Musicians The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
499.9k votes 40.3k voters 965.7k views 846 items

List Rules 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.
1 16,318 VOTES

Jimi Hendrix


Jimi Hendrix is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music". Born in Seattle, Washington, Hendrix began playing guitar at the age of 15. In 1961, he enlisted in the US Army; he was granted an honorable discharge the following year. Soon afterward, he moved to Clarksville, Tennessee, and began playing gigs on the chitlin' circuit, ...more on Wikipedia

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

Also Ranked

#86 on The Best Singers of All Time

#9 on The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

#45 on The Best Rock Vocalists

#8 on The Best Rock Bands of All Time

10,536 5,782
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2 14,650 VOTES

Jimmy Page


Jimmy Page is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time
Photo:  Dana Wullenwaber/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0

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 the most sought-after session guitarist in England. He was a member of the Yardbirds from 1966 to 1968. In late 1968, he founded Led Zeppelin. Page is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential guitarists of all time. Rolling Stone magazine has described Page as "the pontiff of power riffing" and ranked him number 3 in their list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All ...more on Wikipedia

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

Also Ranked

#4 on The Best Metal Guitarists and Guitar Teams

#37 on The Druggiest Rock Stars of All Time

#34 on The Greatest Rock Songwriters of All Time

#78 on The Best Blues Artists of All Time

9,362 5,288
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3 13,284 VOTES

Eric Clapton


Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time
Photo:  Matt Gibbons/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

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 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 blues with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. Immediately ...more on Wikipedia

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

Also Ranked

#76 on The Best Singers of All Time

#50 on The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time

#31 on The Best Rock Vocalists

#22 on The Best Rock Bands of All Time

7,936 5,348
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4 11,723 VOTES

Stevie Ray Vaughan


Stevie Ray Vaughan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time
Photo:  Joe Bielawa/Flickr/C. BY 2.0

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 most important figures in the revival of blues in the 1980s. AllMusic describes him as "a rocking powerhouse of a guitarist who gave blues a burst of momentum in the '80s, with influence still felt long after his tragic death." Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Vaughan began playing guitar at the age of seven, inspired by his older brother Jimmie. In 1971 he dropped out of high school, and moved ...more on Wikipedia

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

Also Ranked

#65 on The Best Rock Bands of All Time

#82 on The Greatest American Rock Bands

#62 on The Greatest Classic Rock Bands

#81 on The Druggiest Rock Stars of All Time

7,422 4,301
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