
68 Jerry Miller of Moby Grape
69 Steve Howe of Yes
70 Eddie Van Halen
71 Lightnin’ Hopkins
72 Joni Mitchell
73 Trey Anastasio of Phish
74 Johnny Winter
75 Adam Jones of Tool
76 Ali Farka Toure
77 Henry Vestine of Canned Heat
78 Robbie Robertson of the Band
79 Cliff Gallup of the Blue Caps
80 Robert Quine of the Voidoids
81 Derek Trucks
82 David Gilmour of Pink Floyd
83 Neil Young
84 Eddie Cochran
85 Randy Rhoads
86 Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath
87 Joan Jett
88 Dave Davies of the Kinks
89 D. Boon of the Minutemen
90 Glen Buxton of Alice Cooper
91 Robby Krieger of the Doors
92 & 93 Fred “Sonic” Smith, Wayne Kramer of the MC5
94 Bert Jansch
95 Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine
96 Angus Young of AC/DC
97 Robert Randolph
98 Leigh Stephens of Blue Cheer
99 Greg Ginn of Black Flag
100 Kim Thayil of Soundgarden

This is even sicker than I thought. I mean, c’mon, Jack White at 17!? Ok, he’s not a BAD guitar player. Heck, he’s pretty good. But the only reason he’s on the list is because the media has been bowing down to his band for the past year. What about Joey Ramone at 16? He may be one of the more *influential* guitar players, especially for the punk scene, but that doesn’t make him eligable for a list about the best guitar players.

The only thing that made my heart sing was seeing Robert Randolph on the list. But where is Phil Keaggy? John Petrucci? Oh well, who gives a crap what Rolling Stone thinks, anyway.


Don’t like the Rolling Stone list? Pick your own favorite guitarists with our own poll here.

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About The Theory

  • TDavid

    Duane Allman, Robert Johnson and Ry Cooder ahead of Eddie Van Halen? Puh-lease.

    Is this a list for guitar influences or who are the top 100 guitarists?

    This reminds me of every rock countdown list where Stairway to Heaven is usually the winner. Stairway is a great song, an eternal classic, but it isn’t the #1 rock song on every list.

    Angus Young makes the top 100? Every AC DC song is what, 3 or 4 chords? I like the early AC DC stuff, but they have made a fortune off of a handful of chord combinations and I can’t say Angus is one of the top 100 guitarists of all time.

    On a positive note, I do agree with many of the people on this list and I think Hendrix at #1 is solid.

  • JR

    42. Robert Fripp

    Good call, Eric.

    But the list is still risible.

  • JR

    Can’t find Joe Satriani. You’d think the guy who’s actually made a successful career of instrumental guitar music over the past fifteen years, and who taught Kirk Hammett (#11!?!) and Steve Vai, would show up in the top 100.

    And some of the people who are on this list! I don’t want to knock musicians who’ve made good music, but to the extent that some of these guys actually played guitar, they might as well have put Elvis on the list!

    (Why do I bother arguing with Rolling Stone?)

  • Rodney Welch

    Placing 16, 17, and 18 over 19 is an absolute insult — Richard Thompson is one of the greatest ever. But I am at least pleased to see him represented, as well as Fahey and Verlaine.

  • SineSwiper

    This is on par with Blender’s Top 50 Worse bands, where the put up ICP as #1, even though they rated their “worse album” (The Wraith) for the “worse band” (ICP) as 3 out of 4 stars in an earlier review. Even if you hate ICP yourself, you’ll have to agree that it still isn’t as bad as some of the other bands they listed, such as some of the really BAD 80’s bands.

    They also listed Emerson, Lake and Palmer (#2), Pat Boone (#18), The Alan Parsons Project (#21), Primus (#22), Creed (#23), Crash Test Dummies (#28), Skinny Puppy (#29), Paul Oakenfold (#35), The Doors (#37 ?!?), Blind Melon (#40), The Spin Doctors (#46), Goo Goo Dolls (#47), Master P (#48), and Iron Butterfly (#50).

    Please note that some of this bands rated are rated WORSE than Manowar (#44).

    As far as this list goes, it is completely invalid if Joe Satriani is not on the list.

  • SineSwiper

    I also want to note that lists like these are merely for culture and marketing masterbation for the parties involved (ie: Rolling Stone).

  • The Theory

    Ahhahaha. “market masterbation”… good call.

  • Cindy Collins Smith

    What a weird list!

    I have no qualms about Hendrix at #1. But as someone pointed out, Richard Thompson at #19? (when he should probably be in the Top 10!). No Joe Satriani?

    And why is Johnny Ramone even ON the list, much less on the list at #16? I mean, okay, I love the Ramones. But Johnny Ramone is ahead of a lot of much better guitarists… like The Edge, for example. In fact, why is The Edge down at #22? And Kurt Cobain at #12? Oh, I get it. The Edge is alive and U2 is over-exposed. But he’s still a great guitarist. And Cobain was a better songwriter than guitarist.

    And did you see where Les Paul is??? And John McLaughlin? No way are those guys in the low 40s!

    But hey, at least Dick Dale is represented, and that’s pretty cool.

  • andy

    I agree Cindy. And I can’t understand why Pete Townshend is way down in the 50s. I’m glad to see Jack White on the list though. He truely is a great guitarist.

  • Eric Olsen

    A few things: this is rock, obviously, with a couple of blues guys thrown in, and as such it could be worse. You can argue about the order – Jack White at 17???? – but there are some fairly brave and subtle choices as well.

    Really glaring omissions for me include Phil Manzanera, Chris Spedding, they have Tom Verlaine but not Richard Lloyd which his odd because they really go together like the Sonic Youth guys, and Mick Ronson way down at 64 is a crime, and Bruce Springsteen is a very fine guitarist as well.

  • Eric Olsen

    Oh, and how could they leave out Robin Guthrie, Terje Rypdal and Robert Smith? No one sounds like any of them.

  • mike

    Eric Clapton ahead of Robert Johnson is a crime against humanity.

  • JR

    As long as we’re mentioning glaring omissions, let’s talk about:

    Andres Segovia
    Charlie Christian
    Django Reinhardt
    Julian Bream
    Wes Montgomery
    Joe Maphis
    John Williams
    Allan Holdsworth
    Alex Lifeson
    Al Di Meola
    Larry Carlton
    Paco De Lucia
    Adrian Belew
    Michael Hedges
    Uli Roth
    Eric Johnson
    Andy Summers
    Bill Frisell
    Junior Brown

    and (donning flak jacket)

    Steve Vai
    Yngwie Malmsteen

    Given RS’s willingness to include rhythm guitarists, I’m surprised they didn’t include John Lennon. He could play the odd solo (“The End”), he was an adequate fingerstylist (“Julia”), and he was a brilliantly subversive rhythm player (“I Call Your Name”). Oh, and he wrote a decent tune or two. Might even have influenced a few people to take up the guitar.

  • Marty Thau

    Any list that omits Phil Keaggy cannot be considered credible. I’d definitely rate him in the top 10. But then again this is Rolling Stone. What do you expect?

  • Natalie Davis

    Leo Kottke! Where is Leo Kottke? And so many lame choices. Plus the affront of putting Richard Thompson at only 19. And Kurt Cobain? Better than 9-1/2-fingered Jerry Garcia? Please.

    This list bites. But we knew it would; practically anything RS takes on sucks big time. Big time, Jann, big time! I’m surprised Boz Scaggs isn’t topping the list.

    Glad to see Bert Jansch and the late Danny Gatton on there, though.

  • The Theory

    I agree Natalie. Leo Kottke the folk guitar icon.

  • Rodney Welch

    Question no one has asked yet: Where’s Slash?


    Answer: In a purple smokey haze, lying buck naked (except for the top hat) in a circular bed atop a penthouse suite in Vegas, watching 2 Amazonian show girls get to know each other better.

  • Rodney Welch

    You and your wet dreams.

  • andy

    Ok Eric, maybe not #17, but I’m glad they put him on. Jack White is definately an amazing guitarist. Not #17 amazing, but list worthy I think.

  • Natalie Davis

    Yeah, Jack White is listworthy, but his positioning helps make the list itself (as any subjective ranking would be, I guess) useless. What is with this need RS seems to have to fold more modern performers into the top tiers of these best-ever lists, anyway? Is it merely a ploy to keep the teens and 20somethings happy? I mean, it’s too bad that the young’uns don’t have a Hendrix of their generation (yet, and he’s just an example), but Hendrix is as much theirs as old people’s. The shame is that some clueless tween will believe this ranking is truthful.

  • andy

    But take heart knowing that when they mature in taste and years, they’ll realize it’s a fraud, and start listening to Hendrix. Their generation, our generation, your generation, we all have a Hendrix cause the man was cross generational(now anyway haha)


    The dudes in Iron Maiden kill all these gits.

  • Rodney Welch

    I’m not sure Jack White is listworthy. Will he be there on the list of 2023? And where will he rank, if at all? I think the real interest of a list like this is to survey it for people whose real heyday, so to speak, was years ago, like Scotty Moore or Tom Verlaine or Neil Young. They don’t rank high, but I’ll bet you anything they’ll make that future list where a lot of these flashes in the pan will be mere memories.

  • The Theory

    this should be about talent, and not where they’ll rank 20 years from now. In my mind, it’s too early to say whether Jack White should have made the list at all, let alone at 17th slot. Sure, he can do some cool stuff with his guitar, but he seems like more of a good song crafter than a guitar god.

  • Mark Saleski

    ah Theory, you’re just mad ’cause Phil Keaggy didn’t make the list.



    Except for Gregg Ginn. He could house all these fools, even the mighty Maiden axemen!

  • Natalie Davis

    Rodney, a look into my crystal ball shows that in the year 2023, if man is still ali-i-ive, #17 will be whatever then-current guitarist does groovy tricks on the axe. Also listed will be the most recent talented-but-misunderstood suicide, several emotional favorites, and Boz Scaggs. Jack White won’t be on the list. Neither will Steve Hackett of Genesis or Leo Kottke. And Jimi Hendrix will stand at #1.

  • The Theory

    Well, hey, I have a right when Jack White makes the list. That said, I do listen to the White Stripes more than I listen to Phil Keaggy.

  • Natalie Davis

    Of late, that is true for me too, TT. That, however, is about to change. Keag-GY! Keag-GY!

  • Rodney Welch

    Theory —

    If it’s about talent, real talent, then it’s about whether they’ll be on there in another 20 years. There’s a difference between the real thing and the flavor of the month.

  • Mark Saleski

    right you are rodney…that’s kinda what i was trying to get at in my shortened version of the list.

  • The Theory

    Well, if the world was perfect, then YES, they would be on there 20 years from now. However, as was demonstrated with this list, that is NOT what happens. Lists are always flavour of the month. I have no reason to think that 20 years from now magazines and their list compilers will have grown any more objective. There will always be great guitarists who, for some reason, don’t make the lists who should.

  • Rodney Welch

    On which single disc does Keaggy most display his guitar wizardry? I found my old cassette of Love Broke Through the other night, but I always thought of that record as being a bit treacly.

  • The Theory

    See him live is really the best advice I can give. His solo concerts are just him and his acoustic guitar. He’ll just sit and DO THINGS. He ad-libs his songs in amazing ways.

    He has a lot of cds and I don’t own them all so I couldn’t say which is more “technically advanced” than the next. I might suggest the live Glass Harp reuinion concert, I don’t know the specific title off hand and don’t even know if it’s still availible, but that one is really good. It shows all different aspects of his playing, electric, acoustic, solo, with a band, everything.


  • Natalie Davis

    VERY good advice, TT. Every time I’ve seen him play has been a mind-opening experience for me, both as fan and as guitarist. That said, my most-listened to Keaggy works are The Master and the Musician (in vinyl, natch), Acoustic Sketches, and the Music to Paint By box set, which offers a wide picture of Keaggy’s talents.

  • The Theory

    natalie: which indiviual cd from that Music To paint By set would you say is the best? I have it (got it at one of keaggys concerts, actually) and just feel lost and don’t know where to start…

  • Natalie Davis

    I’m partial to Brushstrokes. But dive in anywhere; I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

  • andy

    I really like his 220 cd myself. Instrumental electric stuff I think is where he shines the most.

  • Eric Olsen

    “Strings Attached” is the 2-CD live Glass Harp reunion album from the late-’90s, really great. It’s available from their site – click through from the Glass Harp DIY post here.

  • aaron

    Keep in mind that this is from a magazine that had the Olsen twins on the cover last month.

  • Natalie Davis

    And Clay Aiken showing off a bit of abdomen, curiously after another man won American Idol. Next month: Boz Scaggs.

    Andy: Yes, 220 is prime Keaggy.

  • duane

    I would like to acknowledge the posting
    by JR for his wise additions. I’ve been
    moaning about this list since my girlfriend
    read it to me over the phone last night.
    In particular, I want to acknowledge your
    mention of Holdsworth and Eric Johnson.
    It occurred to me before I even heard the
    names on the list that they would omit
    classical guitarists and most jazz greats.
    But, leaving off Vai and Satriani? Vai is
    still #1 in my book for rock guitarists. And
    Eddie van Halen obviously should have
    been in the top 10. How do you think Vai
    will feel about this abominable list?
    I think RS’s intention is to piss us off
    in order to get more PR, so we will watch
    the newsstands for their Top 100 stupid
    Top 100 lists. We might also consider
    Larry Carlton, Robin Trower (maybe), Skunk
    Baxter, Pat Martino, the Thin Lizzy guys,
    Peter Frampton (oh, yes), Leslie West (hey,
    he’s good), George Benson, Kenny Wayne
    Shepherd, and no doubt names will continue
    coming to me. Anyway, thanks JR. You nailed
    a lot of RS’s thoughtless omissions.

  • Jim Carruthers

    I’m still amazed Russell Hammond didn’t make the list.

  • The Theory

    And, for the record, I’m not complaining about the Olsen twins gracing the cover or RS. hottttness.

  • JR

    re: Russell Hammond

    Rolling Stone is probably still pissed at him for jerking them around on that cover story.

  • Jim Carruthers

    Rolling Stone is probably still pissed at him for jerking them around on that cover story.

    Yah, what a tool. Shouting “I’m a golden god” and then leaping into that scum laden pool. Then denying it happened.

    No wonder his career never went anywhere.

  • Natalie Davis

    Cameron Crowe’s revenge.

  • Jonathan

    ?!? Jimmy Page @ # 9 ??

    Come on! Have you seen this map place Stairway on a 12-string? Unbelievable. He deserves to be #2. Screw the Allman Brothers.

    /Zeppelin forever.

  • Jim Carruthers

    Like my favourite guitarist /
    Jimmy Page /
    All the girlies I like /
    Are underage

    Plus, I gotta give a shoutout out to Greg Ginn simply for seeing him short out a guitar by sweating on it in August in Montreal.

  • JR

    Did Jimmy Page see the cover of last month’s Rolling Stone?

  • Eric Olsen

    Pickled dog dongs!! I just realized Mick Taylor isn’t on this list – does anyone think it coincidence that the Stones’ greatest, bluesiest, most soulful music was made during the time Taylor was in the band? Check out “Get Yer Ya-Yas Out.”

    And no Roger McGuinn, a shame and a sin, who has ever sounded like McGuinn on the electric 12-string jangling for a happy eternity?

    Wenner and his rag will pay.

  • Natalie Davis

    Criminy, Eric, you’re right. Mick Taylor was awesome! One of the best and worst music experiences of my life was in the early ’80s when I emceed a Baltimore concert featuring a reunion of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, featuring Mayall, Taylor, and John McVie. Those guys were sooooo much fun to hang with, and getting to talk guitar with Mick Taylor was a major highlight. Seeing him play up close and personal… unforgettable. (The downer was that on the same night, James Honeyman-Scott from the Pretenders died, and my entire collection of rare Al Stewart records, sitting in the trunk of my car because I’d used them for a radio documentary, were stolen during the concert. The good news is I was able to replace all of them over the intervening 20 years. Sadly, Honeyman-Scott is still gone.)

    Never met Roger McGuinn, whose work I adore, but I did get to chat about guitars with Chris Hillman (another great player, though not necessarily list-worthy) and Herb Pedersen last year. Very good night, that.

    I’ll toss in plugs for underrated guitarists Al Stewart (school of Jansch; most people don’t know just how talented and knowledgeable Al is) and Dan Fogelberg (who is absolutely awesome on slide guitar and playing blues and classical guitar). Martin Guitars even has a model in his honor.

  • Eric Olsen

    Round round get around, Nat gets around (yeah)

  • Eric Olsen

    And now a comment has resurrected this very fine appreciation of Little Feat by Satan, I mean Al, and now I am indignant that these pork byproducts at Rolling Stone didn’t include Lowell George or Paul Berrere, you smoldering dildo ashes.

  • Natalie Davis

    Ok. So does Eric.

  • Josh Webb

    The Edge doesn’t need to be on this list at all as far as I’m concerned. Talk about a guy who plays the same riff over and over.

    What about Mick Jones (The Clash)? And you might laugh, but Elvis Costello is highly underrated as a player. No gymnastics on his records but some really great playing.

  • Natalie Davis

    Oh, good lord, Paul Barrere. Fred Tackett, too. Lovely guys, incredible musicians. The omission of Lowell had to be an oversight. Had to be.

    EC is indeed underrated. I play a lot of his stuff; it’s quite demanding and proves his skill as songwriter and player.

    Pork product dildo ashes… Jann, how could you?

  • Al Barger

    One word: PRINCE. A guitar player list without him lacks credibility. Perhaps a whole separate paen to his guitar ass kickingness is in order.

    OK, two more words: JUNIOR BROWN. Damn, but he’s a badass. A little “Highway Patrol” or “Sugarfoot Rag” might convince you.

    Yup, Lowell George should certainly be there.

    I’m not sure how to judge Elvis Costello on this count, largely because it’s not obvious to me what picking on his records is being done by HIM personally.

    One particularly obvious silly entry was Kurt Cobain. He was a decent songwriter, but Nirvana was a shitty BAND. They were some of the worst players of their instruments to make it to their level.

  • Josh Webb

    There’s only one player in EC’s band and that’s him. Of course there may be a studio guy or two playing on the albums but having seen him live many times I can attest that he can play all his own licks and then some.

  • Josh Webb

    Has anyone mentioned Steve Miller? Of course Boz Scaggs too.


    The dudes in Judas Priest are way better than any of these poofers. Except Greg Ginn. He could make them pee their leather pants just by plugging in.

  • duane

    It looks to me like there’s some confusion over
    what exactly is being rated — both by RS and by
    the contributors to this page. I don’t want to complain
    — well, yes I do — but it seems as though many of you
    equate the players with the bands they are (were) in.
    Similarly, many seem to equate the quality of the playing
    with the quality of the songs they played. Sure, that
    sounds like I’m missing the point, right? You could ask
    “What’s the point of being able to play dazzling solos
    if you have to back Michael Bolton?” But it’s not fair
    to say that Duane Allman is not great just because
    you might not like the Allman Brothers, for example.
    It’s also silly to say that Keith Richards is great just
    because he he plays for “The Greatest Rock and Roll
    Band in the World.”

    Another thing that seems to get
    mixed up is that fame shouldn’t be equated with talent.
    Jimmy Page, my hero, is not really much of a solo guitarist.
    Have you heard his live stuff? Sloppy, not very good at all.
    His fame is earned by his writing ability, not his playing. All
    of my former guitar teachers could play Page under the table.
    They’re not famous for reasons having nothing to do with
    their playing ability, right?

    As for Buck Dharma, once laughably touted as the best
    American rock guitarist: well, I saw Blue Oyster Cult
    headline a show in Long Beach CA way back when. Ted
    Nugent opened, followed by Kansas. Ted was then a
    budding guitar hero, and did his very best to show off.
    It was clear that he was “gunning” for Buck. But — surprise! —
    Kerry Livgren of Kansas came out midway through their show
    and played for 10 minutes under a spotlight all by himself
    with his white Gibson SG. He absolutely smoked Ted’s doors
    off. When Buck came out, it was as if he knew he had been
    seriously outclassed and, although he gave it a shot, he could
    not hold a candle to Ted or Kerry. No doubt there are hundreds
    of similar stories — like the night I saw Eddie van Halen make
    Rudolf Schenker (sp?) of UFO wish he had called in sick.

  • duane

    Or was it Michael Schenker?

    Also, in the spirit of naming guitarists that are at least as good as 50 or so of the big winners, how about Steve Morse, Steve Hillage, Steve Hackett, Todd Rundgren, Gary Moore, Rory Gallagher, Albert King, Martin Barre, Frank Marino, and Billy Gibbons? Sheesh.

  • JR

    Michael Schenker was the one in UFO. Except for when he called in sick. Actually, he didn’t call in, he just disappeared for a few months.

    Holy Cow, you saw Van Halen and UFO in the same show!?! I would have killed to see that. Blue Oyster Cult/Kansas/Ted Nugent around that time sounds like a barnburner too.

    I wasn’t aware that Buck Dharma was ever more than a cult figure, but touting him as the best American rock guitarist (circa what, 1976?) seems no more laughable than Rolling Stone’s list. Low standard, I know.

  • Josh Webb

    Eddie Van Studio Tricks? Yawn!

  • Ren

    I was extremely peeved to find that Mike Oldfield did not make that list, nor did Tommy Emmanuel for that matter. Don’t know who they are? Well, Tommy’s big in Australia and is branching out into the overseas market – but if you’d heard him, you’d be amazed. And Mike Oldfield – who can play any guitar as easily as scratching his balls, is probably better known for his work in the 70’s horror flick icon, The Exorcist, but you need to listen to his guitar stuff to truly enjoy his music. Magic. Whoever made that list up is stuck in the 70s and 80s with the hair bands.

    And Hendrix at #1? Puhleeze. How passe.

  • B.S.

    Ok – much of this list is bogus and you all have come up with some admirable additions, but slide blues guitarist Roy Rogers has got to be included! I have seen him 2x and been totally blown away both times (once I was even sober!). I would put him in the top 10, but wouldn’t argue too much if he was in the top 20!

  • Cecilia

    Aw shucks, guys….how come they forgot to mention the Go-Gos…the Bay City Rollers, Air Supply, David Cassidy (a f’ing virtuoso!), Ace Frehley of Kiss, Mike Nesmith, the Bangles, or the dudes from Black Oak Arkansas? I am appalled. At least I can pray that they will have a Top 100 Vocalists so I can see my all-time favorites like Cher, Britney Spears and Mariah Carey along with Michael Bolton, Dee Snyder, Ricky Martin and Milli (or was it Vanilli? Crap!)….sigh….now I bet Rolling Stoned will go and steal my list.

  • S.A. Smith

    Forget the 2 or 3 dozen other problems with this list (e.g., the excessive effort to stimulate controversy via ludicrous choices) the omission of Mick Taylor renders any serious discussion of it moot.

    As Eric Olsen pointed out, the Stones made the greatest rock-n-roll albums in history when Mick Taylor was with the group. For live witness testimony listen to the last 2:30 minutes of Sympathy for the Devil on Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out.

    Listen to all of it. The playing is mesmerizing and at times downright orgastic–on a night when the Stones were indisputably the greatest rock-n-roll band in the world. Thanks in no small part to Mick Taylor.

  • Josh Webb

    Edgar Winter anyone?

  • Eric Olsen

    I believe you mean Johnny, and he is a great blues and blues-rock guitarist.

  • Steven Reyes

    What the fuck is doin’ Mr. Joe Perry on the #48 he must have been at least on the top 10!!!!!!!!!!

  • Eric Olsen

    More missing: Peter Buck, Bernard Sumner, Johnny Marr – they pretty well aced out the ’80s with this list.

  • TDavid

    Been thinking about this list and how many of the folks on the list can we tell by their sound and style who is actually playing?

    I recently heard and commented on a solo of joy to the world by Eddie and I could tell it was Eddie. The Beat It solo from Michael Jackson sound Eddie influenced.

    Eddie Van Halen has a very distinct way that he plays, so does Jimi Hendrix. Also about the many differrent ways he played the guitar? Hendrix (created?) the whole playing with your lips thing.

    Hendrix could make sounds with his guitar and feedback that were as incredible in the 60’s as they are today, 40 years later! Just dial up his many copied star spangled banner solo. How many rock guitarists include that (zakk wylde comes immediately to mind) in their solos?

    Eddie may not have created the two-handed tap, but he popularized it with Eruption. That was in the end of the 70’s.

    Randy Rhoads did things with distortion, feedback and blending classical guitar with heavy metal that others have copied many times over in the early 80’s before his untimely death. If he were alive today, I think people would be more disappointed that he didn’t make the top 10.

    Some of these folks on this list I’d have a hard time telling their sound apart. If you gave them all the same guitar and same amp, would their style give them away?

    Studio gimmicks were mentioned above, but I think that is part of the guitarist’s bag of tricks — use the technology before him/her. Bottom line though, without the effects pedals and guitar mods, how do the best hold up against each other?

    I think to be in the top 10 at least of any list (which would be easier to do than a top 100, Rolling Stone) these folks have to all really, really stand out on their playing.

    This list is just full of issues … kudos for Rolling Stone to mak an attempt, but they should have just stuck with top 10 because even the top 10 it’s still a bag of worms.

  • Jim Carruthers

    The biggest problem with the RS list is the focus on celebrity rather than players.

    So I’ll list the one great great guitarist I know personally, Domenic Troiano.

    A great guy, a wicked guitarist and he’s played with everybody.

  • steve zafirakis

    Jimi Paige #9??? he could easily put up a fight for hendrix in the number 1 spot. Im glad to see george harrison on the list at least one of the beatles made it. But what was RS thinkin putin kurt cobain and jack white so high on the list let alone even on it. kurt cobain was a poet and an amazing song writer but was way below average of a guitar player and Jack white i dont even know what to say. eddie van halen deffinetly deserved to be in the top 20’s. I like seeing clapton on the list but i think the 4 slot is too considerate. Trey Anastasio isnt gettin enough recognition he could easily be in the top 40’s. I DONT SEE MY NAME ON THE LIST!!! and if rolling stones comes out with a top 100 vocalists ROBERT PLANT without a doubt should at least be in the top 3. GO ZEPPELIN

  • Josh Webb

    Though he is often overshadowed by his bandmates Alex Lifeson is a damn good player.

  • Sir Geoffery Tangleboots

    Why aren’t I on the list? I can play ATLEAST 6 chords, maybe even seven or eight. I own a Squire for godsakes, thats reason enough.

  • Raul Bender

    Where are Alvin Lee and Leslie West?Listen to Johnny Winter playing Highway 61 Revisited Live and then tell me he shouldn’t be 50 spots higher.

  • louie noypi

    cobain at #12, harrison @ 21? whattafuck!

  • Theo Huizing

    Nice list, but many players are forgotten like Lowell George, Al Di Meola, Paco Da Lucica, Pat Matheny, George Benson, Luther Allison, Robert Cray, Johnny Copeland and Albert Collins………
    It is tragic and a giant big mistake that they are not there ! Making a lot of noise or doing experimental stuff on the guitar does not mean that you are a great guitar player, or not ?
    Beeing the creator of Rock and Roll, definitely Chuck Berry, does not mean that you are great guitar player, or not ?
    I almost agree with the first ten, except Chuck Berry. Joni Mitchell makes nice music, but also a great guitar player………….. But where is Bonnie Rait ?
    A lot of Allman Brothers are listed, as a great fan, I liked this a lot…….

  • mike

    Maybe next time they should poll the artists themselves to see who they believe should be on that list.

    I cannot believe that STANLEY CLARKE, the best bassist ever to play is not on that list.

    George Benson??? Go figure. Touted by his peers as an incredible player.

    Larry Carlton, the best contemporary guitarist today!!!!

    I just took in Steely Dan and although many do not know him Jon Herrington is one incredible player.

    Stanley Clarke not there. IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Robin

    Where the hell is Andy Gill? Roger Miller (MOB)?

  • James

    2 words: Francis Dunnery.

  • The Theory

    I’m currently listening to the Phil Keaggy/Glass Harp live cd, ‘Strings Attached’ and I am in heaven…


  • steve zafirakis

    yeah phil mckenna smells bad

  • phi from buffalo

    alright first of all the person who made this list is on crack. I agree that hendrix is number 1. he definately had the biggets impact on rock being a negro during the time. Cobaine @ 12? what is this guy thinking he has no talent as a guitarist he fit in with the era. Les Paul in the 40’s. cmon people he invented the damn thing. wheres slash from guns and roses jimmy paige is prolly the most incredible thing that happend to guitar. now im not a fan at all of bands like pantera or slipknot but when i heard the guitar solos in some of there songs i was blown away. hammet cant match them. and van halen at 70 just plain down right obsured dave matthews may not be the best guitarist out there but to play what he does and sing at the same time hes incredible he definately deserves to be on the list over Kim Thayil of Soundgarden DMB represent

  • phil from buffalo

    comment 79 blows dogs for quarters and if u dont believe me bout dmb listen to the stone

  • steve zafirakis

    commment 90 is a load of bull shit
    i dont know what this guy thinks hes talkin about

  • phil from buffalo

    thi steve zafirakis kid does nto know whatdafuck hes talking bout he prolly wouldnt know a G chord from an E i mean cmon he definately smells bad sux dogs for quarters and jerks off to his moms panties for christ sake

  • Billy

    yngwie malmstein
    dimebag darrel
    dave mustaine
    zakk wylde
    paul gilbert
    marty friedman
    Jerry Cantrell
    Steve Vai!
    Joe Satriani
    Randy Rhodes

  • Rick Beaty DADADA

    This lst is so much Bull shit, half of these guys i’ve never heard of and what about satch. vai is on here and satch taught him and is 98734958234 better than him. Also where teh hell is billy corgan…???? this list is Crapola. Not good enough to even be used on my ass.. I’d usse poison ivy before this shit

  • noname

    Where’s Brian May, and what the hell is Townshed doing up there anyways. The only reason why he was so pissed was because a two year old could play better lead than him. And Daivd Gilmour should be put up the the 40’s at least, seems that RS overlook Dark Side of the Moon.

  • Tuff Hidemun

    Whoever is responsible for this list should be shot. Its obviously just a ploy to sell magazines.
    “Hey guys, lets make a list of the best guitarists!”
    And they obviously could only think of a few so they just started throwing names in at random. If you’re talking pure talent, I don’t see why Pat Metheny isn’t in there and why the Edge is. Some may argue that some of these guys deserve to be there on “writing abilities”, but Metheny outsteps pretty much all of them in that regard.

    I knew Rolling Stone had sold out, but I didn’t know it was this bad. What happened to that kickin magazine it was back in the 60s? Oh right, corporate america happened…

  • Schwarz Bruder

    I am a little disappointed that Satriani is not on the list…

    … Ike Turner? IKE TURNER? Just exactly what impact did he have? Other than on Tina’s face, that is…

  • tom yeck

    Manny Charlton formerly of Nazareth deserves mention on this list.

  • Paul of Charlotte

    To me the biggest joke is Joan Jett at 87. Gimme a break, if they wanted to get some women in there they could’ve done a heckuva lot better than that! What about Nancy Wilson of Heart? Bonnie Raitt? Sheesh.

  • Eric Olsen

    Paul, absolutely right with those two, can’t believe they left out Bonnie – she probably can’t believe it either. Go-Go’s Bangles, Lush all had very fine guitar work also.

  • Mark Saleski

    i always thought jane wiedlin was hotter than joan jett.

  • Trey

    Phil Keagy is a real oversight, he still plays great guitar. But what about David Byrne. He created an entire style of quirky, rhythmically complex guitar playing. I think he is vastly under appreciated. Also, he could play that stuff while singing, something Frank Zappa (another of my favorites) could never accomplish.


  • andy

    agreed about Bonnie. I didn’t think of her till someone mentioned it. The Theory and I are listening to Glass Harp’s “Strings Attached” album right now. I had never heard it before. I dig it.

  • Eric Olsen

    Good one Trey, David Byrne is unique.

  • The Theory

    see, the thing is that I doubt Keaggy cares that he’s not on this list. He’s obviously not after attention. If he was he’d be a god by now.

  • Trev

    This list is a little silly, but it’s fun. I personally love Jack White’s playing. I’ve seen the White Stripes Live and their better than most give credit for. I agree 17 is high, but he’s one of the best things going for rock and roll these days. He’s loud distorted and very versitile. Most people have only heard Seven Nation Army, which isn’t even one of their best tunes.

    Like I said, the list is fun and not to be taken too seriously.

  • Rolling Stone Sucks

    i think that this list needs to be rethought, and not by a bunch of losers that think Jack White should be on the list. Where is James Hetfield? Buckethead? Nick Walker? Tim Mahoney? Darron Malakian? wtf? REMAKE THIS DAMN LIST PLEASE……

  • Mark Saleski


    he’s just the anti-Jack White.

  • Nick Kushner

    First, a distinction has to be made between great guitar players and great songwriters. Most people who are interested in reading the top 100 list of guitarists want to see the great players way before any marginal players who are great songwriters. Next, a distinction has to be made between true innovators who were also awesome players , the awesome players, the very good players and then the marginal players. I will list examples of each category but the players are not necessarily in order of greatness and I will probably leave out people that could belong in these categories
    1.True Innovator/Awesome players: Hendrix, Van Halen, Stanley Jordan, Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian, Allan Holdsworth, Yngwie Malmsteen, Andres Segovia
    2. Awesome players: Eric Johnson, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Al Dimeola, Joe Satriani, Steve Morse, Steve Howe, Nuno Betancourt, George Benson, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmie Page, Brian May, Ritchie Blackmore, Randy Rhoads, Pat Metheny, John Schofield, Mike Stern, Steve Vai, Duane Allman
    3. The Very Good Players: BB King ,Chuck Berry, Jerry Garcia, Carlos Santana, Mark Knopfler, Joe Perry, Pete Townsend, David Gilmour, Angus Young, Peter Frampton, Gary Moore, Keith Richards, The Edge
    4. The Marginal Players who are usually better songwriters: Kurt Cobain, Johnny Ramone, Lou Reed, Neil Young.

  • Eric Olsen

    Nick, excellent distinctions and thinking. Filling out a list taking these considerations (and perhaps a few others) into account would make a much more meaningful list. Thanks!

  • andy

    But, wouldn’t you put someone like The Edge, who’s a very good player, into the innovative category? Just because you’re not an “awesome player” doesn’t mean you’re not innovative. How many people tried/try to copy The Edge’s sound? Or BB King? He’s definitely a mediocre player as far as skill is concerned, but nobody but nobody makes a guitar sound the way he does. There are a million blues guitarists, and none of them have the style and flava flave he does. To me, that’s innovative.

  • Nick Kushner

    I definitely agree with you that people like The Edge who have unique sounds (Jerry Garcia as well) could be considered innovators and that innovators don’t necessarily have to have the chops. But this also makes the list very hard to assemble.

  • andy

    I think that’s why there’s so much discussion. None of us are sure what constitutes “best guitar player”.

  • gilly fries

    If we make a list…..they will come.

    Jason Becker anyone? It’s a shame he lost his abilities at such a young age.

  • Marty Friedman


  • Marty Friedman

    yeah jason becker owns!

  • Dave Wright

    I’d definitely find room for Frampton on the list. Check out the new album for some of his best playing ever.
    I’d also add Walter Trout, Jeff Healey and Bill Nelson.

  • Dave Wright

    And not forgetting Nils Lofgren.

  • Eric Olsen

    Lofgren and Nelson are great choices, although Nils kind of ran out of steam. His work with Grin and early solo was amazing – hasn’t done much I’ve taken notice of with Bruce.

  • Lee

    what about peter frampton ? and maybe 20 years ago Joe Perry might have been up that high but he should be in the top ten at least. Amazing what going straight and sober can do for the mind.

  • Derek S.

    Missing in Action:
    Kerry King (Slayer)
    Any of the three Maiden Guitarists
    Ace Frehley (Kiss)
    Adam Jones (Tool)
    Dimebag Darrell (Pantera)
    Scott Ian (Anthrax)

    And HA! to Kurt Kobain being a better guitarist than Santana.

  • Derek S.

    I stand corrected, I see Adam Jones now.

  • bling bling

    kerry king is the absolute worst metal guitarist. i honestly think he just picks random notes as fast as possible.

    also…so glad slash isnt in the top ten but probably should at least make the list.

    nuno bettencourt should absolutely be on the list. Brilliant metal rythym and soloist and his newer stuff is decent as well.

  • duane

    Having a cool name like Slash does
    not translate into “good,” let alone “great.” Ya know?

    Re: ” And HA! to Kurt Kobain being a better guitarist than
    Santana,” by Derek S., I would say “HA! to Kurt Kobain
    being a better guitarist than my Aunt Betsy.”

  • Josh Webb

    Those who said James Hetfield and Ace Frehley might need to be shot. Hetfield is a marginal player at best, hell his guitar tech covered his part flawlessly after his pyro incident. And Ace Frehley isn’t even the best guitarist to play in Kiss.


    Thats a nice top 100 but i just can’t believe NO ONE from Iron Maiden are there, Jannick Gres and Dave Murray are far better than most of those on the top 100 Adrian Smith is almost as good as them but the worst is … Yngwie J. Malmsteen isn’t there, IMO, it’s THE best guitarist in the whole world, i just looked at some songs and are hard to follow, i can play some Maiden’s songs like Dreams of Mirrors or Genghis Khan but not one from Malmsteen seems even almost playable and he do it like it was easy i don’t want to complain or anything, i just think they forgot some because i REALLY think Malmsteen should have been in the top 5 and one more think, any guitarist from Iron Maiden are better than Kirk Hammet ( and i’m a BIG fan of Metallice ) and Malmsteen is FAR better than them. I just hope they won’t forget them on their next top 100 if there’s one.

  • Al Barger

    Solidsnke, perhaps you mistake athleticism for good guitar playing. The most complicated, hard to reproduce lines are not necessarily the “best.” In a theoretical way, Malmsteen could probably play rings around Chuck Berry. However, whose work do we remember decades later? Berry’s work was catchier and more memorable, and a highly personal emotional expression. It would not have been more impressive if he played 10 times more notes 10 times as fast.

  • trev

    James Hetfield sucks and so does the list. Jack White Rules!

  • bling bling

    perhaps you misread my quote. I said I am gldad slash DID NOT make the top ten as he usually does on these ridiculous lists.

  • Sean

    WHAT IS THIS, Listen people, you have to realize how guitar has progressed. Jimi Hendrix was one of the most influencial guitarists of his time. BUT we took what he gave us, and built off of it. Then we got eddie van halen, THEN JOE SATRIANI, THEN STEVE VAI, ERIC JOHNSON, JOHN PETRUCCI. THESE GUYS ARE VIRTUOSO!!!!!!!!!!!

  • MK believer

    While I agree that perhaps the larger crime to humanity is the omission of Bonnie Raitt and, conversly, the inclusion of Joan Jett, I am amazed that Mark Knopfler is ranked below, to name a few, Kurt Cobain, Jerry Garcia, Jack White, Tom Morello, B.B. King, and Keith Richards. If I were 18 again, I’d be shocked at Eddie Van Halen’s ranking, but having moved on to listening to more beautiful music long ago, such as that made by Mark Knopfler (especially his solo work), I must say that Rolling Stone has missed the boat. B.B. King is a fat one-trick pony.

  • duane

    Gentlemen (and Ladies?),

    Let him that hath understanding count the number of ways that Sean’s comment
    (131) is a revelation.

  • duane

    Sorry bling bling. I overreacted.

    Gentlepeople, let’s don’t trash each other for our opinions. Let’s don’t impugn the work of the fine collection of professional guitarists about whom we speak.. We are all sensitive souls who can respond favorably to music. That’s worth hanging onto. Nobody mentioned on these posts “sucks,” with the possible exception of Rolling Stone magazine.

  • Paul

    I’m glad to see Danny Gatton and Clarence
    White on the list but no Joe Satriani or
    Robin Trower? What’s up with that? JR
    (comment 13) had quite a few other glaring
    omissions including Eric Johnson, Steve
    Vai, and Django Reinhardt. And what about
    Curt Kobain? Just because someone dies
    that doesn’t make them a great guitar player.
    I don’t think he needed more than two
    strings to play his stuff.

  • Mark Harper

    Glad some of the posters didn’t forget Robert Cray, Stanley Jordan, Larry Carlton and Pat Metheny. Here’s a few other names in that vein worthy of mention: Hiram Bullock, Billy Corgan, Fareed Haque, John Schofield, Joe Pass and the vastly underrated Dale Prasco. Always thought Eddie Van Halen and the like were “musical masturbators,” playing “noodleroni” because they could.

  • Mark Harper

    Oh, and even I forgot about him, but shouldn’t we honor the great Peter Buck?

  • JR


  • Al Barger

    Slash! Forgot all about him, and that’s just wrong.

    I don’t know if I’d rank him one of the 100 greatest guitarists ever. I’m not sure what the exact criteria for such a listing would be.

    However, just for starters, the beautifully expressive opening of “Sweet Child” alone should rank him above half of the people who DID make the list.

  • malmsteenowns

    okay this is an absolute joke.. a crime! okay great, yngwie plays really fast and that may not make him “memorable” quoting our pal “al”.. but think about this: he COULD play as slow as chuck berry, however he has so much more talent that he takes it to the next level of speed and creativity! Its BEST GUITARIST not BEST GUITARIST WHO PLAYS CATCHY TUNES!!!! Yngwie has insane talent, and without a doubt should be on that list, if not right up at the top with Hendrix.. theres no possible way of saying Yngwie isn’t talented enough to be on this list.. just try and prove it

  • Mark Saleski


    a. some talented guitar players didn’t make the rolling stone list

    b. yngwie malmsteen is some talented guitar player

    therefore, yngwie malmsteen did not make the list.

    ps. (he’s also boring)

  • Eric Olsen

    Fast noodlers bore me to tears. After the second “wow” it’s all downhill

  • malmsteenowns

    once again u dipshits don’t cease to amaze me.. its TALENT.. not whether or not it amuses you.. he has enough TALENT to be on that list.. are you saying that kurt cobain is better than him? please..

  • James

    Kenny Burrell
    George Benson
    Earl Klugh
    Wes Montgomery

    These 4 definitely need to be added to that list.

  • Mark Saleski

    “To make the crucial distinction, trained fingers might as well be trained seals unless there’s a mind flexing behind them.”

    …i wish those were my own words…but they came from Lester Bangs.

  • david

    angus young at 96 i wont even dignify this with a anwser
    kurt cobain is a guitarist?? j/k

  • Threeappys

    Cobain at 12? Harrison at 21??!!
    That could be the #1 flaw in a
    very flawed list. White at 17 I think you
    should be at least dry behind the ears
    before one makes any all time list.
    If Labron James averages 30 points
    10 rebounds and 8 assists in his first
    NBA season should he be on the all time
    top 100 list? I think not.

  • mike

    What about Albert Collins. He IS the Master of the Telecaster.

  • Josh Webb

    White’s actually been around for a bit, they’ve put out like 4 albums I believe. As for Malmsteen, I agree he belongs on the list but he does bore me. I’d much rather listen to John Lee Hooker (he isn’t on the list either is he?) as he plays from the heart. Being able to type 100 words/minute doesn’t make you a great writer.

  • The Theory

    Being able to type 100 words/minute doesn’t make you a great writer.

    it does make you a good typer though. Which is probably the connotation “good guitar player” would indicate.

  • Josh Webb

    I disgaree. That would mean that being a good guitarist is more akin to being a secretary than a writer. A great guitarist is an artist as well as a technically skilled player. If technical skill was all it took there would be far more famous players than there are now. Part of being a great guitarist is having a great voice and great things to say with the instrument.

  • Robby

    ahhhhrrgg!!! Randy Rhoads deserves #1!!!
    Eddie Van Halen #2, Angus Young #3!!
    I dont think Jimi Hendrix is #1… i mean, I can play his songs and i have been playing guitar for a year!! this list is terrible!!!!

  • wystler

    some names others have not mentioned yet:

    Ernie Isley
    Melissa Etheridge

    and these two axeslingers-for-hire:
    Steve Hunter
    Dick Wagner

  • deezNINailz


    Joe Satriani
    Steve Vai
    Jerry Cantrell
    Al Jourgensen
    Dave Navarro
    Trey Spruance
    Billy Corgan

    You think anyone at Rolling Stone has ever heard of them?

  • Eric Olsen

    Wystler, don’t know about Melissa, but Ernie Steve and Dick are excellent picks! Loved the latter two with Mitch Ryder (I think, at least Hunter for sure), Lou Reed, and Alice Cooper.

    Ernie carried on the screaming funk-rock of Hendrix in the ’70s. Killer.

  • deezNINailz

    And coming from Rolling Stone, I would’ve thought they’d have Dave Grohl in the top 20 or some shit like that.

    Jesus, this list tops my Top 10 Worst Lists list… rounded out by any 9 of those VH1 jokes.

    P.S. Oh, and Gary Rossington, man… fuckin’ Free Bird…

  • marilyn

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU THANK YOU for saying EXACTLY what I was thinking about why Phil Keagghy did not show up on this list!! Also deserving of a place among the best was Marty Robbins,Chet Atkins or even Glen campbell. They could twiddle and strum circles around many of the twerps on this list.

  • Mark Saleski

    gee, i can’t wait until rolling stone puts out the best drummers list.

    then the blogcritics shite will really hit the fan!

  • deezNINailz

    Yeah, maybe Ted Nugent will make that list… he did play drums, right?

  • Ed

    James was right, Francis Dunnery isn’t even on the list and he is awesome. Hendrix is only famous because he set fire to his guitars…I’m surprised Rolling Stone didn’t put Justin Timberlake on the list…after all, he does own a guitar.

  • casidy

    Before I saw the list I was hoping for Steve Morse in the top 8. not in the top 100. My god guitar player of the year in guitar player magazine 6 times. The dregs axe got burned,
    Zappa should be top 10.

  • casidy

    here is proof
    “Magna Carta recording artist Steve Morse, whose upcoming CD Major Impacts 2 will be in stores later this year, will make an appearance at the Gibson Presents Muriel Anderson’s All Star Guitar Night in Nashville, Tennessee, on July 18. This momentous musical occasion marks the first Nashville appearance in 25 years by legendary guitar innovator and musician Les Paul, who will perform a number of his groundbreaking songs and share the stage with a number of great guitar stars including Steve Morse.

    Thirteen-year old guitarist Chelsea Constable’s

  • pango

    I think most are missing the point. Notice that it’s the top 100 and not the top lead or the top melodic guitarists. Sure, Cobain was no fret wizard, because he never wanted to be. His songs were crafted on the basis of simple punk standards. He used them to obviously develop a style in which he could express himself like no one before him and by doing so, he destroyed the music industry’s idea of what an entertainer should be. Right up rolling stone’s alley. Good old rock and roll at it’s finest.

