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Last Updated on March 3, 2024 by Teemu Suomala

Displays Tyler Connaghan - guitar player and writer

Author: Tyler Connaghan

Tyler Connaghan is a guitarist, singer, producer, composer & engineer based in Los Angeles, California. Tyler has been playing the guitar since 2007. In between writing for guitar publications, he produces music for film and television. His favorite axe is his custom Pelham Blue Fender Stratocaster.

Expertise: music industry, producing, acoustic & electric guitars, songwriting

Bachelor of Science in Music Industry Studies, Music Industry

photo reveals owner of

Editing & Research: Teemu Suomala

I first grabbed the guitar in 2009. I started this website in January 2020 because I couldn’t do window installation anymore due to my health problems. I love guitars and have played dozens and dozens of different guitars through different amps and pedals over the years, and also, building a website interested me, so I decided to just go for it! I got lucky and managed to get awesome people to help me with my website.

I also got lucky because I have you visiting my website right now. Thank you. I do all this for you guys. If you have any recommendations, tips, or feedback, just leave a comment, I would love to chat with you. I have also been fortunate to produce content for several large guitar websites, such as SongsterrMusicnotesGuitarGuitar, and Ultimate Guitar.

I spend my spare time exercising and hanging out with my wife and crazy dog (I guess that went the right way…).

Without the electric guitar, we wouldn’t have rock music. It’s played an integral role in rock music, captivating audiences for generations with its powerful and expressive sound.

And with so many thousands of great rock guitarists, both living and gone, trying to create a list of the top rock guitarists in history is a challenging endeavor all its own.

Countless books and blogs have been dedicated to exploring the ins and outs of these guitar gods, the nuances of their playing, and more. Make your way to a number of online forums and discussions, and you’ll find guitarists of all ages debating this very topic.

Today, I figured I’d take a shot at creating my own personal list of the 10 best rock guitarists of all time and what makes them so special in the grand scheme of the genre.

Let’s dive in!

Note! Reveal your top 10 list in the comments down below, we would love to hear it!

Check our other Top 10 guitarist lists:

10 Best Guitarists of All Time

10 Best Blues Guitarists of All Time

10 Best Metal Guitarists of All Time

10 Best Jazz Guitarists of All Time

10 Best Guitar Solos of All Time

How Did We Choose The Best Rock Guitarists

Undoubtedly, making a list like this and choosing from a plethora of exceptional guitarists throughout history was far from simple. To do so, I had to consider a variety of factors and criteria, including the following:

  • Technical Ability: I assessed the guitarists’ mastery of the instrument, their proficiency in terms of speed, accuracy, and other technical aspects.
  • Influence: Next, I looked at what kind of impact and influence these guitarists had on other musicians, such as how much they inspired future generations or contributed to the creation of new genres or sub-genres.
  • Innovation: I also considered whether or not they pushed the boundaries of music. Did they use unique playing techniques, tones or styles?
  • Stage Presence: Many guitarists kill in the stuido, though the ability to captivate an audience on stage is a whole different ball game, which is why I considered their capacity to connect with crowds and deliver memorable live performances.
  • Legacy: Lastly, their bodies of work and discographies were taken into account, including the quality and impact of their recorded material, as well as any awards, chart success, or longevity they experienced in their careers.

As you probably know, making a list like this is a completely subjective process.

Everyone is going to have an opinion on who they think is the best rock guitarist, and my selections certainly come from my personal preferences and cultural background. There will likely be some great rock guitarists that I leave out or some rock guitarists that you think are not so great that I include. 

Nonetheless, the guitarists featured in this list have profoundly influenced my own life, and I hope that you will either agree with or discover something new among them!

10 Best Rock Guitar Players of All Time

1. Jimi Hendrix

displays Jimi Hendrix

Guitar of Choice –  Fender Stratocaster

It’s hard to write a list of guitar greats without including Jimi Hendrix. He’s easily one of the most revered rock guitarists in history. During his time, he took a groundbreaking approach to the instrument, solidifying his status as a guitar god for generations to come.

Hendrix possessed an unparalleled mastery of the guitar, blending creativity, soul, and technical prowess. He was innovative in his use of distortion, feedback, and wah-wah effects, revolutionizing the possibilities of how the guitar could sound.

