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The Top 100 Guitarists According to Mark Saleski

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After reading that list of the Rolling Stone Top 100 Guitarists I felt the need to chime in. Not that there's a problem with the list or anything.

Well…ok, there is a problem. There's a problem with any list that attempts to rank players as if one is 'better' than another. Does it really matter how 'skillful' a player is if they don't do anything interesting with that talent? For example, take Keith Richards and Joe Satriani. Sure Joe can play monstrous scales, the notes splattering all over the floor like rock dandruff… but I'd rather listen to Keith do that 'Keith-riff', those ragged rhythms, those knotty and off-kilter guitar solos. There's some 'meat' in his playing. Nobody sounds like Richards. His is a singular voice…and it sticks with me.

So that's what the players to follow have in common. A unique sound. Most of them are from the rock world, with a few moderately 'out-there' jazz players. A list of favorite jazz players is a topic for another day. The order is just how they popped into my head. Oh ya, and there's only ten of them. Here goes…

Marc Ribot

Hear just a few notes from Ribot's Rootless Cosmopolitans and you might think, "hey, maybe somebody should tell that guy to tune his guitar". While Ribot is often associated with the downtown New York scene, the man in fact really gets around. He's played: jazz in his own ensembles, deconstructed guitar etudes for John Zorn, Cuban music (and how can you not like a group called "Los Cubanos Postizos" …the prosthetic Cubans?), rock with Tom Waits and Elvis Costello (to name a couple).

What's unique about Marc Ribot's sound is his combination of angular melodic lines and humor. Sometimes I hear him playing and a picture forms in my head: a tall, lanky guy wearing baggy pants playing a mutant Telecaster: it's ten feet long and has strings hanging down to the ground.

Leo Kottke

As a guitar player I'll often watch guys at shows and envy at their technique. The clean lines, the speed, the acceleration.

With Leo Kottke I just sit there and wonder just what the heck he's doing. There seems to be no connection between what his fingers are doing and the sound that's coming out.

That's OK though, because the tunes he spins out of that collection of walking basslines, contrary motions and other fingerpicking gems are truly memorable. (Honorable mention must be given here to the late, great John Fahey, who gave Leo his first big chance).

Guy Van Duser

On his solo records as well as one part of the duo of Van Duser & Novick, Guy Van Duser has been making spectacular fingerstyle guitar music for years. I became aware of him back in college when a friend played his solo version of "Stars and Stripes Forever" (from American Fingerstyle Guitar). If you see him live he will sometimes play a just plain wrong version of "Caravan" …during which he will explain how he learned to play the guitar by learning licks from Chet Atkins records… and how Chet used an echo chamber to double up the bass parts, a fact that Van Duser learned long after he figured out how to double up the bass parts using his thumb. He then goes on to play "Caravan" with simultaneous walking bassline and melody. It's just not right.

You may have heard Van Duser play before. Van Duser & Novick's "Louisiana Fairy Tale" used to be the theme song for the original "This Old House" TV show.

David Lindley

It has been said that David Lindley can play anything with strings on it. I believe it. Anybody who was around in the 70s will recognize Lindley's sound. He just about defined that Southern California sound – especially on a bunch of Warren Zevon and Jackson Browne records. He was also the guy who squeezed out the falsetto part during Running On Empty's "Stay" (I've seen him do that live…and I don't know what was more disturbing: the voice coming out of that man, or the violently fluorescent Hawaiian clothing). Lindley also put out a few great solo records full of slack-key finger picking and pedal-steel guitar craziness. Put on an El Rayo-X record at your next party and you'll be dancin' on your coffee table in no time.

Bill Frisell

When I went through my ECM Records phase (ok, I'm still not out of it) I came across Mr. Frisell. Here's a player who's tough to classify. His sound can go from tender and heartfelt balladry to full-on skronk… sometimes within the same tune! Frisell's been through his phases: early on there was a lot of abstraction and rubato, then there was some near-rock and pop material (check out the cover/destruction of Madonna's "Live To Tell" on Have A Little Faith). From that point there was an extended period of what I would call Frisell-Americana. His latest record sees him turning to a sort of world music. He has also played country and straight-ahead jazz …and the amazing thing is that that voice remains distinct throughout all of the styles he's dealt with.

Adrian Belew

What can't Adrian Belew do? He's played Beatles-influenced pop with the Bears (and on his solo records), funk (Talking Heads), art-pop (anybody remember the fork, knife and spatula scene during Laurie Anderson's Home Of The Brave?) and, of course, art rock …or whatever you want to call what King Crimson has done since Discipline. The man seems to draw from an endless pool of creativity …and he's fun too!

Robert Fripp

Belew's alter ego? Not exactly. On the other hand, when Belew looks like he's having fun, Fripp looks like he's eaten too much for dinner.

The proof, though, is in the playing. Fripp defined the King Crimson sound – then drove it through a bunch of variations. I love it all: the scary doom-laden metallic clang, the nervous rhythms, the interlocking guitar figures, the Frippertronics. His sound can go from a whisper to a howl. Kinda frightening. Always entertaining.

Jerry Garcia

Ah, Captain Trips, how I miss him. Some folks are dismissive of the Dead …and that's OK. But to ignore the talents of Jerry Garcia is to miss out on a player who truly loved all kinds of music – and who displayed that love as a quite unique style of guitar playing. Jerry loved old-timey music, bluegrass, country and jazz. He took all of those styles and distilled them into something else. If you want to hear him living in those influences, give a listen to some of the Old & In The Way material or maybe the Miles Davis stuff his did with David Grisman.

The Dead may have been sloppy at times, but nobody sounded like Jerry Garcia.

Bruce Springsteen

When I was learning how to play the guitar, a lot of time was spent listening to Darkness On The Edge Of Town. There's some truly nasty guitar work on that record. I loved the way he 'leaned into' the solos. Lots of passion, lots of tension. Springsteen did learn how to make that thing talk (and check out his duet with Warren Zevon on The Wind …he nearly rips the strings off the guitar).

Pete Townshend

Maybe my favorite rock guitarist. The body of work he's helped to create with The Who (plus his solo stuff) is pretty stunning. The list of great songs (with those great riffs) seems endless. I don't think rock music would have been the same without him.

"Substitute" was one of the first rhythm parts I ever learned how to play. It still rocks. It always will.

(First posted on Mark Is Cranky)

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About Mark Saleski

  • Isn’t Lindley also the guy who does the howling backing vocal on Zevon’s “Wild Age”?

  • I would have to add to just about any list that didn’t have him Michael Hedges. That guy did things . . . I have no idea how he did the things he did. What a shocking loss his death was.

    I’d also offer up Steve Howe, but his solo material just doesn’t measure up to his work with Yes. He does, however, elicit the same feelings in me that Bill Frisell does – a kind of “what’s next” excitement in everything he plays. Like Frisell, he knows the power of playing very close to out of control, where his fret work is on the very edge of being completely incoherent, yet reigns it in just enough to maintain some sense of melody. Frisell is the master of this, but Howe was first . . .

  • Eric Olsen

    Very cool Mark, a lot I agree with and some new guys I didn’t really know (guy, and I haven’t paid that much attention to Ribot). And man, put “Substitute” and “Can’t Explain” (guess that’s Page along on the BIG RIFF) together and nothing can piss me off. Really, all of Meaty Beaty is timeless mod rock and the group’s peak.

    Glad to see Bruce, too, he kicks the llama’s ass on “Darkness”

  • JR

    That’s not Steve Van Zandt playing guitar on “Darkness…”?

  • I have to agree this is a righteious list. I was surprized how many of the guitbox arteests I listed in a previous article made the RS list.

    But I’m ashamed I didn’t mention Marc Ribot.

    And Rolling Stone, Robert Quine has done more than the Voidoids. One of the guitarists I didn’t list was Lou Reed. But Reed is more important for hiriing better guitarists like Mike Rathke.

  • Eric Olsen

    JR, Steve isn’t on “Darkness” – it’s all Bruce.

  • JR

    He’s listed in the liner notes, both as production assistant and on guitar. I’m not up on Springsteen lore, what’s the story here?

  • Eric Olsen

    Sorry, Steve did come in on the production end and ended up playing some guitar, but Bruce played all the leads. He is listed as “lead guitar” – his electric lead style is not unlike Neil Young, furiously hard picking wringing the guitar neck like a doomed chicken, making vicious, almost unnatural noise.

  • JR

    I believe that’s my cue to actually listen to the record…

  • wringing the guitar neck like a doomed chicken, making vicious, almost unnatural noise.

    Hey, I think I saw that chicken this week at at CNE!

  • S.A. Smith

    The Rolling Stone list unsurprisingly sucked in that faux controversial only Rolling Stone can do. I liked your observation about Bruce’s playing on Darkness. When I was in high school, waaay back in the mid-80’s, I had a friend who was a black sabbath/led zeppelin kind of guy and new of Bruce only as the commercial monster he became after Born in the USA. One lunch time I kidnapped him and we snuck off and I blasted a little Adam Raised a Cain and Candy’s Room and set him straight. I broke in my 18th birthday present strat working out the solos on Darkness.

    I was happy to see that Richard Thompson wasn’t ignored. And I know I’ll be ripped apart for saying this but, with all due respect to Hendrix, we all know that Keith Richards is rock-n-roll guitar.

  • Marty Friedman

    I think the Rolling Stone’s Magazine is full of lies. First of all, how do they dare to put Kurt Cobain in the TOP 100 guitarist?? I mean, thats the BIGEEST LIE I’VE EVER HEARD! There should be Mary Friedman, so i say that the rolling stones magazine sucks!!! they ahve to be informed before they make such a wrong thing!
    Thanks a lot!

  • Springsteen is a vastly underrated guitarist, as shown once again on Zevon’s “Disorder in the House”–but don’t forget Zevon’s playing. He’s the only guitarist on Life’ll Kill You. That’s him sounding just like Peter Buck on “Porcelain Monkey”, and him doing all the neat picking.

    I think about Belew’s stellar work on Frank Zappa’s Sheik Yerbouti. That’s the only Zappa album (I think) with only two guitarists. Of course.

  • Kenny Allday

    Sure I agree that Jimi was great because nobody made those sounds back then come out of a guitar. But nowdays it seems that everyone is. Everything sounds the same in the mainstream. Honestly the list made me sick. Right when I saw Jack White of the white Stripes i almost fell over. That pathetic guy ovver someone like JOHN PETRUCCI!!!!! this is an outrage. and deaf person could tell that an amazing musician such as John Petrucci from Dream theater is 50 times the guitarist than half of the people on that list. I WANT TO KILL WHOEVER WROTE THAT LIST! ahhhhhhh

  • Taloran

    I’ve spent far too many hours over the last three decades listening to music and trying to determine which guitarist I considered the greatest – there are a whole bunch of ’em, guys who make your jaw drop listening to their licks the way Peter Forsberg does handling a hockey puck. How the heck did he do that??? Ah, what a wonderful argument Rolling Stone, in their infinite wisdom, has cooked up!

    A few “How does he DO that?” moments:

    Jorma Kaukonen’s fingerpicking on Hesitation Blues, the first track of the first Hot Tuna album.

    Page’s fretwork on the live version of Dazed and Confused.

    The first time hearing SRV’s version of Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)

    Jeff Beck’s entire Blow By Blow album

    John Butcher’s At The Feet of the Master from Positively the Blues

    Watermelon in Easter Hay, Joe’s final imaginary guitar solo from Zappa’s Joe’s Garage

    Then there’s the ones that make your heart sing and your head spin, even if you actually understand what the guy’s fingers are doing. A few:
    Eric Johnson’s Ah Via Musicom –> Cliffs of Dover

    Santana’s Samba Pa Ti and Europa

    Hendrix’s Captain Coconut and Peace in Mississippi

    Kottke’s Vaseline Machine Gun

    Albatross by Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac

    No doubt everyone reading this has songs that do similar things to them – I’d like to hear which ones they are so I can download them illegally and listen to them. (Just kidding, sorta.)

  • The Theory

    thank you for the Kottke mention… that guy is madly underrated.

  • JR

    So Mark, where’s that list of jazz players?

  • dat’s a good question….i’ll work on it.

  • raymond mcgee

    Glad also tha the world is waking up to Richard Thompson….and David Lindley.Now,surely,some mention for the extraordinarily skilful and adaptable Albert Lee?

  • raymond mcgee


    Rory Gallagher???

  • Eric Olsen

    I knew Albert Lee for a time when he hung out in the South Bay in the ’80s, great player, nice guy.

  • upanddidit

    I think that robert Johnson should be in the number one spot. That mans way of play blows my mind and no matter how many times i try i cant do it. Maybe he did sell his soul but it was worth it. He has inspiered so many artist and no one today really knows who he is

  • Nick


  • zakkster

    wheres zakk wylde

  • pat o’brien

    ok. lets face it. the edge from u2 is the greatest guitarist ever. i mean just listen to him and you will see what im talking aboot.

  • Jim

    I can’t believe not only who was left off the list; but, as a couple of others have pointed out, it’s the one’s who were included that’re killing me. Joni Mitchell? If you’re gonna go there, how about Emmylou Harris? What about Joan Baez of Janis Ian? What about Chet Atkins? If you’re gonna include Les Paul and Robert Johnson, you’ve gotta include the original double-lead-on-the-same-guitar man. Does anyone remember Tommy Bolin? How about Roy Clark, Steve Vai, Joe Walsh, Steve Wariner or Vince Gill? Has anyone seen Peter Frampton’s Detroit concert DVD…he just keeps getting better. What about John Coltrane? or Neal Schon?


  • Jim

    One More…..Jose’ Feliciano. Acclaimed as the “Greatest Living Guitarist”.


  • Sanzo

    Yeah man.. this magazine is bullsh!t…. same as the top greatest 100 guitarist in GW (Guitar World) Magazine.. but this magazine kicks ass
    the only part I really dislike is how they put Kurt Cobain.. I mean.. all Kurt does is.. drugs and stuff… I like his songs but just dont like his guitar.. and also.. do they have Gary Moore on the magazine?

