15 Best Guitarists

Heres the top 5 best guitarists ever in my opinion followed by ten more in no order
1. Jimi Hendrix
2. Steve Vai
3. Joe Satriani
4. Steve Ray Vaughan
5. Eric Clapton
Jeff Beck
Frank Zappa
Jimmy Page
Randy Rhoads
Eric Johnson
John McLaughlin
Frank Marino
Eddie Van Halen
Ingwie Malmsteen
Adrian Belew

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sounds like you are under 25 years old?? well, at least you have No1 correct

TBF, there are some interesting choices there. I doubt if many under 25s know Mahogany Rush from a Walnut Whip, and Belew's an innovative player so there's a horse for a course.

Trouble is, it's a bit like "top ten painters". Do you go Renaissance, Impressionist, Pre-Raphaelite or Darren, who did a good job of the hall, stairs and landing and charged less than a ton?

FWIW, I (typical bass player I suppose) prefer a guitarist that can conjure up good songs, as well as just widdle a bit. On that basis, Vai, Satriani and Malmsteen drop off the radar. Page is not the best string-licker by any stretch, but he's got some humungous chords and tone to play with. Zappa moves up, and Fripp takes one of the vacant spots.

And, although he's post-golden-age, and has more delays than a Euston Station noticeboard, I'd have to consider The Edge. I know, I'm gritting my teeth too, but there's no denying his position in defining 'guitar music' for the last couple of decades.

I'm listing the top 15 guitarists with best technical skill i suppose. If you consider "shredding" to be a major attribute, then yes, Malmsteen, Vai, and Satriani would be in the top 15. But if talking more of innovation and originality, the former three would be dropped in my opinion. I personally think some of the better guitarists are not the "shredders" but rather the ones who know much technically, and can put their heart into their own, composed songs.

And yes, I thought about adding Fripp. You really can't give any of these guitarists an order. They're all good in their own genres.

Hendrix
Stevie Ray Vaughn
Yeah they gotta make the list. Hard to beat those guys for melody and swing. Then there are those finger picking electric guitarist like
Jorma Kaukonen
Gatemouth Brown Jorma's work with the Airplane and Hot Tuna kept me mesmerized at the front of the stage many nights. There ain't nothing wrong with the ones whose work center around chords.
Pete Townsend
Nancy Wilson As far as I'm concerned she is a guitar god. Plus I just dig girls that play guitar. She ain't the only one but she is tops on my list, if for nothing else the sheer volume, db's and longevity when it come to female guitarists. Then there are those that write tunes that just stay in your head forever.
John Fogerty
Steve Miller
Ian Anderson, yeah he may have played flute on stage but in the studio recording the music most of the guitar work is his.
Keith Richards didn't think I'd ever tire of watching him play untill ticket prices froze me out. Then there is the team of
Young and Sampedro who sometimes can't put three chords together. But it's so much fun to watch trying to guess when Neil is going to smash "Old Black" over Sampedro's head. You had
Jimmy Page on you list, he's on mine also. There is so much more than technical proficiency in rating guitarist. If I ever go to see a performance and what I'm hearing is the same as I get if I was at home with a studio cut and produced CD in the player I feel like I've wasted my money. I don't want to hear the producer and engineers version of the tune. I want it the way the artist on stage feel it in their gut, same as I do when I'm playing.

i agree. if i go to a concert, i want to see what they are capable of talent-wise, and i'd much rather see THEM play instead of a song made more in mind of getting good sales. plus, when great guitarists play onstage and it turns into a jam session, it's so much sweeter. and although i've never heard of half of the guitarists you just mentioned, i do know there's a great femal acoustic guitarist by the name of Kaki King. Look her up, her music is incredible.

Hey talljackhole,

As an over 40 player I think you have compiled an admirable list. Of course anytime you choose the "best" of anything you'll certainly encounter disagreement but all the guitarist you have chosen are worthy players. It is curious that no guitar players that have made their name in the last 10-15 years have made the list. Interesting commentary on the role of the guitar player in contemporary music wouldn't you say? Cheers, SB

Kaki seems to be the latest darling in "Acoustic Guitar" and some of the other more mature guitar magazines. Gave her CD a spin last time I went to a music/book shop. While I liked what I heard, I was already pushing my budget and opted instead for John Lennons "Acousitic" CD that Yoko has released. Pretty nice, the lyric sheet also has the chords on it. When was the last time you saw that? Put it in the scanner and enlarged it to a size my 53 year old eyes could see. Been several decades since the last time I played any of his tunes.

John Lennon is cool. I presonally don't know how great of a guitarist he is though so I can't really say anything about him. But I do know, stuff about kaki. And although I may have not heard lots of types of genres, I can say that I haven't heard anything of her style or skill on acoustic ever. But of course, I admit, I'm not that old either. But still.

You guys have neglected to metion Dicky Betts of the Allman Brothers. He is with out a doubt up there in the top 5

I read an article on how to play like Dicky Betts in a guitar magazine i picked up the other day. He seemed pretty good from what I read.

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