The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

5 9 of 27
274,375 votes 19,699 voters 484,967 views 824 items tags f p @

List Criteria: The greatest rock, metal, blues and alt rock guitarists to ever play live in a touring band

The best guitarists of all time, voted on and ranked by many music fans, with photos and other info. With help from the wisdom of the crowd, you'll find a comprehensive ranking of the greatest guitar players in history. All the top guitarists are on this list - monster guitar heroes from rock, metal, blues, and alternative music. Are you on Team Eddie or Team Jimi? How about both!

Add your vote to this list of the top guitarists ever and help to pick the best guitar player in the history of music. These roock, jazz, blues guitarists have all had long careers filled with success and failure. Some are still jamming out today, which other rock stars died too young, before their talents could be fully appreciated. Now is your chance to give the best guitar players in the world some recognition.

Who is the best guitarist of all time? Add your vote to make sure your voice is heart!

To vote on more music lists, check out these lists of the Best Rock Vocalists and the Best Female Rock Vocalists of all time.

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    James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century.more

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    • Albums: First Rays of the New Rising Sun, Band of Gypsys, Voodoo Child: The Jimi Hendrix Collection, Live at the Fillmore East, Live at Woodstock, + more
    • Genres (Music): Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock, Psychedelia, Heavy metal, + more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: MCA Records, Vee-Jay Records, Polydor Records, Reprise Records, Barclay Records, + more
    • Career Began: Seattle, Washington, United States of America
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    James Patrick "Jimmy" Page, OBE is an English musician, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer who achieved international success as the guitarist and leader of the rock band Led Zeppelin. Page began his career as a studio session musician in London and, by the mid-1960s, he had become ...more

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    • Albums: Coverdale/Page, Come With Me, Live at the Greek, Don’t Send Me No Flowers, Lucifer Rising and Other Sound Tracks, + more
    • Genres (Music): Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal, Rock and roll, Jazz, + more
    • Nationality: England
    • Labels: Atlantic Records, Geffen Records, Mercury, Fontana Records, Swan Song Records
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    Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE, is an English musician, singer-songwriter and guitarist. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential ...more

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    • Albums: 461 Ocean Boulevard, Crossroads, Pilgrim, Journeyman, Tears in Heaven, + more
    • Genres (Music): Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae, Pop rock, Soft rock, + more
    • Nationality: England
    • Labels: RSO Records, ATCO Records, Deram Records, Polydor Records, Reprise Records, + more
    • Career Began: London, United Kingdom
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    Stephen Ray Vaughan, known as Stevie Ray Vaughan, was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer. In spite of a short-lived mainstream career spanning seven years, he is widely considered one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of blues music, and one of the ...more

    more ABOUT
    • Albums: Couldn't Stand the Weather, In Step, Texas Flood, The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, The Sky Is Crying, + more
    • Genres (Music): Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock, Electric blues, Jazz fusion, + more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Sony Music Entertainment, Epic Records, A&M Records, Legacy Recordings
    • Career Began: Dallas, Texas, United States of America
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    Edward Lodewijk "Eddie" Van Halen is a Dutch-born American musician, songwriter and producer. He is best known as the lead guitarist, keyboardist and co-founder of the hard rock band Van Halen. He is considered to be one of the world's greatest guitarists, and one of the most influential rock guitarists ...more

    more ABOUT
    • Genres (Music): Popular music, Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal, Neo-classical metal, + more
    • Nationality: Netherlands, Indonesia, United States of America
    • Labels: Warner Bros. Records
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    David Jon Gilmour, CBE, is an English musician, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He is best known for his work as the guitarist and co-lead vocalist of the progressive rock band Pink Floyd. It is estimated that by 2012 the group had sold over 250 million records worldwide, including 75 ...more

    more ABOUT
    • Albums: On an Island, David Gilmour, Remember That Night, About Face, Live in Gdańsk, + more
    • Genres (Music): Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock, Soft rock, Progressive rock, + more
    • Nationality: England
    • Labels: Sony Records, Harvest Records, EMI, Sony Music Entertainment, Columbia, + more
    • Career Began: Cambridge, United Kingdom
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    Geoffrey Arnold "Jeff" Beck is an English rock guitarist. He is one of the three noted guitarists to have played with The Yardbirds. Beck also formed The Jeff Beck Group and Beck, Bogert & Appice. Much of Beck's recorded output has been instrumental, with a focus on innovative sound, and his releases ...more

