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The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

Updated September 17, 2020 671.4k votes 63k voters 1.3m views542 items

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

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 - legendary 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 famous rock, jazz, country, modern, and blues guitarists have all had long careers filled with success and failure. Some are alive and still jamming today, while other guitar legends died too young. Either way, give the best guitar players in the world some recognition. Whether they played lead guitar or acoustic, the world's most skilled guitarists are all here, including current artists who might be considered the best right now. 

Who is the best guitarist of all time? Do your favorites crack the top 100, or the top 10? Maybe, the top 5? Add your vote to make sure your voice is heard. Unlike Rolling Stone, your votes can change the rankings! To vote on more music lists, try the alltime Best Rock Vocalists and the Best Female Rock Vocalists.

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  • Video: YouTube
    Eric Patrick Clapton, (born 30 March 1945) is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. 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 of Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time. Clapton ranked second in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and fourth in Gibson's "Top 50 Guitarists of All Time". He was also named number five in Time magazine's list of "The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players" in 2009.In the mid-1960s Clapton left the Yardbirds to play with John Mayall & the...  more
    • Albums: 461 Ocean Boulevard, Crossroads, Pilgrim, Journeyman, Tears in Heaven
    • Genres (Music): Blues-rock, Rock music, Reggae, Pop rock, Soft rock
    11,794
    7,234
    Hall of Fame-worthy?

    All the Drugs, Murder, Adultery, and Disaster Around Eric Clapton's Layla#43 of 297 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years#29 of 1,891 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

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    Riley B. King (September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015), known professionally as B.B. King, was an American blues singer, electric guitarist, songwriter, and record producer. King introduced a sophisticated style of soloing based on fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato that influenced many later electric blues guitarists.King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, and is considered one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, earning the nickname "The King of the Blues", and is considered one of the "Three Kings of the Blues Guitar" (along with Albert and Freddie King). King was known for performing tirelessly throughout his musical career, appearing on...  more
    • Albums: Let the Good Times Roll, Live at the Regal, Ladies and Gentleman... Mr. B.B. King, How Blue Can You Get?, Electric Blues
    • Genres (Music): Blues-rock, Soul blues, Rock music, Memphis blues, Electric blues
    8,226
    4,981
    Hall of Fame-worthy?

    The Best B.B. King Albums of All Time#250 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive#4 of 222 The Best Blues Artists of All Time

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  • Edward Lodewijk Van Halen (January 26, 1955 - October 6, 2020) was a Dutch-American musician, songwriter, and producer. He was the main songwriter and founder—with brother and drummer Alex Van Halen, bassist Mark Stone, and singer David Lee Roth—of the American hard rock band Van Halen. In 2012, he was voted number one in a Guitar World magazine reader's poll for "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time"....  more
    • Genres (Music): Popular music, Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal, Neo-classical metal
    10,638
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    Hall of Fame-worthy?

    12 Awesome Stories About Eddie Van Halen That Sound Made Up - But Aren't#70 of 100 Rolling Stone's Top 100 Guitarists of All Time#295 of 816 These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time

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  • Photo: Francois Durand / Getty Images
    Charles Edward Anderson Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) was an American singer and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Rock and Roll Music" (1957) and "Johnny B. Goode" (1958), Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive. Writing lyrics that focused on teen life and consumerism, and developing a music style that included guitar solos and showmanship, Berry was a major influence on subsequent rock music.Born into a middle-class African-American family in St. Louis, Missouri, Berry had an interest in music from an early age and...  more
    • Albums: The Great Twenty-Eight, Maybellene, Two Great Guitars, Rock, Rock
    • Genres (Music): Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll, Blues
    5,642
    3,673
    Hall of Fame-worthy?

    The Best Chuck Berry Albums of All Time#59 of 488 The Best Rock Vocalists#350 of 1,355 The Greatest Minds of All Time

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