It’s pretty difficult to measure the vast impact he had on future generations, from rock to blues to psychedelic music lovers. Beyond that, his electrifying stage presence became legendary, especially his “Star Spangled Banner” performance at Woodstock in 1969.

And in his short but influential career, he produced numerous timeless classics, such as “Purple Haze,” “Hey Joe,” and “Voodoo Child (Slight Return).” 

With remarkable talent, an innovative spirit, and lasting impact on rock music, there’s no doubt in my mind that he is one of the greatest guitarists to have ever graced our planet.

Check one of Hendrix best performances:


  • Soul: Jimi played with an emotive spirit, one that many guitarists couldn’t match
  • Versatility: From rock to psychedelia, he was proficient in numerous genres
  • Innovative Style: With unique tools and techniques, he changed what people thought was possible with the guitar


  • Inconsistency: While he’s no doubt one of the best guitarists of all time, his live performances weren’t the most technically consistent

2. Jimmy Page

displays Jimmy Page playing on stage

Guitar of Choice –  Gibson Les Paul Standard

When it comes to crafting iconic rock and roll riffage, Jimmy Page reigns supreme. Not only has he composed some of the most blistering guitar solos in history, such as the soul-piercing one in “Whole Lotta Love,” but he also effortlessly transitioned between sweltering electric guitar solos and exquisitely intricate acoustic arrangements.

“The Rain Song” is an excellent example of his versatility, and how Led Zeppelin’s discography offers something for everyone.

What makes Page’s achievements even more remarkable is the fact that he is part of a band that includes one of the greatest vocalists of all time, Robert Plant, and the man who might just be the greatest drummer of all time, John Bonham. 

Despite such exceptional company, it is Page who garners the lion’s share of recognition, and listening to his body of work makes it hard to argue.

Check one of Pages best performances:


  • Creativity: Paged pushed the boundaries of rock and roll, incorporating blues, folk, and Eastern influences.
  • Arrangement: With Page, it’s hard to say if Zeppelin would have had some of their most iconic songs.
  • Stage Presence: Page had a captivating and charismatic stage presence.


  • Inconsistency: Similar to Hendrix, he was not the most technically proficient in his live performances.

3. Eddie Van Halen

displays Eddie Van Halen

Guitar of Choice –  Frankenstrat

It’s pretty rare when a guitarist emerges and alters the musical landscape forever. Eddie Van Halen was undeniably one of those extraordinary guitarists. 

Many widely acknowledge his role in bringing metal and hard rock to the mainstream, popularizing groundbreaking guitar techniques, like “tapping,” where both hands play on the neck without a pick. His lightning-fast playing and heavy-handed tone was something people had never heard before.

Beyond his electrifying guitar solos, Van Halen was known for his audacious on-stage persona. Watch some old videos. I recommend checking out the video of him playing “Eruption” live at New Haven’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum in 1986. It’s truly spectacular. 

There’s no doubt that Eddie Van Halen will long be remembered as one of the most exceptional guitarists to have ever graced our ears, and his legacy remains indelible.

Check Eddie’s amazing performance from 2015:


  • Technical Prowess: His shredding techniques changed the landscape for what was possible with guitar.
  • Tonal Innovation: He single-handedly created the “brown sound,” thanks to his innovative use of amps and effects
  • Rhythmic Proficiency: He also solidified himself as the backbone of Van Halen with his heavy-handed riffs


  • Dynamics: He played hard and heavy a lot of the time, which could be predictable after a while.

4. Chuck Berry

displays Chuck Berry stamp

Guitar of Choice –  Gibson ES-355

Chuck Berry was nothing short of a pioneer, playing a significant role in shaping the development of rock and roll. With his iconic rockabilly-infused solos and chicken strut, he laid the foundation for countless guitarists to come, igniting a revolution and providing the soundtrack for the adventures of 50s-era hot-rod-driving teens.

“Johnny B Goode” will always be an absolute smash hit. 

It’s almost impossible to find a great guitarist from the 1960s who wasn’t touched by his influence. Even John Lennon said that Chuck Berry should be the name of the rock genre.

Without him, rock and roll would truly not exist.

