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553 Responses

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  1. mjoe at |

    I´m so happy there is no Santana onthe list, because he is not as half as good as most people think!

    1. KJHKHL at |

      Darn You mjoe! Santana rocks your socks off and you know it!!!

      1. Moleman3 at |

        Damn straight, and i reckon eric clapton should be on that list too

        1. fossy.55 at |

          what about Peter Green ……?

          1. dsmet at |

            what about Mark Knopfler?

          2. Olive at |

            What about Kurt Cobain?!

            …I’m just kidding. I mean, I love Kurt Cobain, but I wasn’t being honest.

            1. Justin at |

              Peter Frampton?

            2. BlueRhinoHawk at |

              or what about the best synyster gates

            3. Surrendipity at |

              Joe Satriani?

        2. breana at |

          you both are crazy!!!!!!

          1. Felix at |

            Angus Young?

        3. Lee at |

          Eric Clapton should DEFINATELY be on this list as should Brian May.

        4. Terry Elliott at |

          I agree with you on “Slow Hand” but has no one heard of Joe Bonamassa??? He is by far the greatest living guitarist!! Check out The Beacon Theater &/or “Live @ the Royal Albert Hall” DVD (dbl).

    2. bdguitars at |

      you all need to check out tommy emmanuel before ever commenting on a best guitar player list i see all these top ten guitarists and no one has mentioned him by far best person to ever pick up a guitar check it out and btw john mayer? cmon

      1. planes at |

        I've got him at number 10 on my list at the bottom of this thread. He is a fantastic guitarist. I think part of the problem is he has no original material but he is definitely awesome.

        1. Laughingcruiser at |

          Hey Planes! you claim Tommy Emmanuel hasn’t any original material….what about “Initiation”

          1. yo yo yo at |

            Tommy Emmanuel use to write for stevie ray vaughan sooooooo……….. Pretty original

        2. Kevin Williams at |

          No original material? Are you living under a rock?

          1. Justin at |

            TRUE. Tommy can be good but I find he has a lot of filler and some overly fluffy tunes sometimes. It makes it sound like he’s trying too hard to play it with as many different chords as possible before finally landing the first note. (which is usually late). and for clapton below me I could agree but I think Jimmy Page’s playing is just as good but he’s more reckless. he’s reckless for good reason though, it’s like he’s transfering his feeling to it like Jimi Hendrix would but Page’s guitar sounds like your heart wanting to rip out of your chest to claim your biggest desire once and for all. The kind of vibe when you finally realize your in love after a LONG time of dullness. Jimi is groovy, and Clapton likes to serenade seeming like an old gentle man from any age.

      2. Scott Vance at |

        Im glad he gave Mayer props. The most underrated player of this generation. The guy rips.

        1. Tryjm at |

          Scott Vance is right. Check mayer out live then judge..

    3. gman at |

      Clapton is the greatest guitarist of all time. There is no discussion its the facts…

      1. Penny Loa at |

        No doubt. I am glad that there is someone who can help me tell my up and coming 12 year guiitarist, who thinks privately that he should be on the list himself, that Axel Rose and Van Halen, while quite good in their own right, do not hold a candle to the Man.

        1. John at |

          When have you ever heard Axl Rose play guitar??

          1. Ben Palmer at |

            OK…… Axl doesn’t play guitar….. I think you mean Slash. and Slash is the F**king Man!!! but I digress….

      2. Laughingcruiser at |

        Not according to Clapton himself, he says Tommy Emmanuel is the best guitar player he has ever heard and I agree with him on that.

      3. Moleman3 at |


      4. jfauser at |

        This is where Clapton got most of his stuff

    4. CB at |


      1. jfauser at |

        Yes, Eric Johnson. Better than Andreas Segovia, Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery, Joe Maphis, Chet Atkins, Freddie King, Albert King, and Paco De Lucia. The man whose influence is just EVERYWHERE.

    5. Cal at |

      Thank you mjoe. I really don’t see what others do in santana

    6. RRbest at |

      Randy Rhoads was way better than all those MF combined!!!

      1. asad at |

        *thumbs Up*

    7. MOPAR JOE at |

      the top five in no certain order are…….. JIMI HENDRIX .NIO EXPLANATION NEEDED……..RICHIE BLACKMORE he broght the strat into metal and he led his leads perfectly back into the song ……… .EDWARD VAN HALEN he was the next innovater after hendrix…………DIME BAG DARRELL….he was just plain the baddast ass of them all…………..AND ENGWIE MALMSTIEN he did everything else……..there are lots of great guitar players . but .these five guys set the bar for everyone else

    8. PinoyShredder at |

      Pinoy guitar shredders rule. Put Jm Lozada on the list!!

    9. 1guitar at |

      Hey dude I’m a guitar a pro guitar player and that list is not what my colleagues would say in my opinion
      BLUES : John Mayer ,Stevie ray Vaughan ,Hendrix ,BB king,Muddy waters,Eric Clapton , Buddy Guy ,Robert Johnson ,Kenny Wayne Shepherd ,Albert king ,and i have 10 more players that their solos,riffs and licks are full of feeling and an amazing power on the accentuation is just my favorite blues is the best
      SPEED :
      ROCK &ROLL ,METAL:Joe Satriani ,Eddie Van Halen ,Steve Vai,Dime bag Darrel ,Tom Morello,Randy Rhodes ,Jimmy Page,John Petrucci,Ingwie Malnsteen,Michael Angelo Batio,and again I’m leaving like 10 or more guitar players on this style of super fast guitar players and full of techniques and mind blowing solos

      JAZZ :Al Di Meola , John McLaughlin ,Wes Montgomery ,Pat Metheny ,John Scofield,Django Reinhardt ,Larry carlton ,Joe Pass,Herb Ellis ,Eddie Lang , and again I still have in mind at least 10 more jazz guitar players that jazz is the hardest and more complex guitar composition and it is an awesome style or kind of music to play just because not everybody play can play jazz.

