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The Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

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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  • 1
    22948 VOTES
    James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. His mainstream career lasted only four years, but he is widely regarded as one of the most influential guitarists in history and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music".Born in Seattle, Washington, Hendrix began playing guitar at age 15. In 1961, he enlisted in the Army and trained as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division, but he was discharged the following year. He moved to Clarksville, Tennessee soon after  ...more
    • 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
    • Genres (Music): Blues-rock, Rock music, Experimental rock, Psychedelia, Heavy metal
    14,984
    7,964
    Hall of Fame-worthy?

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  • Photo: redfoxinict / flickr / CC-BY 2.0
    2
    21091 VOTES
    James Patrick Page (born 9 January 1944) is an English musician, songwriter, and record producer who achieved international success as the guitarist and founder of the rock band Led Zeppelin. Page began his career as a studio session musician in London and, by the mid-1960s, alongside Big Jim Sullivan, was one of the most sought-after session guitarists in Britain. 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 three in their list of the "100 Greatest  ...more
    • Albums: Coverdale/Page, Come With Me, Live at the Greek, Don’t Send Me No Flowers, Lucifer Rising and Other Sound Tracks
    • Genres (Music): Blues-rock, Folk rock, Heavy metal, Rock and roll, Jazz
    13,739
    7,352
    Hall of Fame-worthy?

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  • 3
    17411 VOTES
    Stephen Ray Vaughan (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990) was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer, and one of the most influential guitarists in the revival of blues in the 1980s. He is commonly referred to as one of the greatest guitar players of all time. Vaughan was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. He began playing guitar at the age of seven, inspired by his older brother Jimmie. He dropped out of high school in 1971 and moved to Austin the following year. He played gigs with numerous bands, earning a spot in Marc Benno's band the Nightcrawlers and later with Denny Freeman in the Cobras, with whom he continued to work through late 1977. He then formed his own  ...more
    • Albums: Couldn't Stand the Weather, In Step, Texas Flood, The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, The Sky Is Crying
    • Genres (Music): Blues-rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock, Electric blues, Jazz fusion
    11,168
    6,243
    Hall of Fame-worthy?

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  • 4
    18790 VOTES
    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
    11,660
    7,130
    Hall of Fame-worthy?

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