Best Guitarists In Music: 50 Legendary Musicians You Need To Know

The guitar is the backbone of rock music, and the best guitarists include some blues and country guitarists that paved the way for rock’n’roll’s legends.

Published on

Best guitarists

The guitar is the very backbone of rock – not to mention blues and country music – and the world is a better place to live in thanks to all the six-string geniuses that have come along. The best guitarists of all time include not only the hardest rockers to have picked up the instrument, but the groundbreakers who cleared the way for them. Here’s who we think deserves to sit among the 50 greatest guitarists in history.

Have we missed one of yours? Let us know in the comments section, below.

uDiscover Music Store - Rock
uDiscover Music Store - Rock
uDiscover Music Store - Rock
uDiscover Music Store - Jazz
uDiscover Music Store - Jazz
uDiscover Music Store - Jazz
uDiscover Music Store - Country
uDiscover Music Store - Country
uDiscover Music Store - Country
uDiscover Music Store - Blues
uDiscover Music Store - Blues
uDiscover Music Store - Blues

Best Guitarists In Music: 50 Legendary Musicians You Need To Know

50: The Edge (U2)

Thanks to his canny use of delay and effects, The Edge had a signature sound from the very first U2 singles. The riffs on ‘I Will Follow’ and ‘Gloria’ are indelible as it gets, and his adventurous spirit has never flagged since developing his inventive style during the band’s 80s heyday.
Check out: ‘Gloria’

49: Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple, Rainbow)

If there’s such a thing as punk metal, Deep Purple’s guitarist probably invented it. What Ritchie Blackmore brought to the mix is pure aggression, first during his time with the Purps, then with Rainbow. Go back to Made In Japan , listen to the solos on ‘Space Truckin’’ and ‘Lazy’, and tell us he didn’t wish he could murder everyone in the audience.
Check out: ‘Space Truckin’’

48: Adrian Belew (King Crimson)

A real study in contrasts, Adrian Belew keeps one foot in the avant-garde and another in Beatles-inspired pop, crossing those tendencies when you least expect it. As one of the most versatile and greatest guitarists, he’s both a prolific soloist and touring axe man for Zappa, Bowie and Talking Heads, to name a few. He’s also laid down some legendary session work on the likes of Paul Simon’s Graceland and Nine Inch Nails’ The Downward Spiral, and, lest we forget, he does great animal noises.
Check out: ‘Mr Self Destruct’

47: Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth, solo)

With Sonic Youth, Thurston Moore changed the sound of the rock guitar, using an array of tones and tunings that were all his own. He also injected some free-jazz awareness into an energising punk-inspired setting with his famous Jazzmaster guitar. Both with Sonic Youth and as a solo artist, he remains an alt.rock guitar hero.
Check out: ‘100%’

46: Hank Marvin (The Shadows)

The man who brought rock guitar to the UK, with Cliff Richard and, instrumentally, with the Shadows. You can thank Hank for any of your favourite English guitar heroes, since his sound is what they all grew up on.
Check out: ‘Apache’

45: Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits, solo)

The world didn’t want to know about guitar heroics in the new-wave era, until the first two Dire Straits albums came along. On those records in particular, Mark Knopfler’s soloing is clean, economical and effortlessly tasty. His solo work largely downplays lead guitar, but it’s still there between the lines.
Check out: ‘Sultans Of Swing’

44: James Burton (The Wrecking Crew)

The only guitarist to play with both Elvises (Presley and Costello), James Burton originated the swampy style that John Fogerty, of Creedence Clearwater Revival, plus many others picked up on. The Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer laid down his first iconic solo on Ricky Nelson’s ‘Hello Mary Lou’ and became the most in-demand player for virtually every top Californian record label from the 60s onwards, playing with The Beach Boys and The Everly Brothers, and joining the legendary Wrecking Crew.
Check out: ‘Hello Mary Lou’

43: Bob Mould (Hüsker Dü)

The most inventive guitarist to come from the post-punk era, Mould brought psychedelia to the mosh pit when Hüsker Dü did their own version of The Byrds’ ‘Eight Miles High’. The careening energy he packs into every solo is still a sonic blast 40 years down the line.
Check out: ‘Broken Home, Broken Heart’

42: Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick)

Rick Nielsen is probably the most underrated lead guitarist in the hard-rock world, since he uses guitar heroics on his famous five-neck guitar strictly to enhance the songs. And great songs – he also writes them – are what Cheap Trick is all about.
Check out: ‘The Ballad Of TV Violence’

41: Roger McGuinn and Clarence White (The Byrds)

You wouldn’t necessarily know it from their studio albums, but The Byrds’ Mark II line-up had one of the best guitar tag-teams in history: the founder who turned electric 12-string into an iconic sound, plus a world-champion flat picker who was just venturing into rock. Listen to any later live version of ‘Eight Miles High’ and hear the sparks fly.
Check out: ‘Eight Miles High’

40: Django Reinhardt

The Belgian-French guitarist popularised gypsy jazz and recorded some of the most joyful solos on record. The 1961 compilation album Djangology is one of Django Reinhardt’s many collaborations with violinist Stéphane Grapelli, and is the very essence of swing. The Roma musician was one of the most influential jazz figures, and greatest guitarists, to emerge from Europe, and pioneered what would eventually be called “gypsy jazz”.
Check out: ‘Minor Swing’

39: Prince

Prince was such a prolific performer and songwriter that his gifts as one of the best guitarists of all time ran the risk of getting overlooked. But there’s a reason why ‘Purple Rain’ and his appearance alongside Tom Petty on an all-star version of George Harrison’s ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’, at the 2004 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony, became his two most-shared performances: both feature epic guitar solos.
Check out: ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’

38: Robert Fripp (King Crimson)

Prog legend Robert Fripp puts all the exploratory spirit of the greatest prog rock into every solo. Leaving King Crimson aside, we’d single out the violent outburst in Brian Eno’s ‘Baby’s On Fire’ and the beautiful capper to Peter Gabriel’s ‘White Shadow’. With Crimson, he’s the only member to have played in all their line-ups, from their inception in the late 60s to the present day.
Check out: ‘Baby’s On Fire’

37: Frank Zappa

Anyone who had the privilege of seeing Frank Zappa live had to marvel at the solos he’d unleash in the middle of all the musical insanity. The surprise was how lyrical he could get; check Joe’s Garage for the beautiful ‘Watermelon In Easter Hay’. For a deeper dive, check out his Shut Up ’n Play Yer Guitar collection, loaded with enough guitar instrumentals and improvisations to take up three albums.
Check out: ‘Watermelon In Easter Hay’

36: Pat Metheny

Predominately a jazz guitarist, though perhaps the most flexible guitarist in any genre, Pat Metheny has managed to play acoustic pieces that border on New Age, along with album-length bursts of avant-noise, though he’s probably in top form when he’s strayed between those poles. An early adopter of synths in jazz, he’s also the only person to win a Grammy in ten different categories.
Check out: ‘Last Train Home’

35: Albert Collins

The “master of the Telecaster” was renowned for his stinging, “icy” tone. As one of the most influential and best guitarists on record, Albert Collins recorded well into the 90s, but his 60s sides offer some of the tastiest blues instrumentals on record.
Check out: ‘Frosty’

34: Richard Thompson (Fairport Convention)

Earning our vote for one of the greatest guitarists still living, what Richard Thompson does by now transcends categories of folk or rock. There isn’t a guitarist working today with a more individual style, who can pack more emotional expression into a solo, or who can let it rip as thrillingly as he does on every live version of ‘Tear Stained Letter’.
Check out: ‘1952 Vincent Black Lightning’

33: Les Paul

Les Paul deserves immortality for his innovations in recording and multitracking, but his guitar-playing was no slouch either, particularly on the duo singles where he flew in and around the voice of his partner Mary Ford.
Check out: ‘How High The Moon’

32: Elizabeth Cotton

The trailblazing folk and blues musician originated her distinctive style by accident. Elizabeth Cotton was left-handed but initially learned to play by turning her right-handed brother’s banjo upside-down. When she switched to guitar, she still had the instincts of a banjo player, and since the instrument was still upside-down, she fingerpicked the bass strings while using her thumb for the melodies. This style of “Cotton picking” is especially tough to master, which may be why no two versions of her signature tune, ‘Freight Train’, sound quite the same.
Check out: ‘Freight Train’

31: Robert Johnson

Though he never played electric guitar, Robert Johnson’s Delta blues embodies everything that a generation of blues-rock players was out to capture – from the swing in ‘Sweet Home Chicago’ to the sheer aggression of his slide playing on ‘Crossroads Blues’. He may have struck a deal with the Devil, but we reaped the benefits.
Check out: ‘Cross Road Blues’

30: Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana is one of the most influential and greatest guitarists of the last 50 years, high points including his groundbreaking Woodstock set, his inimitable 70s streak and his ‘Smooth’ revival. Santana has played every possible combination of rock, jazz and Latin, and you can always tell it’s him from the first note. He never runs out of passion or ideas, having released his 25th! studio album, Africa Speaks, in June 2019.
Check out: ‘Oye Coma Va’

29: Buddy Guy

If BB King embodied the elegance of blues guitar, then Buddy Guy’s got the nastiness down. A blazing soloist even into his 80s, he’s pulled countless rock-trained ears over to the blues camp and inspired everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton. Few can bend a note quite like Guy, and he’s almost single-handedly keeping the blues alive.
Check out: ‘Stone Crazy’

28: Neil Young

Everybody has a trademark style; Neil Young has two, and there’s no other rock guitarist who can vacillate convincingly between gentle and crude. There’s a reason a certain full-throttle Marshall sound is invariably called “that Neil and Crazy Horse sound”.
Check out: ‘Like A Hurricane’

27: Rory Gallagher

Of all the great blues-rock guitarists, Rory Gallagher had to be the most fiery soloist; give him a slide and he’d melt your mind with fluent riffs and dazzling speed. No wonder Gallagher was one of the few old-guard rockers that the punks still liked. And he was Jimi Hendrix’s favourite guitarist, too.
Check out: ‘Philby’

26: Eddie Hazel (Parliament-Funkadelic)

As the charter guitarist of George Clinton’s P-Funk crew, Eddie Hazel played some of the most out-there solos ever ventured in a rock or funk context (check any live version of ‘Maggot Brain’ for evidence). But you could still get down to them.
Check out: ‘Maggot Brain’

25: Dick Dale

The story of Dick Dale’s surf rock success is an unlikely one in which a hungry young kid flashes back to the Lebanese music he grew up with, applies much volume and a ton of reverb, thinks about the thrill of catching a wave and invents southern California’s defining instrumental sound. Not bad for a transplant from Quincy, Massachusetts, who grew up to be one of the best guitarists in rock history.
Check out: ‘Miserlou’

24: Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell had hundreds of Wrecking Crew sessions under his belt before launching his solo career, and always played the guitar on his own records. Those bass string solos on ‘Galveston’ and ‘Wichita Lineman’ are models of economy, but if you really want to be impressed, check out his live version of ‘MacArthur Park’, proving his spot on a list of the best guitarists is more than well-earned.
Check out: ‘MacArthur Park’

25: Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones)

Sure, there are flashier soloists (a couple of whom have themselves been in The Rolling Stones), but nothing says rock’n’roll like Keith Richards kicking off a rhythm riff. And nobody looks more rock’n’roll doing it. Writing some of the most memorable riffs in rock history more than earns him a place on this list of the best guitarists of all time.
Check out: ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’

22: Stevie Ray Vaughan

Stevie Ray Vaughn wedded the flash of arena rock to the essential soul of Texas blues at a time when both needed a fresh kick (the various live versions of ‘Texas Flood’ are a crash course in blues eloquence). The world was robbed of one of the greatest guitarists of all time when he died at 35, in 1990.
Check out: ‘Texas Flood’

21: Albert Lee

As one of the most-admired English guitarists, Albert Lee applied 70s rock distortion to his fluid fingerpicking, doing some groundbreaking work in his original band, Heads Hands And Feet. Later he put the distortion aside and became a first-class country-rock picker, anchoring the Everly Brothers’ reunion-era band.
Check out: ‘Country Boy’

20: Robert White (The Funk Brothers)

Part of the legendary Motown Records house band, The Funk Brothers, White and his fellow session players are on more hit records than The Beatles, The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones combined. He’s also featured in the most heart-wrenching scene in the documentary Standing In The Shadows Of Motown, where he talks about sitting in a restaurant unrecognised while his indelible intro to The Temptations’ ‘My Girl’ plays. They didn’t mention an even greater moment of his – that one-chord wonder that opens The Supremes’ ‘You Keep Me Hanging On’.
Check out: ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On’.

19: Link Wray

Famously the first rock’n’roller to get banned for an instrumental, when 50s-era parents feared that the switchblade guitar sounds on ‘Rumble’ were enough to induce gang violence. The great part was, they were right. In some ways, Wray invented the power chord, creating the basis of modern rock guitar playing by all the best guitarists from then on out.
Check out: ‘Rumble’

18: Chet Atkins

Early in his career, country music’s greatest guitarist – “Mr Guitar”, as he would come to be known – could perform red-hot licks with the best of them. But once Chet Atkins had been there and done that, he devised the more elegant, gentlemanly style that not only defined his sound, but defined the “Nashville Sound” from the mid-60s onwards.
Check out: ‘Windy And Warm’

17: Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen)

This guitar hero turned hard rock into high art, thanks to his innovative fingertapping style and his famous Frankenstrat. Eddie Van Halen completely changed the sound and style of guitar rock in the 80s and gave us some of the most masterful riffs in rock history, from ‘Eruption’ to ‘Unchained’.
Check out: ‘Eruption’

16: Martin Carthy

England’s premier folk traditionalist, Martin Carthy is famously the man whose version of ‘Scarborough Fair’ was nicked by Paul Simon. Far beyond that, Carthy has an individual guitar style built around folk-dance rhythms, and he played some killer electric during his tenure in Steeleye Span.
Check out: ‘Byker Hill’

15: Steve Howe (Yes)

Steve Howe’s dexterity and imagination embody everything that’s great about prog rock, from the wah-wah outbursts on ‘Yours is No Disgrace’ to the country picking on ‘Clap’ and the Spaciness of ‘Wurm’. And that’s just one side of his first Yes album.
Check out: ‘Yours Is No Disgrace’

14: Charlie Christian

As the man who brought the electric guitar forward as a solo instrument, jazz guitarist Charlie Christian arguably made most of this list of the best guitaritst possible. For a key moment, check his 1939 recording of ‘Stardust’ with Benny Goodman, where his solo gets freer and more forward-looking as it builds.
Check out: ‘Stardust’

13: Slash (Guns N’ Roses)

Among the flash and bombast of 80s hard rock, Slash sounded like a return to form, bringing back the spirit of old rock’n’roll to the Top 40 with a blues sensibility While best known for the kind of epic, stage-stealing solos like the one he unleashed on ‘November Rain’, the Guns N’ Roses guitarist helped to turn GNR from a Sunset Strip fixture to a stadium-rock act. He’s also responsible for some of the most iconic guitar riffs in rock, from ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ to ‘Paradise City’.
Check out: ‘November Rain’

12: Duane Allman (The Allman Brothers)

We got a tragically small amount of music from Skydog, but Duane Allman left a mark on slide-guitar artistry for decades to come – not least with his guest spot on Derek And The Dominos’ ‘Layla’. His secret weapon was the soulful touch that he’d honed through a few years of work as an Atlantic sessionman and later applied to his time with The Allman Brothers, with his brother Greg, before his tragic passing in 1971.
Check out: ‘Layla’

11: Sister Rosetta Tharpe

No, the Devil didn’t have all the good songs, or even all the greatest guitarists. As an early gospel artist, Sister Rosetta Tharpe really did invent a lot of the distorted tones that blues and rock players would later adopt. Before that, however, she also recorded some of the most fluid acoustic leads on record. On the 1945 hit ‘Strange Things Happening Every Day’, she blurs the lines between country, jazz and gospel, all in the service of some sanctified testimony.
Check out: ‘Strange Things Happening Every Day’

10: George Harrison

The Beatles’ masterful popcraft often overshadows their skills as musicians; case in point: George Harrison. Ever the quiet one, Harrison’s economic use of soloing – playing exactly what’s needed, when it’s needed – was an essential part of The Beatles’ sound. Even as the band was breaking apart on Abbey Road, Harrison was starting to shine as both a songwriter and guitarist, something we’d get to see more of on his solo work. His lead guitar lines came into focus on Abbey Road, allowing him to fully express himself through his instrument.
Check out: ‘Something’

9: Jeff Beck (The Yardbirds)

While Eric Clapton brought passion to The Yardbirds and Jimmy Page brought technical wizardry, Jeff Beck brought aggressive firepower. Guitar playing doesn’t get more brutal than ‘Rice Pudding’, the killer cut from his Beck-Ola album.
Check out: ‘Goodbye Pork Pie Hat’

8: Steve Cropper (Booker T And The MGs)

Possibly the greatest rhythm guitarist who ever lived, Cropper drover countless Stax singles (virtually all of them between 1963-73) with his impeccably funky timing. Not to mention his flair for the stinging solo, or his co-writing Otis Redding’s signature tune ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay’.
Check out: ‘Melting Pot’

7: Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin)

The key to Jimmy Page’s genius is really his years as a session player, coming up with endless ways to enhance a song. That’s what made him so resourceful with Led Zeppelin – he knew all about the possibilities of layering and colouring. As one of the few surviving artists from that era, this guitar virtuoso is a living legend.
Check out: ‘Heartbreaker’

6: Brian May (Queen)

Proving that brainiacs really do belong in rock’n’roll, Brian May’s talent as an inventor/engineer gave Queen the wide array of guitar sounds that they needed to rule the arenas and properly frame Freddie Mercury as a lead singer. It also enabled them to proclaim “no synths” on their first six albums.
Check out: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

5: Eric Clapton (Cream, Blind Faith, Derek And The Dominos)

Clapton is God: that was the belief during his Cream and Derek And The Dominos days, when Eric Clapton was one of the most expressive players around. But even after getting tasteful in the 70s, he always managed some thrilling outbursts. And that trademark “woman tone” remains a thing of beauty.
Check out: ‘Crossroads’

4: BB King

You might say that BB King was half of the greatest vocal duo in blues history. The other half was his guitar, Lucille, who’s elegant, pleading tone said everything that the words couldn’t completely express.
Check out: ‘Sweet Little Angel’

3: Wes Montgomery

During his too-short career, this jazz great was rightly renowned for his octave technique (playing phrases on two strings an octave apart, giving a clear sweet tone), and his aggressive thumb strokes (something Jeff Beck and others emulated). More important was Wes Montgomery’s melodic imagination and his impeccable sense of swing, heard especially well on his late 60s Verve releases.
Check out: ‘No Blues’

2: Chuck Berry

The blues had a baby, they called it rock’n’roll, and the guitar intro on Chuck Berry’s ‘Maybelline’ was the moment of conception. Berry was a master of the short and tasty solo (though you can check out 60s albums like Concerto In B Goode if you want to hear his solos at length), and there’s been no worthy rock guitarist who hasn’t absorbed a little Chuck.
Check out: ‘Johnny B Goode’

1: Jimi Hendrix

Let’s face it, rock will never come up with a more visionary guitarist. Not only did Jimi Hendrix expand the sonic possibilities of what a guitar could do, he found uncharted places that a guitar could take you to. Fifty years on, every newly unearthed version of ‘Red House’ is still a revelation.
Check out: ‘Voodoo Child (Slight Return)’

Looking for more? Discover the 50 legendary bass players you need to know.

George Harrison - All Things Must Pass
George Harrison - All Things Must Pass
Format: Union Jack flagUK English


  1. charles johnson

    November 29, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    who made up this fake ass list? Dave Gilmour isn’t in the top 10 and Robin Trower didn’t even make the list.

    • Nick

      November 29, 2014 at 9:17 pm

      Exactly my thought. Trower’s Benny Dancer alone is better than most of these on here.

      • Poopy

        November 29, 2014 at 10:34 pm

        totally agree about Trower, but where’s Steve Hackett and Steve Howe, could remove quite a few of these 12 bar blues men for someone a bit more progressive

        • Kevin

          November 30, 2014 at 3:39 pm

          Any list of great guitarist would be incomplete without mentioning Ken Bruchs.

          • paul rushworth

            October 18, 2017 at 9:49 am

            who,s that

          • Tom

            October 22, 2017 at 1:44 am

            Steve Howe!

          • Steve

            May 2, 2019 at 5:28 am

            Or Roy Buchanan!!!

        • Kevin

          November 30, 2014 at 3:41 pm

          Any list of great guitarist would be incomplete without mentioning the wonderful Ken Bruchs.

        • Richard Heine

          October 30, 2016 at 3:36 pm

          Steve Hackett missing was my first thought, too. And how about Michael Hedges, Gary Rossington, Ritchie Blackmore, Erik Brann, etc. etc. etc.

          • Glenn

            October 18, 2017 at 12:25 am

            Ritchie Blackmore is 29 on the list.

          • The Boz

            June 9, 2019 at 7:55 pm

            There was a guy in the 60s and 70s who was pretty good. Terry Kath. Supposedly Hendrix was quoted. I know I am good but this cat blows me away

        • Dennis Elias

          April 30, 2018 at 3:36 am

          Took the words right out of my mouth! What moron would leave out maestros Howe and Hackett!??

        • Dennis Ryan

          July 13, 2019 at 5:57 pm

          Steve Howe is one of the greats

        • David

          December 18, 2020 at 9:24 am

          Erik johnson

        • Doug

          February 20, 2021 at 4:17 pm

          Any list that doesn’t include George Kooymans isn’t even a valid list.

    • James buzuzi

      November 29, 2014 at 11:46 pm

      George benson,eral khlugh,lee retenour cant leav out such names

      • Andrew

        August 29, 2015 at 6:33 pm

        How about Gary Moore from Thin Lizzy, Joe Bonamassa, Larry Carlton, Jon Herrington, Dean Parks, Skunk Baxter? Too many people left off this list. Hendrix is not number one, that’s a definite. He was good, but I can name a dozen others that were better!

        • Woody87

          December 24, 2015 at 12:12 am

          Better? Ha, you tosser. Learn something about guitar playing and the history and then come back, all his contemporaries were blown away by his virtuosity- he sparked the careers of many great guitarists and was one of the greatest showmen ever to grace this planet.

          • Bill

            December 24, 2015 at 7:34 pm

            Know need to for that just cos you don’t agree with someone’s point of view I think you are the tosser merry christmas

          • Cooky Mann

            October 17, 2016 at 7:40 pm

            This list is NOT about “showmen”.
            It’s about guitarists.
            Hendrix couldn’t hold a candle to thousands of teenage guitarists of today.
            Allan Holdsworth SMOKES EVERYONE on this list and you and the other assholes who made this list never heard of him.
            Try using the Internet before you spew your bullshit.