Check Chuck Berrys one of greatest performances:


  • Innovation: He crafted a number of catchy, relatable, and timeless songs throughout his career.
  • Stage Presence: His unwieldy stage presence and iconic duck walk became synonymous with the spirit of rock and roll.
  • Influence: Berry influenced numerous major artists and bands, including The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.


  • Lack of Experimentation: Berry rarely stepped outside the bounds of his playing to experiment.

5. Stevie Ray Vaughan 

displays stevie ray vaughan

Guitar of Choice –  Fender Stratocaster

Had fate not intervened with his untimely passing, there is little doubt that Stevie Ray Vaughan would still be rocking today. Nonetheless, we are left with an awe-inspiring body of work from a prodigious talent who was tragically denied the opportunity to fully flourish. Seems to be the case for many of the greats, doesn’t it?

He combined classic blues techniques with the distinctive sounds of his Texas upbringing, crafting a profoundly influential style that would serve as a wellspring of inspiration for an entire generation of aspiring guitarists. 

Watch his now legendary performances on Austin City Limits if you haven’t already, and you’ll see what we mean. He breathed new life into the blues rock genre, and though his remarkable career may have spanned only a brief seven years, his legacy will endure indefinitely as one of the most significant guitarists in music history.

Check SRV’s one of top performances:


  • Technical Proficiency: Vaughan demonstrated exceptional technical proficiency in his ability to navigate the fretboard.
  • Expressive Playing: His playing was deeply emotive, and he had a remarkable ability to make his guitar “sing.”
  • Blues Style: He paid homage to blues legends while adding his own unique Texas blues flair.


  • Lack of Range: Though his guitar playing was excellent, his range as a vocalist was somewhat limited. 

6. Angus Young

displays Angus Young

Guitar of Choice –  Gibson SG

Check our picks for the best Gibson electric guitars here.

As the lead guitarist of AC/DC, Angus Young’s electrifying stage presence and signature guitar riffs changed rock music forever.

His playing style had a relentless energy, and with lightning-fast fingers and an unmistakable tone, he took hard rock to new heights. From the infectious opening riff of “Back in Black” to the timeless anthem “Highway to Hell,” Young’s guitar work is instantly recognizable and etched into the very fabric of rock history.

Beyond his playing, no one could forget his iconic schoolboy outfit and frenetic stage antics.

With a perfect blend of bluesy influences, raw power, and a knack for crafting unforgettable hooks, Young mastered the art of creating timeless rock classics. 

Check Angus Youngs one of top performances:


  • Dynamic Stage Presence: Young’s electrifying stage presence was key in AC/DC’s live performances. 
  • Memorable Riffs and Hooks: His ability to create infectious guitar riffs and hooks is one of his greatest strengths. 
  • Solid Rhythm Guitar Skills: In addition to his lead guitar work, his ability to lock in with the rhythm section was well noted


  • Limited Exploration: His playing style was limited in terms of exploring a broader range of musical styles.

7. Keith Richards

display Keith Richards

Guitar of Choice –  Fender Telecaster

Keith Richards, better known as the guitarist for The Rolling Stones, has been in the game for nearly five decades, and has never ceased to impress. Many say that Richards was the man who brought the cool factor to rhythm guitar, and he has been crafting timeless riffs for longer than most people have been alive. Even so, he shows no signs of slowing down, which is impressive all its own. 

His playing style draws inspiration from numerous genres, including blues, funk, country, disco, and more, and his full yet understated tone is as recognizable to a Rolling Stones fan as Mick Jagger’s iconic dance moves.

With so many decades of work, it’s a bit difficult to grasp the immense influence Keith Richards have had on contemporary music, and even more astonishing to realize that all those instantly identifiable riffs originated from a single guitarist. 

He is the epitome of a genuine rock and roller, and it’d be impossible to leave him off of a compilation of great rock guitarists.

Check one of Keith Richards most legendary performances:


  • Riff Creation: Richards has an exceptional talent for creating memorable and iconic guitar riffs. 
  • Rhythm Guitar: His prowess as a rhythm guitarist and his ability to create a solid foundation for the band’s sound has been instrumental in defining The Rolling Stones’ unique style.
  • Stage Presence: Richards’ stage presence made him a captivating figure in rock music. 


  • Precision: Richards’ loose approach to the guitar can be seen as lacking technical precision.