  • Gary

    I agree with some, the list doesnt impress me. I dont understand how you can leave off John Petrucci of Dream Theater and Steve Rothery of Marillion.Also, I would have to add to the list Nick Barrett of Pendragon,Chris DeGarmo and Michael Wilton of Queensryche. Quess not many prog fans out there– G

  • Brian

    First of all I’d like to say that Eddie Van Halen is underrated. How do you put him @ #70 in the top 100??? Listen to the best of Van Halen Vol.1 and then tell me he’s still #70.
    Secondly, Jack White!!! What has he contributed to the music industry…a bunch of crap?
    Third of all, David Gilmour of PF deserves to be in the top #20 at least.
    This list needs some serious revising.

    Reply to Kenny Allday: 1. Listening to the extended version of “Eruption” by Van Halen.
    2. Jimi Hendrix’s freestyle of “Voodoo Chile” on the Woodstock cd
    3. Pink Floyd’s “Echoes” off of the Meddle album

  • Rico

    The problem with these lists, is that everyone has their opinions about this guitarist being better than that guitarist. I think this rolling stone thing is total crap. I don’t understand how Cobain, the guitarist from white stripes, what is up with that? You have guitarist like Petrucci, Vai, Wylde, Satriani, Malmstreem, Dimebag, all in which werent on the list (except for maybe dimebag, but i forget) that deserved a seat better than Cobaina and White Stripe, and yes Van Halen should of been ranked better so should Angus, but Rolling Stone is about publicity not music

  • obviously it’s all opinion…and gets right to what you think is ‘good’.

    i’d rather listen to Keith Richards rhythm stuff and snarly leads than vai or satriani’s note soup any day of the week.

    does that mean one is ‘better’ than the other. dunnno.

  • Mark

    Rolling Stone is a magazine who’s publishers have one thing in mind-PROFIT. Reality, value, talent, none of those things have anything to do with any article ever written in that magazine. They want to drive the latest fashion down everyones throat until we throw up, then find something else to cram at us.
    The Top-100 list reads like someone sat down and just threw out names to fill space-not really knowing anything about the topic they were writing about. Consider this-the person writing the article probably doesn’t know a Fender from a Gibson, has no technical expertise whatsoever with the guitar or how it functions, and probably only knows it as a fashion statement. So, how does that qualify them to make judgements for such a list? For any legitimate purpose, it does not. What you are left with, then, is a valueless piece of writing designed solely to appeal to a mass of sheep who don’t understand the topic any better than the person who wrote it(i.e. the Target Market). The White Stripes are the fashion of the day, in my opinion not worthy of the press they get, but that’s how it is with fashion. I thought and still do think the same thing about Kurt Cobain. Way, way, WAY overrated by pop press.
    Say what you want, but people don’t read Rolling Stone because it is any kind of authority on anything of value, they read it because they exist in the target zone.
    Sheep. Mindless sheep.

  • MDelPiero

    About the stupid man who’s name is Rico, about Jack White, I don’t think, if he knows what is a good guitarist.

  • Devin

    hey guys….i hope you didnt forget about God. I eman you gotta admit out of the hundreds of top 100s lists i can find there all right when they put Jimi at number one. If you listen to his better songs like his hour long performance at woodstock (not the crappy library version) or little wing youd realize he wasnt jsut a fast player in fact he wasnt fats at all he was just Damn good and thats all there is to say. and then theres ry cooder hes also pretty good you cant kick out the real good guitarists jsut because there popular thats like when the Blink 182 fans broke up cause they were to popular….dumbasses….i hate blink 182 anyways. Yes im 16 and you all sound a bit older but when a 16 year old knows more about music than a bunch of old dudes who actually lived when there was good music it makes ou wonder why people are reading your posts right now.

    Im not saying any that you listed arent good jsut that jimi is better and always will be you jsut gotta accept that fact. and please get kazza and download the 200+kb file woodstock full version – jimi hendrix and watch the whole thing then litsen to little wing and when you decide to chang you list, which you will, put ry cooder on there too jsut trust me i know my shit

  • Devin

    someone said something about jimi being good only back when he was alive or something….well ive heard a lot of people try to sound like him and never has it been done. Im not tlaking about learning how to play voodoo chile and saying oh well this is easy jimi wasnt good. im talking about standing up on a stage after getting high and playing for and hour when at least 75 percent of what your playing is made up right on the spot. That is guitar. That is rock/blues/ whatever yea when you dont know what place to put someone it means something. Im refering to woodstock cause im like one of the only peoepl whos ever seen the real video

    Ten Years After

    Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters


    Monte Montgomery (check his verison of litte wing)

    etc etc etc

    download every version of little wing you can find ive never heard a better song i really havent

    the one song thats jsut as good as little wing…the live version of little wing in paris! ha

    woodstock if it was all a big song would be number one so…sorry im rambling…jsut listen to those songs and tell me if im fucked up in the head or if im right.

  • the rollingstones list totally sucked: here is how it rolls
    5.Brian May(he also invented his own guitar)
    6.Eddie Van Halen
    7.Stevie Ray
    8.David Gilmore
    9.Randy Rhoads
    10.Mark Knopfler
    Dropped Out: Zakk Wylde, Kirk Hammett, Carlos Santana, Joe Perry, James Hatfeild, CC(maybe),and jeff beck
    I would also like to recognize Flea(chili peppers) for his amazing bass riffs and solos

  • clay

    yes i also think this list is bogus do u realize where randy rhoads was a t like 70 or 80 cmon now has anyone hear heard any acoustic guitar playing how about tim reynolds (works with dave matthews a lot) that guy is sick listen to some of his solos and what the guy can do with a slide some of his solos stream, and the live at chicago liein our graves electric solo amazing i think tim reynolds is defintley in the top 5 guitarists of all time some of the best were in my opinion Hendrix,clapton, page,for top 3 and there is not anybody out there who can play better than hendrix there will never be. anyone who thinks anyone was better is nuts i mean solos arent what makes u the best of all time its writing kick ass music and being able to bust out them awesome solos anyways TIM REYNOLDS IS SICK LISTEN TO THAT GUY PLAY

  • apparent bad guy

    Andres Segovia. Fluidity, speed, feeling, emotion, and class to boot.


  • When I was a youth i would have endless arguments about the greatest guitarist, it always came down to Hendrix (my pick) and Malmstien. How interesting it is that years later, Hendrix is still in the running (but absent from your list MARK!!!!) yet malmstein is a sidenote. I guess speed isnt everything.

  • yea, i do love hendrix…but i kindof came into this just a little after he was gone.

    so maybe that’s why i didn’t think of him.

  • chris mccabe

    Angus young is undoubtably the best guitarist ive ever heard and seen.He is the most underated guitarist in the world and deffinataly deserves more credit that he already has.As a guitar player i can tell you it takes concentration to do a solo and many guitarists stay in the one spot while completing a solo from hendrix to page however not angus.He runs about the stage,hops,crawls etc and still pulls of the same sounds(if not better)than the best.please listen to ac dc’s,live at donnington to see what i mean.

  • Funny nobody remembers another Hendrix disciple, Robin Trower. Seems he took up where Jimi left off. Licks and riffs to jack you up or put you in a trance…. Strange no one is aware of the great body of work that Blue Oyster Cult has put out from the early 70’s. Donald (Buck Dharma) Roeser has run the gamut from folsky picking, fluid arrangements, boogie woogie, flashy, heavy metal, jazz, you name it! “ON YOUR FEET OR ON YOUR KNEES!” As to the Rolling Stone list: put Zappa and Angus Young closer to the top, drop George Harrison (unimaginative), Jack White (yawn), the dude from Living Color (clumsy), and anyone from Metallica (muddy in concert). Keith Richards IS #1!

  • Brady

    Some good picks Mark, however I have to take issue on some omissions and one inclusion. When it comes to people as fab as Lyndley and Belew for example it’s really just a matter of one’s subjective taste but as great a songwriter as Bruce Springsteen is he’s simply not on the level of a Leo Kottke or (in the why in the hell are they not included category) Richard Thompson, Wes Montgomery, Danny Gatton or Django Reinhardt. This to me is quite obvious. Springsteen rocks but he’s nowhere near the guitar player that Andy Summers or Alex Lifeson is. For yays I say hooray for the inclusion of everyone else but Bruce: he’s just not in the same league; Pete Townshend tramps Bruce in guitar heroics – and I’m a big Springsteen fan. If you want to discuss craftsmanship in songwriting, then Bruce is your man. If you want to discuss guitar playing virtuosity (and songwriting), you can’t leave out Richard Thompson. Incidentaly it would be nice to see Richard Lloyd and Christopher Parkening listed in these things sometimes.

  • i bet ya Springsteen would agree that he’s not half the guitar player that Kottke is…but pure virtuosity is not the point.

    i leave off Lifeson because, for me, his playing just doesn’t do as much for me as the others (and i do like Lifeson)

  • Chris

    What about Gary Rossington and Allen Collins form Lynyrd skynyrd? Those dudes wail! And these guys learned to play by listening to blues musicians on their back porches playing late into the night. They couldnt even afford shoes until they became famous, and Freebird kicks more ass than anything by Satriani or Vai!!

  • Nathan Zuranski

    Angus Young from AC/DC didnt deserve the a$$wipe spot he got.That made me want to throwup.Exactly,watch Live and Donington.Angus deserved to be in atleast the top 10,or 11-20.The man is amazing.Was Slash even on the list?!?!?!Randy Rhoads in the 80’s?!?!?!? JACK WHITE AND KURT COBAIN?!?!?!?!!?WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!THESE PEOPLE ARE CRAZY!!!

    *cough* Just my 2 cents…

  • Andrew Lee

    I totally agree. Angus young is awesome. he is what made the band what is was and is. Can’t you see? Rolling Stones is just fucked up. They shit in their pants and save it for later. I am a better guitar player than some of those dudes on the list. Jack White. lol. That’s just funny. Kurt Cobain. Sad. Where the fuck is Alex Lifeson? Am I the only one that didnt notice him on the list? screw this list. Im making my own list. Here it goes

    1. Eddie Van Halen
    2. Stevie Ray Vaughn
    3. Eric Clapton
    4. Steve Vai
    5. Jimi Hendrix
    6. Kirk Hammet
    7. Alex Lifeson of Rush
    8. Lenny Kravitz
    9. Carlos Santana
    10. Slash
    11. Chuck Berry
    12. Angus young
    13. Kerry King
    14. Pete Townshend
    15. Joe Satriani
    16. Jimmy Page
    17. Prince
    18. Dave Mustaine
    19. Rhandy Rhoads
    20. ME! HA hA HA HA HA !

  • Chasmichael

    How could Prince have been left off the list. Other than Hendrix, he should have definitely been a consideration for the top spot. I can’t believe he did not even make the top 100.

    How can you ignore the guitar riffs in Purple Rain, When Doves Cry, Lets Go Crazy, Joint 2 Joint, etc.

  • danny boy

    shocking that gilmour wasnt in 20’s at least and clapton not being first, appauling!!! beck (absolute god!!) should be higher as should be toni iommi!!! he and butlers thumping riffs gave birth to the genre guitar music thrives on, heavy metal!!

  • chris

    I think Kirk Hammet doesn’t get nearly the regognition he deserves….people, just listen to “One”, “Fade to Black”, “Orion” and so on….he’s amazing. This is how the list should go in my opion….

    1. Kirk Hammet
    2. Dave Mustaine
    3. Toni Iomi
    4. Eric Clapton
    5. Peter Frampton
    6. Eddie Van Halen
    7. Jimmy Page
    8. Robbie Krieger (The Doors)
    9. Jimi Hendrix
    10. Joe Satriani
    11. Angus Young
    12. Joe Perry
    13. John Fogerty
    14. Ace Freeley
    15. Randy Rhoades
    16. Dimebag Darryl
    17. Slash
    18. Jerry Cantrell
    19. Zakk Wylde
    20. Stevie Ray Vaughn

    And before anyone freaks out about Hendrix’s place on my list…he’s great…but he’s over-rated….everyone always says hendrix just because thats what alot of people think.

  • chris

    Oh yeah, i was just wondering why nobody ever mentions Krieger or Frampton either….they are bad ass guitar players. You want to talk about creative, original…..Krieger is all of the obover…he hardly ever gets mentioned and it’s sad. However, Hammet will always be the best guitar player!!!!!! Oh yeah and i forgot to mention Lifeson as well. I would also like to note a few bassists as well…

    1. Les Claypool
    2. Cliff Burton
    3. Flea
    4. Jason Newsted
    5. Geddy Lee

  • 2ndHendrix

    I think dave matthews should have some spot amongst the top 100 guitarists,
    listen to his acoustic stuff.
    he’s no soloist and he dosn’t play a lot of electric but the way DMB blend together is great.

  • mike weir

    1.jimmy page
    3.david gilmour
    4.Roy Buchanan
    7.bb king
    9.christian datsun
    10.michael weir

  • jay

    OK first of all you all are way out of control.. you guys whine and say awww Kurt cobain shouldn’t be on that list.. well it all depends on what kind of music u like.. for example whatever band you like your gonna think they should be on the list.. And i hear all these names you are saying and even i dont think they should be on the top 100…Kurt Cobain is a good gutarist, but i agree he shouldnt be in the top 100 and kurt cobain is one of my favorit singers..But everyone forgot to mention Slash from Guns N roses, and Eric Clapton, you people have to stop whinign and think that different people like different music. Jimmy was amazing he could do anything to that guitar in my opinion he is the best,then its eric clapton, then it is Slash from GNR, But that is just my opinion everyone has there own.. u cant let a magazine tell u what u think, cuz its what they think,just because they wrote it doesnt make it true, its just what they think so get off ur damn high horse and shut the fuck up..

  • Brandon

    this is my list.

    1. Jimmy Page
    2. Saul Hudson “Slash”
    3. Hendrix
    4. Eddie Van Halen
    5. Eric Clapton
    6. Joe Perry

  • J

    Ok, here’s my complaint. I must’ve read over thousands of top guitarist lists and not once did I ever see Trevor Rabin in any of those lists! How can he not be? He’s awesome!!! He gave YES the biggest break in their career!! Obviously ppl who make up the lists don’t know all the great guitarists out there. Next time look all of them up before making a list! It should be somebody who’s a music-a-holic and knows about all the great ones out there!