          • Jeff

            April 29, 2018 at 1:22 am

            Yea, mostly out of tune!! Jeff Beck hung him out to dry

          • Steve

            May 2, 2019 at 5:31 am

            Roy Buchanan was better.

        • Bob

          December 24, 2015 at 10:25 am

          I’m glad you mentioned Joe Bonamassa. For some reason he never seems to get the credit he deserves. That man can play anything!

          • Dilt

            October 18, 2017 at 5:13 am

            Joe Bonamassa, the best guitar player you’ve never heard of.

          • paul rushworth

            October 18, 2017 at 9:50 am

            ive see him live brilliant

          • Erling R.

            October 21, 2017 at 4:23 pm

            AMEN! The best guitarist! You should know him! He is amazing.

          • John H

            February 28, 2018 at 4:51 pm

            He can mate – spot on -anything, with anyone, and works his balls off, not release same old hashed up stuff from the past like Mr Page and Mr May – anything new to add to music you two? Also Mark Knopfler and of course the great Alex Lifeson.

          • Fred E Spice

            October 1, 2018 at 12:32 am


          • Martin.dufosse@gmail.com

            September 7, 2019 at 6:58 pm

            Andy James, Gus G. Better than all of them.!!!

          • Dave Parry

            October 16, 2019 at 7:19 pm

            Yes agree about Bonamassa but my absolute favourite and never on anyone’s list was Johnny Winter

          • John Gabriel

            October 18, 2019 at 12:36 am

            Curt Kirkwood

        • James

          March 3, 2016 at 4:52 pm

          Agreed, Andrew. I’ve met Joe, Larry, Jon, & Lee Ritenour and speaking as a guitar player for 50 years, the versatility that the players you list have as well as their articulation, it is a sham that they’re not on the list. But let’s face it, this is all subjective.

        • James

          March 3, 2016 at 4:57 pm

          I’d also have to put in this list, Steve “Luke” Lukather. How is he NOT on this list as well?

          • Christopher Nowak

            October 27, 2019 at 11:54 am

            Right on!!
            I believe that TOTO’S “AFRICA” is the greatest pop hit of all time (even though Steve shows off his talent mostly in other songs).

        • Steve

          March 15, 2016 at 11:58 am

          I’d like to see your list of people better than Hendrix, before I bite your head off. 🙂

          • Jon

            April 13, 2016 at 11:23 am

            Nos. 2, 3 and 16, but not in that order.

          • Elroy

            June 1, 2016 at 12:59 pm

            Narciso Yepes

            But then again, probably not many here who even know who that is …

          • Lou

            October 17, 2017 at 10:33 pm

            Hendrix said Terry Kath was the best he had ever seen…enough said.

          • John Garnham

            November 28, 2017 at 7:31 am

            Listen to Roy Buchsnan (not on list) play ‘ Hey Joe ‘ then compare to No.1 J Hendrix .
            No comparison ..

        • Tony Besgrove

          March 16, 2016 at 7:50 am

          No you can’t! Hendrix died 41 years ago and in those 41 years there has NEVER been anyone who got close to the inventiveness, excitement and stage presence of that man. Just watch his full Woodstock performance. 😎

          • stoney bruce

            November 16, 2016 at 1:13 am

            I agree wholeheartedly Tony. Though, I would put Duane Allman a close second. I hate how Jimmy Page is always in the top two on every list. He was Mister Slop and a big time blues ripoff artist. Nothing original about his playing. If you hear Hendrix, you know who it is. Same with Allman. But if you listen to Page, away from Zep, you wouldn’t be able to tell who that was. Tone, technique, and style is everything. Hendrix and Allman had ton’s of it. Sorry if you’re a big fan of his, but this has always bugged me.

          • Likah

            October 18, 2017 at 9:50 am

            then you surely didn’t saw much concert and you got stuck with this one, Hendrix is a joke ^^

          • pmr

            February 7, 2018 at 5:33 pm

            I agree about Page , really a great studio guy but innovator, no. Most of the greats sound unique and identifiable, but not Page .Like not technically great but unique Townsend.

        • paul rushworth

          October 18, 2017 at 9:47 am

          I agree ive seen gary moore he,s the best ive ever seen,and what about hank marvin, or even bert weeden,most of these would not be around if not for these,or even Robert Johnson who started most of the blus

          • Eamonn

            December 1, 2017 at 5:10 am

            Robert Johnson is #11.

        • Bill Rollinson

          February 28, 2018 at 4:24 pm

          I’ll second that, I’m also surprised Richie Blackmore isn’t on it or Robbie Robertson from the Band!

          • Emkay

            April 2, 2019 at 5:50 pm

            Can you read ?
            Blackmore on list…smfh

    • Kevin

      November 30, 2014 at 10:50 am

      It’s another popularity contest. Jimi has his place. He made electronics the way to turn heads. Steve Morse is not on the list, either. Santana and Zappa are down the list,they are more accomplished than many of the top 10. As mush of a fan of Keith as I am, he isn’t the guitarist people way down the list are. He may be one hell of a songwriter, but his playing isn’t all that…where is Ronnie Wood on this list? Popularity is all this is.

      • Swifty

        December 2, 2014 at 2:21 am

        Yep, agree on Keith.

        As a huge Uriah Heep fan, I’m disappointed Mick Box didn’t make the list.

        • Park

          May 18, 2015 at 6:11 pm

          Swifty, your are right on brother, Mick Box should be at at least in the top 10

      • James Young

        May 10, 2015 at 5:19 pm

        Keith is exactly where he is supposed to be on the list. This is about rock and roll. This is not about technical ability and perfection which are the last things I want when listening to rock and roll. With this music you want dirtiness and true raw emotion of which Keith provides an infinite amount. After all, he is a guitarist in ‘the greatest rock and roll band in the world.’

        • Michael R. Wilder

          June 21, 2015 at 9:48 pm

          This is NOT about Rock n Roll. It says list of 50 greatest guitarists. Not of any one style or genre. Your comment is purely your opinion, to which you are absolutely entitled, though I would suggest, as I’m sure would many others, that you are incorrect in your assertion that the Stones are the best rock band in the world, and that Keith Richards should be above SRV in any way other than perhaps longevity, is more than arguable.

          • Pat Eck

            June 28, 2015 at 6:47 pm

            Why not Neal Schon? The guy has been an amazing player for 45 years

        • tight

          March 30, 2018 at 5:00 am

          Are you talking about Trey Anisasio? in that case you’re right

      • Jon Vanderheyden

        July 9, 2016 at 3:57 pm

        Jimi’s entire recording career is four years long. Four! Nobody is even in that dudes zip code for creativity and showmanship. Try tackling the solo to axis bold as love and machine gun and then get back to me.


          September 4, 2019 at 11:28 pm

          Any guitar list should not contain any reference to Hendrix.He is on a different page altogether.Let’s not be unfair to other people.If you have any doubts,listen to Manic Depression about five times.

      • George

        October 17, 2017 at 8:27 pm

        Keith is the greatest rhythm guitar player I have ever watch or heard. And I’ve heard and played with many. He deserves the accolades.

        • Polly Molly

          November 29, 2017 at 8:16 pm

          Townshend smokes Richards as a rhythm guitarist

          • Benji Franklin

            April 30, 2018 at 1:00 am

            Hendrix was a better rythym player than both of them together, along with Nile Rogers.

      • Benroo

        November 30, 2017 at 5:32 pm

        How about Roy Buchanan and Michael Bloomfield or Yngwie Malmstein?

    • avatar

      November 30, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      Joke of the day: The Edge > Slash
      What a stinky fake… the worst is that I saw it on the Gentle Giant’s facebook page

      • Todd

        January 2, 2019 at 7:01 pm

        THE EDGE is one of the the most awsome guitarist EVER. HE makes the best guitar music for the Best band of ALL TIME and he doesnt even play play a 7 string guitar! But he definate GREATEST player in history is ERIC CLAPTON. CLAPTON can play any kind of music an he can play faster than even any heavy metal guitarists he just doesn’t do it all the time because he is HUMBLE and mainly a blues master but nobody can play more complicated scales than him he also is the best original song writer since everything he plays he WROTE HIMSELF and he has been playing for 60 years and hes still sso original, powerful, awesome on stage and off cuzhe is a TRUE guitar God who can even sing amazing voice while playing at he same time nuff said!

        • JD

          January 2, 2019 at 8:21 pm

          I apologize for having written the above post. While it seemed like a funny thing to do at the time, it was a rather distasteful attempt to drive home the absurdity of compiling a list that ranks different people as being better than or worse than one another. Neither The Edge nor Eric Clapton are favorites of mine. I could explain why while also naming some musicians that I think are terrific and worthy of great praise but at the end of the day doing so would be nothing more than stating another opinion. Just because it happens to be mine does not make it any more or less valid than anyone else’s. If this list accomplishes nothing else, it proves that art is ultimately and undeniably subjective. Perhaps I could appreciate the fact that the vast array of existing artistic uniqueness means that there will always be something for somebody. Not for reasons of better than or worse than. Just different. If it’s special and meaningful to you, run with it. Thanks for reading. (By the way, if you dig modern day blues and hard rock guitarists, check out Eric Gales. My Man!).

    • Josephine

      November 30, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      David Gilmour should be number 1 ,to put a guitarist of his calibre at number 21 is a disgrace, he is far better than Hendrix-who I believe-compared to Gilmour-is over-rated, and Clapton is not as good as Gilmour, Brian May should be number 2, Slash should be in the top 10, and so should Mark Knopler, and where is Hank Marvin, what a lousy list.

      • phreanix

        November 30, 2014 at 2:56 pm

        It’s not your list, if you don’t like it, leave.

        • Chris

          August 29, 2015 at 12:36 pm

          I think I will take my leave…..no Hank in the top 50 ?…still going and still superb.
          Good luck.

          • Benroo

            November 30, 2017 at 5:39 pm

            Hank only came after the Ventures.


            May 2, 2018 at 9:37 pm

            I get it that a lot of this is just taste, and it is hard to argue to taste. But having Mick Taylor at 48, behind Dicky Betts, Johnny Ramone, George Harrison, and The Edge just seems indefensibly stupid to me.

      • Sallee

        January 14, 2015 at 12:12 pm

        I have seen many of the guitarists on this list, Clapton outplays the lot! i

        • GlynMo

          April 26, 2016 at 8:01 pm

          Clapton used to be good but, for the last xx years, he’s been regurgitating the same boring old licks time after time.

          • GlynMo

            April 26, 2016 at 8:02 pm

            Peter Green and Gary Moore are far better.

          • Chris

            July 23, 2016 at 3:12 pm

            EC also has a neurological condition now, so it’s unlikely we’ll ever see him play again, nor as well. Thats probably why he hasn’t put out much new material lately. But, if you look at his career, 50+ years, and the number of other artists on that list who cite him as an influence, I’d say his place on the list is well deserved.

          • lis

            October 24, 2016 at 5:21 pm

            You are boring!

      • stu

        May 11, 2015 at 3:00 pm

        Exactly… hendrix was an overrated, there are people on this list that piss over hendrix.

        • gerry mifsud

          June 29, 2015 at 9:58 am

          you asshole Jimmy was far beyond

          • Robbie Hernandez

            March 1, 2018 at 9:35 am

            I agree. Jimi #1. Always and forever!

        • Greg

          April 27, 2016 at 5:41 am

          Like Beck and Clapton. Richards should not be in the top 30

          • Andrew

            February 28, 2018 at 7:26 pm

            Beck is the best I’ve ever seen. Granted, I never saw Hendrix.

        • Simon

          October 18, 2016 at 11:21 am

          Do you think Hendrix would have stopped developing given what he had achieved to that point, I doubt it. Everyone who saw him said he was Eons ahead of all other players in the area of electric rock ,funk & soul. Hendrix highly admired and stated so publicly, the 3 Kings, Clapton, Beck, Clarence White, Phil Keaggy, Buddy Guy, Ernie Isley, Miles Davis, Rory Gallagher and Stephen Stills among others. He was no hermit, but studied other great players of his time with great care and fascination. He was like Bruce Lee, absorbing what was useful and rejecting what was not to him, at the time.

          • Scotty b

            February 26, 2018 at 11:21 am

            Where the fuck is Dweezil Zappa?…..and His dad should be in the top 5. Far more versatile and unique than most in this list

        • Theacguy

          November 28, 2017 at 7:00 am

          You obviously don’t have a damn clue…Jimi Hendrix could walk over anyone on this list.

      • Naishcombe

        October 27, 2015 at 1:06 pm

        Agree – Hank Marvin significant omission

      • Martin

        March 15, 2016 at 11:49 am

        I totally agree with the top three, but believe that David Gilmour and Eddie van Halen should be swapped around. There is just NO WAY that David cannot be in the top four!!

      • Brian Matthews

        May 22, 2016 at 10:43 am

        At leased you know you guitar players

      • Daimauwr

        October 13, 2016 at 10:37 am

        Agree Josephine – where is Hank Marvin. Brian May, Knofler and many others bow at his door and he has influenced many others. And one of the greatest of all was Nokie Edwards – played with the Ventures. If you haven’t heard his version of “by the time I get to Phoenix” then you haven’t heard a guitar “talk”.

        • Christopher Nowak

          October 28, 2019 at 3:53 pm

          I agree about Nokie Edwards!
          Listen to the Ventures’s version of WIPE OUT!

      • Martin

        September 22, 2020 at 1:36 am

        Hank Marvin is in the list at No 46

    • Stu

      November 30, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      Where is John Mayall ???

      • Graeme

        December 1, 2014 at 10:41 am

        Quite rightly not on this list. Best remembered for his harmonica playing AND the guitarists be has/had in the band – Clapton, Green, Taylor, etc, etc.

        • Kevin Crawford

          May 11, 2015 at 1:39 pm

          Indeed. Mayall sported great guitarists, but John himself isn’t one of them…

        • Steve D

          April 10, 2018 at 6:02 pm

          Maybe he won’t make your version of the list, but for MANY years, Buddy Whittington played blues guitar for Mayall, and he can stand proudly with the other Guitar Gods that John Mayall introduced to the world. How he plays so well with those stumpy fingers is beyond me.

      • klaas

        June 10, 2015 at 3:27 am

        And where’s Gabor Szabo? the guitarist from budapest??

        • James

          March 3, 2016 at 4:58 pm


          • Greg

            April 28, 2016 at 2:00 am

            I agree about Gabor Szabo. Excellent guitarist but an unknown. Also, how about Luther Allison, Otis Rush, Walter Trout. This list is limited by being more a popularity contest. And yes I agree, Peter Green and Gary Moore lesser knowns are well deserving.

        • Werner

          October 30, 2016 at 4:15 pm

          Agreed. You’ll find Carlos Santana talking about Gabor Szabo on YouTube.

        • Benji Franklin

          April 30, 2018 at 1:14 am

          There almost only one genre of guitarists in this list, with the exception of Django and Wes. Segovia, Paco, Norman Brown, Robin Trower, Robben Ford, Leo Kottke, Christopher Parkening, Joe Pass, Barney Kessell, Jerry Miller, Adrien Belew, Jorma, Albert Lee, Neal Schon and hundreds of others who play better than many of these rockers are absent from the list. Doesn’t really speak for the expertise of the list makers.

          • Pierre Chaouat

            September 6, 2019 at 12:07 am

            I agree with above. This “list” is ridiculous…
            Firstly, the very act of establishing a hierarchy that doesn’t precise on which criteria that list is based upon is totally subjective (see the comments) …
            Secondly, any classification that places Django Rheinhardt at #40 should certainly have been made by someone who has hearing impairment.
            Moreover, it’s not yet (fortunally) an Olympics discipline.
            Just my humble opinion…

      • John

        October 26, 2015 at 11:54 am

        John Mayall plays the piano!

      • Martin

        March 15, 2016 at 11:42 am

        John Mayall wasn’t a guitarist!!

      • Usel

        April 26, 2016 at 9:45 pm

        I think John is on the great harmonica list

    • Juan

      November 30, 2014 at 1:38 pm

      Where is derek trucks ? How do you name Susan tedesci in the intro and think he is not even worth mentioning? The guy has a unique sound, a prodigy at age 11 and miles ahead of most of the players on this list! How is Wes Montgomery so low on this list and have jack white, Keith Richards, buddy guy and Santana ahead of him? This is simply a popularity contest and not a list of greats. The only science this might apply is how many of these guitar players appeared in guitar magazines or are more pop icons. Very dissapointed.

      • Ace Duncan

        April 16, 2015 at 2:48 pm

        My first thought, find where Derek Trucks is ranked. Not finding him invalidated the list for me. Very safe group. You cannot have this list without Trucks, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Toy Caldwell and Terry Kath.

        • Mike

          March 16, 2016 at 5:27 am

          Can’t believe you said Toy Caldwell…one of thee most underrated guitarists of all time and terry kath is another great choice

          • griff

            October 17, 2017 at 4:57 am

            Toy was the greatest ‘thumb picker’ of all time. Enough for this list, I’ll tell you that…

      • patrick reynolds

        June 1, 2016 at 4:22 am

        Along those same lines, how does any list not include Kenny Burrell??

        • Christopher Nowak

          November 2, 2019 at 10:46 pm

          Kenny Burrell is good but he is not as influential as Wes Montgomery and Django Reinhardt in the jazz field.

    • Randall

      November 30, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      Where is Billy Gibbons?

      • KLM

        July 10, 2016 at 3:29 pm

        I agree – the Reverend Billy G must be on the list.


        May 2, 2018 at 9:39 pm

        Now THAT’S a good question.

    • dirk Jirky

      December 1, 2014 at 1:17 am

      Yes, why forget Charlie Christian? He only indirectly and directly influenced every guitar player ever. Same with Django – another guy way too low that directly and indirectly influenced everyone. Why make a list like this if you’re only going to include a few Jazz guitarists? So you’re telling me Pat Metheny is not one of the 50 greatest guitarist ever? Give me a break. I will give you credit for your top 10 though. Based on each players influence as a guitarist, very legit.

      • Paul Trembley

        December 28, 2017 at 2:49 am

        you had to mention Pat Metheny, he’s an excellent guitar player! like how many guitarists can play a four-neck guitar, and it’s programmable. I would definitely place him within the top 10! start with Hendrix, then Trower, Yngwie Malmsteen Pat Metheny, Mike Oldfiel, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Tony Iommi, Joe Walsh, Santana, John McGlothin, and Frank Marino, in that order!

    • John

      December 2, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      This is a pretty bad list! Any list that has Keith Richards as a top five guitarist of all time loses all credibility! He’s not even the lead guitarist in the Stones! List is missing many much more talented folks; Al Dimeola is a huge miss, Steve Howe, Robin Trower, Steve Hackett, Steve Morse to name a few! Bad, Bad list!

      • art

        January 1, 2015 at 1:25 am

        good call Al Dimeola

        • Joachim Dreibholz

          November 8, 2017 at 10:03 am

          I was wondering when someone finally was gonna mention Al di Meola,also Martin Barre (Jethro Tull) is missing on that list!

        • Christopher Nowak

          October 26, 2019 at 1:05 pm

          It is AL DI MEOLA

      • George

        October 17, 2017 at 8:32 pm

        Is being a lead guitarist the criteria? Keith Richards is the greatest rhythm guitar player I’ve ever seen. I thought the list was greatest guitar players not the greatest lead guitar players.

      • George

        December 27, 2017 at 12:36 pm

        This list is not about being a lead guitarist. It apparently is a list about being an all-around guitarist. Keith Richards belongs exactly where he is. Best rhythm guitar player on The planet.

    • anton

      December 2, 2014 at 1:41 pm

      Donde esta “Paco de Lucía”?

      • Alicanchino

        October 21, 2017 at 1:20 am

        No one in this list has the skills to play flamenco. It is obvious that the best ones in this list wouldn’t qualify for a list containing flamenco players. Paco de Lucía is a more complete guitar player. Most in this list use just one hand and a pick on the other.

        • Christopher Nowak

          October 26, 2019 at 3:04 pm

          JESSE COOK and MICHAEL ROBERTS are also excellent flamenco guitarists.
          I transcribed a few of their easier ones:
          COOK: AZUL

    • Bikerbonnie

      December 3, 2014 at 7:17 am

      Didn’t say it had to be electric…. so one of my votes would be for Willie Nelson, who didn’t make the list at all!

      • Richard Gearon

        August 21, 2015 at 3:03 pm

        Willie, for sure, should be on the list, and NO ONE has mentioned Albert Lee, who could play masterfully in ANY genre. LES PAUL at #28? T-Bone at #19? T-Bone was a major influence on every other guitarist who followed him. EVERY OTHER GUITARIST. This list was brought to us from former inmates at the Rolling Stone (magazine) Insane Asylum. If left completely to their own devices, they would have declared Bruce Springsteen, #1.

    • Doug Frosch

      December 3, 2014 at 11:08 am

      Trower for sure, top 10. Where is Roy Clark? And the guy Jimmy Hendrix one called the greatest guitarist in the world, Phil Keaggy?

      • Rob

        June 20, 2015 at 7:15 pm

        Roy Clark definitely should be on the list! And I don’t even like country!

        • Adam

          August 24, 2015 at 11:59 am

          I was hoping someone would mention Roy. I knew he was good, but I didn’t realize how good until couple of years just how good. Look up the episode of ” The Odd Couple” that he was on. Fantastic!

      • Ken Hink

        December 27, 2017 at 10:12 pm

        I agree with you on both Roy Clark and Phil Keaggy. I am a huge Roy Clark and I never seen him on any lists. Phil Keaggy also a wonderful guitarist.

    • Tex Arcana

      December 4, 2014 at 3:56 am

      I wouldn’t even include Gilmour, he’s just not that good. And the left Billy Gibbons off?? And where’s the metal contingent??

    • Ron

      January 2, 2015 at 12:05 am

      Steve Lukather, Joe Satriani, not mentioned. Jeff Beck Top Three all Time…

    • NikkiG

      January 4, 2015 at 7:19 pm


      Enough Said!


      Watch And You Tell Me…

      • EdD

        August 21, 2015 at 1:29 pm

        Would not have put Prince in this list a couple of years ago but that was a mistake. He is an awesome guitar player. Just listen sometime.

      • Deryk

        August 21, 2015 at 1:52 pm

        100% agree. A greatest guitarist list without Prince in the top 10 is not a greatest guitarist list. This is a list of rock and rollers only.

        • Nick

          October 26, 2016 at 12:34 pm

          Funny. This link appeared on a FB Eddie Cochran page…and Brian Setzer is nowhere to be found. Lame.

          • J.D.

