Jazz The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World  

Ranker Music
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4.1k votes 669 voters 10.9k 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
175 44
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
114 47
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
128 61
Pat Metheny is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Ethno jazz, Crossover jazz, Pop music
4
79 22
Django Reinhardt is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Swing music, Romani music, Gypsy jazz
5
92 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
67 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
86 41
John McLaughlin is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Kozmigroov, Rock music, World music
8
64 26
Kenny Burrell is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Cool jazz, Bebop, Blues
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
66 39
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
58 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 54
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
36 10
Gábor Szabó is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Crossover jazz, Jazz fusion, Jazz
15
43 33
Bill Frisell is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
looksharp added Soundtrack, Americana, Experimental rock
16
34 22
John Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
slaft added Avant-garde jazz, Cool jazz, Hard bop
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
45 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
21 10
Johnny Smith is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Jazz Guitarists in the World
picardy37 added Cool jazz