      Slash,Santana,Jack White , John Frusciante ,the edge , and many more have popularity and more media but they are far away from been in any of these lists

      1. Phil Simon at |

        Man, there are so many that are so, so good…It’s a real tough choice who you’re putting in the top 10…and then who did you leave out…whew…and what about Tal Farlow & Jim Hall…and that’s what I mean…and I heard/saw Bonamasso on public television the other night…a monster on guitar…Pat Metheny is no slouch, etc.

        Best of luck,

        Phil Simon…still listening

        1. Rob Jones at |

          How could you say John Frusciante doesn’t deserve to be on this list you have obviously not heard any of his solo stuff or seen any of his live stuff.
          And to be honest you being a pro guitarist doesn’t make that much of a difference in judging him cause his music is so passionate and emotional, listen to his solo in his song Look on and try not to be moved by it then come back to me.

      2. Gerg at |

        Um, I think you forgot Nuno Bettencourt.

      3. Matt Campbell at |

        Not having David Gilmour as the first guitarist listed after the word feeling (let alone not having him on your list at all) makes the rest of your list invalid. He is the epitome of the word feeling as far as guitarists are concerned. That is all.

      4. Winston at |

        Let me shoot you some names Mr Pro Guitar player. When those you mention can play with the likes of Jack Pearson you can put them on a list. You didn’t even touch on country or bluegrass so I have to assume you know nothing about them. So let me throw this out there. There is only ONE called Mr. Guitar. Chet Atkins. His protege, Jerry Reed is another great. Let’s try Merle Travis, Jody Maphis and in recent years Redd Volkaert. I think you need to expand your listening radius. Let’s not forget the man who likely has his name on your guitar, Mr. Les Paul. Then I would ask you listen to bluegrass flatpicking. You want speed? These guys can play with Ygnwgie and do it on a Martin D28.
        While you’re at it, I know a well known fiddle player who plays well enough that Bob Dylan wanted him to play guitar on his albums. Charlie Daniels. While on Southern Rock, lets list Billy Gibbons, Toy Caldwell, Duane Allman, Allen Collins and Steve Gaines.
        But like I started this post with, go and look up Jack Pearson. I’m sure you don’t know him or he’d be on your list.

    10. tattooedguy at |

      this guy that wrote this is clueless i bet he dont even know how to play a note on the guitar, how could eddie van halen not be on this list.he should be number one, there will never be another guitar player that set the world on fire like the first van halen album, john mayer the guy from the chilli peppers you have to be joking or you are deaf

      1. C.J. Wise at |

        Go listen to the song “Neon” by John Mayer, watch the video, realize his talent, and then please rephrase your statement.

    11. Ishh at |

      Hey mjoe! I think you are out of your mind. Santana is the best of the best. He goes wth the sound and wind. He creates emotions that dont exist..Wowoo you hear him properly when its silence.

    12. Zoie at |

      But I thought Jimmie Henrix was the the #1 guitar player!!!?

    13. Jaytee at |

      John Mayer…lol…good player but derivative…I could show you tons of other guitar players that can do the same clone job better.

      Jack White…just because you use cheap lo fi gear and wank on it like any student of the guitar can after a couple of years doesn’t make you great.

      10 is a tough list to compile to begin with, but including every genre makes it impossible.

      If you remove genres I can name better guitar players than everyone on this list.

      Music isn’t a competition.

  2. Jude at |

    How could you miss Buddy Guy who influenced and taught so many .. including Jimmy Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jonny Lang and more. The man is a master!

    1. Jgbee at |

      How bout Mississippi John Hurt?

      1. jfauser at |

        I’m impressed someone actually knows Mississippi John Hurt.

    2. Duce at |

      Richards, Keith! (1)

  3. Tracy H at |

    How could you forget Christian artist Phil Keaggy?

    1. Jeff at |

      I think youve done a nice job distributing it throughout the genres, Mine ,and again,just my preference would be:

      1.Jimi Hendrix

      2.David GIlmour

      3Jimmy Page

      4.Steve Vai


      6.Eric Clapton

      7.Hughie Thomason(the outlaws)

      8.John Fogarty

      9.Django Reinhardt

      10.Buck darma (from BOC)



      1. Dario at |

        Wow, Nice taste. especially someone who listens to Buck Darma. Anyway, Your list is great, But i would put Mark Knopfler in the list :)

      2. rob pena at |

        i think you are all f'n dilluted eric clapton should be #1 hands down. #2 carlos santana #3 mark knopfler #4 robert cray #5 robert johnson

        1. Leukorrhoea at |

          Without Robert Johnson, there would be no Clapton.

          1. michael f. at |

            without robert johnson there wouldnt be any of these guitarists

          2. austins at |

            That is true, but without the many fine guitarists of today, who will inspire the gifted musicians of tomorrow. Musicians are artists and it would be quite dull if they all copied each other and sounded the same wouldn’t it? Whether we like it or not the world keeps on spinning regardless of what we want, think or do. Enjoy the gifts that are shared today, because we’re not guaranteed a minute more.

        2. KJHKHL at |

          WHOOO! Santana RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        3. Ben Palmer at |

          Clapton is good… not gonna argue that he is an amazing guitarist… but no where near the best guitarist of all time…. Satriani can play ANY clapton riff, solo, song, chord progression, whatever.. Clapton can’t come close to playing any of Joe’s stuff. And most of Claptons best songs are JJ Cale tunes. Cocaine, Layla, After Midnight, etc,…. etc…. Oh and Clapton put out a whole album dedicated to Robert Johnson and admitted that most of the songs are redone and reworked because “the man” Clapton couldn’t play em anywhere near as well as Mr. Johnson.

          But it is all opinion… thats why these lists go on forever.

      3. mike brown at |

        -have any of you ever heard of chet atkins. he could play anything the guys you mention but, they could not or can,t play any thing he played-hell non-finger style players you have to go with nokie edwards from the ventures. you guys are obviously rock only players and listen to only them only -do yourselves a favor and get his albums-mister guitar and workshop-they show just how good he was and then make a comment here

        1. Ben Palmer at |

          Well said.. Chet’s the man. He’s the only one I know that comes close to Tommy Emmanuel. They actually did an album together called Fingerpickers take over the world.