8. David Gilmour 

displays David Gilmour 

Guitar of Choice –  Fender Stratocaster

Like Keith Richards, David Gilmour is a guitarist who with the incredible ability to create magic with simplicity. 

While some guitarists on this list may showcase their prowess with speed or aggression, Gilmour plays with the utmost soul. Every note has meaning.

In fact, his ethereal guitar solos have become synonymous with Pink Floyd’s psychedelic sound. What I believe sets him apart from all of the rock guitarists on this list is the atmospheric quality of his tone. It diverges from the standard, heavily distorted, less reverberant sound many rock guitarists opt for.

His  guitar solo in “Time” is consistently hailed as one of the greatest of all time, along with tracks like “Comfortably Numb.” His accolades are a testament to his ability to transcend musical boundaries and create profoundly moving guitar pieces.

Gilmour’s mastery of his instrument, coupled with his emotive playing style, has established him as an iconic figure in the guitar realm, and his contributions to Pink Floyd continue to inspire awe and admiration among musicians and fans alike.

Check this amazing David Gilmour performance from 2016:


  • Expressive Playing: Gilmour’s style has a unique way of conveying deep emotions.
  • Melodic Approach: He also has a remarkable ability to craft memorable guitar melodies and solos
  • Soundscape-Like Tone: With the use of effects, Gilmour has created an atmospheric tone that sets him apart.


  • Technical Complexity: Compared to some other guitarists, he is not as well known for his technical virtuosity.

9. Jeff Beck

displays Jeff Beck

Guitar of Choice –  Fender Stratocaster

Jeff Beck’s journey began when he joined The Yardbirds in the 1960s, venturing into the realm of psychedelic rock with tracks like “Paradise Lost” and “Heart Full Of Soul.” It was during this time that he pioneered a fuzz-laden tone, all thanks to his infamous Tone Bender MK I.

When he formed the Jeff Beck Group, he returned to his blues roots. You can hear a more organic approach with tracks like “I Ain’t Superstitious,” as well as Latin-inspired tones like “Beck’s Bolero.”

That was kind of the beauty of Beck. His love for different styles and genres was often showcased in his own work, and his skillful utilization of different techniques, such as whammy bar playing and volume swells were an inspiration for many.

Jeff Beck’s versatile musical journey alone, from psychedelic to blues to jazz and beyond, solidifies his position as one of the most exceptional and influential guitarists of his time.

Check this “out of this world” performance from Jeff Beck:


  • Technical Skill: Beck has incredible command over his instrument, allowing him to play intricate and complex guitar solos.
  • Unique Tone: He also has a knack for coaxing out a wide range of expressive tones from his guitar.
  • Versatility: His versatility as a musician is one of his greatest strengths. 


  • Limited Commercial Success: Even with his immense talent and influence, he never achieved the same level of commercial success as some of his peers. 

10. Brian May

Displays Brian May

Guitar of Choice –  Red Special

As the lead guitarist of Queen, Brian May’s fusion of hard-rock power chords and masterful fretwork provided the backbone for Freddie Mercury’s extravagantly theatrical rock operas. It’s hard to say if anyone could have written the parts for “Bohemian Rhapsody” like May. 

Even beyond his intricate stylings, his anthemic playing in stadium hits like “We Will Rock You” is second to none.

His distinctive style, which was showcased through his mastery of the Red Special, his guitar of choice, solidified his status as a legendary guitarist. His contributions to Queen’s musical legacy are immeasurable, cementing his position among the pantheon of rock guitar greats.

Check this iconic performance of Queen and Brian May:


  • Distinct Style: May’s use of melodic and harmonized guitar lines and richly textured arrangements are one-of-a-kind.
  • Composition: May also penned many of the band’s most iconic songs, such as “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Will Rock You.” 
  • Technical Proficiency: May is one of the most technically proficient guitarists in rock history.


  • Limited Experimentation: His playing style was never very experimental over time.

Runner-Ups That Just Missed The List

Ritchie Blackmore

Guitar of Choice –  Fender Stratocaster

Ritchie Blackmore left an enduring legacy through his musical journey, starting from his groundbreaking guitar work in Deep Purple, where he crafted hard-hitting riffs that resonated with rock enthusiasts for years to come. 