            October 18, 2017 at 2:57 am

            SETZER please. Many call him the best living guitarist, I would agree.

        • Bill Shannon

          October 18, 2017 at 1:32 pm

          Eric Clapton was once interviewed after a concert and asked what it was like to be the best guitar player in the world.His reply was …You should go and ask Prince……..

          • Ken Hink

            December 27, 2017 at 10:15 pm

            I have heard about that interview and I gotta admit Prince was something else, way under appreciated as a guitiar player.

          • Jammin' Jeff

            February 3, 2018 at 11:27 pm

            That is completely false – Eric has always said that Buddy Guy is the greatest guitarist he’s ever heard. That Prince statement was a meme conjoured up right after Prince’s death. Prince was a gifted musician, and a very good guitarist. There is no best, unless every guitarist played the same exact music, and not even then – there’s different phrasing, different tone, emotion, etc… if he moves you, or inspiresyou, then he’s done his job…

    • BobB

      May 11, 2015 at 8:50 pm

      Where is Neal SCHON of Journey!!!!! Page as 2??? Page isn’t better than Clapton or Duane for that matter.

      • scot

        May 27, 2015 at 6:00 am

        your stupid

      • Jim Combs

        December 25, 2015 at 12:38 am

        I have to agree. Neil Schon is still incredible to this day.

    • Bruce Remington

      June 16, 2015 at 6:28 am

      The bullshit is that Robin Trower is not in the top ten (top 5 actually-maybe top 2…)….have a different order, but at least alot of the greats are in there – better than many of these lists that SOMEBODY comes up with…….Mick Box???

    • paolo

      June 20, 2015 at 9:42 am

      and Rik Emmett, Zakky Wilde, Randy Rhoads and Tony Iovine?

    • paolo

      June 20, 2015 at 9:47 am

      nothing about Steve Vai? Joe Satriani? John Petrucci?The Edge? Michael Schenker?

    • PooyCat

      June 22, 2015 at 12:07 am

      Me thinks this list is broken
      Really Slash at 46? WFH Man
      Gilmore at 21!?!?!?!?!
      Way wrong this list

    • Woodenhead

      June 22, 2015 at 3:36 am

      Theres so many left out and who would put Jerry Garcia and Johnny Ramone as hot guitarists? They wrote some great songs but really come on people. this is a list of something not sure what.

    • Doug

      July 21, 2015 at 7:58 pm

      where the hell is Alvin Lee this list is a complete JOKE!!LMFAO

      • Jbing

        August 21, 2015 at 3:18 pm

        Absolutely. Alvin should have been in the top 10 and Keith Richards couldn’t carry SRV’s guitar. Steve Howe and David Gilmour didn’t even make the list? Someone pulled this list out of their A$$.

      • red

        May 9, 2016 at 10:57 pm

        Any list lacking Alvin is trash.

        • john senker

          December 29, 2017 at 2:36 am

          agreed and Johnny Winter #47???? give me a break

        • Ed

          March 1, 2018 at 8:28 am

          Alvin Lee’s ‘No Limit’ The best playing his best.

      • Phil

        October 16, 2017 at 11:02 pm

        My thought exactly…Alvin Lee has to be in the top 50 somewhere!

    • Python

      August 20, 2015 at 11:42 pm

      The only reason these lists are ever compiled I would suggest is to create controversy/discussion. I’ve seen many of these Greatest Guitarist lists over the years with some truly laughable additions such as Kurt Cobain for example and as in this list Bo Diddley. I’m not sure exactly what motivated the compiler to add rhythm guitarists not remotely known for their ‘prowess’ amongst others known for their lead work even though a good rhythm guitar is worth their weight in gold but it sure does bring out the animal in people.
      Personally were I given the job of making a list I would clarify why people are included. I’d make it the Best Lead Guitar or Best Bassist or Rhythm. It’s not right to mix them up because they do a specific job within a band.
      Giving Hendrix such regular peak position is in my humble opinion probably not fair to him either as he was era specific and therefore was hailed because of his prowess and individuality but was he the best even then? Probably not. Even he admitted there were some he thought better than him. It’s all media hype after all. Since Jimi there have been many many superb guitarists and to pick one above another is after all personal opinion. If I were to add just one guitarist left out of this list I’d like to submit Jow Bonamassa, or Keith Urban or Phil Keaggy or, or, or……

      • Ian

        November 4, 2019 at 10:06 am

        I agree with you and would like to add one thing that is generally forgotten in this entire commentary (not limiting it to your entry) – and that is that the title actually states ‘Best Guitarists in Music: 50 Legendary musicians you need to know’. There is no mention about the music being rock music specific, punk specific, heavy metal etc. So what has happened to jazz, blues and of course that age-old phenomenon – classical. I see a lot of mention about British musicians such as Gilmour, Richard, Clapton, Blackmore, Townshend, Knopfler, The Edge, Page and Marvin and also across the ocean to US which supplied Allman, Campbell, Hendrix, Cobain, Didley, King and Benson to name a few. I do not see any mention (except in the Comments) about Walsh, Kottke or the Oceania group which includes Emmanuel, Young and possibly the best guitarist ever – John Williams. Sadly, Williams is a classical guitarist but his ability on the guitar wipes the floor of every one of these 50 ‘musicians’. Incidently, I am a rock music fan and a 60s-80s music lover.

    • Mark Lynn

      August 21, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      I agree,,,,, who ever made this list has a lot of nerve claiming that this list is the top 50, I disagree on the placement as well as the guitarist..

      • Robert Allen Bailey

        October 28, 2015 at 7:15 pm

        Who ever made this list, first of all, has no taste!!! And is probably not a guitarist!!! At least not one very knowledgeable about music theory!!! (Chord structure,chord relativity,substitutions,extensions,alterations,scales, or knowledge of the fingerboard!!! etc.) “Enough to be a judge in the first place!!!”

        • Jim BaneDog

          October 25, 2016 at 12:47 pm

          Alternatively, you could actually read the post and you will see in the second paragraph it says it is a poll of polls…. it’s called words. That you failed to read.

      • Jeroen Sluis

        March 29, 2018 at 11:11 am

        I agree. Forgotten are Jan Akkerman and The Hellecasters, Stochelo Rosenberg, Chet Atkins and many more!

    • Dave Arden

      August 21, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      A true farce if ever there was one. No Neil Young, Alex Lifeson, Joe Walsh etc. but they include Chuck Berry! My my, what on earth was this based on? If anyone ever saw the guitar showdown in Spain hosted by Brian May you would wonder how he made the list at all, and putting Jimmy Page at #2 really does take the biscuit.

    • Bob Shekerko

      August 24, 2015 at 11:40 am

      You’re right, the top ten is all out of whack! Hendrix should not be #1. Unless I missed it, Les Paul and Brian May aren’t on the list. I can think of tons of people that should be on the list before a few of these! Everybody knows Segovia is the best there ever was!

      • Don Nichols

        August 29, 2015 at 2:11 pm

        Thank you Bob……Segovia IS without a doubt the absolute best on acoustics. I once heard Eric Clapton remark that Mark Knopfler was by far the best electric guitarist ever. I agree. The list is one mans opinion……just not mine!

        • Ralph

          June 1, 2016 at 3:07 am

          J J Cale

      • Arthur

        October 29, 2015 at 6:54 pm

        You missed it. They’re both on the list. Rendering everything else you said completely irrelevant.

    • woodstock135

      October 26, 2015 at 10:01 pm

      You could never put a list together that would please anyone. I will always feel that Hendrix at #1 and Page at #2 is a given for me, after that my list changes drastically. I would rearrange, eliminate and substitute throughout this list and no one would agree. It is a pointless exercise in futility.

    • glenn webster

      October 27, 2015 at 11:25 am

      where is DUANE EDDY

    • Wes

      October 28, 2015 at 12:02 am

      I felt the same about Robin Trower, unique and one of the best.

    • Steve

      March 16, 2016 at 2:17 am

      How is Eric Johnson not on the list. And having Keith Richards ahead of Stevie Ray & Duane is a joke.

    • David Nelson

      March 21, 2016 at 6:50 pm

      Totally agree. Gilmour is Top 10, possibly Top 5. The author of the list is a Moron!

    • Janice

      April 29, 2016 at 4:53 pm

      This has some great people, BUT, you didn’t include Duane Eddy, Johnny Cash’e Tennessee Three,and most of all, Prince. James Burton deserved to be higher on the list too. he has played back up for so many people.

    • bobby Cotner

      April 29, 2016 at 5:04 pm

      Every guitar player alive has a different idea of who is the best guitar player. . It is all a matter of taste, like your taste in food. A list like this is moronic and is a liberals idea of what everyone should think, and that one size fits all. The liberal mind is screwed up.

      • Jim H.

        March 1, 2018 at 9:09 pm

        WTF does “liberal” (whatever that means) have to do with guitarists? Wrong platform, troll.

    • yrjö ikäheimo

      May 31, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      Where Trower really and where is Billy Gibbons

    • Dennis La Frinere

      June 16, 2016 at 4:14 pm

      Jeff beck!? …number 10? lmfaorotf

    • Brad Trimble

      July 23, 2016 at 4:23 pm

      keith richards at #5 are you fuggin kiddin me!

    • Darrell Parks

      July 24, 2016 at 4:13 am

      SRV is sixth? What a joke. Several bluegrass guitarists can flat burn the strings off a guitar, Cody Kilby for one.

    • JSN

      July 24, 2016 at 4:15 am


    • Patrick Longworth

      October 24, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      I don’t know who made the list but I am sure they are happy you read the story, came to the site and commented, though perhaps they would appreciate less insulting remarks from people. If many of us are unhappy with how they write or choose their criteria and artists, why do we continue paying attention? If we all stopped coming to the site then maybe they would try and improve or stop altogether?

    • ernie

      October 26, 2016 at 1:06 pm

      Duane Eddy not on the list, best guitarist ever.

      • paul rushworth

        October 18, 2017 at 9:59 am

        duane only copies hank marvin as most guitarist do,and most 60,s guitarist learned from reading bert weeden books,bert weeden ive seen live and the only guitarist who managed on stage on his own and played his own backing,

    • kirk

      October 27, 2016 at 7:14 pm

      Really top forty radio stars….ugh

    • James Barnaby

      August 4, 2017 at 10:57 am

      It’s a list of lists! Try reading the piece before you slag it off. Dick.

    • Ted Buchanan

      September 3, 2017 at 7:54 pm

      Mark Knopfler @ 17 what a joke who compiled this list ,mine Hendix/Peter Green/mark Knopfler no contest.

      • Edward

        February 26, 2018 at 10:40 am

        also Scotty Moore left out of the list?!?!?!… the inventor of rockabilly and Guitar that changed the World..

    • Keith ferguson

      September 8, 2017 at 11:23 am

      Everybody just take a step back! The current day blues guitarist Joe Bonomassa is the reigning king.Don’t let nostalgia cloud your opinion

    • Guitar

      October 16, 2017 at 10:44 pm

      Who made this list??where is Prince??????

    • Mgb

      October 17, 2017 at 4:47 am

      What about George Harrison & Keith Richards, they weren’t technically great but musically giants!

    • David

      October 17, 2017 at 5:18 am

      Ridiculous list. Missing too many greats, from Trower to Jeff Beck, Paco de Lucia, Leo Kottke, Phil Manzanera, and my personal favorite, Jan Akkerman.

    • robert proctor

      October 17, 2017 at 7:52 pm

      Where is Angus Young, he should be in the top 5 NO one can play like him.

      • Petr

        November 28, 2017 at 4:50 am

        The creator of several immortal riffs, which nearly EVERY single guitar player tried to play at least one time in his life, definitely deserves to be there.

    • Bruce

      October 17, 2017 at 8:46 pm

      Alvin Lee from 10 years after should be on this stupid list

    • Dave

      October 17, 2017 at 8:56 pm

      Seriously, Gilmour should be in the top 5 he’s my personal favorite guitarist. and in general Keith Richards is my favorite rock star of all time but number 5 he is not!

    • holly Robinson

      October 18, 2017 at 2:11 am

      where is Duane Allman and Derek Trucks? They belong in top 10

      • Scott

        September 5, 2019 at 12:23 pm

        Duane is #12 on the list…agree he should be higher.

    • Argyle

      October 18, 2017 at 3:55 am

      Ridiculous! Johnny Ramone beats out Albert King Peter Green and Johnny Winter… foolish!!!

    • Darrell

      October 18, 2017 at 2:33 pm

      Chuck berry top 10…………REALLY???
      AlvinLee, Frampton, Marriott, Randy Rhoads, plenty more that should have been there Probably at least 10-15 shouldn’t be on this list

    • alan

      October 20, 2017 at 3:59 am

      popularity contest…..

    • Muzzlehatch

      October 21, 2017 at 5:23 am

      How about Phil Keaggy and Joe Bonamassa

    • Roger C.

      November 18, 2017 at 6:34 pm

      where is Kirk Hammet? ? ?

    • Darrell Parks

      December 26, 2017 at 11:23 pm

      Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Cody Kilby, bluegrass but light up an acoustic. Unreal speed. Frank Merino, anyone? Usual click-bait article. SRV #5?????

    • Rich Curtis

      December 27, 2017 at 12:14 am

      These type lists are all so very subjective. Whoever made this list really should have explained the type of guitarists that were included. For example, this list obviously includes rhythmn guitarists, such as Bo Diddley & Keith Richards & a few others. Because whenever I think of the greatest guitarists, I generally only think of lead guitarists and I think most other people feel that way also. So, with that in mind, I would first remove them from the list.
      However, it is too difficult to limit the list to 50, let alone rank them. When I see Dave Gilmour ranked 21st though, I can only roll my eyes & wonder who made this list. Then of course, I read through many of the comments and some are just laughable, like Willie Nelson. Are you kidding me? And someone asked, what about John Mayall? He doesn’t play lead guitar, or guitar at all, for that matter.
      However, there are several glaring omissions that I can think of, that I believe should be on such a list as this. Such as:
      Derek Trucks
      Allen Collins
      Robin Trower
      Gary Rossington
      Luther Allison
      BB Chung King
      L. Ritenour
      Warren Haynes
      Otis Rush
      George Benson
      Vince Gill
      John Mayer
      Todd Park Mohr
      Brian Robertson
      Tinsley Ellis
      Billy Gibbons
      Toy Caldwell
      Ted Nugent
      Rick Derringer
      Alvin Lee
      Neil Schon
      Coco Montoya
      Tommy Castro
      Robbie Krieger
      Martin Barre
      Johnny Copeland
      I didn’t list these guys in any particular order, just off the top of my head and I’m sure there are a few others I forgot. And, I’m not suggesting that they all belong in the Top 50 list, just that they all deserve consideration & some may deserve to be on the list. I just don’t think such a list should include rhythmn guitarists because that doesn’t take as much skill as good lead does IMO.

    • JB Harris

      December 27, 2017 at 5:59 am

      Wtf Jerry Garcia #39! He wasn’t just a great guitar player, he was the leader of a nation. Dickey Betts 45!!! Com’on he was the Allman Bros’ instrumental backbone after Duane died.

    • Alucard

      January 25, 2018 at 6:24 pm

      What about George Kooymans he has been playing for 50+ years and still sounds great

    • A teunissen

      February 3, 2018 at 6:10 pm

      Fully agree Gilmour should be no. 4 or 5.

    • Jeff

      February 28, 2018 at 7:05 pm

      How about George thoroughgood

    • Craig

      February 28, 2018 at 8:21 pm

      And what about Michael Schenker?

    • Mark

      February 28, 2018 at 9:49 pm

      agreed He is the best Living guitarist Trower should be there also Joe Bonnamassa

    • Duane Stickney

      March 9, 2018 at 8:19 pm

      Yeah this is lame, Johnny Winter is # 47 WTH!!

    • Duane Stickney

      March 9, 2018 at 8:21 pm

      Johnny Winter is #47 Lame, this thing is B.S.

    • Bob

      March 10, 2018 at 10:26 pm

      Where is Terry Kath? Mick Taylor should be in the top 20. Even Keith called him a “ fucking virtuoso” sheesh Did I not see Prince ?

    • C Flynn

      March 11, 2018 at 6:05 pm

      Agreed on Dave Gilmour, has to be top 10. Keith Richards in at 5 seriously

    • Robert Tew

      March 28, 2018 at 9:59 am

      Why no Roy Buchanan….ap.palling

    • billy

      April 7, 2018 at 2:38 pm

      don’t forget Danny Gatton.

    • Richie Rich

      April 8, 2018 at 6:44 am

      Not well thought out where’s Stevie Vai, Kenny Wayne Shepheard, Joe Satriani I like Frampton but to put him over these three , cmon . What about Alvin Lee.

    • Gregory

      April 21, 2018 at 6:21 am

      Absolutely agree with Trower, always seems to be forgotten, strange, also no Michael Schenker?

    • Hubert Satheesh

      May 5, 2018 at 6:32 pm

      Absolutely. I second you. There’s none who comes even close to gilmour. His solos are surreal.

    • Kirk Higbee

      August 19, 2018 at 7:41 pm

      Slash needs to be ranked much higher on this list.

    • jude

      August 30, 2018 at 11:39 pm

      Ikr, Angus Young isn’t on here either, and Slash too

    • David Gilmour

      May 30, 2019 at 4:51 pm

      David Gilmour should be #1. The rest is just noise. And btw why you put him down as Dave Gilmour? Show some respect

    • Marios Pavlou

      September 5, 2019 at 5:44 pm

      No Tony Iommi the king of Riff? No Gilmour no Segovia and John Williams?


      September 7, 2019 at 5:02 am


    • Luis Pirato

      September 7, 2019 at 6:01 pm

      Horrible list!

    • SunofSaturn

      September 8, 2019 at 4:18 am

      Having Slash on this list over Robin Trower, Peter Frampton, Peter Green, Freddy and Albert King, and Leslie West is a crime against nature.

    • Frank Stevens

      September 11, 2019 at 5:24 pm

      I can’t believe Alvin Lee / Ten Years After wasn’t even mentioned.

    • john santamaria

      September 12, 2019 at 1:28 am

      For current musicianss, where’s Derek Trucks? He can mop the floor with a number of these players.
      Reaching back, its seems ridiculous to include Neil Young without including Stephen Stills (ahead of him)

    • Ron Saunders

      September 30, 2019 at 6:41 pm

      No Dave Gilmour WTF !!!!

    • Andy

      November 4, 2019 at 4:22 pm

      This is a trolling list right? See how worked up they can get us? Knopfler at 45, seriously? Albert Lee on the list but not Alvin? They made this list up from bands they like, nothing to do with actual guitar playing. NO ROY CLARK? Are they kidding? At least they have Chet Atkins…

    • Jason

      November 27, 2019 at 6:15 pm

      Yea really. Who made this list?? Glen Campbell but no Gilmore or Ace Frehley? I can think of many legends left off.

    • Stig Fölhammar

      December 2, 2019 at 2:29 pm

      How the hell can anybody make up a list of 50 excellent guitar player without having Michael Bloomfield, Mark Naftalin and David Gilmore on the list???


      December 29, 2019 at 8:25 pm

      and a list without Roy Buchanan is worthless. Sweet Dreams.

    • Kevin

      July 13, 2020 at 11:33 pm

      ANY list that does not have David Gilmour on it has absolutely NO credibility whatsoever!! He should have been minimum top 5!!!!!!!

    • Nikki S

      October 7, 2020 at 8:10 pm

      This. This ranking is a joke. DG more than deserves to be on this list, and top 10, and high. I wonder if Waters is behind writing it….

    • Dale

      October 9, 2020 at 12:14 am

      This list sucks! No angus Young and SRv at 23!!! Are u kidding me.

    • joseph ciccotelli

      March 20, 2021 at 5:01 pm

      What list doesn’t include Derek Trucks, Mike Bloomfield, Alvin Lee to name a few

  2. Diana Herberger

    November 29, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    A good list, but no list of great guitarists is complete without Gary Moore, Joe Walsh, John Fogerty, and Roy Buchanan! There are likely others as well.

    • Ace Duncan

      April 16, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      Joe Walsh! Of course!

    • Manie

      May 10, 2015 at 7:59 pm

      Totally agree about Gary Moore.

      • Allan

        August 24, 2015 at 8:44 pm

        Manie I agree. Any list without Gary Moore is a joke. No Gary Moore but they put Keith Richards in at 5. Pleeeeeeease! Richards should not even be in the top 50. If there is any doubt about Gary Moore do yourself a favour and watch the Blue Ray version of “Blues for Jimi” and if the compilers of this list are not sure maybe they should speak to Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox about how good Gary Moore was.

  3. Harry Schuitemaker

    November 29, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Rory Gallagher in 44 and Peter Green in 38 ? Hahahahahaha this list is made up by a drummer

    • Joe Dreibholz

      June 18, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      Totally agree. Rory Gallagher should be in the top Ten. It also misses Jethro Tull’s Martin Barre.

      • T. R. Smith

        June 22, 2015 at 8:05 am

        Or Mick Abrahams.. Tony Mcphee of the Groundhogs, he is credited with helping to inspire both punk rock AND metal/hard rock. There is a live version of “Split Part 2” where he does very incredible work and creates totally unique sounds and acoustically his tribute to John Lee Hooker (“Mr. Hooker, Sir John”), who he played with is remarkable.
        .. And Elmore James? To this day I have never heard anyone carry a slide up the neck of a guitar with the tone and power of Elmore. If Duane Allman were alive today I think he would agree.

  4. Tom

    November 29, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    it is usual, a popularity contest with no basis in who may actually be the best….which for anyone who has ever played guitar knows, a list that does not, and cannot exist…..

    • Joe Mezcal

      November 30, 2014 at 9:52 am

      Those are the wisest words I’ve ever read about these kind of list. Thank you good sir !

    • T. R. Smith

      June 22, 2015 at 7:33 am

      I’m with you on that one..

  5. Bernie

    November 29, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Where is Alvin Lee?

    • Steve

      November 30, 2014 at 4:36 am

      My thoughts exactly Bernie. Read the List twice w/ dismay, where is Alvin Lee?

    • Rick Felchlin

      December 23, 2015 at 11:33 pm

      Alvin Lee should at least be in the top ten & is #1 in my book

      • Craig

        October 16, 2017 at 7:10 pm

        The fastest I ever saw.

  6. Laird Clarke

    November 29, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    where is Robben Ford and Coco Montoya

    • Christopher Nowak

      October 28, 2019 at 4:19 pm

      I thought that you meant CARLOS Montoya but COCO Montoya also exists.

  7. Rick Boone

    November 29, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Some other worthies (certainly more so than some who made your list): Steve Howe, Todd Rundgren, Pat Metheny (!!!), Terry Kath, Steve Hackett, and Neil Young.

  8. Jose

    November 29, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    [sigh] Another predictable list of popular guitarists.