        2. Doug H. at |

          Any list that doesn’t include Chet Atkins as one of the top 10 guitarists of all time simply isn’t credible.

      4. Lee Wallace at |

        I think Jeff Beck & Ry Cooder should on this list.

      5. electric tepee at |

        criss oliva kills em all

    2. Duce at |

      The same way they forgot Keith Richards..(remember the Rolling Stones?)

      1. Jace at |

        Without some stupid barbarian discovering some tooting whistle thing that makes noise, there would be no Robert Johnson. Stupid to say something like that. Of course there wouldn't be any of those guitarists.

    3. Irene Clemmer at |

      Eric Clapton called Keaggy the best!

      1. dan at |

        Roy Clark has to be one of the alltime greats

  4. Topher at |

    The fact that you would list John Mayer in the top 10 guitarists of all time is ludicrous!

    You can't seriously say he's better than…

    Angus Young (AC/DC)

    Eric Clapton

    Jeff Beck

    Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead)

    Pete Townshend (The Who)

    Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones)

    Duane Allman (The Allman Brothers Band)

    Joe Satriani

    Eddie Van Halen

    Stevie Vai

    I'd even put Yngwie Malmsteen, who's not top-ten worthy, before Mayer.

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    And you left off Chuck Berry, that's downright inexcusable.

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    1. Nemo at |

      John Myer is SURPRISINGLY worthy…a yr ago i wuddn'v thot so,but listen carefully to wat he's doing…an early great

    2. X at |

      That Chuck Berry killed everything else on this list – and Jimi Hendrix is No.1!

    3. Eric at |

      The fact that you’ve probably never listened to his live work probably formed this opinion. Don’t listen to his pop albums, go YouTube his blues and live performances. Or his Trio work. Your opinion will change, and quickly.

      1. jfauser at |

        I’m sure people have heard his blues stuff but he still doesn’t belong anywhere near a top 200 list

    4. C.J. Wise at |

      Watch “Neon” by John Mayer. Nobody Could come up with that besides him. He is the most unique guitarist ever.

  5. ha at |

    uninformed list by a youngster.

    no angus young?

    no eric clapton? holy crap.

    no gary moore?

    stevie is not number 1?

    wtf no buddy guy?

    got a lot of growing up to do musically…

    but it is a good highly opinionated list

    1. thing123 at |

      omg angus young? seriously? comon guys. stop it with all the angus young stuff.

    2. volodya at |

      Finally…somebody mentioned Gary Moore :)

    3. Josh at |

      Uninformed? What are you talking about? You didn’t include Leo Kottke, Elliot Smith, T-Bone Walker, and a plethora of others worthy of top ten. John Mayer is definitely worthy of top ten. His work for personal satisfaction and reward is 1000x different than, “your body is a wonderland”. Look for yourself.

  6. Writer at |

    Making a comprehensive list of the top 10 guitarists , I had to cut out some of my own favorites as an artist.

    If I could have added more, I would've and I most likely would've added the artists you all have mentioned (Save Malmsteem. Yuck. Mayer's soul is ages beyond him), but limiting it to 10 is the whole point of this site.

    Rolling Stones top 100 guitarists named Angus Young at a tepid 96. Mr Cobain was 12. It's all opinion my friends, don't get offended :).

    Besides, I hope to NEVER stop growing musically. To stop growing is to die, and I hope you never do either.



  7. ah at |

    Music is NOT a competition. Why do guitar players (like me) have such a hard time with this? Just enjoy the great ones.

    Besides, what about Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Lenny Breau, Jeff Beck, Billy Gibbons, Albert King, Freddie King, Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, Chet Atkins, Hubert Sumlin, Eddie Van Halen, Wes Montgomery, Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani, Tal Farlow, or Joe Pass? I dare any guitarist to consider shredding "hard" after attempting to learn even a slowly paced Joe Pass tune.

    Music is not a competition.

  8. RPO at |

    Joe Satriani deserves to be on this list, but its a good list regardless!

  9. HogieWan at |

    ah – all these lists should be called "Top *** Guitar Players that I have heard of."

  10. njvrstgn at |

    I am surprised that none of you have mentioned John Petrucci on your list. He definitely be in my "top 10."

    1. thebard at |

      Yea, really, no john petrucci, maybe 'cause he's in a less popular genre? (progressive metal) but no one seems to have hear of him, he's invented techniques and everything, he def. deserves consideration

      1. thebard at |
    2. Sancho at |

      Of course man!! He really rocks!!!

    3. thing123 at |

      yeah when it comes to tone, unique style, and just plain out extreme shredding, petrucci is awesome. These Walls is and awesome song btw

  11. rich at |

    Expand your musical tastes. AT LEAST HALF of this list would be heavy metal guitarists. and I personally know guitarists who could BURY Robert Johnson.

    1. thing123 at |

      omg guitar playing isnt just about speed and technically skill. its about style and uniqueness of sound, as shown by tom morello and jack white. most of those metal guitarist, with quite a few exceptions ill admit (tony iommi, john petrucci, randy rhoads & van halen, and joe satriani & steve vai), sound EXACTLY THE SAME. i think you need to expand YOUR musical taste.

    2. jfauser at |

      You know a guitarist that influenced Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, and Bob Dylan. Let me say that again. Bob Dylan. Did this supposed guitar player play a part in the creation of rock n’ roll? Does this guy sound like two different players at once (Sometimes even three?)

  12. afan at |

    Let's go to a different genre: chet adkins, roy clark, brad paisley, ricky skaggs, just to name a few. purely subjective list like this serve no purpose except to elicit arguments.

  13. chet atkins at |

    hurr hurr hurr lololol fap fap fap

  14. Mimi at |

    Antonio Carlos Jobim, no list of guitar players is complete without him.

    1. That's what&#03 at |

      I agree.