Later in his career, he founded Rainbow, venturing into the realm of early metal and pushing boundaries even further.

Beyond his riffs, his ability to adapt and evolve was what made him one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time. He even embraced a more folk-oriented approach in his later years, which you can hear in his project Blackmore’s Night.

The only reason he doesn’t make the main list in my book is that he’s not as much of a household name as the others.

Carlos Santana

displays Carlos Santana

Guitar of Choice –  PRS Santana

Carlos Santana transcended the boundaries of blues-rock by infusing Latin American and Afro-inspired sounds. In collaboration with his band, Santana, he added his own style to Fleetwood Mac’s “Black Magic Woman,” which arguably became one of his best-known songs.

Years down the line, he made a late-in-the-career comeback when he recorded “Smooth” with Rob Thomas. This song was and still is a vibrant reminder of how infectious and transcendental Latin rock can be.

His playing was marked by excellence and innovation, and his spirited performances maintained a strong connection to the flair of his Mexican roots while venturing into Caribbean-infused fusion. 

From his iconic Woodstock appearance to selling more than 100 million records all over the world, Santana has rightfully earned his place among the best rock guitarists of all time, and the only reason he’s not higher up on this list is that much of his work was outside of the standard realm of rock.

Tony Iommi

Guitar of Choice –  Gibson SG

Without Tony Iommi’s haunting riffs, there would be no heavy metal as we know it today, and though many might call him a metal guitarist, he certainly fit the bill with Black Sabbath’s well-established credentials in the realm of hard rock.

Hailing from the industrial heartland of Birmingham, Iommi conjured a dark and foreboding sound that became the very essence of their sound.

Many don’t know this, but his unique style emerged from an accident in which he lost his fingertips, compelling him to forge an entirely new approach to playing the guitar.

Through his marriage of sinister single-note solos and infernal hammer-ons, Iommi transformed Black Sabbath into an unstoppable force of nature. At the root of the band’s sound was the spirit of the blues, but with a brooding, understated power. 

Iommi deserves nothing but immense respect for his unwavering determination in the face of adversity, and for giving birth to an entire musical genre.


Guitar of Choice –  Hohner Madcat

Prince’s status as one of the finest guitarists of all time may come as a surprise to casual music fans. However, seasoned musicians and listeners are well aware of his exceptional talent. 

Despite his idiosyncrasies, Prince’s musical prowess shines brilliantly. The guitar solo in “Purple Rain,” for example, is one of the most iconic in music history.

Each of Prince’s albums showcases astounding musicianship, a fact that often goes overlooked due to the enigmatic nature of his off-screen persona. Watch his live performances, especially his performance of “Kiss” at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, however, and you can see him shine like no other.

George Harrison

Guitar of Choice –  Fender Stratocaster

The Beatles became a household name in the 1960s. However, when pitted against the formidable songwriting duo of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, George Harrison’s contributions tend to be overlooked. 

Nevertheless, he added remarkable embellishments to their songs, and deserves far more credit than he receives. It took quite a bit of time for him to blossom as a songwriter in his own right, but once he did, his talent knew no bounds. 

He penned some of The Beatles’ most exquisite tunes during their later years, including the sun-soaked anthem, “Here Comes The Sun,” and the heavenly love ballad “Something.” Even in his solo work, he achieved transcendence with tracks like “My Sweet Lord.”

What was unique about Harrison’s playing style is that he was inspired by rockabilly legends, such as Carl Perkins. As such, he introduced a country-tinged twang to the British Invasion scene. 

Check our popular Guitars of The Beatles article here.

His melodic solos were unlike what people heard from most British guitarists at the time, and his style evoked spiritual yearning and a deep appreciation for nature. While his songwriting contributions to The Beatles’ legacy are certainly hard to gloss over, his soul-stirring guitar playing solidifies his place among the guitar legends of our time.


Who Is Chosen to Be The Best Rock Guitarist Most Often?

Jimi Hendrix is often regarded as one of the greatest guitarists in rock history, thanks to his groundbreaking playing technique, innovative use of effects, and mesmerizing live performance style.

Who is Considered to be The Best Female Rock Guitarist of All Time?

Though opinions vary, Joan Jetts established herself as a trailblazer in rock music and one of the best female rock guitarists of all time.