    “Hi, I’m Jimi Hendrix. I’ve been watching you guys and I think your guitarist is better than me.”
    – at Whisky a Go Go, 1968, speaking of Terry Kath of CHICAGO

  9. Mark

    November 29, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Trey Anastasio… Keller Williams.. Al Schnier.. Derek Trucks… Dicky Betts..Warren Haynes

    • Anastasia

      November 29, 2014 at 10:40 pm

      Warren Haynes is awesome!!!

  10. Rob

    November 29, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    No Angus Young? Who wrote this thing? While “some may not agree” applies with any list of this sort, there are too many glaring omissions for this to have any sort of credibility.

    • Bob Rowe

      December 1, 2014 at 10:06 am

      I totally agree 1000%!!! Angus McKinnon Young should be in the top ten of this list… this is bogus!!!

    • bryan williams

      December 1, 2014 at 9:22 pm

      Beat me to it…Angus rock god….. what jokers made this list?

      George Formby is better than half of these , and what about Bolan and Dave Hill,defining power chord rock of the seventies?

      And the guy that maybe started it all Robert Johnson.

      Poor this.

      • bryan williams

        December 1, 2014 at 9:36 pm

        oops..my bad,Robert Johnson is on.

  11. Rocky

    November 29, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Along with all the glaring omissions, Keith Richards is #5? He doesn’t even belong on the list

    • Anastasia

      November 29, 2014 at 10:40 pm

      excuse me?

    • DLW

      November 30, 2014 at 2:37 am

      Richards is right where he belongs. No one gets more different sounds from a guitar than Keith. Mick makes sure that he is the focal point of the Stones so they don’t have any long guitar solos like Zeppelin. Focus on the guitar instead of the vocals when you listen to the Stones & you will understand.

  12. seanx40

    November 29, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Missing Prince, Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Joe Bonamassa, Bonnie Raitt

  13. Bluzking

    November 29, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Hendrix I totally agree,Keith Richards ? NOT !!! Clapton and Page should change places, but for #4 ? Listen to CTA, or Chicago 2…Terry Kath was beyond outstanding,and so said Jimi

    • sth

      May 27, 2015 at 6:06 am

      bluzking is stupid. JIMMY PAGE SHOULD TOP ALL LISTS.

  14. Mike Steuber

    November 29, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    For the 50 named here, there are 450 more that could be named. The only way to get an absolute “Top” list, is to have all guitarist play the same “Sheet” music in their own style and then have a panel vote. Since that can’t and will never happen, lets just argue forever… (Where’s mention of Lindsey Buckingham)

    • Jakob

      December 3, 2014 at 12:32 am

      I’m surprised it took me this far down the list of comments to find mention of Lindsey, lol. Like the list makers said, everyone has their favorites and this is just theirs (obviously). That being said, the 2 names that popped into my head first that were missing were Lindsey Buckingham and Prince. Not my list though.

  15. Skydog

    November 29, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Duane at 7 Rolling Stone has him at 2 where he belongs.

    • Rob

      November 30, 2014 at 5:35 pm

      Anyone who has ever listened to the masterful guitar work that Eric Clapton and Duane Allman did on the album “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” would know who the more talented of the two is. Duane should be in top 2 and always ahead of Clapton on any list.

  16. G

    November 29, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    No Danny Gatton ? No Nils Lofgren ?
    Jeff beck at # 10? Duane Allman at #7.
    No Derek Trucks ?

    • Stuart

      December 2, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      I remember seeing Nils Lofgren in the early 70s in Grin. I don’t remember him so much for his great guitar playing, although he was really good. I remember he did a front flip off the top of his amplifier, guitar in hand wires and all. He played all the instruments on the stage and was really good at all of them. He was pretty amazing. These “top 50” lists can never make everyone happy. I personally would have put Jeff Beck number one, but who am I? One of these lists had Prince in the top 5. Can he even play? I remember him as a singer and an actor in a really stupid movie.

      • Geomcm

        November 30, 2017 at 11:06 pm

        Prince brilliant guitarist

    • Steve

      March 31, 2015 at 11:45 am

      Where is Danny Gatton, Steve Morse….the list is too short…..my God Danny was something.

      • swampfox

        October 26, 2015 at 2:00 pm

        just ask Les Paul who would eat everybody’s lunch ??? That be ” The Humbler ” Mr. Danny Gatton.

  17. Eugenio Garbin

    November 29, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Right list’s (my list):1° J.M. Hendrix , 2° J.Page, 3° E.Clapton, 4° J.Beck, 5° P.Green, 6° D.Allman, 7°M.K.Taylor. 8°S:Stills 9°J.Garcia 10°J.Winter.

  18. Gilson Marques

    November 29, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Did you forgoten Steve Vai, Joe Satriani? Rory Galegher is much better than others. Ha! Maybe do you know only this guys.

  19. Tim Love

    November 29, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    What about Steve Vai or Joe Satriani?

    • Skipper

      May 10, 2015 at 6:50 pm

      Listen to there guitar play and you will know why. G3 have made a live album with Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and John petrucci. This album should convince you who is the best guitar players in the world. Rank 1, rank 1 and rank 1, if they could.

  20. Karamba

    November 29, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    ovaj ko je ovo sastavio pojma nema…..

  21. Jimmy Goff

    November 29, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    Hank Marvin should be in the top 10 !!!!!!! Sheeeeesh !!!!!

    • Peter Friberg

      December 2, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      Dead right!

    • Joop

      December 2, 2014 at 8:03 pm

      Yes , I agree . Hank Marvin should be on the List too. The Shadows were the Godfathers of PopMusic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. John Nelms

    November 29, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    What a list, where is Peter Frampton

    • Henry

      December 1, 2014 at 10:34 pm

      Probably the same mental midgets @ the Crock and Roll Hall of Shame!!!

    • Lisa

      June 17, 2016 at 6:02 am


  23. Keith Luttrell

    November 29, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Jack White but no Roy Clark

  24. michael harper

    November 29, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    you need to take jack white & the edge off! where is leslie west!

  25. elisdad44

    November 29, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    I have glanced at these top 50 guitarist lists for well over three decades and no mater how objective (scientific?) or insightful any list maker claims to be, they pretty much always boil down to popularity/ trend factors and name recognition. I’ve seen over dozen of these guys live, most in there heyday, and some of my most memorable live guitar moments are by artists not even listed here. Certainly you can’t include everybody deserving, but I feel most could be much better at weeding out the fray. I almost never see Nil Lofgren or Glen Campbell on these lists even though they seem like rather incredible omissions to me. I know most contemporary lists thankfully no longer omit Richard Thompson or Eddie Hazel or even Peter Green, and would it would probably be impossible to try and include other truly deserving artists like Randy California, Andy Powell, Edgar Broughton, Peter Tolson, etc. Luckily though for us with advent of YouTube any one can go back and judge for themselves.

    • bren kelly

      December 2, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      Glen campbell is never mentioned in these lists..yet kieth richards always makes the top 5…dear god..HOW.??..rory gallagher down at number 40 something..u gotta be kidding.!!,,gilmore and knopfler should be in any top 10 list..along with Rory…these guys created something special in the way they played…so did Les paul and Djando reinhardt…..I once seen 1 of these lists in a rock magazine that had Noel Gallagher in the top 5..i shit you not.!!!

      • Bobby K

        January 20, 2018 at 11:34 pm

        What about Chet Atkins (dubbed “Mr. Guitar), Tommy Emmanuel, Terry Kath, Brad Paisley, and Albert Lee? These are serious heavyweights who have influenced countless players.

  26. matt

    November 29, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    To not have pat methany on the list proves you know nothing about music or guitar

  27. Matty Curtis

    November 29, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Carlos Santana should be in the top 5

  28. Declan

    November 29, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Am I completely ignorant on the subject or why does Marc Ribot’s name NEVER even come up when discussing these lists?? I think he is one of the most spectacularly distinctive & original guitarists I have ever heard? Maybe that’s the problem?

  29. Dave Putnam

    November 29, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    Chris Spedding did not make the list??? Big omission!

  30. Matte

    November 29, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    What a fuckin’ joke.

    Eric Clapton third?!?!?!

    David Gilmour 21th?!?!?!

    Where the fuck is CHRIS REA?


  31. Pike

    November 29, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Dickey Betts in 45 !!!, Rory Gallagher in 44!!!!!!!!, Peter Green in 38!!!!!!!!!.

    No Paul Kossoff, No Derek Trucks, No John Cipollina, No Gary Duncan. No Jeremy Spencer, No Gary Moore. What kind of list is this?

    • Gary Cuskelly

      November 29, 2014 at 10:32 pm

      Quite right. The Quicksilver Boys should be up near the top…..more people need to listen to “Happy Trails”!

    • Stuart

      November 28, 2017 at 2:24 am

      If you’re going to list all the Allman Brothers guitarists then you should add Warren Haynes to the list. He’s pretty damn good as well.

  32. Roger Peek

    November 29, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Keith Richards quoted relatively recently (talking to Mick Taylor) “it used to piss me off you could play like that”. Keith Richards no.5 and Mick Taylor no. 48? Go figure. And if you’re using “Flash” as representative of Keef’s prowess, let’s not forget that the riff is a bass one and Bill’s inspiration

    • James Young

      June 18, 2015 at 2:41 am

      Well guess who played bass on ‘Flash?” Yup, Keith did…look it up!

    • Andy Bage

      October 26, 2015 at 11:41 am

      Totally agree re Mick Taylor, also Peter Green and Santana too low and George Harrison too high. So many missing – especially Derek Trucks.

  33. Matte

    November 29, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Jimi Hendrix is the most overrated guitarist of all time along with Eric Clapton. So boring so you fall asleep.

  34. Paulie

    November 29, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Where is Tony Rice, Tommy Emmanuel or John Williams?

  35. André

    November 29, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    can’t see Steve lukather on there…

  36. Eddy

    November 29, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    How on earth can you have a top guitarist list without Peter Frampton, who has with ‘Frampton comes Alive’ probably the most played radio tracks ever because his guitar skills. Should be on the top ten!!. with Carlos Santana, and Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath). Dave Gilmore not in the top ten – yeah right! What an absolute rubbish list.
    Jimi Hendrick’s guitar noise is rubbish, no rhythm and hard to listen to, only ever had to good tracks (purple haze, all along the watchtower). It is just very ‘trendy’ to call him the best. I would rank him in the middle of your list.

  37. Dave

    November 29, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    Where is the master Al Di Meola? o.O

    • Roger Olsen

      December 2, 2014 at 2:59 pm


  38. phil s

    November 29, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Scientific like, Steve Morse won the guitar player poll 5 years running, one of the few who pulled that off

    In short, no shortage of phenominal players out there. I would add steve tibbetts for sheer originality. But if i tried to list my top 5, the list would have 20 names.

  39. Bruce

    November 29, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Why is Richie Blackmore at 29??? He should be in the top 5 minimum. One of the most influential guitarists of the last 40 years.. What about Yngwie Malmsteen?

  40. David

    November 29, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Wow. I can’t tell if this list is supposed to be serious or if it was put together to confuse real guitar fans. It’s a horrible list in any case.

  41. Mike Whitson

    November 29, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    James Burton only at number 42!!!!What a joke.He should of been in the top 10 if not the top 5!!!!
    Played with some of the greats of rock n roll and of course the greatest of them all:The king Elvis Presley

  42. Mark Arouh

    November 29, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    Where are Al Dimeola? Rick Derringer? Martin Barre? Adrian Belew? Steve Morse? I understand why people like Richard Johnson didn’t make the popularity list even though he is probably the best acoustic guitarist out there (Look him up). I left off names that appeared on other people’s lists. Women: what about April Lawton of Ramatam, possibly Lita Ford, A few years ago, Jeff Beck had a woman playing with him, I forget her name but she was excellent. No Harvey Mandel? Thanks for your lists out there. It gives me a few names to look up!

    • bob corbin

      November 29, 2014 at 10:41 pm

      The Reverend Billy Gibbons, Jeff”skunk”Baxter,Steve Windwood

    • Terry Tuckerman

      December 1, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      Jennifer Batten was the woman touring with JB and she traded lick got with him all night when I saw them. She was the guitarist on Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
      Also watch the Clapton crossroads DVDs and see J.J. CALE make Clapton grin and shke his head in disbelief.

  43. Chris

    November 29, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    Alex Lifeson should be on this list.

    • Carm

      November 29, 2014 at 10:55 pm

      The omission of Alex Lifeson is a fuking joke. If a poll of this supposed top 50 list was taken they’d all have Lifeson top 10. Bogus list!

    • Mark

      August 21, 2015 at 6:40 pm


  44. Neale Billett

    November 29, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    Whoever compiled this list is in need of some serious music education! Many of the artists on this list should never have been on in the first place!
    Among the many that should have made the cut,to name a few are,Glen Campbell(for whom the Ovation guitar was created),Steve Vai,Linsay Buckingham,Neil Schon,Chris Rea,Joe Satriani,Joe Walsh,Alvin Lee,Gary Moore……..come on!! If you try to put together such a list please do the homework. Here’s to the deserving axemen!!!!

    • Eddy

      November 30, 2014 at 8:11 am

      Totally agree with Lindsay Buckingham( Fleetwood Mac) The man is a genius with the guitar .

      • Ace Duncan

        April 16, 2015 at 2:51 pm

        Lindsay Buckingham, tragically underrated!

  45. Rick

    November 29, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    These lists are never really worth a crap…no Frank Marino…no Steve Hackett…no Robin Trower…no Gary Moore…putting George Harrison at 32 (what a joke…#1 is more like it)…no Jan Akkerman…no Steve Howe…no Satriani…no Steve Morse. Putting the Edge, Jack White and Johnny Ramone in proves this is a worthless piece of garbage…as usual.

  46. Shawn Geabhart

    November 29, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    I would make the argument that Wes Montgomery should be much higher on this list…he is one of the 3 most influential Jazz guitarists along with Django Reihardt and Charlie Christian.

  47. Peter Neski

    November 29, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    shows how stupid Rock guys who know nothing about Jazz really are Who on earth wrote this
    stupid thing???

  48. dave

    November 29, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    what a terrible list poorly done

  49. Lynne

    November 29, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    Ive seen a lot of players, and I don’t agree with this as well. One wrong entry is Johnny Winter at #47? I lived in Austin for 40 years from 1972 to 2012. You needed to have a call to all in your readership to list their faves, and then compare before making the final list. Jimi has a rep for being awesome, but it’s a lot of hype cuz he wasn’t #1. I agree that Robben Ford should be on there, and Stevie Winwood, Neil Young and what about Tony Hicks of The Hollies? And Doyle Bramhall ll?( I know him), also Shawn Pittman, and George Harrison IS one of the greats… Derek Trucks and Ry Cooder, Eric Johnson, and Eric Clapton should all be in the top 10, with Stevie Ray Vaughan (whom I saw hundreds of times) and Jack White really IS an awesome guitar player. Jimmy Page is in the top 5…actually I think Stevie is #1 and Page #2 followed by #5 Eric Clapton, #4 Ry Cooder, and #5 Duane Allman. Of course there are millions more, but these 5 are the tops. Also, I have to mention Bonnie Raitt, excellent slide guitarist as is Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall Jr. Doyle has been on tour with Eric, and he also did a stint with Bob Dylan as did Charlie Sexton. Jimmie Vaughan is also and excellent guitar player, just more understated as is his blues style. Thank you for reading, from AUSTIN TEXAS…Lynae ♪

  50. Lynae

    November 29, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    a lot of players, and I don’t agree with this as well. One wrong entry is Johnny Winter at #47? I lived in Austin for 40 years from 1972 to 2012. You needed to have a call to all in your readership to list their faves, and then compare before making the final list. Jimi has a rep for being awesome, but it’s a lot of hype cuz he wasn’t #1. I agree that Robben Ford should be on there, and Stevie Winwood, Neil Young and what about Tony Hicks of The Hollies? And Doyle Bramhall ll?( I know him), also Shawn Pittman, and George Harrison IS one of the greats… Derek Trucks and Ry Cooder, Eric Johnson, and Eric Clapton should all be in the top 10, with Stevie Ray Vaughan (whom I saw hundreds of times) and Jack White really IS an awesome guitar player. Jimmy Page is in the top 5…actually I think Stevie is #1 and Page #2 followed by #5 Eric Clapton, #4 Ry Cooder, and #5 Duane Allman. Of course there are millions more, but these 5 are the tops. Also, I have to mention Bonnie Raitt, excellent slide guitarist as is Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall Jr. Doyle has been on tour with Eric, and he also did a stint with Bob Dylan as did Charlie Sexton. Jimmie Vaughan is also and excellent guitar player, just more understated as is his blues style. Thank you for reading, from AUSTIN TEXAS…Lynae ♪

  51. Duncan Greaves

    November 29, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    Why I still get sucked into reading crap like this I’ll never know. If any of your favourites do not appear here don’t get overly upset. It’s just one persons misguided attempt to impress his own opinions on us. Now in my mid 60’s I’ve seen an awful lot of these people and some of them wouldn’t get into my top 50. One mans poison and all that.Gary Moore? Joe Walsh? or Joe Bonamassa? I could even argue a case for Albert Lee but what’s the point!

    • gary wiencek

      November 30, 2014 at 5:02 am

      I believe the list is one mans opinion only. You can add Peter White smooth jazz guitarist to the list and Tommy Emmanuel who has has much overall talent on a guitar of anyone living today.

    • David Hatch Snr

      November 30, 2014 at 12:04 pm

      I agree with Mr Greaves comments. Most of the best GUITARISTS are now dead and came largely from the jazz world. They were artists with a wealth of experience and talent behind them who didn’t need to yell into a mic. or distort every note they played. I have had the opinion for years that if your turned off the amplifiers of most rock musicians? they would be hard put to pick out a decent standard tune. Eric Clapton did somewhat restore my faith however in a BBC TV programme on the ‘Londonderry Air’ (Danny Boy) tune/song when he played a very agreeable acoustic version

      • John H

        February 28, 2018 at 4:58 pm

        I have to disagree. I have heard many a great rock guitarist turn their hand to other styles and acoustic. Joe Bonamassa can play anything – he can distort with best (Black Country communion) and play acoustic brilliance or blues or swing or whatever. But so can many and I heard Alice Cooper (who has worked with some great guitarists) say that Alex Lifeson could play any style and play anything you asked him to.

  52. Dave Kebs

    November 29, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    Did I miss something? is this the top 50 guitarists or the top 50 over 50’s guitarists? No Guthrie Govan, no Jon Gomm? Too young?

    • Mike

      November 29, 2014 at 11:24 pm

      My worthless opinion. Stevie should be top three, ahead of Clapton. Keith Richards? I would slide Keith of not only the oldest rock and roll band but also the hands down most overrated down to 50 on a good day and that’s only if I am in a good mood. Jimmy Page down a few. Hendrix works. Trower would be way up there and Gary Moore too.

  53. Fred Truman

    November 29, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    Johnny Winter at number 47 ? Seriously ? No Alvin Lee, Stephen Stills or John Fogerty and have you ever listened to Down By The River ?

    • George Dudley

      November 29, 2014 at 11:19 pm

      Right , Alvin Lee was Awesome !!!

  54. Christian Wasell

    November 29, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Where is Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser from Blue Oyster Cult, you dimvits?!

  55. George Dudley

    November 29, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Where the hell is Alvin Lee of Ten Years After ????? Alvin Lee was awesome !!

  56. Walter

    November 29, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Wes Montgomery should be #1, not #43. No offense, but most of the people on the list, including Jimi Hendrix, are/were rock guitarists and don’t have any idea on how to improvise using diatonic scales. They’re playing blues ideas in Bb and E. It’s like the difference between swimming in a pool and the ocean.

    • Christopher Nowak

      October 27, 2019 at 12:26 pm

      I believe that CARLOS SANTANA should get credit for introducing the modes to rock music (mostly DORIAN).
      He is also a great composer (EUROPA).
      This a song that I play and I know that Jimi Hendrix could never write a song like this.

  57. Hugh Janus

    November 29, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Some really silly choices… Isn’t this supposed to be about true guitar playing prowess, innovation, and musical chops? You just made this into a subjective popularity test.. Counter points: Chuck Berry was a monster in rock n’ roll but his repetitive simplistic riffing does not make him a great guitar player.. Carlos Santana has been playing the same riffs and latin infused notes forever, but he is hardly a master at anything other than his sound.. Tommy Iommi…a great master of Black Sabbath rock sounds, but hardly a major master of the instrument.. I could go on and on about the silliness of these choices, but this is not a very good list.

  58. Ted Bair

    November 29, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    Johnny Smith…enough said.

    • Edgar Martin

      February 8, 2018 at 9:56 pm

      Now, you’re talking! Very clean & precise execution! Others prominently to mention (not in any of these comments: Kenny Burrell, Jimmy Raney, Pat Martino, Joe Pass, Jim Hall, Laurindo Almeida…but the greatest, bar-none is Andre Segovia! All the above had excellent technique, but also employed something much more…taste! Buddy Emmons (steel) should be mentioned also.

  59. Glenn

    November 29, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    where is Adrian Belew?

  60. A Buffoon

    November 29, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    What about Kaki King?

  61. Simon

    November 29, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    Can’t take this serious as it’s all subjective. But when you don’t have people as Al Di Meola, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Roben Ford, John Scofield Frank Gambale, or Scott Henderson on your list you can’t have listen much music. Maby you like Keith Richards but objecive there are thousends better then him.

    • Dirk Jirky

      December 1, 2014 at 1:22 am

      You mentioned very, very worthy guitarist. All incredible in their own right. Al Di Meola is one of my personal favorites. However, I’m going to have to disagree about Keith Richards. Aside from the fact that he plays in one of the greatest bands in history, his influence as a guitarist is greater than all of those guys combined. Sorry, but no Keith Richards, no some of the greatest songs and music in rock history.

  62. Jay Careaga

    November 30, 2014 at 12:11 am

    Where is Steve Lukather?

  63. Jeff

    November 30, 2014 at 12:28 am

    Are you kidding me? Anyone that rates Johnny Ramone ahead of Wes Montgomery can’t be taken seriously.

    • Rich

      November 30, 2014 at 12:34 am

      You man anyone who lists him period. Love the Ramones, but it’s simple fun music to the point of them being a parody when it comes to only using 3 chords. Sure they had songs that broke the mold, but nothing that would make him a guitar god.

  64. Joe Cogan

    November 30, 2014 at 12:36 am

    Jack White? Effing seriously?

  65. David G Parr

    November 30, 2014 at 1:09 am

    Am I the only one that puts Jummy Page at number one? Also; Tony Iommi above Dave Gulmour and Ritchie Blackmore? He IS the Riff Master General, I suppose!