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    • Albums: Truth, Blow by Blow, Wired, You Had It Coming, Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop, + more
    • Genres (Music): Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock, Electronic dance music, Jazz fusion, + more
    • Nationality: England
    • Labels: EMI, Epic Records
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    Carlos Santana audio is a Mexican and American musician who first became famous in the late 1960s and early 1970s with his band, Santana, which pioneered a fusion of rock and Latin American music. The band's sound featured his melodic, blues-based guitar lines set against Latin and African rhythms ...more

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    • Albums: Legacy Edition, Eat at Whitey's, The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper, Legendary Latin Rock Tracks, Bring 'Em In, + more
    • Genres (Music): Blues-rock, Chicano rock, Pop music, Rock music, Garage rock, + more
    • Nationality: United States of America, Mexico
    • Labels: Polydor Records, Arista Records, PolyGram, Columbia, RCA Records
    • Career Began: California, United States of America
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    B.B. King is an American blues musician, singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him at No. 6 on its 2011 list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time, and he was ranked No. 17 in Gibson's "Top 50 Guitarists of All Time". According to Edward M. Komara, King "introduced a ...more

    more ABOUT
    • Albums: Let the Good Times Roll, Live at the Regal, Ladies and Gentleman... Mr. B.B. King, How Blue Can You Get?, Electric Blues, + more
    • Genres (Music): Blues-rock, Soul blues, Rock music, Memphis blues, Electric blues, + more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: ABC Records, RPM Records, MCA Records, Bullet Records, Geffen Records, + more
    • Career Began: Itta Bena, Mississippi, United States of America
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    Brian Harold May, CBE is an English musician, singer, songwriter, and astrophysicist who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the rock band Queen. He uses a home-built electric guitar, called the Red Special. His compositions for the band include "We Will Rock You", "Tie Your Mother ...more

    more ABOUT
    • Albums: Red Special, The Adventures of Pinocchio: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Live at the Brixton Academy, Star Fleet Project, Furia, + more
    • Genres (Music): Rock music, Heavy metal, Pop rock, Progressive rock, Glam rock, + more
    • Nationality: United Kingdom, England
    • Labels: Parlophone, Hollywood Records
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    Mark Freuder Knopfler, OBE is a British songwriter, film score composer, guitarist, and record producer. He is best known as the lead guitarist, lead singer, and songwriter for the rock band Dire Straits, which he co-founded with his brother, David Knopfler, in 1977. Since Dire Straits disbanded in ...more

    more ABOUT
    • Albums: Private Investigations: The Best of Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler, Shangri-La, Sailing to Philadelphia, Golden Heart, The Ragpicker's Dream, + more
    • Genres (Music): Celtic rock, Blues-rock, Rock music, Country rock, Country, + more
    • Nationality: Scotland, United Kingdom, England
    • Labels: Vertigo Records, Warner Music Group, Mercury
    • Career Began: Glasgow, United Kingdom
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    Randall William "Randy" Rhoads was an American heavy metal guitarist who played with Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot. He died in a plane accident while on tour with Osbourne in Florida in 1982. A devoted student of classical guitar, Rhoads combined his classical music influences with his own heavy metal ...more

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    • Genres (Music): Glam metal, Heavy metal, Neo-classical metal, Hard rock
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Sony Music Entertainment, Epic Records
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    Duane Allman
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Howard Duane Allman was an American guitarist, session musician, co-founder and leader of the The Allman Brothers Band until his death in a motorcycle accident in 1971 at the age of 24. The Allman Brothers Band was formed in 1969 and based in the Southeastern United States. In the early 1970s, the band ...more

    more ABOUT
    • Albums: Duane Allman: An Anthology, Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective, Ton-Ton Macoute!, Duane & Greg Allman, Duane Allman: An Anthology, + more
    • Genres (Music): Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz fusion, Jazz, Soul music, + more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Capricorn Records, Mercury
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    Angus McKinnon Young is a Scottish-born Australian guitarist best known as a co-founder, lead guitarist, and songwriter of the Australian hard rock band, AC/DC. Known for his energetic performances, schoolboy-uniform stage outfits, and popularisation of Chuck Berry's duckwalk, Young was ranked by ...more