  • Hugh

    Ok, first i have to say jack green, johnny ramone, and the guy from metalica shouldn’t even be on the list. in there spot should be alvin lee, buddy guy and t-bone walker. The edge should be gone, so should kurt cobain. Im not even a fan of eddie van, but he deserves to be higher. Dwane alman does not deserve number 2, more like 32. ry cooder is good, but not better than jimmy page. Keith richards is up there only there for inovation (rolling stones are my favorite band too). Pete townshend should be atleast top 15. B.B. King even said that eric clapton is better than him, and that he cant sing and play at same time, so clapton should be 3. santana is definently be higher than jeff beck and jerry garcia. Bo Diddley should be higher. Hendrix is easily number 1. All those jazz guys like allan holdsworth and eric johnson should atleast be on list, instead of crap like tom morello. Elmore james should also be on list. Robert johnson is easily number 5, but stevie ray should be higher. SO i guess top ten would be:
    1. Jimi hendrix
    2. Clapton
    3. Stevie Ray
    4. Robert Johnson
    5. B.B. King
    6. Chuck Berry
    7. Jimmy Page
    8. Keith Richards
    9. Santana
    10. George Harrison

  • andy

    Not putting Robert Johnson in the top 2 is total crap.

  • Mark Yerger

    No Buck Dharma (Blue Oyster Cult) ?? Guess a dozen plus albums of great skill and creative playing don’t matter. Some of the short term riff players listed: get real and keep listing short lived garage bands/members. Must have used radio and MTV (yawn) for most of the picks.

  • Toshi M

    I agree 80 guitarists,But the rest 20 should be changed.

    Charlie Christian
    Tal Farlow
    Grant Green
    Wes Montgomery
    Albert King
    Some Metal Players(You probabaly koow the names)

  • Marty Friedman

    Eddie Van Halen should be at least second, fuck rolling stone magazine, they dont know shit! (same with marty friedman, he should be first with Hendrix).

  • Marty Friedman

    I don’t know who compiled this, but this is complete bullshit. (sorry Todd, but it is) I don’t even know where to begin bashing this. Well, actually I do. The maestro, Andreas Segovia, DIDN’T EVEN MAKE THE LIST. And that’s just for starters. Duane Allman at #2?? Hey, I love Duane’s slide work, but does anyone outside of Rolling Stone think he truly belongs at #2 on the list? Kurt Cobain at #12. Are you shitting me?? For crying out loud, these morons are saying that Kurt Cobain is the 12th best guitarist of all time, when Joe Satch and Steve Vai didn’t even make the freakin list? Joan Jett came in at 87, so according to Rolling Stone, she is a greater guitarist than Andreas Segovia, Joe Satriani, and Steve Vai. I cannot believe this. It makes me want to kick someone over at Rolling Stone in the nuts. Or, at least give them an education about guitarists. I could go on and on. This is just absolutely pathetic, but I guess I should have expected as much from Rolling Stone.

  • Trent

    I looked through the top 5 and didn’t see Satriani, so I stopped reading…

  • sockhead


  • Marty Friedman

    I agree with schockhead with the Eddie Van Halen thing, but i think ur wrong with Hendrix.

  • Marty Friedman

    I agree with schockhead with the Eddie Van Halen thing, but i think ur wrong with Hendrix.


    That dude who played on “No Sleep ’til Brooklyn” by the Beastie Boys is WAY better than any of these schlongs.

    Except Greg Ginn. He could make that dude cry like a little school girl.

  • sockhead

    why is is hendrix the best guitarist?? can someone please tell me??

  • ThirdeYe

    lol @ the morons thinking Hendrix is overrated. He’s a guitar god, a true pioneer.

  • Jim Carruthers

    I’ve had a brainfreeze, and know right after I hit the answer will come to me. But the guy who played “Guitar Jamboree” (Bonzo Doo-Da Band?) _is_ the greatest guitarist in history. Well, it’s the bloody record, isn’t it?

    {and then I did the sensible thing and google’d the fucker} So it’s Chris Spedding and “Guitar Jamboree” (and on eukele…)

    Apparently , I’ve never spent any time with him, but he’s a reprobate, has played on million records, and is a brilliant guitar player.

    So what’s Hendirx done in the last 30 years?

  • Ryan

    Look, I’ll accept Eddie at 70, but where is Chet Atkins, Dave Murray, Adrian Smith (best metal guitarist ever), Steve Vai, Yngwie, Charlie Christian, Ronnie Van Zant, Joe Satriani (didn’t he teach Kirk Hammett (#11)?), Duane Allman higher than Eric Clapton (Didn’t Duane play rythym for eric?), and ok, i love Jimi Hendrix, but is he really better than Jimmy Page?, c’mom have you ever heard his solo on “good times bad times?” oh yeah, and John Fruciante? 18? Tom Morello shouldn’t have been so high, i love rage, but his solos make me wish he’d never heard of run DMC. Glad to see Steve Howe, I love the intro to Roundabout. I know everyone above me mentioned joe satch, but i saw him live and until i heard him and never though instrumental music could be so kick ass!

  • Ryan

    Bricklayer is and idiot (about 5 or 6 messages above this one)

  • Ryan

    Bricklayer is an idiot (about 5 or 6 messages above this one)

  • Ryan

    I forgot about Dimebag Darrell, have you ever heard Cemetary Gates?, and Alex Lifeson, listen to Discovery from 2112 if you don’t think hes awesome

  • sockhead


  • beatlebrain

    Lets go back in time to where there was the first person ever to pick up a guitar. It was a CAVEMAN! that picked up a stick and tied a vine onto it. BINGO!!! the first guitarist ever thus being the most inperational guitarist ever!!! hes was probley better then henrix! LOL!!!!

  • pat

    Number one Jimi hendrix deserves to be number one, despite what all of you mindless morons say. Number two where in the hell is leo kottke?? I also would have liked to see chet atkins on this list, along with dave matthews, and no doubt in my mind that tim reynolds should be on this list.

  • duane

    Is it my imagination, or has the cabal of superior blog critics suffered some serious degradation in the IQ department over the last week?

    Look, people, if you don’t know the difference between “there,” “their,” and “they’re,” how can you expect us to believe that you know the difference between the technical ease of the solo on “Good Times, Bad Times” and the technical difficulty of the stuff that, por ejemplo, Fripp and Belew used to put together for King Crimson? Led Zeppelin is my favorite rock band of all time, but that doesn’t make Page the best guitarist. Triplets down the E pentatonic scale is kid stuff. Every rock guitarist knows how to do that — well, except for about 20 of the Rolling Stone Top 100. Go figure.

  • Eric Olsen

    Duane, surely you don’t think it’s been Blogcritics writing the comments with indecipherable spelling (what the hell is “inperational”?), impenetrable punctuation, denegration of demigods, and the like? It hasn’t been, my friend. Comments are open to all, and sometimes it shows.

  • Eric Olsen

    Jim, Spedding is one of my all time faves – saw him and Phil Manzanera together backing Brian Ferry in the late-’70s, mind-boggling.

  • Dan

    No Slash of GNR? No Petrucci of Dream Theater? No Dimebag Darrell of Pantera?
    This list is a travesty!

  • Dan

    Why are David Gilmore and Tony Iommi so high on this list? Why is Angus Young even on this list? Why are they writers and editors at Rolling Stone a bunch of tool bags? Once again? No John Petrucci or Dimebag Darrell? Does Rolling Stone even know who these guys are, or are they to busy watching the White Stripes on Saturday Night Live? No offense to them in any way, they’ve got a good thing going. But seriously, listen to he Cowboys from Hell or the Images and Words album, then get back to me!!!

  • duane

    Eric, thanx for straighting me out on that pooint. i gess I shud of know’n that this sight was open to all sins i wuz alowed to post my opinon hear i jus get tired of people saying henrix sux and all cuz he was insperashenal to so many who folowed. Einstien had teechers does that mean they were better sientists than him? do anologees even rejister hear? and wen peeple spel Di Meola as De Miola it makes me wunder if peeple should go red a book or sumthin insted of cruzing the net, ya know?

  • Eric Olsen

    I no, Duane, I no.

  • Dan

    No Cantrell of Chains?!! No Corgan of Pumpkins?!! I’m gonna go end my life now in disgust!

  • shutup


  • Cecilia

    Uh, you miscounted there, friend. “I want acton (I assume you meant ‘action’) tonight, satisfaction alright (I assume you meant ‘all right’)”….I get SEVEN words, not two. But hell, who’s counting?

  • Cecilia

    Uh, you miscounted there, friend. “I want acton (I assume you meant ‘action’) tonight, satisfaction alright (I assume you meant ‘all right’)”….I get SEVEN words, not two. But hell, who’s counting?

  • AciDRaiNe

    deezNINailz named the guy i think should definately be in this list….. dave navarro. Kicked with Jane’s Addiction and the Red Hot Chili Peppers…..with exception with his recent performance in the MTV music awards….he should have ended his appearance by clubbing Christina aguilera over the head with his guitar.

  • Cecilia

    I tried to figure out (by reading the quasi-article which accompanied Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Guitarists List) where, exactly, they came up with their criteria for the list. Who did they poll? Did someone toss a coin, or perhaps pull numbers from a hat?
    I dunno. Maybe they polled the readers themselves (excluding everyone who put a post here). Hey, I got a subscription free for joining Columbia House or whatever it was….I wouldn’t PAY to read this magazine. They don’t need paying subscribers….after all, this is a magazine with no less than 35 to 40 pages of ads preceding the table of contents! Maybe then, Rolling Stone polled the advertisers!

    With three dozen pages of slick ads featuring a bunch of pissed-off looking little brats, stubbly-faced twenty-somethings and guys with nothing more than six-pack abs as their claim to fame, I have come to realize that Rolling Stone is scant more than a Sunset Boulevard Billboard that passes itself off as a music magazine.

    Case closed.

  • buttholeface


  • RW

    What the…?
    Who made this list, Katie Couric?

    Look, it starts with Jimi Hendrix, moves next to Mr. Van Halen and the rest can be debated (that Nuno Bettencourt was left off tells me the author of the piece was busy looking at a Tiger Beat cover instead of listening to music) amongst the masses.

    Now I’m reminded why RS is one of the worst mags out there…



  • Jimi Hendrix

    Hi Mr. Sockhead.

    You need to relax and take a few bong hits.

    Go ask Eric Johnson or Steve Vai if they’re better than me.

    Peace, man,

    (ps. Janis was a good lay)

  • Bustakap

    No Matthew Sweet? Blasphemy! Jack White’s better than Harrison? Maybe now, since he’s dead. How about the abysmal placements of Lou Reed and Pete Townshend? No dice. This list would anger me if I hadn’t already expected it to suck…

  • Will

    I’m partial to Prince, but leaving Chet Atkins off the list is a joke.

  • Eric Olsen

    Ooh, we broke the 200-comment barrier on this one, cool. I agree that even on a rock list such as this, you can’t leave off Chet due to his work with the Everly Bros and Elvis.

    And I am honored Jimi chose to visit us from his cyber-crypt at

    Thanks Jim, you rock.


    Ryan says “Bricklayer is and idiot (about 5 or 6 messages above this one)”

    So Ryan (nice sissy name!), what is “and Idiot”? I guess I would have to be and real idiot to figure that one out!

    He then goes on to praise the twee fellow from Rush, and redneck ogre from Pantera!

    Face it slappy, the dude in the Gorilla Suit in the Beastie Boys video OWNS all of these hacks on this list.

    Except for Greg Ginn. He could make that dude sit up and beg for a banana (or a palm leaf).

    So Ryan (assume the vocal affectation of a New England country club snob when you say his name), go back to listening to your little noodle wankers, for you shall NEVER grasp the majesty and magnitude of the dude in the Gorilla suit!

    The Hessian revolt starts now!

  • Eric Olsen

    Gorillas and Greg Ginn – Bricklayer is at it again.

  • Eric Olsen

    BTW, whatever happened to SST? I’m not sure Greg had it over any number of his fellow thrashers on his apparently erstwhile label.


    SST is still running their mail order service. When I got my order confirmation, I think the email was from “gginn…” I wanted to send him something, but my woody was in the way (I’m not bragging or anything).




    With all due respect Sockhead, Eric Clapton is by far the most overrated guitarist in history-he is the guitar playing equivalent of Rod Stewart-Once might have been respectable, but now is laughable. “Tears in Heaven” is possibly the worst song ever recorded, it being Eric’s very own “Love Touch”. This is a man who sold his soul to Satan, and still could only come up with pablum like “After Midnight”. Beelzebub laughed all the way to bank on that beer commercial. He is the prototypical stodgy, cranky Brit musician, looking down his pointy, bespectacled noggin at the lesser of his craft. And instead of emulating him, thousands of rockers should have been following his countrymen in Iron Maiden, they have much cooler stage shows, play football(you may call this soccer), fly aeroplanes, and where the inspiration for another fabulous act, Spinal Tap! Clapton is Euro-Trash, boring, boring, boring. What did Ms. Crow see in this charlatan? (Remember Charlatans UK? Now, that was a great band, my friends)

    There’s no other way…


    Mr. O: Were you out in Cali when all those SST bands were going off? At one time weren’t they housing Flag, The Minutemen, Husker Du, St. Vitus, The Meat Puppets, etc? That would have been Golden.




    Fair enough SOCKHEAD, my friend, we will agree to disagree. And may I take this opportunity to express my admiration for your cool name. Too many of the people who post here hide behind monikers like “Ryan”, as if we’re supposed to believe that’s their real name! If only the many argumentative types who frequent this site could conduct themselves with grace and decorum of you and I, what a wonderful world it would be.



  • Richard

    Have read with interest, amusement and sometimes anger at the comments here. Don’t see a lot of point of going through who’s there who shouldn’t be ‘cos we all have our own opinions and anyway, we can replace them one by one with the people who should be there but aren’t. 3 most glaring omission: Satriani, Vai and Bonnie Raitt – the greatest living female white redheaded blues slide guitarist in this life or any other). Chet Atkins should be there, as should Hank Marvin, Gary Moore, Buddy Guy and even (considering some of the choices) Duane Eddy. Segovia and John Williams at least should represent classical musical. And, in the words (more or less) of John Sebastian “there’s a million guitar pickers in Nashville and all better than I am”…What about the guys from Saxon? George Thorogood,Jeff Healey
    And to answer the Hendrix critics, without him, most of these guys wouldn’t exist; Jimi took the guitar far beyond its capabilities at the time and it still took years for anyone to catch on to it. Okay, so some of you can play Hendrix songs – so can I – but can you play them *like* Hendrix? No way! No one can or ever will.
    And that’s all I have to say on the subject…

  • Richard

    Oh – and nobody mentioned John Miles (Ok ‘Music'; might be naff, but he’a a great guitarist and backed Tina Turner….


    Uh, Richard, I think you forgot to mention the guy in Gorilla Suit from the “No Sleep ’til Brooklyn” video by the Beastie Boys. For shame.

  • Richard

    I might have mentioned him, but never seen or heard him – whoever he is! So he can’t be that good – can he?

  • Eric Olsen

    B, yes I was there from ’80 until ’90 and saw much of which much more cannot be said. I even lived in Hermosa Beach. I got to know Ginn when I interviewed him at some length for the “Networking In the Music Industry” book in ’93 – very interesting guy, hates Nirvana.


    Here’s how I picture the whole scene going down: The scene-A dimly lit, fifties style decorated living room in a sprawling ranch home in Orange County. Mr. O. and Chuck Dukowski share a beer and their opinion regarding Kim Gordon’s gams. In one corner, Henry Rollins sits alone, scribbling furiously a letter of nihilism, alienation, and self loathing to his friend Ian, back home in DC. In another corner Gregg Ginn shares a doobie and his feelings that Rollins is a macho heathen to with several members of the Meat Puppets. Outside, Tony Hawk cruises the drained pool. Later, Mr. O. along with Gregg Ginn, Mike Watt, and several members of the Meat Puppets, retire to the local IHOP for pancakes at dawn. As they exit the restaurant, they run smack dab into several members of the band Exodus (who are incedentally whacked out of their gourds on crystal meth they made in their rehearsal space), the bass player from Testament, and Slayer guitarist Kerry King, who would later wear a gorilla suit while playing the solo in the Beastie Boys’s “No Sleep ’til Brooklyn” video. Looks and Words are exchanged. This is what it’s like when worlds collide. The otherwise (albeit cranky and gruff) pacifist Greg Ginn has had it with the disrespect, and produces a black jack from his back pocket. As he is about to come down hard on the playing hand of Kerry King, Mr. O. intercedes with an inspired rap on the virtues of respecting and embracing each other’s differences, that would rival the Gettysburg address and I have a dream speech. Cooler heads prevail, and the whole gang heads up to the hills to develop a new musical style that would later become known as nu-metal. And the world is a safer place, where Kerry King would later go on to play the solo in a gorilla suit in the Beastie Boys’s “No Sleep ’til Brooklyn video.

  • Eric Olsen

    Classic, B, classic! Would that I was thusly intimate with the gang(s), although I do know Mike Watt pretty well – or at least used to. We are both from San Pedro and are the same age. From that scene, I know producers Spot and Geza X best.

    Dude, you have to get a blog and join Blogcritics.


    Thanks Mr. O. I would be down for that, however, my lack of smarts (i’m not being self depreciating, I just know my limitations, and I’m really not that bright) and lack of knowledge about anything non-music related (except for maybe the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the failed television series “Millenium”)would not provide for much blog worthiness.

  • Eric Olsen

    Write what you know – you’re a riot.

  • TDavid

    RE: #201 it is nice to see Jimi checking in from all along the watchtower. The Janis comment made me chuckle.


    Mr. Richard i respect your opinion. I just hope that you can respect mine. There is no right or wrong in this.

  • giraffe


  • Hugh

    First, somebody please tell shockhead to shut up. He obviously knows nothing about music if he says hendrix is overated. Sure, it may be his opinion that he isn’t the best, but hendrix is not over rated. Neither is clapton. Here is my question to all those saying eric johnson and allan holdsworth and steve vai and all of those guys deserve to be number 1. Why arn’t they that famous. I cant remember the last time i saw steve vai on a t-shirt, or a eric johnson cd on the front rack at my music store. Because there not insperational, origiginal. Every note i here of eric johson makes me yawn because it doesn’t make me feel anything, it is hallow music. Every hendrix note makes me feel like I want to pick up my guitar and play. That is why Hendrix is number 1.

  • Richard

    But this has nothing to do with fame!! This is list of greatst guitarist, not greatest most famous guitarists. Tony Blair plays a guitar, so does Pat Cash, Damon Hill and John McEnroe – so why aren’t THEY on the list??? I’m not disputing what you say about Jimi, but Steve Vai is a guitarists guitarist, a great musician and should have been included on that basis.

  • jcaron


    Lindsey Buckingham
    Nils Lofgren
    Mike Campbell

  • TOGA

    You’re right! All three (Buckingham, Lofgren, Campbell) should at least be on the list, and near the top…

  • Phillip Winn

    Just to throw some fuel on this fire, there is now a poll over on the right side of this page (w-a-a-a-y up there) between “Recent Comment” and “Interviews”. Feel free to vote on your real favorite, and let the debate begin anew. :)

  • jilly

    kurt cobain over santana??? eddie van halen at 70!! obviously this guitar ranked his favorites or has no clue about guitar. many of you may or maynot agree but seeing this top 100 i’m thinking to myself … where’s PRINCE?? i mean come on, like him or not the guy can play.



  • andy


    Bricklayer and Eric, did Greg Ginn do something after Black Flag that I should know about? I mean, from what I’ve heard from Black Flag, which is only Damaged and Slip It In, he was constantly out of key w/ the rest of the band, the fingering was very sloppy, and it sounded like he was trying to run before he could walk. Did I miss something?

  • Eric Olsen

    Andy, no, that about sums it up, although he did get cleaner over time with Black Flag. He has some solo, mostly instrumental stuff that is like industrial grunge, still sloppy but powerful as well.

  • andy

    not to diss the man or what his band has done for underground music though. Did you ever read the book, “Our Band Could Be Your Life”? It’s absolutely amazing. What Black Flag did for independent bands who want to tour is even more amazing though. And the man who’s label released Husker DU’s “New Day Rising” deserves mad props.




  • Phillip Winn

    SOCKHEAD, you like letters in Washington D.C.? Or did you mean a state capitol?

    I guess proper spelling is overrated, too. :)

  • Eric Olsen

    The combination of all caps and random spelling is the web equivalent of being shouted at in Martian



  • Eric Olsen

    Socks, well thanks for the LOL love anyway. You’re okay.

  • john

    where is robin trower?

  • Tim Hall

    Jimi, if you’re still reading this thread, is it true that Up There you’ve formed a power trio with Phil Lynott and Keith Moon, and that there are queues round the block every time you play?

  • Scott

    Hendrix made a comment to Walt Parazaider in ’69 that Terry Kath was a better guitar player than him. So where is Terry Kath? Go listen to 25 or 6 to Four, or Questions 67 and 68.

  • andy

    I think the road Chicago decided to go down in the late 70s/80s eliminated him from the list hehe. No seriously, Terry Kath was a great guitarist, and drove that unique sound Chicago had in the early 70s and late 60s.

  • jdf

    How is it possible that this list does not include Phil Keaggy who Hendrix acknowleged was the best?

  • mampoop

    Jimi Hendrix #1, yes, i truly think he is the best guitarist. i was surprised to see kurt cobain at #12 though. i really like nirvana, but cobain’s lyrical ( is that even a word?) talent was much greater than his guitar talent. also why was yngwie malmsteen not on the list, sure his own music sucks, but when it comes to technical, he is at least at #30.

  • needleNhay

    Malmsteen, a true pioneer in neo-classical rock. Which has influenced many with his approach to guitar. Malmsteen diserves to be up there with the best. For me anyways.

  • OmiGoD

    what the hell is this crap! this is by far the most retarded list ive ever seen, where in gods name is Joe Satriani or Steve Vai, they dont even have Zakk Wylde. and who ever put Joan Jett on the list needs to kill him/herself cause there is no point to living anymore.

  • glassharp

    This so-called list is incomplete without Phil Keaggy, Eric Johnson, Bruce Cockburn and Alan Holdsworth.

    Some good examples of Keaggy’s playing can be found on the albums “How the West Was One,” “The Master & the Musician” and “Closer to Home,” but nothing compares to seeing him live, especially with a band.

  • Hugh

    Joan Jett does suck, but thats besides the point. The point is, hendrix is best, and SHOCKHEAD is an idiot. He is going to say steve vai or some looser like that is better in all caps like an idiot, but there is nothing i can do to stop him, but when he does i wont mind because he is predictable and i already know what hes going to do.





  • http://none dazednconfused01234

    Hendrix, Clapton, Santana, Johnson and Richards in a class by themselves, a cut above the rest.



  • TDavid

    SOCKHEAD for President of the broken CAPS LOCK key!

  • Eric Olsen

    President of the SHOUTING MARTIANS.


    Response to post 242: Working the Verizon Wireless kiosk at the mall.

  • NorthEnd

    What about rockabilly legend Brian Setzer? Kelly Joe Phelps? Tinsley Ellis? Dave Hole? Jeff Healey? Jordan Cook? Albert King? Son House? or even Junior Brown? Sheesh..what a waste of time, this list!

  • NorthEnd

    Oh Yah…
    Luther Perkins made Johnny Cash, and nobody ever copied Syd Barrett. Kenneth Lovelace. Sleepy LaBeef. Muddy Waters invented electricity. And what about those Hellicaster boys? Also, Magic Sam, broomduster Elmore James, and what about Johnny Lang, Big Jack Johnson, Junior Kimbrough, or Jimmie Vaughan? I’d take those guys over half that list anytime! You don’t need lightning – just feeling!

  • NorthEnd

    My final rant:
    Sonny Landreth. Lonnie Brooks. Rory Gallagher. Clarence Gatemouth Brown. Gary Moore. Coco Montoya. Chris Duarte. Joe Walsh. Bonnie Raitt. Ellen McIllwayne. I’m tired..that’s it.

  • Brian

    my heart goes out to the late great Irish guitar master Rory good the Rolling Stones asked him to join the band.

  • Jimi Hendrix

    Right on Brian!

    Rory and I do have some righteous jam sessions.

    He’s one groovy cat.

    Remember, knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.



  • Grant Miller

    Where is Robben Ford on the list?? He blows away nearly everyone on this list, TRUST ME.
    Plus, he’s still alive and kickin!
    Check him out, if you haven’t heard of him and you claim to be a fan of the guitar.

  • sin

    kirk hammett is greatest
    2nd dave murray iron maiden…

    what do u think


    Sin, I hate to differ, especially because you mentioned the great Maiden Axeman, however, you inexplicably did not position the dude in the gorilla suit who plays the solo in the Beastie Boy’s “No Sleep ’til Brooklyn” at the top of your list.

    Therefore, I think u are wrong. But I would die 4U.

  • The Theory

    …oh…my… *giggle*

  • Eric Olsen

    Kerry King played the solo on “No Sleep ’til Brooklyn” – I have no data on who was in the gorilla suit in the video.

  • Mark Saleski

    “I have no data on who was in the gorilla suit in the video”

    joe satriani

  • Eric Olsen

    M, are you saying it was Joe in the viedo, or are you quoting Joe about having no data??

  • Mark Saleski

    i was just trying to yank the chain of satriani fans…nothin’ better to do while eating lunch.

  • Eric Olsen

    Satriani is talented, amazingly dextrous, and has absolutely nothing to say.


    Mr. O: If you would kindly refer to post #220, you will find that it was indeed Mr. Kerry King (also know for his 666 string antics in the band known as “Slayer”) who donned the gorilla suit in the video, in addition to playing on the fine recording by the then irreverent young turks, the Beastie Boys. You should know, as you saved Kerry from a lifetime of disfigurement and inability to express his Satanic Loathing when you intervened to prevent Mr. Gregg Ginn from whacking him in the hand with a black jack. I know these were crazy times, but surely you remember at least part of your profound, beautiful call for understanding and acceptance that you delivered on that dew speckled morn?

  • duane

    Looks like this subject is pretty much winding down.

    So, after reading 273 posts over the last week or so, I’m still wondering whether or not people agree with the Top 100 list. Any opinions?


    Why yes, my opinion is that the dude in the gorilla suit in the Beastie Boy’s “No Sleep ’til Brooklyn” video is way better than any of these chimps. I mean chumps. Except for Greg Ginn. He could make that dude sit up like a seal and cry for his momma.

  • TDavid

    duane – I could have saved you reading the 273 posts, the answer is a resounding no. But then you would have missed Jimi Hendrix stopping by!

    And as talented as Dave Murray is, I disagree, sin, he doesn’t belong in the top 100. Maiden now has 3 guitarists which helps to round out their sound, but it doesn’t necessarily say great things about any single guitarist when you have 2 other others in the same band.

  • Eric Olsen

    Like Lynyrd Skynyrd and Black Oak Arkansas.

    And oh yeah, I forgot my role in facilitating detente between the punks and the thrashers. Thanks Bricks! I knew I had heard that Kerry King was the guy in the gorilla suit somewhere before, but I felt so much more important looking it up for myself, which I did right on the sleeve of my vinyl “Licensed to Ill” album.

  • JR

    “Satriani is talented, amazingly dextrous, and has absolutely nothing to say.”

    Perhaps you’re not listening fast enough to hear what he has to say. All those years of listening to boring, slow guitar players might have caused your ears to atrophy.

  • Eric Olsen

    Well then please paraphrase it for me and my atrophied receptors


    Licensed to Ill on vinyl…that’s why you’re the man, and I’m just a squirrel tryin’ to get a nut (remember Orange Juice Jones?)

  • Mark Saleski

    very easy eric. try this, phonetically:


    repeat forever….


    Can we please get this discussion steered back around to Orange Juice Jones? Anyway, he’s way more talented than Satriani.

  • Mark Saleski

    the weird thing is that i heard an interview with Robert Fripp and he had great things to say about Satriani…something to the effect of “he can play anything”

  • Eric Olsen

    yes, I imagine he can, but he doesn’t CREATE anything. He is a technician.

    Re OJ Jones, “The Rain” stomps all over my butt-hoop then runs down the street laughing.



  • JR

    Actually I doubt that Joe Satriani can play convincing bebop or flamenco.

    But I’m surprised he’s taking all the heat for being a “noodler”. I can see that with Yngwie, who’s shown a singular lack of, shall we say, restraint in his playing, and who doesn’t seem much interested in stepping outside the harmonic minor. Fine by me, but I can see how other people would get fed up.

    But Satriani does fast, slow and everything in between. He plays some interesting games with modes, he has a good variety of textures, he makes some really unorthodox sounds, and yet he still manages to play stuff catchy enough to get airplay on rock radio stations.

    I don’t know how you can say he “doesn’t CREATE anything”; he’s made music that didn’t exist before him. Sounds creative enough to me.

  • Eric Olsen

    JR, okay now you’re being serious. I haven’t listened to the guy in years, decades, and I bow to your better judgment on the matter. How’s that?

  • Phillip Winn

    BRICKLAYER (#280): Dude! Orange Juice Jones! “It’s my world, you’re just a squirrel, trying to get a nut!” and “Being without me is like cornflakes without milk.” Ah, memories.

    Sorry, back to the guitarists stuff.

  • phil mckrevice

    Greg Ginn was actually in the gorilla suit and Kerry King played in Black Flag with a bald headed singer named Telly Savalas. A Henry Rollins played a Las Vegas casino operator on television commercials.

  • Jim Carruthers

    Zakk Wylde

    If there’s one thing I remember about him, it isn’t guitar playing. It’s hearing him on a local rock “edge” station talking about getting surprized in the middle of a lake in a boat by Ozzy on another boat while he was with his wife and “The Boner of Doom”. That phrase almost made us drive off the road.

    Mundane metai guitarist though.

  • TDavid

    Zakk Wylde is an extremely hard working guitarist but just listen to him soloing. He doesn’t have a whole lot of originality. He’s an excellent player but not in the same league creatively as Randy Rhoads or even Jake E. Lee. Heck, give me the Night Ranger guitarist (Brad Gillis?) who stepped in to play with Ozz on Speak of The Devil as having more creativity (even though he was just covering Sabbath music when he did come in).

    Some of my favorite Ozzy music in post Jake E. Lee times doesn’t have much soloing in it and that’s not a great sign for Zakk Wylde as a prominent guitary player. Songs like I Just Want You, See You on The Other Side, Dreamer, etc, are not exactly super creative guitar songs.

    I like Zakk and don’t want to bag on him, but I am having some trouble coming up with songs he’s written with Ozzy that have a creative amount of guitar work in them. It’s a very competent player but, well, maybe somebody can point out songs he’s played guitar on with Ozzy that are really creative.

  • Eric Olsen

    You mean Ozzy did stuff after Black Sabbath??

  • The Theory

    I always thought Ozzy was a fantastic shortstop…

  • TDavid

    Oh man, Eric, surely you are joking. Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman were the pinnacle of Ozzy’s solo career, at least in IMHO.

  • Eric Olsen

    And he was good to Harriet and the boys

  • http://- Andrew

    this is bullshit eddie van halen should be number 1 or at least 2!

  • mikos


  • Hank

    Joni Mitchell? Kurt Cobain? And who the hell is Ali Farka Toure? Is that a black guy or some Arab queer-bait? Where the hell are the Jewish guitarists? Menacham Begin and Avraham Stern? What about Ira R. Shyster? This list appears to have been compiled by a bunch of Anti-Semitic shiksa-goy fags.

  • lee

    “I recently heard and commented on a solo of joy to the world by Eddie and I could tell it was Eddie. The Beat It solo from Michael Jackson sound Eddie influenced.”

    sound eddie infl…IT IS EDDIE
    sorry if some else pointed this out but i read all i could and feel i should add if he hasn’t been already Willie Nelson genre doesn’t matter if your are sitting in a room watching him play guitar you will not get up



  • Azrael

    I´d realy like to know the criteria that formed the basis for that list – i bet guitarplaying was not among them


    Why was that stinking Nazi film maker allowed to breathe 20+ years longer than the man in black?

  • Hank

    Why was that stinking Nazi film maker allowed to breathe 20+ years longer than the man in black? The same reason that Barbra Streisbag and Gloria Steinbag will live to be 100. Life’s not fair.

  • Eric Olsen

    Johnny’s death certainly reminds us of the greatness of both Luther and Carl Perkins.

  • Eric Olsen

    And actually the Nazi lived 30 years longer than Johnny and 44 years longer than Warren Z


    But, god willing, the dude who wore the gorilla suit in the Beastie Boy’s “No Sleep ’til Brooklyn” video will outlast that old Aryan bag.

  • Eric Olsen

    it goes without saying

  • andy

    SOCKHEAD is no longer #1 idiot. That award now goes to Mikos.

  • Hank

    Jesus yeah, Warren Zevon. I heard alot of people ignored him because he was a Hebrew. Damn racist buggers.


    Uh, Hank, I’m not sure, but I think you may have wandered here mistakenly thinking this was the Top 100 White Power guitarists of all time. An honest mistake, I’m sure. Have a fantastic time at the compound this weekend!

  • Taloran

    A few comments, not to create controversy, but to provoke discussion:

    Nearly every rock guitar solo recorded in the last 35 years has shades of the sound of either B.B. King or Albert King in it – SRV, Bloomfield, Clapton, Duane Allman, Satriani, Vai, and the majority of all other players in the overly loose genre of rock music owe a huge debt of gratitude to one of the two, or both, for being instrumental in developing their sound. A modern rock world without the influence of either B.B. or Albert is unimaginable. Perhaps the omission of Albert King was an oversight.

    While my personal tastes do not match those of many of the previous posters, I am pleased to see Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac on the list. I would have thought that Rolling Stone would put Lindsey Buckingham on as the representative from that group, which would have been a crime.

    While I am a longtime Dead fan, I think that the inclusion of Garcia when Satriani, Joe Pass, George Benson, Steve Morse, Stanley Jordan, Andres Segovia and Django Reinhardt (among many others) were left off is a shame.

    Paul Kossoff? Anyone heard his Backstreet Crawler album? It is absolutely wretched. Some of his work with Free was fun to listen to, but it has never even occurred to me to group him with the greatest guitarists of all time.

    I’m very pleased to see the underrated and largely forgotten Jorma Kaukonen in the list, but his most impressive guitar work was with Hot Tuna, not the Airplane.

    It surprises me (well, not really – but it should) to see Cobain, Hammett, Cippollina and Joey Ramone on the list, when some truly brilliant, innovative, exceptional guitarists were left off.

    And finally, to the person complaining that Stanley Clarke was left off, I don’t think this list is about the greatest bass players of all time, and I’m certain that his name would not be left off such a list.

  • Taloran

    One more thing – if this was a list of the top 100 stringed instrument players of all time, I could see Ry Cooder in the top ten. If it has frets and strings, he can play it with the best of them. But since it’s a list of guitarists, I’d move him down 20 notches or more.

  • TDavid

    RE: #290: what is a “Anti-Semitic shiksa-goy fags”??? Or should I even ask?

  • Eric Olsen

    Taloran, As I have become accustomed to the giddy air of stream of consciousness lunacy that this post has generally become, your eloquent, intelligent, measured input was something of a buzzkill. Get with the program, dude.

    But I jest.

  • Mark Saleski

    will somebody please draft bricklayer as a blogcritic?

    that “have a fantastic time at the compound” quip was stellar.

  • Eric Olsen

    As a stroll through these and other comments will reveal, I have busted out the heavy recruitment rush re the layer of bricks more than once. He remains coy.

  • TDavid

    BRICKLAYER remains one of those rare breed of prolific commenters who says he has nothing to say in a blog of his own. Here’s a thought: just make a blog of your comments made elsewhere then 😉

  • Taloran

    I’m sure I’ll get a bucketfull of crap for this, but here’s a list of my personal favorite guitarists, and my reasons why. Note – I am NOT stating that these are the greatest axemen of all time, simply my personal favorites. Order subject to change depending on my mood.

    1. Carlos Santana – Soul reminiscent of the greatest of the bluesmen, in a rock sound heavily tinged with south-of-the-border influence. Abraxas remains the greatest album ever recorded to have sex to (if you haven’t tried it, don’t slam me ’til you’ve done so).
    2. Jeff Beck – The first two albums of his foray into Fusion, Blow By Blow and Wired, remain some of the most fiery, passionate examples of that genre and that era.
    3. Frank Zappa – His searing chops on his “Shut Up” triple disc, and throughout his prolific recording career, remain a benchmark in the rock guitar world. Watermelon in Easter Hay remains one of the finest guitar instrumentals ever recorded.
    4. Eric Clapton – What can I say? I’m a product of that generation. His work with Cream and Mayall were fantastic, but the Layla album remains his shining pinnacle. Filled with raw emotion, pushed to new heights by Duane Allman, Derek and The Dominoes was the zenith of a long and storied career. Then he went on to record Rock and Roll Heart. What a shame.
    5. Steve Morse – Unbelievable chops, lightning fingers, fantastic compositional skills, and surrounded by a bunch of guys who were nearly as good!
    6. Richard Thompson – From the most delicately played acoustic to fuzz-filled, screamingly fast electric, this Scotsman plays tastefully appropriate guitar lines in all of his compositions. And he’s a heck of a poet too.
    7. Jorma Kaukonen – From his electric work with the Airplane to his mind-bogglingly brilliant fingerpicking with Hot Tuna and his solo work, he remains a thoughtful, innovative and effortless performer.

  • GuitarGeek

    Just the fact they placed Eddie Van Halen and David Gilmour below Curt Cobain makes this list laughable.

  • ProveMeWrong

    I’d take off half those guitarists…it seems like they just pick whoever was on pop charts. otherwise chet atkins, vai, satch, petrucci, malmsteen, eric johnson and a bunch of other guitarists like that. Also they forgot Michael Shenkar from UFO, i dont know if i spelled it right. and i don’t think anyone here mentioned billy corgan. as far at talented AND influential guitar playing goes, he has to be on the list. i’m probably a better guitar player than most of these people. check out my website…

  • Chris

    Andy Powell and Ben Granfelt

  • guitarchick

    These guys should have made it somewhere …

    Dave Navarro
    Paul Gilbert
    Joe Satriani
    Mike Einziger
    Richie Sambora
    Bonnie Raitt
    Rick Neilson

  • groovemeister

    Where are :
    Jay Graydon
    Ray Parker Jr.
    George Benson
    Boz Scaggs
    Steve Lukather
    Billy Gibbons (ZZ TOP)
    Steve Rothery (MARILLION)
    Michael Landau
    Michael Thompson

  • edan

    Navaro, Cantrell, Petrucci, Vai, Satriani, and Reinhardt are all much more “list worthy” than Jack White, Johnny Ramone, and Joan Jett. And has anyone ever heard of Ivan Smirnoff? Very unique jazzy acoustic sound who can play the pants off of half the guys on the list. I was glad to see John Frusciante at 18 although I’d put him at around 10.

  • Pawel

    WHERE IS SLASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • JR

    See #18

  • TDavid

    Just came across this: John Kalodner’s list of 10 best guitarists (in the 80’s) taken from his website Q & A:

    I think John Sykes is a really great guitar player, but I’m not sure he’ll ever get his proper due in the U.S.

    My top ten 80’s guitar players, in no particular order:

    Eddie Van Halen
    Joe Perry
    Steve Vai
    Joe Satriani
    Neal Schon
    Steve Lukather
    Richie Sambora
    Tom Keifer
    Andy Taylor
    Dan Huff

  • NorthEnd

    OK. I thought about it, and now I’m gonna say it. If we are looking at top guitarists, what about Leona Boyd? Sure, she’s classical, but Jazzy as well. I also like Robert Cray. How about Randy Bachman? Lenny Breau? Colin James? Jeff Healey? Rik Emmett? Rick Fines? Ricks and Canadians rock! I also like Rick Nelson of Cheap Trick. He’s damn good, though I prefer blues guitarists. Don’t forget 12 stringers like Lead Belly and Blind Willie McTell. My top 100 list would be soooooooo different! ie: no Joan Jett.
    Bye for now.

  • slash8793

    where the hell is slash? this guy is one of the greatest guitarists ever if not greatest. and its f-cked bcuz rolling stone magazine had slash on the front cover n a large article on him in the late 80s. Eddie VanHalen at 70? Randy Rhoads at 85? plz these guys cld play a hell of a lot better than powerchord wonders of kurt cobain n johnny ramone. and i didnt see jeff healy unless i missed him…

  • Dan


  • edan

    To Re:#298
    Best Jewish Guitarists:
    1. Saul Hudson(a.k.a. Slash)
    2. Marty Friedman(Megadeth)
    3. Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits)
    4. Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac)
    5. Robby Krieger(The Doors)
    6. Lou Reed
    7. Bob Dylan
    8. Robbie Robertson (The Band)
    9. Paul Simon
    10. Hillel Slovak

  • ray dionne

    good thing doc watson is blind,eh?

  • Brando

    The Youngs both need to be higher: Neil and Angus both deserve a shit load more credit then that. Santana and Hammett definitely should be higher. You don’t need to be a metallica fan to appreciate Hammett’s talent. Jack White?? C’mon. The guy plays cowboy chords under a shitty distortion. The only song that passes in my books is seven nation army. Anything else by those guys is trash material. Like everyone else I gotta ask where the hell Vai and Satriani are, even Slash too. Honorable Mentions: Mark Tremonti of Creed and the dude from Guess Who

  • Eric Olsen

    Edan, you got some kick ass Jews in there, nice list. Don’t forget Mike Bloomfield.

    Brando, totaly agree about the Youngs, good call. I assume you mean Randy Bachman from the Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive, a very nice, tasteful and rocking guitarist.

  • .

    that is the worst list i have ever seen, rolling stone should be ashamed

  • RSaint

    Anybody that says Hendrix isn’t no#1,is someone that’s too busy listening to guitar solos from players that went out of style with Members Only jackets!!!!

    …Also for those serious guitar-geeks that continue to bring up yngwie malmsteen’s omission from the list, I’ve got 2 words 4 U….

  • Eric Olsen

    Do they even have guitars in Sweden?

  • bob

    Jimmy Page should be #2 and where is SLASH? What is Kurt Cobain doing there?

  • pavel

    sockhead should shut up, Hendrix is the best if you don’t know why you don’t know guitar



  • Bookworm

    Joan Jett?!??! Well, why not John Lennon? Hell of a Rythem player.

  • The Theory

    For the record… I was *surprised* and exceedingly GRATEFUL that the creed guitarist wasn’t on the list. It would be just like Rolling Stone to kiss his ass.

  • Jeffry

    um.. all i have to say is that Jack White is like NO COMPARISON to George Harrison. This is crap. Who made this list? They are a bias person. Freakazoid freaks. Man that pisses me off. Jack White!??!?!?!??!? Who would have thought. Common. 7 Nation Army is nothing.

  • The Theory

    Jack White’s not a bad guitarist. Just not top 100 material, yet.

    Seven Nation Army is the WORST white stripes song I’ve heard.

  • Eric Olsen

    I want to see sublists of Ukranian, Guatemalan, Mongolian, and Druid guitarists.

  • freddy

    Joan Jett makes your list but Tom Scholtz of Boston doesn’t? What a joke!

  • The Theory

    FYI: It’s not our list. We are not affiliated with Rolling Stone in any way. We are merely commenting on it.

  • Eric Olsen

    Yeah, don’t shoot the messenger.

  • jayson phillips

    id really like to see the top 100 list of greatest musicians, because many of the people on the list were great MUSICIANS but only better than average guitarists.

    DAVE GROHL would SOOO be on the t100 of musicians!!!!

  • Eric Olsen

    Very astute Jayson – that would be a fascinating list, and in many ways more meaningful than the best by instrument

  • Sean

    Where the f*ck is slash?
    I have been looking at this list for an hour, I did the find function 2 times looking for him, still not on the list.

    What a shitty shitty list, Jack White #17 thats a crock of shit

    SHIT F*cking shit
    Slash top 5 for sure
    For sure

  • TDavid

    Wonder if a bot responder for the “where is slash” diatribe is needed. I liked his playing but have never considered him one of the best to ever play. Then again, if Joan Jett is there then there certainly is a place for Slash.

  • Pavel

    damn right Sean, SLASH should be there for sure this is such bullshit

  • Eric Olsen

    I am waiting for one or more of our more statistically inclined citizens to do an analysis of these (so far) 353 comments to glean what guitarists missing from the RS list have been most bemoaned in their absence. Hint hint.

  • NorthEnd

    Hey, this is fun….
    10.Kim Mitchell-Max Webster (Sarnia)
    9. Tom Cochrane-Red Rider (Lynn Lake)
    8. Tom Lavin -PowderBlues (Vancouver)
    7. Donny Walsh- Downchild (Toronto)
    6. Rik Emmett-Triumph
    5. Alex Lifeson-Rush (Toronto)
    4. Jeff Healey (Toronto)
    3. Neil Young (Winnipeg)
    2. Colin James (Regina)
    1. Randy Bachman-The Guess Who(Winnipeg)

  • Mark Saleski

    where is Slash?

    the last time i saw him was on TLC’s “Trading Spaces”.

    i think he was sewing some curtains or somethin’.

    Slash rulz!!!

  • mike williams

    how did kirk hammitt make it over jerry
    and for sure robby krieger and trey anastsio do not get enough credit
    and jimmy page for sure is at least in the top 3

  • Eric Olsen

    Hey Northend, Cool Canucks!

  • The Theory

    10) The Theory
    09) The Theory
    08) The Theory
    07) The Theory
    06) The Theory
    05) The Theory
    04) The Theory
    03) The Theory
    02) The Theory
    *drumroll please!*
    01) The Theory

  • Eric Olsen

    Yes, but isn’t guitar playing by definition realized in practice rather than in theory?

  • The Theory

    *shifts eyes*
    i plead the fifth

  • edan

    Neil Young, in my opinion, is one of the best songwriters ever but his guitar playing is not jawdropping. Angus on the other hand wrote all his songs from a handful of power chords and licks…nothing special in my book. But Mark Tremonti..?! Talk about a guy who is sure that he’s the s**t, yet all his songs have the same cheesy line riff-to power chord chorus-to cheesy little run of the mill fill, pattern. Creed are so friggin obnoxious it’s ridiculous…

  • Tony

    Tommy Bolin! Dead but(should)not be forgoten. Some fine guitar work with Deep Purple, Billy Cobham, and solo. Pat Metheny…This is a very subjective list as it will always be. We all have varying tastes in music and the people who perform it. I like Edge, at times more than David Gilmour and visa versa. Tom Scholtz of Boston. What a pioneer! The Father of “Arena Rock.” Love it or hate it,you can’t deny it. LOL Steve Lukather of Toto…Take a listen to “White Sister” from the Hydra album. So many more not on the list. Ain’t music great!

  • Tony Mahon

    any list that doesnt hav kirk hammett,
    dave mustaine, james hetfield, carlos santana or james dean bradfield in the top ten isnt worth a toss.these are real musical genius’. these are guitar gods who inspire people to b great guitarists, not kurt cobain r jack white or duane allman(who ever he is).sumbody should get dere ass kicked for dis list. and does sumone wanna tell me where mike mccready is. not to mention marty friedman. icould go on all day.