  66. Mike Vee

    November 30, 2014 at 1:11 am

    This is a joke, right?

  67. Phil Smith

    November 30, 2014 at 1:14 am

    How about Andres Segovia,Zakk Wylde, and one of my all time favorite performers Steve Miller!!!!

  68. John Comet

    November 30, 2014 at 1:22 am

    Chet Atkins?

  69. paul

    November 30, 2014 at 1:26 am

    having Frank Zappa mentioned made sense to me

  70. peter harding

    November 30, 2014 at 3:07 am

    I agree having seen all of these plus you could make up any list to your choice so lets just enjoy them

  71. Kim Tanner

    November 30, 2014 at 3:48 am

    No Alex Lifeson on the Top 50? Are you fFFFFFn’ kidding me?
    He was number #3 in Guitar Player’s Poll and there was half a million voters.
    And Jimmy Page ahead of Eddie Van Halen? I’m a Zep fan since 1970’s but there’s no way Jimmy should be ahead of Eddie. This list is a complete joke.

  72. Mike

    November 30, 2014 at 4:01 am

    Scotty Moore not on list renders it invalid…

  73. Jack L.

    November 30, 2014 at 4:50 am

    Where is Andy Powell ??? No one heard Persephone or Argus album ???

  74. A. Thomas Fenik

    November 30, 2014 at 5:46 am

    Not my favorite genre, but where are the shredders? Malmsteen, Vai, Satriani? Astoundingly talented and typically pushing the envelope.

  75. Terry J. Erdmann

    November 30, 2014 at 5:49 am

    Joe Pass. Tommy Emmanuel. If you don’t know who these brilliant musicians are you should trade in your computer for a janitor’s broom.

  76. Kev

    November 30, 2014 at 7:53 am

    I know it’s always hard to make a list to include every possible genre, but it’s clear that classical guitarists like John Williams didn’t get a look in, probably due to the choice of resources. Then there’s flamenco… and I’m surprised that crossover maestros like Paco de Lucia aren’t mentioned.
    Oh, and Pat Metheny, anyone?
    There’s my personal favourite, Andrew Latimer.

  77. Martin

    November 30, 2014 at 7:59 am

    I think that today there should not be missing Joe Bonamassa

    • Rob

      November 30, 2014 at 5:22 pm

      Until Joe Bonamassa recognizes that less is more and that playing guitar is not about “showing off” he will not be on any credible list.

  78. Cesar

    November 30, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Where’s Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen, Carlos Santana, Steve Vai, Steve Lukather, Petrucci, Al di Meola, this list of 50 great guitarist is incomplete without them!

  79. labmarp

    November 30, 2014 at 8:33 am

    ja, cesar, i like your additions, and whatever anyone thinks of his name, buckethead should be somewhere on the list, as should criss oliva.

  80. Tony

    November 30, 2014 at 8:51 am

    No Bill Nelson or Buck Dharma??? Boot the Edge and Jack White to make room for real guitarists!

  81. Rune S

    November 30, 2014 at 9:45 am

    A list made by people who like old school rock and blues. Its a joke. Johnny Ramone the 35. best guitarist in the world? Ha-ha. Where is Steve Lukather, Jay Graydon, Marty Friedman, Paul Gilbert, Tommy Emanuel, Eric Johnson, Joe Bonamassa, John Scofield, Steve Vai etc. This is just silly.

  82. Djmammo

    November 30, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Change the title to Most Influential and it might be more accurate.

  83. k

    November 30, 2014 at 11:06 am

    seems like there are no dutch guitar players, this list is more like a joke

  84. Kiril

    November 30, 2014 at 11:28 am

    What about Yngwie Malmsteen?

  85. steve

    November 30, 2014 at 11:50 am

    this is a list of 50 great guitarists and not in everybodies correct order but hey they are great guitarists

  86. Sergio Luiz Labres

    November 30, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Uma lista dessas sem Angus Young? Desculpe-me mas é totalmente questionável sua credibilidade….

  87. Greg Taylor

    November 30, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Glaring omissions… Otis Rush , Ike Turner and Wayne Krame,r all important progenitors and stylists . That’s 3 to be going on with

  88. Gordon

    November 30, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    The list is not too bad. Yes there are many that didn’t make the cut. But their are many that should have. First two I expected on this list ere Atkins and Less Paul, and was happy to see them there. Was extremely surprised not to see a man who influenced more modern guitarists then any other and deemed deemed a guitar legend in the 70’s and 80’s, Michael Schenker. Hell, he was the guy Eddie Van Halen copied and picked up up a guitar because of. This list it good though because while some listed are not great guitarists, yo seemed to list guys that also changed the way it was played as well. While Trower, Hendrix, Marino, and Vaughan, all played ands similiar style, it was hendrix that made the style, others were clones as good and so they may have been. That to me is where Hendrix makes the list over them. Surprised no Steve Vai, Roy Clark, Paul Kossoff, to name to name a few who change guitar playing as we know it, made the cut.

    • Lonesome Dave

      November 30, 2014 at 3:40 pm

      No Michael Burks and Rory Gallagher is in the forties? Do you people know anything about guitar players? No Joe Walsh? I can go on for hours.

  89. Kevin Mangold

    November 30, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    A list of this sort cannot be taken seriously if it omits Phil Keaggy – a virtuoso on the guitar who remains criminally underappreciated.

    • Gladys Brierley

      December 7, 2014 at 12:50 am

      YES TO PHIL KEAGGY!!!! Jimi Hendrix even said when asked who was the best guitarist in the world? “Some Christian cat upstate NY.” I will always love Hendrix the best because he was like in a league all of his own, served his country, so deep in perception and joy and so misunderstood I think, sort of like Elvis, in a league of his own.

  90. Steve

    November 30, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    What…no Alvin Lee?!

  91. Ashley

    November 30, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    No Segovia!?!

    • Bill B

      May 11, 2015 at 10:55 am

      Yes, Andres Segovia HAS to be on the list and near the top. I saw him in 1970 at age 80. Seven encores at the Masonic Auditorium in SF. I cried like a baby when he played. But I will always go with Jimi Hendrix #1. Saw him 3 times in SF – mind blowing to say the least. Guitar playing was never the same after him. And Robert Johnson needs to be somewhere on this list. Another revolutionary player. I wouldn’t put Clapton third, but he’s in the top 20. I think he peaked with the Bluesbreakers. I’d rank Mike Bloomfield a lot higher. Lots of other favorites were left off too, like Joe Pass. Oh, well. Such is the nature of these lists.

    • GP

      October 18, 2017 at 3:39 am

      Precisely! The very best.

  92. Josephine

    November 30, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    When David Gilmour is playing his guitar, it is like watching poetry in motion, especially when he does his guitar solo in “Comfortably Numb” nobody comes remotely close to him-and where is Gary Moore, as I said in a reply further up, Gilmour should be number 1.

    • Jason

      December 14, 2016 at 9:49 pm

      Agreed – Gilmour is the greatest. He’s not the fastest, but can certainly work the strings as quickly and complex as called for. BUT … when you hear & feel the notes he plays, it is truly like being transported to an otherworldly place. Lead, Slide, Acoustic – as well as Bass, keyboards, sax, etc. NOBODY can replicate his sound. I would put Beck at #2 – he’s the only other player who can move mountains with a single note and a whammy bar. After that, there’s really a jumble of greats grouped together – Trower, Anastasio, Vai, Vaughn, Page, Hendrix, Malmsteen, Metheny, Dimeola, West, Howe, Hackett, Benson, etc.

      I’ve NEVER thought that much of Clapton …

  93. Manolito

    November 30, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    I doesn’t make any sense to mix jazz and rock guitarists. Wes Montgomery and Django Reinhardt were outstanding, innovative and style-shaping musicians which belong on top of any list. But then you would have to consider JoePass, Herb Ellis, Tal Farlow etc. etc. as well – so better separate jazz, rock, flamenco and classic. Otherwise Paco de Lucia would be n°1.

  94. Ron Frierson

    November 30, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Where is Al Dimeola , how did Keith Richards beat out Chuck Berry Fucked up made up list.


    November 30, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Do not insert Todd Rundgren is a serious lack

  96. NicoNL

    November 30, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    John Petrucci should be listed on #1

  97. Felix

    November 30, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    The greatest guitar layers… and you forget Paco de Lucía, just to remember one of many really great guitar players…

  98. Lonesome Dave

    November 30, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    No Michael Burks and Rory Gallagher is in the forties? Do you people know anything about guitar players? No Joe Walsh? I can go on for hours.

  99. Arthur Sprinczeles

    November 30, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Hey I have no clue who makes up these lists but why isn’t Jeff Beck in the top five. He is always been one of the best. I have seen many of the people on this list and feel like you put a bunch of names in a hat and pulled them out. Where do you get off not putting Beck in the top 5. There is no one on the whole list except for Zappa that is more creative then Beck.

    • Keat

      December 1, 2014 at 1:37 am

      Very good point about the creativity of Beck and Zappa . . . Very few players can do what Jeff Beck does in multiple styles (the man is still doing it!) Page, Clapton, and a host of others on the list are accomplished within a narrow range of styles (and don’t venture far beyond that limited scope). Lists like these are just as narrow. Jerry Garcia was supremely creative on stage–what an imagination he had. I Also don’t recall seeing Bill Frisell on the list, and Wes Montgomery is–to my taste–deserving of a much higher rating. So many others are–in my view–missing or misplaced. Oh well, we shouldn’t be surprised that a list is a matter of taste.

  100. Norm

    November 30, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Eric Clapton is my all time favorite artist but Joe Bonamaasa should be on this list.

    • Norm

      November 30, 2014 at 3:43 pm


      • Dano

        November 30, 2014 at 5:21 pm

        just my 2 cents: Top 10:
        10. David Gilmour
        9. Pete Townsend
        8. Joe Walsh
        7. Jack White
        6. Keith Richards
        5. Jeff Beck
        4. Duane Allman
        3. Eric Clapton
        2. Joe Bonamassa
        1. Stevie Ray Vaughn

    • Dano

      November 30, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      agree! Any list without Bonamassa is bogus!

  101. David

    November 30, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    List is a fraud. I would never pass it on.

  102. Lonesome Dave

    November 30, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Just on a whim, my top ten would be Duane Allman, Jeff Beck, Rory Gallagher, Chet Atkins, Michael Burks, Johnny Winter, Jimi, Freddy King, Jimmy Page, and Roy Buchanan. I could argue with myself on at least a dozen more that belong in top ten.

  103. Rob

    November 30, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Every “greatest guitar player” list should incorporate one simple rule…Duane Allman in the top 5!

  104. Colder Winters

    November 30, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Where is John Cipollina ? With his trademark style he SHOULD be on there

  105. G@ry

    November 30, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    This list is just someone’s opinion. If any of you made a top 50 list, I’m sure there would be many people disagree with you. Even if you made it a top 100 list. There would always be someone to ask why they left off whomever. Probably the hardest thing to do here is rank the top 50.

  106. RDF

    November 30, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Anyone who knows how to play guitar or who even has an ear for guitar playing knows full well that Keith Richards sucks as a guitar player. He has been playing warmed over Chuck Berry riffs his entire career, and he doesn’t know how to play lead guitar worth a damn. To place him in the Top 50 and leave out true guitar wizards like Gary Moore and Joe Bonamassa is the height of stupidity and the perfect example of tone-deafness.

  107. FlaSwampkat

    November 30, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Randy California, Roy Buchanan, Nils Lofgren, Danny Gatton, & Waddy Wachtel!!!! Jez Sayin!

    • janet

      December 2, 2014 at 1:49 am

      Absolutely Danny Gatton. And how about Roy Buchanan and Duane Eddy?

    • Janet

      December 2, 2014 at 1:56 am

      Absolutely Roy Buchanan — best ever. Also Danny Gatton. And how about Duane Eddy and Jonny Lang? Add also Peter Frampton & Marty Stuart.

  108. Rick

    November 30, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Where is Steve Vai, Eric Johnson

  109. Joe

    November 30, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Four words…Gary Green,Adrian Belew!

  110. Trappercreek

    November 30, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    another list compiled by someone who never played guitar.
    No Rev. Gary Davis? No Tommy Emmanuel?

    I could go on…


    November 30, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Plenty of names left off this list, but no Gary Moore?

  112. sultans

    November 30, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    My top 10 :

    10-Mark knopfler
    9-Mark knopfler
    8-Mark knopfler
    7-Mark knopfler
    6-Mark knopfler
    5-Mark knopfler
    4-Mark knopfler
    3-Mark knopfler
    2-Mark knopfler
    1-Mark knopfler

    • Lathebiosas

      December 2, 2014 at 6:11 pm

      I’m with ya brother.

    • Rémy

      December 2, 2014 at 6:27 pm

      +1 !!

    • Telegraph

      December 3, 2014 at 9:01 am

      +100 to you

    • Tamra

      December 24, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      Master Mark Knopfler …Number 1..No Doubt about it!!!!

    • Christopher Nowak

      October 28, 2019 at 5:52 pm

      My top 10: SHE BLOWS EVERYONE AWAY INCLUDING ALAN HOLDSWORTH (look at my comment way below).
      10-Tina S 3-Tina S
      2-Tina S
      1-Tina S
      9-Tina S
      8-Tina S
      7-Tina S
      6-Tina S
      5-Tina S
      4-Tina S

      • Christopher Nowak

        October 28, 2019 at 5:56 pm

        Sorry about the number scrambling. For some reason, I could not do the order properly.

  113. John

    November 30, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    No Frank Marino, Tommy Bolin, Andy Powell, Steven Wilson? Yipes!!

  114. Joe Strato

    November 30, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    I like the list but where the hell am I?!!
    I’m brilliant.

  115. James

    November 30, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    How do you start an argument? Publish a list of world’s best guitarists!

  116. J. Howard

    November 30, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    Bo Diddley – Hands down.. no contest with Chuck Berry right behind!

  117. Ty

    November 30, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Man, what is this??? A hookup for “Spotify”? There may be some good guitar solos on this list, but most of these noted guitarists are not the greatest in rank order. The selected recordings are just some ok cuts played one time only. A musician’s playing across his/her body of work is what should be considered…What list does not even rank George Benson? Sad. This is “Bull”! By the way, for your insight or hearing…Wes Montgomery outplays everybody on your list.

  118. Larry Masterson

    November 30, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Three of the top fifty aren’t even listed, and all three are at the top of their game and in the midst of remarkable careers. I’m talking about Warren Haynes, Jimmy Herring, and Derek Trucks. And as far as greatest ever, it has to be Clapton. Hendrix just didn’t live long enough.

    • Shane

      February 18, 2015 at 10:17 am

      Clapton the greatest ever?
      He was an ok blues player, but nothing more. Hendrix wasn’t great either, just relied on his party tricks to impress people.
      Neither would make my top 50.

  119. Damian

    November 30, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Mark Knopfler 17!!! witch clown put this list together!!! just watch dire straits live in 85 wembley watch his fingers!!!!! 17!! wot a joke!!!

  120. Laszlo Jakabfi

    November 30, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    I would also include Hank Marvin of The Shadows.

    • Peter Friberg

      December 2, 2014 at 7:43 pm

      Dead right!

  121. Albert

    November 30, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    Mike Oldfield, David Gilmore. The list is biased. Very off.

    • bludognz

      December 2, 2014 at 6:55 pm

      I was wondering when someone would put Mike Oldfield in he’s a true stylist increadable player highly under rated imho . Maybe BB king, definitely Tommy Emanuel he’s incredible fancy putting Keith Richards above him as a guitarist? Yes as a popular musician but skill wise ? Nope.

  122. Robert

    November 30, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    since everyone is throwing out there favorites, here’s mine Nokie Edwards and Hank Marvin, with out these guys, rock and roll may have died,,,, just saying… my 2 cents

    • Peter Friberg

      October 27, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      Well spoken!

  123. Mike

    November 30, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    Read the heading and thought to myself if Django Reinhardt and Robbie Robertson aren’t in the top 10 then the list is crap. Django made 26th but Robbie didn’t even rate a mention!

  124. dori

    December 1, 2014 at 1:46 am

    My Rock Guitarists List (not Jazz/fusion list):
    1.Jimi Hendrix
    2.Mark Knopfler
    3.Carlos Santana
    4.Eric Clapton
    5.Duane Allman
    6.Stevie Ray Vaughan
    7.Ry Cooder
    8.Jeff Beck

  125. Jerry Walters

    December 1, 2014 at 2:33 am

    Where is Joe Bonnamassa? Not even honorable mention? This is not even a credible list.

  126. Tom R

    December 1, 2014 at 6:13 am

    WOW! I know these things are all subjective, but there is a serious lack of guitar knowledge here. Keith Richards #5? Maybe put a “1” in front of that “5”. No Billy Gibbons, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Joe Bonamassa, Randy Rhoads, Angus Young, etc.?

  127. Tbone

    December 1, 2014 at 6:49 am

    Freddie King. Anson Funderburgh.

  128. Roald Bratkov

    December 1, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Lowell George, Big Bill Broonzy, Derek Bailey,Joe Pass, John Scofield, Mike Stern, George Benson, Billy Jenkins , what are you thinking about

  129. Roald Bratkov

    December 1, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Alvin Lee, Al Di Meola, Adrian Belew, Marc Rebot…

  130. John Tennison

    December 1, 2014 at 6:02 pm


    It’s amazing how many people have obviously not even bothered to read the OPENING PARAGRAPHS ABOVE and decided that this is one person’s opinion. Or that of this website.

    It’s an amalgamation of other lists. Get it??

    If your favourite guitarist isn’t here, it’s because he wasn’t on the other lists!!

  131. luis

    December 1, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    And …Paco de Lucía…???

  132. jeff

    December 1, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    Buck Dharma (Donald Roeser) of Blue Oyster Cult. Most underrated guitar player from the most overlooked band.

  133. Janet

    December 2, 2014 at 2:02 am

    Roy Buchannan (ultimate), Danny Gatton, Duane Eddy, Jonny Lang, Marty Stuart, Peter Frampton…

  134. Mike Collalto

    December 2, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Randy Rhoads should have been included

  135. keith

    December 2, 2014 at 11:31 am

    you missed out the best of all and that is easily Gary Moore

  136. blaža

    December 2, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Radomir Mihajlović-Točak,Vlatko Stefanovski

    • Jack

      December 2, 2014 at 11:42 pm

      Good call! Both of them should have be in the Top 50. I remember Sting calling Vlatko Stefanovski the best guitarist in the world (obviously that’s a huge stretch) and David Knopfler once said he was better than Mark. Radomir Mihajlovic is even better. He should easily be in the Top 5.

  137. mark v

    December 2, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Best for me are knopfler gilmore rea landreth.. Just love the sounds that come out. Especially Knopfler.

  138. Donal Mc Fadden

    December 2, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Where’s Robert Cray and Joe Walsh? The late Gary Moore would have blown half of the names off the list.

  139. Joana Dantas

    December 2, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Greatest guitarists ever? So… Where is Gary Moore?

  140. Chombier

    December 2, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    WTF !!!
    Knopfler 17 it’s a joke or what ?
    And alvin lee is a peace of shit ?

  141. Mauro

    December 2, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Where is Tommy Emmanuel ? Richard Bennett? Tony Rice? Marty Stuart? Randy Scrugg? And Chet Atkins should be Number 1. Wonder why Jimmy Hendrix is always the first (he shouldn’t)

  142. Joana Dantas

    December 2, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Greatest guitarists ever? So… Where is Gary Moore? And why is Stevie after Keith Richards?

  143. John Sims

    December 2, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Chris Spheeris, Colin Linden, Gary Moore, Joe Bonamassa, Lindsey Buckingham & Al di Meola. Chuck Berry & Keith Richards as 2 of the 10 best guitarists?? Man, what have you been smoking?

  144. John Sims

    December 2, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Chris Spheeris, Colin Linden, Gary Moore, Joe Bonamassa, Al Di Meola & Lindsey Buckingham should be considered. Chuck Berry & Keith Richards as two of the ten best guitarists?? No way! Not even in the top fifty!

  145. Peter

    December 2, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    I think John Mayer should be there along with Prince

  146. Mika

    December 2, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    No John Frusciante?!?!?! What a joke…!!!

  147. Marco

    December 2, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Seriously? Frank Zappa is supposed to be a BETTER guitarist than Mark Knopfler?
    Whoever made this poor list, has obviosly never played a single note on a guitar.

    • Likah

      October 18, 2017 at 9:56 am

      and did you ever played guitar my boi ? ;p
      Mark Knopfler, is a better guitarist than Zappa ? if you realy think so you might want to listen more of Frank’s music and try to remove your finger from you ears when you do, i know when you listen to knopfler it doesn’t change much, but that’s not how you listen to music you know ^^

  148. Uros

    December 2, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    John Frusciante

  149. AJB

    December 2, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    How come Don Felder is not in the list

  150. WolfordsDen

    December 2, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    What?? No Bonamassa, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Lindsey Buckingham, BonnieRaitt?? I’m sure if it wasn’t pre-coffee hour I could think of 50 more that are NOT on the list!!

  151. Jack

    December 2, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    You also forgot Terry Kath.

  152. Håkan Kilander

    December 2, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    George Thorogood, did you forget him ?.

  153. Andy

    December 2, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Wtf are you lot smoking ?????????? Gilmour 21st ????? fucking idiots ….

    • Jason

      December 14, 2016 at 9:56 pm

      I’m with ya on this … brain damaged list

  154. Paul

    December 2, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    These greatest guitarist things are always complete and total horse shit, popularity is just one aspect of being a great guitarist, there are guys that are not on this list that destroy everyone on the list.

  155. Gabriel

    December 2, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Really???? … Where is Yngwie Malmsteen ???

  156. osvaldo galli

    December 2, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Where is Don Felder… For me one fo the best…

  157. Thomas

    December 2, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    ..missing Colosseum’s Dave “Clem” Clempson, just listen to his awesome guitar solo on Lost Angeles (Colosseum Live)

  158. Meh

    December 2, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    So many great guitarists get overlooked in lists like this.

    For some unknown reason, Hendrix always seems to make the top spot, which gets rather dull after a while. He was ok, but not THAT good. Stevie Ray Vaughan could play everything Hendrix could and more, but even he shouldn’t be at the top of the list. Many of the people complaining want blues players added, which is fair enough, but there are other genres out there which seem to take a backseat all too often for blues players in these sorts of lists.

    Glaring omissions from this list in my opinion are as follows: Roy Buchanan; Danny Gatton; Albert Lee; Brian Setzer; Malcolm Young (why do they all need to be lead guitarists?); Mick Green; Jimmie Vaughan; Sonny Landreth; Arlen Roth; Eddie Cochran, and Buddy Holly.

    • Benroo

      November 30, 2017 at 6:06 pm

      Hank only came after the Ventures.

