Music

The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
592.9k votes 49.8k voters 1.1M views 673 items

List Rules All genres included here, so keep an open mind from Segovia to Slayer

Ranker Video Randy Rhoads | The Guitar Prodigy's Heartbreaking Plane Crash

The best guitarists of all time, voted on and ranked by tens of thousands of music fans, with photos and other info. With help from the wisdom of this 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 rock, jazz, and blues guitarists have all had long careers filled with success and failure. Some are still jamming today, while other guitar legends died too young. Either way, 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 heard. To vote on more music lists, try the alltime Best Rock Vocalists and the Best Female Rock Vocalists.

Ranker may collect a commission from links on this page. back to page 1
Eddie Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time
Photo:  Carl Lender/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0
5 15,788 VOTES

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 of the 20th century. In 2010, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Van Halen number seventy in the list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists. In 2012, he was voted in a Guitar World magazine reader's poll as the number one of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" over Brian May of Queen and Alex Lifeson of Rush. ...more on Wikipedia

Genres (Music): Popular music, Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal, Neo-classical metal, + more

More Eddie Van Halen

#4 of 230 on The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams #79 of 231 on The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time #11 of 85 on The Greatest Rock Guitarists of the 1970s #68 of 77 on Celebrities Who Live in Los Feliz

Hall of Fame-worthy?
see more on Eddie Van Halen
David Gilmour is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time
Photo:  Klaus Hiltscher/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0
6 13,800 VOTES

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 million units sold in the United States. In addition to his work with Pink Floyd, Gilmour has produced a variety of artists, for example the Dream Academy, and has had a solo career. In 2005, Gilmour was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to music. He was awarded with the Outstanding Contribution title at the 2008 Q Awards. In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine ranked ...more on Wikipedia

Albums: On an Island, David Gilmour, Remember That Night, About Face, Live in GdaƄsk, + more

Genres (Music): Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock, Soft rock, Progressive rock, + more

More David Gilmour

#35 of 769 on The Best Rock Vocalists #29 of 297 on The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #22 of 230 on The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams #34 of 446 on The Best Frontmen in Rock

Hall of Fame-worthy?
see more on David Gilmour
Mark Knopfler is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/GNU Free Documentation License
7 10,551 VOTES

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 1995, Knopfler has recorded and produced seven solo albums, and, as with his previous band, produced many hit songs. He has composed and produced film scores for eight films, including Local Hero, Cal, The Princess Bride, and Wag the Dog. In addition to his work with Dire Straits and as a solo artist and composer, Knopfler has recorded and performed with many prominent musicians, including Chet ...more on Wikipedia

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

More Mark Knopfler

#24 of 297 on The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #45 of 230 on The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams #67 of 446 on The Best Frontmen in Rock featuring The Best Mark Knopfler Albums of All Time

Hall of Fame-worthy?
see more on Mark Knopfler
Brian May is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time
Photo: Compadre Edua'h/Wikimedia Commons
8 11,969 VOTES

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 Down", "I Want It All", "Fat Bottomed Girls", "Flash", "Who Wants to Live Forever" and "The Show Must Go On". He was appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2005 for "services to the music industry and for charity work". May attained a PhD in astrophysics from Imperial College in 2007 and was Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University from 2008 to 2013. He ...more on Wikipedia

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

More Brian May

#20 of 297 on The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #17 of 230 on The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams #56 of 231 on The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time #96 of 768 on These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time

Hall of Fame-worthy?
see more on Brian May