However, many others, such as Peggy Jones, Kaki King, Susan Tedeschi, and Marnie Stern could equally deserve the number one spot.

Who is Technically The Best Rock Guitarist?

Steve Vai is known for his unparalleled technical prowess, often winning him the title as the best technical player in rock history. 

Who is The Most Legendary Rock Guitarist?

Jimi Hendrix is often given the title as the most legendary rock guitarist. Even in his short time in the industry, he inspired millions of players and musicians that came after him.


I hope you enjoyed my top list of ten exceptional rock guitarists! 

I highly recommend exploring the music of each and every one of these players and taking time to watch some of their live performances on YouTube to see what made them so legendary both in the studio and on the stage. 

If you have any questions or thoughts, just leave a comment down below. Keep rocking!

Tyler Connaghan

Tyler Connaghan is a guitarist, singer, producer, composer & engineer based in Los Angeles, California. Tyler has been playing the guitar since 2007. In between writing for guitar publications, he produces music for film and television. His favorite axe is his custom Pelham Blue Fender Stratocaster. You can connect with Tyler on LinkedIn or just email him.
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Mark Conroy

What about Rory Gallagher?

Aidan Mc Call

Yes and Gary moore these people who decide these ratings are obviously taken in by the hype or they have never listened to Rory or Gary the amount who have not heard of these two guitarists is unbelievable

Teemu Suomala

Hi Aidan! Both Gary and Rory are amazing, there’s no denying that!


Steve Howe is my all-time favorite. He is always overlooked. I believe that his technical, innovation, charisma, and influence, abilities are outstanding. He should be on more lists.
P. S. He was The Edges greatest influence.
Thank you

Teemu Suomala

Hi Mark! Rory is an amazing guitar player, thanks for pointing him out!

Lou Laverty

Tyler, nice job and a thought provoking discussion to be sure. I am surprised that Clapton is nowhere to be found on Your list.
Anyways, as You mentioned, Your list is subjective and MAY have more contemporary additions to add in the future.
Thanks for doing this.

Francisco Miranda

Blackmore missed the list? Were is Daune Allman or, Gary Green of Gentle Giant? What an oversight.

Teemu Suomala

Hi Francisco! Thanks for sharing some of your picks! Find Blackmore here:

Teemu Suomala

Hi Lou and thanks for commenting! Find Clapton here:

Steve Gomez

Dude #5 SRV y’all guitar experts don’t respect SRV I have listen to many Jimi H songs and many is distorted playing . One challenged for you.
Listen to ” Mary had little lamb” live 1989 live Austin’s city limits. Give my honest opinion if Jimi h could play that solo exactly the same. I would appreciate your reply


You don’t mention Clapton at all and it seems intentional. Your choices are good but ranked wrong and you have omitted great guitarist based on your criteria. Eric has done so many things from each end of the spectrum with the guitar and to put Chuck Berry ahead of STV shows your ideas are not credible. Chuck Berry was a showman not a great guitarist.

Teemu Suomala

Hi Craig! Thanks for commenting and find Clapton here:

Teemu Suomala

Hi Steve! I think both SRV and Hendrix play songs in their own unique way. SRV most likely has better technical abilities, but Hendrix had more impact on guitar playing. Take care!


Rick Savage from Def Leppard should be number one on here.

Steven C

The bass player? LOL!!!

Teemu Suomala

He is contender for bass players list!

Teemu Suomala

Hi Melissa! Great pick for bass player list for sure.


Clapton not even mentioned??? SRV way down the list?? I realize that the list is subjective BUT Hendrix … an incredible Showman and king of distortion but way overrated.

Teemu Suomala
Steven C

Blackmore and Rhoads lacking while Berry and Richards are on it is the biggest joke I read today 😂

John G.

The most moronic comment I’ve read today.

Teemu Suomala

Hi Steven! Find both Blackmore and Rhoads here:


I agree

James Tomkin

Duane Allman belongs in the top 5. Better than Pageand certainly better tha Van Halen!

Teemu Suomala

Hi James! Thanks for revealing some of your picks! Take care!


Allan Holdsworth, Frank Marino, Steve Howe


Michael Schenker..?