  • Eric Olsen

    Conversely, not knowing who Duane Allman is might cause some to doubt one’s credibility, let alone sanity.

  • TDavid

    RE: #359 – perhapas a bit self-absorbed? lol. It made me chuckle anyway, thanks, TheTheory

  • The Theory

    I agree eric…

    and TDavid… the list is totally accurate. :-p I stand by it. haha.

  • pok

    STEVE HOWE at #69??? What is up with that? And how about some lesser knowns, like Nick Drake (mostly alternate tuning) and Martin Sexton. That man can play a tune…

  • Eric Olsen

    If you’re going to mention Drake how about John Martyn?

  • Taloran

    I concur with Eric’s post number 365 – anyone who does not know who Duane Allman is has no business commenting on great guitarists.

  • Taloran

    Thinking about my immediately previous post, I hereby retract it. No one can be familiar with all forms and eras of music, much less with each individual instrumentalist from each of those forms and eras. While I find it stunning that someone commenting on the great guitarists of all times would be unfamiliar with Duane Allman, I am personally unfamiliar with several of the guitarists mentioned in previous posts. The authors of those posts might think me ignorant that I’ve never heard of Jack White or Zakk Wylde (and they might be right). No doubt others commenting in this section have never heard of Django Reinhardt, Steve Morse or Al DiMeola.

    One’s choice of the music one listens to is, of course, determined by what one likes. If the listener never runs across early 70’s blues-rock because he/she listens largely to jazz, or classical, or heavy metal, it is quite understandable that he/she would not have heard of Duane Allman.

    Taking the preceding statement to its logical extension, nearly every person who comments here will be unfamiliar with a guitarist someone else thinks deserves placement on the list. It would be fun to create a web application that polled the posters here to determine the rankings they give to individual guitarists, compile the results, and post them here at a future date.

  • Eric Olsen

    Yes indeedy my cerebral friend Taloran, it would.

    More on Hendrix and his, um, motivations, here. What say you to all this Jimi?

  • csamuri

    2 words… MICHAEL SCHENKER!!!

  • Taloran

    I think I’ll work on a web app to poll the posters here… maybe I can get it done quickly, doesn’t seem too difficult at first glance. I’ll let you know the URL when and if I get it done.

  • Jonathan King

    Okay, I read through the whole list several times now, I’ve viewed probably a 1/4 of the comments left (no way I’m going to read them all) but I didn’t see one person mention Ted Nugent.

    Talk about the ultimate mix between a great guitarist and performer in general, where was he? Jimmy Paige at #9 can blow me, as can Cobain at #12. Paige should be within the top 5, while Cobain should be on the lowest rung possible.

    Other mentionables (somebody wrote about it up there) where is Slash, Steve Vai, Satriani, or hell… I’d love to see Adrian Smith up there. Much more than I’d like to see Angus Young anyhow.

    Another notable, but less known guitarist is Gary Howie. Listen to Gary, he will amaze you.

  • Taloran

    Re: Post 363 by Tony –
    Some of Tommy Bolin’s tastiest work is on the album Mind Transplant by Alphonse Mouzon. Jazzy, cerebral, fiery and flamboyant – quite similar to his work on Cobham’s Spectrum, but Bolin had refined his playing a bit by then. Where Cobham used Bolin to counterpoint Jan Hammer’s synth, Tommy’s playing is front and center on Mind Transplant. I’m not sure if it’s still in print or not.

  • Taloran

    About number 77 on the list – Henry Vestine was only the second best Canned Heat guitarist – where is Harvey Mandel on this list? His solo album Shangrenade has the first instance of fretboard fingertapping on a rock album (the flamenco players had been doing it for years), later to be widely employed by Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai and Stanley Jordan. If they’re counting creativity and innovation, it’s a shame that Mandel didn’t make the list.

  • Eric Olsen

    Another great Jewish guitarist! I had forgotten about Mandel, great, weird watery-funky sound. I had a roommate in college who was a Mandel freak so I heard a lot.

  • Tony Mahon

    Taloran, i was lookin at yar comments from yesterday and ya hit da nail on the head, no-one can claim to know everything bout guitarists as we all hav different tastes in music and cum from different musical back rounds. I myself luv classic heavy metal bands such as metallica and megadeth as well as slightly softer rock such as pearl jam. Manic street preachers are my all time fave. ting is sumone should tell rolling stone that aswell. fact remains that this list is arseways. Jack white has only hit da scene. he has alott to prove b4 he should b even considered. as for duane allman, i dont know who he is, allota people dont. u do apparently .do u seriously believe he deserves to b ranked 2nd best of all time. it seems a bit dodgy 2 me. as for da others, dis list contains unproven guitarists, jack white, kurt these guys can be considered in the same poll as proven legends such as kirk hammett or b in a list dat doesnt even place dave mustaine, an undisputed guitar god, is a joke im afraid. i tink ur on da rite lines doh wit ur ideas opinions and ur idea for da web application. rock on

  • Rob

    Hendrix mentioned that Billy Gibbons (at the time in Moving Sidewalks, later in ZZ Top) was his favorite guitar player.

    All time great? You Bet.
    On the list? Not.

    Steve Morse, Ronnie Montrose & Mick Taylor not on the list?

    Danny Gatton #63?
    Frank Zappa #45?
    Mark Knopfler #27?
    all ranked below Tom Morello, John Frusciante, Jack White & Kurt Cobain?

    I expectorate, urinate & excrete on Rolling Stone’s list.

  • Taloran

    re posts 379 and 364 by Tony Mahon –
    Listen to At Fillmore East and/or Idlewild South by the Allman Brothers Band (both still in print) – I think that most reasoning folks could see the necessity of Duane Allman’s inclusion in the list. The number 2 spot is certainly debatable, but Duane definitely deserves a spot somewhere. I’m an old fan of the Bros, but he doesn’t rank that high on my list. It is interesting that four guitarists from the Allman Brothers Band made the list. Duane, Dickey Betts, Derek Trucks, and Warren Haynes. The rag that produced the list lumped other duelling guitarists from the same bands together – had they done that with the Brothers, they could have made room for 3 more greats. Of course, Duane died in ’71, Dickey and the Bros carried on without him, Warren Haynes is better known for his work with Gov’t Mule, and Derek Trucks has his own band, but let’s not split hairs here! RS certainly didn’t with their list – why start now?

  • bob

    there will never be one list to please all. My personal opinion would be Kirk Hammett as #1, just listen to the 3 solos in the song “one” and you all will agree.

  • pok

    J. Mascis anyone?

  • Eric Olsen

    Love J, he made it cool to be a guitar hero for the indie rockers again

  • tony mahon

    Re:382 by bob
    da three solos to ‘one’ are classics no question of it.i play them every day on me guitar and it never gets old. Unforgiven however is the greatest solo ever written.if u havent heard it i strongly suggest u do soon.Kirk should b in every top 5.

  • tony mahon

    re: 381 by taloran
    as a gesture of good faith im gonna check out duane allman cos i always respect a talented musician and judging by ur comments he deserves a listen. even if it turns out im not into his style of music, iknow a good guitarist when i hear one and ill appreciate his talent if i feel he has it.

  • Taloran

    It appears that Rolling Stone considers classical and flamenco guitarists to be a separate genre – there are none that I can see on the list. Paco De Lucia, Ottmar Liebert, Christopher Parkening and Andres Segovia are glaringly conspicuous in their absence. Perhaps it is best not to compare them with Angus Young and Kirk Hammett – I think the rockers would be embarrassed and the classicists would be revolted by the comparison.

    A further perusal of the list indicates that there is only one inclusion whose body of work is acoustic – all others included have produced a significant portion of their work on the electric guitar. So, with the exception of Ali Farka Toure, this list should be renamed “Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Electric Guitarists of All Time.”

    In pondering the subject of truly great musicianship over the past week, and more broadly over the better part of the past three decades, I have come to the following considered opinion. An artist should be judged on the originality and innovation of his work, the longevity of his career and his body of evidence, the expertise of his musicianship, and the greats who follow in his footsteps.
    A painter who copied the works of Matisse or Van Gogh making slight changes would not be considered as one of the pillars of his art. Yet Rolling Stone has several guitarists on the list who stand firmly on the shoulders of their forebears, bringing little or nothing original or innovative to the art of the guitar, and have disregarded several true innovators and pioneers.

    Innovation and Followers
    Prior to the early 1940s, the guitar was primarily a rhythm instrument in all forms of popular music. If we discount the classicists and flamenco artists, and only consider popular music as RS appears to have done, there is one single artist who moved the guitar from the shadows of the rhythm section and made it the forefront of a musical art form. Widely considered by music historians to be the first true guitar virtuoso, Django Reinhardt and his Quintet du Hot Club de France brought an entirely new sound to the art of jazz.
    Charlie Christian was the first important electric guitarist. It can be said without exaggeration that virtually every American jazz and R&B guitarist who emerged from 1940 to the mid-60s had shades of Christian in his playing. Wes Montgomery, Geroge Benson, Joe Pass, Chuck Berry, and countless others pay homage to Charlie Christian every time they pick up an instrument.
    On the other side of the coin, there was little lead guitar in the popular music known as the Blues prior to the advent of the Urban sound, whose champions are B.B. King and Albert King. Their predecessors – Robert Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Leadbelly et al., were primarily self-accompanying vocalists playing rhythm guitar to match their vocals. B.B. and Albert, like Django in a parallel field, moved the guitar from the shadows to the limelight. As I have mentioned in a previous post, nearly every rock and blues guitar lick of the last 40 years has the sound of either B.B. or Albert buried somewhere beneath the surface. Hendrix, Robert Cray, Clapton, Allman, Vaughan, Richards, Buddy Guy and those who have followed stand on the shoulders of these oft-forgotten giants.

    Body of Evidence
    In my opinion, an artist who produces one spectacular recording, or a flurry of recordings in one genre of music over a brief period of time, cannot be seriously compared to the long-lived chameleons of the art. While Billy Sims and Bo Jackson were spectacular running backs for a brief period of time, their career achievements do not match those of Walter Payton or Emmitt Smith, and the same holds true for great guitarists. I had to look Jack White up, and it appears that White Stripes released their first recording in 1999. I don’t believe that a guitarist whose career began four years ago can yet be seriously compared to Frank Zappa, who recorded countless albums and whose bands served as a training ground for countless musicians over the course of thirty years, or Jimi Hendrix, whose innovation and brilliance have stood the test of time despite his brief career and untimely death. Hendrix was an extremely prolific musician, despite his brief time in the limelight, and the innovation of his music put the world of popular music on its ear – there was nobody like him during his lifetime. Hendrix opened the door through which every rock guitar shredder since has walked.

    This is a more subjective, and less historical, matter. It is extremely difficult to compare the rhythm guitar of Leadbelly or Eddie Condon to the classical musings of John Williams (the guitarist, not the conductor), the flamenco-inspired jazz fire of Al DiMeola or the rip-roaring, effects-filled leads of Satriani or Malmsteen. I’m reminded of the Ry Cooder-soundtracked film Crossroads, in which the cocky youngster gets in a head cutting contest with a hotshot guitar slinger (played by Steve Vai). He returns to his classical roots to win the contest. While we all have our own tastes and favorites, which of the RS top 100 would win a cutting contest? My money would be firmly against Cobain, Angus Young, Garcia, Harrison, The Edge, Fogerty, Adam Jones, Neal Young, Davies, Johnny Ramone and Krieger. I don’t think Link Wray, Anastasio, Jerry Miller, Ike Turner, Richards, Kossoff, Lou Reed or Robbie Robertson would last past the second round. I’m not familiar enough with several of the others to comment. But my money would be on Hendrix, Satriani, Zappa, Beck, Buchanan, Richard Thompson, Kaukonen and Page reaching the quarter finals, if I had to place a bet. Unless, of course, they were knocked out by people who failed to make the list at all.

  • Taloran

    Shoot! Replace Satriani in the second to last sentence of my previous post with Danny Gatton, as Satriani didn’t make the RS top 100.

  • The Theory

    good post.

    Re: #382, I don’t think that because you have one amazing song with a mindblowing solo that qualifies you as the number one guitarist of all time.

  • Eric Olsen

    More brilliance from the Dungeons and Dragons guy who has written the equivalent of about five stellar posts in the comments of this story alone.

  • erin

    what?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? where’s lindsay buckingham?!?!!?!?!?!!?!?!?!!?!? he is THE guitarist….

  • Taloran

    Re Erin’s post number 391, quoted from my post 311 –
    “I am pleased to see Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac on the list. I would have thought that Rolling Stone would put Lindsey Buckingham on as the representative from that group, which would have been a crime.”

  • WTF

    Ok… this list really does blow… Somehow someway i think Stevie Ray Vaughn should have ranked in the top 3, if rolling stone ever listened to his really talented works… like rude mood and what not. Worse yet, Eddie Van Halen… he belongs in the top 5 to say the least, he was inducted into the guitar hall of fame 5 times. And apparently Rolling Sotne, and most of you im sure, never heard of In Flames… In flames has some of the best 3 guitar hamonies i have ever heard… trust me people, you would love their stuff. I think this list just suck my ass

  • The Theory

    don’t insult our knowledge. of course we’ve heard of In Flames.

  • E Dibbity Daynk

    Fuck you Rolling Stone. You don’t know shit about guitar playing – you only know about hollywood. Just because someone was big (e.g. Cobain) doesn’t mean they were good. Fuck you for not including Slash, McCready & Gossard, and for placing Van Halen any less than tenth. Fuck you all.

  • tony mahon

    yo Dibbity calm down now boy, i agree wit ya for sure but dars no need for all dat fuckin swearin now. dat sort o fuckin language will get ya fuckin nowhere fuckin fast. i fuckin agree wit ya doh bout slash mccready and gossard.fuck sake.ha ha ha

  • Eric Olsen

    what he said

  • Taloran

    Perhaps I should create comments similar to 395 by E Dibbity Daynk above – his eloquence and style truly make me feel inadequate. I would have liked to go to the school he went to – his edumacashun and intellect are obviously quite superior.

  • Eric Olsen

    Yes, but would said remarks be similarly authentic?

  • Hank

    Re: Post 310
    Hey bricklayer, you sound like a union goon. Isn’t it time for you to go on a coffee break? After all, 5 minutes have elapsed.

  • Taloran

    Perhaps if I worked on it for a while I could perfect it.

  • Ricardo

    Roy Buchanan was the most unique guitarist that I ever heard. You had to see him live to appreciate him. The albums (yes ladies, albums) don’t do him justice. He played an old Tele with a Twin Reverb. No boxes, no fuzz, no wah-wah, no reverb etc, etc. He could make that bugger sound like a freakin’ pedal steel if he wanted to for Christs sake. And he had a boatload of Soul.
    May he rest in piece.

  • Ricardo

    re #403
    Oops. Of course I meant,
    “May he rest in peace”

  • Eric Olsen

    Ricardo, totally agree about old Roy – I saw him live a few times including in a blizzard in the gym at Kent State, and his records didn’t come close to his overwhelming blisteringness (new word) live that was so intense it made my chest hurt. RIP indeed.

  • Taloran

    Roy’s album LiveStock comes pretty close to capturing his sound in concert. I saw him at a place whose name I’ve forgotten in Berkeley in 1984, and at the long-since-gone Blue Note in Boulder in about 1985. What a rocking pair of shows those were! Blazing fingers – so fast you couldnt ewven see them, much less tell what they were doing.

  • Taloran

    And, surprisingly enough, RS put ol’ Roy on the list!

  • Eric Olsen

    His “Hey Joe” makes Jimi look pokey

  • Matt

    I saw Neal Schon’s name mentioned, but not more than once or twice. Part of me says he was list worthy (truly a cut above the rest) and part of me thinks that I am just biased because I liked the music his band created. What do y’all think about Schon?

  • McNeill

    After reading through the entire list of responses, I would add my name to the people who have said… PRINCE! All you have to do is see the man live; almost no one can touch him. Clapton worships him, Beck was afraid to play in front of him when Prince walked in on one of his sessions (they were recording in the same studio).

    Listen to the opening salvo of “Let’s Go Crazy” or “When Doves Cry.” He was 23 years old, for Crissakes! The solos to “Kiss”, “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” and his bass playing live… Lordhavemercy! If you’re a musician, his shows make you either want to go home and practice ’til your fingers bleed, or just quit in tears.

    Also, (and I am mystified by this) why has no one mentioned Andy Summers? He is equally as influential as Edge, in my opinion. “Tea in the Saraha”? “Message in a Bottle”? The solo to “Synchronicity II”? I could go on and on. Like Prince, taste, subtlety, execution and passion.

    I would say that in order to be a great guitarist, you have to know what not to play as well as what to play. Miles Davis was the king of this. Edge’s solo on “Love is Blindness” is a thing of beauty, and an example of that aesthetic. Knopfler’s solo on “Brothers in Arms” and “Ride Across the River” are sublime. Keith Richards is never showy, always tasteful. And Gilmour is amazingly tasteful, despite being pretty limited technically. “Comfortably Numb,” despite the fact that I’ve heard it probably 1000 times on bullshit classic rock radio, is still phenominal.

    And of course, anyone who has been playing for more than one year knows Hendrix is god. Sloppy? Oh my God, get an education. His vibrato is astounding, his tone gorgeous, and NOBODY played with more soul and innovation, and has since.

    My two cents.

  • Matt

    In response to McNeill, I believe that Mark Knopfler plays with more soul that did Hendrix. I think that Hendrix and Knopler are equally innovative. You pointed to a few of Knopler’s good works, but the list goes on. Both are in my top five. Can’t fault a guy for choosing Hendrix, though.

  • Eric Olsen

    McNeill, 100% dead on correct. Prince absolutely belongs well up on a list of 100 for all the reasons you mentioned and more, and Andy Summers has been strangely neglected both by Rolling Stone and here (JR mentioned him in #13). I remember some critic called him Police’s “secret weapon,” and he was much of their sound, especially the semi-ska offbeat stuff. He belongs absolutely.

    Matt, Although Journey deteriorated into abject ickyness and he hasn’t done much since, Schon was brilliant in his time with Santana and early Journey had soem really noteworthy guitar. He belongs in there somewhere.

  • Mark Saleski

    if you can believe it, i once saw Journey open for Ted Nugent.

  • Eric Olsen

    That was a loud one! Ted was on top for a time, though he pretty much has done the same thing over and over again for the last 25 years when he isn’t bow-hunting women or humping wildlife.

  • sean

    ok honestly i have to point out a greatly over looked fact where jack white is listed, i mean hes ok but thers no way in hell he should be at 17 i mean van halen at 70, Tom Morello at 26 or even John Petrucci whos not even on the list are a much bigger influance than him and would have no problem wasting jack white on the gutair

  • The Theory

    i think jack white himself is probably laughing at the fact that he’s represented on the list. especially that high.

  • Taloran

    I gotta hear some White Stripes. Lots of comments that he shouldn’t be on the list, and a few proclaiming him as King. My Music Theory teacher in college had a name for those who didn’t keep up with modern music – “Moldy Figs.” I guess I’ve turned into one.

  • Taloran

    I haven’t read anyone complaining about, lauding, or otherwise mentioning
    31 Dick Dale
    44 Scotty Moore
    53 Mickey Baker
    64 Mick Ronson
    65 Hubert Sumlin
    84 Eddie Cochran
    94 Bert Jansch

    Does this mean that
    A. everyone agrees they should be on the list, and they’re in the right spot
    B. No one has a clue who they are, and don’t want to comment for fear of sounding like an idiot
    C. Are so busy complaining about Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Headache, Jack White, Joe Satriani and Slash that they’ve failed to truly read the list
    D. Something else

  • Just call me: Fuck Rolling Stones List

    OK, I hereby say this to the editor of the Rolling Stone’s list of the Top 100 guitarists of all time:

    1) You must have rode the short bus as a child…
    2) Stop sucking Jack White’s dick.
    3) Where the hell was Steve Vai?
    5) Eddie Van Halen listed at #70? OK, I’m hunting you down and chopping off your left ball.
    6) Neil Young and Les Paul…. Wow… You really do suck ass.
    7) The Man in Black is nowhere to be found.. Fuck you, Rolling Stone douchebag guy.
    8) And, as much as I like Cobain, no way should he be at #12…

    Yeah, that’s a great list ya got there. In closing, “I can play ‘Seven Nation Army’ in my sleep, while masturbating with one hand”… Yeah…

  • Phil Mckrevice

    For those of you not left deaf and blind by the corporatization of Rolling Stone by Calvin Klein, Versace, Ralph Lauren, Major Labels, some indie labels, the Democratic party, etc. ad nauseum: Rolling Stone has sucked for at least twenty-five years now (this is a kind and generous estimate) and we all know it. The fact that we are all here bitching about the results of their ephemeral and short-sighted list proves this. Virtually everyone on this site has mentioned at least one worthy missing guitarist – if not more. The other result of this list is actually positive: there are many musicians and music-lovers out there who still respect guitarists displaying craftmanship, technique and melodic innovation eg. Richard Thompson, Andy Summers, Richard Lloyd, Wes Montgomery and many others. I’m heartened to see so many of you give the finger to Rolling Stone. Here’s mine. P.S. Greg Ginn rocks but really has no chops. Gorilla suit wins.

  • The Theory

    Re: The Man In Black…

    He’s an adequate guitar player, but even he admitted that he was not very good…

  • sean


  • sean

    well im pretty sure that my last entery got my point through but i think it only goes to show that this is good enough proof that the person who wrote this crap really doesnt no their dick from a hole in the wall

    p.s why are their ppl like kurt cobain and johnny ramone in the top 20?

  • ronald tang



  • liam

    why the hell are yngwie malmsteen and steve vai? thats all im complaining about


    Re: Post #400 by Hank: Listen, gutter troll, I may indeed be a union “goon” as you so eloquently put it, but then again, my queerly named friend, I may not even work in the building trades-though they are truly honourable crafts populated by real men’s men. But atleast i can take solace from the fact that, unlike yourself, I don’t spend all of my free time at the firing range shooting at silhouettes of running African Americans. Maybe if an elitist fairy like yourself ever did some real actual god honest work, you wouldn’t be so preoccupied with ZOG, Ruby Ridge, and Whitewater. And, you like the rest of the people here, would wake the eff up and realize that the dude in the gorilla suit who plays the solo in the Beastie Boy’s “No Sleep ’til Brooklyn” is better than all the guitar players mentioned here. Except for Greg Ginn. Greg Ginn could make that dude beg for it like Hank’s skinhead girlfriend goes begging for it after Hank has fallen asleep, his drool spilling onto the open pages of his well worn copy of The Turner Diaries.

  • Robb

    Ok, just a few things. I want everyone who read this list to go on Kazaa right now and download the Hot Licks video of Jason Becker playing his Serrana Arpeggios. Then, take that knowledge and ask ANYONE on this list to play it (lol…especially kurt cobain, jack white, jimmy page, jimi hendrix, kirk hammet….hell, the only that could attempt it is probably van halen or randy rhodes)
    ok, so maybe amazingly fast and accurate guitarists aren’t your thing. I admit, malmsteen can get pretty boring. Go back on Kazaa and download End of the Beginning by Jason Becker. After, open your eyes and realize what a real guitarist actually is. I can slap my dick (or teeth, tongue, whatever) against a guitar, too. In fact, I can make it sound pretty good. I can even add some fuzz to it with wah and stand close to my amp to get some awesome feedback. Whoo-fucking-hoo. EVERYONE can do that. You know why jimi hendrix did it first? Because nobody else fucking cared to do it- they were too busy becoming GOOD guitarists. I have no doubts he should be on the list…but he should be back there with Adam Jones or Les Paul.

    1. Johnson, Satriani and Vai. The obvious.
    2. um, Jason Becker. Try playing a classical tapping solo while playing with a yo-yo. That should keep you mindless stargazers busy for a while.
    3. You really want to get out there? Try Michael Angelo. Then try lowering a four-necked gibson guitar onto the stage and play a sweeping tap song with both hands while crossing over. Then, tell me that anyone on the list can do that. I’ll laugh in your pathetic face. This guy is absolutely sick- you have NOTHING on him. Hell, he even has a song “Yngwie can’t touch this”. He’s absolutely right.
    4. Um, Alexi Laiho? Children of Bodom? Tell Rolling Stone to get their heads out of hollywood’s ass and see some real fucking guitarwork. Alexi is the fucking man, and his Bach influence should be spat right in Jimi’s face. Liaho is the best guitarist of all time (he can play and sing at the same time too!) and kicks the shit out of ANYONE on that list. B.B. King? Fine….at maybe 40. Jack White? lol……you should have put guys of Radiohead on the list…lol
    oh wait, you did…and they beat randy rhodes and eddie van halen…

    Never mind, don’t take any of my advice- you don’t deserve to listen to the beauty that these REAL guitarists make.

    and if I hear anything about these people being “boring”, you might as well hang yourself- analyze the music. Realize what you are listening to. Wake up.

    also, remember that UPLOADING too my on kazaa is illegal- don’t post any legality crap about kazaa- I know what I’m talking about, unlike most on this board.

    btw, whoever said it….yes, jason becker does “own”.

  • Eric Olsen

    Regarding Robb’s notion, though well-expressed, about technical proficiency: hardly anyone gives a damn if you can play “Flight of the Bumblebee” with your dick while doing a Ribik’s cube in the dark. It isn’t about who can do the most tricks, but about who has contributed the most to musical history by playing music that connects with people in such a way that others were inspired to follow, emulate, or evoke.

    Often the most simple way of expressing an idea – including a musical idea – is the best way, and finding the simplest, most elegant way of expressing those ideas is a grea talent worthy of praise not denigration. That’s why Johnny Ramone and Kurt Cobain are on the list, and belong on the list, though there is always room to quibble about WHERE on the list anyone belongs.

  • TDavid

    Eric / Phillip – have you considered spanning the pages with comments? I think if you display no more than say 100 comments or so per page (or a specific word count, perhaps), then you’ll keep those with pesky browsers from reading garbage. I’m guessing this functionality doesn’t exist within MT or it would be happening now? Yes/no? Or maybe someone has modded it with this functionality …

    You could display say the first 100 comments with the story, thus rewarding those who get in early with their comments with the review itself or go thread style like the discussion boards do and have newest to oldest.

    Just my 2 1/2 rusted pennies.

  • Hank

    Re: Post 426
    Would someone please tell Bricklayer’s parole officer that when the letter “i” is used to denote the first person singular pronoun, it’s capitalized. That’s assuming his attempt was English and not ebonics or his native Italian.

  • Taloran

    Re: Robb’s comment 427

    Thanks for introducing yourself, Robb. Nice to meet you too.

  • where the f*** is joe walsh??

    you’ve got to be kidding me; kurt cobain and no joe walsh? what is wrong with you, rs? when i was a kid in the 60’s and early 70’s, there were 5 guitar gods, count-em 5:

    1. Clapton
    2. Page
    3. Beck
    4. Santana
    5. Walsh

    Each one contributed something totally unique to the evolving rock landscape, but each one was one of the guitar gods of the generation; there were other great guitarists, but these were the spotlight gods of rock, the guys who took a great instrument and made it the centerpiece of a major shift from rock n’roll to “rock.” I’m surprised at RS, I really am.


  • Eric Olsen

    Steve, though he has faded some in reputation, you are absolutely right Walsh is a unique, important, influential, and successful guitarist. he should be on the list – maybe somewhere in the 30s or 40s. His work with the James Gang, early solo, and “Hotel California” are all indelible.

  • Joey

    May I ask a legitimate question? Who the hell cares?? This is Rolling Stone for goodness’ sake, not Guitar Player. It is par for the course for Rolling Stone to leave 3 of the 20th Century’s greatest artists let alone guitarists off the list in favor of guys like John Frusciante and the Radiohead dudes. I’m talking about Andres Segovia, Chet Atkins, and Django Reinhardt. Kurt Cobain? I don’t have a problem with him being on the list, but Nick Drake would have to be included too.

    My top 5 would have looked like this.

    1) Jimi hendrix
    2) Andres Segovia
    3) Chet Atkins
    4) Eric Clapton
    5) BB King

    What really caught my attention was the omission of Steely Dan guitarists on the list (Elliot Randall, Walter Becker, Denny Dias, Skunk Baxter, Jay Graydon, Larry Carlton, etc).

  • Eric Olsen

    Joey, agree with your choices – especially about the Steely Dan guys – although this is basically a rock list, so that is why a lot of important people are missing. As far as who cares? I guess people care enough about guitar players to leave over 430 comments, as did you.

  • The Theory

    I care because I HAVE NO ****ING LIFE!

  • Hank

    Santana stinks. He’s about as bad as B.B. King. Been playin’ the same solo for 30 years. He made it because he’s hispanic and Rolling Stone is run by a politically correct queer with a chapeau. A few years back Santana said that he wouldn’t play a Woodstock revival if it was “all Vanilla”. Meaning of course white folks. Imagine if some white guy said that? His career would have been over. Hey, if you guys wanna step in poop and say it’s clover, suit yourselves.

  • Eric Olsen

    Hank, your assessment of Carlos Sanana would not seem to take into account actually listening to him, as between ’69 and ’79 he hardly played the same style twice, let alone the same solo. He played fusion jazz, straight Latin, Latin jazz, Latin rock, pop rock, ambient head music, Latin flavored blues and soul. Carlos deserves his status here.

  • Joey

    Santana is a MF! As evidenced by his comments regarding Carlos and BB King, it seems that Hank is probably enamored with those so-called neo-classical fusion guitarists and is more impressed with a soulless scale played at breakneck speed that says nothing at all rather than an emotive single note played by either Carlos or BB that can bring you to tears because it is saying “listen to my heart crying out”.

    Two of my favorite albums by Carlos feature him in tandem with other virtuoso guitarists, and he more than holds his own. Santana III is a masterpiece IMHO, and is a great example of how two virtuosos, Carlos and Neal Schon, can compliment each other without it becoming a duel. It’s also the one album that perhaps runs the gamut of Carlos’ styles from hard rock to fusion to Latin jazz. The other album is the breathtaking Love Devotion and Surrender with Carlos and John McLaughlin. Again, they compliment each other, but John seemed to have pushed Carlos into playing a little more technical than usual.

    Carlos’ playing is all about heart and soul rather than technique, although he can get technical like he did with McLaughlin. His soaring high G that goes on forever and ever on “Europa (Earth’s Cry Heaven’s Smile)” is perhaps the greatest single note ever played.

  • Eric Olsen

    Beautiful Joey, brings a tear to my eye, and your musical analysis is impeccable.

  • Natalie Davis

    Oh yeah, I know that high-G well. Eargasmic. Santana is nothing short of amazing.

  • hank

    While I agree that B.B. WAS most excellent (all 300 lbs of him), I think he peaked about 30 years ago with “Live at the Regal”. I saw him a boatload of times in the 70’s and wore out the vinyl. However, since then I’ve grown tired of that one trilled note.

    As far as that racist Santana, “straight Latin, Latin jazz, Latin rock, pop rock, Latin flavored blues and soul” is all the same crap.
    I don’t know what the hell “ambient head music” is. I’ve listened to “Love Devotion and Surrender” a hundred times. Whenever Santana takes a solo, I hit fast forward. All he does is play ‘Oye como va?’ at double speed to try to keep pace with Mahavishnu.

    “The greatest single note ever played”. I guess you don’t get out much.

    Hey Eric, if you like “Joey” so much, perhaps you should meet him on the lower West Side for some cork smoking.

  • Eric Olsen

    Everyone gets old and set in their ways, we judge them for their best work, not what they do 40, 50, or 60 years into a career. And as with you, I know Joey only from his writing, which conveyed extremely well how I feel about Santana’s best work. Should I feel bad you disagree?

  • Natalie Davis

    Um, Hank, “all vanilla” could also mean “all mainstream.” (For instance, many people use the term “vanilla” to describe mainstream, less-adventurous forms of sexual activity.)

    How do you know what Santana meant when he allegedly made that statement (which I have not been able to locate online)? Takes quite a leap to slam him as a racist.

  • Hank

    Ms. Davis,
    I respond to courtesy with courtesy.
    I heard it clearly on a NYC radio show.
    It was a few years back when they were doing those Woodstock revivals with all the mud and stuff. Even with my vivid imagination, I don’t think I could have dreamt this up.
    While I’m well aware of the various meanings of ‘vanilla’, Mr. Santana made it clear that he was referring to white males and white bands.
    As far as my branding him a racist, my definition of racism is quite simple; anyone that makes decisions about others, based on that persons race. Thus, if he refused to play a Woodstock revival because there were too many whites, then viola, he fits my definition.

    By the way, I’m in what has been historically called a ‘mixed marriage’. Are you old enough to be familiar with that term?

  • Natalie Davis

    Mr. Gola, my own union, of 13 years’ duration, is often described thusly by people who are not Spousal Unit and myself. So, yes (I am 41, btw), I am familiar with the phrase “mixed marriage.” And I loathe it. As Spousal Unit says, we’re both human. Anything else is irrelevant.

    I don’t see why the comment about your personal life was necessary, unless you are using your marriage as proof that you are not a bigot.

    Firstly, I never charged you with being “racist.” My statement was that it takes quite a leap to get from someone using a comment using the word “vanilla” to said someone being “racist.” Lots of people who toss around the charge of racism are not racists.

    Secondly, just because a human happens to be married to a person of a different hue does not mean said human necessarily is not racist. Frankly, I don’t know whether you are or not and had not given that matter any consideration.

    If you believe that what you say you heard meant what you say it meant, then I can see where you would draw the conclusion that Santana is racist. For myself, I would err on the side of disagreeing until actual evidence is presented.

    Finally, I do not see where I was discourteous to you. If something I wrote offended you, please accept my assurance that it was not intentional.

  • Joey


    You state that Carlos Santana is a racist, and you attempt to substantiate that claim by basing it on a comment that Carlos made on the radio regarding “vanilla” performers. Varying definitions of vanilla aside, I will instead counter your claim that Carlos is a racist with one simple proven fact. Carlos has enlisted and collaborated with numerous white musicians over the years including Michelle Branch, Dave Matthews, Rob Thomas, Everlast, Alex Ligertwood, Tom Coster, Graham Lear, Mike Shrieve, Greg Rolle, Neal Schon, and others. Why on earth would he work with so many white musicians if he dislikes them?

    I further challenge you to name one song with a single note that is played with as much passion and is sustained as long as that high G in “Europa”. I get out plenty. Thanks.

    As for Carlos recreating “Oye Como Va” and trying to keep with McLaughlin on the Love Devotion And Surrender album, I hear something quite different. I hear Carlos keeping up fine with Mahavishnu and playing with more than enough speed and technical ability to match his passion & soul. You can hear the difference right away on “A Love Supreme”. It’s still Carlos, but it sounds like what Carlos probably what have sounded like had he sat in on Inner Mounting Flame

    Also, Live At the Regal came out nearly 40 years ago, not 30. Yes, it has been stated many times that BB was at the peak of his powers both as a guitarist and as a performer during that period. However, if you listen to or view the concert in Zaire from 1974, you hear that BB still had a lot of flutter in that inimitable hummingbird vibrato of his not to mention that he also had full command of the African audience a la Live At the Regal. These days BB may not have a much flutter in his fingers, but he still plays with more soul and more substance than 90% of today’s blues guitarists, and he can still command audience too.

    If you don’t like Carlos Santana and BB King, then that’s fine. You’re free to like who want to like. However, just leave it at that and don’t attempt to substantiate your reasons for not liking them with inaccuracies. Furthermore, I don’t smoke cork. Eric, just appreciates a well-written and well-thought out analysis of Carlos Santana’s genius.

  • Eric Olsen

    Yes, and it would be much more instructive to hear what Hank does like and why rather than what he doesn’t. And if by “politically correct queer with a chapeau” you mean Wenner, over the years he has been accused of not giving “minority” music and performers enough space or credit in favor of white rockers in Rolling Stone, so I am not sure how this would benefit Carlos Santana or BB King. I am also unclear of the meaning of the Wenner-hat connection, have not heard of cork smoking, and am wondering if we are all supposed to declare the race of the person to whom we are married.

  • Natalie Davis

    Wow, I missed the “politically correct queer with a chapeau” bit. That comment might lead me to suspect Mr. Gola of being a tad homophobic. And, yeah, what about that hat?

    Excellent point re: Jann Wenner, Eric.

    And thanks for stating what would be obvious to most people familiar with Santana’s work, Joey.

  • JGF

    Here’s my top ten:

    1.Joe Satriani
    2.Jimi Hendrix
    3.Steve Vai
    4.Eddie Van Halen
    5.Kirk Hammett
    6.Jimmy Page
    7.Randy Rhoads
    8.Tony Iommi
    9.Carlos Santana
    10.Yngwie Malmsteen

    Everyone else on the list can fuck off.

  • chadwicke

    what a ridiculous list!!!!!!
    this is my top ten:
    1.jimi hendrix
    2.eric clapton king
    4.keith richards
    4.robert johnson
    5.stevie ray vaughn
    6.eddie van halen
    7.carlos santana
    8.the edge
    9.jimi page
    10.mick jones(the clash)

  • Hank


    Ok, let me attempt to address all of your venom at once. To paraphrase:

    1. “Santana can’t be a racist because he works with whites”. Hmm, let’s see. One of you geniuses recently implied that I CAN be a racist even though my wife is black. But Carlos CANNOT be a racist because he works with whites? Must I point out the utter inconsistency in that illogic? Inconsistency is the Petri dish of hypocrisy.

    2. “Why would Santana play with white musicians if he dislikes them”. Because it pay$$$. If given the choice between accompanying a jumping-bean vendor in Chapultapec for 20 peso a day or joining with white musicians/producers/agents for real money, what would you do? Hey, Bill Cosby hates whitey but he doesn’t mind taking their cash.

    3. “The ‘high G’ in Europa”. I had no idea he was playing that one note. I thought my vinyl was skipping. I stand corrected there.

    4. “Carlos and Inner Mounting Flame”. If Carlos would have sat in during IMF, that’s all he would have done. If you know anything at all about IMF, virtually all of the tunes (and they are classics), are in odd time signatures. Carlos is a 4/4 kind of guy.

    5. “You’re free to like who want to like”. Thanks. That’s very generous of you.

    6. “Mr. Gola is a tad homophobic”. I guess, you don’t like the phrase “politically correct queer with a chapeau”. Let’s examine it piece by piece. a) If you’ve ever read Rolling Stone, you’d know that their editorials follow politically-correct dogma. b) queer is a perfectly acceptable term for gays. I refer to the activist group “Queer Nation”, the TV show “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and NAMBLA’s creed, “We’re here, we’re queer and we’re coming for your kids”. c) We all know what a chapeau is. So what exactly is homophobic about that statement? Was it not you who thinks the word ‘racist’ is bandied about too much?

    Let’s get back on topic
    Here’s my list of the top 10 MOST RESPECTED Middle-East talent agents and producers of all time:


  • http://none Chindy

    JUSTICE?! haha
    Why are are these gods friggin not on the list, rolling stone blows ass
    Vai, and Satch and petrucci arent there either. What is RS coming tO?! I love the Ramones, but why is johnny ramone there?!?!?!? he never even knew how to fucking play guitar! AND what is going on with Joni Mitchell, how the fuck is she better than RANDY RHOADS and TONI IOMMI…are they all retarded monkies working there or something!? good god.

  • Craig

    Someone at the top of list was knocking Angus Young obviously that person has no concept of the guitar because Angus is widely regarded as the top Rhythm guitarist of all time. He should have been much higher on the list. It appears Rolling Stone did the list more along their train of thought at the time, any one metal or hard rock related was at the very bottom. Influencial guitarists in the teens – 20’s, and new popular guitarists scattered through the first half. And this is especially noticeable when they show both Radiohead guitarists in order.

  • Eric Olsen

    I don’t about “best rhythm guitarist of all time” but Angus and his endless thundering riffs should never be taken lightly

  • Mark Saleski

    hey, isn’t it malcom young who holds down the rhythm guitar chores?

    for my money the best rhythm guitarists are either keith richards or pete townsend

  • Eric Olsen

    You’re right about Malcolm but it’s all pretty much rhythm in AC/DC.

    Pretty hard to beat Keith and Pete – I don’t know WHAT you’d call what Robert Johnson played.

  • Al Barger

    Best rhythm guitarist of all time? Pete Townshend must be considered here, just on the basis of “Pinball Wizard.”

    Heading for 500 frickin’ comments here. Is this our Blogcritics record, or what? I believe this blows away any of our Dixie Chicks stuff.

  • Eric Olsen

    Yes, but we are not allowed to comment on the staus of comments – that’s like talking about a no-hitter in the 7th inning.

  • Mark Saleski

    geezuz, me & barger close to agreeing on something again!

    everybody step out of the way so as to avoid the lightening bolts.

  • Brujah

    Randy Rhoads 85,Jack White 17.hmmm everything i have read from yure magasine lately has brought me to a conclusion.never again will i trust your oppinion on music.

  • TDavid

    Craig – RE: #453 and specifically the comments:

    Someone at the top of list was knocking Angus Young obviously that person has no concept of the guitar because Angus is widely regarded as the top Rhythm guitarist of all time.

    That would be #1 comment by me that knocked Angus and I’d do it again in the context of his being one of the best guitarist’s ever. Come on, even he freely admits that the vast majority of the riffs he’s come up with are the same few chords.

    To me the “best guitarist” is about those who are able to not only write compelling riffs like AC DC but to be able to solo with the best of them. Put Angus or Malcolm against Randy Rhoads or Jimi Hendrix (if they were still alive) and there would be no contest.

    As for not having any concept of the guitar? You are right, I’ve only been playing for 20 years, you’d think that some of that would rub off on me? LOL

  • JR

    I would assert that Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen were better rhythm guitarists than lead guitarists. Whereas B.B. King and Carlos Santana were all about soloing (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

  • Chindy

    shut up
    hendrix and van halen were all about soloing you nimrod.

  • Chindy

    If johnny ramone can make it, wheres Billy Joe from green day?!

  • Danny Boy

    Top 10 Guitarists with Funny Names

    10) Dick Dale and Dickie Betts (a tie)
    9) Robert Fripp
    8) Link Wray
    7) The Edge
    6) Yngwie Malsteen
    5) Buck Dharma
    4) Buckethead
    3) Slash
    2) Jorma Koukonen

    and the #1 Guitarist with a Funny Name

    1) Django Reinhardt

    (I knew there was a way to put Django atop the list!)

  • danny boy

    Best Guitarist Whose First Name Starts with “The”

    The Edge

  • danny boy

    R0lling Stone’s Top 10 Guitarists – arranged alphabetically

    10) James Burton
    9) Roy Buchanan
    8) Mike Bloomfield
    7) Ritchie Blackmore
    6) Dickey Betts
    5) Jeff Beck
    4) Mickey Baker
    3) Ron Asheton
    2) Trey Anastasio

    and the #1 Guitarist of All Time (if arranged alphabetically) is…

    1) Duane Allman (sorry all you Allman haters – you can’t argue with the alphabet!)

  • Brad

    Billy Gibbons???

  • Eric Olsen

    Very nice Danny Boy – can you do it by height or shoe size?

  • rj

    Attn: Eric, Hank, Joey, Natalie: Get on another forum. This political crap is boring as hell. If I want to hear name calling, I’ll look for Al Sharpton and Jesse Jerkson web sites. And you’re all about as dumb as pumpkins. I believe Hank’s chapeau line is refering to a yarmulke.
    Anyway how can I respect a list where Django is omitted? This list is trying to combine “greatest” with “influential”. B.B. was about as influential as hell but I don’t think I would call him great. And while you have to see Stanley Jordan live to admire his greatness, I don’t think he has inflenced anyone. I don’t know if Duane Allman was great but when I hear the solo to “Blue Sky” or the slide in Layla, I have to admit that I love it. Any of you turds ever hear the intro to “Sweet Jane” from Lou Reeds “Rock-n-Roll Animal”? That was like the National Anthem when I was in high school. I think that was Steve Hunter but I hear another guitar in there. That’s a bitchin’ solo. Oops, sorry Natalie. Don’t freak. Bitchin’ can also mean cool.

  • Natalie Davis

    Bite me, rj.

  • Sidney

    It is very disappointing for me that Alvin Lee from Ten Years After is not mentioned on this list. If you ever listened to TYA’s Fillmore East concert ( 1970) recording you would probably agree with me. For me he deserve to be in top 20 at least.

  • Brad

    Ok this is the biggest load of crap I have ever read! Don’t get me wrong, Jerry Garcia, Jack White and a couple of the others from the top twenty are ok but they are not even close to the guitar playing skills of people like angus young, and eddie van halen who are rated like number 83 and number 70 or something like that. Rolling Stone has to get their head out of their ass and judge these people by their skills and not by the popularity of the band!

  • Tony

    Well, after reading more of these than I should have, I would like to ad some more names to the list:

    Davey Johnstone – Elton John’s prime years. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, et al. Tight!

    Dave Mason – Traffic and solo. He does a great version of Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower!

    Marshall Crenshaw – Saw him live after his first album. Effortless and awesome!

    Brian Setzer – Stray Cats, good. Later with the “Orchestra,” WOW!

    Daryl Stuermer – Great studio guy who’s worked with Phil Collins, Jean luc-Ponty, and others. His solo album, Steppin Out is excellent.

    So many great guitarists! Limiting the list to 100 is too little to hit everyone’s favorite.

  • JBT


  • rj

    I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Natalie. I had no idea that it was so late in the month.

  • Eric Olsen

    I’ve always considered pumpkins to be among our more intelligent produce.

  • Chindawg

    How did joni mitchell get higher than randy rhoads? hahaha stupid RS.

  • ClubhouseCancer

    Here are the three most prominent guiatrists I can think of who have not been mentioned. All very important to me during my college years:
    Bob Mould of Husker Du
    Kurt Kirkwood of the Meat Puppets
    Greg Lisher of Camper van Beethoven

    Mould is absolutely the best punk rock guiatrist I’ve ever seen, Kirkwood plays some crazy sh*t indeed on MP II and Up on the Sun, and Lisher was very tuneful and could play in alot of styles, not all rock.

    Today, Dave Schramm of the Schramms is my idea of a fine guitarist. But as everyone here has said over and over:

    1. Personal tastes are all, um, personal.
    2. No one cares about Rolling Stone or their lists. and

    But it’s fun to name everyone’s faves, I guess.

  • Taloran

    I’d forgotten Daryl Stuermer. Awesome acoustic on some early-80’s Ponty albums.

  • Toshi


    KEEP IT UP***

  • Eric Olsen

    CC, you’re certainly right about Mould – I can’t believe no one has mentioned him until now: unholy melodic noise and he can play with real delicacy too.