  15. Bobo at |

    This is a rather biased listing of guitarists, and when you say "best guitarists" you can't just say that… there's no best, you need to break it to technical abilities, style, influence…etc…

    Either way, I'd only agree with this list on one maybe two guitarists, but like stated before, music isn't a competition, it's supposed to be an expression….John Mayer is a horrid guitarist…

  16. RC67 at |

    Dude, John Mayer? unbelievable. Angus young, Gary moore I agree Eric Clapton you bet. but, it is an opinion. I think Michael Schenker is badass, and what about Steve Morse. I just saw Rush in Rio, and I forgot just how good Alex lifeson is. What about George Lynch? Tony MacAlpine. so I will let you have John Mayer, because he makes you feel something, for me, it's nausea…..Oh, and I forgot Brian May. Doyle Bramhall, I could go on.

    1. jamlene at |

      finally somebody mentioned brian may..i was browsing through the comments if anyone would mention him…he’s a very talented guitarist…what’s with all the success of Queen?i know its largely due to freddie mercury but brian’s guitar playing played a significant role in it…i also strongly believe joe satrianni and steve vai should be in this list

  17. Joe at |

    Frusciante? Are you kidding? He's a glorified rhythm guitarist.

    1. will at |

      dude! jimi’s little wing is pretty much all rhythm guitar! I’ve played for 20 years, I teach! believe it’s harded than any satch esq ‘legarto’ lick!

  18. Jordan Goldenberg at |

    I myself would've put Steven Wilson on that list before John Mayer.

  19. Gianni at |

    I never understood the 'top 10' thing applied to music…I understand if we are talking about record sales as it is a tangible measurement, but there are no real parameters here…

  20. christopher babb at |

    Rhandy Rhodes is the greatest of all time.

    1. kalamari at |

      100% totaly agree

      1. Jeff at |

        metal is good but personally I don't think you can say that honestly randy is the best. There's WAY better stuff out there. Mr. Crowley and crazy train are good but really now,

        1. richie at |

          dont pick out the only 2 randy rhoads songs you know,have you ever really listend to all of the first 2 ozzy albums,,the guitar work and sound is un matchable,,randy created his own scales and sound ,how about listening to quiet riot 1 and 2 hes on there as well

          1. Theat001 at |

            Definitely, Diary of a Madman is like…the groundwork for so many great songs out there today. And if you listen to that live solo after Suicide Solution, which is only done live, it's just crazy what he could do that you didn't think he could do. If he was still alive, even if he left Ozzy, we would have seen even better stuff from him. Crowley and Crazy Train were actually more watered down marketable songs. That's more or less why Randy was GOING to leave Oz in the first place.

  21. kdvicious at |


    Duane Allman?

    Eric Clapton?

    and I'm still in disbelief that John Mayer is on that list. DEREK TRUCKS deserves the spot of modern guitarist on that list.

    1. Nithin Saji at |

      John Mayer stops playing when Derek starts to do his thing.

  22. Ashevegaspicker at |

    Also, remember

    Django Reinhardt, Andres Segovia & Tony Rice

    1. Ben Palmer at |

      Thank YOU!!! Tony Rice!!! Django!!! Bluegrass and metal have some of the most amazing and overlooked musicians in the UNIVERSE.

  23. prowler at |

    ok. ok. I play better guitar thean frusciante

  24. Brian at |

    A list that's bound to be disagreed with, and I do. Although I love Hendrix, Clapton, etc. I'm still most impressed with Mississippi Fred McDowell. Bass line, rhythm, lead slide, and singing simultaneously and effortlessly. Several video performance on DVD are available, in case you listen to just an audio recording and wondered "who are the other guitarists playing, they're really good together?" nope, just Fred.

  25. chrisy at |

    I was shocked when Jack White and John Frusciante were on the list.

    They are absolutely amazing…Yet "Top Lists" seem to think only the greatest players are those from the past.

    They're making way for a whole new style…

  26. Mike at |

    John Mayer? Dude…… are you insane?

  27. Jill at |

    John Frusciante is a great guitarist. try To Record Only Water for 10 Days or The Will To Death. Very good albums, and he plays a majority of the instruments. He is deserving of that spot. I think George Harrison should be on this list. He was one of the most influential guitar players of all time.

  28. JSL at |

    The list is leaving off some HUGE names. You absolutely cannot leave out Clapton and Van Halen. However, you apparent uninformed people saying that John Mayer shouldn't be on the list should wake up and get in your music. He is on track to waxing this whole list by the end of his career. Clapton is practically handing him the torch. But then again, I guess that Tiger Woods will never be as good as Jack to some.

  29. Tony at |

    JSL, I agree with you on the Mayer comment. Any one who is bashing him needs to listen to his latest live album. kid rips plain and simple. I have to disagree with you on the Van Halen comment, not that he isn't a great player, but to me his playing always lacked substance, no soul to it. Now, I can't stand Clapton, (I won't get into why), but he should definitely be on the list.

    1. Ben at |

      The kid RIPS! Just look at his face during the solo. He is in the zone…

  30. Manok at |

    Where's Santana, Grant Green, and, (of course) Eddie Hazel?

    My top 10 would indeed also include Buddy Guy, B.B King and Joe Satriani.

    Some of the best guitar ever recorder is of course "Maggotbrain". Play it, LOUD, then come back here and say something nice about Eddie Hazel. :-)

    1. Me-Mo at |

      Dude I totally agree with you,Eddie Hazel was awsome.And Add Ernie Isley (he learned from Jimi Hendrix when he played with the Isley Brothers),And Carlos Santana(his oloder stuff,check out the Borboletta album from 1975),and if you like Hendrix and stevie Ray why isn't Robin Trower (Robin Trower Live) on this list ?Also the guitarist from the band Slave(he was17 when they cut the album with "Slide"on it).Most of these are Metal guitarists,I prefer a guitarist that can make the hair on the back of my neck stand up when they play.Someone that makes you feel different emotions when they play.Just because you can play super fast doesn't make you great.

