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559 Responses

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  1. shawn collins
    shawn collins at |

    No Tony Iomi? Have you never heard Black Sabbath? Listen to Volume 4 or Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Also Prince, not a big fan of his genre, but he could shred a guitar.

  2. Andy
    Andy at |


  3. Phoenix Hung
    Phoenix Hung at |

    A lot of flotsam and jetsam on this list….no Joe Satriani….Steve Vai….Eric Clapton…Billy Gibbons….Wow….

  4. Swan
    Swan at |

    It’s very odvious you have never heard of Eric Clapton or he would top this absurd list ,actually very amusing,even laughable list you dug up from some unknown source

  5. Ed Davenport
    Ed Davenport at |

    Obviously listing something as subjective as musical greatness is tough and inevitably going to cause disagreement, but this is another level. Including John Frusciante and Jack White was a little absurd. Excluding players like Yngvie Malmstein, Dave Mustaine, and Slash was questionable. Excluding Eric Clapton was shocking, offensive, but almost admirable. Very little genre diversity, too. By my count, half of these players are blues or heavily blues-based. The complete absence of heavy metal is glaring. This list is ambitious, but golly, this is pretty darn bad.

  6. Tpohil80
    Tpohil80 at |

    John Mayer? Really? And I love Jack White but top ten? No. I’d easily take Eric Clapton (whom I don’t really even care for) or Neal Schon over half these guys any day,

  7. Axeman
    Axeman at |

    As a long time player conveying the skill, craft and passion of this art, which is as much as a science, players of ANY and every instrument can unanimously agree that there are no “best” players. Some have great moments that were captured and regurgitated in the media time and a get which put them in a permanent vista. This is greatness? Hardly. I’ve seen A LOT of players, some included in the article and the majority chanted by the readers on this board screw things up beyond repair–some during the opening of their first song of the performance. OUCH that hurts…but it happens. Some completely lost track with what they were doing during a show casing of their solo work…oops. Yep it happens, like sometimes happens to singers who forget their lines–it doesn’t matter that they have written the song they were performing. Yea, we hear about this stuff every now and then, however at the end of the day, this doesn’t matter. The truth is, people hear only what they want to hear and will by their very disposition, ignore the negatives and embrace the positives of their work–alas this is why this supportive listeners are called FANS.

    BTW, what you heard on Jimi’s video on this article is not what was being played out one the video. (ANY guitar player worthy of his salt would have caught on to that in one or two bars…OK, I’ll be accommodating…10 bars.

    In truth, there are far too many outstanding players working behind the scenes of modern day music or session players that nobody knows about but have definitely heard and someone else is being recognized for it.

    Case in point: Google/YouTube these names:

    1.) Brent Mason
    2.) Eric Johnson
    3.) Steve Wariner
    4.) Larry Coryell
    5.) Reggie Young
    6.) Ronnie Montrose (RIP…miss you bro)
    7.) Les Dudek
    8.) Jan Akerman
    9.) Sharon Isbin (What did she do with Steve Vai) 😉
    10.) Tatyana Ryzhkova

    This list goes on and on for country miles!

    Let this video be a discovery vista and a symbiotic revelation to what guitar and player is all about in giving their instrument a voice for YOU to hear.

    It goes to show…there is no “best” guitar players…it’s all a matter of perspective, taste, interpretation, etc….. Above all, much of it has to do with the players in question being at the right place , at the right time, playing what the audience wanted to hear from that performance at that point in time. It’s a big world full of talent undiscovered and sadly, it will remain just that: undiscovered.

  8. sohrab saghafi
    sohrab saghafi at |

    Ritchi Blackmore is the biggest guitarist in the world after Jimmi H
    endrix ,of course.I want to know what you say.come on…..

  9. Winston
    Winston at |

    In all these comments I have seen no mention of Derek Trucks. I hear you on all the big name rock guitarists. Whatever. I see no Brian Setzer either. Older country greats like Merle Travis, Jody Maphis and Hank “Sugarfoot” Garland should be on an all time greats list. Chet Atkins, the one and ONLY Mr. Guitar. Les Paul, Django Reinhardt. Andres Segovia,
    How about acoustic rock/pop guys like Paul Simon and James Taylor?
    Tommy Emmanuel, and the Alabama Wild Man, Jerry Reed. Go look up Lighting Rod and try to keep up. Redd Volkaert, hell even Willie Nelson plays a mean lead guitar.
    No top ten list can be real without the name Jack Pearson. Former Allman Brothers guitarist, Nobody on your list can hold a candle to him.

    1. Robert
      Robert at |

      My opinion would put Roy Clark on the list, but what do I know?