    Bob Mould could tear anyone on this list a new one. Except for Gregg Ginn. If Mr. Mould and Mr. Ginn were to engage in a Texas Deathcage No Holds Barred Match To the Finish, Mr. Mould would edge out Mr. Ginn, but only because the match would have been scripted by Mr. Mould, and as we all know, history and wrasslin’ is written by the winners. I will forever count myself a devoted follower of Mr. Mould for the beauty that has flown forth from his fingers, even though today he is a grumpy coot who disavows the loud stuff in favor of half baked computer music, while staunchly boring everyone to death by telling us over and over and over again that he’s done playing rock (releasing an interview disk to accompany his last “guitar” album just so he could let us all know that he doesn’t want to do that style anymore? Please, Bob, I think we’ll get by!). The last dog and pony show indeed! Now Mr. Mould is free to ply his electro jones to himself and all 4 other people who care, and that is his right as an artist and human being. But I prefer to pull out my New Day Rising and play it ’til the grooves are gone.

    Oh, and one more thing, if I may: I hear from a confidential source that the guy in the gorilla suit who plays the solo in the Beastie Boy’s “No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn” video will take over the six six six string duties in the reformed touring only edition of Husker Du. Josh Freese will assume the drummer’s role, and they will go without a bass player, to capitolize on the new “guitar and drummer only band craze” that is so popular today with the kids and traditional “rock” revivalists.

  • Mark Saleski

    given that Mould is gay, the first line of BRICKLAYER comment #483 makes me snicker.

    oh yea, i do like his guitar work.

  • Eric Olsen

    I actually kind of like Mould’s electronic noodling, but it in no way is in the same artistic universe as his guitar work. Maybe he decided great crazy guitar bashing is too un-gay.

    This is of course most idle speculation and I am not Rush Limbaugh.

  • Mark Saleski

    i haven’t heard the sorta-electronic stuff he did.

    people seemed to go completely ballistic about it.

    given what i’ve heard about his shows (LOUD!), maybe he just got tired of the squall and decided to be a little more introspective for a while (or at least quieter)

  • timon

    Sarah Carter
    Mississippi John Hurt

  • Eric Olsen

    very few guitarists have had the impact of Sarah Carter and her finger-picking technique – excellent call!

  • The Theory

    AGREED! *two thumbs up*

  • TDavid

    Nice to see some other folks here appreciate the late and great Randy Rhoads. If he were still alive, I think he’d be in the top 5 for certain.

  • Ellen Garfield

    And what about Gary Moore? Come on kids, get out of that tunnel vision. Rock with a celtic edge thrown in. Simply stunning.

  • Taloran

    Gary Moore is fun, and has some nifty chops and lightning fingers. I really like his stuff, and have six of his solo recordings and one Thin Lizzy album with him. While I would put him above several who made the list, I would be more likely to add others rather than Moore.

  • Taloran

    Here’s one I hadn’t thought of – How about Jennifer Batten?

  • The Theory

    i just saw Bonnie Raitt on Jay Leno last night. I would have no problem seeing her on a list like this.

  • Taloran

    Bonnie has always played a pretty mean slide!

  • VoodooChile

    What the hell? Angus Young might not show it in his songs, but he can rip up. I don’t think that Jimi should be #1. I thing that Jimmy Page should at least be in the top 3. Carlos Santana got beaten by Kurt Cobain? Yngwie Malmsteen isn’t even on the list. I bet you that 5 people sat around and made that list and e-mailed it to rolling stone.

    It is Rolling Stone, so what can you expect other than pop culture?

  • Joey

    if u ask me, John Frusciante is better then jack white, and even tho i think jack white is pretty good… hes not #17 good, john should be in the top ten.

  • Eric Olsen

    When we hit 500 we get $1,000,000 from Publisher’s Clearinghouse

  • Rock

    Others I like and not mentioned above:
    David Lindley
    David Hildago (Los Lobos)
    Bo Diddley
    Curt Kirkwood (Meat Puppets)

  • Jeffrk

    number 500!!??

    Tony Iommi?

  • Richy

    I have just read the posts from top to bottpm and i’m intreagued. Well my dad has played the guitar for about say 20 years and i’d say he’s pretty gud. But this isn’t the point because he doesn’t desreve to be in the list but he now which shit is easy or hard to play and therefor he has told me to put in his top ten.

    10) Tony Iommi;
    09) Kirk Hammet;
    08) Ritchie Blackmore
    07) Randy Rhodes
    06) Joe Satriani
    05) Steve Vai
    04) Brian May
    03) Eddie Van Halen;
    02) Jimmy Page
    01) Jimi Hendrix

    There and i sort of agree with it. This is because there are important fundamentals to be considered which are The time the guitarists actually played. How influential the music still is in modern day society. And actually how good they actually were. If you take these into consideration then you come out with something similar to this list.

    For example EVERYONE knows the riff to SMOKE ON THE WATER BY DEEP PURPLE. How influential is that. And stuff like WHOLE LOTTA LOVE BY LED LEPPELIN. PARANOID BY BLACK SABBATH. These bands and players have been passed onto a new generation of people and so thats why their on the list.

    Like in ten years time who’s gunna walk into HMV and buy a god damn SLIPKNOT CD answer, no one on the face of the earth will.

    OH By the way best song ever WAR PIGS by Black Sabbath

  • Richy

    I do apologise about the spelling coz my keyboard is nakered.

  • Hank

    This site has some famous guitar playing sports figures. Is also gives you information about “over-under”, “the spread” and other guitar playing techniques.

  • Geddy

    I’m sorry, but Alex Lifeson of Rush should be in the top 30, way ahead of Jack White (who shouldn’t be on the list) and Kurt Cobain. Publicity, publicity, publicity…

  • Lucas

    Alex Lifeson is amazing. I’d rate him #29 on the list, and kill Jack White right off that list, as for Kurt… i’d rank him #99, and add John Petrucci at #40.

  • http://2454325435 mystico

    this list sucks, jack white shouldnt be there, and john petrucci should be there so should joe satriani and alex lifeson should also be there, half this list is bull shit, van halen should at least be in top 20 and george harrison, should be further in the list, he wasnt that great of a guitarist, its just the band he played for

  • Lucas

    I agree Mike, and u know who else should be on the list… Anyone else but Jack White. Here’s some advice, dump ur drummer and join a band, but don’t sing, cuz u can’t.

  • Lucas

    Oh, and another thing… WHERE THE HELL IS SLASH, i know it was discussed earlier, but Jesus, come on. You put a grunge reject on the list, but not a rock legend. Cudos to you rolling stones magazine, i am waiting for the day that you out do your stupidity crafted on this list.

  • The Theory

    jack white is actually a very adept guitar player. people who think he sucks haven’t actually listened to any of his cds.

  • tony mahon

    does some1 wanna tell me why dave mustaine isnt on this list. He is easly one of the most talented musicians of all time, maybe the most. u wont find more indebt songwriters or legendary soloists than dave.anyone else able to name a guitarist who can play 117 notes in ten seconds flat(in my darkest hour-1988) and even faster live. da man is a god.and wheres james dean personal hero, hes one of the most inspirational performers and guitaristsdis world will eva know.if uve seen im live ull know full on

  • Eric Olsen

    A run through these comments is an education in phonetic spelling, the purpose of which eludes me.

  • ClubhouseCancer

    Best double-necked-guitar players:
    Rick Neilsen
    Jimmy Page
    Junior Brown

    Note the hyphen. It’s double-necked-guitar players, not double-necked guitar players, which would be Siamese twins.

    RE: Eric’s phonetic spelling lesson:
    I have been trying to determine the nuances between “sucks” and “sux.” I am at a loss as to when to use which. I think it’s clearly a who/whom kind of thing, but I can’t discern the rule.

  • The Theory

    u jest dont understand how enet spll. wrks. Y use 3 keys when 1 does just as well. u sux.

  • TDavid

    Richy RE #501: That’s the best top 10 guitarist list I’ve seen in this thread yet. Please tell your dad another fellow 20-year guitar player agrees with him.

    And watch out for Al Barger, current library internet Blogcritic resident, the guy seems to have something in for Black Sabbath (but alas, somebody below has something in for his computer)

    Evil minds that plot destruction,
    Sorcerors of death construction,
    In the fields the bodies burning,
    As the war machine keeps turning

  • Conrad

    After just listening to The Glass Prison by Dream Theater, I wonder why John Petrucci is not in this list; he should easily be in the top 10. He’s one of the best guitarists ever and he must be among the best 7-string players ever, if not the best.

  • http://replyingtocomment345 Plug_ugly

    hey Eric Olsen

    there are tons of guitarists from other countries that are much better than the the list mentioned above ……. if they can include Kurt Cobain they had better include me and I can play leads on more than 2 strings ……… and for heavens sake Kirk Hammett ??????????Metallica ????????????

    Eric Olson ….. get a life there’re 1000 times as many guitarists OUTSIDE the US ……. and i’ll tell you any guitarist is better than a “seattle based grunge icon” …….

    think outside the box dude

    Pete Townshend,Clapton,Angus Young rule

  • Taloran

    Hey Plug –
    This is not Eric’s list, it was published by Rolling Stone magazine. Wake up before telling others to think outside the box.

  • Eric Olsen

    This is Rolling Stone’s list, not mine, but I am flattered.

  • The Theory

    i marvel at some people’s blatant stupidity…

  • JR

    Pete Townsend, Eric Clapton, Angus Young…

    Yeah, that’s outside the box alright.

  • TDavid

    Eric Olsen isn’t editor of Rolling Stone? Damn, he has hoodwinked us all along!

  • Taloran

    I’ve built a polling page to determine who BlogCritics contributors think are the greatest guitarists of all time. Read the post and link here (

  • Lucas

    If they put Jack White as a top 100 guitarist, why not put Jack Black.

  • Geddy

    If they made a top 100 bassist list, im sure that skank from Tool would probably be #17 on the list, and people like Les Claypool would be in the 20’s or lower. Lets just hope that they put Jaco Pastorius, Vic Wooten, Geddy Lee and Marcus Miller in the top 10, damn u rolling stones

  • Lucas

    I just noticed that Joan Jett was on this list, they ranked her pretty low, but she shouldnt really be on the list anyways, just letting u all know.

  • Lucas

    Where’s Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, wtf, come on, hes a great acoustic guitar player, replace him with Kurt, and give him some merit for playin the flute and bouzouki, since this list is obviously not based soley on the ability to play guitar.

  • Geddy

    Why isnt Joe Jack Talcum on the list, come on, lol (btw he’s from The Dead Milkmen if u didn’t know)… Bitchin’ Camaro for life!

  • Lucas

    Where’s madonna! She played guitar in “Hollywood”. Just joking, lol

  • Lucas

    While they’re at it, why don’t Rolling Stones give Ringo Starr and Meg White drummers of the millenium award to go along with Jacko’s artist of the millenium award (Jacko = Michael Jackson) and give Simple Plan the title of “Punks of the century”

  • Joey

    Kurt Cobain is a talented songwriter but he wasn’t a great guitarist. He should have been quite lower. Jack White is just sad, he’s a good guitarist but he does not compare to almost all of those guitarists. Joan Jett? Angus Young may have written simple stuff but that’s what Ac/Dc was, and he showed his skill in his soloing. Alex Lifeson should be on the list, Randy Rhoads and Eddie Van Halen should be much much higher. Jack White shouldn’t. Where’s Joe Satriani? Where’s John Pertrucci? Ritchie Blackmore should be higher, who never heard Smoke on the Water? Trey Anastasion is one of the best modern guitarists.

  • Joey

    Kurt Cobain is a talented songwriter but he wasn’t a great guitarist. He should have been quite lower. Jack White is just sad, he’s a good guitarist but he does not compare to almost all of those guitarists. Joan Jett? Angus Young may have written simple stuff but that’s what Ac/Dc was, and he showed his skill in his soloing. Alex Lifeson should be on the list, Randy Rhoads and Eddie Van Halen should be much much higher. Jack White shouldn’t. Where’s Joe Satriani? Where’s John Pertrucci? Ritchie Blackmore should be higher, who never heard Smoke on the Water? Trey Anastasio is one of the best modern guitarists.

  • tony mahon

    RE:#516 by plug ugly

    Ya hav me confused ere.r u tryn 2 say that kirk hammett doesnt deserve to b on dis list.say it aint so.say it aint so.

  • Taloran

    re: 526
    I think of Ian Anderson more as a flautist than a guitarist.

  • Taloran

    Anyone remember Carlos Alomar from Bowie’s band? I was never a big Bowie fan, but Alomar rocked the house down in concert.

  • Eric Olsen

    Tal, great call on Alomar, exceptional, funky rhythm guitarist.

  • Taloran

    Alomar wasn’t bad on lead, either. I saw Bowie on the Glass Spider tour, and Alomar blew Frampton away in a cutting contest.

  • G. Wilson

    K…Bonnie Raitt far surpasses the best work of any woman on the list (sorry, Joni); Melissa Etheridge is excellent, too. Roger McGuinn deservies to be on any list of the great ones…Randy California of Spirit could absolutely kick the ass of about 25% of the RS list people, as could Tery Kath.

  • Taloran

    A few top women guitarists, in no particular order except for the first one listed. List is obviously not complete.
    Bonnie Raitt
    Susan Tedeschi (needs to show longevity, but is starting off impressively)
    Sue Foley
    Jennifer Batten
    Nancy Wilson (listen to Silver Wheels on Heart’s Bebe Le Strange if you don’t believe me)
    Debbie Davies
    Joanna Connor

  • lithiumdeuteride

    The following artists have no place whatsoever on the list, as they contributed nothing new or interesting to the art of guitar playing (quite different from the art of songwriting), or else they are just plain talentless. Fame should not count for anything on this list.

    Keith Richards
    Kurt Cobain
    Johnny Ramone
    Jack White
    Tom Morello
    John Fogerty
    Stephen Stills
    Thurston Moore
    Joan Jett
    Pete Townshend
    Lou Reed (absolute crap)
    Neil Young
    Angus Young
    Gren Ginn

    I don’t know all the guitarists on the list, so i’m sure i missed some other sucky ones.

    The following people should have been higher on the list (or on the list at all if they weren’t).

    Andres Segovia (he practically invented the bloody guitar)
    Joe Satriani
    Steve Vai
    Nuno Bettencourt
    Eric Johnson
    Luca Turilli (this guy is amazing)
    Kim Thayil (very underappreciated)
    John Petrucci
    John McLaughlin
    Robert Fripp
    Chris Cornell (very impressive chord work)
    Warren DeMartini
    Reb Beach
    George Lynch
    Dimebag Darrel
    John Scofield
    Marty Friedman
    Eddie van Halen
    Brian May (catchiest solos ever)
    Yngwie Malmsteen
    Dweezil Zappa (better than his dad by far)
    John Paul Jones (He was the real talent behind Led Zeppelin, not Jimmy Page. Don’t believe me? Listen to his solo stuff. He’s way better on guitar and several other instruments than Page ever was.)

  • Eric Olsen

    Dude, basically couldn’t agree less – all you like are technicians.

  • Taloran

    Re: lithiumdeuteride’s comment 539.

    Dweezil better than Frank? What kind of drugs are you on? Might as well say Julian Lennon was better than his dad.

    That statement blows your whole argument, not that the rest of it makes much sense.

  • Taloran

    Eric – Who you talking to, me at post 538 or the guy on lithium in 539?

  • Eric Olsen


  • ChrisStarz

    Ace Frehley may not be the best guitarist around, but he has made a lot of people want to play guitar. That says more than Johnny Ramone, Joni Mitchell, and Joan Jett!

    Ted Nugent should be in Kurt Cobain’s spot! Ted has been voted as the Black Entertainer of the year for 2003! His guitar playing is getting better and better!

  • The Theory

    you might be surprised at how many people joey ramone influenced to pick up the art…

  • JR

    A few more women:

    Lita Ford – that other guitarist from the Runaways

    June Millington – Fanny, later a highly regarded studio musician in San Francisco.

    Sharon Isben (sp?) – maybe someone mentioned her earlier, too busy to check.

  • Eric Olsen

    Actually Johnny, but TT is absolutely right – I’ll bet Johnny Ramone inspired more new guitarists than all but a handful on this list.

    Stop dumping on the punks and the grungers!!

  • The Theory

    doh. you’re right.

  • sammy rat

    where is jimi vaughan in the list? isn’ he better than the red hot chili guy? could any one see lonnie mack in there? is this list fucked?

  • guitargod

    Kudos to a magazine for finally recognizing the guitar prowess of Duane Allman. the greatest electric slide player of all time and a wonderful lead player as well. Not to mention his amazing live performances. Jimmy page is great, but his live stuff is sloppy. There’s a difference between writing great songs/riffs/solos and being a guitar God. U have to be able to write sick solos, etc, and KILL them live. in concert I want someone to do stuff that makes me wanna quit playing guitar cuz what they do is impossible!! Duane did that live and in studio, although his live stuff was even better. Don’t forget that he was cut down in his prime at 24, and his only song (LITTLE MARTHA) was hailed by kottke as the one song he had “always heard in his head, but hadn’t yet figured out how to write.” There’s no telling what Duane would have done with a just a few more years. His importance cannot be overstated.

    He wrote the beginning riff to electric LAYLA and was the driving force behind that album. and if you listen to his slide on layla it’s just WRONG!! His session work was legendary, and his solo on You Don’t Love me/Soul Serenade is the sickest thing ever. He was all tone and soul on guitar, you don’t even need to sing with someone playing like that. He;s also the only white cat out there who can hold a candle to BB when it comes to blues…don’t believe me, check out the BB KING MEDLEY from anthology or the DREAMS Boxset. Anyone who has heard the boxset knows what duane could do. I can’t argue hendrix as #1, who could? influence, sick live stuff and a great song writer, but duane finally got the recognition he deserves with this article. Thanks to whoever wrote it for seeing this man for the guitar god genius he was.

    Oh and how does django not make it? or al dimeola? Acoustic players deserve props as well (another thing Allman wailed at), and not the chord strumming KURTS of the world (but he was a great songwriter)

  • Eric Olsen

    Excellent Guitargod, couldn’t agree more. The ultra-high violin-like slide on “Layla” required a quantum leap of imagination.

  • Taylor

    k, what about zakk wylde??? umm slash???? cummon manm listen to thier stuff, slash could kick the ass off teh white stripes, i think the editors were, high, might as well got snoop dog to write the damn list

  • rage against the machine

    Why arent there any rage guitarists or soungarden except kim thayil and tom morello. i mean c’mon wut fuckers made this list.


    also Cobain isn’t bad and jack white sucks. What about Slash????

  • rage against the machine

    taylor dont diss snoop dogg u mother fuking bitch

  • Chris Starz

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the Ramones. Got the pleasure to meeting them in the early 80’s. I just don’t think that Johnny is that worthy of being in the top 100, while Ted, Brian Setzer, and others are.

  • Bob the hobo

    I think that adam sandler should definately be on the list. Possibly in the top 10. Maybe top 5 even. And that girl from the dixie chicks. Jimmy Falon and Jewle should be on there too. This list sucks. And why is Jimi Hendrix number one? Dude he had an afro. Nobody who has/had an afro is good at guitar. But seriously, fuck this list. The people who wrote it are retarded. Retarded and gay. Retarded, gay and abusers of domestic animals. Maybe we will get lucky, and they will all get cancer and snuff it. What were they thinking honestly. “hey guys, lets pick as many random ass guitar players as possible, and fling them on a list, just to piss people off” Its like telling a blind child go finger paint. Its just mean. Fuck this list. Only a retarded monkey could have come up with this. A retarded monkey with cancer.

    p.s. anyone who disagrees, is a nazi. Fuck you, nazi.

  • hank

    Top 10 guitar movies of all time:
    10. Angel Heart
    09. Rocky
    08. Godfather II
    07. The Best of Mimi Miyagi
    06. Apocalypse Now
    05. Eucalyptus Later
    04. Taxi Driver
    03. Full Metal Jacket
    02. Godfather I
    01. Yentl

  • Toshi M

    1)Rolling Stone respects blues,but not so interested in Jazz.

    2)RS likes R&R and Punk.

    3)RS hates metal and slash players.

    4)RS wants to be commercial.

    Shawn Lane R.I.P.

  • Eric Olsen

    I believe Bob the Hobo’s comment will go in history: it establishes the “no Afro rule”; it posits that being a television personality is central to guitar prowess; it invokes Nazis, monkeys, blind children, and cancer all within a few sentences. I stand in awe.

  • Taloran

    I couldn’t agree more, Eric. Comment 558 by Bob the Hobo sets a new standard. Setting a new standard in this particular post takes some work, but Bob has managed to do it, perhaps without realizing it. My hat is off to Bob.

  • Taloran

    557, not 558. My apologies

  • Eric Olsen

    Tal, I hope it’s unintentional: purposely naive art is so much less interesting and authentic than that which arises from the wild.

  • rj

    Any list that omits the great Hugh Jerekshon is a joke.

  • Eric Wright

    Rolling Stone really lost me on their top 100 guitarists.They never touched on the great 70’s rock from Skynyrd. Allen Collins, Gary Rossington, or one of the greatest of all time Steve Gaines, or how about Ed King? And what about Neal Schon of Journey, or Gary Richrath of REO, or JY or Tommy Shaw of Styx, and what about Billy Gibbins of ZZ Top? These guys were inovative and creative.How about Snowy White and Scott Goram of Thin Lizzy?Ted freakin Nugent!! Or Mohlly Hatchet’s Brubeck.And the 80’s, where was Slash? He would make the Edge look like a beginner.Neal, spider fingers,Geraldo husband of Pat Benator could kick ass when Pat let him rock.And what about Joe Walsh and Don Felder of the Eagles. Those guys in Rolling Stone must have been smoking something when they derived this list. At least they got number 1 right.

  • Bob the hobo

    Yea….if you didnt notice I was kidding. Anywho, i still think this list is crap. They left out a lot of key guitarists (who have all been mentioned above) and this i think is just a popularity contest. Im glad eric clapton is up on the top, but there are a lot of guys who are better than him, as much as it hurts to say.

  • duane

    I have an additional bone to pick with RS concerning this list of theirs.
    Every guitarist on the list lived in the 20th Century. What a bias! I provide
    here just one example of why I think RS needs to do some more research.
    In 1928, a field crew of paleoanthropologists, sponsored by the renowned
    F. Clark Howell, searching one of the earliest dated hominid sites,
    the Omo Region of Ethiopia, discovered a hollowed out petrified wooden
    object across which were fastened six “stringlike” cords of flexible
    material, evidently shaved from the femoral tendon of a juvenile mastodon.
    Using basic stratigraphic techniques, the artifact was dated at 2.4 million
    years. The thickness of the tendonary strings varied, with the smallest
    corresponding roughly to a .09 gauge modern guitar string. While Howell’s
    discovery led to a flurry of publications in, for example, The American
    Journal of Physical Anthropology, concerning the toolmaking capacity
    implied by this artifact, paleomusicologists were no less excited by the
    prospect that they had discovered evidence for a prehistoric guitarist,
    of Australopithecene heritage, although modern interpretations identify
    the likely musician as a male Africanus telecastrus of Phylogeny Group VII,
    based upon Leakey’s Triple Lineage Theory (see the controversial article
    “Toward the Establishment of a Causal Link between Acoustosyntactics
    and Speech in Pretechnological Societies,” in Trends in Paleomusicology,
    43, 1121). Right. So, does this mean he was good? Who knows? But it
    would tend to place a great deal of responsibility upon Rolling Stone
    Magazine, and anyone else, who would purport to rate the top guitarists
    of ALL TIME, viz., that they would have to cover a time span of over
    2 million years. And believe me, there’s a lot more where this came from.
    For example, is anyone familiar with the account given by Herodotus in the
    5th century BC of Angus of Thermopylae? Hit the books, RS!

  • Eric Olsen

    A rare salubrious moment of phylogenographic lucidity! Thanks Duane.

  • http://jimmypage sarah

    I thought that jimmy page could of been at least no2 and come on people jak white -*17
    if hes on then why arent the guys frm
    BUSTED on (joke)
    also we are forgetting that rolling stone dont knoe much about guitarists i mean come on biteny spears has been on the cover
    luv ya

  • Edsiro

    What were the people at Rolling Stone thinking? I’ll wager whoever created the poll doesn’t play guitar. I think it’s a travesty that Eddie’s #70. The guy singlehandedly saved rock in the late 70’s (according to previous articles in Rolling Stone) and inspired countless guitarists. If they want to put Hendrix at #1 fine…but certainly Eddie deserves to be within the top 10. Obviously people like Fripp and Belew (not to mention Holdsworth) paved the way for Van Halen, but ALL three should also be on the list in my opinion. Secondly, where are the jazz guitarists? Djengo, Wes, and Di Meola are nowhere to be found. The fact that they placed Kirt Cobain in there made me sick..same with Jack White. Honestly, if people want to talk about “Feeling” then I guess I deserve to be up there with Jack White because I guarantee that I can emulate his playing perfectly. Also, I think it’s disgusting when rock fans cast aside a virtuoso in favor of a no-talent ass clown. I don’t mean to say that technical profficiency will automatically coincide with an ability to compose riffs or solos, just that most people hold rock musicians to the lowest standards possible. Since when is it ok to only have the ability to play a few barre chords, or to only have the ability to play sloppy. True, some technicians are too clinical in their approach to the instrument, but someone who actually plays the guitar will never tell you that it’s harder to play “Little Wing” than “Eruption” this is why if you take lessons they begin with George Harrison, then progress through Jimmy Page to Clapton and Hendrix, then move on to Van Halen, and, if you’re skilled enough, Satriani, Vai, Malmsteen etc. Lets be honest, nobody would give a sh!t about a classical violinist who could only play a few notes. While this isn’t classical music, I think the analogy would hold true for any musician. Also, more about Hendrix: it appears to me that people who place Hendrix above Joe Satriani (who by the way thinks Hendrix is better than he is, but that’s only because Joe’s such a great, humble guy) do so because they probably have never heard of Satriani, or never listened to his slower songs. I think that Joe needed to be on this list because he is the perfect blend of technical ability and feeling. Joe can coax any tone he wants out of the guitar, and has an incredible variety of techniques that he pioneered. As usual, this list reeks of the decline of Rolling Stone magazine.

  • Phillip Winn

    Why no classical guitarists? What about banjo players? What a travesty! <grin>

  • jeff richards

    the fact that rolling stone put “powercords cobain” at 12 and didnt even put phil keaggy or yngwie malmsteen on the list just sickens me.

    they are going after the most popular guitarists, not best. this is pure bullshit.

  • Brendan

    There’s a guitarist that was neglected to be put on the list by the name of Al Demiola. He is probably the fastest I’ve ever heard and he plays some extremely difficult stuff. I’m happy to see that John Frusciante is on there, he’s in the best band in the modern world. Finally i think Clapton should be ahed of BB.

  • joe guitarfan

    seriously, where the hell is joe satriani, yngwie malmsteen and phil keaggy!?

    it’s really great that “powerchords cobain” made 12. kill yourself and people think you’re a guitar god.

  • Taloran

    Hey Joe! Check out the results of the BlogCritics guitar poll here. Satriani and Yngwie did well, though Keaggy seems to have been largely forgotten.

  • Eric Olsen

    poor Phil

  • mad

    Jimi Hendrix is a SLOPPY guitar player he is nothing compared to clapton or eric johnson and where the hell is Phil Keagey were the fucking writers of this thing on crack

  • Eric Olsen

    to all who have come along lately: the list is rock-based with a little bit of blues, not really anything else. Within that framework it has flaws but vitues as well.

  • lee

    hey, i voted phil in as #1. how is it that so many people have never even heard of phil keaggy!? he’s by far the best all around guitarist. acoustic, slide, electric you name it, he can do it. and his work in glass harp was incredible.

  • jackofspeed

    When I mean someone’s a real guitar player, I mean someone who not only know’s the few tricks of the trade he’s learnt or picked up from somewhere,but someone who’s above all a good musician,who really can communicate. Of course, I like a bit of flash,and that’s why I like people like Jeff Beck and Johnny Winter. So I was quite dissappointment with Winter’s position.
    On the other hand, it was good that Satriani and his like were not represented–tell me one WORTHWHILE thing he can do that guys from 30 years ago couldn’t do? The same goes for guys like Kenny Wayne Shepherd–who’s got to be the most overrated blues guitar player around–contrast him to the imagination that Derek Trucks displays and you know what I mean. That way I can see as to why RS would place Ry Cooder above his more flashy,but less substantially less gifted peers like Eddie Van Halen–who can be the most annyoing guitar player in existence.
    Someone mentioned Malmsteen—-that guy’s not a musician,just someone whose fingers work faster than his brains. I can’t understand why Carlos Santana was placed above both Mike Bloomfield and John McLaughlin,especially since he himself has admitted he’s way below their stature. I’m a Carlos fan,but even i know when he’s beat. Bloomfield had a way with his notes that could take things out from you,and McLaughlin’s heavy hitting style didn’t compromise his never ending quest for musical integrity, and for that he’s ranked below Jimmy Page? Page himself considered McLaughlin the best axeman in Britain.And what’s Vaughan doing below Clapton? Duane Allman, of course was a terrific musician, someone who could really pour music out of him, and he’s probably deserved the no. 2 spot, but he could have shared it with Bloomfield, Winter, Vaughan, and some others. Another great player who was forgotten was Robert Cray, whose sting on his solos never loses its power to hurt.

  • jackofspeed

    As for some of the people here,you guys need to go out listen to some real music. Throw your Satriani and Malmsteen CDs out of the window. They are doing nothing new.Ok, I grant that Satriani does try out different things once in a while, but its plain he’s not very good at it.Listen to Bloomfield,people and realize what real music is and its not the overwrought ugliness of some of these zombie guitar players.Tell me if Satriani can ever capture the beauty and feel of “His Holy Modal Majesty” even if he works at it all his life. Look, Mozart was considered a genius not because he had mastered a slew of empty technique. If Hendrix was sloppy I’d rather have that than a hundred Robo-Guitarists playing at the speed of light.Not that any one of them could ever match his imagination anyway. Did someone mention George Lynch? I had the misfortune to listen to him one day–he almost sent me off to sleep–not one thing original.

  • Edsiro

    You know what they say about guitar “players” who shun high technique. They just can’t do it themselves. Also, if you’re not a fan of shredders, why in the world are you advocating McLaughlin? Have you listened to Birds of Fire? Also, it’s insulting to think that Satriani has done nothing original. I might as well propose that neither Bloomfield or McLaughlin have done anything original either, since countless guitarists before them utilized the same techniques. And if you think that fast playing is always mindless perhaps you should pick up a copy of any of Eric Johnson’s albums.

  • jackofspeed

    Ok,ok I’ll give Satch credit. He’s into speed guitar, but occassionally comes up with gems. I liked his 1996 album best, the one with no name–okay, I’ll admit it I am biased towards more bluesy music, and that’s why I like Bloomfield and Winter and all these guys. Still you have to say they played with a hell lot more emotion than most of today’s players,who may be more technically sophisticated. Excess virtousity is bad for the music. I think John McLaughlin had the correct amount in his music, Yngwie and Vai and all these other guys are just nuts-haven’t they ever learnt to hold their fire? As for Eric Johnson, I like his style. A little too pretty, though, if you ask me–he should play more numbers like Zap, which has one of my favorite solos.
    I have nothing against speedy soloists-but they have to make sense-and one more thing.
    A lot of these shredders impress because they can play a few classical pieces very fast and everyone thinks they know so much about classical music.(yes, I mean Yngwie but Im sure there are others).If you really want to hear classical music, listen to Yehudi Menuhin or someone–someone who was a real practitioner.

  • corey

    i know everyone is pissed about this and ur tired of hearing the same comments but i’m sorry,the fact that kurt cobain and jack white made it as far up as possable is just crazy. jack white is a damn power chord boy (somthing anyone can pull off with a years practice) and not that im saying jimmy hendrix is bad but compaired to randy rhoads, yngwie malmsteen and zakk wylde hes not 1st place worthy. and speaking of them where the hell was zakk wylde? he beats almost all of them. i want to see a new top 100 list from rolling stone and not one thats so fucking corrupt, i think they owe us this much.

  • TDavid

    corey – I wouldn’t say “everyone is pissed”, I actually have found this thread amusing and enlightening. Taloran ran a poll of the top 100 here and I think the results are better there than Rolling Stone. Just my opinion, though.

  • The Theory

    While I agree with Corey that Jack White should not be that high, to call him a “damn power chord boy” shows to me that you haven’t listened to his music…

  • Eric Olsen

    this post is better than a novel

  • Edsiro

    Well at least we agree jackofspeed. Actually, I think Ytzhak Perlman is a better violinist than Menuhin but that’s really just preference since it’s obvious that both have about the same level of technical perfection! I definitely think that there should be blues players on the list and in fact although I think a lot of these players are fast, they dont play with enough soul. Aside from that I agree with you that there are a lot of guitarists out there who think they know theory because they can play 20 seconds of paganini….These guys always choose the fastest passages and completely ignore the beautiful sections of each piece, destroying the balance within the composition. Also, mr. “the theory” do you play guitar? I can honestly say that I could play anything that Jack White pulls out after playing for about 4 weeks. This guy is an awful guitarist and his guitar lines are beyond simple. While their song writing might be quality, his guitar playing is anything but. If just clap along with some of their songs, you can hear that his rhythm isn’t snycing with the drum. That’s really elementary stuff.

  • Taloran

    Regarding speed and its accompanying lack of soul – Al Di Meola was criticized early in his career for never slowing down (and he’s darn near as fast as anyone I’ve ever heard, including Yngwie and Satriani). He has since corrected that supposed flaw in his technique, and plays with both passion and grace, putting amazing speed into his lines when appropriate, but not constantly.

    As I’ve said before, lightning fingers bore me after a while.

  • jackofspeed

    I am in complete agreement with Taloran.This whole neo-classical metal
    thing is a farce.Being masochistic just for the sake of it is not music;and while I give credit for Malmsteen and his like for at least appreciating classical music,I hope most of his audience does not get the impression that classical music is only about impossibly hard to play solos.Classical music already has this reputation as being over-intellectual and these shredders are only making it harder for their audiences to connect to it by playing so fast.
    When Charlie Parker or Coltrane displayed their virtuosity, it was only a means to an end. Both of these players were explorers,who never knew where their music would take them and that’s why there are worth listening to after all these years.But with all these shredders,its just the same thing over and over again–emphasis on performance,not emotion or risk-taking. They’ve found a niche, and are content to be stuck there.Which is why Yngwie stuns when you first listen to him,but bores you soon after–and since there’s nothing particularly brainy about his music, you have no reason to try to fathom out its meaning,the way you do with ‘Trane and others.

  • MH

    That is a silly silly list! Randy Rhoads at 80 whatever?? Eddie Van Halen 70 whatever?? Kirk Hammett 11?? Kurt Cobain in the top 20??? Yngwie?? Rolling stone SUXCKS!!!!

  • bru

    When you’re talking about great violinists, what about Issac Stern?


    It’s called a fiddle, not a violin, and everyone knows Charlie Daniels is the best!

  • duane

    When you’re talking about great fiddlers, what about Doug Kershaw, the Ragin’ Cajun? That guy would make Isaac Stern roll over on his back and whimper like a puppy (he said, in a lame attempt to co-opt Mr. Bricklayer’s style). You just go and give a listen to “Diggy Diggy Lo,” and then talk to me about Stern.

  • Eric Olsen

    Tall Dixie Chick is best fiddler ever!!

  • duane

    The best at what? Fiddlin’?! Peeshaw. The Ragin’ Cajun would make her roll over on her ….oh, excuse me. Nevermind.

  • Eric Olsen

    it was a joke

  • duane

    Oh, now you’ve gone and spoiled it. Just when it was starting to be fun.

  • Taloran

    As far as violiners and fiddlists go, Jascha Heifetz was the man!

  • duane

    Gesundheit, Taloran!

    I hope that you all can see the humor in this situation: a Rolling Stone article inspires a debate over “hot” violinists. It’s just great.

    Sure, Heifetz had the technique, but he’s just reproducing something that someone wrote hundreds of years ago. Sure, Stern knows all his scales, but, Kershaw plays from the heart. Those technicians are all flash, and they quickly bore me. (Oh, brother.)

  • JR

    Re #589:

    When Di Meola slowed down, people stopped buying his records.

  • Taloran

    JR, I may be wrong, but I don’t believe Di Meola was ever a huge seller, even in the relatively small (compared to rock) niche of jazz and fusion. I personally liked his fast stuff better – I never agreed with the critics who said he played without soul. His Orange and Blue album sounds like Metheny on ‘ludes to me. His stuff with De Lucia and McLaughlin (Friday Night in San Francisco, Passion Grace & Fire) his early solo work (Elegant Gypsy, Casino) and his Return to Forever stuff was, to me, passionate, soulful, melodic and lyrical, even though he never slowed down. His blazing fingers never bored me, because his songwriting wasn’t boring. I tried to put my original comment 589 on the subject in those terms – “was criticized early in his career” and “corrected that supposed flaw”, but I guess I missed the mark.

    I won’t disagree with Duane in 600. I’m far from an expert on violinists. Heifetz blew me away years ago when I saw him in some old movie about an orphanage, and I purchased one album that I haven’t listened to in years. I really like the two fiddlers from the Dixie Dregs – first Alan Sloan, and then Mark O’Connor. I always liked Jean-Luc Ponty as well. And there’s a gorgeous young lady from Cape Breton Island named Natalie MacMaster who knocked my socks off at the Highland Games a few years age. But I’m only speaking about what I find appealing – I really have no basis of fact or knowledge about the violin/fiddle to form a plausible, defensible argument about who might or might not be a master of the instrument.

    So nobody misunderstands me, I like Metheny, and there’s nothing innately wrong with Al sounding like Pat on ‘ludes. It just doesn’t sound like Al.

    And finally, Rolling Stone would be appalled that their guitar list got people talking about violinists. They’d go cry in their moneysacks.

  • duane

    Taloran, it could only be in jest that anyone would say that some Lewsiana fiddler is better than the great masters mentioned above. I was being a little sarcastic in putting forth the idea that “playing from the heart” can make up for lack of technical mastery. In fact, that sentiment echoes what many posters, including you (I think), contend in the case of guitarists. It’s a position that I disagree with. Still, it’s a debatable point, and one that can never be settled.

    I would have thought that only someone with a sarcastic sense of humor would say that B.B. King, let’s say, is a better guitarist than Robert Fripp, let’s say. But no, many people here really seem to think that’s a fair assessment. King “plays from the heart,” so he gets points, whereas guys like Fripp get dismissed because they know their scales. But I guess you’re consistent. You didn’t scoff at the idea that Kershaw might be in the same league with Heifetz, because the Ragin’ Cajun supposedly plays from the heart. So, I’ll give you that.

  • Taloran

    I’ve never heard Doug Kershaw, so I was only commenting from a position of ignorance. Ponty may not be the technical wizard that his mentor Grappelli was, but I like his music better than that of Grappelli (except when Grappelli was playing with Django). Music appreciation is by its very nature subjective.

    My approach to this post has only rarely been about who is “better” than who (like when some dingaling said Dweezil was better than his dad). RS did not produce a list of the Best guitarists of all time, but the Greatest. To me, there is a distinct and significant difference, as I summed up in my comment 387 – “An artist should be judged on the originality and innovation of his work, the longevity of his career and his body of evidence, the expertise of his musicianship, and the greats who follow in his footsteps.”

    If Kershaw has created a huge following of master musicians, who in turn are creating their own branches on the tree of music, then how can one argue that he is not a great fiddler, whether he’s technically gifted or otherwise? I’m not saying that he has a huge following, this is an “if” statement.

    Charlie Musselwhite is obviously a more gifted, technically proficient harp player than John Mayall. But Mayall is, IMHO, the greater bluesman. His influence over the course of forty years cannot be denied – he essentially IS the root and trunk of British blues. His band has been a proving ground for countless musicians across musical generations, many of whom are icons in their own right, with followers of their own who have followers of their own etc. etc. Much like Miles Davis and Frank Zappa in their respective genres, having played for Mayall’s band not only looks great on the rez, but is a huge feather in the cap of those who have done it.

    Aw hell, I’ve forgotten why I started this rant…

  • Taloran

    Oh yeah…

    As I said, I don’t mean to argue about your comment 600. As I am not sufficiently knowledgeable about violin mastery to tell the difference between a true master and someone who might sound like one (I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV) and I’ve never heard the work of the Ragin’ Cajun, I had to take you at your word about his proficiency. Thank you for clearing up your jest, for those of us (me, in this case) who are ignorant of the level of technical proficiency enjoyed by someone whose name you mentioned.

  • Taloran

    100 years from now, barring the complete collapse of society as we know it, people will still hold Riley B. “Blues Boy” King in a position of profound respect and awe. That may also be true for Fripp, though I unfortunately doubt it. I’d be willing to bet that Malmsteen’s name will be largely if not completely forgotten, though there’d be no way to either collect or pay up.

    Can that be completely discarded as a measure of an artist’s greatness?

  • duane

    “Can that be completely discarded as a measure of an artist’s greatness?”

    OK, Taloran, I’ll concede that point. Maybe I’ve misunderstood this whole ranking thing from the start.

    To make an analogy, I will concede that the B-29 is a “great” airplane. It’s place in aviation history is set. But even a WWII chauvinist wouldn’t say that the B-29 is a “better” plane than the B-58, which may be more or less forgotten in 100 years.

    How would you feel about a list of guitarists based on talent?

  • Eric Olsen

    that fact that you guys remain as earnest as you do, and continue to say many intelligent things at this point in the conversation just cracks me up

  • Taloran

    Duane, a list of Best guitarists would be equally valuable. It may not be that you’ve misunderstood this ranking thing, perhaps I have, or perhaps we’ve simply approached it from two different paths.

  • bru

    I have never heard of Doug Kershaw,but I assume he must be good if he can do certain things better than Isaac Stern could. Mind you, I said certain things,just as Malmsteen can obviously do his speed metal thing better than Hendrix ever could do. Still most people would consider Hendrix the better guitar player, and definitely the better musician.
    I assume Kershaw is a far better musician than Malmsteen though, I’m just not ready to put him into a pantheon that includes the best classical musicians of this century.But then again I haven’t heard what he can do and if I do, I might change my views. But as far as I am concerned, the fiddle is a pretty rudimentary instrument compared to the violin and I don’t believe you can put master fiddlers and master violinists in the same league.

  • bru

    Sorry, correction. I meant to write you CAN’T put fiddlers and violinists in the same league.

  • JR

    Taloran: If I’m not mistaken, Di Meola’s “Elegant Gypsy” went gold. And deservedly so, that was a great album. I think we’re in pretty much in agreement on the merits of his work. I like plenty of “slow” guitar players, but somehow Di Meola’s later stuff just doesn’t grab me. I think his problem isn’t that he slowed down, it’s that wrote weaker material. Fast guitar wouldn’t have saved it.

    And he played slow sometimes in the early days; it’s just that you knew he was going start blazing at some point. Overall, I think Di Meola’s playing was pretty balanced given the style of music. Something I can’t say about Malmsteen.

  • bru

    Now that I have actually read what everyone had to say, I see I had completely misunderstood the point.
    But I’ll say this–better you know a few scales and know them well than know the entire fretboard and play without soul. Issac Stern and a few others like him have both technical proficiency and soul, that’s why they are called geniuses. I might not call BB King a genius,though he makes some very lovely music,because he doesn’t have a very large musical knowledge.However I would probably extend that definition to both Jimi Hendrix and John Coltrane, for the same reasons–although I belive there are different levels of genius. As for Robert Fripp, talented and musically knowledgable man that he is, he is clearly not gifted with overwhelming brilliance. Had his music been a little less weird, it would probably not have seemed quite so fantastic.I mean Hendrix’s sounscapes took on a different dimension, Fripp’s just seems a little too random. You can’t compare between Hendrix and Fripp, Jimi wins hands down. But you can compare Jimi with BB King in the depth of their music. BB might even get away on this score,he certainly expresses heartbreak and grief better than Jimi, but Hendrix had much more power, and there is something about his solos that seem to suggest an origin beyond this earth. So that’s why I consider Hendrix (and Coltrane,by extension) the better musician,because he could tap into that something that seems beyond most of us earthlings. Now I really can’t judge between Hendrix and Stern, because my knowledge of classical music is still at its infancy.But I believe Hendrix could hold at least something up to him,given that even John McLaughlin,a man not known for giving much respect to rock musicians, agrees that his (Hendrix’s) imagination is immense.

  • Taloran

    JR, you’re correct. Elegant Gypsy did go gold, which is quite an achievement for a jazz album. I happily retract my opening statement in comment 602.

  • Eric Olsen

    our friend Bru had some very eloquent and wise things to say about talent vs genius and “otherworldliness” – very nice.

    And Duane I meant exactly what I said in #608, no sarcasm whatsoever.

  • duane

    No problem, Eric. Thanks for the comment.

    OK, Bru (any relation to Bill Bruford?), for the record, I voted Hendrix above Fripp on my own list. But I would never consider putting BB above Fripp, unless, like Taloran (#606), we define “great” in a manner that encompasses more than just skill. BB has certainly carved himself an historical niche. Your point concerning proficiency vs. soul is well taken. Then we arrive finally at what I’ve thought all along: that it all comes down to what a person likes. That’s not as trivial as it sounds. My guess is that you like to listen to BB more than Fripp. His playing is more aesthetically pleasing to you because you prefer music that’s packed with emotion. Hey, who doesn’t? Let me compare that to King Crimson Fripp. KC Fripp is often very mechanical and precise, like clockwork, with complex interweaving with Belew’s guitar, polyrhythmic, sometimes on a 6-note scale, which is “weird.” But you know, sometimes I like to listen to all that machinery. It’s not soulful, true. Fripp’s musical mind is definitely out there. That’s an intellect at work, perhaps not a “heart,” but that’s just fine by me. My guess is that you just don’t like it, and therefore, place BB above Fripp.

  • Taloran

    While we’re on the subject of technique vs. soul – How would the recent posters (Duane, Bru, JR) describe Steve Morse? I personally think he plays with both meteoric emotion and technical brilliance, both blazing speed and developed intellect. He is, in my mind, an exquisite instrumental composer, a player with both soul and chops, a student of music who can compose in any genre, and a man with the sense to surround himself with other musicians of equal technical proficiency.

    Yet he’s not listed at all in the RS Top 100 (big surprise) and didn’t fare too well in the BlogCritics poll (32nd place as of 63 votes).

    Is he forgotten, is he not as good as I think he is, or something else? In my mind, neither George Harrison, Keith Richards, Chuck Berry, Angus Young, nor Mark Knopfler, who all placed above him on both lists, could hold a candle to his technical expertise. Satriani, Vai, and Malmsteen could probably fare pretty well against him in a cutting contest (I hate to hazard who would win), but I don’t believe their songriting is anywhere near as good, nor their playing as emotive.

    Commenters other than those I mentioned above are of course welcome to weigh in on the subject.