  31. Bill at |

    Heres a few no one has brought up … very under rated or possibly not well enough known …. Jeff Beck , Steve Vai , BucketHead , Ry Cooder , Eric Johnson ,Gary Moore , Ritchie Blackmore , Andy Summers ,John Petrucci ,Vivian Campbell , Paul Gilbert , Uli John Roth ,Robert Fripp ,Akira Takasaki ,Steve Howe ,MICHAEL ANGELO BATIO ,CHRIS IMPELLITTERI ,ZAKK WYLDE , Vinnie Vincent , Stevie Stevens , and my choice for best overall would definetely be Randy Rhoads…

    1. boban at |

      AAAHHH finally Ritchie

    2. andy at |

      my god….

      you missed wingelvai mamerrysteen.haha.. Paul Gilbert???why not nuno bettencourt

      bro, Jeff Beck probably isn’t underrated or not well enough known, he is much lauded. but he definitely should be on any list of guitarists

    3. mike at |

      tellme about it man…where’s buckethead????


    4. cagedinsanity at |

      Paul Gilbert is the most versatile guitarist that has EVER picked up an ax! He and Chet Atkins are the best two guitarists ever, period.

  32. Robert at |

    Agree with JSL and Tony Completely, all of you ignorant people who say john mayer is not a good guitarist should take a listen to some of his acoustic stuff or JMT (John Mayer Trio) and be prepared to be blown out of the water. This guy is ridiculous.

  33. bobby sandhu at |

    No Joe Satriani? strange list…. i wont say Santana is great or Glen Fray are the greatest… but they are not ranked lower then John Mayer… Mayer is good, but not one of the world top 10…

  34. Tomasco at |

    Unbelievable…. Not one mention of Zappa. Zappa was the best. I suggest his 3 album "Shut up and Play Yer Guitar" for those who think Frank was just the 'Yellow Snow' guy. Frank was an absolute genius. There isn't any band anywhere that could play his music short of a symphony orchestra and it would be hard for them. Genius…

    1. dmc at |

      You have to understand music theory and the complexity of symphonic composition to truly appreciate how good Zappa is as a guitar musician/composer.

      This is why it is so rare to see his name on these sorts of lists. The people expressing opinions here do not listen to music per se, they listen to ‘sound’ as in how good someone’s guitar riff “sounds”.

      If you listen to “music” you wind up listening to Frank with your mouth open, with goosebumps and tears in your eyes.

  35. Tomasco at |


    1. tina king at |

      saw Segovia paly in Manchester – refused to start until there was complete silence!
      Shame not to see Hank Marvin or Jet Harris on any lists when so many claim they owe them debts of gratitude – certainly for hisory or electric guitar in Uk – also noting Hanks Spanish gypsy playing now

  36. brixnx at |

    what about buckethead? or mattrach? maybe michael angelo batio or HIM's guitarrist!

    1. andy at |

      because they are all awful…

  37. Tomasco at |

    Mayer is about the sloppiest guitar player I've ever seen. Pure slop. Shades of Neil Young……

    1. Ben at |

      You obviously haven’t seen John Mayer play guitar …. at all then. Slop? that’s the stupidest comment I’ve seen on here yet. Sloppy… Ha!

      1. theat001 at |

        Sorry, but he is pretty damn sloppy. Even in his studio performances… If you don’t think he’s sloppy that’s your opinion, but when you hear a guitarist who can play cleaner, you’ll fully understand…

        1. mike at |

          john Mayer sucks…. bad voice NO real talent on a guitar just,…sucks… Buckethead any day…

          1. theat001 at |

            See I wouldn’t put buckethead in a top 10 list myself either…but to put in mayer is an insult to a lot of great guitarists that were ommitted. Particularly clapton, who has a similar style, but leagues more talent. Or even the more versatile guitarists who don’t stick to any one genre.

  38. ftaang at |

    Dude, you're missing some of the greats. Frank Zappa, Mick Ronson, Eddie Van Halen, Eric Clapton…

    John Mayer? Seriously? If you wanted to do a current pop guitarist at least do Hugh Harris from The Kooks. Considering they recorded their first album when he was like 17/18.

    1. Eric at |

      “I was astonished at how well he played live. I had no idea he was that good.”

      That was Clapton’s quote on Mayer in 2004. Anyone who bashes Mayer is ignorant. Go watch his live performances before you start running your mouth off.

    2. Anirban Das at |

      John Mayer is not only a pop guitarist but always plays blues better than ever in this generation…! U gotta listen to his live work in “where the light is concert” live in L.A…. apart from that he plays industrial rock, progressive rock etc.. John does it all..!!! u should surely listen before u say something that isn’t right..!

  39. toughguy at |

    theres no way that wannabe from the red hot chili peppers is better than jimmy page just no damn way

  40. Tony at |

    Speaking of Slop. Jimmy Page wrote the book on sloppy guitar playing. His studio work is amazing, but his live stuff is slop at it's finest.

  41. Apocrypha at |

    Tom Morello?! Jack White?! This list needs guys like Andy Latimer, Robert Fripp, Alex Lifeson, Mikael Akerfeldt, Steve Hackett and Steve Howe. The only credible entry is David Gilmour.

  42. boti at |

    where is synyster gates(avenged sevenfold)?

  43. ken herman at |

    OK, OK, kids!

    Probably one of the greatest is Glenn Schwartz, formerly of the James Gang and Pacific Gas & Electric. Considered to be a "white" Jimi Hendrix, he was asked by Jimi to play at what was to be his last birthday party. Glenn played behind his back and with his teeth (now with his gums) before Jimi ever did. Now out of the limelight (and out of his mind) Glenn plays (and preaches) on Thursdays at a blue collar bar in Cleveland. ONE F*CKING INCREDIBLE PLAYER. Should be on any list.

  44. Abhijeet Bhardwaj at |

    Ok!. Why young and van halen and clapton aren't there I don't know but Uh SLASH (GNR).