  159. beto

    December 2, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Where is Paco de Lucía?

  160. Dja

    December 2, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    I know better than to care about any “top list”. But a self-proclaimed scientific list implies the so called list is inarguably true, based on “proven” facts and is preserved from the bias of subjective preferences.
    Please, teach me this science by which you could leave out Satriani ?! Is he less of a virtuoso than Zappa ? Is he less technical than B.B. King ?
    I just can’t seem to figure out at what level these 50 guitarits are best at ?!

  161. Sunny

    December 2, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Slash from Gn’R in 46?
    Who’s made this list,he must be smoking some thing…
    It’s a fake list of his own favourite people in order

  162. George Hussey

    December 2, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    So, what’s Lenny Breau, chopped liver? Listen to his duets with Chet Atkins. Hard to discern any one better.

  163. benny borg

    December 2, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    No John Petrucci or Steve Vai… This list is void.

  164. Carmen

    December 2, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    JOE SATRIANI!!!!!!!

  165. Kunami

    December 2, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Where the fuck is Angus Young? Billy Gibbons? David Gilmour? Joe Satriani? Steve Vai?

  166. Nick

    December 2, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    3 words……woman……Yasi Hofer

  167. Ferrugem

    December 2, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Mark Knopfler should be on top 10. Angus Young and Billy Gibbons should be at top 30, at least.

  168. Jacob Tarring

    December 2, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    As an avid lover of guitar music, this makes me angry. I’m not going to reel off a list of better guitarists as I everyone has their favourites, the only one I agree with is Jimi Hendrix at No 1. The rest are all over rated. I could re-right this list with over 100 better guitarists even before and of this top 50 even got a look in. It’s a list clearly made up to piss real music lovers off, and to get people to visit their website.

  169. Jacob Tarring

    December 2, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    As an avid lover of guitar music, this makes me angry. I’m not going to reel off a list of better guitarists as I everyone has their favourites, the only one I agree with is Jimi Hendrix at No 1. The rest are all over rated. I could re-right this list with over 100 better guitarists even before and of this top 50 even got a look in. It’s a list clearly made up to piss real music lovers off, and to get people to visit their website.

  170. Polecatjoe

    December 2, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Oh, no! I’m too late to be the first one to bitch because MY favorite guitarist isn’t in the top ten! Waaaaah!!

  171. -Alma-

    December 2, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Mark Knopfler should be the number one, his technique is incomparable.
    Santana and Clapton, as good as they are, are so over rated in my opinion.

  172. Fer

    December 2, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Have you ever listened “Walter Giardino” from “Rata Blanca”?
    Listen, make the list and tell me.

  173. ika1984

    December 2, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    where is angus yoong 🙁 🙁 and slash must be in top 10 🙂

  174. ika1984

    December 2, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    where is angus young:( 🙁 slash must be in top 10

  175. daniel

    December 2, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Disappointed there is no mention of tom morello anywhere.

  176. Francisco Bustamante

    December 2, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Where is Hank Marvin?

  177. Jimi

    December 2, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Johnny Ramone? Seriously…? But no Alvin Lee or Gary Moore? Or Joe Bonnamassa, Eric Johnson, Robin Trower, Jow Walsh, Roy Buchanan… The list goes on, but Johnny Ramone?

  178. lathebiosas

    December 2, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Move Richards down, move Knopfler up significantly. And where is Joe Satriani?

  179. Guus Westra

    December 2, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    what about Alex Lifison (Rush)?

  180. tussah

    December 2, 2014 at 7:07 pm


  181. mur

    December 2, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Tommy Emmanuel?

  182. Peter Friberg

    December 2, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Any list of “best guitarists” omitting Hank Marvin deserves no respect.

    • Larry Dunn

      December 2, 2014 at 8:37 pm

      You’re right. Where is Hank Marvin?

  183. Larry Dunn

    December 2, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    Admittedly there are some top axemen on the list, but many better players are missing, as all of the correspondents have mentioned
    One of the top rock groups in the world is AC/DC, so where is Angus Young?

  184. Christian

    December 2, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Antonio Forcione? He’s a master of the acoustic guitar.

  185. steve

    December 2, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Joe Bonamasa #1

  186. Jan Kooijman

    December 2, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    Has anybody ever heard of a guy named Joe Satriani ? C’mon guys, be honest. How can anybody come up with a list without him even being on it?

  187. Amanda Walker

    December 3, 2014 at 12:34 am

    Where’s JJ Cale???!!!

  188. Joe P

    December 3, 2014 at 3:35 am

    Where is Hank Marvin, one of the best…

  189. harold

    December 3, 2014 at 3:54 am

    How can any list not include Derek Trucks.

  190. steve

    December 3, 2014 at 3:54 am

    Another dumb ass list. Did Rolling Stone do this? Thurston Moore on ANY top guitarist list is a joke, especially when you leave off Gary Moore and put Thurston in Gary’s spot.

  191. Jeff

    December 3, 2014 at 6:43 am

    Where is Mark Knopfler?? this is one fake ass list!

  192. Jasper

    December 3, 2014 at 7:20 am

    Joe Satriani : enough said. This list is incomplete unless he’s in the top 5.

  193. Aussie

    December 3, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Mark Knopfler : the right note at the right place. Precision and incredible capacity to get whatever sound he needs (roaring car, mewing cat…). One who could really show off but never does, cause music and songs come first for him. Great talent, no doubt.

    But all guitarists have their own things to bring to the guitar story, and each one has his/her favorites. So nobody’s right and nobody’s wrong. We’re all guitar lovers. Full stop.

    • emilio

      December 3, 2014 at 8:27 pm

      Spot on
      Knopfler is the one who deserves top of the list. Cos it’s not about fast playing, is it?
      Melody, feeling, technique… he has that and more and on top of that.. he nerver shows off.. less is more but his quality is undeniable

  194. Bikerbonnie

    December 3, 2014 at 7:23 am

    Didn’t say it had to be rock or electric so one of my votes would be for Willie Nelson who didn’t make the list, as neither did Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd! Agree with some, but to put Slash on this list and not Gary…. not cool and just plain wrong!

  195. Rick

    December 3, 2014 at 8:27 am

    The giveaway that this was a list made up by a 3rd grader was when I saw the name Keith Richards on the list at all. The man who just stands there all his life and strums the damn thing so his boyfriend, Mick Jaggar can sing. And Mark Knopfler is in the top 10 at least. Sonny Landreth can do things n one on this list can do. Screw this list. Or better yet, use it for toilet paper. that’s all it’s good for. What a dope. And Hendrix wasn’t that good either. No way he’s ever #1. I think you need longevity to make the list. AND LASTLY: Joe Walsh.

  196. Reza

    December 3, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Where is Malmsteen and Randy Rhoads??!

  197. Wilde

    December 3, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    What a heinous list. Where are bert jansch, johnny thunders, johnny marr and mick ronson? Oh, and, the edge can fuck off too.

  198. Tom

    December 3, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    No love for Andreas Segovia?

  199. John

    December 3, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    How about Martin Barre ? Just listen to Aqualung or Minstrel in the Gallery !

  200. John Bernhard

    December 3, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Hard to make such a list-because I think even the most informed music fan will only be really familiar with the complete works of just a small percentage of any of the the guitarists you could put on the list.

  201. Paul

    December 3, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Where’s steve Hackett after all he invented the tapping which Eddie van halen uses steve is a legend fantastic guitarist

  202. Cesar

    December 3, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    The best guitarists will depend on the viewpoint and taste of the spectator / listener. Right now, I am listening to Pink Floyd (my favorite band) and as a consequence, Dave Gilmour is quite high on my list. It does not mean he has to be the best for everyone else. Variety of options are all out there, for each person to choose from. Any argument in favor or against this one or that one, will not do any justice to any particular player or group of players. Music is one of the few forms of communication, that is unified globally. Lets make it a peaceful one. Enjoy and support your favorite ones by buying their work of art, whichever they are!!!
    Take care…

  203. Kikes

    December 3, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Where? Steve Howe, Steve Hackett, Andy Latimer, Ant. Phillips, Alvin Lee …

  204. Brian

    December 3, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Robin Trower… Billy Gibbons… Angus Young… Ted Nugent… SMH…

  205. Benjamin

    December 3, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    What about Steve Hackett ?

  206. Bill

    December 4, 2014 at 12:51 am

    No Dick Dale or either of the Emmanuel brothers? Tom and Phil ??

  207. Ed

    December 4, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Where are Mickael Romeo, ingwie malmsteen, john petrucci ?

  208. Chuck

    December 4, 2014 at 11:49 am

    The master of the strat: There has been nobody before or after Jimi Hendrix who made the guitar “sing”… he was the best to ever strap on an axe.
    “But that all right I still have my guitar”

  209. Chuck

    December 4, 2014 at 11:49 am

    The master of the strat: There has been nobody before or after Jimi Hendrix who made the guitar “sing”… he was the best to ever strap on an axe.
    “But that all right I still have my guitar”

  210. Chris P

    December 4, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Nobody can say…….no virtuoso classical players on the list.???(Segovia, Tarrega)……how can you compare Keith Richards and EVH???…..each play in a totally different manner…..”best” – to most people – usually means “fastest”……..but there’s more to playing than just speed (Richards and Harrison are amongst the “slowest” players on the whole list…..they fired off some pretty tasty licks, though)……..I saw Stevie Ray Vaughn “live” and Eric Clapton “live”…….I preferred SRV……but, does that mean he was / is “better” than Clapton???….it’s a matter of personal taste…..

  211. omega19

    December 4, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Joe Satriani !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?

  212. Robbo

    December 5, 2014 at 3:43 am

    These lists are fun but they will never please everyone…so there is alot of bandwagoning here. Jimi Hendrix has the yearbook answer for the last several years, no way he is number 1. Same thing with Clapton, everyone on that band wagon but he is way overrated. Keith Richards at 5 is a joke….Peter Frampton needs to be on this list and in the top 10. Michael Schenker, Ace Frehley, Alex Lifeson also have a place in the top 25. Richie Blackmore should be higher. Jimmy Page is #1.

  213. john sapar

    December 5, 2014 at 11:07 am

    what about Steve Howe?? he would blow away most on this list especially slash…???

  214. Guitar God

    December 5, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Any list that does not have Duane Allman as the number one rock guitarist of all time is simply wrong. These lists are so subjective, but fun. I would have put Larry Carlton on the list somewhere.

    That is all.

    • keith Wallace

      June 22, 2015 at 3:07 am

      Somewhere @ the top I would gather?

  215. DJ Kool H.

    December 5, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    You got the top 3 right, but I think Santana should be at least in the top 10…
    …And what about Johnny Guitar Watson?

  216. Alain

    December 9, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    Dave Edmunds and Alvin Lee, the two most underrated guitarists ever, should be somewhere in the top twenty.

  217. Crashman !~

    December 11, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    I can’t believe You don’t have ” Tommy Bolin ” In there, It’s sad that you don’t have one of the most talented guitarists that ever played an Axe,, 🙁 !~

  218. robertm2000

    December 16, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    WHERE is J. J. Cale?! Eric Clapton cites his as one of his main influences! Just because Cale is deliberately not a publicity hound, he has had a huge influence on most guitarists – especially blues and roots music players.

  219. Brian Doran

    December 16, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    No Nigel Tufnell? What a joke.

  220. klaus 1

    December 16, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    My standing ovation is always for Andrew Latimer (Camel), a fine composer, amazing musician…his guitar playing reaches the heart…shame he’s so underrated guitarist…he’s my number one

  221. Langston Hough

    December 16, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    I’m glad you included a few jazz guitarists like Django and Wes but (yeah there’s always a but) the man who influenced almost all modern guitarists was Charlie Christian. We all look to him as our inspiration. Even the great George Benson. Did I miss his name on the list? Oh, well. Obviously you haven’t pleased everyone. No one can.

  222. Greg

    December 17, 2014 at 6:03 am

    I too get suckered into reading these bogus lists. Why does everyone who does these feel obligated to put Hendrix at #1? No Trower, Schenker, Lifeson? I gotta stop reading these.

  223. CodCat

    December 28, 2014 at 12:32 am

    I cry FOUL ~ Another great that is missing Martin Barre of Jethro TULL should have made the grade too~!

  224. Dave Nadal

    December 30, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    zal clemonson
    vernon reid

    But you could’ve done a top 500 and people would still be pulling names out of the hat.

  225. Carlos Ruz

    December 30, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    According to what I saw, we need one Top 100 list just to include the forgotten ones. And then, we could start punching each other to install our favorites up the rank. This will never end.

  226. İlker

    December 30, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    Siktirin gidin lan. David Gilmour’u 21. sıraya koymuşsunuz.

  227. Bob Ross

    December 31, 2014 at 2:06 am

    I know it’s impossible to please everyone, but I had to note the absence of Clarence White. I suggest anything on The Byrds’ “Ballad of Easy Rider” album…like “Oil In My Lamp” or “Tulsa County”

    • KD

      December 29, 2017 at 11:24 pm

      Clapton was no Hendrix. But Hendrix was no Clapton. And neither were a SRV.
      All innovators, all fantastic. SRV and Hendrix had the speed, but Clapton had the perfection and depth, leading the way for the electric guitars collaboration with the AMP.
      I think SRV and Hendrix played great guitar. But Clapton was a great guitar player and the most complete guitar player.
      Then you add Gilmore and his fantastic depth.
      Wow. All fantastic. But for actual perfection, innovation the purist is Clapton. Although he lived on past Glory’s for the past 30 odd years. Jimi was the king of the guitar. And no one may beat that although SRV is Close.
      It’s a bit of a joke that Gary more and Bonamassa aren’t anywhere really to be seen.
      For me although nothing alike and there no comparison between them, Jimi and Eric are the king and God and deserve to be there for their on merit for their influence on the rest of the pack.
      Not to say Clapton wasn’t influenced by Cale and Hendrix wasn’t influenced by Clapton.
      But SRV, Gilmore, and Moore aren’t far behind.
      Page made too many mistakes and so often Richards did too.

  228. Art

    January 2, 2015 at 3:55 am

    2 many 2 narrow down 2 50. Lightning Hopkins great Texas bluesman. Stevie Ray vaughns’ style very similar to his.

  229. NikkiG

    January 4, 2015 at 7:07 pm


    Enough Said!


    Watch And You Tell Me…

  230. yves boudot

    January 4, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Where are Derek Trucks , Ben Harper , Nick Drake Albbert Collins Bonnie Raits Lowell Georges , Robert Johnson Lonnie Johnson Robert Cray i stop thère , not enough room ….you re too ridiculous !!

  231. don egan

    January 7, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Not a fan of Clapton Page or Van Halen Django should be higher but Hendix should be 1

  232. Gerg

    January 9, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Van Halen.? His all sounds the same . Where is Nikki Six and Angus Young ? Could do allot better.
    Posts like this get you into bickering trouble.. Lol, i read that you did your scientific research. however its rather ridiculous .

  233. drakie

    January 9, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    what about BILL NELSON ?

    • Max Sommers

      October 17, 2017 at 10:17 pm

      Good call.

  234. smith

    January 13, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    What about Alex Lifeson. And why isn’t Frank Zappa number one. Have you even listened to any of his solos (note: all of his live solos are completely improvised)

  235. Feliciano Swerts

    January 18, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    50 better than John Lee Hooker? Congratulations!

  236. Novapj

    January 30, 2015 at 2:30 am

    No Alex Lifeson?? Who has a much better career than the super majority of those listed here, he can run circles around most on this list…very sad.

  237. Shane

    February 18, 2015 at 9:59 am

    What a load of shit.
    The Edge?????????????
    He’s not a guitarists arsehole. Wouldn’t be able to play anything without his pedals, and yet he’s ranked higher than Slash, Joe Perry, Frampton, Gary Moore etc.
    Whoever came up with this list must be on some bloody good drugs.

  238. HanniLP

    February 26, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    What is with Angus Young , why is Slash only on 46 he is in my eyes under the top 10 in the World today.
    What is with Zack Wilde?
    And manny more are not in this list this Sucks !!!!!

    • HanniLP

      February 26, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      I forgot Ace Frehley from Kiss or Phil Campbel from Motorhead that are Guitarrists !!!!!!!!

  239. Blue Jack

    March 6, 2015 at 1:32 am

    Ever hear Roy Buchanan ???? absolutely Danny Gatton….

    • Pistacho

      October 17, 2017 at 5:46 am

      Absolutely, Roy Buchanan was a virtuoso, much better than 45 of the one who made the list, and Mike Bloomfield

  240. Susan Hudak Scherer

    March 22, 2015 at 12:59 pm


    • Joe Thompson

      July 13, 2015 at 1:30 am

      That would be Joni Mitchell and yes she should be on the list. Most of the people on this list given her music couldn’t play it.

  241. Eric

    May 10, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    Alvin Lee?

  242. mark

    May 10, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    Sorry. Eddie Van Halen (#4) shouldn’t even be on the list. He is all ‘flash’, no passion. Yes, he has technique, but EVERYTHING I’ve heard him play is just showing off.

    And I agree with many of the comments on here: Where the heck is Alvin Lee?

  243. Anita

    May 10, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    What about Terry Kath, Chicago!

  244. Anita

    May 10, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    What about Terry Kath, Chicago?????

  245. Tom

    May 10, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Where is Alvin Lee of 10 yrs. after…..??????

  246. Chuck Rios

    May 10, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Wow….grand funk railroad can’t get any kind of recognition at any time, can they? Mark Farner should rank among rocks best guitarists EVER, period, end of story….dumbasses

  247. Gompie

    May 10, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    No Jan Akkerman, no Eelco Gelling…?

  248. Dominic P

    May 10, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Alan Holdsworth blows them all away. He didn’t even make the list!! What a joke!

    • Christopher Nowak

      October 28, 2019 at 10:58 pm

      Alan Holdsworth is #2 in the world.
      Look WAY above who I think #1 is!

  249. Neil

    May 10, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    eh stand fast Robert Cray

  250. Jerry Fladeland

    May 10, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    No Robin Trower & Alvin Lee?!?

  251. Jerry Fladeland

    May 10, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    No Robin Trower & Alvin Lee?!?

  252. Terry Carlson

    May 10, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    … they trolled all the teen magazines and came up with the “Top Pop 50.” I’m surprised that Bobby Sherman or Davy Jones aren’t listed there — I mean, I think they actually held a guitar in their hands at least once.

    Waste of time.

  253. Michael Patrick Clark

    May 10, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Every list of this nature will be subjective; that’s a given, but this list is so bad I can’t even get annoyed about it.

  254. Mitch Weiner

    May 10, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    SRV and Brian May are far too low on the list and where is Prince ?

  255. eric

    May 10, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    leo kottke say no more and garcia down at 36 , no way

    • Eddiek

      May 10, 2015 at 10:55 pm

      I was wondering if anyone would mention Kotke. These lists are always going to be hugely controversial. The guitarists mentioned here and their rankings are culled from other lists. The value is in the discussion that emanates from the posting of the list. When I read Rolling Stone’s top 100, deep in the discussion the name of Sister Rosetta Tharpe popped up. After researching her work, my only thought was she probably taught Chuck Berry a thing or to. My personal favorite is Jerry Garcia, who was not only technically adept, but imaginative and creative in a live setting like no one else.

  256. doug

    May 10, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    The fact that George Kooymans is not on the list invalidates the list. Perhaps it should be called the fifty “most famous” guitarists.

  257. garth palmer

    May 10, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    there is JEFF BECK then the rest – NEIL YOUNG also cranks it up above some of those listed

  258. Tony Meyer

    May 10, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    This list is totally bogus…. get serious…. David Gilmour #21…. Joe Bonamassa isn’t even on the list. Obviously the people who picked this list know nothing about music.

  259. Lewis Ashman

    May 10, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Hendrix should be Number 1 because what else are you going to do with him? He was as proficient as most of the others that are on the list or have been mentioned, but like it or not he had a musical creativity and imagination that was uniquely his own. To take three from the top ten, Allman and Page and Clapton were all recognizably playing the same instrument under similar influences. Hendrix had another agenda all his own. “Band Of Gypsys” was a huge leap into something better than “Are You Experienced?” and I’m sure he could have gone on into more and different music if the drugs hadn’t taken effect in a horrible way. In interviews he complained about the limitations of the guitar for what he wanted to do and he often sounded more like he was fighting with the guitar to get somewhere only he could imagine, rather than just playing it. I suspect that if he’d lived into improved synthesizers he would have dropped playing the guitar and made records of just himself playing synthesizers. And in that case, we would remember him as that great guitarist who got all weird and made thirty years of very strange records. For better or worse, he was different from all the others.

  260. Stew Kirby

    May 10, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    BS List. If Rory Gallagher isn’t on a top 50 guitarist list then its a bogus list. No Robin Trower either?

  261. JNDC

    May 10, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Tommy Tedesco…

  262. Lars

    May 10, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    And where is Terry Kath and Joe Pass?

  263. Hey Joe

    May 10, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Stacy Sutherland of the 13th floor elevators should be on this list. He blazed a trail for psychedelic and punk bands after.

  264. andres

    May 10, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    Whres Steve Howe John Petrucci Ror Buchanan Alex Lifeso?

  265. Jeffrey Fenko

    May 10, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    I don’t know what science you can apply to this list, or any other subjective rating, but, as usual, this is deeply flawed. First, and most important to me, is that anyone other than Hendrix could be listed ahead of Clapton, and I can make a credible case for an inversion even there. Considering the fact that only at his very peak years could Page be in the conversation with Hendrix, Clapton, and Beck, and the fact that he has done next to nothing for thirty years, it’s hard to see him breaking the top five. Add to that, he is no longer capable of delivering a virtuoso performance, and has never been able to deliver a satisfying solo live on Stairway To Heaven. Beck definitely belongs in the top five, and much as I love Keith Richards, both Stevie Ray and Duane Allman should be ahead of him. The exclusion on all the lists I’ve ever read on all time guitarists of Alvin Lee is baffling. I can’t tell you how many names out of the fifty listed that I would have put him ahead of, but it’s numerous. This is all opinion, and I’m sure that this list is a collaborative endeavor, but I do have to say that I’ve lived long enough to have seen many of these performers, including Hendrix and Allman, so I have a little grounding here. Nice try, but no prize from me.

    • Jasper

      July 12, 2015 at 9:29 pm

      You expressed precisely the sentiments that I hold regarding the top slots of this list. Thank you.

      P.S. Clapton is God

  266. Greg Main

    May 10, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    Have you never seen or heard Buck Owens play a guitar? Hendrix, like the Rolling Stones, has always been overrated. He copied his style from predecessors.