  • aalhad

    yeah i think…jimi hendrix totally rulz….hes god when it comes to guitar….and so is JOHN FRUSCIANTE….ever heard scar tissue?????and slash is great….he shudve been there in the top ten of rollingstones list…

  • Lance Foley

    U know im really disappointed, yes kirk hammett is an excellent guitarist and he inspired me too, but sum AMAZING guitarists never get mentioned, like Alexi Laiho from Children of Bodom, Michael Romeo from symphony X, Yngwie Malmsteen. These are the best guitarist, fast like hell, and got great melody, and heavy too. no one ever talks abt them, its a real shame even though they have amazing music.

  • Nathan

    I think Cobain gets too much crap because they are too popular. He did all the guitar work himself, played well, and wrote good music.

  • Nathan

    Im not saying hes one of the best, but going so far as to say hes a crappy guitar player is rediculous.

  • JAZ




  • Alive*

    I guess every single person on here forgot about Mr. Paul Gilbert? One, if not the most credited guitar instructor at GIT. So I gotta say, Paul, you’re on my list! It’s hard to say whos number 1 and 2 and so on and so on. Were talking about guys who have spent time and effort and sacrafice to be the very best of their ability. Forget the numbers but I’ll list some of my favorites, who have influenced if not my guitar playing, my ears!
    Eric Johnson, Satriani, Paul Gilbert, Robert Fripp, Oz Fox(Stryper), Clapton, Hendrix, Al Dimeola, Rhoades, Wylde, PHIL KAEGGY(Heres a guy not many people know about, but you’ve gotta check him out.) Stevie Ray, Adrian Belew, Lukather(TOTO), Jeff Beck, Malmstein, Les Ming, Theres lots of great guitarists, guys like Vai and Hammit, some people think I;m crazy but they don’t make me feel anything. But again great guitarists. I think if I had to pick an overall #1, and this is based off of overall talent, He can shred licks, Blues Virtuoso, Jazz Extremist, He can play Chet Atkins stuff without skipping a beat, and play it cleaner, He’ll play Becks stuff and I swear You;ll think its Beck. I love this guy and he brings it all to the table. Mr. Eric Johnson My Vote’s for you!

  • Angus young

    this is bloody bullshit it think that all u hosers should take off the only man better at guitaur than me is jimi hendrix and maybe jimmy page but hendrix is dead u bloody fools go to hell.

  • Jvvtops

    i dunno where all of u get off but im outragged that the almight EC, Clappas, The Immortal Eric Clapton has not rated 1st on all of ur lists. you should all be ashamed of ur selfs. i bet u all that eric clapton could play as well as if not 100 times better than anything hendrix or page or bbking or anyone for that matter, and even though u crazies out there who have hendrix and page and people of the like at the top of the list is because u people are too enthralled with the head waveing, drug taking, guitar smashing attitudes and that sucks. Its the top 100 GUITARISTS that mean good at guitar and Eric clapton takes it hands down…

    1.Eric Clapton
    2.The rest

  • john

    I cannot believed your offending even better guitarists such as (my list) :

    1.Albert Lee (plays outstanding acoustic and electric)
    2.Jimmy Page (brought Led Zeppelin to success)
    3.Steve Howe (created masterpeices for “Yes”)
    4.Jorma Kaukonen (This guy can play anything-blues-rock-rag-jazz, he is outstanding)
    5.Stevie Ray Vaughn (the best blues guitarist before Peter Green)
    6.Peter Green (The greates philosopher of organising his blues music)
    7.Gary Moore (Excellent slow blues)
    *.Gary Rossington( This is the star who play the Free Bird solo from Lynyrd Skynyrd)
    8.Eddie Van Halen
    10.Paul Kossof (Magnificent solos in the band Free)

  • jake

    i dont know what all u guys are “thinking” but if you want to see a great list look at my top 10.

    1. Jimi Hendrix (unreal finger action)
    2. Jimmy Page (him and plant were unreal)
    3. Eddie Van Halen (quickest hands)
    4. Stevie Ray Vaughn (Best Blues)
    5. Randy Rhoades (would have been #1 or #2 without the tragedy)
    6. Slash (Guns n Roses are nuts)
    7. Eric Clapton (A wizard)
    8. Angus Young (ACDC one of best)
    9. Ace Freeny (Kiss was great live)
    10. BB King (have to have the father)

  • eric

    1.jimmy page
    2.girl from heart
    3.pete townshend
    4.alex lifeson

  • thenextpage

    1.Van Halen(wouldve been 2 w/o eruption)
    2.Randy Rhoads
    5.Zakk Wylde
    6.Tony Iommi(for starting his own genre)
    7. B.B.King
    8.The guy from Rush

  • Watchtower

    2.Stevie Ray Vaughn

    Jimi hendrix is the best…….all of yall who said he is less than number 1 are retarded, he is best and will always be best

  • Watchtower

    Eric clapton sucks! Stevie Ray Vaughn is better than him. and Hendrix is better than anyone by far

  • richard

    john frusciante!!!!!! cammon man this guy has to be on everyones mind, chili peppers man, hes wrote some great stuff, and for a long long long long time too.

  • Watchtower

    Jimi Hendrix is the best, no1 will ever be better

  • me

    Jimmy page rules!
    Caspian (guy at my school) rules next to page
    Pete townshend rules too
    so does alex lifeson (RUSH)
    GIRL FROM HEART (Listen to beginning of crazy on you)

  • Watchtower

    Read This!!!!

    Jimi Hendrix is best, no1 next to him, he is the best u can say no one is better or u can compare NO1 to him

    Jimi Hendrix

  • What?! No mention of Randy Bachman!!

  • Watchtower

    Randy is great, all i’m saying is Jimi Hendrix is the best guitarist in history, and will always be best.

  • Watchtower

    Hey AngusYoung…. i love ac/dc.. there 1 of my fav. bands of all time, theu kick a$$, but ac/dc, clapton……no1 is nearly as good as Jimi Hendrix.

  • Sean

    I noticed that nobody has Djano Reinhardt on their lists and I was just wondering why the hell not. He was the greatest guitar player in the world in his day and lead the way for many of today’s greats. If you haven’t heard of him, do it. He is the most amazing gypsy jazz player ever. Not to mention that he only had 2 working fingers on miss left hand.

  • Sean

    I just noticed that I spelled his name wrong. I am an idiot. It is Django Reinhardt.

  • Watchtower

    yea true, one of the best………..but Hendrix is still the greatest of all time.

  • Watchtower

    And for those of yall who said look at a “real list”……the list isnt even worth looking at without hendrix at #1, and for those of u who put punk rock ppl at the front, notice they play 1 chord the whole song. If u didnt have hendrix in the top 10 you need to stop posting forever, he deserves to be at #1 EASILY

  • Rafael Urbina

    umm come on now Hendrix is clearly a god on the guitar and shall always be but my personal favorite guitar player is Page, he had the best solos ever and just played the hell out of that thing

  • Watchtower

    all i am sayin is Hendrix is # 1 of all time

  • evilmonkey3100

    you guys obviously dont listen to enough van halen or rock music to make a good top list:
    1.Eddie Van halen
    2.Jimmy Page
    3.Eric Clapton
    4.Stevie Ray Vaughn
    5. Allman
    6. Slash
    7.Hendrix (good defintely not number 1)
    8. Carlos Santana
    9. Joe Satriana
    10. Dave Gilmore

  • alex

    angus is the best hendrix sux all he does is unique shit no good rock bitches u should all die

  • igor

    my list
    1 Angus
    2 jim page
    3 kirk hammet
    4 zakk wylde
    5 kurt cobain (got murdered didnt kill himself)

  • Watchtower

    alex … angus is ok, but it shows how stupid u r just saying that all he does is unique stuff, angus young wouldnt exist without hendrix … all of the artists that u think are good wouldnt exist without him, if he sux..then why were there about over half a million fans waiting to see him preform at wood stock? acdc will never have that many fans,much less at a concert, so u r the 1 that needs to go to hell, u can take the highway to hell

  • Watchtower

    and igor … how dare u make a list without Hendrix, all the ppl on ur list could easily be out played by stevie ray vaughn

  • What kind of damnged pinko would come up with a list of the great guitarists that does not include Prince and Richard Thompson?

  • …and a happy new year to you too, mr. barger.

  • Right back atcha, buddy.


  • Also Mark, you may wish to note that decent patriotic Americans have lately taken a strong interest in the guitar kickassery of Jack White, particularly on his 2003 Elephant album, and just as much for his work on Loretta Lynn’s 2004 Van Lear Rose album. I note particularly the outstanding introductory guitar statement from her “Portland Oregon.”

    Then again, there’s the undeniable “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground.”

  • igor

    i changed my list
    1 micheal jackson
    2 bon scott
    3 page
    4 tom petty
    5 hendrix just kiddin he sux

    watchtower is a fagot alex is right wit his comment and particually about the part where he says hendrix SUX pussy u have no idea no guitarist can out play my new list

  • um, ok

  • Shaun

    Top 3 are as follows
    1. Jimmy Page
    2. Jimi Hendrix
    3. Jeff Beck

  • Watchtower

    haha, there you go cussing again. probably because u are frustrated….because you know hendrix is the best. and you are so clueless that half of the ppl on your list dont play guitar, u shouldnt be allowed to type for disrespecting the greatest of alll time, have a nice day(fag)…….

  • thomas

    bon scott dosent play guitar igor, watchtower and almost everyone here is right, u are gay and yes.. Jimi Hendrix is the greatest.

  • these are the true top ten guitarists

    .jimmy page
    .jeff beck
    .bb king
    .mark knofler
    .john fruchainta

  • Whoever did not put Michael Angelo (not the painter or whatever motherfucker) is an idiot. Search for him on google and listen to him play he is good. What about fuckin Scott Ian hes the best damn rythym guitarist on the face of the fucking Earth. The Perfect list is:

    1. Zakk Wylde
    2. Dimebag Darrell
    3. Eddie Van Halen
    4. Steve Vai
    5. Yngwie Malmsteen
    6. Randy Rhoades
    7. Ace Frehely
    8. Joe Satriani
    9. Michael Angelo
    10. Kerry King
    11. Stevie Ray Vaughan
    12. Alex Laiho
    13. Scott Ian
    14. K.K. Downing (Of Judas Priest)
    15. Slash
    16. Ted Nugent
    17. Mick Mars
    18. Toni Iommi
    19. Kirk Hammett
    20. Mick #7 (Of Slipknot)

  • Sam

    I have many of the lists and many people belive that john fruasantwhatshisname from the chillis is a great player. He is average his playing is average and as for his solo stuff if he weren’t a chilli he’d be a noone. His solo stuff sounds like john mayer or ben harper which is crap. who do i think is better Jack White there is no bass or back up guitar for him yet he sounds like a band.

  • Wa

    ho many times must i tell u, if hendrix isnt on ur list, leave, if he he should be at the very top (#1)

  • Robbie

    What pissed me off the most was that David Gilmour was put at 82. How the fuck is Kurt Cobain or Jack White better than David Gilmore. Like seriously…what the fuck? Rolling Stones list is a fucking joke. David Gilmours music has so much feeling and passion. I’m sure this has probably already been said but ill say it again anyway, rolling stones list was simply done to satisfy the public. There are some exceptions however, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaugn, ect.

  • Robbie

    Hendrix Rules!:)

  • Jesse

    All you guys need to Stfu out there because you are all just ranking your favorite bands. I’m sorry, i like Blink 182, but do i think they have the best guitar work in the world…no!
    It is very hard to make a list of the top guitar players because no one person is the best at every single aspect of guitar (tone, speed, rhythm playing, rhythmic ability, creativeness, etc…) You can like certain music and certain bands better than others but that does not mean that they are more technically skilled than others. So here a just a few great guitar players that are both technically very skilled and good composers. Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Eric Johson, John Petrucci, Robert Fripp, All of the “Allman Brothers” band guitarists, Steve Morse, Mark Knopfler, Dave Weiner, Tony MacAlpine, Zakk Wylde, Randy Rhoads, Dimebag Darrell, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and many others that i cant think of at the moment but you get the idea. SO everyone just realize that people have different opinions but when it comes to technical ability one has to be objective

  • Theguy

    1. Jimi Hendrix
    2. Jimmy page
    3. Ritchie Blackmore
    4. Eddie Van Halen
    5. David Gilmour


    Does anyone have Jimi Hendrix’s email address?

  • Bryan

    My List
    1 Zakk Wylde
    2 Randy Rhoads
    3 Van Halen
    4 Slash
    5 Hammett
    6 Dimebag
    7 Hendrix
    8 Page
    9 Vaughan
    10 Iommi
    11 Angus Young
    12 Gilmour
    13 Cobain
    14 Richards
    15 Clapton
    16 Lifeson
    17 Kerry King
    18 Mick Thomson (#7 Slipknot)
    19 Alexi Laiho
    20 Nancy Wilson

  • sydney

    What did zakk wylde do besides those catchy ozzie songs?

  • jared

    wow. noone will ever find the best guitarist because it is all opinion. some people hear a song or solo from one artist and say ” that is the best guitarist ever” and some say it for a differnt artist.
    and let me say to bryan that just because theyre the fastest, doesnt mean theyre the best. good guitarists need to be good at song writing and music theory as well.
    And as for Hendrix, even if he wasnt as fast as other guitarists, he looked at the guitar in a way noone else can. He OWNED the fretboard.

  • bizzy

    3.michael angleo
    9.Vinnie Moore
    10.Tom Morrello

  • CJ

    1. Kirk Hammett
    2. John Fruschiante
    3. Santana
    4. Tom Morello
    5. Toni Iommi
    6. Van Halen
    7.Dave Evans
    8. Randy Rhoads

  • Mike

    im stunned, so few of u have mentioned John Frusciante, i cant belive u have missed him. I would compare him to a genius, once on the verge of going insane but he didnt. When he compile a song, everything just…goes with the flow :).

    my top 5
    1.Jimi Hendrix
    4.Van Halen
    5.John Frusciante

    There are alot of good guitarr players out there, lets quit argue about who is the best, i really dont think they care wheter they are the best in the world or not, they wont stop. Might make me sound a bit double minded, but since everyone else is giving their thoughts, i want to join in ^^.