  • Taloran

    “How would you feel about a list of guitarists based on talent?”

    I’d rather be in a smoky bar when all of the living ones got up on stage two at a time for a cutting contest, actually. That would solve the debate nicely.

  • duane

    Let’s do a compare and contrast with four guitarists: Malmsteen, Vai, Morse, and Eric Johnson.

    Malmsteen is lightning fast, no doubt. But my opinion of him is that he’s immature as a musician. The majority of his songs are your standard speed metal variety with some guy shrieking inane lyrics and Yngwie playing as fast as he can. He lacks real musical balls.

    I think Vai has it all over him (pardon me Yngwie fans). For those of you that think Vai is also immature, I recommend his CD Passion and Warfare. The one beef I have with Vai is that he doesn’t surround himself with musicians of commensurate ability. (Ditto for Satriani.) In fact, Vai will often play all the instruments on a track, and he’s not much of a drummer. To hear Vai show off his chops, listen to his CD Alien Love Secrets. He can blaze, but the difference between him and Yngwie is that Vai is a smart player, and has a much more diverse bag o’ tricks. Also, he can slow things down, and has composed a few almost haunting instrumentals, electric though they may be.

    Morse, on the other hand, plays with good musicians, which may say something about his temperament — maybe he’s not quite the prima donna that Vai is. This really elevates the overall musicality of his work, compared to Vai and Satriani (and YM, obviously). He has a distinctive sound that comes from his tendency to pick every note. This gives him a deliberate, masculine sound. This guy plays like he has biceps. He is fast enough, but because he takes the time to pick each note, he never treads the high-speed realm of flashy fluidity that Vai or Holdsworth (who?) so forcefully occupy. So, that’s fine. He’s got his thing.

    Eric Johnson plays in a similar style to Morse, in that he tends to pick every note. He also stays away from a lot of hammering and bending, which makes him sound a little “clinical.” He is usually very metronomically precise, although he will loosen up once in a while. He is less masculine than Morse, but is more fluid, and has a beautiful smooth sound to his guitar. His solos tend to surprise you because he covers a large tonal (i.e., frequency) range very quickly, and he moves up and down the neck in a way that makes you think that he should fuck up a lot more. He plays with solid backing musicians. I recommend the CD Ah Via Musicom for a nice sample of Eric’s range and style. He actually writes and plays SONGS, as opposed to themes a la Vai et al.

    None of these guys gets an A for composition. Johnson is the best of this group, Yngwie is the worst.

    And listen to me, presuming to critique these guys — they’re all fucking great. God Bless America! — uh…and Sweden, too, I guess.

  • Taloran

    Nice critique, Duane! It’s great to hear a well-presented differing opinion.

  • bru

    Since I iniatiated a lot of the Yngwie-bashing here, let me retract a little. I don’t think this guy is all flash. Sometimes the way he makes his notes scream is quite impressive. And i like the way “Black Star” starts, you get the feeling he’s really on to something, but his propensity to overdo things is his worst asset. Its not like he doesn’t understand music, its just that he can’t seem to hold himself back and just needs to go on and on and on…….without making too much sense.
    As for Fripp vs BB, well, I am a little biased towards blues players, so that may have colored my judgement. I take back some of what I said about Fripp, since I really haven’t heard too much of him, only the little I heard did sound too left wing for my taste. As far as progressive guitar players go, I’d much rather prefer people like Steve Howe. Vai I think always makes overstatements. Morse I like because of his jazz leanings, if he played with a little more feeling, I’d listen to him a lot more. I also like Eric Johnson’s approach–it is very unique, but there is a somewhat watered-down feel to it. If he made his solos a little more gritty, I’d certainly listen to him more. Same with Al DiMeola. Much better than any of these guys ,in my opinion( except maybe Howe) is Allan Holdsworth, and while I wasn’t surprised to see his name not mentioned in RS list, I was almost shocked to hear fewe of you people mention him,given that he was so inventive and had such a great tone. Among the great English jazz-fusion guitarists of the twentieth century,( in a field of two) he seems to me another somewhat overlooked player.
    And yes, I think when Satriani says Hendrix was the greatest, I think he really meant it. Just yesterday I was listening to both of them, and there is a big difference. The energy that comes out of Hendrix’s guitar is absolutely mind blowing, and I don’t want to dissappoint Satriani fans, but I don’t think he can get that sort of volcanic intensity out of his guitar in this lifetime. Hendrix’s ability to suspend notes in the air, just leave em floating before they gently settle down on the ground or just dissolve into the rest of his
    music (ever so carefully) has never been bested. I know of no one who could make a guitar talk like he could do. Its pointless comparing Hendrix to any of today’s players.
    He lived in a planet all his own.

  • duane

    And God bless the UK for producing Allan Holdsworth. Yes, Bru, it’s a shame that he is a relative unknown. You’ll note that I mentioned him in my post 619 above.

    Also, see my comment #16 at

    Some of Holdsworth’s best stuff was with Tony Williams Lifetime, and with Bill ‘Bru’ Bruford. Hmmm…

  • Hankl

    Satriani? DiMeola? Two Italian grease-balls. Probably Catholic too.

    Here’s my review of RS’s top 10.
    1. Hendrix – Preferred Norwegian women over the basic Nubian type. Can’t fault a guy for that.

    2. Allman – Jew hating red neck.

    3. B.B. King – Probably makes a wonderful grandfather.

    4. Eric Clapton – Weak chin line.

    5. Robert Johnson – Sounds black. Must be a white-hating racist.

    6. Chuck Berry – Virtually without any discernable talent. See #1.

    7. Stevie Ray Vaughan – Another Jew hater. People with 3 names are typically either anti-Semites or illegal aliens. Gabriel Garcia-Marquez for example.

    8. Ry Cooder – What the fuck is a Ry Cooder. Get decent name assface.

    9. Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin. Really? The one from Led Zeppelin? Hasn’t played a decent lick since he laid pipe with Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin.

    10. Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones – Awful guitarist. People actualy clap when he sings that line in Memory Motel. Losers.

  • bru

    By the way, I also don’t care much when these so called guitar magazines list the so called best guitarists in the world. They can be just as full of shit. One time I remember some guitar magazine called Kenny Wayne Shepherd the best blues guitarist in the world. Kenny Wayne Shepherd? Please. I can understand the kid wanting to interpret the blues his own way, but to rank him over the so many other kick-ass bluesmen is stupid. Mostly all he can do is play good, but not very inspired tributes to SRV. Ranking him over BB King and EC was laughable. And guys like Melvin Taylor or Johnny Winter could run him over so many times he wouldn’t even know what hit him. And anyway most of these lists are stupid. Its one thing to say–such and such is my favorite player, and even that isn’t such a good idea, because then every one is going to want to rate his or her top players.But to say–these are the best players period–that’s pretty darn stupid. Only thing I can say is that Hendrix probably deserves the top spot.
    By the way,I’d like to know who Hankl thinks the best guitar players are since he seems to think everyone sucks.And not just people who can play guitar too.

  • JR

    Yngwie: I agree with Bru, but I still like the music. What can I say? I just love pseudo-classical hard rock. Yngwie usually hires world-class shriekers, so at least they do justice to his martyr-complex lyrics.

    Steve Vai: Definitely capable and musically interesting, and I really like some his stuff; but he can be a bit pretentious at times. I mean, what’s with all the talking and faux-mysticism on his records? And who really cares if he fasts for two days before he records a solo? Still, “Blue Powder” is a classic.

    Steve Morse: Very capable and I listen to him because his music is intellectually interesting, but I’ve never been “moved” by any of his stuff. Maybe because I prefer minor keys and Morse tends to play in major keys. I do wish they would reissue The Dregs’ “Unsung Heroes” and “Industry Standard”.

    Joe Satriani: If I could be one guitarist in today’s music scene, it would be him. I like his music, he plays interesting stuff, he’s pretty innovative, and he seems to make a comfortable living out of it without all the annoying rockstar trappings. Satriani’s major flaw is the drumming – he’s always had very simple drum parts, sometimes even just machines. This is where he most falls short of Jimi Hendrix, who had kick-ass drummers. Even so, much as “Crystal Planet” sounded like machine music, I still love it.

    Allan Holdsworth: For years I suspected he was just playing random notes. I bought some of his solo albums starting with “I.O.U.” and I saw him live, but I didn’t care for his music. When I tried to learn his solos, I simply couldn’t remember more than four notes in a row because his lines made no sense to me. I started getting more into jazz and I found the Tony William’s Lifetime CD “The Collection”. That’s some of his early work, and it started to fall into place for me. Jean-Luc Ponty’s “Enigmatic Ocean” is also fairly accessible. Now that I understand the context of his music and it’s had a chance (20 years!)to sink in, I really like the “I.O.U.” album.

    Eric Johnson: Somewhat understated in comparison with the others. I might class him with Morse (I believe they’ve worked together), except I really like some of Johnson’s songs. He seems to sit between country, blues and jazz without sounding like any of those styles. Perhaps because he isn’t as aggressive sounding, he doesn’t seem like a “shredder”, but he’s got pretty impressive technique and he works pretty hard at getting a distinctive sound. “Ah Via Musicom” is a good album, and it even sold pretty well I think. Johnson takes like five years between albums, so there’s not a lot of his music out there.

    As far as a cutting contest, has no one seen the G3 tour? It just played my town, but I was too lazy to go see it.

  • Taloran

    I think Hankl is probably the same guy as Hank in earlier posts. Welcome back, Hank! I’ve missed your unique spin on things.

    Great comments recently here, BTW. Well presented and written, and though the opinions are different from mine, I love to hear what people think.

  • Taloran

    I love Eric Johnson. I have Tones, Ah Via Musicom, Venus Isle, G3 Live in Concert and Live and Beyond. But his music has always seems a bit washed out to me – like my recordings have been dubbed from tape to tape too many times, and they’ve lost something in the transition. Maybe they’re overproduced, maybe they’re just too perfect, maybe they just don’t have enough bottom. I can’t find the words to describe that little tiny something about his music that I’d change if I were King of the World.

    I guess I’m griping without a real suggestion, like the Prince in “Amadeus.”

    Prince – “There are too many notes. Take a few out.”
    Mozart – “Which few notes do you suggest, your Highness?”

  • duane

    JR, the G3 tour came through here (Concord, CA) last month, and I was disappointed that I couldn’t go. Satriani, Vai, and Malmsteen — a real shred-fest. If anyone made it to G3, we would like to hear how it went.

    “And anyway most of these lists are stupid. ” (post 624)

    Sure, Bru, but look how much fun they are to argue about.

    I had an extended argument with my brother-in-law, who claimed that Kenny Wayne was a better player then Stevie Ray. I won. Hah!

  • Taloran

    Kenny Wayne better than Stevie Ray?


  • duane

    We agree on something, Taloran, you an I.

  • Charles

    What about Michael Angelo from Nitro??? By far the most insanely fast guitarist I have ever seen in my life.. He could play anything, he’s like a machine.. he has a double guitar system.. its nuts.. one of his videos he has 4 guitars going, not at once, but yea.. u know what i mean..

  • Taloran

    I think, Duane, that we’re probably not all that different. We simply have different methods of judging what we think is great and what is good, and different ways of expressing it. You have your opinions, and I have mine. Neither of our opinions is either wrong nor right, unlike the opinions of a great many people on Blogcritics, who are always wrong or right, depending on who you listen to.

    I respect your opinion, and can hear and appreciate it, even if I disagree. That’s a healthy thing, I think.

  • bru

    Thanks to those guitar magazines, today’s kids think Kenny Wayne Shepherd,he of the long hair and the slick dress code, is the best bluesman around. In that sense I am happy with Rolling Stone’s list. They may not know all that much but at least they knew enough to put some real musicians with real influence on top.Not kiddie Hendrix wannabes who will be forgotten tomorrow.Jeff Beck had one word to describe players like Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Johnny Lang–“Crap”.

  • bru

    By the way, I don’t consider Chuck Berry much of a musician in a strict sense, but you can’t deny his importance. Rock might never have taken off without him.

  • Taloran

    And Jeff should know.

  • Taloran

    I think you have to go a bit further back than Chuck to get to the “rock might never have taken off without him” bit.

    Post war Chicago blues is where it all started. BB, Muddy, Willie. That’s the fundamentals of rocknroll.

  • Eric Olsen

    Tal, have to disagree here: what Chuck did was combine electric blues riffs with rockabilly rhythms, that heavy slapping backbeat. That was unique until Buddy Holly did the same thing from the other direction.

  • bru

    No one can deny that the blues is the basis for rock, but had Berry not been around, I don’t see how the blues could have transformed itself automatically. And I don’t believe Elvis’ contribution is as great as Berry’s. He got more recogniiton for his wholesome white face, nothing more.
    Buddy Holly was another pioneer though, but he very definitely came after Chuck.

  • tony mahon

    yo tal when you gonna update the list of guitarists. i aint seen an update after the 63 vote count

  • Taloran

    I’ll update the list when we get to 100 valid entries. We’re at 94 now.

  • tony mahon

    nice one

  • Scott

    Eric Johnson, Steve Vai, and Joe Satriani…end of fucking discussion!!!

  • JR

    Not likely.

  • duane

    Nice one, Scott. But as JR indicates, I think the 641 posts just before yours might tend to indicate otherwise.

  • eno

    Hey! Has anyone heard of Randy California? He was leader of LA rock band SPIRIT along with his father-in-law Ed Cassidy, one of the great rock drummers of all time. He combined some of the most beautiful and tasteful licks I’ve ever heard mixed with some “knock your socks off” sonic roarings. As a 15 yr. old accoustic guitarist in NYC, he was befriended by Jimi Hendrix who gave him his first electric guitar and played with Hendrix in “Jimi James and the Blue Flames” he was asked by Hendrix to join him in forming a new band in England soon to be known as “Jimi Hendrix Experience”. His parents refused to let him go and the family moved to LA and later formed “Spirit”. Anyone interested check out the albums “12 Dreams of Dr.Sardonicus” or the “Best of Spirit” for a good sampler. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him and hearing him several times in smaller venues,each time I left shaking my head in amazement. He was as good as any of the best guitarists I’ve seen on these lists and was a wonderful person as well.

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks Eno, we reviewed “Best of Spirit” here

  • H.K

    where is don felder?
    the greatest guitarist ever

  • Eric Olsen

    I like Don Felder very much and think the Eagles are much the worse without him. In fact, for the Eagles sound, he is more appropriate than Joe Walsh.

  • penis


  • TDavid

    I’d nominate comment #649 (before it is removed) as the head of the class.

  • Hank

    Have any of you cork-smoking, jiz-swallowing, butt-sniffing, queer-bait, fag-rumping losers ever heard of a guy named Willie Porter? I typically don’t like corn-hole probing, golden-shower taking, ball-lapping, left-wing guitarists that fool around with alternate tunings. However, this guy was out-fucking rageous. Santana couldn’t cop this guy if you promised him a dry back for the rest of his life. Clapton isn’t qualified to clean the pearl drops out of Porter’s reservoir tipped scum bag.
    Chuck Berry? Oh Jesus.

  • rick

    Are you kidding me? Do any of these people play guitar? Eddie Van Halen, 70? None of these people can (or could) play/write music like van halen. None. It just goes to show the lack of musical intelligence out there.

  • Eric Olsen

    we will preserve #649, sans the link, for posterity’s sake

  • Andrei

    alright, i’m sick of you people saying…jack white at 17???..well 17…maybe that’s not accurate..but do u know what a good guitarist means?…it doesn’t mean malmsteen going 100km/h firing up the guitar…i would get bored seeing him do that for 2 hours…but i wouldn’t get bored at the white stripes…malmsteen guitarists are more like for show…yeah that’s pretty much it..
    now..ok jack white..not a top 50 guy maybe a top 100…he wrote pretty cool songs..but hey..give me a break..cobain?? the edge? pleeeasee…
    and where the hell is ritchie blackmore??? where is slash?

  • danny

    Dick Rosmini got me hooked with his early 60’s Elektra album: Adventures for 6 String, 12 String & Banjo.

    Such joy!

  • RJ

    I’ve read the term “shred” or “shredder” within these comments. What does that mean?

  • JR

    Basically a guitarist who plays fast.

  • Eric Olsen

    for the sake of playing fast

  • Rudy

    Okay, I’m sorry, but there is no way that Santana is a better guitarist than our long lost Randy Rhoads. Just because Santana is like 100 years old and he’s still playing doesn’t necessarily mean hes worth a #15 spot. Randy was only famous for about two years before his death, but someone do me a favor and get a copy of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Tribute” album and you’ll see why I feel this is important. I think the solo on “Paranoid” on that album really shows that he was much better than Santana will ever be, and I’m sure Randy deserves a #15 spot and Santana should be bumped to Randy’s #85 spot. Also, while I’m at it, I’ve got to vouch for poor Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath. If you’ve ever listened to his solo on “Sweet Leaf” you’d understand that he deserves a higher spot than the #86 alloted for him. And think of Angus Young. How many AC/DC fans are out there that will vouch for him that he deserves something higher than 96? Listen to his solos on “Back in Black” and “T.N.T.” and you will realize another one of Rolling Stone’s greatest errors.

    All in all, I think this list was a bunch of bull.

    R.I.P. Randy Rhoads
    In the words of Ozzy Osbourne in “Flying High Again”:
    “…feeling like I should have kept my feet on the ground, waiting for the sun to appear…”

  • Rudy

    I’ve read this list about ten times and I’m beginning to think it’s simply a list of the most INFLUENTIAL guitarists of all time, not the best. I’m sure more people have heard of Santana than Zakk Wylde, but Zakk is much better and didn’t even make the list. In one of Rolling Stone’s issues (the one with Johnny Cash on the cover), they even said that one of the most mentioned names of people who deserved a place on the list was poor Zakk.

  • Hank

    I’m suprised that not one person mentioned the great British duo of Clifford Martin and Mervyn Paice. These 2 guys could really swing.
    As Wil Wheaton would say, “Suck my fat one you dime-store hood”.

  • Jon

    K I understand some of the seemingly bad choices, if they are commending musical influence. But if they are doing that they should definately have included Andy Summers from the police. I’m really pissed of that they don’t have Joe Satriani too. Like Kirk Hammet is #11 and Joe Satriani was his fucking teacher!

  • Andre

    I can’t agree with all of the pick’s on this list. They didn’t mention any of the instrumental rock guitarists. Yngwie Malmsteen, Eric Johnson, Steve Vai… I also think that not just lead and solo guitarists are necessarily the “best”. A good rythmn guitarist is just as important as a lead. Lindsay Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac i consider an amazing guitarist just by the way he plays his instrument. I’m really surprised they didn’t have John Lennon. They had George who i have to say was a great guitarist, but i feel that John should have been mentioned. i’m also surprised Paul Simon was not mentioned. Some of his finger work is beyond compare. I know it is rolling stone, so it mostly deals with rock guitar, but what about classical guitar?? Alirio Diaz is an amazing guitarist. But what the hell, there will always be debates when discussing “the greatest” of anything.

  • Rob Volatile

    Are you kidding me…This list is a farce. Beside all of the 100’s of posts that I have read and agree with…For Randy to be # 85, and Eddie to be #70…My lord what a joke…Vai, Satch, not even on it??? Where in the hell is Nuno Bettencourt??? Has everyone forgotten him??? I guess in the bizarro world of Rolling Stone, Nuno, woul be ranked under Mick Mars, and CC DeVille… What a joke!

  • Rob Volatile

    As someone who has been playing for 25 years, and toured for 8, and can play virtually anything on a guitar…I will give you my picks:
    Most Influential: Jimi Hendrix
    Most Innovative: Eddie Van Halen
    The First Hero: Chuck Berry
    Best Songwriting Guitar player: Jimmy Page
    Best Player Today: Vai / Satch / Bettencourt
    Most easily recognized: Joe Walsh / Santana
    My personal favorite: Randy Rhoads

    Not to mention: Zakk Wylde / Dimebag / George Lynch / Jake E. Lee / Yngwie / And a host of others…And Thats Just The Rock and Metal Side!!!!

  • http://www.blogbloke.come BB

    How about the best SOLOS of all time? That honour would have to go to David Gilmour for ‘Comfortably Numb’. No matter how much I hear it the hair on my neck still gets a rise.

  • Eric Olsen

    The really great thing about Gilmour is that not only does he never play a wrong note, like most great guitarists, but he also never plays any extra notes. That’s almost unique. Gilmour should at least be top 20 and maybe even top 10.

  • Dan

    Doing the best solos is a great idea.
    My fave: Auqualung–Jethro Tull

  • Eric Olsen

    The one I always come back to is by Nils Lofgren when he was in Grin – check out “Moontears”: compact, astonishing, unplayable by mortals.

  • HW Saxton Jr.

    After reading 669 posts on this rather
    silly subject,I guess I might as well get my licks(no pun intended)in too.

    1)RE:Fast Guitarists. Just because you can play fast don’t mean you can play good.
    If this were the case then everyone who types fast would be a good writer.

    2)Bob The Hobo – What the *&*&%$#$@#!!!

    3)Six Hundred & Sixty Nine posts and not
    a single mention of Johnny Thunders ???
    He was one of the greatest Rawkin’ Roll
    guitarists ever IMHO.His guitar riffing
    comes across like some mutant offspring
    of Keith Richards & Fred “Sonic” Smith
    on a methamphetamine binge.I mean the guy
    just about invented Punk Rock guitar
    fer chrissakes.Sure enough he crashed &
    burned and when he was bad he was
    just awful but when he was on… Look Out!!!
    He taught the limeys how to rock back in
    1977 and Joe Perry,Keith Riffhard,Wayne
    Kramer,Steve Jones,Iggy Pop & Greg Ginn
    are all fans of his to name just a few.
    I know these lists are basically just personal
    faves and not much more than popularity contests,
    (hence that White Stripe guy even getting on the
    list)but I just had to mention JT and give some
    credit where credit’s(over)due.That’s all.
    Oh yeah, and what about all of these cats:
    Wayne Bennett,Otis Rush,Son Seals,Jimmy Nolen,
    Pops Staples,Steve Cropper,Jimmy Dawkins,Mickey
    Baker,Wild Jimmy Spruill,Goree Carter,Blind Blake
    Guitar Gable,Sonny Sharrock,Earl Hooker,Johnny
    Guitar Watson,Luther Allison,Robert Ward and so on
    and blah blah blah blah…

  • rj

    Once again, as posts 651 and 661 prove, Hank the red-neck is in a world of his own. The “dry back” line is an obvious reference to our amigos in Mexico. The “Stand by Me” quote is completely out of place and the mention of Clifford Martin and Mervyn Paice, well what more can one say?

  • Eric Olsen

    Johnny Thunders AND Sylvain Sylvain make one hell of a guitar player.

  • Mark Saleski

    i got to see Syl Sylvain once…and the opener was Bebe Buell & the B-Sides.

    dang, i wish i’d snagged her record before it disappeared.

  • hank

    Speaking of Satriani. I recently read his bio in Guitar Monthly. He had an interesting beginning. His mom was living in Sicily during WWII. Apparently an entire regiment of American GI’s blew a jiz load on his mom’s bare feet (Sicilians hadn’t discovered shoes yet). Then either the pigs, the maggots or more likely the adult flies, carried the spunk to his mom’s crotchel area. She was thus impregnated and sired the young guitarist. This is all true stuff.

  • Rob V

    Anyone reading these posts should check out a guitar player I just stumbled on to. Smokin Joe Bonamassa. Most of the people mentioned by the posts were out years ago…Here is a guy doing today…Check him out you wont be sorry.

  • HW Saxton Jr..

    You’re right again Eric.Johnny Thunders
    and Sylvain Sylvain do make one hell of
    a good guitarist.Their alternating lead
    & rhythm work is seamlessly intertwined
    so that they sound like one huge guitar.
    I think that the twin guitar sound has
    always defined the best of Rock’n’Roll
    bands.Muddy Waters & Jimmy Rogers (they
    set the standard),Keith Richards & Brian
    Jones/Mick Taylor,Sterling Morrison &
    Lou Reed,George Harrison & John Lennon,
    Tom Verlaine & Richard Lloyd,Mick Jones
    & Joe Strummer,Robert Quine&Ivan Julian,
    Ivy Rorschach & Kid Congo/Bryan Gregory,
    Jimmy Reed & Eddie Taylor,Cyril Jordan &
    Roy Loney, Fred “Sonic” Smith & Wayne
    Kramer,Johnny Winter & Rick Derringer,
    Brewer Phillips & Hound Dog Taylor and
    so on & so forth.I know that you were
    making with the laughs on your comment
    regarding Johnny T. and Syl but you hit
    upon a very valid point E.O.

    P.S:What is wrong with Hank?????????????

  • Bill

    OK…I will make this real simple. There are way too many GREAT guitarists to accurately or realistically rank the top 100 in order. So here is my idea of how any serious guitarist who appreciates the history of his art should see things:
    Put Jimi at # 1 (this is a no brainer). If you are a rock guitarist and dont agree with that basic premise….I am sorry you just dont get it…you have been sleeping in class.
    NEXT, write the remaining 99 down on little sheets of paper and toss them up in the air…pick them up in any order you want..its really splitting hairs..they are all great and we all have personal tastes.

    a)Eddie at 70?? thats absolutely silly.
    b)Cobain even on the list??? huh??? hello!!!
    c)any serious list of 100 greatest guitarists by a rock mag that does not include Nugent or Malmsteen is a farse.

    Regards..and Merry Christmas

  • tom

    Bola Sete

  • Eric Olsen

    Excellent choice Tom, I love samba guitar, quiet but intense.

  • onewhiteduck

    I haven’t read all 600+ posts…but how about Ralph Towner? If you haven’t heard him check out his “Solo Concert” CD. I can almost guarantee it’s the greatest solo acoustic guitar album (or maybe any guitar album) you’ve ever heard, and it’s LIVE! His 12 string pieces like Spirit Lake, Timeless, and Train of Thought are incredibly technical, and there’s some great nylon string stuff as well. I don’t think anyone I know of can match Towner’s 12 string playing. His newer album Anthem is nice too.

    Lenny Breau is another that should be high on the list – one of my favorite jazz players.

    My classical favorites would have to be Julian Bream, Andres Segovia, John Williams, Scott Tenant, Andrew York, etc……

    So are there any Towner fans out there? :)

  • Da ‘pLaNt

    OK – I’ve read most of the post – f$%king hilarious most of it!!

    I wonder were Vito Bratta and Nuno Bentencourt were when they read the list – and what did they think. Like thanks a f*&king lot RS. It’s obvious that this is merely a ploy to enlist a new drone of readers to the crappy magazine. That guy from the white stripes is alright, but really by pure technical skill as a basis of decision, he and 75% of the list would not see any press. Joey Ramone (I like) and Kurt Cobain?? They really must want to stir up some controversy. Sounds like the stock holder have spoken!!

  • cait

    I rilly like the way u added Kurt Cobain on the list…but seriously Jack White? How can he beat out famous guitar players who have been around for a year? Ive been playing the guitar for a month and I can play jack whites songs perfectly..and Angus #96 whoa thats a big low at least number 1!And john from red hot chili peppers definatly beats out jack white! Brian may too!!!!!

  • Cait

    I do like ur list..but come on Jack White?? seriously i mean how can he beat out angus, may, john…anyone hes been playin for like a year and the others like their whole life!!!! Its upsetting and the email before my other one…dont diss Kurt hes my hero!!

  • Cait

    Am I the only one who sees Jack White as not worthy for the list? If u do agree with me email me and tell me!!

    Ur list is god though

  • Josh Perry

    Are you crackheads Eddie Van halen 70, Angus Young 96, and Randy Roads 88. They should be higher.

  • TROY

    dude u rating ppl suck randy rhodes should be in top 10 along with angus young and van halen jeff garcia and carlos santana hey Iommi you can be the elevnth and the guy from the white strips at number 17 u guys are shitting me hahahah puhlease change this top 100
    thank u

  • Simm

    What about Jerry Reed Hubbard?


    He was fantastic as Burt Reynold’s sidekick in the Smokey and the Bandit Series.

  • duane

    He also had his inestimable musical skills enshrined forever, after his animated likeness appeared in a Scooby Doo episode. I can still hear his commanding, yet mellifluous, voice singing the immortal classic

    “Pretty Mary Sunlight,
    She’s the one I need…”

    That’s what about Jerry Reed Hubbard.

  • Eric Olsen

    I like plain old Jerry Reed way better

  • Phillip Winn

    The post that will never die… <grin>

  • Eric Olsen

    but the numerical milestones are taking longer and longer

  • duane

    This post is getting so long that it will eventually wrap around on itself. I’m expecting a flurry of “Where’s Slash???!” posts.

  • TDavid

    Shut up, y’all! :-) I would like to have the first and last post in this thread.

  • Simm

    maybe you can tomorrow

  • Brad

    This list is ridiculous. Randy Rhoads at 85, Eddie at 70 as far as I’m concerned these two guys should have at least been in the top 20. As for Jack White he’s a joke of a guitar player, I’ll admit he has catchy riffs but that’s about it. Where’s Zakk Wylde, Slash, Satch, Yngwie for them not even to make it on this list is bullshit. And wow Joey Ramone he can strum a few chords and he makes 16 and Cobain makes 12, his talent is songwriting not guitar playing. I have much more comments about this list, but it’s not worth my time. Oh ya one last thing, the queer that wrote this probably plays the flute or clarinet and has never touched a guitar in his life.

  • duane

    “Where’s Zakk Wylde, Slash, Satch, Yngwie…”

    Ha! As predicted in post 693. The list is starting to wrap around on itself. Prepare yourselves, people of Earth! The stars will begin to blink out…

  • Esteban



  • duane

    Nice try, Esteban, but this post was about the best GUITAR PLAYERS, not the best CAPS LOCK typist. That would be a different list.

  • Esteban

    I can’t be both??? My friend Zamfir is a
    Web site designer without peer and the
    best Pan flute player in the world.


  • duane

    Well, OK then, Esteban, you make a persuasive argument. By the way, my buddy Yanni is a world famous musician, and runs an upholstery repair shop during the day. You can be #1. I guess I’ll just have to settle for the #2 position.

  • PNikil

    cobain couldn’t hit the opening smells like teen spirit line live
    why should he be at 12 when he can’t even play his own damn music

  • Tim

    I’d rather listen to paint dry than speed guitar.

    While “technically” Hendrix was not even close to the best there has never been or will ever be another like him.

    He operated on a higher level of consiousness, and when he picked up a guitar the energy that came from it will never be matched.

    Anyone who can write a song like Machine Gun does not operate on the same level as the rest of us humans.

  • jc121212

    Hendrix was and still is the shit. If it weren’t for him most of these guys wouldn’t even be here.

  • Phil Piercey

    For shame.
    I would like to point out such individuals as:

    Luca Turilli
    Mr. Cucumber

    Now these are truly amazing guitarists who have been horribly over-looked.
    I’d also like to nominate Adam Fulara, who I doubt anyone has ever heard of. If you don’t believe me, and you probably don’t, check out his website at:
    and check out his two-hand tapping. When I saw this for the first time I flipped-out. Hard. Anyways, my two cents worth….

  • Igor

    Hey guy! Just respect to you for what you are doing! And for you know exactly the idea what u r talking about!

  • dogmaticforces

    I love the white stripes, there CD is phenomenal, i mean come on 4 grammy nominations? justin timberlake can eat a dick if he wins, jack white is very good even if he did punch the von bondies guy. eLephant is definitly a great buy and he is very talented, now holly white is not the greatest drummer, but chad smith, flea, john frusciante and whatever there lead singers name is on the red hot chili peppers fricken rock, the list dissapoints me with dave matthews and slash because music is supposed to sooth your emotions and whenever i hear guns n roses or dave matthews i am completely soothed, these were my thoughts not yours and thank you for letting me post.

  • Lee Hulse

    First of all the fact that Cobain (a drunken/stoned bafoon posing as a musician) and Segovia on the same list is absolutely ridiculous. If we are to rate guitarist, we should seperate them by style. If not, we should rate them by their overall playing ability. The best overall guitar on that list by far is STEVE HOWE.
    After reading some of you posts, I’m sure that most of you are familiar with him by reputation only, but if you guys could put down you Fender Squires and power chord chart books for a little bit, listen to some of the early Yes works. Now I realize that it is going to be too much for some of your pea sized brains to comprehend, but just maybe a few of you might get it. This guy is a MONSTER of a guitarist. His technical ability is exceeded only the number of styles he has mastered.

  • NHCBaker42

    Why the hell is Jimi Hendrix at the top of the list? Im not taking anything away from the man, but there are plenty of other guys that deserve to be number one. Sure he might have paved the way for these new guys, but I’d like to take Stevie Ray Vaughn for example. The guy can play Hendrix tunes better than Hendrix ever did. There are some kick-ass guitarist who didnt even make the damn list. Zakk Wylde from BLS for one, and in my opinion Slash. Finally, where do these people get off putting Randy Rhodes 85th?? If anyone aided in paving the way for these new screaming rich kids its Rhodes. This whole list with a few exceptions is a load of crap. Rolling Stone needs to leave these things to people who actually know what they are talking about.

  • Doug

    on the kurt cobain subject…he deserves to be in the “worst 100 to ever be considered good” list. there’s a reason why “come as you are” and “smells like teen spirit” are the 1st songs taught to novices. And its not because they are pinnicles of guitar playing.

  • Steve

    I really agree with the first 5. first of all, hendrix is an amazing song writer and guitarist. He was able to manipulate his guitar like no one has ever been able too. He is able to connect his thoughts with his fingers, playing and singing the same thing with amazing precision.
    The 2nd, duane allman. He is the 2nd best, his solos sound like they are part of the actually melody, you will never ever hear him play a wrong note. Not to mention is creativity and speed.
    BB is known for never playing chords, i have to admit hes quite good and writes very beautilful songs.
    Clapton gained exprience with so many blues bands…being influenced mostly by Robert Johnson ( who i think should be #3). He has touched us all, you cant deny it. Everyone loves clapton’s songs.
    Robert Johnson is probably the most influential guitarist and song writer of all time. Influencing all the yardbirds, allman bros band and many more. the list goes on forever. Not only is his story very interesting and compelling, i love his music.

  • maggie

    I read the comments up to #500, and only found Alvin Lee from Ten Years After listed 3 times. So consider this another plug for him…


    PFFFFFFFFFFFFFF….y gilbert, tafolla, macalpine, vandenberg……

  • Angus Young #1

    Ummmm Angus Young = AC/DC and he should definately be top 25.. this list is BS and i can’t believe wat im seeing…
    Angus Young 96, shoot urselves!
    Alex Lifeson not even on the list… throw this list out.

    AC/DC #1

  • billy chichan

    y paul gilbert….pelmazos del orto…..rolling stone …puro billete esa wea…….kurt kobain..jajjajajajja


  • Khain SchwarzHerz

    Completelly insane, Cobain in 12th place ? my ass !!!! there’s a lot of guitar players, like Jari Liatmannen (Sonata Arctica), John Petrucci (Dream Theater, LTE), Malmsteen, Al Di Meola, etc…

  • maxim

    Well over all this Jack White talk, i htink #17 is the perfect position for him, he is a truly amazing guitarist and he gets really mean when he has a slide on his finger, if you’ve seen him live u’ll know that he can rip out crazier solo’d angus young could ever do. Download some live stuff, from glastonbury, and live on conan o brian, absolutly nuts! Eric clapton shouldn’t be up there, anyone can play a chrod then wait for 10 mins to figure out the next chord ur gonna play, angus is way too low, kurt cobain shouldnt be there, buddy guy is WAY to low. And for the guy that said he’s been playing for a month and said he can play all of jack whites songs perfectly… U’ve only heard seven nation army havn’t u… and there a crazy solo in it too with a slide.

  • Gert Reynders

    Where the hell is Johnny Marr of The Smiths?
    And what’s that arrogant prick Jack White doing on number 17?

  • Anna

    It is a crime that SLASH, Corgan, and Prince aren’t on the list…this is a joke, complete bullshit

  • Dan

    Jimi Page is the best guitarist of all time yet hes only #9 on the list….WHAT THE HELL.

  • duane

    Yes, I’m sure Jimmy (not Jimi) Page is all broken up about his #9 ranking by the Rolling Stone panel of experts. Jimmy is smart enough not to take this list seriously. If he were to place at #1, he would shake his head in disbelief anyway, because he knows he’s not the best guitarist of ALL TIME. C’mon people.

  • steve

    rolling stones top 100 list is a friggin joke,hes the proper top ten
    1…angus young
    2…adrian smith
    3…randy rhoads
    4…ritchie blackmore
    5…vivian cambell
    6…neal schone
    7…alex lifeson
    8…steve morse
    9…dave murray
    10..peter frampton

  • Eric Olsen

    so Steve, do you like rock?

  • Steve

    what about the master guitarist Chet Atkins???
    many consider him one of the best!!!

  • steve

    reply to comments…..yeh i like alot of diff. music see the thing about my list is its my list and not yours,everyone will have there own top 10 according to there listening preferances of course.But you must admit the people who did rolling stone`s list are really way off!!!
    also chet who??? never heard of him



  • dan

    Slash isnt on the list!?! This list is on crack. Also Eddie Van Halen #70 thats bullshit he should be way higher. Jeff Beck should not be up that high. I was pleased to see dave gilmour on the list though and i thought he was pretty fiarly placed.

  • NorthEnd

    Happy New Year…
    I’ve been goin’ through the old CD collection and have revamped and added to my list of great Canadian guitarists. Here now, for your pleasure, is my all new TOP THIRTY GUITARISTS FROM CANADA:
    30. Peter Narvaez – St. John’s
    29. Ray Bonneville – Montreal
    28. Johnny V – Calgary
    27. John Campbelljohn – Cape Breton
    26. Greg Leskiw (LesQ;SwingSonic) – Wpg
    25. Paul Dean (Loverboy;Streetheart)-Cal
    24. Jack DeKeyzer – Toronto
    23. Sue Foley – Ottawa
    22. Jordan Cook – Saskatoon
    21. Gordie Johnson (Big Sugar) -Winnipeg
    20. Amos Garrett – Edmonton
    19. Jack Semple – Regina
    18. Steve Hill – Montreal
    17. David Gogo – Vancouver
    16. Kim Mitchell (Max Webster)- Sarnia
    15. Tom Lavin (Powder Blues) – Vancouver
    14. Tom Cochrane (Red Rider) -Lynn Lake
    13. Brent”Guitar”Parkin – Winnipeg
    12. Donny Walsh (Downchild) – Toronto
    11. Bryan Adams – Vancouver
    10. Rik Emmett (Triumph) – Toronto
    9. David Wilcox – Toronto
    8. Colin Linden (Blackie/Rodeo Kings)Tor
    7. Robbie Robertson (The Band) -Toronto
    6. Alex Lifeson (Rush) – Toronto
    5. Jeff Healey – Toronto
    4. Neil Young – Winnipeg
    3. Colin James – Regina
    2. Lenny Breau – Winnipeg
    1. Randy Bachman (Guess Who) – Winnipeg

    Hope you get to hear ’em all. There’s a ton more up here. I could have added Dutch Mason, but since he lost his fingers to arthritis, he’ll just have to be happy with his Prime Minister of the Blues monicker. Love your feedback. Until next time…howzitgoin’…eh?
    Your pal,

  • Matt

    Kirk Hammet got beat by BB King (the guy from the Burger King commerical).. is this a joke??… and van halen #70 no way!!! yea go head BB King try the master of puppets solo….

  • orlando bloom lover


  • JohnnyDeppFreak

    Keith Richards is so awesome. Johnny Depp did a good job modeling Capt. Jack after him.
    P.s. Sorry about my friend “orlando bloom lover” she’s crazy, she would put she likes Orlando and Johnny anywhere. ( And I mean anywhere)

  • HW Saxton Jr

    Hey NorthEnd! Ya furgot Frank Marino!!!
    P.S.: Where’s Slash????????????????????


    VAN HALEN #70?!?!??! WTF!?!?!? LMAO TOP 10 AT LEAST… THE GUY IS LIKE THE MOZART OF THE GUITAR…HE MAKES THIS SHIT UP IN BETWEAN TAKING A CRAP AND WASHING HIS HANDS! Everyone on there is good, but I’d think it better than its the top 100 EQUALS, not the best in any order. Well to each his own, we all have our own oppinions but everyone deserves the list…just not in any order. =)

  • Pirate Pete

    orlando bloom lover i’ve got but two
    wurds fur ya :ho-mo!!!!!!!!

  • orlando bloom lover

    hey,Pirate Pete i have only 4 words 4 u you are a fag ok so leace me alone

  • Michel

    What’s the matter with you people?!!!??
    Where are Rory Gallagher and Frank Marino?
    I don’t see them on the list at all!!!
    I couldn’t believe my own eyes!!
    Shame on you all who made this list!!
    “Repent and thou shall be saved”

  • NorthEnd

    Frank Marino of Mahogony Rush? okay. Frank Marino the female impersonater from Las Vegas? okay, him too. Why not?
    Yuk yuk from the Great White place.

  • Michel

    We’re talkin’ ’bout guitarplayers right?
    So the female impersonator isn’t allowed on the list.Sorry!!
    But I’m glad you agree with me,at last the Frank Marino part.

  • JR

    NorthEnd, you forgot Pat Travers.

  • NorthEnd

    You know, I did consider Pat Travers from Toronto. Howzabout we make him and Marino #31 and #32? Still in the top 50, eh? I know lots of other guys and gals, so maybe I’ll finish my list up to 50. See you later!

  • HW Saxton Jr.

    Hey there NorthEnd!,You might want to consider adding Joey”Shithead”Keighley”
    from the great Canuck Punk band DOA to
    your list.Just a thought.

  • gordo

    dude what the hell…this list is so wrong…ok hendrix was god but he’s def not #1…dave matthews anyone?? Tim Rynolds??? 2 great guitarists…this list needs to be revised because it’s a joke. Thank god claptons on this list of id burn my computer.

  • steve

    Tony Iommi at86!!This is a crime against humanity. Every hard rock guitarist after him owes Iommi their career. Listen to Black Sabbath’ first 5 albums in case you have forgotten

  • Eric Olsen

    or at least a crime against left-handed, half-finger missing guitarists

  • Bassel

    hi there
    where is Slash, Richie Blackmore, Joe Satriani, Al di Meola, Paco de Lucia …..???????
    where is chet Atkins ????

    Van Halen#70 and Kurt Cobain #12????!!!
    Davied Gilmour#82 ??????
    Tony Iommoi#86 ????

    how they made this list ??? according to wat ???? dunno wat say ….

  • Snapdragon

    Jack white at 17??? Kurt Kobain at 12??
    seriously overrated :S And Keith richards and John Frusciante are good, but not THAT good. And who the hell put mark knopfler at 27??? He belongs somewhere on the top of this list;
    And where is Lenny Kravitz?? Or Jan Akkerman (dutch guitar player who has been selected as best of the world once, by an english magazine) or slash?
    couldn’t find them on the list
    So much for the professionality of the Rolling Stone…

  • Max

    Interesting that none of you care….THAT LINK WRAY IS AT # 67!!!!!!!

  • Max

    Matt. Re:Your coment “BB King (the guy from the Burger King commerical)”… this proves you know nothing about rock and roll music. Congratulations, Dumbass

  • Alex

    Where the hell is Zakk Wylde?

    Randy should be way higher, and so should Angus…

  • Snapdragon

    Angus isn’t that good, just because he made a few funny tunes; he isn’t really misplaced; in fact, he should be happy he’s on that list;
    But lenny kravitz… man, I can’t believe they didn’t at least put his name on the list… =S
    And mark knopfler at 27… sh!t, he’s one of the best

  • Randy

    Here is the truth the freaked out slobbering diabetic brain-dead morons at Rolling Stone toilet paper will never understand:
    1. Joe Satriani
    2. John McLaughlin
    3. John Petrucci
    4. Jimi Hendrix
    5. Al DiMeola
    6. Robert Fripp

  • cy

    lenny kravits… no

  • Richo

    I am sad to see Dave Gilmour so low. Listen to any Pink Floyd album post pipers and you will see what I mean. If George Harrison rates, then why not Paul. Yesterday is one of the hardest songs I have learnt.

  • Jimmy

    Steve Lukather of Toto should be mentioned here somewhere :-)

    He’s the best I’ve heard in my 57 years.

  • smokey

    am i just being stupid or cant i find SLASH on there, that guy rocks and u dont put him on there, and i cant beleive u put kurt cobain so high up, hes above tommy iommi and eddie van halen, seriously who puts this thing together, if you can find slash on there can u tell me.

  • sausagehorse

    where was dave grohl and dave navarro of janes addiction

  • sausagehorse

    also where was Dale Turuwhenua from DTR he’s is one of the greats

  • Butterfingers

    B.B King is a fat fuck, one trick pony and if he and Eric Clapton is on the list then even my Grandad (bless his soul) should be in the top 10.
    Gary Rossington from Lynard Skynard rocks. Hav u guys fuckin even heard Freebird? Fuckin disgraceful that he’s not on the list.
    I love Kurt Cobain but guitarist?No way man. Cobain has a pair of good lungs but I’m not sure if he has a pair of good hands.
    Slash not on the list?Fuck off guys.
    George Harrison?I can fuckin play better than him.

  • acommunist

    SLASH. top 10.

  • acommunist

    also, kenny wayne sheppard. for christs sake.

  • Josh

    Well well well, Hendrix at #1. Gee, what a big surprise. I think this list is based on popularity rather than skill. Hendrix is OVERRATED. And Chuck Berry at #6 is ridiculous. Yeah, Chuck may have got the whole thing started, but I can think of at least 20 guitarists who could mop the floor with him.
    And Kurt Cobain ahead of Jeff Beck???!!! Are you people on crack??!!

    In conclusion, let me just say that Jeff Beck is the greatest guitarist on Earth, period.

  • Josh

    Also, move Ritchie Blackmore up into the top 10. This list is just beyond ignorant.

  • Sam

    OK most of you are idiots.

    BB King is great — maybe you don’t like blues but the man elevated the status of black blues guitarist from old blind dude with a silvertone to young guy leading a fantastic big band.

    Anyone who calls BB a “fat fuck” and then says shitty Rossington from Sknyrd is good is retarded. Rossington completely ripped off the older blues guys (and even EC) and although he may have played a few good solos they are 100% copped riffs.

    Kenny Wayne Sheppard is shite. The guy attempts to play like SRV. No one can play like SRV. Give up Kenny. You may be a reasonable guitarist but top 100. Not a chance. Top 500 — not even then. Get up into the 700s and perhaps you are getting warm. Smoking Joe Bonamassa on the other hand is a great young player. And even Johnny Lang is better and less indicative of SRV than girl-haired Sheppard.

    Chet Atkins is not on the list. Maybe Rolling Stone doesn’t like country but fuck off if you think he didn’t have the hugest impact on Nashville guitarists from country to western to jazz.

