Jazz The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World  

Ranker Music
Originally by
4k votes 651 voters 10.6k views 131 items

List Rules Vote up all of your favorite jazz guitarists and add any that you don't see on here.

The guitar is one of the most popular and diverse musical instruments in the world. It's permeated through dozens of genres of music, lending itself to help create some of the most moving and emotional pieces of music in history. The people on this list are masters of the guitar and are considered giants in the musical world.  

Whether you recognize these musicians or not, they've all carved a place out for themselves in the music world and have become influential and prominent figures in the industry. If you love geeking out on music, we definitely recommend finding some of their music. 

This list is votable and rerankable, so take a look through and vote up your favorite jazz guitarists. If you don't see someone on here who should be, feel free to add them, but this list is for living musicians only.
list ordered by

1
172 43
Wes Montgomery is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
geber.ramalho added Crossover jazz, Hard bop, Smooth jazz

2
112 45
Joe Pass is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
geber.ramalho added Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop

3
78 21
Django Reinhardt is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Swing music, Romani music, Gypsy jazz

4
125 60
Pat Metheny is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Ethno jazz, Crossover jazz, Pop music

5
91 34
George Benson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Pop music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

6
66 25
Jim Hall is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
geber.ramalho added Cool jazz, Post-bop, Jazz

7
63 24
Kenny Burrell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Cool jazz, Bebop, Blues

8
86 41
John McLaughlin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Kozmigroov, Rock music, World music

9
59 27
Pat Martino is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

10
65 38
Larry Carlton is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Pop music, Rock music, Smooth jazz

11
39 12
Charlie Christian is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Swing music, Big band, Jazz

12
57 24
John Scofield is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Nu jazz, Jazz-funk, Acid jazz

13
69 53
Al Di Meola is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Chicano rock, Rock music, Instrumental rock

14
43 33
Bill Frisell is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Soundtrack, Americana, Experimental rock

15
34 22
John Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Avant-garde jazz, Cool jazz, Hard bop

16
30 10
Gábor Szabó is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Crossover jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz

17
48 33
Biréli Lagrène is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Swing music, Gypsy jazz, Jazz fusion

18
29 12
Barney Kessel is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Pop music, Cool jazz, Rock music

19
20 10
Emily Remler is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz

20
24 9
Tal Farlow is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Cool jazz, Jazz, Bebop

21
44 30
Kurt Rosenwinkel is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World

22
25 12
Herb Ellis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Cool jazz, Swing music, West Coast jazz

23
14 4
Grant Green is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Jazz

24
21 10
Lenny Breau is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Flamenco, Classical music, Jazz

25
28 26
Larry Coryell is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Jazz fusion, Post-bop, Jazz