  • JImmy

    What About Yngwie Malmsteen, did u forget about him?

  • Joel Morris

    You guys are idiots. If you don’t have buckethead on your list, you’re a dummy.

    Here’s my list:
    1.Eric Clapton
    2.Jimmy Page
    4.Doug Hopkins
    5.Jack White

  • Joel Morris

    You guys are idiots. If you don’t have buckethead on your list, you’re a dummy.

    Here’s my list:
    1.Eric Clapton
    2.Jimmy Page
    4.Doug Hopkins
    5.Oz Fox

  • Ryan


    1. Jimi Hendrix
    2. Jimmy Page
    3. Jeff Beck
    4. Eric Clapton
    5. Jerry Garcia
    6. Frank Zappa
    7. Carlos Santana
    8. Chuck Berry
    9. Stevie Ray Vaughn
    10.Duane Allman
    11.Ritchie Blackmore
    12.George Harrison
    13.Keith Richards
    14.Kurt Cobain
    15.Johnny Ramone
    16.Pete Townshend
    17.John Fogerty
    18.Robin Trower
    19.David Gilmour
    20.Jerry Cantrell

  • Flame

    1. Hendrix
    2. Wai
    3. Steve Ray
    4. Alexi laiho
    5. Santana

    [ if u dunno alexi laiho thenlisten children of bodom and those amazing solos.. btw he’s the lead guitar]

  • Bryan White

    fuck hendrix haha please he only was good because he could use a friggin pedal, ANGUS YOUNG IS NUMBER 1 AND HES STILL ALIVE, ROCK ON!

  • whys hendrix so overrated i mean he was good but not that good heres my list….


    10.kirk hammett
    9.dimebag darrel
    9.paul gibert
    8.ynwgie malmsteen
    7.stevie ray vaughn
    5.angus younge
    4.tony Iommi
    3.joe satriani
    2.steve vai
    1.van halen

    that the real list baby i know some people like Iommi are plent crappier then malmsteen but these are just who i think are the best

  • junior jimi

    jimi hendrix would always be the greatest guitarist af all time because it is he who started the style of rock soloing, he was the first to do it and jimmy page and others wouldn’t be able to solo that great if it wasn’t for him. Music moves on and what is happening is that soloists are just building on his style, the style of rock soloing. And remember, speed doesn’t matter, it is melody and sound

  • Greg

    hey just about everyone in that whole long ass comment list kept talking about all the classic gods of guitar but what about the new gods 2? no more than one or twice in that whole comment list did i see Alexi Leiho who is insane i think the top 10 list should b

    1. jimi hendrix
    2. yngwie malmsteen
    3. alexi leiho
    4. carlos santana
    5. randy rhoades
    6. jimmy page
    7. eddie van halen
    8. zakk wylde
    9. Lee Richards (godsmack’s original guitarist he’s not “the best” but his solos are incredible listen to the songs on godsmack’s first cd and ull c what i mean)
    10. jerry garcia

    some of those could easily b switched around to a different order but in general that should b the top 10 list and ya i kno my spelling’s fucked up but im used to typing for aim n even for skool work some times i put in shit like that instead of the full or rightly spelled word lol. btw to the ppl that put steve vai on their top 10 lists yes steve vai is incredible and there is no1 like him but i just dont think he’s on the top 10 if i had the time id do top 20 n he’d b in the top 15 but for now this is all im doing so fuck off lol

  • Ryan


  • Ryan


  • bulshit

    devin…the one thats 16 the one that said u no more about music than the ppl here…u r soooooo full of shit and as much as i dont like him im not sayin hendrix isnt a great player an he probably did mroe to the music world than any1 else did an its also true like one of the other guy said that some people wundt exist witout hendrixes contribution but that still doesnt mean urnot full of shit wen u say ppl that actualy no music dont no wut therye talkin about from all ive read on ur post is a hack of shit that jus shows u dont no wut ur talkin bout …liek wtf r u thinkin sayin u no morea bout music than ppl out here an im 14 an i am not even guna say wut i wud say if u were in my face right now

  • josh

    this is my personal oppinion of my favourites, not who i feel are the greatest.

    1.Angus Young (awesome in ac/dc)
    2.Jimmy Page (Kickass solos)
    3.Jimi Hendrix (Ruled the fretboard)
    4.Zakk Wylde (Again kickass solos)
    5.Kurt Cobain (Best songwriter ever)
    6.Eric Clapton
    7.Steve Vai
    8.Dimebag Darrel
    9.Mick Thompson
    11.Eddie Van Halen
    12.Randy Rhoades
    13.Tony Iommi
    14.Joey/Johnny? Ramone
    15.Joe Satriani

  • donno

    Steve Vai rules all!!!!!!!!

  • KYLE





  • KYLE


  • John

    The Edge is the greatest and most inventive guitarist of our generation.
    Alex Lifeson is underrated.

  • Brad


    1 Hendrix – when he played he dint have anyone to copy from hes thee original

    2 Dimebag Darrrel – he could play any solo in thw world i highly believe that i bet he would rip kirks apart

    3 Kirk Hammett – I herd a Solo In Almost Every Song Exept After The Black Album

    4 Eddy Van Halen – Eruption(even tho angus young thought of tapping before eddy)

    5 Zakk Wylde – Godly Guitar Solos


    7 Randy Rhoades – I Thinks Hes Pretty Overrated aswell But Meh All Ppl Ever say About Him Is OHH CRAZY TRAIN!!! STFU

    8 Joe Satriani – I Dont Listen To Him But In A Couple Biographys Ive Read He Tought Some Of The Best Making Him Their Mentor(he tought kirk hammet and dime i think and a bunch of others)

    9 Slash – I Think The Heroin Wrote His Tabs To Play But Meh Hes Very Good (Like How In Sweet Child Of Mine The Ending of the solo he does hammer on pulls offs a load of times and everyone thinks its uber fast and i smack them)


    dont bitch at me i have their reason for being on there

  • Jas

    these in my opnioin are the top nine greatest guitarists

    1. Slash
    2. Eddie Van Halen
    3. Zakk Wyld
    4. Carlos Santana
    5. Jimmi Hendrix
    6. Jimmi Page
    7. Steve Vai
    8. Eric Clapton
    9. Jason Becker

  • arash rahmani

    i think the best choosing is choosing of eric clapton and david gilmore but my choices are:
    1.jimi hendrix
    2.michael angelo
    3.yngwie malmsteen
    4.stevie ray vaughn
    5.paul gilbert
    6.david gilmore
    7.eddie van halen
    8.randy rhoads
    9.slash(Saul Hudson)
    10.dave morrey
    11.joe satriani
    12.eric clapton
    13.jimi page
    14.carlos santana
    15.mark knofler
    16.steve vai
    17.kk downing
    18.joe perry
    19.jason becker
    20.angus young
    21.zakk wylde
    22.gary more
    23.al pittreli
    24.bb king
    25.christopher oliva
    26.dave mustaine
    27.brian may
    28.adrian smith
    29.marty friedman
    30.def lefonzo
    31.janick gers


  • timig

    hei jimi hendrix is the best ,than bb king,than mark knopfler pleaseeeee.jimi page sucks

  • thank you jerry

    god damnt half of yaull have a clue what yaull are talking about heres my top 10.

    1. Hendrix(he was on a whole other level
    2. Jerry Garcia(personally he is the person who i look up to the most. he has pesuaded so many people in so many ways. he and the grateful dead even created there own genre. even the rappers give tribute to him because of his drive and motive to music. no he didnt care how much money he was bringing in or how many tickets he sold. he just wanted to have fun and see the smiles on all the peoples faces. people the grateful dead is by far one of the greatest bands of all time w/out them we wouldnt even have the word hippys. w/out this band and a few others i may mention but mostly the grateful dead we wouldnt know what the 60s were all about-thank you jerry we miss you

  • Regina Davis

    Yes, we all know Rolling Stone Magazine is the opposit of talent and integrity. Sad that many people take it as the “Bible of Music”. There is a great guitarist who could became mainstram soon (not like “mainstream” means quality) but he is making big waves in the music industry. His name is Cesar(www.cesarmusic.com) and he played with the Masters like Paco de Lucia and Al Dimeola, also w/ Sinatra when he was 18 yrs old. His site is http://www.cesarmusic.com
    Thank you.

  • Kaitlyn

    As if alot of you guys have not mentioned John Frusciante….he’s absolutely amazing, especially in Give It Away. Besides the Chilis kick ass. Some of his songs solo our good to (when he wasn’t doped on heroin)and in a weird way kind of remind me of a couple of Led Zeppelin’s songs.
    Hendrix, Page, and Cobain are amazing as well, even if they’re overated.

  • eriqo

    you tell em kaitlyn!!!

  • Mandy

    I agree. Frusciante baby, all the way!! In the words of Anthony Kiedis “he’s a genius, and a musical wizard”. For the person who thought that if it wern’t for the Red Hot Chili Peppers he wouldn’t have made it, thats a laugh. He was only 18 when they discovered him, and almost missed him at that. Thelonius Monster had signed him to play, before the Peppers heard his talent and asked him to come play for them (which was his favourite band)and agreed. He was the key to the Chili Pepper’s success. He made, and broke, and re-made the band (after his drug trip). There best, and most famous songs were made while he was in the band. LISTEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • James

    Hendrix rules no matter what anyone says heres my list
    2.jimmy page
    4.jeff beck
    5.pete townsend
    6.george harrison
    7.ace frehley
    8.joe satriani
    9.angus young

  • Reid

    QUOTE!!!!!!Comment 108 posted by Bryan on April 24, 2005 05:46 PM:
    My List
    1 Zakk Wylde
    2 Randy Rhoads
    3 Van Halen
    4 Slash
    5 Hammett
    6 Dimebag
    7 Hendrix
    8 Page
    9 Vaughan
    10 Iommi
    11 Angus Young
    12 Gilmour
    13 Cobain
    14 Richards
    15 Clapton
    16 Lifeson
    17 Kerry King
    18 Mick Thomson (#7 Slipknot)
    19 Alexi Laiho


  • luke

    i cant pick a top 10 guitarists, as all in the lists ive seen are gr8 and when u get as gd as hendrix, beck, rhodes, may, clapton, wylde ect. then u can start judging, but until then sit bak listen to these guys play and enjoy instead of critizing

  • Angus Young fan

    i dont give a crap about your opinions Angus Young is the worlds greatest guitarest no doubt about that!!! his talent is amazing who else can dance while playing a fricken insain solo no one was evere or ever will be better than Angus Young all you who read this review listen or watch the concert video of let there be rock and listen to his solos Angus Young will always be number 1 at guitar no one was or will ever be better than Angus EVER!!!

  • Angus Young fan


  • Perry

    1.Stevie Ray Vaughn
    2.Jimmi Hendrix
    3.Dave Mustaine
    4.Marty Friedman
    5.Janick Gers

  • luke

    i agree, angus young is definately up there with the best of all time. How many great riffs can 1 guy have

  • Curt

    Glad to see one person has some sense..

    1. Steve Vai…

    A more accomplished guitarist at the age of 16 than half these other people! He is undoubtedly the most skillful in every aspect of guitar playing…

    2. Micheal Angelo Batio

    (P.S The less said about Angus Young the better!)

  • dan


  • mel

    hendrix was good the best guitar player in the world is sittin at home playin coz he cant get a break
    here is my top 5
    1 hendrix
    2 gary moore
    3 rory gallaher
    4 slash
    5 jimi page

  • Brooke

    Angus Young is an insane guitarist, along with Pete Townshend and Jimmy Page.

  • dustin

    heres the best without a doubt check out my top 5.

    1.eddie van halen “DUH”
    2.jimi hendrix
    3.angus young
    5.last but certainly not least Clapton

  • Ste Honey

    In my opinion faster is better. Shredding is something that a lot of guitarists get badly treated for, when in fact, it is technically awesome and is why most people even pick up the guitar in the first place. Here is my fave 2.
    1. Zakk Wylde (aggressive riffs and frightening solos with no bullshit)
    2. Kirk Hammett (the man who puts the construction mans hat on and delivers the perfect building. He can turn on the flash when he wants but can also create the right melody thus resulting in the perfect solo)

  • Ste Honey

    Listen to the facing hell solo by Zakk Wylde with ozzy osbourne and the forever down solo by Zakk Wylde with black label society. Also listen to fade to black by kirk hammett with metallica.

  • nevermore

    adrian smith for no.1

  • Simon

    Yo Guys stop yelling at this list anyway let them put what they want and however we cant fucking dot a top 100 cause everyone has a top ”thing” in his mind so why try to rank when the criteria for everyone are different but you can disagree the list but you can’t say they didn’t put the best in it except Jack WHITE and John Petrucci is missing …. Anyways we can’t change the list what is done IS done they made it !!! its there problem not ours …. and if you’d like a good list look this one !!!
    1. Hendrix
    5.Van Halen
    6.Stevie Ray Vaughan
    7.Steve Vai
    8.Joe Satriani
    9.John Petrucci
    10.Slash or Kirk Hammet (Im a Fan of Metallica :S)

  • 1. michael angelo
    2. Satch
    3. Vai/ Malmsteem
    4. Rusty Cooley
    5. Paul Gilbert

    The list is that simple my fellow shredders!

  • dead head

    why isnt jerry garcia in there…..somebody might be missing him on their list….please comment back i went to hear what yaull have to say about jerry……….we love you

  • Eric Ellis

    Hendrix is the GREATEST guitarist of ALL-TIME!!! He pulled AMAZING solos out of his head as if it were nothing. And if that wernt enough, he was stoned out of his mind when he played. He was on acid and shit, and all those drugs slow your reaction speed and shit, and he could still play the fastest solos I have ever heard. He was only 27 when he died, so i cant even imagine what he would’ve come up with if he lived longer.