    Neither Charlie Christian nor Django Reinhart are on the list. Django was the first to move guitar from a rhythm to a solo instrument — before Django, the guitar was used solely in large bands, and, as it was unamplified, was almost unheard. Charlie basically wrote the book on “electric” guitar — he was the first to bring the instrument into the spotlight and the first to use it as a solo instrument.

    Quit griping about Kurt Cobain. I’m not a huge fan but he made such an impact on guitar that he has to be up there. So what if his ham-handed power chords don’t take as much dexterity as EVHs sweep arpeggios. You know how many bands now play with that same style? Cheap guitar, Marshall amp, three fingers…

    Angus Young = great. Rock solid rhythm. Kick ass tunes. Tasteful (albeit easy) rock solos. Fuck off if you think you’re better than him. You’re not.

    John Frusciante = lousy. About as solid as old jello. The guy’s timing is pretty bad even though he has come up with some catchy guitar parts. He was better before he did all that smack after Blood Sugar Sex Magic.

    Zakk Wylde = awesome. Now this guy has balls AND can play. Anyone who can perform Randy Rhodes solos as well as lay down great countrified metal in BLS is OK with me.

    I think Nugent should be on the list too. But that’s because I don’t want him to hunt me down with a crossbow.

    Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds? C’mon. I’m not even dignifying that one with a response. Fuck off.

    Satch, Yngwie and Vai are all great technically. Satch is actually quite good musically — more “Hendrix” than the other two. But these guys are not popular — I know a few guitarist who should be on the list too but no one knows who they are. Shawn Lane (RIP)? Buckethead? Bill Frisell? This RS list is more about 100 best “popular” guitarist.

    And good call on Terje !! I thought I was the only one…

    JR is correct on many counts. Kudos to him/her.

    Santana was good in the sixties and he HAS NOT IMPROVED one bit since then. How does someone play thousands of shows in front of thousands of people for 30+ years and not get any better?

  • Josh

    Okay, I have to agree with Sam here. It’s easy to sit back and say “Oh, fuck B.B. King, fuck Eric Clapton” just because you don’t like blues. You have to respect what these people have accomplished and what they’ve brought to the world of guitar playing. I could say “fuck Jimi Hendrix” just because I don’t really care for him, but I won’t do that because I respect the man, even though he isn’t one of my favorites. If only more people could do that.

  • Tim

    Yeah, it’s been said, but this list is definatly BS.

    David Gilmour at 82? C’mon, that man can play. Gimlour is my all-time favorite, but he has a ton of sheer talent. I’m thinking Top 5, if not #1.

    Duane Allman @ #2…. pathetic

    Neil Young really should be higher than #83. He may not be the best, but you can’t deny the fact he is pretty good.

    The fact that Joan Jett is even on the list…

    Where’s Satriani? Like what has been said, he taught a few of the guys on the list how to play. What about Petrucci? Malmsteen anyone? Yngwie isn’t my style, but I will admit, he is an awesome player.

    WTF is Hammett doing higher than Santana? Peter Stroud is a great guitarist, but he’ll never be on the list because he plays with Sheryl Crow (he is deserving, you’d understand if you saw him live).

    Maybe they’ll do better next year. Nah, it can only get worse.
    Oh, almost forgot, Randy Rhodes.

  • California boy

    Like yall care about guitars and
    all of that other stuff. I dont
    show respect for none of these idiots
    cuzz they sit around and get high.

    Look at Ozzy Osbourne look at that punk,
    he cant even walk straight and
    you idiots show respect for him.


  • Angus Youth

    How the hell is Angus 96??

    First of all, AC/DC = Angus, and how much success has AC/DC gotten? TONS! This is all because of Angus – FUCK OFF IF YOU DISAGREE BECAUSE YOU ARE SHIT, just because he plays power chords, take a look at his solos… + the power chords must be doing something right, they have had so much fame.

    No I don’t think Angus should be #1 but he should definately be top 50! Not some shit at 96… He can actually play something with tune, unlike most people hoo just strum the guitar and hope watever comes out sounds good. Most of you fat fucks that criticize Angus probably havent even heard most of his shit… Did I mention they have 17 Albums……
    I’m not AT ALL saying Angus is the best guitarist, As I do npot even think that myself but he definately deserves a whole lot better then 96… I am just saying you cant say shit about him when him and AC/DC has done so much.
    I am just saying you should respect him at the most, not complain, because you cant argue with the past and the past is AC/DC has rocked the WORLD!! for over 30 years now.

  • http://????? sanjiv


  • Dude

    A quote from Cali Boy:

    “Like yall care about guitars and
    all of that other stuff. I dont
    show respect for none of these idiots
    cuzz they sit around and get high.

    Look at Ozzy Osbourne look at that punk,
    he cant even walk straight and
    you idiots show respect for him.


    OK, first of all, when did it become cool to know nothing about grammar? “Yall” is not a word. If you “don’t show respect for none of these idiots” then you show respect to all of them. It’s a double negative. “Dont” requires an apostrophe. “Cuzz” is not a word. The last sentence should be three sentences as opposed to one garbled mess. Again… “cant” requires an apostrophe. And “PUNKS.” is not a full sentence as it does not contain a verb. Try something like “Punks suck.” or “Die punks.” which are both full sentences.


  • Roger

    If I’m not mistaken Chet Atkins wasn’t on the list. This isn’t just a Rock list. He has influenced many of the great Rock guitarist, and while alive he could do things on a guitar that was nearly magical. He is a true guitar player.

    Futher Angus Young & AC/DC are still going after 30 years much to the disappointment to all of the Acid triping Kiss and Jimmy Hendrix fans. It’s a slap in the face that JOAN JETT is even on the list, especially ahead of Angus Young. Are far as I’m concerned that list was just an early April fools joke. If not they need to wipe their asses with it.

  • Roger

    If we are lucky maybe we can get Ike Turner and Joan Jett to do a tandem solo peice and the next music awards.

    Ike would get drunk and try to bitch smack Joan Jett like he did Tina, but Joan Jett being a dyke would probably kick the shit out of Ike. I’d pay good money to see that.

  • Corey Cooper


  • worst

    worst list ever

  • Roger

    The people that made that list must have been on the same drugs that Kurt Cobain was on. Can you believe he is 12?

    I honestly feel that you should have been playing publicly in the spotlight for at least a 15 years to 2 deacades before even being looked at.

  • Hugo Habicht

    this list sucks. Where the fuck is Stephan Goldbach ?

  • Hugo

    this list sucks. Where the fuck is Stephan Goldbach ?

  • NorthEnd

    Top 25 Female guitarists who are better than Joan Jett (No particular order!):
    1. Bonnie Raitt
    2. Shannon Curfman
    3. Memphis Minnie
    4. Susan Tedeschi
    5. Sue Foley
    6. Leona Boyd
    7. Gaye Adegbalola (Saffire)
    8. Felecia Collins (CBS Orchestra)
    9. Joan Armatrading
    10. Melissa Etheridge
    11. Jessie Mae Hemphill
    12. Joanna Connor
    13. Kristi Johnston
    14. Debbie Davies
    15. Janis Ian
    16. Susi Quatro
    17. Ellen McIlwaine
    18. Rita Chiarelli
    19. Juice Newton
    20. Carly Simon
    21. Phoebe Snow
    22. Gillian Welch
    23. Nancy Wilson (Heart)
    24. Buffy Saint Marie
    25. Sister Rosetta Tharpe

    Yes…I’m sure there are many more. Enjoy the list. See you soon, friends!

    Matt and Butterfingers: Your opinions are important to all all of us, but don’t demean yourselves with ignorance. Even the best of the best acknowledge the great BB KING! I met the man, and he certainly isn’t a “Fat Fuck”; nor is he a hamburger peddlar. Give him an honest listen and see if you don’t change your mind. A little “air freshner” of reason goes a long way to removing the stench of “ignorance”.
    So, take off, eh!

  • HW Saxton Jr.

    What the %*^%$*^$#@!!!! NO LITA FORD??????????????

  • Harris Pilton

    “THEIR IS NOONE BETTER… HE INVENTED THE ROCKMAN.” Oh, yeah. I’ve heard of him. Good ole Noone. And I think you mean “there,” not “their.”

  • Eric Olsen

    Hey Harris, Noone sang lead in Herman’s Hermits, but there’s a kind of hush about it.

  • michael taylor

    switch kurt cbain wit angus young.kurt cobain and kirk hammet should not b compared together.i mean jurt cobain wrote ”in bloom” and ”come as you are”,, whereas hammet wrote ”ONE” and ”FADE TO BLACK”.
    plz consider this ppl..

  • http://hfrhsrf hindu

    metallica blow. dont you think hammetts teacher should be on the list before him, considering he can blow you up with hhis fuckin crazy guitar skills. satch is the man

  • duane

    Hindu, hindu, hindu. With that kind of reasoning, Tiger Woods’ father should be the best professional golfer in the world. If we can never be better than our teachers, nothing in the realm of human performance would ever improve. Hmmmm?

  • Eric Olsen

    That’s why Hindu seeks transcendence as opposed to clinging to the material world, which can only bring pain and suffering.

  • sam

    ok this list is just null… i actualy found this issuee in a garbage can no joke, (no wonder they got rid of it i thought after reading iti wouldent want that demonic list in my house either).
    and ok i LOVE hendrix with all my heart i fucking carved jimi hendrix into my desk with a knife, but hes not the best guitarist, i mean stevie ray vaughn plays most of his songs and could of just as well taken number 1 spot, but anyways alots people love jimmie he was great so i wont bitch to much about that altho IMHO there are many better than him. now jack white on the other hand can go blow a mule… i can play all of his songs with my penis and little toe dont get me wrong his songs are cool and catchy and i like them but the tallent is all within his distortion. and malmsteen should be in top 10 or better yet top 3 listen to far beyond the sun it will make you dick fall off if you know anything about music, but if your a main stream poser dont bother yngwie would make any poser within a 1.5 mile radius ignite and burn to death. and opeth and in flames got no credit here either i mean i dont expect it since there not well known but there both by far better than cobain at guitar and song writeing.

  • michael taylor

    first off ”hindu” metallica do not ”blow” they rock.secondly kirk hammetts teacher did not teach him how to write class songs such as nothing else matters and the unfrogiven.thridly hammetts teacher mabye good but he aint the thrid fastest guitarist in the world now is he??

  • Tim

    Who cares how fast a guitarist is? Speed doesn’t always mean better. Look at David Gilmour. He isn’t a fast guitarist, but he is better than Hamett.

    Satriani is much better than Hamett in my book, not because he was the teacher, but because he is just plain better.

    How about Eric Johnson and Mike McCready while we’re at it.

  • Josh

    If I see Hendrix’s name at the top of one more guitar list, I’m gonna scream! Arrgghhh!

  • Josh

    Also, Tim is right, speed doesn’t always mean everything.

  • joe

    Hey Sam who thinks Jack White can onlt do distortion, download one of the solo acoustic tracks from this website.

    I doubt you can play any of this with you and your boyfriend’s dick.

  • Evil Bill Cosby

    In my opinion, studio presence is a small part of what makes a great guitarist. The true value of music is in its live state. A state of existance where anything is possible. This is where a truly masterful guitarist shines his/her light.

    1. Trey Anastasio- Phish
    Anyone who has experienced this psychopathic uber jammer knows what the f’ I’m rambling about.

    2. B.B. King- If you are down with RnR you have to love the blues. I saw this legend a few months back, 68 years old, stricken with influenza and STILL smokin.

    3. Pete Townsend- The Who
    You want to talk about the whole package? Pure musical genius, plain and simple. Possibly the finest RnR composer ever. Tommy, Quadorphenia, Who by Numbers, Who’s Next and he is SICK live.

    4.The late Frank Zappa- Mothers of Invention
    If you knew me, you would know this belongs here, even though few will agree. Don’t hold it against me. I just love the man.

    All and all, music is about the moment, people. Get out there and see your fav guitarist EVERYTIME they are in town. Who cares if you have to work in the morning. I don’t want to get all preachy, but I think we can all agree the state of popularized RnR is bad, probably never been worse. Music is not about being cool looking or hot chick banging. It is about the mania inducing rush you are blasted with when you are in the groove, in the moment.

  • Josh

    Hendrix = OVERRATED.

  • mercccc

    Jimmy Page with out doubt should be right there with Hendrix. Hendrix was know to be a big showman on stage live in concert but watch How the West Was Won DVD and what Page does is unbelievable. I honostly think its a toss up between these guys but i like Page much better. Plus he actually wrote the stuff he played un like hendrix taking everybody elses songs and playing them.

  • California Boy

    how can you punkers listen to this stuff, like ozie osbourne, all he does is sit around and get high, jeeze the idiot cant even walk straight. and you punks show respect for him.


  • Josh

    Guitars rule!

  • Josh

    First of all, I agree with ‘mercccc’, Page was every bit as good as Hendrix, and every bit as innovative.

    Secondly, California Boy, if you don’t like rock, then get the fuck out of this poll. And Ozzy isn’t the most talented person in the world, I admit, but he’s been going strong for fucking almost 40 YEARS!! We’ll see if your punk-ass rappers last that long…

  • California Boy

    Josh, the only rreason way ozzy has been around for 40 years is cuzz you punks are just like him and worship him like i would worship Jesus.

  • Josh

    I’m sick of these rap-lovin’ retards invading our rock sites!

  • Josh

    Interesting comment, California Boy, although nobody really “worships” Ozzy, we just enjoy his music. We’ll see if anyone still remembers Shitty Cent and Ja Fool 50 years from now.

  • Josh

    By the way, calling me a punk only further proves your stupidity.

  • California boy

    If it werent for me invading your rock site there would be no one for you to talk to. Don’t you notice you are all by yourself here.

  • ilovezappa

    right listen up

    This list is pigswill i tell you. FRANK ZAPPA is 45 that is so lame he could out play anyone on this list also where the hell is tommy bolin

    1.Frank Zappa
    2.Jimmy page
    3.Jimi Hendrix
    4.Dave gilmour
    5.Tommy Bolin
    6.joe satriani
    7.Steve Vai
    8.Eddie van halen
    9.Alex Lifesonn
    10.Paul kossoff- his position is ridiculous

    cast kurt cobain out i say!!!!! scumbag whiner

  • yeah the guy who just psted the lat one


  • Josh

    What happened to good ‘ol California Boy? HA!

  • Courtney

    Ya just gotta love these lists – especially coming from that rag – Rolling Stone – like they would know talent. Yes they did mention Steve Howe, David Gilmore, Van Halen, Jeff Beck,Garcia, Guy and so forth. But have they heard of Chet Atkins? Perhaps they would have if they asked Mark Knopfler – since Chet was his idol. I don’t put too much stock into these goofy lists – but coming from a piece of garbarge like Rolling Stone – one can’t expect much! Imagine putting Johnny Ramone ahead of most of the artists just mentioned. When RUSH makes it to the cover of Rolling Stone after 30 years, I might consider using the Rolling Stone for toilet paper, but at the present time, it isn’t even worth that.

  • Josh

    Rolling Stone Magazine knows nothing!

  • bumcrap

    this list sucks and your all nerds, i hope some of you actually play guitar, by the way where’s dave mustaine (unless i missed his name)

  • yoyozappastinfootface

    does anyone else here agree that zappa should be atleast top 5?????? anybody!?
    except the josh man

  • stinkfootzappa

    hey another thing! does anyone else reckon tommy bolin not being included is an injust!!!

  • Cali Boy

    Guess who’s back, back again, California’s back, back again.

    YEAH! California is in the house.

  • duane

    Great. A whole state that writes run-on sentences.

  • Joel

    Rolling stone lists totally blow, the list sucks, no slash, kurt cobain being rated little own highly rated. even hendrix’s top position i think somewhere along the line some half arsed guitarist told his musically illiterate friend that hendrix was teh greatest of all time and the title spread through the masses and stuch

  • Joel

    clearly with kim thail at 100 and no slash there shouldnt be a guitaris on the list who doesnt scare me, id say at least a quater dont come close

  • Roger

    Slash clearly sucks! Donkey dicks in fact. I don’t agree with the Rolling Stone but GnR was just another hair band on herion. Slash wouldn’t make a wart on George Lynch’s ass. George Lynch is a true magician with the guitar. Furthermore Angus Young should be in the top 10 or 15 and what the hell is up with Joan Jett being on the list much less ranked higher than Angus. Somebody’s bag of weed must have gotten contaminated while making up that list.

  • Stedo

    Ok. So let it be! But where is SLASH from guns ‘n’ roses \ Slash’s snakepit \ The Project \ Slash’s Blues ball? One of greatest intro of alltime the intro for SWEET CHILD O’MINE was his joke. Solo for this was a serious job!
    It’s shame he didn’t maked top 10 but on your list he didn’t even make top 100
    A R E Y O U P E O P L E N O R M A L
    P.S. where are the Joe Satriani and steve Vai???

  • Josh

    Slash is good, but overrated.

  • Josh

    By the way, Anthony, congratulations on posting comment #808.

  • Josh

    Hendrix is NOT the best. God, I wish people would understand that.

  • Stevie Ray

    Have any of you actually watched Stevie Ray Vaughn play the guitar? I mean, really watched him play??? B.B. King said he was better than him after listening to him play once…..when he was like 18…come on. This list blew huge donkey ass all over itself…terrible…

  • http:.// God

    Hendrix is NOT the best. God, I wish people would understand that.

    Hendrix IS the best.

    It was very close between him and Stevie Ray.

    But that “donkie ass” comment? Way over the line.

  • Josh

    Why the sudden change in format on this poll? It’s kind of weird.

  • Rob

    Heres my top 10
    1. Jimi Hendrix
    2. Jimmy Page
    3. Eddie Van Halen
    4. joe satriani
    5. Kirk Hammett
    6. Santana
    7. Les Pual
    8. Frank Zappa
    9. Dave Gilmour
    10. Steve Vai

  • dave niese

    What about allen collins, gary rossington. steve gaines,alex lifeson, rory gallagher,even gary richrath of reo speedwagon. I mean come on people

  • CandyCane Child

    I think this list is doing exactly what its meant to do. I am an avid white stripes fan, and though i believe he should be on the list, it should be no where near 17. But I thinki the list is made for publicity of bands and trying to get someones name out. Most people who criticize Jack White know him from the White Stripes newest two CDs. If theyve ever listened to the fist two, (White Stripes & De Stijl) they would here even more talent. And if they listen to other bands hes been in, such as Two Star Tabernacle or The Go, they would see even more guitar proweress. But if this chart was on MUSICAL talent, Jack White would be by far in the top 20.

  • Tim

    I was just reading back in the #600’s and a few posts about The Edge caught my eye.

    How can someone say he isn’t good? U2 has gone through multiple changes in their sound over the years and Edge always sounds new and fresh. Ever seen him live? He is extremely talented.

    More than likely, the only reason some of you don’t like him is because you are speed freaks who only like guitarists who stand in the middle of the stage and take the show and glory. Just listen in the back, you’ll him, steady as can be.

    He isn’t Satriani or Johnson, but he is still a very good guitarist. Not to fast, not to slow, just good and solid.

  • http://crazy Eddie

    ok listen JACK WHITE SUCKS NO WAY HE GOT BEFORE EDDIE VAN HALEN and Angous Young should be in the top ten Eddie could crush that Allman brothers band guy so could Angous and Jimmy Page could and Ritchie Blackmore that doesnt make sence idiots you guys did it all wrong you guys are stupid Eddie should not have that high of a number he should be in the top ten no way that is so wrong

  • sam

    To Joe who responded to me long ago, if he ever reads this. jack white does suck as a guitarist. all them songs i downloaded off that page you listed sucked, i mean they wernt bad sounding but its not top 100 material at ALL, any guitarist with a year or two practice could play em. jack white just isent a good guitarist. i like his music but as a guitarist hes not a highlight.

  • Anyone heard of John Petrucci? Especially those of you arguing for Vai, Malmsteen, and Satriani: Petrucci is as good if not better than any of those guys. Hendrix was amazing, but he shouldn’t be #1. Emotionally and influencially he was brilliant, but the others mentioned before play with just as much emotion, except with a lot more technical power. Other guitarists that could just about waste most of those on the list would be Michael Romeo, Luca Turilli, and Alexi Leiho.

  • Steve

    John Lee Hooker plays better from the grave than 75% of the list. Listen closely, and you’ll hear him turning over. Randy Rhodes is way too low at 87, and to leave off George Thorogood completely, should be reason for imprisonment. Then again, this IS Rolling Stone, they’ve probably served more than one sentence. At least they were smart enough to leave Ted Nugent off the list. Adam Jones of Tool???!!! Rolling Stone is all a bunch of TOOLS

  • Rob Grant

    Thats F***ing stupid. Gary Moore Should be number 1!

    My top 10:

    1)Gary Moore
    2)Jimmy Page
    3)Eric Clapton
    4)Jimi Hendrix
    5)Joe Satriani
    6)Carlos Santana
    7)Angus Young
    8)Alvin Lee
    10)Rory Gallagher

  • Jukeboxjunkie

    Exuse me? At least the top ten in this list should be no matter of opinion, but fact! Where the fuck is Brian Setzer? or Chris Cheney (The modern day equivalent)? I dont see Yngwie mamlsteen or the great Andy Summers of the police! And while Nirvana are great, Kurt Cobain was really nothing special when it comes to playing the guitar and doesn’t deserve a placing. I have compiled my own list which IS right because I am always right and anyone who disagrees with me is wrong and can go to hell.

    1. Hendrix
    2. Jimmy Page
    3. Brian Setzer
    4. Eric Clapton
    5. BB king
    6. Andy Summers
    7. Chris Cheney
    8. Yngwie Malmsteen
    9. Johnny Ramone
    10. Brian May

  • jonhhny bravo

    Lets see kurt cobain or jack white play one of satch’s licks…just one

    oh wait kurts dead
    and jack white sucks ass

    I give my vote to ralph demaccio oh wait but vai didnt make the list either…crap crap crap

    alright then blink-182 all the way since we’re playing vote for pop.

  • Douglas Mays

    Oh, so subjective, but I agree with everyones pick. There is virtuosity in it all.

    Thank you for picking Kim Thayil (Soundgarden). That opens the doors for some unknowns from the scene in Seattle that was pre-grunge (’75-’85). Let me name a few players (world-class level, no kidding) that Kim learned his modern chops from.
    1) Eric Alton (X-15/Life In General)
    2) Chris Newman (Napalm Beach)
    3) Byron Duff (Spectators)

    I know Eric can be found on I don’t know about the other two. Search the net. These guys got the industry to look towards Seattle. Grunge, a by-product of the above, cashed in. 3 outstanding guitarists. And I’ve seen most of the top 100 list and learned from them. I know these Seattle guys can keep up, easily.

    Also, one killer guitarist is a Jamaican. Lenford Richards who played with Burning Spear from ’85-’90. Reggae music, true? But the guy could shred like nobody else, Van Halen, Satriani? This guy could blow trees and somehow make it fit perfect with the reggae. The guy has floored me a few times.

    Anyway, a few noteworthy additions to the list.

  • none

    HAHA crossroads is the
    Best movie of all time!!
    Steve Vai rocks more than
    99% of these fools!

  • Willie Redmond

    Just a question …

    How about that Prince solo on “While my guitar gently weeps” at the R&R Hall of Fame induction????

  • HW Saxton Jr.

    Prince was smoking at the R n R Hall Of
    Shame ceremonies.IMO,way underrated as
    a guitar player. He can play really mean
    JB’s styled funk,soul,rock or shred like
    Jimi with equal aplomb. His solo on that
    version of’While My Guitar Gently Weeps’
    during the Harrison tribute WAS great.

    The artist formerly known as Prince then
    as an undecipherable symbol then Prince again is one of the last of the living
    musical geniuses.Writer,arranger,studio
    wizard,multi-instrumentalist & producer.

    The only other living musical genius to
    make a comparision to would be perhaps
    Ray Charles.Both equally funky and just
    as self driven & self realized in their
    individual musical visions.IMO.

    My hopes are that the new CD from Prince
    and concurrent tour do well to bring him
    back into the spotlight again. A welcome
    return to form after a long,long hiatus and it’s nice to have him back.

    Rock on Y’all.

  • Douglas Mays

    Oh, let me throw in a notice to Nancy Wilson of Heart.

    Having had a chance to be aware of her playing over the past 30 years (yeah, living in the northwest USA) I have seen her throw down some really crafty licks even though she mainly does the rhythm guitar thing. She is a Zeppelin influenced hardcore gal…

    Anyway, she deserves a ‘thumbs up’.

  • Aaron

    i think this is a very poor list….

    i am quite a good guitarist and this is how i think the top 10 shoudld go

    1. Jimmy Page
    2. Tommy Emaneul
    3. Hendrix (he wasn’t really that skilled at guitar)
    4. Santana
    5. Eric Clapton
    7. Steve Morse
    8. Keith Richards
    9. Stevie Ray Vaughan
    10.Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple

  • Douglas Mays

    Hey, HW Saxton Jr. who has post #741,

    Good of you to mention Joey Shithead. Back in the day (’75-’85) Vancouver B.C., Seattle and Portland were all one scene. I bring this up because some great stuff was happening that the planet never got a full taste of. Got some funny storys crashing at the DOA house whenever we played in B.C. Some pure chaos would be going on and Joey wouldn’t even spill a drop of his hi-test, laughing all the way…

  • Allan Karl

    good god. who the hell IS Jack White? Or is it Joe Black?
    – Allan Holdsworth
    – John McLaughlin
    – Bill Frisell
    – Snowy White
    – Adrian Belew
    – Wes Montgomery

    And Kurt Cobain? Christ, you kidding? Thank god Ry Cooder made the top 10 but how’d Richard Thompson get sucked into the bowels of this schlock list.

    Good god.

  • Allan Karl

    OH. And I’m happy that Roy Buchanon is on this list but good god, he should be in the top 10 too.

  • Ben

    If you never Hendrix play live, I think it’s difficult to comment on how good he actually was, but he gets my vote for number 1. Amazing guitar player!

  • steveo

    befor i was saved through jesus christ i loved nirvana but come on he wasent in the top 100.there are so many asome christian rock guitarist better than many on that page.not just because im a christian do i say that but because it is true.Mark Lee Brad Avery two asome guitarest for a christian groupe better than many on that page.well bye God bless

  • Leo

    Technically speaking, Ynwie Malmsteen and Jason Becker make Hendrix sound like he’s popped a few too many barbiturate caps. In fact I’m puzzled as to popular acceptance of Jimi Hendrix’s primacy. Sure he’s influenced the shit out of practically every other guitar player with any chops, but influence doesn’t make up for raw talent/technical superiority. (Does anyone cite Gauss’s influences and unduly magnify those?) Relatively speaking, Jimmy’s solo outbursts reveal hardly a glimpse of any speed (if at all), often sound long, drawn-out, and basically consist of 5-10 minute bouts of lazy self-indulgent autoerotic drug-induced noise. Much like B.B. King (who doesn’t deserve to be on the list), except better (and I don’t know about B.B.’s drug profile). Just listen to Jimmy’s ‘Blues’ album, his most solo-oriented work (which displays his guitar abilities better than any other) and you’ll see. How can anyone tell me – with a straight face, that is – that Jimmy at his most lucid and evocative doesn’t sound like a languid toddler faintly strumming his father’s guitar when compared to Jason Becker’s “Air” on Perpetual Burn (which isn’t even nearly his most technically complex piece)? I’m not saying that Becker should necessarily be number 1 on the list but that Jimi Hendrix’s ascendancy as guitar god really needs to be undone (Most of this man’s solo progressions are so annoyingly repetitive that I’m often tempted to throw my cd player into a ditch while listening), for whatever reason (perhaps political correctness) it was created in the first place. I admit I’m being harsh, but I believe Rolling Stone set out to map out the best guitarists for us, not the most easily recognized (and therefore most widely influential) ones. In my list, he might make it to the top 25. Then again, there are/have been a lot of sweet guitarists out there.

  • Jordan

    List is bullshit.heres how it shopuld go
    3.ALLEN COOLINS PAGE IS #1 watch him

  • Jordan

    List is bullshit.heres how it shopuld go

  • kumi

    jack white???? but what about guitar greats such as Yngwie Malmsteen, joe satriani and steve vai??? maan what about the boys of opeth, system of a down and black sabbath????????? these guys redefine guitar playing!! this list shud be re-named as the “top 100 most popular guitarists if all time “…geeeeze!!!

  • Blake

    How can Rolling Stone rate guitar players in such an organized list? The major problem is this:

    If you rate in terms of how influential these people are, you neglect techique and style.

    If you rate in terms of technique and style you neglect influence.

    The fact is this: the dumb ass writers for Rolling Stone don’t know who Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall, and Bill Frissell are. So let them listen to the pop rubbish and those of us who desire to hear real ability will stick to their glaring omissions.

  • Guillermo

    This list is trash, is all wrong,the top 30: must include Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Michael Romeo, John Petrucci, Yngwie and the list should include not only famous guitar players.

  • Guillermo

    This list is trash, is all wrong,the top 30: must include Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Michael Romeo, John Petrucci, Yngwie and the list should include not only famous guitar players.
    Jack White and kurt Cobain, don´t make me laugh.

  • cheyenne

    Hmmm, the best guitarist….

    that would be ME!!!!

    And you all have an opinion of who you all think is best. Any list or name mentioned is a matter of opinion. Yeah, they are all great! But, I’m going to choose myself. And I don’t care what anyone says. I can be so not as “good” as any of these people… but, I can work on it and try. That’s all I can do. I am my own best person! 😛

  • Eric Chang

    EVERYONE go listen to BALL AND BISCUIT by the White Stripes. THEN you tell me he doesnt have skills. ID LIKE TO SEE SOMEONE PLAY EXACTLY LIKE THAT. And he plays with his HEART.

    And Kurt Cobain… you KNOW it’s him when you hear him. His tone and style of playing is unique. i can name countless songs that show that he deserves his spot

  • michele

    O MY GOD!!! you know anything about guitar… VAN HALEN RULEZ

  • dannyboy15

    I actually think it is foolish to try to make a top 100 guitarists list because everyone would criticize it and it all really a matter of opinion and there are different kinds of guitarist there are players that play with emotion like “Dave Gilmour” and then you have your guitarist who go for pure speed like “Alvin Lee(of ten years after).” So really this list is worthless bullshit to most people becasue everyones gonna have different opinions.

  • dannyboy15

    Oh and comment 83 is gay because George Harrison is definatly on of your better guitarists. Maybe not #21 but he should be on the list.

  • chuk

    JIMMY PAGE # 1
    HENDRIX #2
    CLAPTON #3
    SLASH #5
    ANGUS #8

  • http://Bor Bor

    I’m sick of reading this B.S. about people separating inspiration from raw talent. INSPIRATION IS RAW TALENT! Hendrix is awesome, and we don’t actually know how well he could move his hands.

    Kurt Kobain deserves to be where he is and so does Jack White, because their guitar work (rythm and solos) are enjoyable. People like listening to them!

    Who the hell wants to hear some shredding solo where we don’t know what the hell is going on or if their landing on any meaningful notes! Everyone has the chops to play a fast solo and the brains to come up with one. But only few can play really inspirational solos to get people listening, whether it requires technical skills or not.

    Much of this list is indeed crap, but so are many of the comments that have been posted about technical skills and bashing inspirational guitar players

  • http://Bor Bor

    van halen should definitely be way higher too

  • Natalie Davis

    I can’t believe this thread continues to live. Good job, most of you.

    Let me add a shoutout for Buckethead.

  • Roger

    Damn (alter ego Natalie)! Buckethead…
    That’s about you’re understanding of a real Guitarist and band… Go “Thread” your needle and prick yourself in the process.

    Sorry you haven’t been able to give Axl Rose a “groupie head job”. %@#$!…
    Lol, lol…

  • Natalie Davis

    I am not a GNR fan, particularly, so giving Axl Rose anything is not on my wish list. As for Buckethead, he has done much more than perform with Axl’s band; he is a very talented, versatile musician who plays with precision, uniqueness, and imagination. Does he belong in the upper realm of this list? That is matter of opinion, of course. Is he a guitarist of note, one worthy of a shoutout or two? Arguably, yes.

  • Michel

    What about Rory Gallagher and Frank Marino???????????????
    And Patrick Rondat an excellent French Axeman/Guitarfreak

  • Michel

    And what about Strunz and Farah?????????????

  • Stately Wayne Manor

    And what about Batdorf & Rodney????

  • Eric Olsen

    or Cecilio and Kapono? or Teagarden and Vanwinkle?

  • duane

    What about Zager and Evans??????????????????????????????????????????????

  • mike

    where the hell is Slash and also where is George Harrison ?!?!?!?!?!? and Jimmy Page #9 come on hes #1!

  • douglas

    who the fuck does chuk think he is? somehow he thinks that page is better than hendrix. fuck that! what did page do that hendrix couldn’t?

  • jimothy

    i’d like some more jazz guitar on this list:
    charlie christian
    django reinhardt
    freddy green
    al dimeola
    grant green
    and whats with all the hendrix bashing?!!! and since when is jimmy page #1?! also pete townshend deserves MUCH better than #50!!!!!!

  • shiner

    john fruisciante does not deserve to be #18. could you tell my dumb ass cousin that he is no where as good as kirk hammett. thank god no korn or slipknot guitarist got onto the list. why do korn fans think that korns music is like metallicas coz it is not. they give `tallica fans, like me, a bad name

  • jimothy

    My 10 favourite guitarists:

    1. Jimi Hendrix
    2. Eric Clapton
    3. Jimmy Page
    4. Stevie Ray Vaughan
    5. Pete Townshend
    6. Jerry Garcia
    7. Chuck Berry
    8. Carlos Santana
    9. Keith Richards
    10. Angus Young

    Honorable mentions: Yngwie Malmsteen and Joe Perry

  • jimothy

    i hope everyone realises that we’ve been arguing about this list for over 6 MONTHS now. i just posted in yesterday but SERIOUSLY! 6 F***ING MONTHS!!! Get a f***in life, man. People, i should say

  • Smenkharon

    John McLaughlin is the greatest guitar player of all time. Others I thought should be on the list or higher include Trey Spruance, Django Reinhardt, Prince, Al DiMeola, Paco De Lucia, Chet Atkins, Adrian Smith, Frank Zappa and of course Joe Satriani. There are many more I could add but suffice to say Rolling Stone’s list was an absolute joke!

  • POIU

    OK, Now while I agree that this list absolutely is the most pathetic, unresearched list put together. There is still one guitarist who without question is THEE MOST CAPABLE guitarist of all time. Although he is not my favorite, this still leaves no question that he cant romp all over anyone else. Michael Angelo Batio. This guy is absolutely INSANE. There are a couple of you guy’s out there that are right on top of this list. Then there are a couple that just need to be SHOT cause your knowledge of guitarist is so pathetic that your just a waste of space. Just for the record John Petrucci is my favorite guitarist, and one more that I think deserves credit only because he is how I got into rock is Tom Shultz from Boston. But if you dont know Michael Angelo. Dont bother speaking.

  • Upside down lefty

    Slash is in the top ten definately, Eddie van halen not in the top ten is a fucking joke…kurt cobain in the top 20 is hilarious if he were still alive and seen that list he would kill himself again…i definately think its hard to even make a list cause of the different styles and eras but if they truly got the best 100 on there over half would probably be people not many have ever heard of because fame and fortion doesn’t make you a good guitar player! Rock on everyone…

  • kalai

    my top 5
    1-SLASH( plays like a dream)
    2-Michael Angelo Batio (go hear him)
    3-Kirk hammett
    4-Eddie van halen
    5-steve vai?malmsteen?zack wyld?

  • jimothy

    how can you not put jimi hendrix in the top five??? do you know nothing about guitarists???

  •; Bobby Lewis

    Whoever made this list obviously doesn’t play guitar. Jimmy Page is really number one and Kurt Cobain is not even in the top 100 let alone ahead of Jerry Garcia and Santana. And David Gilmour is 82? No Vai or Satriani?

  • Bobby Lewis

    And James Hetfield is a better guitarist than Kirk Hammett

  • Douglas Mays

    Oh yeah, weeks later I remembered another great guitarist from the region of grunge influences. See posted comment #833. I mention great Seattle guitarists that were an influence on the grunge scene because Kim Thayil was mentioned in the top 100.

    OK, Kurt Bloch (Fastbacks, others) is a killer guitarist that rates as good as anyone. Sorry Kurt, you are there with Eric, Chris and Byron. Slipped my mind. But saw your photo in the paper with Scott (REM, Young Fresh Fellows, etc.).

  • big gun #1

    Jack White is number 17? JACK WHITE IS NUMBER 17?!?!? Are you freaking kidding me? How is a washed up modern “rocker” like this punk taking up slot 17 when Van Halen is way down the list at 70? Siriously, I would love to hear from anyone who truely believes Jack White is more skillled and influential than Pete Townshend, Angus Young, or Tony Iommi.

  • http://NA patience

    all I want to say is that Slash is NOT over rated! and he should be in that top 100 somewhere!

  • duane

    Yes, he is, and no, he shouldn’t.

  • Eric Olsen

    I would conclude that Jackk White is overrated in the poll, that Van Halen is underrated, and that Slash should be squeezed in at 100.1 or something.

    And if you guys don’t get on it you’ll never hit 1000.

  • Dave

    So they say this poll is also weighed on influence, as well as skill. OK, let’s talk about influence;
    Les Paul invented the frigging electric guitar and he’s number 46! If it hadnt been for him guys like Hendrix probably wouldnt even have played. Theres your influence for ya.

  • duane

    Dave, regarding influence, don’t you think that Les Paul had influences? How far back in time shall we go? Please see post #567 for a reductio ad absurdum along this line of reasoning.

  • Eric Olsen

    Bold stroke, that, Duane.

  • HW Saxton Jr.

    HMMMM…. It seems like I read a post on
    influences as regards modern guitarists
    on Blogcritics somewhere recently.

  • Eric Olsen

    a damn fine one, it should be noted

  • HW Saxton Jr.


  • Douglas Mays

    And one who deserves notice at least is East Bay Ray of the Dead Kennedys. He is quite good, can hang with the others mentioned.

  • HW Saxton Jr.

    East Bay Ray!!! He is smoking.Unique as
    all hell,especially for Punk guitarists.
    I like the way that he blended Surf,60’s
    garage punk & cool spy movie sounding
    riffs into his style to great effect.
    As opposed to just playing faster,louder
    faster,louder like every other punk band
    at the time.

    DM,you mentioned The Young Fresh Fellows
    earlier.Those guys put on such a great
    live show(the LP’s were kinda hit & miss
    though).They played an insane version of
    “Zip A Dee Doo Dah” the time I saw them.
    Fucking surreal scene, a couple hundred
    drunken sweaty punkers all moshing it up
    and singing along at the top of their

    No one has yet mentioned Mark Arm from
    Mudhoney on this post either.Underrated
    guitar player & band if ya ask me.Adios.

  • Douglas Mays

    HW: You know what is goin’ on in the scene! Right on about East Bay, YFF’s live shows (true about recorded stuff) and Mark Arm. Good evaluations.

  • Darren

    Hey can anyone tell me WHERE THE HELL BILLY GIBBONS IS??

  • HW Saxton Jr.

    Somewhere between Heaven,Hell & Houston.
    I’ve mentioned Billy Gibbons and most of
    the yokels around these parts started in
    on some “He’s a generic Blues guy,Blah,
    Blah,Blah”. Billy is one great f**king
    guitarist!!! Simple but deadly IMO.

  • Ronald

    Esta lista es una cagada… no expresa la realidad de lo que representa “ser guitarrista”… es una mierda, asi q metanse su lista por el trasero… cuerda de mamarrachos!!!
    pufff por favor, y que Gilmour nº82, si la cagan!!! CABRONES…!!!

  • Jambo_The_1

    Ok tell me why Zack Wylde , Slash , Petrucchi , Vai , Satriani , Hammet , King , Darrel And The lynryd Skynyrd guitarist really high on that list? fuksake hav u heard half of there stuff man never mind the fuckin white stripes pishy seven nation army and fuckin the likes of come as you are by kurt cobain , man ma wee bro cud play that n hes only 6 n dosnt play the guitar..get a grip people eh?

  • duane


  • Stately Wayne Manor

    I think the basic message in #897 is:
    He would like to know why his favorites
    aren’t ranked higher,he does not really
    care for The White Stripes or Nirvana
    and his younger male sibling can play
    the guitar better than Jack White or
    Kurt Cobain can.

    I’m not a cryptologist though and the
    above is pure speculation at best.

  • duane

    Thanks, Stately. I wasn’t sure if there were words from other languages mixed in with some primitive form of English. For example, the word fuksake looks distinctly Japanese. And there was something about cud, which is the form that grass takes on after a cow has chewed on it, and I didn’t see what that might have to do with guitar playing.

  • Stately Wayne Manor

    Glad I could be of assistance,Duane.

  • http://bob2000 bob

    what the hell is with eddie van halen so down in the list that sucks he at least in the top 5

  • http://bob2000 bob

    what the hell is with eddie van halen so down in the list that sucks he at least in the top 5

  • http://bob2000 bob

    what the hell is with eddie van halen so down in the list that sucks he at least in the top 5

  • Ty

    1. Hendrix
    2. Clapton
    3. Beck

    Again this is my opinion and the idea of arguing about the best guitarist ever is entirely too broad. With all of the conflicting styles and influences, we need to seperate into smaller groups.

  • Alex

    My Favorites…
    Jimi Hendrix
    Eric Clapton
    Carlos Santana
    David Gilmour
    George Harrison
    Jimmy Page

    Van Halen is at 70 cause hes only got SPEED!

  • SuckaMC360

    Yah know,I’ve been reading through the list and while we all agree that the list sucks, I was utterly shocked to see that only one post mentioned Johnny Guitar Watson. When it came to technical prowess and innovation this guy was tops. As for Fripp…..he’s definitely top ten. And by the way, consider vai’s lyrics on Fuck Yourself from his album Flexable Leftovers:

    Fuck yourself with a copy of Rolling Stone /Or are they too holy for your holiest of holes/ Now those people think they’re holier than Moses/But aren’t they just a bunch of fuckin’ posers.

    His name is Stevie Vai. And he’s a crazy guy.

  • Matt


  • Billy Gibbons Jack White

    Jack White and Billy Gibbons have the same style, easy electric blues. Both have come up with great songs La Grange, Ball and Biscuit. Both have there stage presance. White sings every song but one for the White Stripes, Gibbons sings some. Both are awesome and both deserve to be higher. I actually think Jack White is #1, download the Grammy performance crazy chord changes and tunings.

  • Matthew Tompsett

    Jack White ahead of John Frusciante?
    John Frusciante should be in the top ten, he’s the best modern guitarist

  • http://708586 Chris

    Oh My GOD! This is the worst top 100 list I have ever seen! Where is Slash?!?! His is one of the best ever.
    And whats up with Eddie Van Halen at 70, and Randy Rhoads and Tony Iommi at 85 and 86? Thats LAME! Angus Young at 96? Jeez. Also where is Vinnie Paul, Joe Satriani, Jame Hetfield or Dave Mustaine? This is insane and not worthy of being a top 100.

  • Duane

    Finally, someone notices that Slash is NOT in the Top 100, and asks the question of the year, “Where is Slash?”

  • mike bonenti

    You all have left out one of the best guitarists of all time ~ Hank Marvin. Please rewrite the list.

  • Chris

    Who are the Morons that think B.B. King and Chuck Berry derserve the 2 and 4 slots? Dont get me wrong the are great and do derserve a place on this list, but Im thinkin somewhere in the late teens/early 20’s. There is no way they should be higher than E. Van Halen or Slash. Another thing where is Dimebag Darrell? But I read somewhere earlier (too many posts to go and find it) that there are too many styles to effectivly create a best of all-time list. That is so true, you cant say that Jimi is better than Kirk Hammett or visa versa, because their styles were so different. Likewise with BB King and Randy Rhoads. Both great legends in their own respect, but you cant compare them and say one is better than the other. If they did a metal list for example, it should look something like this (my opinon)

    1. Kirk Hammett
    2. Slash
    3. Eddie Van Halen
    4. Randy Rhoads
    5. Tony Iommi
    6. Angus Young
    7. James Hetfield
    8. Dave Mustaine
    9. Dimebag Darrell
    10. Kerry King

    *I would like to see others variations of a top 10 metal list so plz post.

  • Darren/Mitch

    WTF!!!!!!how is jack white higher than randy rhoads and tony iommi??? tony iommi invented metal, and randy rhoads invented the shred solo! what the fuck did jack white do? SHIT ALL! wow the hardest button to button i have better sounds coming out of my ass than that freaky-deaky british arty-farty faggot shit. and billy gibbons, WHERE THE HELL IS HE? HE’S BETTER THAN ANGUS! and by the way, kurt cobain did not play the guitar…he smashed it.

  • jimothy

    ok, heres a top ten of ROCK guitarists (no metal, no blues, etc.)

    1. Jimi Hendrix (invented wah wah, set the stage for guitarists ever since)
    2. Jimmy Page (look at stairway to heaven and heartbreaker solos)
    3. Eric Clapton (sometimes does blues, but cream and solo stuff is amazing)
    4. Jerry Garcia (he’s only got 9 and a half fingers and he still owns
    5. Jeff Beck (needs no explanation he’s just fuckin’ awesome)
    6. Frank Zappa (he’s amazing on ‘hot rats’)
    7. Angus Young (he’s hard rock, not metal)
    8. Mark Knopfler (the sultans of swing solo is amazing)
    9. Yngwie Malmsteen (bordering on heavy metal, but whatcha gonna do? hes amazing)
    10. Eddie Van Halen (again, see number 9)

    its impossible to compare people like jimi hendrix and frank zappa to other guitarists, because they play so differently

  • Yoakim

    ye all u dudes, put it this way, jack white shouldnt be on the list, and thats that, so dont argue about that looser. slash is one of the greatest guitarists in the world, he should at least be in the list. theses guitarists should at least been on the list: (not in order)
    steve vai
    steve morse
    eric johnson
    legendary slash (saul hudson)
    dave priner
    alex lifeson
    al dimeola
    yngwie malmsteen
    alex skolnic
    joe satriani
    zack wylde
    john petruci
    billy gibbons
    robben ford
    scott henderson
    george lynch
    vernon reid
    mark whitfield
    albert lee
    john scotfield
    mark knopfler
    nuno bettencourt

    they should all be in the list
    this is my list:
    1. jimi hendrix
    2. edward van halen
    3. slash
    4. joe satriani
    5. Yngwie Malmsteen
    6. jimmy page
    7. john petrucci
    8. eric clapton
    9. kurk hammet
    10. angus young

    Als how is John Frusciante at all the way at number 18? thats way too high for him, john plays simple rhcp riffs with slow simple solos, his a good musician but not the worlds number 18. slash is better than John Frusciante. yeah, so dudes thats about it what i want to say, and in conclusion, i want to say that the rolling stones poll is fuked up

  • Glick

    As much as everyone absolutely detests the 80’s hair scene, that decade spawned the very best guitarists to this day. Heck, even the highly ridiculed bands like Winger and Dokken showcased utter and absolute virtuosos. A good analogy: Model T Ford vs. Lamborghini Diablo. Which is a “great” car? The critics need to get with the times and get off Jimi’s rod. He did a nifty feedback trick decades ago. Congrats. Eddie popularized tapping. Satriani and Vai popularized shapeshifting sounds. Get it?