Teemu Suomala
Teemu Suomala

Hi Todd! Thanks for revealing some of your favorites, take care!


Thanks for mentioning Steve Howe. He is my favorite of all-time. Technical, Innovative, lightening fast

Surfer davè

Gary moore listen to the mesiah will come again (technical masterpiece) i dont think that kind of playing should be sub number 5 on this list also watch him play hendrixs red house , probly undoubtedly the best redo of that song hands down !!!!!!! Just sayin !!!!!!!

Teemu Suomala

Hi Dave! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I agree, Gary Moore is an excellent guitarist. Also Red House performance is must watch! Take care!

Andy Davison

You didn’t include Jan Akkerman?! He’s done everything from baroque lute on Tabernacle to heavy metal shredding on Hocus Pocus. Akkerman is up there with Segovia and Paco di Lucia who you didn’t mention either.

Teemu Suomala

Hi Andy! Akkerman’s skills as a musician are spectacular, but we felt that others on this list have accomplished and influenced more people than him. Take care and thanks for pointing Akkerman out!


Michael schenker is one of the best rock guitarist of all time

Teemu Suomala

The list is all wrong !!

Teemu Suomala

Thanks for providing feedback Linda!

Patrick Gibson

No Eric Johnson?? Arguably the most creative electric guitarist of all time.

Teemu Suomala

Hi Patrick! Great pick, just missed the list. Cliffs of Dover is masterpiece!


Angus is not worthy of it. Saw them front row opening night Black tour.
Over Randy Rhoades, whom I saw.
In my opinion was the best -wasn’t even looking at his singer.. Never heard notes out of an instrument like that

I never saw Jimi ,have seen Page 3x non LZ. and EVH- meh.
Gilmour too low , saw 4x 2 solo.
Gary Moore was genius too

Micheal Schenker great too –
Rory G as well
Duane too.

Rock on

Teemu Suomala

Hi Eric! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and visiting! Take Care!


List is a joke.
George Harrison and Keith Richards ?
Where’s Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton ?


Teemu Suomala

Hi Jimmy and thanks for sharing your thoughts! Find Clapton here:


No Clapton is odd. Zappa, Shawn Lane, Vernon Reid and Buckethead are in my top 10. But overall, an interesting list… and it’s all about your personal taste in music. Except Hendrix, he’s the unquestioned #1.

Teemu Suomala

Hi John! Thanks for sharing some of your picks. Find Clapton here:


Alex Lifeson

Teemu Suomala

Hi Kent! Great guitarist for sure.

Anthony S Corrado

Duane Allman!
Eric johnson has to be here for his technicle prowess!
Eric Clapton has to be top 5!
Yngvie honorable mention
Eddie no 2!
Good list tho.
Keep up the good work!
Tell Teemu HEY!

Teemu Suomala

Hi Anthony! Thanks for sharing some of your picks (good picks btw), I really appreciate it!


Darrell Abbott

Teemu Suomala

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, everyone has an opinion, here’s mine “prince” or whatever he’s called this day, is not someone that should be on any guitar grates list, and FYI I’ve seen this exact same list, say what you think , not what others say

Teemu Suomala

Hi Matty! Thanks for the feedback! Where have you seen this exact same list?


How on Earth can you come up with a list like this? Especially when you state what your criteria was. As with any list of greats it’s down to personal taste and always subjective , but to not mention Clapton anywhere is beyond belief, whether you like him or not you can’t ignore his influence and massive body of work!!! If you asked most of the people on your list who they admired and who influenced them it would Clapton..

Teemu Suomala

Hi Kevin and thanks for commenting! Find Clapton here:


The list is good
But No Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits
Cmon Man
There aren’t 10 better guitarists

Teemu Suomala

Hi David! Thanks for the feedback. I do agree that Mark Knopfler is an amazing guitarists. Probably the best electric guitar fingerpicker!


I am always totally amazed that Frank Marino is constantly overlooked. Awesome player.

Teemu Suomala

Hi Ade! Thanks for pointing Frank Marino out, great player!


And why didn’t you mention Clapton? Leaving it off the list denotes your musical ignorance

Teemu Suomala

The list largely contains dead, or almost dead guitarists. All men and nobody current. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good list but it’s definitely skewed.