  • jon

    1 Yngwie Malmsteen
    2 stevie ray vaugn
    3 joe satriani
    4 micheal angelo batio
    5 chris impelitteri
    6 randy rhoads
    7 zakk wylde
    8 alexi laiho
    9 vivian campbell
    10 david gilmour

  • Angus Young fan

    here is mu list
    angus young
    eddie van halen
    jimi hendrix
    jimi page
    stevie ray vaughn
    kirk hammet
    eric clapton
    kurt cobain

  • lucas

    ok here it is: hendrix was good for his time, but now his stuff isnt better than anyone else.
    i think
    eddie van halen
    carlos santana
    and jimi page

  • KING

    1.adrian smith
    2.paul gilbert
    3.michael romeo
    4.steve vai
    5.marty friedman
    6.jeff loomis
    7.david valdes
    8.randy rhoads
    9.alex skolnick
    10.chuck schuldiner
    11.Yngwie Malmsteen

  • im telling you ..there is no way that Jimi hendrix was the best guitar player in the world ,,, he’s solos didn’t work .. there are now 100 players that are much better than he ever was … but he was the one of them who ever started to play rock music so i respect him;)

  • gio

    i think the best is slash and kurt cobain. they all rock. billie joe of green day isn’t that bad

  • gio

    my friend thinks that jimmi page rocks. he is good but not the best

  • gio

    chris benoit is the best!

  • scott

    Pretty good list. Can’t agree with Bruce Springsteen EVER. He just plain sucks in my opinion. You’re dead-on with having Adrian Belew and Robert Fripp in there. True innovators, Fripp especially. I think you should consider Reeves Gabrelle as well, Earl Slick and virtually any guitarist Bowie used or worked with. Jerry Garcia’s a joke. I’ll give him some credit for playing with one less finger than everyone else, but that’s about it. I’m GREATFUL Jerry’s Dead! And where’s the Hendrix? No Hendrix? Unthinkable! Otherwise, way better than Rolling Stone.

  • i like Gabrells, but as you can sort of see by my list, i’m not really using chops as a criterion.

    and your comment about Jerry says a lot about you.

  • Ignoring certain other portions of all this… I happened to be listening to Bowie’s “Hours” CD today and thinking about how I like some of Gabrel’s playing on that particular album (“Survive” comes to mind) even though I would not consider him a favorite guitar player of mine. Small world.

  • scott

    Follow -Up: In reference to Gabrells, my comment for inclusion was not in relation to “chops”, rather, it’s more about what David Bowie said of him, that he has an IRONIC style of playing (plays WAY over-the-top, but knows he’s playing WAY over the top), which, beyond his obvious virtuosity, makes him unique in the same way that Belew, Fripp, Hendrix are all distinctly unique. There is nothing particularly unique about Garcia (beyong the missing digit). My comment about being glad he is dead is somewhat of a pun, but for someone who grew up around lots of Deadheads (as friends), I must admit I’m greatful he’s passed on. Really tired of the whole Deadhead thing. But hey, I got a response out of you! FYI – my list would be in order: Hendrix, Fripp, Belew, Jimmy Page, Earl Slick, Mick Ronson, Reeves Gabrells. Like Townshend a lot, but thought he only was brilliant (as a guitarist) only occasionally. Love the windmill. Unfamiliar with some of your picks, but will check ’em out.

  • There is nothing particularly unique about Garcia (beyong the missing digit)

    as i mentioned before, this says a lot. mostly about you.

  • scott

    I’ll stick by my comment. Lots of musicians borrow from other sources and mix it up. Nothing new about that. The only thing he “invented” is what deadheads call “a space”, but really, this is just a trippier version of jazz. Robert Fripp’s experimants in “Radiophonics” are far trippier and psychedelic than anything Jerry Garcia could do in a million years, on top of being TRULY original. And hey, this is your site. Let’s not beat around the bush. “Says a lot about me” is inadequate. What does it say? Don’t mince your words, say it man! Reading through this there are some othe great guitarists that I would agree with. Django Reinhard should be on there for sure, Greg Sage of The Wipers, Christopher Parkening, Andy Summers and one hugely neglected guitarist: Roy Buchanan. Saw him live once and not only did my jaw drop, I got shivers down my spine. Incredible axe man. He’s someone I miss for sure.

  • GUITarMASter

    fuck you all

    1.Jimi Hendrix
    2.Eric Clapton
    3.Jimmy Page
    4.Eddie van Halen
    5.Kirk Hammet
    6.Mark Knopfler
    7.Agnus Young
    8.Steve Vai
    10.Kurt Cobain

    For Balkan The Best Is 1. Vlado Stefanovski
    2. Johny B. Stulic
    3. Goran Bregovic
    4. KOJA

  • trevor

    Eric Clapton blows. Too static, too white. Too prissy. No edge. Steve Vai Blows. All Heavy Metal dudes BLOW. Slash? get real. Angus Young? What’re you smokin’? -3 chord wonder. All his stuff is basic and sounds the same. Knopfler? Good, but not top ten good. Kobain? Not very original or talented guitarwise. Hendrix, Van Halen, Page, YES.

  • gio

    1. jimi hendrinx
    2.eric clapton
    4.jimi page
    5.kurt cobain
    6.angus young
    7.eddie van helen
    8.braine may

  • antonito

    2.Jimmy Hendrix
    3.Jimmy Page
    4.Kurt Cobain
    5.Ritchie Blackmore
    6.Eddie Van Helen
    7.Angus Young
    8.Carlos Santana
    9.Eric Clapton
    10.Giovanni Fortini

  • cool

    Hendrix is the best without a doubt.

    What about Ritchie Blackmore?

  • anonymous

    Kurt Kobain is shit i have never heard him play anything decent besides crappy chords

  • Waldo

    You guys have it all wrong #1 should of course be Angus Young.Please watch AC/DC Family Jewels on dvd and find out how really good Angus Young is. Pleeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaase!

    Peace out dogs, Waldo

  • Angus Young fan

    family jewels isnt the best acdc dvd good music but not the best quality i think that live at donnington was AC/DC’S best concert dvd it was wicked i would definetly recomend it to any AC/DC fan or any rock hound but i think angus young has an incredible talent slash had talent to but he was defenitly to stoned to do anything i got to give him his props for him being able to run on his 2 brain cells and still playing awsome music

  • IN Flames

    Alexi laiho would tear hendrix apart,no one hear knows who that is cause you all live in the past

  • COB

    most “top guitarists” lists r bullcrap. thats hell true Alexi laiho would rip shit over hendrix. people only put hendrix, gilmore etc in there lists because they were influencal not because they are good guitarists

  • Blake

    You guys have to listen to more blues….I said before it don’t matter how fast someone is. That doesnt make them good. Music has to be unique and emotional…I don’t get emotional hearing people play fast…also you should read about all these guitarists to know where there coming from in there music…check out Robert Johnson/Jimi Hendrix/Freddie King

  • Blake

    Also, I read 3 books on Hendrix, if yous would do the same, or just 1, when you listen to his music, you would feel what he was feeling when playing those songs of his, and also the solos..

  • rainbows

    dude the maroon 5 guitar platyer is the best…who is jimi hendrix anyway theres no way hes better than maroon 5

  • 1) Jimi Hendrix
    2) Stevie Ray Vaughan
    3) Joe Bonamassa (I can’t believe he is not on anyone’s list.)
    4) Eric Clapton
    5) Jeff Beck
    6) Mato Nanji (Indigenous)
    7) Eddie Van Halen
    8) Carlos Santana
    9) Jimmy Page
    10) B.B. King

  • Thomas

    Can´t believe thoses who hasen´t got Dave Mustaine in theire top twenty…the guy is in my opinion better than Kirk

  • T

    this list is crap ive got two words for you:
    Dimebag Darrel
    Don’t get me wrong others are good also but name one who played as well as he did or as fast he must be rolling over in his grave to this list

  • some guy

    1. zakk wyld 2.Kurt Cobain 3. Eddie Van Halen 4.Dime Bag 5.Slash thats my top 5

  • Tom

    Zakk Wylde is better than dimebag but don’t get me wrong dimebags is badass

  • slash should be considered in the top 10

  • With solos like novmeber rain, sweet child o’ mine paradise city and civil war, how can slash be anything but amazing

  • heres my top 10 list
    jimmy page
    david gilmore
    van halen
    eric clapton
    angus young
    keith richards
    dimebag darrell
    Kirk Hammlett

  • john

    whoever thinks to be the best you have to play a million notes an hour is wrong, besides if you think shred is so great listen to paco de lucia, Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin, Andres Segovia, these guitarists would tear any shredder up any day and they all play on acoustics

  • Bossles

    Ok one thing is for sure is that Kurt Cobain is not the 12th best guitarist of all time. Nor should he even be on the top 100. That is not to say that he is in any way a bad guitarist, but simply put there are better guitarists that would qualify for the list in far greater preference than him. Now that is coming from somebody who thinks Nirvana is there favourite band, so that comment is not in any way a biased opinion. Secondly Slash deserves to be on the list as is already said. It is even a poor publicity move on behalf of Rolling Stone, however there is no way that he is rated no.1 or even in the top 5 with high names such as Jimmy Hendrix(no explaining needed), Jimmy Page(Watch the entirety of the Song Remains the same), Eric Clapton, Beck, Vaughan, Van Halen(Slash borrowed technique from him) or Randy Rhoads(Slash borrowed from him as well, listen to the Blizzard of Ozz). Yes also Guns N Roses would be one of my favourite bands as well. But some of you people need to not just say for example Kirk Hammett is the best guitarist of all time becuase Mettalica’s their favourite band. Yes he is good but not the BEST. Some of you need to recognise the skill of other guitarists whether it is your style of music or not. Buckethead is not even on the list, and sure he is a strange character but that guy can shred like lighting and yet 3 chord Johnny Ramone is placed higher. Johnny Ramone is not even an influential guitarists! His whole songs consist of power chords. And they all sound the same.
    Anyway thanks for the time just had to put in my bit.

  • iknow they say hendrix is the best but that is a matter of opinnion hres what i think:

    1.jimmy page
    3.steve ray vaughn

  • andre sigovia
    Van halen is number one
    he is the most creative

  • Matt

    Jimmy Paige is awesome and so is Kirk Hammett, have you heard the stuff they play? It sounds f**king sick!!!
    This is my list:

    1. Jimmy Paige (Led Zepplin)
    2. Kirk Hammett (Metallica)
    3. Slash (Guns ‘n’ Roses’)
    4. Angus Young (Ac/Dc)
    5. Eric Clapton

  • petar

    here is my top 10..
    1.jimmy page
    2.david gilmour
    3.jimmy hendrix

  • mulehead

    heres my list

    1. jimmy page
    2. jimi hendrix
    3. tony iommi
    4. gary moore
    5. randy rhodes
    6. warren haynes
    7. david gilmore
    8. richie blackmore
    9. eddie van halen
    10. stevie ray vaughn
    11. zakk wylde
    12. angus young
    13. jerry cantrell
    14. roy z
    15. chris degarmo

  • Dimpeli Dom

    Someone said to but Cobain before Alexi Laiho that’s just wrong… Cobain wasn’t good player he only was know cos he’s great lyrics. Everyone who have listen music even little knows that

  • Pantera_fan

    Zakk Wylde is pretty kick ass but im stickin to my guns with Dimebag of all the guitarests i have heard and seen in my life Dimebag Darrell Abott was by far the best

  • Pantera_fan

    my list
    1.Dimbag Darrell
    2.Zakk Wylde
    3.Jimmy Page
    4.Kerry King
    6.Angus Young
    7.Kirk Hammett
    8.Eddie Van Halen
    9.my buddie Vaughn who can play pretty much any song out there
    10.Joe Satriani

  • the dee

    What ever ur case, Randy Rhoads at #80 still makes me angry.

  • Just saw this list…three years later and still going strong. Pitchfork gets skewered all the time for coming up with lists for everything, but they know what the hell they’re doing by saturating us with those things.

    Nice selections, Mark. I do take issue with Kottke, though. Yeah, he’s a fine player and all but why does his freakin’ guitar always have to be out of tune? I have a hard time listening to him because of that.


  • Mark Saleski

    yea, funny how most of the comments are directed at the wrong post!

    Kottke’s guitar out of tune? hmmm, he conciously pulls notes out of tune sometimes but i’ve never heard it in general as out of tune.

  • Ha, that is amusing that there appears to be more comments about Rolling Stones’ list than yours. I may have to write an article about the top 10 pan flute players and list only Zamfir. Then watch the “Where’s Jimi?” and “How could you exclude Kurt Cobain?” comments ensue ;&)

    BTW, since that list was your top 10 was three years ago, would you change it at all today?


  • badplayer

    rory gallagher is my favorite guitarist. i have 3 live DVDs of him live in montreux. Shadow play and tattoo’d lady. i just love the way he plays shadow play live.. theres just so much fucking energy and his solos rock

  • Jackson

    1. Joe Satriani
    2. Steve Vai
    3. John Petrucci
    4. Yngwie J. Malmsteen
    5. Jimi Hendrix
    6. Eric Clapton
    6. Jimmy Page
    7. Jeff Beck
    8. Stevie Ray Vaughan
    9. David Gilmour
    10. Eddie Van Halen
    11. Kirk Hammet
    12. Randy Rhoads
    13. Tony Iommi
    14. Gary Moore
    15. Paul Gilbert
    16. Ritchie Blackmoore
    17. Eric Johnson
    18. Jason Becker
    19. Duane Allman
    20. Chuck Berry
    21. Eric Johnson
    22. Steve Howe
    23. Carlos Santana
    24. Buckethead
    25. Dimebag Darrell
    26. Alex Lifeson
    27. Robert Fripp
    28. Tom Morello
    29. Slash
    30. Zakk Wylde
    31. Tony MacAlpine
    32. Allan Holdsworth
    33. Kenny Wayne Sheperd
    34. Brian May
    35. Ry Cooder
    35. Steve Morse
    36. Mark Knopfler
    37. Uli Jon Roth
    38. Frank Zappa
    39. Rory Gallagher
    40. Shawn Lane
    41. Angus Young
    42. Michael Angelo Batio
    43. Michael Schenker
    44. Steve Lukather
    45. Neil Young
    46. Peter Frampton
    47. Richie Sambora
    48. John Frusciante
    49. Eddie Hazel
    50. Marc Ribot

  • Aaron

    I am surprised noone has commented on Duane being put at number 2. I completely agree with this, and i’m sure ill get a lot of shit for saying this. Duane played with possibly more passion than anyone else on the list. He pulled notes and phrases out of nowhere and incorporated them tastefully and passionately. Hendrix did that too. The thing about Duane is that he was an on-the-spot composer; not merely a soloist. You could give him 10 minutes (as heard in Whipping Post from Live at the Fillmore) and he will not only create ingenius phrases, play with a face melting amount of soul, but he will also build the song up and add new sections on the spot. That is why he is number 2.