    I’ll bet the critics that made this list wrote it up on a Vic 20 or Commodore 64. They were after all, “innovative and inspiring” computers, so they obviously still use them, because they are just so great. Right?

    A great big kiss my ass from: Vai, DeMartini, Beach, Satch, Lynch, etc.


  • Ben

    Any of you guys ever heard of Marcus Paus. Norwegian guitarist, and the fastest of all time.
    46 notes per second.
    It’s pretty heavy man.

  • http://afgaafddfsa Anonymous

    A great guitarist has three main criteria:
    1. Influence. This is the only thing that Johnny Ramone has, in my opinion. He basically invented punk rock. This has to do with how they play the guitar that shifts the paradigm.

    2. Raw Talent. The most debated on this board, and in general. It’s important to be able to play things super fast with huge jumps between chords, or be able to improvise a guitar solo, but it’s not everything.

    3. Musical Sense. What gives Jack White a right to be on the list, if not #17 in my opinion. When a musician WRITES a guitar part they usually have to balance creativity and catchyness just perfectly. As complex as many classic rock songs are, they all blend together when there’s nothing new in the solo. Songs like Sunshine of Your Love, Seven Nation Army and Black Dog have all established themselves as the most memorable tunes. We’ll have to see how 7NA endures, sorry if I offended any of the many White Stripes haters.

    And now for a few personal opinions:
    -You can’t put Johnny Ramone on there and not put Joe Strummer on. The Clash, in their first three years, did everything the Ramones did in their entire career, and better. (PS, someone said Mick Jones was the guitarist, and if I have my facts wrong that’s pretty embarassing.)
    -Billy Corgan’s a personal favorite of mine. I know he took on the guitar playing role for his band for some of the albums, and he wrote all the songs. He was probably excluded from the list because of his lack of number one hits. I just think he should have some recognition, even though guitar is not the prevalent aspect of the Smashing Pumpkins’ music.
    -There’s no reason David Gilmour of Pink Floyd should be as low as 82. He did not make Pink Floyd great singlehandedly, but he definitely added a lot of power to songs by launching into howling guitar solos. Putting him so low is also, in my opinion, ignoring the masses; Pink Floyd is easily one of the most popular bands in all rock history.

  • Stately Wayne Manor

    ANON: You can’t in all fairness compare
    The Clash with The Ramones.Excepting the
    fact that both are considered Punk Rock
    they are nothing alike.Mick Jones played
    lead in the Clash, Joe Strummer mainly
    handled the rhythm parts by the way.
    I doubt if the R’s could’ve pulled off
    something like “Armageddeon Time” or
    “White Man In A Hammersmith Palais”.
    On the same hand I don’t think The Clash
    could do “Pinhead” any justice.The R’s
    played much,much faster than The Clash
    ever did.The Clash could play Reggae/Dub
    /Soul and other styles that The Ramones
    wouldn’t even try. It’s just an apples
    & oranges thing that’s all.They’re both
    good R’n’R bands but trying to compare
    them is just pointless.And wrong.

  • Johnny Thompson

    Hey, check this link out if you think Jack White Sucks. By the way if yo do, you are wrong…greatest guitarist since Jimmy P or Jimmy H.

    Go to track 11 Death Letter, you will hear nothing better. Ever.

  • Ed Malley

    My rock n roll top three:

    1. Chuck Berry – Amazing, what else can I say.

    2. Jack White – Never heard the White Stripes until my daughter pointed them out to me. I am amazed that myself (a 62 year old man) can hear the passion in this generation x musical god. He will go down as the best ever when it is all said and done, emotion in every note.

    3. John Fogerty – That swamp swagger, everyone says they could play like him, but nobody does.

  • Chris

    What the Hell!? Jack White #2? Come on Ed. White has been on the scene for less than 5 years. Good guitarist? Absolutly! Great guitarist? Possibly. #2 greatest guitarist of all time? NO!!! Jack White might make a top 20 list in about 10-15 years if he continues to play like he does now.
    But as of right now… Not a chance. Look at the people in the top 10. ANY top 10 list, and I will assure you that you will not find anyone on that list who has not proven themselves over at least a 15 year period. Most in fact have been playing mainstream for over 20 years. Jack White and his 5 years of fame still has a lot of growing to do.

  • Douglas Mays

    Chris, your evaluation of Jack White is perfect! Jack would agree and even put your comments as a compliment. OK, in this music biz I have had a chance to actually discuss this very subject with him.

    After a concert I was impressed with his guitar work. He hasn’t played for that many years. He was kinda like “oh gosh, gee whiz, thank you” about my analysis of his guitar work.

    Anyway, if he sticks with it for years, gaining experience in many factions of the business, he might suprise everyone (including himself) by becoming a great guitarist. For now he is a new impact player to keep an eye on. His latest works with Loretta Lynn is giving him the expanded horizon needed to become a great musician.

    Your evaluation is right on, Chris.


  • big john

    Jerry Cantrell for Alice in Chains is always forgotten, the guy really was innovative,fast,creative an all around great guitarist

  • Adam Feathers

    Ok, Where should I start, and where should I end. I never saw such a terrible list. There are a ton of guitarists who shouldn’t even be on there, and are beating Dickey Betts, Iomi, Santana, and even freaking John Fucking McLaughlin, who I am sure could whipe the floor with 95% of that list. I could honestly see him being the top.

  • Douglas Mays

    big john, yeah, thumbs up to Jerry Cantrell.

    Adam, ugh! I personally can’t get that passionate about it all….

  • HW Saxton Jr.

    On the subject of NW guys I’d add Ken &
    Jon from “The Posies” as well.Incredible
    live act.

  • Douglas Mays

    HW, thanx for snappin’ me on Ken and Jon. Yer right. those guys are solid!

  • Ben

    Hendrix is the greatest. If you don’t realise that you need to wake up and listen to his music. Brilliance!
    I can’t be bothered to make a list but my top 10 would include Randy Rhoads, Alvin Lee, Eric Clapton and Joe Satriani.
    Also, I feel James Hetfield deserves a place in the top 100. Yes, he’s a rhythm guitarist, but try and play some of his rhythm parts he does for Metallica and you’ll see what I mean. He’s an excellent guitarist.

    P.S. Hendrix #1. Hammet – somewhere in the top 30.

  • Ben

    Also I urge you speed freaks once again to listen Marcus Paus. Fastest of all time, 46 notes per second.
    Forget Malmsteen, Vai and Becker. This guy is the speed king!

  • Stately Wayne Manor

    Fifteen posts in a row without someone
    mentioning “Slash”, DOH!, never mind.

  • Douglas Mays

    Hopefully as Velvet Revolver evolves people will get the picture…

  • Rob

    I would conclude with the following:

    The list is extremly incorrect. I dont know who was envolved in the making of it, or whose twisted opinion put it together, but I dont think there is a single guitarist on that list who is in their rightful place. As for Jack White, it is true that he is not very skilled, and is even less “influential”. According to what this list is said to be based on, he does not fit the top 100 category-end of story. Anyone who argues otherwise either simply does not know what they are talking about, or has not had enough expirience to make a valid argument. Angus Young is actually surprisingly better than most people think. BB King is #3, but Les Paul is number 46. How on earth does that work? And I must say that I strongly disagree with the unwritten rule that Jimmy Hendrix must always be first. Kurt Cobain should not be on the list, and it is very hard to understand how he is when Slash and Billy Gibbons are not. Van Halen is flatly insulted here, which makes me sick to my stomach. Same goes for Tony Iommi and Randy Rhoads. I am also quite sure Brian May is far better than at least 95% of all the listed guitarists, that encludes Hendrix. One needs to consider that he did study guitar theory in university, something the average man does not do.

    These are just some major points. Like I said before, not one guitarist is in his correct spot, so I could go on all day talking about whats wrong with this picture. It is true that everyones opinion is different, so there will never be a list that we can all agree on; But this list is obviously far far beyond small differences in opinion-its just plain wrong.

  • Tim Kingman

    Yeah, Jack White sucks, he produces his own records by himself on 1/4 inch tape, uses no studio effects, plays a 1964 Montgomery Wards Airline guitar with only on working pickup, uses 2 1965 Sears Silvertone tube amps on stage, has only a bad drummer to back him up, sings while playing, uses only a Digitech Whammy and EH Big Muff for effects on stage, and lives in a two million dollar house in Detroit City’s Indian Village. Sounds like a sellout whore. I would like to see any of you geniuses suck that bad.

    Death Letter Live

  • Sam

    The fact that kurt cobain is on the list is a joke. Not to mention he is #12!!! He is above Jerry Garcia Tony Iommi and Angus young (96??)…thats just terrible

  • angus_young_96!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    -angus young in the top 15 not 96
    – where the hell is slash, vai, satriani, gibbons,zack wylde

    2- Jimmy Paige
    3- Eric Clapton
    4- Slash
    5- Hammet
    6- Frank Zappa
    7- Angus Young
    8- Mark Knopfler
    9- Vai
    10- Satriani

    and the fact that Jack Wjite is on the list is a friggin joke

  • Ryan

    This whole thing is a joke! Where is SLASH! he should be in there at least 10 he’s great and not to mention some other great guitarist like JAMES & MICK from slipknot, and ACE frehley from kiss absolute legend and JIMMY PAGE at 9! whos the JACKass that put him there he should be under the 5 region STAIR WAY TO HEVEN is the greatest song EVER!
    P.S if you saw him live in concert playing that song you’d definatley move him in there at 5 or under, and one last quote for me and that is METAL IS THE BEST DAMM MUSIC GOING AROUND.

  • Stedz

    How the f*ck are Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Slash, Yngwie Malmsteen and George Benson not in the list, wot a joke, they wud definately all be in my top 30 , wot kind of idiots reckon Cobain and Jack White are better than these guys. Santana bein lower than Cobain? come on Rolling Stone, wot r u takin and Eddie Van Halen shud easily be top 20 and Definately higher than Jack White.

  • Michael Kishel

    I don’t even know where to start with this thing. I am a GIT grad and easily the most successful professional guitarist in Colorado and among the most successful in the west. These people are sick. Curt Cobain for Gods sake. I bet even the guys listed on there are going “what the fuck.” This looks like a list compiled by someone who thumbed through a book of musicians and just started listing everyone they saw with a guitar in their hands. For one thing there isn’t a single guy on there who could hang with ANY of the fusion players (Dimeola,Holdsworth,Henderson,Gambale,ect.). Even my wife who really has only a passing knowledge of who is good and who is not was thoroughly baffled by this list. I didn’t even say anything at first I just let her read it. “Where’s joe,vai,johnson, I see Jimi where is everybody else” is what she said. Then I showed her where Eddie was. You could have knocked her over with a feather especially after I told her that it was actually Rolling Stone who put this out. Jack White of the White Stripes. How much crack do you have to smoke before you decide to put him on the list. How the Fuck does Jack White get on this list and Wes Montgomery doesn’t. What about Benson, Metheny, Mike Stern, Joe Pass, Joe Diorio, or what about some obvious classical guys like Segovia, Parkening, or Pepe Romero. What a bunch of dipshits. I can’t believe that I even took the time to grace this article with one of my thoughts.

  • Michael Kishel

    I don’t even know where to start with this thing. I am a GIT grad and easily the most successful professional guitarist in Colorado and among the most successful in the west. These people are sick. Curt Cobain for Gods sake. I bet even the guys listed on there are going “what the fuck.” This looks like a list compiled by someone who thumbed through a book of musicians and just started listing everyone they saw with a guitar in their hands. For one thing there isn’t a single guy on there who could hang with ANY of the fusion players (Dimeola,Holdsworth,Henderson,Gambale,ect.). Even my wife who really has only a passing knowledge of who is good and who is not was thoroughly baffled by this list. I didn’t even say anything at first I just let her read it. “Where’s joe,vai,johnson, I see Jimi where is everybody else” is what she said. Then I showed her where Eddie was. You could have knocked her over with a feather especially after I told her that it was actually Rolling Stone who put this out. Jack White of the White Stripes. How much crack do you have to smoke before you decide to put him on the list. How the Fuck does Jack White get on this list and Wes Montgomery doesn’t. What about Benson, Metheny, Mike Stern, Joe Pass, Joe Diorio, or what about some obvious classical guys like Segovia, Parkening, or Pepe Romero. What a bunch of dipshits. I can’t believe that I even took the time to grace this article with one of my thoughts.

  • kudd45

    Wow 942 posts….. thats a new high for me to see.

    I only got one thing to say…. i am a huge nirvana fan but kurt cobain was no briliant guitar player and for him to make 12 is a clear indication of this list’s uselessness. I love kurt’s music but he shouldn’t make the top 500 of guitar players.

  • a person

    kudd45, that is the first intelligent reply in a long time.

    Thank you…

  • james fitzgerald

    i just came across this site and …wow……kurt cobain…top 100….top 100 taleast….wow……jimi #1 pretty accurate..but angus even on here….wow

  • james fitzgerald

    i just came across this site and …wow……kurt cobain…top 100….top 2000 at least….wow……jimi #1 pretty accurate..but angus even on here….wow

  • http://Jagklättrariträd BO bertil botvit

    jag tycker listan var väldigt dålig….

  • Derek VanVeller

    This is the worst list i’ve ever seen. I forever hate Rolling Stone Magazine. Angus Young at 96? Who are you kidding? Eddie Van Halen at 70? And wait a minute I don’t even see Slash from Guns N’ Roses. The only thing right about this list is Jimi Hendrix at the top. The rest is garbage. I’d like to see Jimmy Page closer to the top as well. I’m gonna pretend I never even saw this list because it is a disgrace

  • Derek VanVeller

    Ok im not done yet…Jack White at 17? Maybe he wrote this list himself. And Neil Young down at 83? And just one more thing…Where is Steve Vai

  • izzy stradlin

    this list shows how out of touvh rolling stone has become. if cobain makes 12 because of his influence, where is muddy waters? and if the list is based on skill, why was van halen in the 70’s. A slap in the face leaving Steve Vai off, if he isn’t angry, Jack Butler will be.

  • norm mcdonald

    this list shows how out of touvh rolling stone has become. if cobain makes 12 because of his influence, where is muddy waters? and if the list is based on skill, why was van halen in the 70’s. A slap in the face leaving Steve Vai off, if he isn’t angry, Jack Butler will be.

  • An old guy.

    Mark Farner, flat on his back on stage and comming to his feet while never missing a lick. Raw energy. At least an honorable mention.

  • chato

    don’t take this list too seriously it completly stinks great edward van halen at #70.has anyone seen vai & satriani twins somewhere or what? no al di meola? puhhhhhh the people who voted for duane allman completly ignored all the other great axemen of the past?…..

  • elturco

    why does this list suck?
    1.any top guitarists list including kurt cobain is completely unnecessary… could never make a list with putting eddie van halen at 70’th place its a shame on ya what an insult to guitar world!…..
    3.clapton is called god even before hendrix if someone could be ahead of jimi its not another person but him or(first blues guitar virtuoso robert jonson)
    4.again any list containing kirk hammett or any other jerk from alternativeshit area sucks at all……
    who the fuck is jack white hahahahaha do you expect to have a logical list by excluding the musicians like:
    steve vai,joe satriani,al di meola,paco de lucia,michael angelo,god’s favourite melody maker yngwie J. malmsteen(not confuse him with other malmsteens),
    chris impelliterri,george lynch,vivian campell,al pitrelli,ted nugent,reb beach,john sykes,tommy bolin
    6.Angus on 96? Billy Gibbons not on list…. i give it up rrrrrooooaarrrr
    FUCK YOUUUUUUUUUU ROLLing stoneee fuck youuu M TV and others alike…. we dont want youuuuuuu nore yourlist go and stick this list right in your bottom or rather in jack white’s one may be he should take a lesson …..

  • Cameron

    Ok this list is pretty much a load of BS i mean Eddie Van Halen, one of the gods of guitar only at #70….wtf? and then Jimmy Page the God of guitar should be right next to the LEGEND himself Hendrix….and where in god’s green earth is the mastermind of welcome to the jungle, sweet child of mine, paradise city, and so on and so on (SLASH) not even on the list once again im forced to curse WTF?

  • the gimp

    Anyone who does not appreciate duane allman should just listen to blue sky. Maybe not number 2, but an amazing guitarist in the top tier. I was also glad roy buchanan made it to the list. Townshend at 50? Come on. Hendrix, jimmy page, duane, santana, and clapton are all in my own top five with Jerry Garcia not far behind and Jack White below Roy Buchanan, to say the least.

  • USA Jimmy

    Ritchie Blackmore all the way up there, 2nd JimmyPage, 3rd Gilmour, 4thAlexLifeson, 5th S.Howe, 6thRandyRhoads, 7th J.Hendrix, 8thToniIomi, 9thEricClapton& 10thAngusYoung/Billy Gibbons. This is just my fav’s and if you dont like em, well get your own.these are all legendary artists and everybody should be able to find something to their liking on this list?

  • jimothy

    has anyone mentioned the placement of David Gilmour of Pink Floyd? He ‘s one of the best guitarists EVER! I mean seriously, his solos on Comfortably Numb, Time and Money are amazing, and that’s not even mentioning his work on Wish You Were Here or The Wall. Here’s a top 10 of my favs:

    1. Jimi Hendrix
    2. Jimmy Paige
    3. Eric Clapton
    4. SRV
    5. Eddie Van Halen
    6. Yngwie Malmsteen
    7. Angus Young
    8. Mark Knopfler
    9. David Gilmour
    10. Jerry Garcia

  • bolio

    Hey!! Where is Santo lucia Montanamanganares ?!! Why isn’t Mumble-Scrumble of Blackbrokenstonebridge listed?!!
    How about Hiao Hian Czhuo ????

    You are all right bros!!!
    I don’t recognize this list, too!!
    Bolio Manga-changa-morto-mortales

  • evan

    I have a ton of problems with this list. First of all, Slash isn’t on it, and he is definatly one of the greatest guitarists of all time. How can they put Jack White at #17 and Slash not even on the list. Jack White should be far from making the list, and Slash should be in the lower teens. Secondly, what’s Angus Young doing at #96 and Eddie Van Halen at #70? They’re way better than that. My last probelm is that Tom Morello is at #27, and John Fruciante and Jack White are ahead of him. John is great, but not as great as Tom, and I do not like Jack at all. I think that Tom Morello is one of the greatest guitarist of all time and should be in the top ten, with John in the high teens or lower twenties.

  • john rambo

    how you idiots(rolling stone crew not you bros) could make a list called 100 top guitarists and you(thats you bros) discuss it since more than 1 year it makes me laugh the jerk who prepared the list gotta be damn fool or blind as he puts kurt cobain to #12 , kirk hammett #11,van halen #70 or some ….i think jimi and the others would be ashamed for being on such a list like that….and how rolling stone could dare to rate the artists that all ve been influenceing our lives since our chilhood and still do… that s not another thing but a clear act of rape against an art style ….i think am gonna throw up
    where’s brad gillis from (night ranger,ozzy) or john sykes (from bluemurder,thin lizzy,whitesnake,tygers of pan tang),or as you al mentionned snakepit slash ,my great donald buck dharma rooser and neal schon pöarghhh tear down this go1 damned list for nobody to see may be u were right to criticize this shit i appreciate ur contributions

  • Peter

    I’ve been reading through this thread for a while now, and I’ve seen quite a bit of jabs at Rolling Stone for putting Cobain at 12. Frankly, I think he deserves it, or at least a spot in the top 20.

    As Vernon Reid pointed out in an essay he wrote about Kurt, coincidentally for Rolling Stone, you can’t say Kurt was a good songwriter but a bad guitar player. The guitar was his medium, what he used to write the songs. Is he as “technically” skilled as some of the guitarists whom you guys havent failed to mention, like Slash or Steve Vai? Of course he isn’t. But that’s not the point here. It’s in my opinion very very stupid to discredit his guitar playing on the basis of simplicity.

    Let’s take Jimi Hendrix and George Harrison. Now, I don’t play guitar, I simply enjoy the music produced by those with talent. But am I not right in assuming that most any guitar player, with a decent amount of practice, can play the music of Hendrix and Harrison? They aren’t included on the list because of “technical” skill, they’re included because of genius. Now look, I can understand where many criticizing Kurt’s placement come from. But the fact of the matter is, his guitar playing fit. For a punk/grunge band of 3 members, Cobain’s playing was a perfect complement to Krist Novoselic’s bass skills and to Dave Ghrol’s drumming. One can think about it in terms of singing voices.

    Someone like Bob Dylan or Jim Morrison, let’s face it, does not have a good singing voice by the “traditional” definition of the term. In other words, Dylan would get his ass handed to him on American Idol. However, when it comes to his singing, fitting with the type of music he makes and the emotions he expresses, then he becomes a musical legend.

    And it’s the same with Cobain. No, he isn’t as skilled as Steve Vai. But applying skill to an instrument of art seems to me rather strange. Shouldn’t we cherish his artistic vision and the excellent, if simple, music he created, as opposed to measuring skill? Doesn’t that cheapen the beauty and aesthetic of guitar playing?

    I realize mine is an unpopular opinion, and I’m open to healthy argument. I just hope you guys will read what I said and try to take it seriously.

  • Peter

    Also, to those who say they can play Cobain’s songs on guitar after a year of practice.

    Well, after I learned how to read and write, I suppose I also had the capability of copying, word for word Moby Dick and Hamlet. That doesn’t mean Hamlet isn’t a wonderful and amazing piece of literature, right? It’s peculiar to say he isnt a good guitar player if hes easy to emulate. Doesn’t it mean anything if he managed to revolutionize music with simple guitar playing? Isn’t such brilliant simplicity perhaps a sign of genius? Just another thought.

  • Duane

    Well, Peter, that is a well stated argument, but it’s full of traps for someone who might want to refute your position, such as me (or “such as I,” if you prefer proper grammar).

    First of all, Vernon Reid, being a gentleman, is never going to say publicly that Cobain is anything less than brilliant, so it doesn’t matter what he said.
    However, since I am not in the entertainment industry, I can speak the truth.

    Second, Cobain was a member of one of the most popular bands in recent history, which means that criticizing his musical abilities incites the predictable rejoinder, “Well, if he was such a bad musician, then how do you explain the 90 billion record sales?” Ugghh. Popularity and talent do not need to correlate. Lots o’ examples. There’s are Cobain threads, as well as Britney, and Madonna, and other rich musical hacks somewhere else at BC, so there’s no need to rehash all that.

    Cobain was a strummer. You can find strummers of his caliber around the fire at any summer camp. If he had written his simple little progressions on a harpsichord, that would not make him a good harpsichordist.

    Third, you say, “…Cobain’s playing was a perfect complement to Krist Novoselic’s bass skills and to Dave Ghrol’s [should be “Grohl’s”] drumming.” Yes, indeed. Three simple musicians playing simple music. It would sound really strange to have Chet Atkins or Alan Holdsworth (actual talented guitarists) playing as part of the trio.

    Fourth, as you say, “… he isn’t as skilled as Steve Vai.” Quite right, and that’s the point, isn’t it? But no need for overkill. Saying that he isn’t as skilled as Vai is like saying that Vienna sausage is not as good as filet mignon. Cobain was not as skilled as thousands and thousands of guitarists. How does he show up at #12? And, “Shouldn’t we cherish his artistic vision…?” If you wish. That still does not make him a good guitarist.

    Fifth, no, Cobain did not revolutionize music. If he revolutionized anything, maybe it was music culture. Maybe he helped to do that, since there were others in the grunge movement besides Nirvana. If (and that’s a big “if”) he is a genius, that does not imply that he was a gifted guitarist. Einstein was a genius (a true genius, and not of the tortured variety) who could play the violin. But he was a crappy violinist. I doubt that he will show up as one of the top violinists of all time.

    Your analogy involving Shakespeare and Melville is clever, but, I think, disingenuous. (If only Melville had worn a plaid shirt and played the part of the tortured genius, he could have been popular with the kids, too.) Another trap that I’m going to sidestep.

    Finally, you ask, “Isn’t such brilliant simplicity perhaps a sign of genius?” No, it’s perhaps a sign of simplicity — simplicity of expression, simplicity of technical ability, simplicity of experience, simplicity of outlook, and simplicity of musical taste. Perhaps it’s a sign of marketing genius, however.

  • Peter

    “First of all, Vernon Reid, being a gentleman, is never going to say publicly that Cobain is anything less than brilliant, so it doesn’t matter what he said.
    However, since I am not in the entertainment industry, I can speak the truth.”

    Plenty of people have gone public and insulted Kurt. John McLaughlin called him a “loser, the Sid Vicious of our generation.” Nobody forced him to write an essay that pays tribute to Kurt, and mind you what he wrote wasnt the usual undeserved hyperbole given to most great bands, it seemed like a truthful and articulate essay. You didn’t address Reid’s argument at all..

    “Second, Cobain was a member of one of the most popular bands in recent history, which means that criticizing his musical abilities incites the predictable rejoinder, “Well, if he was such a bad musician, then how do you explain the 90 billion record sales?” Ugghh. Popularity and talent do not need to correlate. Lots o’ examples. There’s are Cobain threads, as well as Britney, and Madonna, and other rich musical hacks somewhere else at BC, so there’s no need to rehash all that.”

    Record sales have little to do with it. Whenever you have a musician, who headlines a whole musical movement, is idolized and loved by so many of his fans that the suicide rate increases drastically after his death, I think it’s ignorant to compare him to Britney Spears. She’s never brought a new genre into the mainstream, her music is most certainly not legendary, and the world will remember Cobain. It has little to do with record sales, and a lot to do with legacy.

    “Third, you say, “…Cobain’s playing was a perfect complement to Krist Novoselic’s bass skills and to Dave Ghrol’s [should be “Grohl’s”] drumming.” Yes, indeed. Three simple musicians playing simple music. It would sound really strange to have Chet Atkins or Alan Holdsworth (actual talented guitarists) playing as part of the trio.”

    I think dismissing Dave’s drumming as “simple” is foolish, but whatever. As I said, simple music isn’t a bad thing. They didn’t need to have Slash-esque masturbation style guitar riffs and solos. They were a punk band for goodness sake! It seems very odd, that such a simple band, composed of simple musicians, can lead a musical revolution and render a whole genre (hair-metal) obsolete.

    “Fourth, as you say, “… he isn’t as skilled as Steve Vai.” Quite right, and that’s the point, isn’t it? But no need for overkill. Saying that he isn’t as skilled as Vai is like saying that Vienna sausage is not as good as filet mignon. Cobain was not as skilled as thousands and thousands of guitarists. How does he show up at #12? And, “Shouldn’t we cherish his artistic vision…?” If you wish. That still does not make him a good guitarist.”

    If we are to measure good guitarists in a cold, calculating way, simply by technical skill, which is imo a stupid moniker, then yes he sucks. But the guitar is an instrument of art, and thus I think we should judge the art created by Cobain. You haven’t at this point refuted any point I’ve made or even introduced anything new to the table. You’re just commenting snarkily on my points!

    “Fifth, no, Cobain did not revolutionize music. If he revolutionized anything, maybe it was music culture. Maybe he helped to do that, since there were others in the grunge movement besides Nirvana. If (and that’s a big “if”) he is a genius, that does not imply that he was a gifted guitarist. Einstein was a genius (a true genius, and not of the tortured variety) who could play the violin. But he was a crappy violinist. I doubt that he will show up as one of the top violinists of all time.”

    Talk about disingenuous analogies! Einstein didn’t change the world by playing the violin, he changed it by making scientific discoveries that eventually led to the field of Quantum Mechanics, which he eventually rejected, but whatever. That’s a horrible metaphor, Einstein’s music isn’t why he’s a cultural icon. Now, as far as Kurt goes, I think he did in a way revolutionize music. Think of how many bands and artists, new ones today, are influenced strongtly by both him and his band. He certainyl has influenced many and he did change the music industry, for the better in my opinion.

    “Your analogy involving Shakespeare and Melville is clever, but, I think, disingenuous. (If only Melville had worn a plaid shirt and played the part of the tortured genius, he could have been popular with the kids, too.) Another trap that I’m going to sidestep.”

    Well, you could analyze the analogy and discredit it, but whatever. All I tried to say was that yes, you guys can emulate his guitar playing. You can also imitate Hendrix’s. Does this mean you guys are just as good? Does it mean you are destined to become cultural phenomenons? God no. Writing such music is far far more important and a far better indicator of genius than simply copying them. I think the analogy fits very well.

    “Finally, you ask, “Isn’t such brilliant simplicity perhaps a sign of genius?” No, it’s perhaps a sign of simplicity — simplicity of expression, simplicity of technical ability, simplicity of experience, simplicity of outlook, and simplicity of musical taste. Perhaps it’s a sign of marketing genius, however.”

    Firstly, that doesn’t make too much sense. Secondly, I doubt “simplicity of expression, simplicity of experience..” could give the world such a revered and beloved band (though it would seem you dont agree ;)). I think if you’re going to judge his guitar playing, you should take 2 things into consideration.

    1) The songs he was able to write, and not their complexity. The whole complexity standard is non-sense, about 80% of the guitar players on that countdown would be discredited if you had to have someone who would play ridiculously hard solos that guitar students had to study for decades before they mastered. Simplicity isn’t an indicator of a bad musician, if simplicity can shape a musical scene, I’d say its a sign of a great musician.

    2) How the guitar playing fit with the music the band played. As was said before, if the guitar playing complements the music the band creates, if it draws and hooks people in, and it does its job in a punk rock band, then how can we possibly criticize Kurt?

    It seems as though it’s become fashionable in the circles of musical elitists to insult musicians far more talented and influential than them. Kurt is an easy target I suppose. But look at the impact him and his guitar had on pop culture. Nevermind remains to this day one of the greatest albums of all time, and I most certainly am not alone in thinking this.

    The argument of “SLahs and Steve Vai for life” is ridiculously flawed because it measures guitarists in an almost numerical fashion. “Slash is a 98 on a scale of 1-100 whereas Kurt is a 54!!” is similar to what is being said. But we can’t measure guitar skills in such a cold, anti-artistic way. We have to measure aesthetics, things that actually matter and that people care for. And say what you will, Kurt’s guitar playing is fantastic by those standards.

  • Peter

    Also, you didn’t fall into any traps. But to be frank, I didn’t see any refutations in your post. Just random, disjointed comments speaking of Kurt being simplistic. I would appreciate if you were to address my views, the stuff I said on Bob Dylan/American Idol, Vernon Reid’s argument, (please, the whole “he didn’t mean it” label is stupid, I’m sure Rolling Stone dont pay you that much money to write a tribute to a musician anyways) and the meaninglessness of the technical skill moniker.

  • Ed

    Why do all you people get so worked up over this stuff? It’s a Top 100 Guitarist List. That doesn’t mean it will necessarily reflect your opinions; it’s just meant to merely entertain you guys.

    My second point is that everyone on this message board has different musical tastes, which could not be expressed into one list without major bias created the author of the list (even if the list was created by a popular poll, it couldn’t still be genuinely accurate).

    And for my third and final point, I’d like to analyze the phrase “Top 100 Guitarist.” This phrase itself is a victim of everyone’s different interpretations. For some people on this message board, a “Top 100 Guitarist” would have solos that merely swell in volume and speed. Others would say it’s the feel you get from the guitarist’s playing, and additional people could say it’s the choice of notes the guitarist selects in his songs that counts. It isn’t directly stated what makes these guitarists “Top 100″ relevance, and for two different people interpret the list the same way is highly improbably, if not impossible.

    So let’s not get so overworked with this stuff (like it seems I already did).

    And FYI, Hendrix wouldn’t be my #1 either. 😛

  • Dragon

    Jimi Hendrix is dead, so what, it doesn’t mean that he is the best guitar player ever. You people heard from someone else that Jimi is good, and that he is the best guitar player who ever lived. He is piece of shit. And Jimmy Page. Oh my God. He wrote one of the most beautiful song Stairway to heaven, but he isn’t that good as a guitar player. And where the fuck are Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and guys from Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Did anybody ever heard a song named Painkiller. And if anybody can play like Yngwie then he is a god. By the way, did anybody heard solos from Luca Turilli. I mean wtf. You realy made me angry. And, yes, where are Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King. Are there anybody on the world who can play fast like them. I don’t think so.

  • Duane

    OK, Peter, I was trying to be polite, but you have imbued me with … let’s see … ignorance, foolishness, snarkiness, disingenousness (if that’s a real word), and implied that I am cold, calculating, and anti-artistic. Still, I will maintain my composure, and respond to a couple of points.

    Re: John McLaughlin, point taken. Way to go, John!

    “I think it’s ignorant to compare him to Britney Spears.”

    Well, I’m betting that there are tens of thousands of teenaged girls, backed by budding Stage Moms, working on becoming the next Britney. Since it takes only a little talent, these people think they have a shot. Same deal with teenaged boys, who find that they can play the four or five required chords, and dream the dream.

    “It seems very odd, that such a simple band, composed of simple musicians, can lead a musical revolution and render a whole genre (hair-metal) obsolete.”

    It does seem odd that good musicianship played almost no role in making this happen. Can you explain it? And I think we both agree that the death of Hair Metal was a good thing.

    “You haven’t at this point refuted any point I’ve made or even introduced anything new to the table. You’re just commenting snarkily on my points!”

    Oh, calm down. We’re just having a discussion, right?

    “Einstein didn’t change the world by playing the violin….”

    Precisely. So, my analogy is effective, in spite of your objection. Cobain did not “change the world” through his guitar playing. It was his music/lyrics/angst vision thing and his good fortune in being at the right place at the right time (read, Hairband backlash) that made Nirvana. I only maintain that he’s not a Top 100 guitarist (of ALL TIME). You admit as much. Why are you arguing?

    “The whole complexity standard is non-sense….”

    That’s one criterion that is used to judge jazz and classical players. Why are pop stars exempt?

    “…how can we possibly criticize Kurt?”

    I’m actually criticizing Rolling Stone. Kurt is just fine with me. I’m not saying he sucked, just that he is not Top 100 material, OK?

    Also, just for the record, I would not put Slash on the list, either.

    I enjoyed the exchange, Peter.

  • Peter

    Duane, my apologies if I have offended you. No harm intended, I enjoy a good discussion and I hope I didn’t piss you off severely.

    Now, much of what you say can be debated, but I’d prefer to do it over AIM or MSN or ICQ or whatever. So, if you wish to, we could change the medium of discussion.

  • steve

    Fuck you ac/dc is a great fucking band and angus young is one of greatest guitarist of all times, i’m also mad because i think angus should be higher on the list.

  • http://T.C. T.C.

    Rick Derringer, Elliot Easton(fmr Cars), should be on the list and in the top 10.

  • Andrew “The Halenator ” Lee

    Hey. What the heck? Van Halen at #70? I mean, come on! Van Halen could blow the guitar right out of Hendrix’s grip any day! Randy Roads should have been in at least the top 20. This list is screwed.

  • Andrew Lee

    what the heck.Alex Lifeson of Rush is good. Real good. Nobody ever listens to rush, but La villa strangiato is only a smidget of what he can do. Yyz, Spirit of Radio, Driven. I mean come on, Jimi Hendrix at #1? I agree with him, this list is screwed.

  • Cameron

    WTF? are you smoking Dragon ” And Jimmy Page. Oh my God. He wrote one of the most beautiful song Stairway to heaven, but he isn’t that good as a guitar player”.????? what kinda of crack are you smoking?? Jimmy didnt just write one great song ummm…oh yeah he wrotes um give me a minute dammit i cant count how many great rock songs he’s written. HE IS ONE OF THE BEST GUITAIRIST EVER Top 5 at least. Then you write this “Jimi Hendrix is dead, so what, it doesn’t mean that he is the best guitar player ever. You people heard from someone else that Jimi is good, and that he is the best guitar player who ever lived. He is piece of shit.” Man that crak must be strong becuz there is NOONE i repeat NOONE that can play all of Jimi song’s as good as he could , and i dont see you sitting playing a HARD song a guitar wit your teeth.
    3Eddie Van Halen

  • axeman

    “the list below is just made for fun does not reflect the reality cause it’s impossible to rank the artists of music from top to bottom as you all will appreciate thanx”
    TOP 20 hottest heavy rock guitarists

    1-EDWARD VAN HALEN (strictly #1 )
    2-yngwie j.
    3-randall rhoads
    4-george lynch
    5-steve vai&joe satriani(hé hé hé)
    6-vito bratta(white lion)
    7-paul gilbert
    8-ritchie kotzen
    9-nuno bettencourt
    10-john sykes
    11-neal schon(journey)
    12-vivian campell(dio)
    13-zakk wylde
    14-donal buck dharma rooser(blue öyster..)
    15-craig goldy(gulffria,dio)
    16-doug aldrich(dio)
    17-carlos cavazo(quiet riot)
    18-brad gillis(night ranger)
    19-angus young(ac dc)
    20-mick box(uriah heep)

    if ya have any other comments you can get continue the list

  • Michelle

    Angus Young, AC/DC is amazing! he should be way higher than 96! he should totally be in the top 10!!! i know AC/DC were quite simple, but that was their style, it doesnt mean Angus wasnt that good! have you heard his solos?? and not many guitarist can playin spinning round on the floor! thats hard, trust me ive tried it!
    And now, Slash!!! not on there!! this is crazy! he plays with hair in his face!! that must be pretty hard!

  • epiphone

    Theres something wrong here. No Yngwie M. ? None of the boys from Maiden? No Zakk Wylde ? No Vai ? hmmm whoever compiled this has rocks in their heads and dont know what time it is.

  • Duane

    “…and not many guitarist can playin spinning round on the floor.”

    Did you ever stop to think that maybe he learned to spin around on the floor to compensate for his mediocrity as a guitarist? Hmmmmm?

  • whydoyoucare

    Whoever made this list is a dipshit that obviously needs an ass whooping cause you never heard of Steve Vai, Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, Michael Schenker, George Lynch, Glenn Tipton, Yngwie Malmsteen and a bunch of others that wernt on the list. Theres no way in hell that suicidal fruitcake kurt cobain could top Eddie Van Halen, Angus Young and Randy Rhoads. kurt cobain got way to much credit then he desirved, I don’t think he needs more now that he’s dead and all he did was pick a few powerchords for each song he wrote and put some gay ass lyrics in like “a musqito, my limbito, a mulato, everybody yeah”. If your gonna make a list of somthing study it you fuckin retards.

  • Douglas Mays

    You know, I was just thinking about it and I do agree, Jimi Hendrix is #1. As an artist he was able to transcend ‘magic’. Play to the zen of the moment. He may not have been political but he was sure in touch with the people and what was happening. He was a ‘peace and love’ type guy.

    To me, that is what puts him on top. Oh, he was quite a creative and skilled master of the guitar also.


  • Andrew Lee

    ok. I read the list, and I got so mad I punched my computer. I cant believe that Alex Lifeson Wasnt on this list. Van halen at #70! He should be in the top 5 at least. Angus young should have been in top 20. George harrison at #21? He shouldn’t even be in the top 1 thousand. What idiot made this list? They must be freakin retarded. Kirk hammet should have been #3. Jimi hendrix doesnt deserve to be #1. He should be in the top 10, but not #1. I put together a list of my top guitarists. Here it is

    1. Alex Lifeson of Rush
    2. Edward Van Halen
    3. Kirk Hammet
    4. Slash
    5. Angus Young of AC/DC
    6. Jimi Hendrix
    7. Eric Clapton
    8. Jimmy Page
    9. Brian May
    10. Randy Roads….

    The List Continues on to

    1,234,952. Jack White lol
    he probably shouldnt even be there

  • Dragon

    Jimi Hendrix sucks. Even my mama can play better than he!!!!!!!

  • Douglas Mays

    hhhmmm…, your blind, Polish grandma can play better than he can? Wow! What band is she in? Would love to hear her jam!

    Think of this: Hendrix created his own sound. It is very noticable when his guitar is playing. Then people have to learn how to copy his style. Alot of the rock world has guitarists that pretty much all came out of the same prefab kit.

    I remember back in the day us guitar types used to say “Hendrix? I like him, he plays like me!” lol. Of course, humor derived from his great skill and creativeness. All these other mentioned guitarists sure looked up to him.

    Why don’t we ask everyone on the list who they think the greatest guitarist is?


  • Dragon

    Svi ste vi kreteni i nemate pojma tko valja. Da pitam bilo koga na ulici da li zna tko je hendrix svi bi mi rekli e to ti je najbolji gitarist, a da ih pitam jesi li ga kad poslušao, rekao bi mi ne, samo da je tako čuo. Svi ste vi majke mi kreteni.
    Translate this if you want. I hate english.

  • VideoBrit

    …oh… my…. GOD.

    Okay. First of all, what on EARTH are Tony Iommi and Angus Young doing down there in the pits of the list? They’re both top 10 material! Especially Iommi! Have these people @$%#ing HEARD any Black Sabbath? AAAAAAARGH.

    Then, Kurt Cobain does not deserve to be on the list. Nirvana is one of my favorite bands, but Cobain was not an advanced guitar player. His playing sounded good because the songs he wrote were good, but it was neither complex nor particularly skillful.

    Next: Jack White. Now, I do believe he belongs on the list (see songs such as Ball And Biscuit on Elephant for proof), but nowhere near as high up. He needs to swap places with, say, Angus Young.

    As previously mentioned, Page needs to be a great deal higher. Randy Rhoads as well. Clapton and Hendrix’s placements I have no issue with, however.

    Someone that ought to be on the list is the guy that played guitar for Patti Smith’s group.

    And finally, Robert Fripp needs to be WAY higher. Just listen to the solo on Eno’s “Baby’s On Fire” for proof. Day-umn.

  • Douglas Mays

    You know, maybe to avoid people getting all rightous and pissed off about a top 100 guitarists list, how about just listing them all in alphabetical order.
    That way the only ones getting bent are the people not on the list. I dunno…


  • Stevie B

    Well clearly everyone here is partial to the kind of music they like. One person posts “their” top ten, all being bluesman, than the next person says they retarded and has all heavy rock guitarists (aka Angus Young). Top 10 is good I would just move Jimmy Page up a tad, atleast top 5.

  • Douglas Mays

    Then there is the question of ‘what is better, the style of music vs. the actual musician?’. For example, say when criticing visual art a critic does not like abstract art. Then when one views a Jackson Pollack, it has to be admitted that this guy is good!

    My point is that true greatness goes far beyond the chosen style. If the guitarist is great, it stands far above the chosen style. The style of music is just the chosen template to display skills.

    Good observation, Steve B.


  • Stevie B

    TY Doug 😉

  • Eric Olsen

    finally inching this puppy close to the magic 1000 line

  • Douglas Mays

    In that case, do I hear any votes for Navarro or Cantrell? I’ve heard some good stuff that would sure qualify them for a top 100.

    Maybe they are up there and I just missed it. Anyway, those two have done some crafty work…


  • jason

    Brian Setzer is number one. He rocks plain and simple. He writes music, he composes, he plays, he has his own friggin orchestra….. He plays KICK-a*&

  • David

    Jimmy Page should be number 1, Jimi Hendrix number 2.

    Chuck Berry #6 in front of Stevie Ray Voughan… come on!

    Brain May all the way down at 39… please.

    And where the heck is Slash!

    What were they smoking when they came up with this list?

  • stevie Schwartz

    Rolling Stones once again manages to come up with some more bullshit. John Frusciante over Eddie Van Halen?? Also where is Nils Lofgren, the lead from Springsteen and the E Street band, from 71-79 ,when he was a solo artist, he had some sick stuff and original riffs,and I’ll tell you one thing hes a hell of a lot better than Neil Young.

  • bob

    First of all the white stripes suck, second of all Tommy Iommi is one of the top 10 guitarists of all time. I mean the guy had 2 fingers on one hand! Rolling stone only based this list on the bands, not the skill of the guitarists.

  • john

    The perfect example of how Rolling Stone chose this list based on the bands, not the skill of the guitarist is Curt Cobain. Sure he’s good, but there is not one person on that list that he is better at GUITAR then, like angus young, tommy iommi, and randy rhoades. Don’t listen to rolling stone. Take a look at how bad their top 500 albbums of all time is.

  • Sean Malone

    Well I think it comes down to one’s opinion. People can’t take the rolling stone for stone to say. The person who came up with that list, was speaking their own mind and that is their opinion. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I think it is wonderful that everyone is providing input. I personally don’t agree with much of this list, but the fact that so many people are weighing in, proves that rolling stone still has an impact. I think that everyone should just go with their own list and opinions and cease giving big press, socialites like rolling stone, more funds to party and live the social high life.

    Everyone has a choice of mind over matter, only you can make the decision.

    Using too many big words makes you look like a dummy!


  • james

    Phish sucks. Thats it, thats all

  • rob

    Cool, I got the 1000th post. Just thought I should let everyone know not to go by this list, cuz it sucks. jack white? Trey anstatatata whatever(that guy from phish)? This list isn’t even close to accurate. Rolling Stone thinks that just because they have been around for a long time that everyone will agree with them, yet they make the worst lists and give crappy reviews. Don’t support people like them.

  • Douglas Mays

    OK, post 1001. How about a vote for Dragon’s mama (see post 983).


  • Daniel Gillis

    JACK WHITE 17???
    CURT COBAIN 12????????
    DAVID GILMOUR in the 80’s???????????
    this sucks

  • Douglas Mays

    Oh man, I just noticed who was not on the list. ALVIN LEE of Ten Years After.
    Heck, he rates better than alot of those folks on the list.

    You know, what snapped me is hearing ‘I’d Love to Change the World’ on a TV ad for Michael Moore’s new movie. Maybe Alvin has just been hiding out and has a lousy publicity department or something.

    Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad was alright too!


  • Dragon

    My mama rocks. I vote for my mama.

  • jimothy

    I haven’t been on in a while, but I’m interested to see some different opinions from the earlier inputs. I, personally, am of much the same opinion as Peter in comment 962, except that I believe technical ability should also be a major factor in compiling a top 100 guitarists lists. I don’t, however, believe that speed is the the only thing that matters, so the list has to have a balance of both. Is Rolling Stone making a top 100 BEST, or top 100 FASTEST? I agree with some choices, like Hendrix at #1, but it’s actually incredibly difficult to compile a list of the best guitarists. Rather, it should be spread out into the ‘most influential’, ‘fastest’, and any other more specific category that I’m missing. Certainly, some of the people on the list cannot be ranked as BETTER than someone else. For instance, Pete Townshend at #50 seemed like a complete joke when I first saw the list, but when I actually sat down and analyzed it, I realized that, with a few exceptions, the magazine’s bias is towards lead guitarists, rather than rhythm or even jazz guitarists.