  45. rckstr at |

    I know everyone may cringe at this one, but Billy Corgan can play the hell out of a guitar. he makes his guitar soar like a blend of tom morrello-meets-david gilmore. I know he hasn't put out much worth listening to in a while, but the guy is a virtuoso. more so than nearly everyone on the list. how about Doug Martsch? absolute genious.

    1. andy at |

      absolutely agree…this list for me should be about influential style, originality. Billy definitely had a style but to include him you would have to include Kevin Shields (my bloody valentine) william reid, Sterling Morrison…how about Robbie Kreiger???

  46. Alex at |

    Ehm perhaps this has been said before but … where's Slash ? from Guns 'n' Roses?

    I know he would be in my list …

    But great list nevertheless!

  47. Paul at |

    More than significant, each of these guys were/are influential monsters in their own right, yet still unmentioned here:

    John Fahey

    Rory Gallagher

    Peter Green

    Wes Montgomery

    Larry Carlton

    Jeff Healey

    1. ThatsRight at |

      Glad someone finally mentioned Peter Green who

      created Fleetwood Mac. Those were the days!

  48. YouForgot at |

    Eddie Van Halen. Slash. Eric Clapton. Pete Townsend. Angus Young.

  49. eh at |

    Where the heck is Brian May (Queen)?! No-one's mentioned him already, that's a shame… And Robby Krieger of The Doors should also be on the list. He's one of the most underrated musicians.

    1. sadie at |

      I recently read that Jimmy Paige said he could play any guitarist except Brian May.That’s some tribute.Brian makes that guitar(Which he made himself) sing.Fabulous musician!!!!!

  50. D.B. at |

    I am absolutely stunned that no previous commenter has mentioned John McLaughlin. He's more creative AND way faster than any on the list and yet plays with intense emotion even when "shredding". Frusciante is a tasteful player and comes up with nice tunes, but plenty of bar-band guitarists can hit the same riff over and over at high speed.

    1. Jeff at |

      I agree. Most people haven’t heard of John. Their loss. He is phenomenal.

    2. Jeff at |

      Well said. McLaughlin blows ’em away.

  51. sean at |

    not even close. No offense but John Mayer is trash absolute trash. Jack White is decent but not a guitar god at all. This is my list, and I'm going to leave out every guitar player that came before the Beatles, not saying Chuck Berry or B.B. King couldn't shred, but I'm trying to relate to the modern idea of Rock and Roll. I'm also judging on a lot more than just ability to "shred". And to the one goon…Jimmy Page SHINED live, that was Led Zeppelins appeal, you felt like you were at the biggest show on Earth…you probably just watched a few videos on youtube from the end of the band's career when he was a herion addict.

    10.Joe Satriani

    9. Elliott Smith

    8. Doug Martsch

    7. Eric Clapton

    6. Nick Drake

    5. Neil Young

    4. David Gilmour

    3. Jimmy Page

    2. George Harrison

    1. Jimi Hendrix. no question

    1. Chris at |

      this guy knows what he’s talking about (nick drake needs to be pushed up… get elliot smith outta there and put in TREY

  52. bob at |

    10 Joe Walsh

    9 Carlos Santana

    8 Alexi Laiho

    7 Jimmy Page

    6 Eddie Van Halen

    5 Joe Satriani

    4 Stevie Ray Vaughn

    3 Eric Clapton

    T1 Dave Mustaine( created the genre of thrash metal with out his work he started with metallica and carries on in megadeth there would not be 3/4 of the metal bands there are today) and Jimi Hendrix(who is clearly great he brought a whole to idea about how to play a guitar and created techniques never used before)

  53. Alan Thompson at |

    I see a couple of ommissions in these lists, one is Randy Rhodes and the other is so glaring that I can only assume that the list had no imput from anyone over 25 years of age. Has anyone ever heard of a man named Andres Segovia, the original guitar master!

  54. John Corcoran, Jr at |

    Amazing… A top Ten list and all these responses and no one comes up with Les Paul?

    Who in the Hades do you think invented and developed the most famous R&R electric guitar? And overdubbing? But he's not just an inventor. Listen to the music he recorded on 1950s technology. It will blow you away.

    Django Rhinehart…Only had two working fingers and could outplay most if not all your list.

    Anyone who ever heard Danny Gatton play–few have–would list him, too.

    No one knows his way around a 12 string Rickenbacher like The Byrds Roger McGuinn.

    Call this list what it really is. One man's top ten FAVORITE guitarists.

  55. Jill....NOT Jill at |

    Uhm…John Corcoran, Les Claypool is a bassist…not a guitarist.

  56. Tony at |

    Jill….NOT Jill,

    John Corcoran never said anything about Les Claypool. Read it again more carefully.

  57. John Locke at |

    This dude should have made the list!

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  58. Ray Alnz at |


    jimmy page should be higher…no clapton…dude ur screwd up….no curt cobain?….tom way!

  59. aj at |

    What about Derek Trucks? Mark Knopfler? Trey Anastacio? Chuck Berry? Even Eddie Van Halen deserves some credit–more than John Mayer does for guitar playing. John Mayer's fame as a guitarist piggybacks on his commercial success, which is a result of targeting a demographic of 13 year old girls. He's no doubt a skilled guitar player, but over-rated as a guitarist relative to guys like Van Halen, Knopfler, etc.

  60. Chris Walker at |

    I'm bias to shred

    10 Guthrie Govan

    9 Dime bag Darrel

    8 Ty Tabor

    7 Steve Vai

    6 Steve Morse

    5 Greg Howe

    4 Joe Satriani

    3 Paul Gilbert

    2 Eddie Van Halen

    1 John Petrucci

  61. IRB at |

    there are to many to list just 10 and everyone would disagree on any list. With some of the names mentioned could never hold a string to Johnny Winter or Ronnie Montrose.

  62. Tim at |

    Phil Keagy hands down.

  63. Red House at |

    Where is Gary Moore?