  10. Si G.
    Si G. at |

    The best is in the ears of the beholder.
    The guitar exists hundreds if not a thousand years.
    Addressing mostly recent electrical guitar players and disregard most famous classical and flamenco players is lying to history.
    Not to mention Goya or Pacco de Lucia even with one word is a crime against guitar playing.
    Shame on all of you spring chicks.

  11. Matt indoe
    Matt indoe at |


  12. Don
    Don at |

    What about Les Dudek

  13. Rhasz
    Rhasz at |

    Anyone without the skills and ability to shred well technically should not be on a top list ever. Any top list without Buckethead is incomplete since he has the highest ability. Anyone that says Buckethead can not play with soul/feel/emotion/blah blah blah are misinformed and have not listened to enough of him them self. Buckethead has over 50 albums so it is hard to find the good stuff since a lot of his work is experimental, but his good stuff is the best stuff. Oh wow just before pushing post I just found yet another awesome older Buckethead song… Brazos.

  14. sadie
    sadie at |

    John Mayer???? But no Brian May???That’s ridiculous.

  15. just the notes
    just the notes at |

    If your voting on pure guitarist and no particular style then jose felicano is Number one.The worlds greatest living guitarist. also The worlds greatest blind guitarist.
    I always say that Jose Feliciano? is indeed one of the greatest guitarists that’s ever lived. Flamenco, latin, bolero, classical, rock ect ect…. You name it and Jose can play it. Why he’s not on Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest guitarist of all time, is beyond anyone’s guess. dont believe me look up on youtube purple haze, the thrill is gone, flight of the bumble bee, Malagueña under Jose Feliciano. the guy can play anything and make it his own.

  16. bolsengaw
    bolsengaw at |

    it depends

  17. JMP
    JMP at |

    10. Rusty Cooley
    9.Javier Reyes
    8. Chris Broderick
    7. Jimmy Page
    6. John Petrucci
    5. Jeff Loomis
    4. Paul Waggoner/Dusty Baker
    3. Joe Satriani (Hes a musical computer, knows EVERYTHING)
    2. Steve Vai
    1. Tosin Abasi (No Doubt)

  18. pepe
    pepe at |

    What a shame….all of these “experts” boasting of “knowing the biggest member” !
    Please – get serious !
    Paco de Lucia, Tommy Emmanuel, Jon Gomm, Mike Dawes….and a thousand more !!
    Music / Guitar is NOT about competing you idiots !!!!!!
    It is about creating and experiencing ART !!!
    ART for those that doesnt know is another dimension than “I can throw a stone much longer than you ”
    So PLEASE – grow up – no more silly BS about “the best ” guitarist !!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Mariza
    Mariza at |

    So where’s Carlos Santana? Richie Sambora? Eric Johnson? Eric Clapton? Jimi Hendrix? Slash?

  20. someonestudied
    someonestudied at |

    Jimi Hendix to Robert Johnson… Big gap there. Every single person on this list is a celebrity besides him(Robert Johnson). AND 90 percent of them play electric guitar. CHAIRLIE CHRISTIAN is the person you should be worshiping. Comment if you are a guitarist and have actually done your homework.

  21. matt bunsen
    matt bunsen at |

    Pat Metheny can play with speed, complexity and emotion that is beyond just about everyone on that list. (Dont be fooled by the ‘smooth jazz’ if thats all you’ve heard by him.)

    But this is obviously a rock/blues list. Otherwise Wes Montgomery or other jazz greats would be included. Not to mention country pickers like Merle Travis that are incredible…

  22. Chris
    Chris at |

    Leaving aside guitarists whose relative fame is debatable (such as Steve Hillage or Terje Rypdal), how can you have a wannabe like John Mayer on your list, but not Dr. Brian May, Jerry Garcia or Jeff Beck? And I’d have also swapped out Tom Morello in favor of Adrian Belew. Belew was making his guitar sound like “everything but a guitar” more than a decade before anyone had heard of Morello. Adrian played with Talking Heads, Joan Armatrading, David Bowie (that’s him playing the crazy solos on DJ and Boys Keep Swinging), and King Crimson back in thee late 70’s and early 80’s. And his song Oooh Daddy at least grants him one hit wonder status, as far as “fame” goes.

  23. Zarko
    Zarko at |

    Jimi is really the best, but how a man who died 80 years ago, when no real music recording existed was the BEST?. Because my grandpa said so? It’s not serious.

  24. Don Laird
    Don Laird at |

    I disagree with your selection of “Marooned” as the definitive showcase for Gilmour’s talents….try the latter portion of “Comfortably Numb”……….”live” from the Pulse concert, Earls Court……

    (fast forward to 04:50)


    Don Laird

  25. Ky
    Ky at |

    This list is a disgrace, including no mention of Steve Vai, Joe Satriani or John Petrucci.


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