    That said here are my favs:

    Van Halen (to a certain extent)
    David Gilmour
    Frank Zappa
    Mark Knopfler
    Pete Townshend
    Jerry Garcia

  • Jack

    David Gilmour should be much higher on the list, because he says more with the first 4 notes 4 minutes into Shine On You Crazy Diamond than most guitarists can do with a 2 minute long 100 notes per second solo.

  • jimothy

    I don’t know if anyone even checks out this site anymore, but anyone who doees might want to check out It’s a list by popular opinion of the top 100 guitar solos ever. Might help you to form your own opinions on the greatest guitarists ever.

  • Douglas Mays

    jimothy, good find! Very interesting list. The selections validate some of my thoughts. I’m glad about the Navarro choice at 100, that was exactly the tune I was thinking of. Working Man, Hot For Teacher, Money, Highway Star, etc. are solo’s I sure have had in my head for years. The guitar players voting sure picked a solid list.
    Alvin Lee on “Going Home” is a classic I would put a vote in for also (or a few of his others). Why is he being overlooked? Marketing I guess.

  • Andrew Lee

    This is a shame. Britney Spears, who has never picked up or seen a guitar in her life could have came up with a better list than this. My dog could have come up with a better list than this, and he lick his own balls! This is one of the biggest displays of stupidity in the history of mankind. I have come up with a list of my own, and I think you will agree with me.

    1. Eddie Van Halen
    2. Stevie Ray Vaughn
    3. Jimmy Page
    4. eric Clapton
    5. Jimi Hendrix
    6. Slash
    7. Kirk Hammet
    8. Steve Howe of Yes
    9. Alex Lifeson of Rush
    10.Yngwie Malmstreem

    Agree? I am a very good guitarist myself, and all I do every day is study guitar and listen to all the greats. The First thing I heard from Van Halen was Eruption, and it was what got me into playing guitar in the First place. His mind blowing solos and almost impossible playing style just inspired me. If Van Halen was to ever come across this site, and read my entry, ( fat chance) I would like to say thank you. With out Van Halen, My life wouldn’t be what it is today. If I had never heard him play, I would have never picked up a guitar. if I had never picked up a guitar, then my fiancee Jaimie would have never asked me to play for her. If she had never asked me to play for her, then we would have never went out on a date, and I would have never proposed to her. Thank you, Van Halen. And Screw Rolling Stones. My work here is done. To those about to rock, I salute you.

  • Douglas Mays

    AL, interesting theory behind your choices, but very self absorbed. Good that hearing Eddie got you into guitar. He is quite good, but does that make him the best. I’m sure Eddie was way into Hendrix for example.

    You say you are a good guitarist. Cool. How are you at writing, arranging, use of outboard gear, performing live and all those other things that qualify for greatness in a comprehensive sense?

    Eddie got you going. Who was his influence that got him to pick up guitar? It could have been his uncle, Sven, who had an old guitar sittin’ around or something.

    Anyway, I ain’t pickin’ on ya, just trying to provide perspective.


  • papageorgio

    the very first list is correct, if anyone disagrees, they should be drug out it the middle of a busy intersection and paralyzed

  • tad

    keith richards sucks

  • chris

    this lists sucks!
    My top ten would be……

    1.zak wylde
    2.Randy rhoads
    3.jimi hendrix
    4.jimmy page
    6.van halen
    7.ace frehley
    9.eric clapton
    10.joe walsh
    If you don’t agree with joe walsh watch the live video of hotel california.

  • Douglas Mays

    chris, right on about Joe Walsh. His solo works from “So What” and beyond to his Eagles stuff. His technical and production ability are quite good. The album that has “Life’s Been Good” has some amazing work layering the guitar. Oh, I won’t overlook “Rocky Mountain Way”.

    blah blah blah, I’m with you on Joe Walsh.


  • Douglas Mays

    Since we are on the Joe Walsh subject, I must say I do like the guy’s sense of humor. “All Night Laundromat Blues”, etc.

    Also off the same album, the song “Welcome to the Club” is an all-time favorite type thing and “Turn to Stone” is a great 2am drug stupor trip-out.

    Anyway, Joe Walsh is definately a sleeper in the great guitarist catagory.
    Deserves notice.


  • Keith

    Wow, the list is completely and utterly BS. Jimi Hendrix #1? Hendrix was by far the most overrated guitarist of all time. Where is Charlie Hargrett of Blackfoot? I would like to send a copy of “Highway Song” to whoever came up with this POS list. I don’t even want to go into detail with how sick/wrong and out of order this list is.

  • The Theory

    I swore never to look at this thread again, but I just had to mention my new discovery, Django Reinhardt. Who would blow away the majority of the people on this list… Plus, later in life he was left with only two usable fingers on his left hand so was playing two fingered.

  • Josh

    Angus Young should definately be in atleast in the top 20 and Kurt Cobain what is he doing on the list

  • tanner buckley

    i believe that either jimmy page or mike mcready are some of the greatest guitarist. Jimi is by far the best, but these other 2 guitarist are right up there with him

  • tanner

    1.Jimi Hendrix
    2.eddie van halen
    3.Jimmy Page
    4.Eric Clapton
    5.Mike Mcready
    6.Stone gossard
    8.Kieth Richards
    9.Les Paul
    10.the guy from sound garden
    My favorite bands of the 90’s are…
    Pearl Jam
    smashing pumpkins

  • masaru hartman

    fuck johnny ramone he sucks all he knows are power chrods and 2 note solos it is an absolute disgrace that he made #16 and jack white and kurt cobain

  • Shredlord

    Mornin’ fellows.
    Well, I can agree with most of you guys, to put someone like Ramone or Cobain on this list is blasphemic. Hell yeah, of course they were kinda famous songwriters, but look at their songs, see how easy they are to play… maybe they’re not bad, but that has nothing to do with mastering the guitar! Here are some of my favorites:

    (in no particular order)

    1. Steve Vai (my personal idol)
    2. Joe Satriani
    3. John Petrucci
    4. Yngwie Malmsteen
    5. Michael Batio
    6. Eddie Van Halen
    7. Mattias IA Eklundh
    8. Jason Becker
    9. George Lynch
    10. Steve Morse
    11. Tony MacAlpine
    12. Vinnie Moore
    13. Buckethead
    14. Andy Timmons
    15. John Norum
    16. Steve Stevens
    17. Richie Kotzen
    18. Mike Keneally
    19. Nuno Bettencourt
    20. Al Di Meola
    21. Eric Johnson
    22. Zakk Wylde
    23. Gary Moore
    24. Steve Lukather
    25. Alexi Laiho
    26. Greg Howe
    27. Allan Holdsworth
    28. Frank Gambale
    29. Shawn Lane

    These are, obvious, the more technical players, but there are some good “oldies”, too.

    1. Jimi Hendrix
    2. Jimmy Page
    3. Frank Zappa
    4. Brian May
    5. Ritchie Blackmore
    6. Stevie Ray Vaughan
    7. Mike Oldfield
    8. Mark Knopfler
    9. Eric Clapton
    10. Carlos Santana

    Check out all those, you won’t be disappointed. Playing Guitar is either about technical abilities or transporting a certain feeling. Or, if possible, both of ’em. And no one can tell me that folks like Cobain, Ramone, or Joan Jett could ever get to such a level as Vai does.

    shredlord sez: “SHRED AIN’T DEAD!”

  • George

    TIM REYNOLDS!?!?!?

  • jimi

    Where is Ralph Macchio? He cranked it up in the movie Crossroads!

  • kaylie

    where the hell is my favourite MR STEVE VAI AND SLASH!!! this thing is so screwed up man!!! and i think jimmy page should be at number 2!!! – fucked up-


    Angus Young at #96?

    What the hell is wrong with this magazine…so what if he only knows 3 chords…Who gives a f**k?The man is amazingly good.

    No Slash,Eddie at #70,and Rhoads at #85…………..This is a sad day

  • Chris

    Randy Rhoads at number 85…he is a top ten guitarist easily…and why arent the men from iron maiden there

  • Jeff Morgan

    Rolling Stone is a Joke!! I am a big Rush fan..They did the band the music..Im sorry but Joan Jett over Alex Lifeson..I dont even play guitar..whats next for rolling Stone top 100 drummers and Neil Peart gets left out!!!

  • jeff morgan

    Rolling stone sucks ass!! gee why didnt they put the 3 keyboard players for Depech Mode as the top guitar players of all time..This Magazine is like something from a group of Nazis,,I hate that mag and will never pick it up…How many times will Britnaey Spears be on the cover befor some of the bands with more talent…Fu** rolling stone Rush2112 for life

  • Andrew Lee

    If you think Rush is the best band ever, type 666!

    – A to the death Rush Fan


    this list has its problems..(ie.jack white is not #17)congrats on kurt cobain and hendrix…where is buddy grecho ?? y is brian may so low !!
    jeez this mag is a stuff up..

  • chris

    The poll link doesn’t work, therefore I’ll post my list here. I’d be happy if there would be a new list made by the blogcritics. Maybe there are some names not yes mentioned in all the comments as far as I could see.

    1. Jimi Hendrix
    2. Mark Knopfler
    3. Gary Moore
    4. Adam Pearson (The Sisters of Mercy)
    5. Porl Thompson (The Cure)
    6. Robert Smith (of course… The Cure)
    7. The Edge
    8. Angus Young
    9. the former female guitarist of Michael Jackson (I can’t remember her name)
    10. Rory Gallagher
    11. Johnny Marr (The Smiths)
    12. Carlos Santana
    13. Eddie Van Halen
    14. Jimmy Page
    15. Joe Perry (Aerosmith)
    16. David Rhodes (Talk Talk)

  • Wedigar

    What about Peter Frampton? He certainly has the skills to get him into the top 100

  • plankton

    this list sucks a big one. if i had any say in it there would be some god damn well major changes. for starters, the guitar god slash would be somewhere near the…. oh i dont know…..NUMBER 2`S!!!!!!!!!!!!!! anyway this list sucks and may all you rockers continue to due so.

  • Jack B

    The lack of mention of Leslie West in this forum is unreal! The man is a genius! Also, where is Rory Gallagher? Bill Nelson? Satch? Paul Gilbert? Martin Barre? But seriosly, Leslie West should definatly be in that list, RS clearly haven’t heard Mississippi Queen, or Nantucket Sleighride, or Theme from an Imaginary Western, or the almighty Dream Sequence on the “Flowers of Evil” album, tsk tsk

  • http://a rockvirtuoso

    eric johnsons is the greatest. His album seven worlds was recorded between 1976-78 in which he shows prodigous virtuoistic guitar skill without having a wank a la yngwie. this even predates van halen, how could he be left off this list???

  • Andrew Lee

    Um, hold on a second. I thought this was a top 100 guitar players list? Where is all the heavy metal guitarists and death metal shredders? It aint easy to do some of the stuff they do. Where is Kerry King?

  • Jeff

    Rolling Stone sucks!!! this mag is now almost all about rap and that shit Britney Spears and Justin T can they judge any musical talent? They have no idea what they do..forgive them..Rolling stone next thing will be best the guy from Yaz 2nd place depech mode drummer..3rd Christina Aguilars drummer then they might put Keith Moon or Neil Peart in 20th….

  • http://sdgfsd Josh

    this shit is fucked up . If jack white is at 17 you might as well have the monkeys lead guitar player be #1 . Angus young is the best mutha fucka ever to live

  • anon

    No ones mention larry lalonde yet (the primus dude), he’s just class, and none of G3? holy crap, for a proper list go to

  • jimothy

    Anyone who still checks out this blog should definitely look at this:
    Don’t ask about it just do it.

  • jimothy

    Anyone who still checks out this blog should definitely look at this:
    Don’t ask about it just do it.

  • jonny

    jimi hendrix is the best guitarist i think angus young should have been higher because it’s malcom that plays chords not angus angus plays the amazing riffs to songs like thunderstruck and the solo on highway to hell

  • jonny

    my list
    1.jimi hendrix
    2.angus young
    3.jimmy page
    4.steve jones(sex pistols) king
    6.kurt cobain
    7.kirk hammit
    8.pete townshend(the who)
    9.eric clapton
    10.dave grohl

  • Andrew Lee

    What is this world coming to…

  • flipper

    yo this list is so fucked up^
    Comment 1005 posted by jimothy was really great and he is right so stfu all just question wheres slash and yngwie??? anywayz here are my favorites

    1.JImmi Hendrix
    2.Eric Clapton (best guitarist alive)
    4.Carlos Santana
    5.Jimmi Page
    6.yngwie Malmsteem
    7.Stevie Vay
    8.kirk hammet
    9.the guys from blind Guardian
    10. kerry king, jeff hanneman
    11. Joe Satriani
    12.The guys from Iron Maiden
    13.The guys from Hammerfall
    14.B.B. King and Lucille ;P
    15.Setevie ray vauhan

  • flipper

    on el ast thing
    wtf kurk cobain does on the list he sucks
    i play better guitar than him and im a bassist
    the guy from the white stripes is good but maybe top 200 not 100…

  • Scott

    Ok first of all there is one thing to get straight. Kurt Cobain made the top 15, thats very funny considering Van Halen is #70.

    Anyway if I were to consider making a greatest guitar player list I would first of all make Jimi Hendrix number one and that should not be argued by anyone but i also think the list should be based on not who can play the fastest or with the most taste, feeling or technique, rather, a tribute to the great men who shit iron and piss stainless steel razor blades, and do it every time they plug into an amplifier, and based on that Kirk Hammett should be at least number 3 only thrid to hendrix and jimmy page. Every time Kirk Hammett plugs into a guitar people shut up and they listen, thats the kind of effect thats needs to be had when picking a great guitarist

  • Jay.

    I wouldn’t put hendrix at number one, but top 5 definatley. I mean, he was more creative than anything else, but a guitarist needs versatility. Some people rate it on creativity/originality, some people base it on technical skill and ability, and most other categories fall under those too. So for all those versatile guitarists who chose to go “outside the box”, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, (acoustic, psycadelic, heavy rock, blues, heavy blues, everything you could imagine that fits the definition of a rock band.) and great technical work put into it too. NOT TO MENTION popularity is obviously a big factor here, why is a certain musician popular? it’s usually because their talented. That being said i can mention what i’ve heard about Page’s work with Zeppelin (him being the director of the band and produced all their albums) on COUNTLESS countdowns on the radio and such Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Page have one first place for: greatest rock album, (its been led zeppelin 1, and 4) greatest guitar riff (whole lotta love) greatest song (stairway to heaven) greatest guitar solo (stairway to heaven) one of the greatest live shows on earth – The mighty Led Zeppelin…how good can you get? I can also justify my opinion about jimi hendrix and how is NOT OVERRATED (well he is overrated sometimes quite a bit but he is still GREAT)but thats enough for now, plus a few more guitarists, but Page takes and will always take the top spot on my list.

  • Jay.

    oh and part of being versatile is being INFLUENTIAL. And for all you people who think influential is what matters, Page is definatley one of the most influential guitarists of all time, to other musicians and his fans, not to mention zeppelin has sold 100’s of millions of albums, (one of the worlds top selling of course) and I’ve seen how other musicians talk about him (interviews on VH1 in particular) and i’m pretty sure ritchie blackmore and billy corgan and zakk wylde have a far better opinion of guitarists than most of you other people. (By the way on that VH1 interview i just said above that was actually a countown of the greatest 100 hard rock bands and zeppelin won) Also, that list wasn’t determined by clueless people like the folks down at rolling stone, it was decided among REAL MUSICIANS.

  • Eric Olsen

    I find it very odd and noteworthy that such a high percentage of people have trouble spelling “definitely” – many try to throw an “a” in there. I think it relates to the way it’s pronounced.

    You see this from writers, commenters, people who spell most words correctly, etc.

  • Mark Hasty

    I find it odd that nobody’s mentioned Michael Gurley of Dada. Am I the only one who’s heard him?

  • jimothy

    There are very few new opinions in this post, and it seems that most people are restating old opinions and refusing to accept others.
    RE: Post 149
    “(Jimmy) Page takes and will always take the top spot on my list.”
    Also, from looking over the posts, one can easily identify exactly what kind of music the person listens to, and therefore who they think is a truly great guitarist. For instance, lately more people have been mentioning Slash, Vai, Malmsteen, Van Halen, etc., clearly stating that they are suckers for the speed kings. But at the beginning of the poll, people were arguing that Leo Kottke and other folk guitarists should be on the list. Which brings me back to the point I’ve made many times in this post, which is that it is completely pointless to make a top 100 guitarists list, because the varying tastes of the bloggers will (and have) just flooded the page with names of people that no one has ever heard of unless they’re already into that kind of music. Which is why it would have been much smarter to make a top guitarists list by genre, or decade, or musical era, or anything like that.

  • jimothy

    Just look at it, it won’t hurt you.

  • Eric Olsen

    guys, please make your URLs actual links

  • Jay.

    well, this is rolling stones top 100 list, i guess they just wanted to hear peoples opinions, so obviously the names of guitar greats are gonna be repeated and not a justified opinion will follow, well, who cares, why bother getting annoyed with it? you know its gonna happen, maybe rolling stone is doing this for feedback for their next list..well i dunno….but i also don’t think it matters of the way people spell on these posts…i thought we were talking about guitarists not grammar? so maybe everyones opinion matters, i clearly justified mine, and how page and zeppelin are my all time favourite…(but i didn’t diss anyone else’s posts which just creates posts of argument that people don’t wanna waste their time reading) so let’s hear your opinion.

  • Yeee

    This list is so flawed I don’t know where to begin. In my opinion 20 or 30 of these guys don’t even make the top 10,000 greatest guitarists of all time. Yet again Rolling Stone shows their true colors. They have no concept of what music is outside of the lyrics. KURT COBAIN? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! He may have changed the music industry into a bunch of whiny, depressed people, but he was a lousy guitarist. Eddie Van Halen in the 70’s? He was as influential a GUITARIST as Jimi Hendrix or Robert Johnson. Joan Jett. I know she had a guitar in her hands on stage but come on. If they had named this list “Greatest songwriters/performers/celebrities” who also happen to play guitar it would explain some of these lousy choices. But as we have come to expect from Rolling Stone’s many Top 100 lists, this one sucks.

  • Jay.

    yeah i agree about joan jett, she should definatley not be on there, will someone please tell me how and why she is so great? she’s nothing, she’s more of a singer, and using her guitar to back her up, and i don’t think kurt cobain should be rated that high, but i do think he should be on the list, he made grunge popular, he was very influencial, and yeah he brought that sort of mellowed/depressed rock and roll through his guitar, and his songs straight from his heart, but it’s his technical ability that really sucked, there was nothing to it, you could say nirvana didnt have a lead guitarist, and for a “any” guitarist list, (which i’m assuming this is) to get a good plsce you would need good technical good writing, good feeling, all that kind of stuff, but kobain definatley lacked in technical….i mean, he was virtuoso in other areas, but i could play his songs within a month of learning guitar….and same with JACK WHITE…he is far to overrated on this list.

  • Jay.

    oh and what i meant by “any” is the guitarists are ranked in all areas, it’s not a best technical guitarist, best writer, best feeling, best blues, it’s best everything.

  • Duane

    I agree with jimothy (#1053) that not much new is being added to the discussion. Please read the previous 1059 comments, then think things over, then add a comment. I see that Jay (#1058) couldn’t even be troubled to read Eric’s post (#1051), where Eric actually tries to save Jay the trouble of looking up the word “definitely” in his junior high school library, but goes on obliviously (that means “not paying attention,” Jay) to write “definatley.”

    Oh … I’ve decided to leave a comment:

    WHERE’S SLASH? Huh? Someone mentioned that already? Oh. Nevermind.

  • the boxer

    why the fuck you would put jimmy page at #9 and santana at #15. they should be at the top 5.what about the guy form the doors at the 90 he should be at the top 20.there is this dude from the mexican band el tri alex lora he is the shit or the one from molotov.but hendrix is at #1 what ever you said.

  • boxer

    If you have read about the 50 worst bands ever you know that “the doors” arn’t one of them but they were there. Jim Morrison is a god of rock. “the doors are one of the best band of rock ever

  • Jay.

    Alright, i did read it, but i ignored it, cuz i honestly don’t think people give a fuck if you spell definitely wrong, (so after that i forgot the proper spelling, and my way is just a habit) so maybe you should stop your bitching cuz i really don’t think anyone cares…

  • Flip Wilson

    RE: Comment 246 posted by jdf

    That whole thing about Jimi Hendrix “Acknowledging that Keaggy is the best” is an urban legend at best. It was rumored that he stated it on The Tonight Show. I was hosting The Tonight Show when Jimi Hendrix was a guest there and no such statement was ever uttered. I also looked through several of his interviews in ‘reputable music magazines’ he was rumored to have uttered the statement in. Once again I found nothing (I also checked into Eddie Van Halen, Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Page, all who are also attributed to this legend, and found nothing, but that’s neither here nor there). So, while Keaggy may be great, and some may hold the opinion that he is the greatest; there is no written, recorded, or otherwise verifiable account of Jimi Hendrix announcing that opinion to the general public at large via any mass-media source.

  • Flip Wilson

    My top five, ya dig?

    5. Phil Keaggy
    4. Eddie Van Halen
    3. Joe Satriani
    2. Eric Clapton
    1. Hendrix (Hey, he’s a brother, man!)

    Go ahead, flame it all you want.

    I am greatly dissatisfied with the omission of Peter Frampton. It seems to me they used the eighty and ninety range as sort of ‘filler’, not taking into effect the fact that these people are still supposed to be great. I mean, there are only 99 people in the world better than number 100, right? That’s still pretty amazing. Some of the mid-ranks also seem a bit to unfleshed, as if they felt there was no difference between 79 and 75 and just added people in there willy-nilly. Eddie Van Halen at number seventy is Rolling Stones way of trying to say that they don’t cave in to the appeal of the general public. Well, RS, you do. Frequently. It’s how you make money. On the rare occasions where the general public is completely right about something (as with the legendary status of Eddie V), they try to appeal to the ‘art-house’ crowd by shunning him, thinking that the guitar aficionados would agree that ‘he’s overhyped’. Kurt Cobain? Another appeal to the art-house. ‘He showed that you can make great music without much skill’, people say. Yes, key phrase ‘without much skill’. Isn’t this about skill? Even in the slightest? Taking into effect all around talent, with impact and influence and such, he’d still only place in the early nineties, and I’m only appealing to the art-house crowd here…

    “What you see is what you get”

  • jimothy

    I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this, but Ali Farka Toure is an amazing guitarist, top 50 material at least. Also, Zoot Horn Rollo of the Magic Band came up with some pretty memorable riffs, especially on Trout Mask Replica. Also, I am baffled as to why Bert Jansch, easily the best folk guitarist out there, is down at 94, below lesser folkies like Joni Mitchell, Robbie Robertson, and Stephen Stills (#28??!!!). While I usually prefer more general comments, I felt that these 3 ini particular could not be overlooked.

  • Ronen

    I really liek seeing Blue Cheer’s Leigh Stephens on the list. His sound is so fucking awesome. Not many guitarists sound liek him

  • boxer

    alex lora is one of the best player alive now he can beat many of the player that are in the list he can be in the top 20

  • Brett

    hey I dunno about all of u and even wat you’ll say about this but my top 5 should be

    2)Kirk Hammett
    3)Randy Rhoades
    4)Jimmy Page
    5)Eric Clapton

    then again im only 16 but in my mind this is how the top 5 should be, for anyone out there thats heard earlier stuff its prolly diff

  • Chris

    1. Jimmy Page
    2. Eric Clapton
    3. Jeff Beck
    4. Kirk Hammett
    5. Randy Rhoads

    Those are my top 5. I think Jimi Hendrix is overrated. He was just the first of his kind and he was more popular. He wasn’t all that great, he just played with more emotion. I think Jimmy Page was more influential on Rock and he made better Music. He consistently wrote great songs and he definitely deserves #1 on this list. I don’t get why Jack White is #17…he shouldn’t even be on the list.

  • jeffery

    No Alex Lifeson…some ting wong there!! joan jett over Alex..please give me a kick in the ass!!


    What about these great guitarists I havn’t seen mentioned…

    Avril Lavinge
    Zak Hanson (the Hanson Brothers)
    Ringo Starr

  • Anthony G

    Any of you all listen to rap.

    Because GUITARS SUCK!!!!!!!

  • Anthony G

    Josh, remember me? You are the one that is talking black now homie. Just look at your post at #1039.

    Yeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah dogg!!!!!!

  • http://none Adamg522

    This list is f*cked up. I think the late Hillel Slovak should have been on this list. If you agree, say so.

  • Anthony G

    What kind of name is Adamg522?

  • none of your goddamn buisness

    get ready for a pissed off guitarist’s rant….

    that list is fucking goddamn bullshit…. pure shit. who the fucking hell wrote that? they’re goddamn dumbasses…. seriously! jack white and kurt cobain above Randy Rhoads, Tom Morello, Eddie Van Halen, Tony Iommi, etc.!?!? that is fucked up! this is supposed to be a goddamn list of the “GREATEST” fucking guitarists, and not the damn most overrated and and media friendly guitarists!! i mean goddamn! kurt cobain?? now i’m not saying he’s “bad,” but for fuck’s sake, he’s FAR from any good. he just wrote some simple riffs that changed (or created) a sub-genre of rock. (not to mention, he killed one too) and jack white? who the fuck is he, compared to the likes of randy rhoads and zakk wylde, who isn’t even on the list?? i completely agree with zakk wylde, and you can read his rant at this site

  • Anthony g

    Everyone at this site is just a little stupider from hearing comment 1077.

  • Duane

    I read comment #1077, and I don’t feel any stupider than I did before I read it. And I happen to agree with his sentiments.

  • Anthony G

    See, I told you that you were stupider. Now you got so stupid you don’t even now it.

  • Duane

    Well, OK, then. Maybe I am stupider. But at least I know when to use “now” and when to use “know.”
    Now what I mean?

  • clash77

    Let’s face it people – “Rolling Stone” is a good 15-20 years past its “sell by” date. If their lame guitarist list isn’t an indication, how about their recent Q&A session with Avril Lavigne and glorification of everyone’s favorite retro rawk dawg Lenny Kravitz, who laments a bout of depression from being immersed in a world of Brazilian models and homes in Miami, New Orleans, and Soho? Nice hair straightening job, though… Simply put, “Rolling Stone” just doesn’t matter anymore, if they ever did at all. May they swiftly die…

  • JohnnyLunchBox

    This list is bullshit. We all know it. Since when has Rolling Stone magazine been relevant? Anyway, to point out their flagrant hypocrisy, they mention Alex Lifeson as an influence of Adam Jones from Tool, yet they exclude Alex from the list. Then I thought well maybe the list is just about younger newer players, but no…I see dead people…on the list that is. The unsupportable balls needed to include Mr. Lifeson as an influence but not as a legacy can not be bought in any store. Maybe that is precisely the problem. Those balls may have been bought a long time ago.

  • Anthony G

    Duane, did you stay up all night trying to find something wrong with my posting so you can say something to me.

  • Anthony G

    Oh yeah, thank you for admitting that you are stupider.

  • Duane

    “Duane, did you stay up all night trying to find something wrong with my posting so you can say something to me?”

    Yes, Mr. G, and I expect yet another sleepless night searching for a way to counter your devastatingly witty ripostes.

    Or we could go back to a discussion of guitarists. What do you think, Mr. G?

  • Mr. G

    Duane, Mr. G has a good ring to it so I am going to use it for now on.

    Since you are asking for my opinion I will give you my opinion.

    I do not like guitars at all. I am a rap fan and I think Rock Sucks.

    So sit on that homie.

  • Jeff

    I hope all of you people are talking about guitarists in pop-culture(mainly because Kurt Cobain is number 12–thats a joke), because there are so many better guitarists than all of those listed. like:
    joe pass
    charlie christian
    django reinhartd
    trey anastasio from phish
    derek trucks
    larry lalonde from primus

    Everyone says that hendrix and clapton, and page and allman are the best guiatrists of all time, and that is a joke for anyone whos got some chops.
    hendrix and page are good and im a fan but…lets face the fact that jimi hendrix played in a minor pentatonic scale his entire career, mainly in the key of e or eb. Its all the same licks played over and over again. the real GOOD guitar players are the ones who arent famous in the pop world like jazz guitar players and ones withg a unique sound like larry lalonde from primus, or trey anastasio from phish…plus dont forget the jazz legends….like joe pass(the best unaccompanied jazz guitar player), wes montgomery, django reinhardt, charlie christian, john pizzarelli, thats just to name a few…but if you watch a concert of joe pass, and then a jimi hendrix concert and say that jimi hendrix is a flat out better guitarist, then you obviously dont play guitar.

  • clash77

    Mr. G,
    If you hate rock so much, what are you doing posting on a thread about guitarists? Granted rock does suck (and if it’s not dead, it’s certainly smelling funny), but it didn’t always suck. And although it sucks, it sucks a hell of a lot less than rap. Aiiiiight, dawg? Keep it real, you know what I’m sayin’? Word is bond. Represent. Peace. Out.

  • Anthony G


    First, I don’t listen to the radio rap, I listen to uderground hip hop where there is a lot of tough guys that are white and black that don’t say those catch phraises that you were mentioning at the end of your comment.

    Second, I have reasons to be at this rock site. About four months ago I was at a rap site when a guy named Josh came there and started dissing us. Then I found him here and started a war with him. Then a lot you punk rock fans jumped in. Then the punk rock fans started making up names and I got blamed for it and I was banned. Now somehow I am back here dissing you punks.

    Is that good enough for you. Dude.

  • Slash

    Hey! Somebody lookin’ for me?

  • Anthony G

    Why would someone be looking for you????

  • Thomas Edwards

    Wow I don’t know where to begin with this lsit. Well 1st of all, Eric Clapton is a great blues player, but he doesn’t really blow me away as other guitarists do and should not be in the top 10. Speaking of the number 10, how about Keith Richards? He’s great rhythmn player but not a great soloist. Kurt Cobain is probably one of the worst guitarits ever and shouldn’t even be on this list (however he is one of the best songwriters). Jack White also shouldn’t be on this list. John Ramone and John Fruciante should be much lower as they aren’t the greatest soloists and are mostly rhythmn players. George Harrison and Tom Morello are others who shouldn’t be on this list. Frank Zappa at 45 is abusrd he should be in the top 10. Richie Blackmore should be in the top 5 as he is one of the greatest soloists ever. Eddie Van Halen at number 70 is a joke he sshould be at number 2 for being the 2nd msot inlfuential guitarist. Steve Howe is anotther great, complicated player who should be much higher. David Gilmour is also very good and should be higher. Angu sYoung at #96 is also a joke should be in the top 20. Steve Vai should be on this list and in the top 10 and Yngui Malmsteen should also be ont his althoguh he isn’t very well-known.

  • Anthony G

    Thomas that list I ever seen in my life. What in the world were thinking that idiodic list.

    Here is the real list.

    1. Eminem
    2. 50 Cent
    3. Atmoshere
    4. 2pac
    5. Snoop Dogg

  • http://billabong457 Justin


  • Anthony G

    Justin, comment 1094 is evidence that you rock punks worship these metal guys like groupies do.

  • The Absolut Moose

    Where in the name of all that is holy is Bob Dylan? He’s got way better chops than all the guys in the top 11-20 at least. I’ll go with Hendrix in the top three, maybe not number one…Jimmy Page drives a hard second at least and lets face it he had a longer career, whatever the circumstances. But for those who would call Hendrix passee…take a flying leap, bugger off and join the Jack White fan club…maybe you’ll make president one day, but the connoisseurs will still pay solemn homage to Hendrix and Page.

  • http://billabong457 Justin

    I don’t worship punk rock metal bands, I hate most metal. I think Hendrix is one of those with raw talent, and influence, but I don’t think he has much for musical comprosition, where people like Jack White are best. However, my list would probably go:

    Van Halen

  • The Absolut Moose

    I have 50 on my top list. Any more than that for me and I’d just be bullshitting you. Here are my picks (yours for the ravaging):

    1. Jimmy Page
    2. Jimi Hendrix
    3. Phil Keaggy
    4. Robert Johnson
    5. B.B. King
    6. Buddy Guy
    7. Jeff Beck
    8. Bob Dylan
    9. Eric Clapton
    10. Muddy Waters
    11. Eddie Van Halen
    12. Stevey Ray Vaughn
    13. Les Paul
    14. Chuck Berry
    15. Santana
    16. Keith Richards
    17. Johnny Winters
    18. Duane Allman
    19. Joe Satriani
    20. Kirk Hammett
    21. Slash
    22. David Jon Gilmour
    23. Gary Rossington
    24. George Harrison
    25. Dave Matthews
    26. Peter Frampton
    27. Joe Perry
    28. Tony Iommi
    29. Mark Knopfler
    30. Dave Mustaine
    31. Angus Young
    32. Frank Zappa
    33. Pete Townshend
    34. Randy Rhoads
    35. Stevey Vai
    36. Ernest Ranglin
    37. Janis Joplin
    38. Trey Anastasio
    39. Jerry Garcia
    40. Nancy Wilson
    41. Richard Z. Kruspe-Bernstein
    42. Sammy Hagar
    43. Bob Marley
    44. John Lennon
    45. Tom Morello
    46. Woody Guthrie
    47. Crazy Horse
    48. Prince
    49. Roy Clark
    50. Willie Nelson

  • Anthony G

    Justin, what do you mean that you do not worship those punks. You said on 1094 that “Clapton is God.”

    Ya Idiot.

  • http://billabong457 Justin

    Actually, for some reason I accidentally put Hendrix at #1, I guess because I’m so used to seeing him at 1. I think Clapton’s over Hendrix, and generally rock guitarists will get more praise having more raw talent, because rock typically is played faster and may seem harder to play.

  • clash77

    Hey cuz, thanks for clearing up that whole underground/mainstream hip-hop thing for me. Hope the Paxil’s working out for you and remember – the bill of your cap should point toward the front, not the back. Peace, dawg, out…

  • Anthony G


    First, I thought you said that the whole catch phraise thing was cleared up obviosly it is not and you have a thick head.

    Second, I do not usually wear hats. I like my hear or I wear a bandana.

    Third, what kind of idiot name is Dash77.

  • John

    Studio version of Hey Joe by Roy Buchanan-lightning guitar solos-deserves to crack top 10. Yes, Joe Walsh is another phenom. John Forgerty deserves his ranking-great technician. Watch him play live and you will understand. Blue Ridge Mountain Blues-wish he played it on an electric semi-hollow-very fast fretwork.

  • Eric Olsen

    John, I agree with all your assessments, especially the blistering solo at the end of “Hey Joe” – mind-boggling

  • http://none Ingrid Furlong

    everything’s cool bout’ radiohead, pink floyd, neil young and sonic youth

    the edge sucks hahaaha

    where is slash?? :(

  • gumboss

    were tha fuck is slash he s defenetly beder that half of them

  • Zach

    Anthony G, in comment 1090 you mentioned that you don’t listen to radio rap. In comment 1094, you mentioned the “real list” of good musicians.
    1. Eminem
    2. 50 Cent
    3. Atmoshere
    4. 2pac
    5. Snoop Dogg
    Now, i could be wrong here but I’ve heard of all of those musicians, making them “radio rap.” So whats the true story.
    Peace out home dawwwg..ignorant bastard

  • mike bonenti

    It amazes me that the one guitarist who has had the most influence since the late 1950’s has had the most instrumental hits is not on the list. Yes, I’m talking about Hank Marvin. There must be heaps of guys out there who would agree.

  • David P

    I like nirvana and all but kurt Cobain isnt that great but hes still top 100. And what about DAve Navarro, he’s amaizing!

  • Law

    I think that Jimi Hendrix, by far, deserves to be number one, but Jimmy Page and people like Eddie Val Halen, BB. King, Chuck Berry, Angus Young, Kurt Kobain and others should be close behind. But what the hell is with Jack White and Joey Ramone!

  • Red

    I would like to make my pitch for Eddie Van Halen.

    He has the remarkable ability to take the sounds that he hears in his head and play it on a guitar. He both-handedly changed and expanded forever the world of guitar. As far as his being solely about speed, Eddie is not particularly fast when held up to real “speed guitarists.” He plays what he hears in his head; he doesn’t play fast unless the situation calls for it. As he said himself, there are many rock stars, and very few musicians.

    I respect him because he is never confined by scalar or musical ideas by-the-book; while most guitarists are stuck in their pentatonic and blues scales, Eddie Van Halen will play anything, utilizing chromatics and bizzare melodic phrases that defy standard musical theory. Undeniably, having a larger vocabulary makes for a better guitarist.

    His technical creativity is amazing, from using right-hand bars to create intricate harmonics melodies and making using of the strings above the nut. Other guitarists may be able to do this, or even go further with it, but Edward Van Halen is the original, the inimitable.

    His style is not “beautiful” in the same way as a classical symphony. Indeed, appreciating the underlying musicality and intricate nature of some of Edward’s playing is not easy. But watching him play, his music has as much feeling and soul as any other guitarist.

    “Eruption” is not his one great work. Many of his songs display his virtuosity more accurately. “Girl Gone Bad,” “Mean Streets,” “On Fire,” and others are places where his musicianship shines, even in a style of music known for things other than its musicality.

    He doesn’t have the greatest chops, but he plays with his feelings like no other. He loves his music, and if you look past his technical brilliance, you can see.

    In closing, don’t assume that a guitarist is bad just because they’re good (Do you understand what I’m saying?).

  • http://billabong457 Justin

    First off Anthony G, my comment CLAPTON IS GOD was comment #1095 not 1094, “Ya Idiot”. And secondly, Eric Clapton plays blues, he is no rock punk. Maybe you shouldn’t post if you don’t know who Clapton is, and you can’t count.

  • enigma

    well this is my top ten guitarist but i haven’t heard all the music in the world so this is the best from what i’ve heard

    1 Jimi Hendrix
    2 Carlos Santana
    3 Jimmy Page
    4 Eric Clapton
    5 Van Halen
    6 Jeff Beck
    7 Robert Johnson
    8 Keith Richards
    9 Tony Iommi
    10 Chuck Berry

    (Honorable mentions: Slash, Pete Townshend and George Harrison)

  • jonny rocket

    if u think slash is better than angus tell me cuz i think my friend is a dumbass

  • Doug

    WHAT THE HELL Happened TO ADRIAN SMITH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dustyn

    Hey, even though I think Jimi Hendrix is by far the most talented guitar player of all time, I agree with Doug… Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden) is a very good guitarist and I think he should have been on the list even if it wasnt top 10.

    P.S Carlos Santana sucks. And Why is Angus Young 96? Is it because he’s def?? Sick freaks…

  • hargreavesjohn

    Kurt Cobain ahead of Garcia and Santana?? Thats a joke…

  • john wilcock

    9. Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin. Really? The one from Led Zeppelin? Hasn’t played a decent lick since he laid pipe with Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin.

    yo hankl go lick some **** you don’t know anything about guitars, jimmy page wrote AMAZING songs, go listen to your michael jackson crap, because u dont deserve to listn to n e rock

  • alEX


  • alex

    angus!angus!angus!he should of been like 13 or something i mean come on!!!jack white beat him?that’s just some major bull right there and kurt cobain…i mean i love nirvana but dude he’s not a good guitar player!!i agree with the placing of jimi hendrix and eric clapton.keith richards should be lower though….man i can like play almost all of the rolling stone songs.i’m still pissed about angus being like 97 or whatever dude he is an awesome guitarist way better than jack white.GOD!!!!!!what the hell r the white stripes r they like brother and sister and they like tongue massage each other i mean come on!!!ONLY IN AMERICA!!!!!

  • alex kruse

    my top 5 list is:
    1.jimi hendrix
    2.eric clapton
    3.angus young(if not number three he should of at least been higher like 13 or something)
    4.carlos santana
    5.johnny ramone(i really like his style of playing)

  • alex kruse

    who likes rush?well if you’ve heard f rush then u must of heard of alex lifeson.he would of been somewhere around 30..28 armound there.anyway,i just think he should be on this list.oh!and P.S. rolling stone i hate you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • alex kruse

    angus….(sob)…why?!!!!!!!….oh god…down there all al(sob)one at 96….why rolling stone?!!!….WHY!!!!????!!!!

  • bsktballplyr99

    wow. where do i start. jimmy page not top 3, my god. wait wait wait, is jack white in front of angus young. by over 80 spots. ac/dc is one of the most famous rock bands of all time, and angus is one of the main reasons. and where is slash. WHERE THE HELL IS SLASH. its like he doesnt exist. jack whtie is 17. the sheer mechanics of how they did that are mindboggling. really, its insane. hes not bad, but his band has been around for what, 4 years or something. i only like one song, i havent really listened to the rest. but im really pissed about angus. he openly admits that most of the songs are the same, its not his skill thats amazing, its the impact he has had on rock itself. for shame rolling stone, for shame :(

  • bsktballplyr99

    when i said jimmy page not top 3, im saying what the hell. he should be. i personally think he should be 1, i mean its partly a matter of opinion. i tihnk hendrix is good, but i do think he is overrated. i would much rather choose any zeppelin tune over hendrix, but thats because i find led zeppelin to be the greatest band of all time.

  • bsktballplyr99

    i like the absolute mooses playlist of top50. i think that is pretty accurate.

  • Renzo

    a ramone!!!, Jack White!!!, please,… and i think i play guitar better than kurt cobain did. ok, kurt is a genius at writing, but not at playing guitar. and if in the list appear the guys of soundgarden, alice cooper or tool, why does not appear the dudes of pearl jam or iron maiden, the list is a little highed

  • alex

    angus young is a miserable guitarist!…AS WELL AS EDDIE VAN HALEN all he does is play hammer-ons he cant play well at all. the 3 best players are page, clapton, and vaughan no question. So BE QUIET to all of those idiots who post comments when they dont know what the heck they are talking about.

  • bsktballplyr99

    ahaha angus young is a miserable guitarist. i guess if you want to be in the one best selling bands of all time behind the eagles, pink floyd, led zeppelin, then you have to have a miserable guitarist in the band. angus kicks ass. watch an ac/dc performance and if you arent fucking amazed, then i dont know what will amaze you. i agree and think that page is one of the best, but i disagree with what you said about angus. ac/dc kicks. angus kicks. eddie van halen kicks. shut the fuck up k.thanks.

  • alex

    hey dude th guy who dissed angus…… shut up!!!!!!!!!yeah van halen sucks and clapton and page kick but dude angus does not suck!!!!!!!!….(retard)

  • alex kruse

    i totally agree with basktballpl8er,totally,and by the way dude,rock on,rock on,anyone who likes acdc and thinks angus is a kick ass guitarist is cool in my book

  • bsktballplyr99

    yea alex kruse u rock. i hate people who just shit on angus, without even hearin half of the stuff. plus if you really want to be blown away, download a back in black video of kazaa or off some site. or any other video of ac/dc playin. there like no other band

  • jimothy

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, that in order to be at all accurate, this list should’ve been divided into genres. You simply cannot compare, say, Randy Rhoads with, say, BB King or even Bert Jansch. While they’re all excellent guitarists, it’s impossible to compare the greatest of the heavy metal guitarists with the best of the blues players and folkies. Therefore:

    1. BB King
    2. Eric Clapton
    3. Stevie Ray Vaughan
    4. Robert Johnson
    5. Buddy Guy
    6. Freddie King
    7. Mike Bloomfield
    8. Peter Green
    9. Steve Cropper
    10. Bo Diddley

    1. Randy Rhoads
    2. Eddie Van Halen
    3. Zakk Wylde
    4. Steve Vai
    5. Yngwie Malmsteen
    6. Slash
    7. Tony Iommi
    8. Kirk Hammett
    9. Dimebag Darrel
    10. Joe Satriani

    1. Jimi Hendrix
    2. Jimmy Page
    3. David Gilmour
    4. Mark Knopfler
    5. Frank Zappa
    6. Brian May
    7. Angus Young
    8. Ritchie Blackmore
    9. The Edge
    10. Keith Richards

    I could go on and on, but this is at least a beginning.

  • Alex


  • Mikeyt

    This list is awful honestly!!
    Top 5 – 1.Page
    2.Van Halen
    5.Slash — wasnt even in there!

  • Adam

    Regardless of style, inspiration, melody, or whatever, I beleive that Zakk Wylde, Dimebag Darrell, and Slash could blow over half of that list out of the water anyday

  • atty

    i cant believe slash isnt on this list. he at times outdoes hendrix by far. i mean the paradise city outro is the greatest, and sweet child of mine, november rain, knocking on heavens door. geeze.. and angus young is just as good as jimmy page. god dam the rolling stones must of picked these blindfolded out of a hat. anyway here is my list. its not the best ever guitar players but these are my favourites for the music i like.

    1 . Ritchie Blackmore
    2 . Angus Young
    3 . Slash
    4 . Jimi Hendrix
    5 . Jimmy Page
    6 . Eric Clapton
    7 . Eddie Van Halen
    8 . Kirk Hammet
    9 . Carlos Santana
    10. David Gilmour
    11. Tommy Boyce
    12. Chris Chenny

    skip a few

    20,000. Jack White

    hehe.. hes so shit.. my friend has been playing for a week and hes already better then that wanka.

    AUSSIES RULE..YANKS DONT.. and for all the yankees out there id like to say.. as an expression from all of australia.. no one likes u cause americans are stuck up, ignorent, people.. individually they are alright. but i mean.. if u get anymore then two it just gets shit.

    also the rolling stones have no sense of taste. they put Keith Richards at number 10. come on.. they are as bad at making lists as they are at music..


  • renzo

    i say it again, this list SUCKS!!!!, sucks like an elephant anus. and that guy atty, man, you`re insane, you put slash before hendrix and page in your list, man, slash is great, but looks miserable in front of those guys, and… ANGUS ROCKS!! and jack white,… little baby…

  • Anthony

    Alright. Rolling Stone needs to take their heads out of their ass and actuallly find people that listen to GUITAR. Now im talking about actual GUITAR PLAYING…most of this list is like…the 100 best bands that have good songs….now actual GUITARISTS.

    First of all…..


    This list is invalid if either of those arnt on this list. Now listen here…. I know many many people believe that Hendrix was the best..which may be true…the best of HIS TIME…but as the consistent example i bring up…if hendrix was alive today and played with steve vai…who would be better? Now think about that…because in the sixies and seventies people were blown away by Jimi…because there had never really been someone like that…(NOT TO FORGET ABOUT 50s ROCK like CHUCK BERRY and them!) but now today…Steve Vai’s skill is so incredible and naturally beats Jimi, mainly because time has passed and Steve has been doing it for a lot longer and has the background knowledge of all of those guitar greats…so who REALLY is the top 100 gutiarist of all time? JIMI? i DONT THINK SO….PROB STEVE VAI….ALTHOUGH I LOVE JIMI!….but think first…