    more ABOUT
    • Genres (Music): Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal, Rock and roll, Hard rock
    • Nationality: Scotland, Australia
    • Labels: Atlantic Records, EMI, Albert Productions, Epic Records
  15. 15
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    Lester William Polsfuss, known as Les Paul, was an American jazz, country and blues guitarist, songwriter, luthier and inventor. He was one of the pioneers of the solid-body electric guitar, which made the sound of rock and roll possible. Les taught himself how to play guitar and while he is mainly ...more

    more ABOUT
    • Albums: Chester & Lester, The Legend and the Legacy, Les Paul & Friends: American Made World Played, Masters of the Guitar: Together, Guitar Monsters, + more
    • Genres (Music): Pop music, Rock music, Rock and roll, Jazz, Country, + more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Capitol Records
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    Peter Dennis Blandford "Pete" Townshend is an English musician, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, known principally as the guitarist and songwriter for the rock group the Who. His career with the Who spans 50 years, during which time the band grew to be considered one of the most influential ...more

    more ABOUT
    • Albums: Empty Glass, Psychoderelict (Music Only), White City, All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes, Let My Love Open the Door, + more
    • Genres (Music): Rock music, Pop rock, Merseybeat, Power pop, Jazz, + more
    • Nationality: United Kingdom, England
    • Labels: Decca Records, Atlantic Records, ATCO Records, Rykodisc, Polydor Records, + more
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    Richard Hugh "Ritchie" Blackmore is a British guitarist and songwriter, who began his professional career as a session musician as a member of the instrumental band The Outlaws and as a backing musician of pop singers such as Glenda Collins, Heinz, Screaming Lord Sutch and Neil Christian. Blackmore was ...more

    more ABOUT
    • Albums: Take It!, Rock Profile, Volume One, Ritchie Blackmore/Blackmore's Night - Golden Collection 2000, Rock Profile, + more
    • Genres (Music): Rock music, Heavy metal, Neo-Medieval music, Psychedelic rock, Hard rock, + more
    • Nationality: United Kingdom
    • Labels: Pony Canyon, SPV, Edel AG, Spinefarm Records, Tetragrammaton Records, + more
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    Joseph "Joe" Satriani is an American instrumental rock guitarist and multi-instrumentalist. Early in his career, Satriani worked as a guitar instructor, with many of his former students achieving fame, such as Steve Vai, Larry LaLonde, Rick Hunolt, Kirk Hammett, Andy Timmons, Charlie Hunter, Kevin ...more

    more ABOUT
    • Albums: G3: Live in Denver, Surfing With the Alien, The Extremist, G3: Live in Concert, G3: Live in Tokyo, + more
    • Genres (Music): Rock music, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal, Jazz fusion, Neo-classical metal, + more
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Labels: Sony Music Entertainment, Epic Records, Relativity Records
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    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Saul Hudson, better known by his stage name Slash, is a British-American musician and songwriter. He is best known as the former lead guitarist of the American hard rock band Guns N' Roses, with whom he achieved worldwide success in the late 1980s and early 1990s. During his later years with Guns N' ...more

    more ABOUT
    • Albums: Slash, Apocalyptic Love, Made in Stoke 24/7/11, Live in Manchester, Sahara, + more
    • Genres (Music): Glam metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal, Jazz fusion, Blues, + more
    • Nationality: United States of America, England
    • Labels: Roadrunner Records, Geffen Records, EMI, Uzi Suicide, Koch Entertainment, + more
    • Career Began: Stoke-on-Trent, Stoke-upon-Trent, United Kingdom
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    Anthony Frank "Tony" Iommi is an English guitarist, songwriter and producer. Best known as lead guitarist and founding member of the pioneering heavy metal band Black Sabbath, he has been the band's sole continual member and primary composer. While working in a factory as a teenager, Iommi lost the tips ...more

    more ABOUT
    • Albums: Fused, The 1996 DEP Sessions, Iommi, Eighth star
    • Genres (Music): Doom metal, Blues-rock, Heavy metal, Jazz, Blues, + more
    • Nationality: England
    • Labels: Rhino Entertainment, I.R.S. Records, Warner Bros. Records
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