  • Knopfler

    1.Mark Knopfler(MASTER OF ACOUSTIC SOUND, legenda najveća)
    2.Chet Atkins(and all other country masters or fingerpickers, počivao u miru)
    3.Eric Clapton(and all other bluesers, but not rcok bluesers)
    4.Brian May(specific artist!)
    5.Vlatko Stefanovski
    Hendrix & other can kiss my…
    Only art counts. metal sucks!
    Nema do Countrya i bluesa, ali i jazza.

  • Vern Halen

    You can tell Springsteen’s leads from Stevie’s – Bruce got the Telecaster.

  • nahol

    my list:


    and all others can fuck themselfs
    kurt cobain was an idiot, retard hippy and i cant understand that he is on many of your fuckin lists

  • Logan

    Does anyone have Mick Thomson’s AIM?

  • I just can’t stop chuckling at the majority of these responses, they still think that this is Rolling Stone’s list that’s the topic of this article :&)

    Hey, Mark, you still didn’t answer my question, would you change anything in your list since it’s now three years old? Curious minds want to know.


  • Tristan

    ok, Angus Young is good, but COME ON, he plays the easiest stuff possible. He would never make my top fifty and even my top 100 might be pushin’ it. Has ANYBODY heard of Alexi Laiho, Herman Lee, Sam Totman, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Micheal Romeo? If you haven’t heard of them, listen to ’em and then re-think your top list. It’s time to understand that newer age guitarists are beginning to smash the hell out of the older ones (i.e. Micheal Romeo over Jimmy Page)What makes a guitarist good is not based on how their music sounds as much as content, meaning how hard it is. Sound is a big role too, don’t get me wrong, but content is more important as well as technique. That’s why i think Angus Young isn’t the greatest. He’s all sound. Some of you might disagree with me, which is fine, but i firmly believe that most people would agree with what i’m saying.

    Knowing that, my list of ten would be:

    1.Herman Lee (Dragon Force)
    2.Yngwie Malmsteen
    3.Micheal Romeo (Symphony X)
    4.Alexi Laiho
    5.Sam Totman (Dragon Force)
    6.Jimi Hendrix
    7.Dave Murray
    8.Eddie Van Halen
    9.Dimebag Darrell
    10.Kirk Hammet

  • coffee

    ok hendrix is extremely overrated. i agree with Waldo’s comment up a ways that if you have not watched family jewels get your ass out to a video store and buy it and watch it. you will see how great angus is. so my personal top 5 are

    1. Angus Young
    2. Dimebag Darrell
    3. Keith Richards
    4. Eddie Van Halen
    5. Slash

  • Frank

    Top 10

    1. SLASH

    2. Jimi Hendrix

    3. Eric Clapton

    4. Eddie Van Halen

    5. Duane Allman

    6. Kurt Cobain

    7. Angus Young

    8. Richie Sambora

    9. Jimmy Page

    10. Buckethead

  • Tremaine

    ALL OF YOU GUYS SUCK!!! I attended a Chili Peppers concert recently and John Frusciante is by far the most skilled and best guitarist ever. It seemed impossible to move fingers as fast as he did and the sounds were amazing. The passion and emotion he expresses while playing those beautiful songs is just amazing. Here’s my top 10:

    1. John Frusciante

    And I don’t care about the rest. No one else compares.

  • you guys don’t have any idea what you r talkin’ about. here’s my top 5

    1.Stevie ray vaughn
    2.Eddie van Halen
    3.jimmy paige
    4.Eric Clapton
    5.kirk hammet

  • jimmy page fucking rules

    ur all shit heads jimmy page will kick ur anuses

  • Ryan

    Alexi laiho
    Dave mustaine

  • tim

    being a great guitarist is about more than playing fast or playing heavy… it’s about invention, creativity, skill, musicianship, versatility… don’t just choose guys because thy can play incredibly fast or just because they’re the guitarist in your favorite band. If you are going to post a list of the greatist guitarists, actually research different styles to get an idea of what’s actually out there

  • Not in any particular order, these are the greatest guitarist ever:

    Jimi Hendrix
    Frank Marino
    Robin Trower
    Roy Buchanon
    Rory Gallagher
    Johnny Winter
    Eddie Van Halen
    Steve Vai
    Yngwie Malmsteen
    Andy Powell
    Frank Zappa

  • music

    This list is in no order

    John Frusciante-RHCP
    Jimi Hendrix-JHE,Band of Gypsys
    Trey Anastasio-Phish
    Jerry Garcia-Grateful Dead
    Eric Johnson-Solo
    Stevie Ray Vaughan-SRV and Double Trouble
    Frank Zappa-Solo, Mothers of Invention
    Jimmy Page-Led Zeppelin
    Brian May-Queen
    Ler Lalonde-Primus

  • James Pincelli

    #100 has the perfect list with zakk wylde as number one and dimebag in second.. It also doesnt including fucking Jimmy Page. I like Led Zeppelin.. but wtf did Jimmy Page ever do sololy that was so great. Almost nothing. He made good music. Who hasnt done that. Trust me if you were all at ozzfest when I was this year and heard zakk wylde play almost a ten or twenty minute solo that led into the star spangled banner. you would’ve came out saying “i think that was better than hendrix” too. Fuck this Jimmy Page shit.. I give him credit.. but I dont even know if he deserves top 20.

    …#100 has the perfect list…
    P.S. Happy Birthday Dimebag. We all miss you. R.I.P.

  • JF

    John Frusciante = GOD

  • 1-Eddie Van Halen
    2-Eric Clapton
    3-Stevie Ray Vaughan
    4-Jimmy Page
    5-Duanne Allman
    6-David Gimour
    7-Ritchie Blackmore
    8-Mark Knopfler
    9-Joe Bonamassa
    10-Peter Green



  • g

    this list is bogus if it doesn’t have angus young #1 and zakk wylde #2. they are by far the best guitarists in history (yes keith, sam, angus is better!)

  • duane

    Good list by Fender Stratocaster (#224).

    Here’s my list for today.

    Best rock-style electric guitarists (overall) since the 1960s:

    1) Allan Holdsworth (alien)
    2) God (divine, knows everything)
    3) Steve Vai (brilliantly aggressive)
    4) Guthrie Govan (see, listen, and believe)
    5) Hendrix (king of the innovators)
    6) Eddie van Halen (resurrected the electric guitar)
    7) Stevie Ray Vaughan (inspired)
    8) Robert Fripp (eccentric genius)
    9) Steve Morse (lawdy, man)
    10) Billy Gibbons (nasty)

  • matt

    top 5 would be

    Eric Clapton
    Kerry King
    Mick Thompson
    BB king
    Steve Vai

  • bob from nashville

    My Fav is:
    Michael Schenker when he played with UFO, listen to “UFO/Strangers in the night”-by far the best ever!!
    -Kirk Hammett’s #1 influence (at least he said that in an interview)

  • Jimmy Page

    This is the real Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin and this is what I have to say: listen for starters the old guitarists would maul the new ones there shit and Ritchie Blackmore deserves way more credit and have any of you people ever heard of Mick Jones of Foreigner? I know he ain’t the best but he’s definately in the top 100 and John Frusciante is a god at guitar. One of my personal favourites. Also Bryan Adams people I don’t have to comment on him. This is my and the REAL top 10:1.Jimmy Page(yours truly)
    2.Ritchie Blackmore-He was an absolute legend.
    3.Jimi Hendrix-Come on who else can play with their teeth and behind their back?
    4. Carlos Santana-Very quick style and played scales.
    5.Steve Vai-He was an absolute freak with everything he did especially with Whitesnake.
    6.Eddie Van Halen-Do I have to say why?
    7.Hillal Slovak-No 1 has probably heard of him but he was the original red hot chili peppers guitarist and taught Flea to play bass(that speaks for itself)Pity, he died from drugs and if you thought John was good, he used to idol Slovak.
    8.John Sykes-Very, very underrated. He played for Whitesnake and he was an absolute legend. I recommend you people to buy the 1987 album and then you will truly see a master of guitar.
    9.John Frusciante-Basically makes a guitar talk and basicaly gives it emotions and makes the guitar express its feelings. He makes it scream, cry, have passion and also he is excellent for the croud.
    10.Steve Ray Vaughn-Just listen to his stuff and you will see.
    Finally I would like to say the ultimate band. These are all number 1 musicians. So this is it:
    Lou Gramm(lead vocals from Foreigner),Ian Paice(drummer of Deep Purple), Flea(bass guitarist of Red Hot Chili Peppers), Jon Lord(keyboardist of Deep Purple)and finally, yours truly(Jimmy Page) on lead guitar(Led Zeppelin).

  • Yeah, and I’m Jimi Hendrix.


  • i like how jimmy types with an american accent. very impressive.

  • greg

    All right heres my top 10:
    1. Slash
    2. K.K. Downing
    3. Jimmy Page
    4. Dave Murry
    5. Eddie Van Halen
    6. Dave Mustaine
    7. Kirk Hammett
    8. Buckethead
    9. Angus Young
    10. Herman Lee

  • Jimmy Page

    Are you questioning Mr. Page?
    Thats an insult to me. I’m sure you know nothing about music compared to me.

  • really? then please tell me what Steve Vai, Richie Blackmore, and yourself have to do with Marc Ribot, Leo Kottke, and the rest of the guitarists at the top of this post?

    c’mon tough guy!

    you were more fun as a heroin addict.

  • Jimmy Page

    Listen, how come you are being such a smart arse? Who are you anyway? No one has probably even heard of you. Ritchie Blackmore, Steve Vai and myself are up there because we were a revolution in music. I do not mean to be ‘cocky’ but we basically introduced or should I say, made Rock popular. Don’t forget, back in the 60’s and 70’s, there was a lot of creativity. These days all those guitarists from today’s bands such as Snow Patrol or the Artic Monkeys, they just strum the guitar. Otherwise, Blackmore, Vai, HEndrix and the rest of the them all played scales and made good, smooth music. Today, not much skill is needed to make it big.

  • kyle great point there buckethead is not a good guitar player at all my top 5 are

    1 Ace Frehley
    2 the rest

  • Arne Nordin

    Only a week ago did I hear about the list of the 100 greatest guitarists in Rolling Stone.
    Better late than never, I suppose.
    Before looking into the list I had expected the following guitarists to be amongst the top ten:
    Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Alvin Lee and, possibly, Jeff Beck. The two first mentioned were there alright and Jeff Beck was nr 14, but what happened to Alvin Lee??? He who outplayed everyone, Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townshend and Santana included, on the Woodstock festival. Not even on the top 100!!!
    I went into this site, but can´t find him on any single comment or any personal list either (OK. I haven´t read exactly every comment).
    Can anybody explain this to me?

  • 1.jimi hendrix ( the only one that im sure )
    2.jeff beck
    3.bb king
    4.steve morse
    5.buddy guy
    6.albert king
    7.freddie king
    8.the guitarist of ( Susannah Hoffs band )
    9.susanna hoffs
    10.eric clapton
    11.bonnie raitt
    12.robert cray
    13.robert johnson
    14.muddy waters
    15.joe perry
    16.earl king
    17.john lee hooker
    19.wes montgomery
    20.joe pass
    21.george harrison
    22.Steve Cropper
    23.james burton
    19.chet atkins
    20.t-Bone walker
    21.charlie christian
    22.ry cooder
    23.craig ross
    24.lenny kravitz
    25.eric johnson
    26.frank zappa
    28.allan holdsworth
    29.django reinhardt
    30.otis rush
    31.billy gibbons
    32.jeff healey
    33.peter green
    34.albert collins
    35.stevie ray vaughan
    36.jimmie vaughan
    37.johnny winter
    38.jimmy page
    39.ace frehly
    39.ricky skaggs
    40.vince gill
    41.danny gatton
    42.keith urban
    43.scotty moore
    44.johnny hiland
    45.steve wariner
    46.curtis mayfield
    47.howlin wolf
    48.jeff baxter
    49.roben trower
    50.albert lee
    51.tracy chapman
    52.norah jones
    53.vinnie moore
    54.jan keuhmend
    55.ulrich roth
    56.vito bratta
    57.douge aldrich
    58.matthew sweet
    59.noel ghallger
    60.Khaled Elnegm ( long live )lol
    thats the guitarists as i remmemberd maybe

  • Vincent

    I tried to do a list but its too easy to be influenced by what Im listening to at any given moment. And I dont think anyones gonna give much credit to a guitarist whos involved in a style of music they dont like and dont listen to much. I like a lot of different music.

    At the moment Im back into classic soul rnb and inclined to agree with Keith Richards when he was once asked what he thought of Steve Cropper. Keith said – Perfect.

    Steves not flashy but man does he know whats needed at the right time. Perfect.

  • Linda

    think Brad paisley ought to be mention he is a great guitarist

  • Wilson Garglewatts

    i just have one thing to say, if you wanna talk the best guitarist as far as making guitar what it is today the list would definently go
    1. Chuck Berry
    2. George Harrison
    3. Jimi Hendrix
    4. Eddie van halen
    5. Stevie Ray Vaughn
    6. Eric Clapton
    7. Pete townshend
    8. Brian Jones
    9. Jimmy page
    10. Les Paul

    1.Chuck berry practically invented rock guitar so he is the runaway number 1

    2.Harrison is the most underrated guitarist of all time, The world had never heard anything like the Beatles, His guitar playing practically gave birth to any kind of Metal (listen to helter skelter, or Revolution). He discovered and influenced Clapton ( clapton guest played on While my guitar gently weeps) and the beatles gave rock music a whole new direction, just because from 66 on they wanted to experiment with new instruments, people forget how good George was.

    3.Jimi Hendrix, practically made heavy disortion mainstream, and walk into a guitar store today, and see how many distortion pedals there are.