  267. pascual

    May 10, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    ¡ Terry Kath! , 25or 6 to 4

  268. aham

    May 10, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    This is a joke definitely, Keith Richards ahead of SRV and BB King??????? Give me a break…

  269. Conal O'Donoghue

    May 11, 2015 at 12:44 am

    Jimi Page was a decent guitar player, certainly not worthy of a top 50 place. never mind putting him third.

  270. BorkoZeBorko

    May 11, 2015 at 2:39 am

    Who routinely changed guitar tuning set-ups and produced hit after hit before anyone knew what was happening? Who pulled a string off a telecaster to make it a 5 string. Who has quietly held together both lead and rythym positions without taking credit. Keith isnt number 5, he is number 1 in creativity, style and play. What? Cause he doesn’t shred and was a junkie?

  271. Ricardo Guimarães

    May 11, 2015 at 2:51 am

    Allan Holdsworth, George Benson, Guthrie Govan, Pat Metheny???

  272. Ken Ricardo

    May 11, 2015 at 4:34 am

    There are some names that don’t even belong on the list especially Keith Richards, you left out two important names 1. Lindsay Buckingham awesome guitarist, 2. Alex Lifeson he should be in the top 10 this man has had one hell of a career and he don’t need a rhythm guitar to fill in the holes, it says a lot to be in a three man band and have such a full sound and have 40 years of Great music !!

  273. Rob

    May 11, 2015 at 5:13 am

    Where is Buckethead,or Steve Howe?Joe B onnamasso? Al Dimiola?

  274. Vladimir

    May 11, 2015 at 6:04 am


  275. Larry Masterson

    May 11, 2015 at 6:05 am

    The Edge at 31? Maybe 131! And Clapton is #1. The deepest catalog of music and he continues to record and release new material. Hendrix died too young, didn’t accomplish enough to be #1.

  276. JJ

    May 11, 2015 at 6:17 am

    No Leslie West? No Robin Trower? Ritchie Blackmore is # 29? OMFG did you effing seriously?

  277. Clive

    May 11, 2015 at 7:05 am

    Very strange – no Robin Trower? That’s just bizarre. Slash? Bloody hell, that’s stupid. What about Ian Moss? People obviously have different likes and dislikes but come on!!!

  278. dave gilbert

    May 11, 2015 at 9:05 am

    what the hell is george harrison doing in the top50

  279. clive kelly

    May 11, 2015 at 10:16 am

    I would put Bonnie Raitt and Nancy Wilson ahead of some of these

  280. Axe Hack

    May 11, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Hahaha, the thing about list like these is they always spark debate, the guys that missed are all great too, everyone anyone has mentioned are all super players. Even the editor mentions the guys who missed out. Thurston Moore, the Edge bit rubbish and Django Reinhardt played acoustic guitar in a French gypsy fashion, if you go down that path you’ve missed plenty of classical geniuses. Ahh totality of the musical list. Clapton made a record called ‘There’s one in every crowd’ the original title was ,’The greatest guitarist in the world…there’s one in every crowd’.

  281. Kevin Crawford

    May 11, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    The list is bogus both for omissions AND placements, but in the end, I got just two words for ya: Joe Satrianni.

  282. faltan algunos

    May 11, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    stev vai Yngwie Malmsteen joe satriani

  283. Albert Gartner

    May 11, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Wo ist Steve Lukather? Ihr Ahnungslosen!

  284. scott

    May 11, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    where is alex lifeson of rush one of my top ten

  285. Johan

    May 11, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Killing Joke this list. What about the 3 Joe’s: Satriani, Walsh, Bonamassa? Never heard of Leslie West, Jan Akkerman? How about the females Ana Popovic, Joanne Shaw Tayler? Ansun Funderburgh, Mike morgan? Rory Gallagher on position 44??? Asked Jimi Hendrickx in an inteview “how does it feel to be greatest guitar player in the world?” Answer by Jimi “In don’t know. You should ask Rory Gallagher”.

  286. juan martos

    May 11, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    rory gallagher 44
    keith richardr 5 ? quien a hecho la lista ?

  287. Ricardo Guimarães

    May 11, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    Minha lista:

    1. Allan Holdsworth
    2. John MacLaughlin
    3. George Benson
    4. Jimi Hendrix
    5. Al DiMeola
    6. Jimmy Page
    7. Paco de Lucia
    8. Wes Montgomery
    9. Frank Zappa
    10. Steve Vai
    11. Joe Satriani
    12. Jeff Beck
    13. Yngwie Malmsteen
    14. Pat Metheny
    15. Jan Akkerman
    16. Guthrie Govan
    17. Ritchie Blackmore
    18. Steve Howe
    19. Alex Lifeson
    20. John Petrucci
    21. Martin Barre
    22. Steve Rothery
    23. Robert Fripp
    24. Andrew Latimer
    25. Gary Green
    26. Eddie Van Halen
    27. Pete Townshend
    28. Steve Ray Vaugham
    29. Mick Ronson
    30. Jeff Schroeder
    31. Larry Carlton
    32. Dimebag Darrell
    33. Steve Hackett
    34. John Scofield
    35. Frank Gambale
    36. John Abercrombie
    37. Stanley Jordan
    38. Greg Howe
    39. Scotty Anderson
    40. Wayne Krantz
    41. Kurt Rosenwinkel
    42. Joe Bonamassa
    43. Adrian Belew
    44. Kiko Ferreira
    45. Joe Perry
    46. Johnny Ramone
    47. Adrian Smith
    48. Zakk Wylde
    49. Pepeu Gomes
    50. Noca Tourino

    • Isaac Mizrahi

      June 16, 2015 at 3:10 am

      i like your list muuuuuuch better…
      but how is it i haven’t seen the name danny gatton yet? i know he’s been dead a while, but… another great guitar player was terry kath from chicago. those first few albums COOKED. esPECIALly the first…i would hope you’re familiar with the al dimeola, stanley clarke and jean luc ponty work, ‘rites of strings’. as good as the paco delucia/mclaughlin et al collaborations… nice list.

    • Mike

      February 5, 2018 at 6:04 am

      Rory Gallagher .

  288. Rick Cody

    May 11, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    The most amazing thing about this list is that somewhere, somehow and on some distant galaxy far far away, someone on your staff actually expects to be taken seriously. Do you even know what a guitar looks like?

  289. rick

    May 12, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    This is not a serious list nobody mention Brent Mason he can play anay style check it out on you tube .

  290. PUCE

    May 14, 2015 at 4:24 am

    It’s a joke. No Steve Howe, Gilmore and Blackmore not in top list, Hendrix overrated, The Edge in that list ?(wow)

  291. The Slovak Kid

    June 10, 2015 at 4:38 am

    Where’s Buckethead?

  292. Paul K

    June 15, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    this is a joke…no Randy Rhoads??? No Frank Marino??? you got to be kidding me.

  293. ken bell

    June 15, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    Your list is not even close to right , Hendrix shouldn’t be in the top 20 , volume is not talent , a chimp can make noise with a guitar , Clapton , Page , Vaughn , that’s the real axe men ……….

    • Isaac Mizrahi

      June 16, 2015 at 3:19 am

      if stevie ray vaughn, who covered ‘little wing’, page or whoever that third person you named heard what you said…i don’t know if they’d laugh or cry. i’m not saying that the people you named aren’t good. but someone has to know VERY little…and i mean VERY little about the art of playing guitar to even beGIN to criticize hendrix…i’ve played 3 instruments(one of them guitar) professionally starting in 1966…i’ve taught music. i’m just looking at the suggestions below by ken…yes. steve howe. ; – ) GREAT guitar player…anyways…i don’t usually stop to respond to people who don’t have a clue as to what they’re talking about…but hendrix inspired i don’t know HOW many guitar players on any list of ‘top whatever’. it would be great if you understood the difference between innovation and gimmick.

  294. ken

    June 15, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    No Steve Howe, No Joe Satriani, No Steve Vai, No Randy Rhodes? No Keith Richards? This list is BULLSHIT!

    • Michael R. Wilder

      June 21, 2015 at 9:41 pm

      Dude, are you blind man? They have Keith Richards at #5! One step above SRV, which is absolute madness, if not outright stupidity! BTW, sorry, I this was not intended to be an attack against you, just pointing out your mistake a little forcefully…lol!

    • Emkay

      April 2, 2019 at 5:59 pm

      You can’t read…. Fool

  295. phil

    June 15, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    No Martin Barre? Seriously?

  296. Glenn

    June 15, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    OK, let’s all agree that it should have been a TOP 200 Guitarists and we all have our own opinion. BUT those mentioned by everyone are all awesome names!

  297. Coz McWillie

    June 15, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    Steve Millar Walter Becker nowhere to be seen, Jerry Garcia below Brian May. Your list is bogus.

  298. mike

    June 16, 2015 at 2:25 am

    No Tommy Bolin, or Paul Kossoff. Popularity among the masses, does not equate to guitar greatness,….if you ask many of the still living greats, many would put these two in the mix….

  299. Mike B

    June 16, 2015 at 5:08 am

    The problem is not enough spaces for @ least 200 of the best !! Personally, I really ENJOY……..”JOE WALSH”, there are better/worse, so it’s a matter of TASTE ! PEACE

  300. Al

    June 16, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Keith Richards better then Duane Allman and SRV? Yea, right.

  301. Galad Elflandsson

    June 16, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Jerry at #36 could have played rings around everyone but Jimi…but you totaly spaced Alvin Lee & THAT is unforgivable….just because nobody wanted him to play anything but fast…

  302. Brad Jackson

    June 18, 2015 at 6:29 am

    Tommy Bolin? Robin Trower? Ronnie Montrose?

  303. Robbie

    June 19, 2015 at 12:17 am

    A guitar genius nobody mentioned is Mike Oldfield ! British maybe ? And he CAN do it live ! The Edge live is always missing keys and notes . Not even top 200 for me . Hendrix overrated .

  304. Beatle Steve

    June 19, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    There are a lot of fan favorites listed that while play well don’t really belong on a best list. What makes a great guitarist? Body of work, creativity, longevity and constant improvement and maturity. The one big name not on this list is Steve Howe. Anyone who has followed YES and the progressive maturity of his playing gets why he belongs on this list. Steve Howe is not a slash and burn headbanging player nor just plays repetitive riffs. Steve Howe is spiritual magic on the guitar. Anyone who doubts it go see him play or get a live cd/dvd and experience the emotion he brings out. the guys is all over the frets.

  305. Fred Strauss

    June 19, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    Don’t trust a list who put Keith Richards above Jeff Beck!!

  306. Tim Pepper

    June 19, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    Quite frankly what a crock! Where’s Steve Hackett. Also Mike Holmes of IQ could show some of these a thing or two.

  307. george gilkenson

    June 19, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    Nils Lofgren, Alvin Lee of Ten Years After and Billy Gibson should be on this list.. Somewhere!

  308. steve

    June 20, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    you put chet atkins at 22…..obviousley a halfwit

  309. Michael

    June 21, 2015 at 8:05 am

    So predictable Hendrix, Page & Clapton top the list. Are you kidding. So many mediocre players on that list like Johhny Ramone & Jack White. Top of the list is easily Dave Gilmour. And where are Nils Lofgren & Elliot Easton

  310. Mark

    June 21, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Plain and Simple!
    You people truly missed the mark by placing George Harrison “well” out to the Top 10! You need to go back and listen to his music again!!

  311. arnfinn bratseth

    June 21, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    This is many of them,but,Sonny Landreth,is on of them,many is forgotten,Albert Lee,jimmy thackery,hank marvin,eddie meduza,øystein sunde,roy clark,marty stuart,jerry reed,waylon jennings,hank c burnette,bill kirchen,and the guitaist for tom petty,j.j.cale,++.

  312. arnfinn bratseth

    June 21, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    tommy emmanuell,i forget too.

  313. Michael R. Wilder

    June 21, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    I realize this list is very subjective, as everyone would draw it up differently if asked to do so, and I appreciate that, but I am quite dubious to the notion that any type of science was used in the making of this list. To say that it was structured like his simply because certain tracks were no available on Spotify, or any other site individually, puts this list as suspect at a minimum in my mind. Now, here is a bit of subjectiveness on my part, though I would venture to say that I will be supported in my comment by a great many others, and that is that Keith Richards could carry Stevie Ray’s jock! When was the last time in the past 25 years that you even saw Keith Richards ugly mug on a music magazine, much less heard anybody say something like “man that Keith Richards is (add superlative here.)”? Is there a Keith Richards statue ANYWHERE in the world like Stevie Ray has? I have been playing guitar literally all my life. I started when I was about 4, and am now 45, and NEVER in all that time have I ever heard anyone say that Keith Richards was inspirational to them, but couldn’t tell you how many that say SRV has. The others in the top 5 are arguable, but it would be totally subjective. I don’t think having SRV above Keith Richards is. I would be very interested to see this so called science that was applied in making this list. I think you guys were drinking and or smoking weed when you made this up, and or did it just to get a rise out of people.

  314. Joe Sousa

    June 21, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    The fact that Walter Trout is not even mentioned makes this laughable/

    • Karen Remington

      December 24, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      Thank you. Leo Kotke, John McLaughlin, John Mayhall…too many left out.

  315. keith wallace

    June 22, 2015 at 3:02 am

    you need to discard the 3 or the 4 in 34 dude

  316. Enrique

    July 5, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    Steve Howe, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Roine Stolt, John Petrucci?

  317. Kostas Kritikos (Sparta, Greece)

    July 6, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Roy Buchanan ?

  318. Jeff Oliver

    July 6, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    Ok, I knew Jeff Beck would make it and he did. I’m glad Dickie Betts made it but what about Duane Allman?
    Kim Simmonds should be there and so should Al Di Meola.

  319. Alan Webber

    July 6, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    Chuck Berry! – who are you jiving? The fact that Rory Gallagher, David Gilmour, and Carlos Santana are not top 10 makes this list suspect…at best. Clapton and Vaughn are the only guitarists in the top 10 that even belong there. And then not to even mention Alvin Lee in 50 guitarists??? Come on dudes, it is like you just threw that list up there to see how much dissension you could create.

  320. Phil

    July 7, 2015 at 1:52 am

    Where are Mick Box,Robin Trower,John Weinzerl,and Rory Gallagher should be higher up on the list.

  321. Mike

    July 7, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    No no no Blackmore should be n° 1 😉 Only ust for his good view of life 🙂

  322. george gilkenson

    July 12, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    No Roy Buchanan ??? Alvin Lee?? Nils Lofgren???? Anyone..? Anyone?

  323. AJ

    July 12, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    It is hard to rank anyone on this list. It is especially hard to rank anyone who was also a good singer and composer. It is a matter of your taste.
    The best guitar player I have even seen perform live was Jeff Beck back it in the days when Rod Stewart was his lead singer. The warm up group was the predecessor to ZZ Top. Billy Gibbons can hold his own with the best of them. I don’t know why they even list 1 to 100. It riles everyone up.

  324. John

    July 12, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Neil Young, Leslie West, Rick Derringer, Alvin Lee, Kim Simmons deserve to be on the list.

    • Randy

      July 13, 2015 at 12:51 am

      I agree with Alvin Lee and Kim Simmons, what about Ronnie Montrose and Frank Marino

  325. Greg Andrew

    July 12, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    I feel Mick Taylor should surely be higher than what he is.

    • Hey... I like Keith Richards

      December 24, 2015 at 3:29 am

      Yes sir

  326. Patrick

    July 14, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Tommy Emmanuel
    Steve Stevens
    Jerry Reed

  327. Roy Joy Abraham

    July 21, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Alvin Lee, Gary Moore and Peter Frampton should’ve been on the list …you should probably come up with a 100 greatest guitarists and everyone should be happy

  328. Iggie

    July 27, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    Gary Moore should be on the list.
    Johnny Winter should be higher.
    Rory Gallagher should be higher.

    • Bob

      August 21, 2015 at 1:16 pm

      Gallagher should be at least 3

  329. tomaszz

    August 20, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Bull shit list.
    Where is Al Di Meola, Steve Hove, Paco De Lucia to mention just few not listed here???

  330. Herry Triestanto

    August 21, 2015 at 4:01 am

    Where is Steve Howe ? One of my favourit guitar player from group Yes & Asia.

  331. Trev

    August 21, 2015 at 8:50 am

    I know a couple of guitarists just starting out. If they practise hard they might make the list one day. Their names are Alex Lifeson and John Petrucci.

  332. MSNV

    August 21, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Les Paul number 3 ! where the f**** are Alvin Lee and Nick Valensi from The Strokes grandpa ?

  333. Rainey Dawn

    August 21, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    I agree with all these guitarist! But where in the hell is Robby Krieger? He MUST be apart of the top guitarist!

  334. Mike Vee

    August 21, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    I wonder how they were judged – what criteria was used, just someone’s ‘opinion’? Worthless.

  335. Nan

    August 21, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    46. Slash xdxdxdxdxd

  336. Mark Lynn

    August 21, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    I have to say I disagree with the choices and placement of this so claimed TOP 50…..
    There are so many more deserving guitarist as well as the placement on the order……….

  337. rrb710

    August 21, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Yeah, April Lawton of Zephyr & Ramatam fame might have made it, had she lived long enough. The guy in Stone The Crows ( forget his name) that got zapped onstage – he was pretty good too. No Arthur Lee? Or Steve Hillage (#1, imo)?

  338. Bob

    August 21, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Rory Gallagher at 44 in the list, its a joke

  339. Mr. T

    August 21, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    OK, you only included rock and blues guitarists. I get that. But you didn’t call this a rock list, you called it “50 Greatest Guitarists” so you missed the mark completely. Missing is: Phil Keaggy (he’s recorded rock and blues, but he’s a Christian so he’s not good enough?), then any number of jazz guitarists. Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin, Pat Metheny – could play circles around anyone on this list. And go ahead and laugh when I say “George Benson.” He can cut loose. Check out his duet with B.B. King on King’s KBFH release.

  340. Annice

    August 21, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Where are the women?

    • John

      November 12, 2015 at 8:57 pm

      Kitchen or bedroom I guess?

  341. Anthony

    August 21, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    The list is a joke!
    Jimmy Page was always over-rated, Clapton hasn’t done anything decent for years!
    This sort of thing is always contentious and will never please anybody! I’d have had Bill Harkleroad (Zoot Horn Rollo) on my list, and what about Innes Sibun as one of the new guitarists? Wayne Perkins deserves a mention. It would be so easy to do an alternative list of 50 guitar players.
    It’s best to have a quiet chuckle at the list and take it with a pinch of salt!

  342. Paul deBigfella

    August 21, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    What ! no Tommy Bolin or Randy California or Janne Schaffer or Steve Stevens, you need to enlarge your musical collection

  343. Christopher

    August 21, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    wheres Bonamassa?

    • Mongol Fred

      October 27, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      You mean Joe Bonamassa, the Justin Beiber of guitar playing?

  344. Sparky P

    August 21, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Focus’ JAN AKKERMAN once voted world’s best guitarist?

  345. Andreas Hess

    August 21, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    I agree to a lot of the great musicians listed.
    Since this is always a very personal thing to rank certain musicians, I would just like to add two, that should belong here, at least from my perspective:
    Martin Barre from Jethro Tull and
    Steve Lukather from Toto

  346. Cameron Hood

    August 21, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    No Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Steve Lukather, Eric Johnson, Dann Huff, Kerry Livgren, or Phil Keaggy.

  347. AT GEE

    August 21, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    How about Alvin Lee?

    • aswaldo

      August 21, 2015 at 7:30 pm


  348. Claude Rioux

    August 21, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    In my humble opinion and, for the record, according to MY tastes (those being not really subject to discussions unless you refresh my memories, not so difficult a task lol), Hendrix is where he should be, all-time best. Behind him, a small select group including Neil Young (so underated as a guitarist), Pat Metheny (outofworldish), Jeff Beck (his guitar’s part of his body, him playing it so smooth and clean), Frank the genius Zappa, Stevie Ray you know who, Joe Bonamassa, Steve Hackett (unforgettable), Frank Marino (remember him?) and yes I believe Keith Richards ( a genuine rock’n’roller). Many more are as goog or better but once again my list is a subjective one according to my tastes. Thanks for your time. Oh! I forgot. I luv the way Buddy Guy plays the guitare. Quite unusual! Ask Keith!

  349. Gary Wright

    August 21, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Jack White made the list but Warren Haynes is left off? Pure bullshit.

    • Claude Rioux

      August 21, 2015 at 4:19 pm

      Thanks for Warren Haynes (remember him playing Cortez the Killer – wrong right title? – with Dave Mathews.

  350. Framus jack

    August 21, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Loved the Beatles but George Harrison a better guitarist than for example Billy Gibbons, Gary Rossington, Paul Kossoff, I think not, if this list was done following extensive research I wonder what sources they used, the intro from “Freebird” was one of the most innovative pieces of guitar playing ever and features in many polls as being so, but Rossington does not get in the top 50, “All Right Now” the most played trap on rock radio ever due to Kossoff’s classic rock riff. Could go on all day but rubbish like this “survey” ain’t worth the bother. Jan Akkerman should be here as well, “Sylvia” was brilliant and as mentioned earlier he was voted world’s best guitarist and was such a major player that he was one of very few guitarists at that time to actually have a guitar named after him. Don’t know why I even follow the link to this site, it is always full of c**p.

  351. kev

    August 21, 2015 at 3:42 pm


  352. C.A. Cooper

    August 21, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    No Roy ClarK? That alone makes this list a joke ! ! !

  353. Tendayi Kagoro

    August 21, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    No Robin Growers mus be kidding me

  354. Jimmy

    August 21, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    One name that Never gets on any list, & wrongfully so. Is Yngwie Malmsteen.

  355. Fizzy

    August 21, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    That list is Subjective at best, It’s seems to be more of a popularity contest than listing of musical prowess.

    Typically disappointing.

  356. Charlotte Wright

    August 21, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    Oh how we rue about our favorite guitarists. Clarence White, Mother Maybelle Carter and Sister Rpsetta Tharpe!!!

  357. Bill

    August 21, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    As always Todd Rundgren left out. can play any genre, amazingly!!

  358. aswaldo

    August 21, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    Zakk Wylde and Chris DeGarmo pretty much kill this list boys.

  359. Roy

    August 21, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    I only have one comment.
    WHY IS RIK EMMIT of Triumph not on this list!

  360. Larry

    August 21, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Who ever put this list together has obviously not listened to Carlo Santana very much, he belongs at #2 – right between Jimi and Eric

  361. Stefan

    August 21, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    what the hell ? where is Steve Vai and Joe Satriani and Malmsten and others that realy made a diference .. total crap !

  362. Dan

    August 21, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    Thank you for including the often overlooked Mick Taylor and Peter Green.

  363. Dave Cotterell

    August 21, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    how can u have a 50 greatest and not have Angus Young from AC/DC in the top 10??????