    1. andy at |

      probably at home having a cup of tea and a biscuit right now har har

      1. Bob at |

        Not funny. Unfortunately, he died in 2011.

  64. Harold at |

    Sean’s list is pretty much dead on, though I’d probably add Dean Ween on to it.

    If he added pre-Beatles the list would need Django and there’s like 90 billion other amazing jazz guitarists through the 60’s and 70’s.

    For classical guitarists the biggest name has to be John Williams, who is pretty much just a robot with no feeling – yeah I went there. I’d go with Segovia over him, though I’m not even well versed when it comes to classical guitarists.

    So I guess my list would be something like

    8. Frank Zappa
    7. Dean Ween
    6. David Gilmour
    5. Nick Drake
    4. Elliott Smith
    3. Jimmy Page
    2. George Harrison
    2. Django Reinhardt
    1. Jimi Hendrix.

    Also thanks for introducing me to Doug Martsch and Danny Gatton.

  65. Nikki at |

    Where's Brian May?! (From Queen).

    MAN!! He'd be #1 on my list!!

    I Love Brian May!

    1. sadie at |

      Nikki we are kindred spitits,totally agree about Brian,I could listen to him fo hours !!!

  66. Bruce at |

    I'm speechless… a top guitarist list that does not include Eric Clapton, Marty Friedman or Eddie Van Halen…

    …seriously speechless…

    I give you props for some of your choices though, solid stuff!

  67. Mike at |

    What about the guitar trio John Mclaughlin,Paco De Lucia and Al di Meola?

    1. Keith at |

      About time someone mentioned these guys! I couldn't believe I was going this far down, without anyone bringing up the brilliant masters of the instrument from various music styles. Each individually is one of the greatest, but this list seems limited to the Blues – Rock progression only, a very limited view.

      It is some of my favorite music, and I would agree with some of the names, expecially Stevie Ray Vaughn, but other styles of music have produced some fantastic players. In jazz, Pat Metheny is the first one that comes to mind,

      Anyone that likes something other than Metal, or distorted amped electrics only, should listen to the Live album in San Francisco that those three did together.

      There is a band that plays locally here sometimes called Incendio that will blow your mind with absolutely beautiful guitar work as well.

  68. Uros at |

    This list is OK, but i would put it this way:

    1.Stevie Ray Vaughan

    2.Jimi Hendrix

    3.Buddy Guy

    4.Eric Clapton

    Anyway that is only my choice but i like your list to…There are many people commenting the list who don't have a clue about guitar playing…Buddy Guy is the best alive guitarist…not only to me…go ask Clapton :)

  69. batman at |

    I really respect this list, but here is my humble suggestion for a list. I'm glad we can all debate this and not be insulting. <–Edited from original comment.

    1.Jimmy Hendrix

    2.Eric Clapton

    3.Jimmy Paige king

    5.buddy guy


    7.Eddie Van Hallen

    8.Bucket Head

    9.Stevie Ray Vaughan

    10.LES PAUL

  70. Who made this list? at |

    No BucketHead? Slash? Van Halen? Paige? Hammet? Les Paul? Satriani? and don't even get me started about Clapton not being on here.. -.-

  71. XUSNLT at |

    I just read all of the comments and couldn't believe how long it too for someone (John Corcoran) to mention Les Paul. As for the 'tard who "knows" better players than Robert Johnson, just remember that Johnson INVENTED the sound and everyone else is just copying him or building upon his foundation. This list might work better split up by genre. Segovia may be one of the best guitarists ever, but he doesn't work with the others on the list. Stanley Jordan is incredible, but he'd be out of place on this list. What about Charo – yes, the Coochie Coochie girl from Hollywood Squares plays a mean classical and flamenco guitar! TopTenzMaster – let's see a bunch of subcategory lists…

  72. Chatchai Kittikun at |

    Chet Atkins

    Mark Knopfler

    John Williams

    …. are my best picks ever.

  73. Lars Mullett at |

    It's an ok list, but you are definitely missing some Guitarists


    – Joe Satriani

    -Kirk Hammett

    -Randy Rhodes


    -Eddie Van Halen

    Another thing. Some of the guitarists aren't any good. you should delete:

    -John Mayer

    -John White

    -BB. King

    -Stevie Ray Vaughn

    -Robert Johnson

  74. HendrixSrv at |

    lol………….delete Stevie Ray…this must be a joke.He is like 10 times better than slash and that is a fact…

  75. july at |

    joe perry. if you can make your guitar sing sweet emotion you should be in top ten. The first notes of sweet child of mine puts slash up there as well

  76. Lars Mullett at |

    im just saying, stevie ray vaughn is no good compared to the REAL rockers out there

  77. Ric at |

    Kirk Hammett should seriously be on everyones list as a top 5 guitar player of all time. I saw monsters of rock in the mid 80s eddie van halen introduced Kirk as the greatest guitar player ever.

  78. betzblue at |

    How about Kenny Wayne Sheppard?

    What about Jon Butcher? He's not even mentioned?

    John Mayer may be mentioned due to the large amount of Anniston fans on the panel….

    But as was said before…everyone has their own lists of "favourites"….

  79. Alice at |

    No Brian May or Jimi Hendrix or Slash or Angus Young? This list has never been more out!

    1. andy at |

      who’s that at number 2…

  80. hendrixSRVClapton at |

    Lol… john mayer?hehe and where's clapton…robert johnson > Jimi hendirx ?? -.- come on man…

    This is my opinion:

    1. Jimi Hendrix

    2. Eric Clapton

    3. Jimmy Page

    4. Stevie Ray Vaughn

    5. Eddie Van Halen

    6. David Gilmour

    7. Ritchie Blackmore

    8. Randy Rhoads

    9. Steve Vai

    10.Tony Iommi

  81. markus at |

    come on man, no eric clapton or Eddie van halen, they are better than most of these yokels on here, alternative rock cant stand up against classic rock when it comes to guitar players and hendrix is #1 and always will be, none can touch him high or sober lol

  82. Gage Henning at |

    Okay this list is not at all accurate if you ask me. It doesn't include Buckethead – a remarkable guitarist(Soothsayer is my favorite of his) or KIRK HAMMETT!! How can you not put Kirk Hammett, one of if not THE GREATEST guitarist of all time!?