Teemu Suomala

Hi Jeff! Lists containing more lively guitarists coming in the future!

Amy K

Fun to read & debate! Warren Haynes deserves an honorable mention not to mention he’s the hardest working musician in the biz!

Wim Verstreken

No Clapton… Not even mentioned.
Longevity of a career… Since 1962

Memorable live performance… “live at the filmore”? The last waltz??? Stormy Monday on the cream Reunion?

Pentatonic sound… At least listen to the beano album before writing this.

Clapton wrote the book… His style and legacy are guitar playing 1.0.1.
The influence he has had on the generations after him is arguably larger then hendrix.

The body of work… Once again since 1962.

Accuracy… Crystal clear… Live or in the studio.
Maybe you don’t like his style or music but to ignore the only(!) artist enrolled three times in the rock and roll hall of fame is complete and utter madness

Teemu Suomala

Hi Wim! Clapton is one of the greatest of all time for sure, find him here:


What no Jerry garcia???? Billy strings????

Teemu Suomala

Hi Stewart! They just missed the list. Take care!

Scott brady

Prince and no Eric Clapton. Say it isn’t so! I could listen to 10 hrs of Clapton because of his diversity, Then 2 HS of anybody else listed here.

Teemu Suomala

Hi Scott! Find Clapton here: ….and Prince is not there!

Stevie P

Uh, Terry Kath, 25 or 6 to 4, Live at Tanglewood…nuff said.

Teemu Suomala

Hi Stevie! Kath is a great player, that’s for sure. Thanks for commenting!

Haydn Watson

I would argue that Zappa, Lesli West, Clapton, and Santana would replace Berry, Gimour, Young and Van Halen. But its all about opinions.

Teemu Suomala

Hi Haydn! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, take care!


The massive career Clapton has had and he’s not on the list. I guess the world is a very subjective place.

Teemu Suomala
Vincent McCrosky

I watch and listen to Steve Lukather and I just love him. Blued,jazz hard rock, slick rhythm, over 1500 songs recorded, slick solos (check out “Caught in the Balance” live on youtube) Totally underrated.

Teemu Suomala

Hi Vincent! Steve Lukather is a great pick, but you see him quite rarely mentioned tho… Thank you for pointing him out(he deserves a mention after all) and take care!


Alvin Lee of Ten Years After. Always overlooked and underappreciated..

Teemu Suomala

Hi Tony! Thanks for pointing Alvin Lee out, underrated for sure!


Where’s Mark Knopfler?

Teemu Suomala

Hi Irene! He just missed the list, he is probably one of the best electric guitar fingerpickers of all time!


Another criminally overlooked is Ian Crichton of Canadian band Saga.
Recently saw them again and Ian was on fire.

Teemu Suomala

Hi Ade! Thanks for pointing Ian Crichton out, I have to check him out ASAP!


YouTube Saga “Tired World”. You won’t be disappointed.

Teemu Suomala

Just listening to it…you are right…not disappointed. Thanks for sharing Ade!

Johnny five

What about Andy Summers

Teemu Suomala

Hi Johnny! Andy Summers just missed the list.


Most of these guitarist are probably the most popular but that doesn’t make them the best. Of course the best is very subjective to a persons music style. Rik Emmett should be on this list hands down if you are grading a guitar on knowledge, raw talent and different guitar sounds whether it be rock, classical or solos. Give him a listen some time. Peter Frampton is another great guitarist that comes to mind.

Teemu Suomala

Hi Pete! Yes, “best” is extremely subjective term. I agree, Rik Emmett is a really skilled guitarist and absolutely, we all should give him a listen…often. Take care!

Mike Stevens

The fact you don’t include Jerry Garcia on the 1st ten is only made more outrageous that he isn’t given honorable mention either. When people like Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton and John Mayer says he’s the best all time and it’s not even close I’ll take their word for it. You likely never listened to the Dead or Garcia is the only conclusion I can draw.

Miv wey

I rarely see Terry Kath or Billy Gibbons mentioned in these highly subjective lists, 2 guitarists that Jimi himself praised.

Teemu Suomala

That’s true. I think that some skip Billy Gibbons because of his simple style. But I don’t really know why Terry Kath is often not included, it’s one of the most mentioned guitar hero here in the comments.