  364. Brad Wilson

    August 21, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    the fact that tim reynolds didn’t make your list just shows me that you don’t know anything other than what your media conglomerates force feed you

  365. Keith Docherty

    August 22, 2015 at 12:28 am

    Most of this this list appears to be about guitarists that did something once, in a spell.
    A great guitarist is someone that changed music, the way it was played and others followed.
    Mostly the great blues legends.
    Hendrix was a legend who took sounds and styles from Clapton and Clapton took styles and sounds from Hendrix.

    Hendrix played great guitar but Clapton was a great guitar player.
    Both changed the way we play and the sound of guitar today.
    Even the great BB king said Clapton took blues to another level it hadn’t been before.

    Keith is a fantastic player with an original sound but doesn’t have the natural ability of Hendrix and Clapton.
    And he shouldn’t be in the top5.
    Page was great and had his sound but was very one sided. Never did anything different.

    What should make the top 5 is the guys that all other great guitarists followed and wanted to play with.
    This had to start with Clapton and Hendrix at joint number one for pure natural soul and ability, they reinvented and changed the guitar sound we all love today.

    And where is Jeff Healey, Gary Moore, Bonamassa?
    And an underrated Nuno?

    • Patrick G

      March 1, 2018 at 9:14 am

      Totally agree. And watch n listen to Clapton live in San Diego it’s rock band class 101 such great musicians and the professor EC at the top of his game.

  366. jeremy montague

    August 22, 2015 at 12:42 am

    Martin Barre doesn’t make the list? Sad.

  367. Jorge

    August 22, 2015 at 12:48 am

    Jimi Hendrix….THE BEST!!!!!

  368. Roger

    August 22, 2015 at 1:48 am

    Where is Rory Gallagher, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks and Hubert Sumlin?

    • James Whelan

      August 22, 2015 at 10:01 pm

      Rory 44..Fuckin joke

  369. Ricky Leiderman

    August 22, 2015 at 1:50 am

    Why is it Lindsey Buckingham never makes any list?

    • John

      November 12, 2015 at 8:55 pm

      He’s a pretentious ass?

  370. Ziggy Cannonball

    August 22, 2015 at 1:53 am

    I’m a bit insulted that I didn’t make the list. But there’s always next year. I am always skeptical of these kinds of lists because the order of the list somehow connotes importance. And the omission of guitarists always leads to some blowback from readers.

    I would have liked to see Robin Trower, Steve Howe, Joe Bonnamassa, Terry Kath, Dweezil Zappa (hey, the guy shreds!! Just like his dad, if not better than…), Buddy Holly, Steve Cropper, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, Brian Setzer,… and some others.

    And wait a minute, WAIT A MINUTE!! No women on the list?? What about Joni Mitchell & Bonnie Raitt??

  371. YianniD

    August 22, 2015 at 2:30 am

    Steve Howe is a glaring omission here. Also, Mark Farner should be here. So many of his guitar tricks were influential to later bands. And Todd Rundgren was extremely versatile as a guitarist. Keith Richards is great, but no way, top five! And out of the mainstream there is Glass Harp’s Phil Keaggy, who can trump most of these guitarists being able to play in multiple styles all incredibly.

  372. Will Smith

    August 22, 2015 at 3:23 am

    Two guys I think should get their due: Nils Lofgren and Danny Gatton.

  373. Gary Pfalzbot

    August 22, 2015 at 3:42 am

    No John Petrucci, Dream Theater? I guess you have to either be dead or bought and paid for to be on this list. In 2012, Petrucci was ranked the 17th greatest guitarist of all time by a Guitar World magazine readers poll. There are a number of others whose omission from the list I question as well.

  374. dylan

    August 22, 2015 at 4:22 am

    These people need to do some research on Steve Howe him not being on this list is downright blasphemous …,

  375. JPUD

    August 22, 2015 at 5:12 am

    Another dumb list. What about Joe Bonamassa. I’d put him before Van Halen. First 3 guys make sense but after that it goes down hill.

  376. Theo Roberts

    August 22, 2015 at 5:12 am

    George Harrison #32 and Keith Richards #5? Ridiculous. And how can Santana not be in the top 10? This is just a random list of people who have held a guitar at one point in their lives.

  377. Hans-Hermann Hirschelmann

    August 22, 2015 at 8:00 am

    Where the hell is Tommy Emmanual?

  378. Frankly

    August 22, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Come on where is Hank Marvin. He was the most influential guitarist in the early sixties and hundreds of young lads ( some of them listed in your top 100 ) picked up a guitar to try and play like Hank. George Harrison should be higher on the last and possibly in the top 10 for his amazing contribution to The Beatles. Rory Gallagher would definitely be in anybody’s 20 best and Hendrix is not No 1 as his time was too short.

    • Peter Friberg

      October 27, 2015 at 1:04 pm

      Most likely somewhere above the no. 1 spot, where he should be.

  379. ethan

    August 22, 2015 at 11:42 am

    there’s so much wrong with this list, it is barely worth commenting on. but *someone* needs to put you straight. mick taylor, peter green and george harrison are way too deep on the list (george should be in the top 5, the other 2 in at least the top 10). and players like the edge, thurtson moore and jack white aren’t in the top 10,000…maybe you like them, sure…but honestly…they are merely average players. jeff beck at #10??? there’s a record called “blow by blow”, it came out in ’75…long before you guys were born, i am sure…but you ought to check it out. keith richards is way, way too high on the list. and no duane eddy??? any panel who makes these kinds of assessment needs to be at least 50 years old…and should be guitar players themselves…so they have some idea what they are talking about.

  380. Ricky macphail

    August 22, 2015 at 11:46 am

    No1 has to be galluping cliff gallup

  381. Russ

    August 22, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Who figured the list? What about Steve Lukathier (ToTo) or way back Roy Clark

  382. Dirk Baxter

    August 22, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Gary Moore not in the top 50….Hahahahaha

  383. Skinny

    August 22, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    They must have put this list together playing darts. Keith Richards & Eddie Van Halen ahead of SRV and no sign of Robben Ford or Trower, not to mention Gilmour at 21?

  384. PAYBACK

    August 22, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Alvin Lee not on the list! so sad!

  385. James Whelan

    August 22, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Rory Gallagher @ 44…… Farce!!!! The man was God.. Even Jimi Hendrix said he was the greatest.. Bit like saying Rooney is better than Messi!! Some load of horseshite if you ask me!!!!!!!! Ye certainly dont know yer music!!!

  386. DB

    August 23, 2015 at 10:26 am

    no tommy bolin? Shame!

  387. biff

    August 24, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Let’s see, this list is all back assward and forgot to mention some guys that make most of these clowns look like weenies … Larry Coryell, Al DiMeola, Paco DeLucia, Steve Hackett, Joe Pass, Herb Ellis, Pat Martino, Segovia, Julian Bream, Carlos Montoya, Yngvey Malsteem, basically every Jazz guitarist and progressive rock who ever lived with a few exceptions, every Flamenco guitarist, every Classical guitarist, etc, but included a whole bunch of wankers who made crap contribution to rock music, in other words, the shallow end of the gene pool … and even in the rock world, it fails to mention guys like Dave Mustaine and most metal heads that make most rock and blues players look like pussies … only some idiot working for the Rolling Stone could come up with this list.

  388. Darren England

    August 24, 2015 at 11:57 am

    It doesn’t surprise me that only mainstream guitarists are on this list. Rex Carroll of Whitecross I’d for sure have on this list. I’d also have to include up & coming guitarist Zac Tiessen, check out his original material on YouTube.

  389. Vic

    August 24, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    B.B. King on top of Robert Fripp? Hahahahaha !!! Nice one !!!

    • Benroo

      November 30, 2017 at 6:16 pm

      Have you heard Andy Summer and Robert Fripp played together? And to all of you people out there you forgot the most original, the legendary Les Paul !!! 21 gun salute for you Les …

  390. Allan

    August 24, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Any list without Gary Moore featuring in it is a joke. Had the pleasure of watching “Blues for Jimi’ by Gary Moore on the weekend which featured Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox. Outstanding guitarist who died too soon. To even dream that Keith Richards is a better guitarist than Gary Moore is the joke of the millenium. A list with Keith Richards at #5, Pleeeeeeeease! Get real.

  391. Lino T.

    August 24, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    Not Todd Rundgren in the first 50??? This list is trash…

  392. Bluntz

    August 25, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Many great guitarists missing on this list.

    Best technique no order:
    Guthrie Govan, Bumblefoot, Holdsworth, and many young guns around

    Most inspirational in no order except for Hendrix:
    Hands down Hendrix #1 followed by chuck berry, west Montgomery, Eddie Van halen, Kurt Cobain

    Most original in no specific order:
    Alan Holdsworth, Steve vai, Hendrix, paco de Lucia, Greg Howe, Stanley Jordan, django Reinhardt, Kurt Cobain

    Best Use of a guitar in a song again
    David Gilmore so many amazing pink Floyd songs
    Hendrix (voodoo child, all along the watchtower, little wing, castles made of sand etc), Eagles (hotel California ), page, iommi, brian May, slash, Kirk Hammett, the guy in rage against the machine, etc

    My favorites: all of the above incl. tal farlow, pat martino and many more

    Bottom line best guitarist is a myth it’s all about preference. If you want technique there are so many young and unheard kids that can play the shirt of every single one of the above mentioned with the exception of Guthrie

    If you are looking for best feel then there’s an ocean of wonderful songs and solos in any genre

    If you’re looking for most influential then
    Hendrix, Berry & EVH and Christian and wes and and and and…

  393. DJ RAPHO

    August 26, 2015 at 3:43 am

    Es un crimen poner a Ritchie Blackmore en el puesto 26.

  394. Dave

    August 27, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    Keith Richards beat out Stevie Ray Vaughn? Richards shouldn’t even be in the top 50! What was his style? Sloppy guitar?

  395. harold hatch

    August 29, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    that list sucks all wrong heres your real and very best guitarist roy clark duane eddy chet atkins the ventures I could go on and on way to many so how do u pick the best u don’t they are all very good

  396. Gibsonman

    August 29, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    How can you have a list with out Les Paul?

    • my mistake

      August 29, 2015 at 1:04 pm

      Sorry ev1 now i see him lol to early in the morning

  397. Robert Grant

    August 29, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    what?? no Danny Gatton? Malmsteen,Vai,Satriani,Bonamassa,Marvin et al…Chuck Berry practically invented rock & roll…Keith Richards ? no offence..but really? no you guys are way off on some warped National Inquirer version of a popularity contest..I digress..sorry 4 the vent..!

  398. Gayle

    August 30, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    John (Knoll) Christ

  399. Victor

    August 31, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Who is de owner of the list ? Who make this ???
    The owner & the maker know Steve Howe ???
    Sorry ,

  400. Bruce

    September 4, 2015 at 12:59 am

    Yep….you said it.

    Where is:

    Al DiMeola
    Pat Metheny
    Larry Coryell

  401. James

    September 11, 2015 at 12:30 am

    Danny Gatton and Roy Buchanan should be on the list.

    • Michael

      March 21, 2016 at 11:03 pm

      Amen !!!!!!!

  402. Sandra

    September 29, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    Knopfler and SRV should be ahead of over-rated Clapton, imo. And no Fleetwood Mac musician made any of your lists – crazy! McVie on bass, Fleetwood on drums and no Lindsey Buckingham on this list. Too many others missing from this list and too many who should not be included to mention. At least someone was smart enough to include Robert Johnson here who probably, even if indirectly, influenced all of the guitarists.

  403. Ade

    October 3, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    Larry Carlton, Allan Holdsworth?

  404. abbyroadme

    October 25, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    I am stunned that Peter Frampton is not on there. Since I saw him in concert and talk about impressive.

  405. Mark Sampson

    October 25, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    Nine better players than Jeff Beck? What are you smoking in your pipe. And no offense, but Johnny Ramone is ahead of Dickey Betts? What a joke!

  406. Rick C

    October 26, 2015 at 12:12 am

    James Burton #42?!?
    uDiscover should not have scumped themselves.

    • Michael

      March 21, 2016 at 11:02 pm

      I agree. James needs to be much higher and Danny Gatton should be way up there as well.

  407. J Stevens

    October 26, 2015 at 12:57 am

    Keith Richards # 5. Johnny Winter # 47. what a joke.

    • Ken

      April 27, 2018 at 8:18 am

      You are right. Johnny Winter is much better than 47. Also, Billy Gibbons, Alvin Lee, Alan Wilson, Harvey Mandel and Robby Krieger are better than many on this list.

  408. Jim W

    October 26, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    No Steven Stills? He’s better than at least half those guys. Arguably the best acoustic player in rock.

  409. John Michlik

    October 26, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Well….I just read “Forbes’ Greatest Lists Of All Time” and… guess what? Your list isn’t even on the list. So there 🙂

  410. John B.

    October 26, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    This list is missing two of this worlds best guitarist, John Mayer, and Brad Paisley.

  411. Colleen

    October 26, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    One of the world’s best….Dave Meniketti from Y&T.

  412. Marko

    October 26, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Keef & Clapton ridiculously high, Les Paul and Steve Cropper ridiculously low, gaping holes in the shape of Hubert Sunlin, Scotty Moore, if Robert Johnson is there so should be Reverend Gary Davis and Blind Willie Johnson, at least no boring shredders like Vai and Malmstreen (tho Satriani should have made it at least into the lower forty), and no Gary Moore who would have been great id some kond soul explained to him it’s not necessary to solo after EACH verse. Duane Eddy, Angus Young, Hank Marvin and many others aside, I would have included Brian Setzer and the Turner brothers from Wishbone Ash

  413. woodstock135

    October 26, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    You could never put a list together that would please anyone. I will always feel that Hendrix at #1 and Page at #2 is a given for me, after that my list changes drastically. I would rearrange, eliminate and substitute throughout this list and no one would agree. It is a pointless exercise in futility.

  414. Matt Davis

    October 26, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    Joe Walsh. He has such a natural relation with the guitar and plays with such variety and feeling. Lindsey Buckingham is often overlooked but a brilliant player. No list is complete they are fun to make and read.

  415. Alan

    October 27, 2015 at 2:31 am

    I agree with about 2/3 of the list. But John Kay should have been in there somewhere, imo.

  416. Gus Castaneda

    October 27, 2015 at 5:17 am

    ………one day the best guitarists reunited to establish once and for all who was Guitarist Number One: …….at the meeting, Eric Clapton said: “I am number one because I initiated the movement that created this debate in the first place”, ….then Jimmy Page said, …”no I am number one because I expanded the guitar prescence into every music style there is”; ……no…!!!, ….said Keith Richards, ….”I’m number one because I represent the free spirit of rock and roll and my guitar was the marching voice”. ……After more than a hundred candidates expressed their position, Jimi Hendrix took the floor: ….”sorry guys but I am number one because God himself told me I was the best”, ……at that point Jeff Beck stood up and said, ….”you are a liar Jimi, ….I did not tell you anything”.

  417. ali

    October 27, 2015 at 7:41 am

    ooolum batının çok bilmişi alvin lee’yi nerene soktun.
    jeff beck’in 10.lukta ne işi var?

    a) alvin lee?
    b) jeff beck 10 ha. yuhhh…

  418. It's a joke ?

    October 27, 2015 at 9:20 am

    A guitarists list that forgets Neil Young !!!
    Really ?
    Are you joking ?

  419. Larry

    October 27, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Two of my favorites that did not make your list Dwayne Eddy and Richard Kiser.

  420. glenn webster

    October 27, 2015 at 11:30 am

    what a list where is THE GUITAR MAN DUANE EDDY

  421. Kent

    October 27, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Billy Gibbons
    Dick Dale
    Patrick Simmons
    Ted Nugent
    Hard to compare different styles to actually rank these guys as one to whatever but they would definitely be on my list!

  422. Mongol Fred

    October 27, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    I note you place BB King at Number 8.
    I have no problem with that.
    Yet the guitarist that BB King himself said “raised the hairs on the back of his neck” you place at Number 38. Where is the logic in that?
    Peter Green is better than Number 38.
    When Clapton left John Mayall’s Blues Breakers to go to Cream.
    John Mayall told the others, “Don’t worry, I’ve got somebody better”
    You have Eric Clapton at Number 3. I have no problem with that.
    Peter Green is better than that.

  423. Scott Lutz

    October 27, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    The entire problem here is that this is a list. It’s a subjective click-baity incomplete summary of the history of guitar players. Music is an art and should not be subjected to ranking.

    Nobody would take a list of great painters and say that Picasso is better than Van Gogh and Renoir should be up two positions over Matisse and Dali. And don’t forget Monet, Bateman, Seurat and Da Vinci.

    There should just be a box that says in this box are great guitarists, some you will be familiar with and some you may not. In that box attached to the artist should be their influences, who they influenced, some of their best works and a link to their allmusic.com page.

    They should not be rated and fought over, they should be shared, discovered and cherished.

  424. Brendan

    October 27, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Seriously people this list is bogus! IMO Eddie Van Halen is clearly the best guitarist of ALL times! Not even open for discussion. Has anyone ever heard Eruption? Has anyone in history ever had a guitar solo that even came close to that? NO! This dude builds guitars not just plays them! The others are all amazing players in their own right and no one can take that away from them but when it comes to mastering and i mean mastering the guitar no one has done it the way Eddie has….

    • Christopher Nowak

      October 28, 2019 at 11:15 pm

      Tina S is the BEST!!
      Yes, even better than Eddie Van Halen

  425. Herb Wahnon

    October 27, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    I think Keith Urban & Brad Paisly need to be there somewhere.

  426. Jack Neal

    October 27, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Where’s Brian Setzer on the list. He’s an amazing guitarist and sometimes he’s not on the list. Chuck berry is way to high on the list. Love Chuck Berry but he’s too high. James Burdon is low but he’s great too.

  427. buck

    October 27, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    James Burton and Steve Cropper should be moved way up. Hendrix should be moved way down. You also missed Roy Buchanan and Joe Bonamassa, not to mention Les Paul and Chet Adkins.


  428. right

    October 27, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    no one but no one could out play Chet Adkins

  429. nick

    October 28, 2015 at 3:55 am

    What about Randy Bachmann?

    • Brian Mac

      November 10, 2015 at 9:29 pm

      what about him? he sucks, that’s what about him.

  430. Ray Plasse (@tddfn)

    November 3, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    No Todd Rundgren makes this list in my top 50 worthless list!

  431. jake

    November 6, 2015 at 4:13 am

    John Jorgenson, Will Ray, and Jerry Donahue The Hellecasters! Frank Marino better than Hendrix! Pat Travers, Craig Chaquico!

  432. Tom

    November 10, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    That’s a who’s cool list.
    Hardly a best list.

  433. Rene

    November 10, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Brian May, only 27th ?

    This is ridiculous !

  434. Brian Mac

    November 10, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    See, these lists are ALWAYS subjective to whomever is making out the list. Now, I may not agree with the order, or I may have added one or two different guitarists, BUT IT’S NOT MY LIST PEOPLE!!!!!!!! So, get over yourselves…if you don’t like the list, MAKE OUT YOUR OWN LIST AND QUIT WHINING, you bunch of crybaby a**holes.

  435. colin

    November 11, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    hi you lot just to remind you all that it is just 1 persons opinion that these people are the best we know who the best are but unles we say it in the polls our voice will never be heard

  436. John

    November 12, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    Mick Ronson???????????????

  437. kaptain beyond

    November 28, 2015 at 3:00 am

    Clarence White. ahem!

  438. Eleni

    December 23, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    Eric Johnson?????????????

  439. Palmerston

    December 23, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    If we are talking guitarists in general rather than specifically rock/blues music then surely Segovia has to be top of the list

  440. Rick

    December 23, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    Maybe they should make an underrated and under appreciated list. Start it off with Alvin Lee, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Robin Trower, Robert Cray, Don Felder, Joe Satriani and Bonamassa.

  441. Joe

    December 23, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    Keith Richards should not be in the top 5, he shouldn’t be in the top 50

  442. Bjorn

    December 23, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    I’m really glad that Mike Bloomfield is on the list. He did some really great playing during the late sixties and is nowadays often forgoten on other ‘greatest guitarist’ lists.

    • dick

      May 9, 2016 at 9:38 pm

      …..Steve Winwood not on the list either

  443. Mario Rampi

    December 24, 2015 at 2:02 am

    Non è possibile, Jimmi Page 2° Eric Clapton 2° ??????????
    Scandaloso Rory Gallagher 44° Van Hale 4° ??????????

  444. Hey... I like Keith Richards

    December 24, 2015 at 3:22 am

    Christ people…its just a “best of” list. If you want to support the musicians who didn’t make this list or didn’t make it as high as you think they should’ve…GO BUY THEIR RECORDS OR LISTEN TO THEIR MUSIC!!! And let’s not forget music is not a competition. Keith…Jimi…sure not technical wizards but highly influential and innovative in their own right. Now to move on with the rest of my life….

  445. Ed

    December 24, 2015 at 6:35 am

    I think Paige should be number 1, And I believe Robert Cray should be somewhere on this list.

  446. Bob

    December 24, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Joe Pass, Scott Henderson, Robert Fripp, Eric Gales, Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery, Paco de Lucia, Charlie Christian, Derek Bailey, Buckethead,….. just to spontaneously name a few

  447. Pete Kuhlmann

    December 25, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    I agree that Joe Bonomassa and Derek Truck should be there – and Robbie Robertson as well (the Band). And what about Hubie Sumlin. Furthernore, I bet Eric Clapton would be saying that Robert Johnson and Elmore James belong on the list – well up the ladder to the top.

  448. Pete

    March 14, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    I was going to comment on missing guitarists but when I saw Keith Richards at #5 it became obvious to me that the criteria used to compile this list didn’t include talent or skill. Pretty funny actually.

  449. TFC

    March 15, 2016 at 2:55 am

    Ted Nugent should be on the list

    • Glenn Lee

      March 16, 2016 at 1:04 am

      Ted Nugent may be able to play the guitar but he is a disgrace to our country. Complete idiot.

  450. TFC

    March 15, 2016 at 2:58 am

    Alvin Lee

  451. GSK

    March 15, 2016 at 10:27 am

    Any list like like this that fails to include Hank Marvin (at or very near to the top) has absolutely no credibility.

  452. DAVE

    March 15, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Billy Jenkins is the best guitarist ever. Never heard of him? Well, he deliberately avoided fame, but if you Youtube him you will see what I mean

  453. dennis schipper

    March 15, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    wowww,,,,,,,,,how about david gilmour,,,,,,any album he has ever played upon.,,,,,,,,,,,,neil young,,,,,mirror ball .,,,,,,,,,zuma,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,…..

  454. djp

    March 15, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    Todd Rundgren? Derek Trucks?

    • Seagull