    4. van halen started the phase craze, and re-invented guitar while doing so

    5. put in a stevie ray vaughn cd and tell he isnt the shit

    6. Clapton is god, enough said, but may i not that harrison laid the frame for his guitar sound

    7.a great blues based guitarist like clapton, often overshadowed as a guitar god.

    8. People forget that keith richards is a rythem guitarist,he is good, but Brian Jones played lead for the stones during what i consider the highlight of there carrer. he is very creative.

    9. Led Zepp is freaking great, bluesy, with the occasional reggae song ( dyer maker)

    10. just listen to les paul’s new sound, incredible

  • Anthony

    People should know the orgins of guitar and somewhat about music. Most of these guitarist are ROCK guitarist which was formed from the BLUES. My list is short but as shown.

    1. Hendrix
    2. Clapton
    3. SRV

    Hendrix is one because he is the father of the guitar and bringing it to the front of the music scene. Now here my point –

    Eric Clapton because he was a blues guitarist who paved a way to rock and wrote so much different and great music along the way.

    SRV!! Who was a blues guitarist while rock was dominating. I feel he was the most talented guitarist to ever play. No need for lyrics, his guitar played the song and lyrics at the same time.

    Most overrated guitarist – Michael Angelo, Stevie Vai – they are great don’t get me wrong, but take into considerations tone, feel, change ups. They both play speedy hammerons and it looks like they play the guitar like a piano, not much feel. Still gods in what they do, it doesnt give the same feel when they just speed through notes that go together. The guitar isnt meant to see who can play the fastest, and thats their specialty with sweep picking and such.

    1. Hendrix
    2. Clapton
    3. SRV

  • Nathan

    Kirk hammett does NOT get enough credit!
    He may not be a great musician, but, when it comes to technicality he IS the god.

    Its all to do with what you can do, not how well you can write it!!!

    the most amazing musicians write music that they cant play

  • Bigjohnwayne2004

    HERMAN LI from DRAGONFORCE is probably the most talented guitarist ever!!!

  • Lucas

    I just want to throw my list of who I think the top 10 should be:

    1. Jimi Hendrix
    2. Eddie Van Halen
    3. Jimmy Page
    4. B.B. King
    5. Herman Li
    6. Chuck Berry
    7. Eric Clapton
    8. Stevie Ray Vaughan
    9. Ritchie Blackmore
    10. Alex Lifeson

    1. Hendrix introduced so many techniques, styles, and inspired more artists than any other guitarists. Watch any video of his performance at Woodstock in ’69, especially the Star Spangled Banner and the Woodstock Improv.
    2. Van Halen is never given enough credit. He had a style of playing all his own. Just listen to Eruption (And no, it’s not just improv. It was one of his regular warm-ups that a producer heard, liked, and put on the album.
    3. Page didn’t play very complex parts, but they were played well musically. His solos fit the songs well. And let’s face it. If you wrote the guitar solo for Stairway to Heaven, the ultimate rock anthem, you’re automatically great.
    4. King popularized blues guitar. He had a smooth tone and played licks that blew people away. He inspires many of today’s guitarists and blues muscians. Listen to any of his solos from live shows.
    5. Li is constantly overlooked mainly because he is in a modern band. You could consider him the 21st century version of EVH. He can do crazy things with a guitar and play excellent solos at extremely rapid speeds. Watch the music video for Through the Fire and Flames and you’ll understand what I mean.
    6. Chuck Berry pretty much invented the art of guitar solos. He had a blues and jazz feel in his music and solos and played a major role in the formation and popularity of rock. Listen to Johnny B. Goode.
    7. Vaughan was another great blues guitarist. He had his own distinct sound and style. He also combined styles from Hendrix into his playing that seperated him from other blues guitarists. Listen to Teaxs Flood.
    8. Clapton showed a lot of emotion in his music. He played with soul and sweetness and could really make you feel how the song made him feel. Listen to Crossroads, Layla, and Tears in Heaven.
    9. Black created a styled of playing that many metal guitarists today use. In his music, he used styles of blues and European classical music to make his own unique sound. Listen to Highway Star, Lazy, and Smoke on the Water.
    10. Lifeson is, without a doubt, THE MOST UNERRATED GUITARIST IN HISTORY! He plays comlex riffs, time and key changes, and constantly changed sound. Every solo he plays has a meaning and he keeps to that meaning no matter how long the solo is. Listen to 2112 and YYZ.

  • Brandy

    I have never quite understood why Andy Summers doesn’t make these lists. He is amazing live.

  • very perceptive brandy. in fact, Summers would have made a great addition to my original list. sure, his work in The Police was great, but so was his stuff with Fripp as well as a bunch of cool solo material.

  • for Mark…cuz the “Best” are the ones that Play from their Heart, and most are never heard of…

    but many forget guys like Fast Eddie (wait for the solo…acoustic to spare Mark’s ears, heh)

    and then there’s a tough choice for the R.I.P. award… Zappa?…. or mebbe something that shreds

    just sharing…


  • duane

    Enjoyed the Andy McKee, gonzo. Good call.

    Do you know these guys?

    Michael Hedges

    Guthrie Govan

    Hedges, I think, made that acoustic tapping style style popular (experts will correct me if I’m wrong, I hope). Govan is just too good for his own good, I think.

    I hope the links work. First time I’ve tried to embed links.

  • worked fine, and excellent soundscapes!

    thanks for putting good Noise up


  • oh yeah, i love Kaki King. but gees, Lemmy playing mr sensitive guitar strummer…that’s tough to take so early in the morning.

  • Dirty Pierre

    I read the comments to see when someone would mention Django Rheinhardt and it took 7 months but thanks to Sean he finally was acknowledged. Nice goin’ Sean.

    Django and Stephan Grapelli, on violin, would do intertwining solos and trade licks till the finish came off their instruments. No one came close to them for 40 or 50 years.

    I played Eric Clapton’s “Crossroads” on a juke box in the ’70’s for this Jazz Vibes player, Teddy Charles, who won the Playboy Jazz Star of the year award 1954 and he said it sounded like garbage. I was floored. I thought he would love it and realize a new dawn had come but no, this was utter crap according to Teddy.

    I play guitar but the reality is I couldn’t carry Teddy’s bags. The guy really is a genius but he was wrong about the playing on that song. It was inspired.

    And Joni Mitchell did some wonderful things on acoustic guitar which I would gladly listen to before some of the howling bandits on these lists. The lists are actually a disservice to all the players. To reduce the love of a lifetimes work distilled into some notes on a guitar to a number on a list is truely disheartening. It doesn’t mean the list isn’t interesting and fun to look at and create discussion but it should be understood it is a debasing activity and exists for itself and no other purpose.

  • RJ

    The top 100 are…
    I’ll take a nickle for every time I’ve plugged a tube or cable in while hearing this debate. I worked with SRV when everything, including his riffs (which he was the first to admit), sucked. I’ve stood by Bonnie Raitt while she winced at the hideous acoustics of a hall. I watched the roadies scramble helplessly back and forth, Blackmore unable to crank his guitar above a 3 because the show promoters insisted on ground leads on each and every device (you ALL know the ground loop nightmares). I’ve watches more than my fair share of paychecks vanish up peoples noses and went unpaid. I’ve watched a half million dollar light show flop as a breeze pushed the smoke off the back of the stage.

    The bottom line is, the top 100 doesn’t exist. It’s the top 200 to 300 and it changed from gig to gig, season to season, venue to venue. The real top guitar players are each and every one of them when everything clicked, everything worked right, the whole band shot straight into the zone, and the person pulling the riffs and licks was out there alone among the stars, humping it to Estelle the cosmic whore and the audience was forgotten. Where jaded techs like me sat there with our mouths open, mesmerized, forgetting to adjust sound levels. Each and every player that burned and cooked in their own perfect moment, deserved and deserves to be at the top of the list. When Page put together some fingering that made you go, ‘what the eff was that and where did it ever come from? When Gilmour reverse bended his way down the entire fret board with each hit perfect, when Zappa walked away from his own band and the audience, changing the entire lick from one theme to something entirely other. Albert King digging sound out of somewhere 30 feet beneath the stage. They all flew. They all had their moments at the very top.

  • i think buckethead, herman li, eric johnson, and the guitarist from slayer should be included in these man.. there good guitarist and they play a variety of different music…… from riffs to solo… blues to metal. there all around good. jimmy page can just go to hell hes so overrated!

  • Jimmy Page

    I am the number one guitarist ever and I think there is a lot of people that could back me up on that one. How could you call me overated. Thats an insult!

  • SlashsSon101

    Here’s my top 10

    1. Eddie van Halen
    2. Kirk Hammett
    3. Dimebag Darell
    4. Randy Rhoads
    5. Slash
    6. Buckethead
    7. Marty Friedman
    8. Mark Knopfler
    9. Jimi Hendrix
    10. Jimmy Page

  • Luis

    My opinion of the top 10

    1.jimmy page
    3.david gilmour
    4.Ace Frehley
    5.Stevie Ray Vaughn
    7.bb king
    9.Robbie Krieger (The Doors)

  • Stripes

    Man everyone bags jack white :P. One thing though. Have you guys actually heard his stuff? He plays some of the most imaginative stuff ever. Listen to his latest on icky thump. His solos are imense. Not to mention the absolute riffage on elephant. Have a listen to songs such as “Ball and biscuit” , “Catch Hell Blues” and then maybe “Youve got her in your pocket” if you want to hear a “stairway to heaven type thing” then come back and make your judgement.

    Its not ridiculous stupid solos that some people seem to think make good guitarists. Its being able for that guitar lick to fit perfectly into a song. WHich jack does effortlessly

  • Wilson Garglewatts

    rebecca how in the fuck would you get off saying georege harrison is unimaginative, he has put out the greatest body of work with the beatles, keith richards is the unimaginative one,everyone one of his songs has some generic blues pattern,it got old after the first forty years they were together, i love how the rollings stones were always trying to keep up with the beatles, go learn about guitar before you write on this board,
    p.s kirk hammett or metallica would smoke keith richards in a guitar dual off with his eyes closed

  • What I love about the guitar, is there’s always someone new who’s going to rock the world of guitar.
    Now comes this guy named Jordan Rivers, is he popular?…..He’s not famous yet, but look at Topix.com voteing poll othe the top 10 guitar players living today. Jordan Rivers,has a commanding lead with over 770 Votes in first place and Eric Clapton is in second at 235 Votes, followed by Santana at 130 Votes,It’s shocking to see someone take a lead like this. I almost want to yell at people and say…come on back up Eric Clapton, he’s our guitar hero. But Damn, can that Jordan Rivers play !! He has to be one of the top 5 electric guitar players of all time,and his acoustic guitar, I never have heard better.
    This guy can do it all.
    I almost wanted to hate Jordan Rivers for taking the spot light. But some blogs and forums online have him listed as the 3 best living guitar player alive today. IS he?…his new CD comming out in April may tell the truth. I heard it’s AWESOME and all the guitar players want it.
    But where did this guy come from? Out of the blue?
    Thanks John

  • sorry I posted the Website in the URL above. If you want to see Jordan Rivers online.

    also on Topix.com….here that link. wow get the shock of a lifetime there looking at the voting for the best guitarist alive today… here’s that link

  • .1 dimebag darryl
    .2 zakk wylde
    .3 stevie ray vaghn
    .4 kirk hammet
    .5 jimmy page
    .6 eddie van halen
    .7 randy rhodes
    .8 jimi hendrix
    .9 slash
    .10 carlos santana
    .11 angus
    .12 mick thompson
    .13 kerry king
    .14 tony lommi
    .15 dave maustaine
    .16 michaelangelo batio
    .17 steve vai
    .18 joe satriani
    .19 eric clapton
    .20 herman lee
    .21 kurt cobain
    .22 john petrucci
    .23 ace frehely
    .24 robbie krieger
    .25 tom morello

  • Greg Bailey

    1. Ace Frehley
    2. Angus Young
    3. Jimi Hendrix
    4. Jimmy Page
    5. Eddie Van Halen
    6. Brian May
    7. Chuck Berry
    8. Dave Mustaine
    9. Pete Townsend
    10. Slash

  • Sam Costello

    Seriously what the hell all your guitar lists suck here’s how it should go:

    10. Jimi Hendrix
    9. Eric Johnson
    8. Duane Allman
    7. Stevie Ray Vaughan
    6. BB King
    5. Kurt Cobain
    4. Eric Clapton
    3. Angus Young
    2. Saul Hudson
    1. Eddie Van Halen

  • Forrest

    No Particular Order…Just Some That I can remember…

    Jimi Hendrix
    Tom Scholz
    Eddie Van Halen
    Kurt Cobain
    John Frusciante
    Jack WHite
    Stevie Ray Vaughn
    Kirk Hammet
    Ry Cooder
    Jimmy Page
    Herman Li
    Jeff Beck
    Richie Blackmoore
    Carlos Santana
    Angus Young
    Neil Young
    Joe Perry
    Eric Clapton
    B.B. King
    The Edge
    Duane Allman
    Tony Iommi
    Pete Townshend
    Tom Morello
    and Joan Jett

  • Forrest

    as I posted my first comment…i noticed NONE of these lists have Tom Scholz of Boston on them…

    MARK…have you ever thought about how Tom introduced sounds never heard before and thought of catchy riffs?…im not saying he’s the best ever, but should definetly be in the top 30 at least…

    Plus, Boston played such MIND-BLOWING shows LIVE…

  • forrest, yeah…see, the point of this list was to act as a sort of counterweight to the rolling stone list…i just have a different idea of what “good” is.

    and yes, i was around when Boston exploded onto the scene back in the day. i didn’t get to see them until the second tour, but they were really good. Tom Sholz (and Boston in general) get lumped into the “arena rock” thing…unfairly, i think. the first Boston album had a lot going for it, and didn’t sound much like anything else back thaen.

    holy smokes, this article is over four years old!

  • Mathias from Denmark

    1. Slash
    2. Kirk Hammet
    3. Billy Duffy
    4. Kieth Richards
    5. Jimi Hendricks
    6. Eddie Van Halen
    7. Angus Young
    8. Herman Li
    9. Tom Morello

  • Fast Freddy

    No mention of Ronnie Montrose anywhere. Not the most popular guy around, but a fantastic guitarist. One website list even listed Sammy Hagar – that’s funny!