  83. Gage Henning at |

    Here's your REAL #1 – Kirk Hammett

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  84. Geoffrey at |

    AT LAST!! some gd stuf about john frusciante, hes the best living guitarist in my opinion. i don't get people who think those random metal shredders should belong in the top 10 list…. bein insanely good just on technical stuff means nothing… its kinda like shredding as fast as possible on a pentatonic scale, people will respect the skills, but wheres the soul? this is the exact reason why hendrix and jimmy page always get on these lists but not guitarists like buckethead, i mean seriously he has less tone then any of the GnR guitarists.. if slash is not on the list, theres no way the kfc man can get any close. to all the haters, tom morello is a very innovative guitarist and by far more creative then buckethead. I swear the world is no longer a place for good music.


    1. Rhasz at |

      Emotional songs from “kfc” man.
      Golden Eyes
      Handprint Ornament
      Melting Man
      Three Headed Guardian
      Sail on Soothsayer
      Blind Cyclops
      Fractal Shadows
      Look up There
      Nottingham Lace
      Praxis Endtime
      Star Chasing
      The Patrol Man
      track 12 pike 15
      The Rising Sun
      A real Diamond in the Rough

  85. Paige at |

    You think those guys are good? They are, but you should hear my uncle- Chris Lambert- and my cousin -Brent Lambert-. My uncle works at the Shadow Box in Columbus (or is it Cincinnati?) Ohio. He plays in a whole bunch of the music shows as a guitarist, and he rocks. Sometimes my cousin works there, too. Brent is just as good as my uncle, and they're both as good as the people you put on here.

    1. Cowbilly Jack at |

      Yeah, I’ve seen Chris Lambert play “Eruption” and he smoked it. Too bad all the talented people get overlooked when they work/live in crappy places like Columbus/Cincinnati:(

  86. Alan Thompson at |

    A top ten list without Randy Rhodes or Andre Segovia, what a joke. Segovia is considered the ultimate master of guitar and Randy Rhodes in the few short years he had, proved, without a doubt, that he was the ultimate Rock guitarist. Wake up people and smell the music.

  87. Alan Thompson at |

    oops, sorry bad spelling, Andres Segovia

  88. Samme J at |

    where the hell on this list is eric clapton or Beck or Duane come on as a guitar player and berkley graduate for 30 years they should always be on the list. they were so of the most mentioned and taught in class.

  89. moganz at |

    hey i am a guitarist and i know who is better than none and only unique guitar player is kirk buckethead is the flash and slash is the monster hendrix is the father guitarist

  90. Allan at |

    What about the legendary Les Paul?

  91. mick at |

    some great guitarists here are my top 10

    1 ritchie blackmore

    2 paul kossoff

    3 gary moore

    4 jimmy page

    5 dave gilmour

    6 randy rhodes

    7 jimmy hendrix

    8 peter green

    9 jeff beck

    10 angus young

    1. JohnQueue at |

      Sorry, but the flaw is in believing the best guitarists are all rock ‘n rollers… SPARE ME! These two run rings around most on that list and are absolutely magical behind a guitar… in Roy’s case… No one plays a classical guitar better than he does…IMO, that is :)

      1. Chet Atkins
      2. Roy Clark

  92. Nuno Graça at |

    Sometimes people forget that the greatest musician is not the one who can plays faster. I play guitar and I admire who plays fast, but i admire more the ones who can make beatiful music, even if it's simple. Frusciante is one of the few guys who can do so (beside Hendrix). And Frusciante could play all of Jimi's songs when he was 12 years old, and I guess he still can. So for those who compare them to Steve Vai, you should listen to music and not watch to the speed of their fingers.

  93. Pádraig at |

    I can destroy your list with two words…

    Rory Gallagher

    1. Matt at |

      Hell yeah! Any list of the top ten LIVE players would have to have Rory at the top. Look up guitar hero in the dictionary and there is a picture of Rory.

  94. Nathan at |

    For all of you who say " people who say John Mayer shouldn’t be on the list should wake up and get in your music" (from JSL) or something similar…

    You, sir, is a joke, and an ignorant fool. Stop trying to be cool.

    Look at the title again.


    Do you understand the meaning of 'GREATEST' ?

    Yeah, John Mayer is good, but he is NOT the greatest. Not even one of them. Maybe later in his career, that would happen. But not now.

    The Greatest of all the guitar player (mind you there are millions of guitar player out there) , is the one that inspire thousands and make records that last through time. Well we sure don't know about John Mayer yet.

    Want a good example ? Eric Clapton.

    1. SLMc at |

      Hey!. What about Randy Rhoads. Definitely top 10, if not 5

  95. CJ at |

    How about a guy who can make one guitar sound like a whole band….Tommy Emmanuel.

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  96. Pedro G at |

    I recently discovered Tommy Emmanuel's work.

    I'm totally addicted…

    When i saw this top10 list, The first guitar player that I thought about, was Tommy Emmanuel =P

    Although I don't think he should be considered "the greatest of all" (whatever that means) Tommy can play some outstanding sounds out of a single acoustic guitar!

    Listen to his work and judge for yourselves…

  97. jon-paul at |

    why is it only guitrists that are pre 2000 getting a mention. i love music from every decade but one of the best i have ever seen is matt bellamy from muse he has took guitar playing to a completly different level. and i feel this guy deserves a mention..

    people like like jack white are good guitarists but not really at that level but he is the only recent guy mentioned in that top 10..

  98. theloveman at |

    what about Ernest Isley – he is easily in the top 3 of all times – no one can match this guy's riffs in songs like summer breese – who';s that lady – who loves better – hope you feel better – voyage to atlantis, and liquid love just to name a few of many powerful guitar riffs – y99u guys are missing a treat is you haven't heard Erney Isley get down


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