    The consensus still seems to end up with Hendrix, Page, Van Halen, Clapton, Stevie Ray, The Edge, Carlos, Eric Johnson, BB, etc. Rolling Stone didn’t get it all wrong. But they sure included a lot of jokes in there. Must’ve got some good schwag at one time or another.

  • eeti

    1.Herman Li
    3.Sam Totman
    4.Van halen
    6.Izzy Stradlin
    8.Kurt Cobain
    10. Me

    man i love herman li and DF

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    8.Kurt Cobain

    You’ve got to be kidding…Right?!

  • My guess would be “yes”

    Brian, What’s your thoughts on Winter? Just posted a review, would be intested in your thoughts.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Chris… I’ve never heard of ’em(Winter) either till now. Nice Review! Though I have a feeling that is due to Candlemass’ existence. Not much made an impression on me in the Doom Metal genre when I was younger like Tales of Creation

  • chickenman

    its not jimi hendrix’s guitar skills tht puts him in the top 10 its tht he uses a combination of fuzz and feedback to make beautiful music, n to be honest if jimi hendrix never existed im pretty sure tht none of the other famouse guitarists we no today will be playin such amazing stuff….hendrix started the world of rock of.

  • John

    Wow, I simply can not believe how horrible this list is. Eddie Van Halen, Jimmi Hendrix, and Jimmie Page aren’t even on the top 10! Not to mention Slash, or even Kirk Hammet! One question I need to ask you, who in the world is Mark Ribot. Mark Saleski, you are probably the most inncompetent, imbecilec, unintellegent, unobserving man I have ever met in my entire life. And by the way, the Rolling Stone top 100 guitarists list is rated 1 and 1/2 stars out of five. So get that through your thick skull. You should win an award for being the worst music obbsesive ever. Your not even good accidently! I am amazed by your stupidity.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus


    Obviously you don’t have a f*cking clue about music never mind about Mr. Saleski. Mark has more of an understanding about talent than you’ll ever acquire in your measly, pathetic existence! AND,Stop dropping the most known axe slinging names, it still doesn’t show that you know jack about music. Just a quick FYI… Leo Kottke has more skill in his pinky than that overrated hack named Slash has had in his whole career!

    Take a hike Bozo!

  • zingzing

    “who in the world is Mark Ribot.”

    wow. look it up. you’ve probably heard him. he’s the only good thing about tom waits. fuckin’ tom waits… go home and think up another schtick.

    john, you make me agree with the guppy, and that takes some doing.

    here’s a name bound not to show up on this list, or any other of greatest guitarists, but well deserved anyway:

    ian crause

  • zingzing

    thought i might add that this is really funny: “inncompetent, imbecilec, unintellegent, unobserving”

  • Aw, guys, you spoiled my fun. I wanted to beat up on the passing moron we know only as John. John the moron as he is now universally known!

  • The Haze

    @280- it is better to have been thought the fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.
    @281- you can’t fix stupid….so why try?
    @282- here’s another name: Phil Keaggy.

  • hmMM

    What about stephen stills?

  • RaZOR

    1. Hendrix [i can’t object]
    2. John Frusciante [from RHCP – the new god of the guitar]
    3. Slash
    4. Clapton
    5. David Gilmour
    6. Satriani
    7. Angus Young
    8. Steve Vay
    9. Joe Perry
    10. Kurt Cobain

  • robert lawson

    1.jimmy hendrix
    2.eddie van halen
    3.randy rhoades
    4.jimmy page
    6.eric clapton
    7.zakk wylde
    8.kirk hammet
    9.ace frehly
    10.gary rossington
    11.john petrucci
    12.angus young

  • John

    @281, for your fucking information I’ve been playing guitar since I was 6 years old. So I think I know a little fucking more than you about the world of guitar music. Here’s a little tip for you when your having a convo, don’t give tips to people who are three times as smart as you. And the only f’in reason i was dropping of the biggest names is because THEY SHOULD BE ON THE FUCKING LIST!

  • The internets is serious business!!!

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    FYI.. When you insult a true music lover & gentleman on this board because you think that not mentioning the three most over-used,exploited & overrated names are grounds for abuse then don’t get bent when other people here call you out…

    Here’s a little tip for you when your having a convo, don’t give tips to people who are three times as smart as you.

    Yea, cuz we all know that convo is short for convoy.
    Why are you bringing up trucks during a versation ’bout music??

    So, you’re 3x smarter than me & have been playing guitar since you were six, yet, you have no clue who Marc Ribot is?? Tell me, How do you know more than I do about the guitar world,huh?

    How about:
    Christopher Parkening
    Will Ackerman
    Rocky George (Who hardly gets any credit but would blow the f*ckin doors off of Hammet)
    Steinar Gundersen
    Mikael Åkerfeldt

    I guess they don’t deserve a space on any list either…

    *BTW* I’ve been playing the kit since I was 10 & listening analytically to music since I was 6.

  • duane

    John (#289) quips, “for your fucking information I’ve been playing guitar since I was 6 years old. So I think I know a little fucking more than you about the world of guitar music.”

    Oh, these irrepressible kids! Haha.

    Johnny, it’s nice that you’ve been playing the guitar for four years now. You must be really, really good. Do you take lessons? Listen to your Mommy and Daddy when they tell you to practice. Maybe when you’re big, you can enter your junior high talent show and win a pretty ribbon to put on your bedroom wall, right next to your Transformers poster. Wouldn’t that be nice?

    Oh, and remember that playing Rock Band on your Xbox is maybe not the best way to learn guitar. But it is fun!

    And don’t forget to practice your spelling, too. Even rock ‘n’ roll guitar heroes have to know how to spell.

    And please try to remember that it’s not polite to use the “F” word. Johnny … Johnny, come on now. You know what I’m talking about, so don’t try to pretend.

  • I have been playing the whistle since I was two and have been making a conscious effort to understand sounds since I was in my mother’s womb, so I trump you both.

    John, considering how poorly written your comments are, it appears you don’t know math as well as you think either.

  • John

    If you think that Eddie Van Halen is overrated than you are the stupidest dildo fuck to ever existe on this planet. Eddie Van Halen is the best guitarist ever. I don’t care what you assholes say but thats a fact. I bet you havn’t even listened to a Van Halen song. Have you even listened to Eruption? One of the greatest guitar solos ever made. And Jimmie Page is also the farthest thing away from overrated. Stairway to Heaven, does that ring a bell somewhere in your small mind? Or can your small mind not comprehend such a vast topic? Stairway to Heaven has the best solo in guitar history. Oh, I forgot to metion that I searched up Mark Ribot on YouTube to see if he really is the god you say he is. Well, he’s not. What I was watching was stupidity in the making. He took guitar music and rubbed it in the dirt. It was so boring that it put me to sleep even after twelve coffies. Last of all, Jimmi Hndrix is not overrated. I can’t believe that a guitar lover like you would say that about him. Everybody has to say that Jimmi Hendrix is one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Besides Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” he invented rock n’ roll. You should watch Hey Joe. Jimmi plays with his teech for christ’s sake! I bet Mark Ribot can’t even tap!

  • John

    My Mom is dead. She died three years ago. So thanks alot [personal attack deleted]. Mabye you should actually think before you type in something stupid that could seriously offend somebody. I don’t have an X-box and I don’t have Guitar Hero or Rock band either. What I have is Fender Strat, and a Roland amplifier. And an exetremely good guitar teacher thats twice as good as anybody on this godforsaken list.

  • John, an anonymous commenter impersonating Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Sorry John, I’ve been a stupid idiot for calling them overrated and insulting you. Truth is, I can’t even play the guitar. I’m extremely sorry.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Hey..[personal attack deleted].. Don’t ever use my name to make such irrational statements. [personal attack deleted] The fact of the matter is, I’ve been listening to VH alot longer than you [personal attack deleted] and I have one answer for ya:

    Yngwie Malmsteen’s intro for “Hot on your Heels” by Steeler kills “Eruption” everytime!

    Another fact: I can play power chords on a guitar & have been singing in front of people since ’95.

    I really don’t give a flying f*ck about Hendrix,EVH or Jimi Page. Their old f*cking news.

    Get over it!

  • “Don’t ever use my name to make such irrational statements.”

    yeah, he does just fine on his own.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    yeah, he does just fine on his own.

    Good one…But atleast it is my own writing and not some pansy pretending to be me. Talk about having no bicho.

  • John

    Oh ya, I forgot to say something. So fuckin what you can play power chords on a guitar, anyone can do that, except fot Marc Ribot of course, he can’t do anything on a guitar. Do you actually excpect me to believe that you’ve been singing since ’95. That is complete bullshit! And you’ve mever listened to van halen in your life, I can just tell by the way you write. You just lie to make yourself look better, you probably have to lie to get laid……by a donkey. Oh, and I’ve noticed that you always substitute the u of fuck with an asterix. Why the hell do you do that? It’s idiotic! Are you too afraid to swear online or something? If you are, that’s pathetic.

  • zingzing

    you two are cute.

    john: “i’ve played guitar since my penis was thiiis big!”

    guppy: “well, i’ve drummed since your father’s penis was this big.”

    john: “well, since my penis was only thiiis big, i know more about music than you do since you father’s penis was only this big!”

    guppy: “don’t you gimme that ‘this big’ shit, dicklicker! i know more names with funny symbols over them!”

    john: “everyone i know has three names or is known just by their initials! and don’t call me dicklicker, knucklebutt!”

    guppy: “what’s a fuckin’ knucklebutt?”

    john, taking guppy aside: “it means ‘gay.'”

    guppy: “man, fuck this! you are so much gayer than i am! my dick is thiiiiiis big!”

    john: “let’s see it then.”

    guppy pulls out his penis and shows it to john. john touches it. it moves slightly.

    john: “what’s this?”

    guppy: “it’s a tattoo.”

    john: “what’s it say?”

    guppy: “it says ‘hard,’ but you can only read it when i’m all excited.”

    john: “i don’t believe you, you fuckin’ asshole.”

    guppy: “keep going…”

    john: “what? …ok… you… MORON!”

    guppy: “no, no… dirtier!”

    john: “you… CUNTLICKER!”

    guppy: “HARDER!”


    guppy: “OH! OH!”

    john: “OH! OH! ohhhhh……”

    guppy: “eeeerrrrrraaaaaaAAAAAAAAAA–GAHHHHHHHHHH.”

    both lie silent, spent.

  • Jordan Richardson

    John, seek help. Maybe some anger management, a girlfriend, or a hobby. Take up drinking. Do something.

  • you know, this thread hijacking is getting out of hand. but zing’s super-excellent comment makes it all worth it.

    Where’s Slash??!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    HA! This is what I get for standing up for a BC resident. I won’t bother anymore for you slouches…

    Zing, I’m so glad you took so much time writing your little fantasy. It’s a shame that you had to substitute your own name with John’s…Are you not telling me something.

    *BTW*… The tattoo reads “Zing needs Viagra”

  • zingzing

    oh come on, guppy. it was funny. and if you two weren’t having a verbal sword fight, i don’t know a verbal dick wrangling when i see one.

    oh yeah, and i love you. i want babies. now.

  • I hereby nominate comment #301 as the greatest in Blogcritics history.

  • So Michael, when do you get to collect that free beer from the writer of comment #301? 😉

    Actually, I got a pretty good chuckle out of it, myself. It was exactly what this thread needed.

  • John

    I have a girlfriend so why don’t you drop your male sex slave off at the night club he came from and get one yourself.

    Even though its insulting me I think that thats an excellent comment.

  • Sam

    Omg i cant believe people are still commenting on this lol, anyways everybody has there own opinion, and personally i think slash should have been in the top ten. You can’t rate guitarists cause everybody will have there own opinion. That would be like saying” Red is better the blue”, that statment sounds really stupid but it is equally stupid as a top 100 guitarists list.

  • John

    I agree with you completely but this list is bullshit.

  • 309: that’s exactly right. in fact, i started off this post saying something very close to that.

  • duane

    That’s only because people have a hard time distinguishing “good, better, and best” from “don’t like, like, love.” There’s no question that — oh, let’s say, Pat Martino — can play most anyone mentioned on this thread under the table. But I don’t really like that kind of music, so he wouldn’t be on my top ten list. Most Angus Young fans have never heard of Pat Martino, which brings up another problem — exposure. It would save a lot of argument just to make the list “My 100 Favorite Guitarists.”

  • John


  • lolz

    This list is very unique, I’ll give Mark Saleski credit for that, but some of these choises are ridiculous! First of all, Mark Ribot! I would understand if he was number 30 or something but #1! Thats overrateing him a bit too much. He’s good but not fantastic. Second, I know its kind of only my opinian but Guy Van Duser for #3! Mabye its just me but I absolutely HATE his playing. More like Guy Van Deucher! It’s really not my kind of music. And finally (I know I’m dropping some big names but,) Evh should seriously be in the #1 spot. Or at least on the top ten list! Same with jimmi hendrix, and joe satch, or steve vai! But I guess that’s just my opinion.

  • xjzico

    Zing Zing: some of us out here rate Ian Crause very high. Amongst the best, can’t say/don’t care, but endlessly interesting.

    Vini Reilly might be another to consider. For some reason I think he could play most under the table if inclined and was, in his eyes, capable of stooping to such levels.

  • Davis

    What I am wondering… These guys are all good, but where are the good guitarists now? The technicians like Vai, DiMeola, and Satch, the earthy ones like Springsteen, or the innovators or torch carriers like Clapton, Page, Van Halen? Who, under 30, is out there???

  • hangoverman

    I agree with you 100%

  • WeaverChicken

    It seems to me that Tuck Andress deserves mention when you talk about broadband guitar from a single set of hands.

  • BobSacomano

    Played guitar my whole life – all kinds of styles, I have to say I never been more moved by any guitar player than Bruce Springsteen. His rhythm is incredible and his leads are emotional and powerful. He wrings the life out of that instrument – his slides and bends are totally unique. Vastly underrated IMHO.

  • blk

    One of the best is RM Tocak…